LEMONT, Ill. — The board for District 210 is slated to meet Monday night to vote on changing the school’s controversial mascot name.
The mascot, originally the Indians, was changed in the 1960s to the even more eyebrow-raising ‘Injuns’. Nearly 20 years ago, the name reverted back to the Indians, a name that remains today.
At Lemont High School, a decades-long debate over the mascot is once again creating a stir.
“It was interesting because they were doing a big schoolwide vote,” alum Amber Randall said.
Randall was a student at Lemont High School in 2004, the last time District 210 voted to change the mascot. At the time, the mascot was the Injuns.
“We voted forward to be the Titans in a change, then it was right back to the Indians,” Randall said.
Despite the vote, the school reverted back to the former mascot name following community outcry over changing the name to the Titans. It even involved newly-elected school board members at the time vowing to keep the ‘Indians’ moniker.
Native American attorney Robert Sanooke said that while some feel using the imagery is an honor, he does not.
“The term mascot is really to be a character, it’s not honoring somebody. It’s more about minimizing what they are to nothing more than a circle and a sticker on their helmet,” Sanooke said.
Kurt Korte, President of District 210, said that the board will determine whether the school will adopt a new name for its activities and athletics teams and what the process for selection will be.
The board is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday.