After months of passionate debate from officials and community members in the Menomonee Falls School District, the Menomonee Falls School Board voted 5-2 on Monday night to drop the high school’s “Indians” nickname and mascot.

According to WITI, two Wisconsin tribes were among the members of the community in the suburban Milwaukee city that came out in support of the change.

“I don’t believe it is in the best interest of our students, however, for our students, our families, our district to continue to compel our students to be represented by a mascot that is regarded as harmful, offensive or disrespectful,” said Menomonee Falls School Superintendent Corey Golla.

A team made up of mostly students will select the next mascot for Menomonee Falls High School.

“We are pleased with the decision by the Menomonee Falls School board to end the perpetuation of negative and damaging stereotypes about indigenous people through the use of a racist mascot,” said Chris Ott, ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director, in a statement. “Our schools should be fostering safe and inclusive learning environments for all students – not promoting racist stereotypes and imagery, and retiring their mascot is a step in the right direction. Menomonee Falls is sending a positive message to its students and community, and we hope that other Wisconsin school districts follow suit.”

Tricia Zunker, the Wausau School Board president who introduced a Wisconsin Association of School Boards resolution calling on all Native American mascots to be retired, praised the Menomonee Falls board.

“Menomonee Falls School Board demonstrated true leadership with their vote to retire the ‘Indians’ nickname,” she said in a statement. “Ensuring all students feel included and respected should be at the forefront of any educational policy and this vote recognizes that importance. The detrimental effects of Native American mascots, logos, nicknames and imagery on the educational experience of all students is not confined within the district that has them;  this overdue change will have a positive impact on the educational experience and life experience of thousands of Wisconsin students.  I commend Meonomonee Falls School Board for their leadership on this matter of educational policy and urge other Wisconsin school districts to follow suit.”
Several school boards have signed on to Zunker’s resolution. Menomonee Falls is the third district to abandon Native American mascots since it was introduced over the summer, bringing the number of school retaining such mascots to 28.