Morris High School sports teams name change school board vote delayed

MORRIS, Ill. (WLS) -- A vote to change the controversial name of Morris High School's sports teams has been delayed again Monday.

A school board vote was set to be held Monday evening to change the teams' name and retire a mascot, but it was avoided as elected officials lamented the lack of a detailed plan for the day after such a decision.

School board member Mike Wright said the board had a responsibility to "set up policy," which they did not yet have outline.

Before the delay there were impassioned pleas to drop the symbolism during public comment. Research says names like this one hurt young Native people, and leads to stereotyping and dysfunction.

"You have the fact-based empirical research that shows the harm that's caused to native youth, and the prejudices that are instilled in non-native children," said Ted Trujillo, Morris resident.

"I realized it isn't up to me to determine whether someone should be offended by something or not," said Morris High School English teacher Diana Gogerty. "If it is offensive to Native Americans, it's offensive."

Others defended tradition, saying the imagery is offered with reverence. One parent lamented the time spent worrying over the name and mascot, while others insisted that the public still wanted the name due to its heritage.

The board superintendent promised to convene a special meeting on this topic alone before the next full board meeting in December, which was only agreed to informally and not passed itself as an official resolution.

In October, the Morris board also delayed a decision about their mascot and team names.

Additional Resources

American Psychological Association
American University
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.