GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) Board members for a northern Indiana school district have set Jan. 1 as the target date to retire the school’s Redskins mascot name.
The Goshen School Board made the decision Tuesday night after voting in July to stop using the mascot, which has represented Goshen Community Schools for nearly 90 years.
“Work will begin immediately with the goal of using the new mascot as of January 1, 2016, and then having the new mascot fully implemented across the district for the 2016-17 academic year,” according to a release from board President Cathie Cripe, The Elkhart Truth reported.
A student-led group called the Mascot Selection and Celebration Steering Committee is in charge of choosing a new mascot. Goshen Middle School and Goshen High School students and alumni who live in the district have through Sunday to submit suggestions.
Students on the steering committee will then vote electronically on their top choices. From Oct. 9-11 another suggestion will open for students and the community to submit logos for that list. The steering committee will have professional renderings made of those logos and they’ll be put to a vote.
The mascot change is expected to cost between $7,000 and $16,000, the school board said.
Those who sought the change argued the Redskins name is offensive and derogatory to Native Americans. Redskins supporters asked the school board to stand against “political correctness” and continue a community tradition. The steering committee will have professional renderings of the logos made and they will be up for vote.
The Redskins name was removed from athletic jerseys years ago, but it remained on student clothing and memorabilia. The idea of changing the Redskins resurfaced at a meeting on June 8, prompting people to send more than 300 emails to the school board.