LEMONT, Ill. — In an unanimous decision, the District 210 board voted to retire Lemont High School’s longtime mascot name of the Indians.
The name will be discontinued for all student activities and sporting events starting at the beginning of the upcoming school year.
The vote was 7-0 by the District 210 school board.
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.
“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.