Lemont High School to discontinue use of controversial 'Indians' mascot

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Lemont High School to discontinue use of controversial 'Indians' mascot
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Lemont High School will discontinue the use of "Indians" effective at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

LEMONT, Ill. (WLS) -- An Illinois high school will soon be phasing out the controversial use of "Indians" in reference to the school.

Lemont High School District 210 Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution Monday night to discontinue the term associated with student activities and athletic teams. The south suburban school will also phase out the use of the "LHS Indians" logo.

The resolution will take effect at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, according to the district's president.

"The primary responsibility of the Board of Education is to ensure our students are provided with the best educational experience at Lemont High School. It is imperative for our students to learn to think critically in an environment where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity," the district said in a statement.

National Commission on Civil Rights, American Psychological Association and National Congress of American Indians, among others, called for the school district to discontinue the use of Native American names and symbols as nicknames and/or mascots by non-Native schools.

School district officials said they acknowledge that imagery, depictions, phrases and references "considered acceptable at one" can be considered derogatory or offensive towards some.

However, some are not happy about the coming change.

"The town has respected the Indians for many years. We have streets named after the Indians. It's celebrated, it's not a derogatory term and changing the name, I think will remove some of the history," said one resident.

Lemont High School was established in 1890. The school board has not yet decided if the school will adopt a new mascot.