THOMASBORO, Ill. (WCIA) — “For me as a personal individual I am disappointed in the vote,” Dallas Johnson, Vice President for Thomasboro School Board, said.
While she and others were disappointed during a school board meeting tonight, others were happy to see the mascot stay the same.
There was heated debate in Thomasboro. The school board asked the community for input about keeping or changing the mascot. The school board voted to keep the mascot the same as the Thomasboro Indians, but many people were against it.
The school board allowed the community to speak an hour before the meeting so people could voice their concerns about the mascot. Those in favor of keeping the mascot said it can be used to educate people as well as showcase and honor Native American culture. While, those who wanted to see the mascot gone said its derogatory and racist.
“For me, it was about creating a culture of inclusivity where all students and all people feel welcome,” Johnson said.
“There’s just a great deal that we have received from Native Americans and I just don’t think that it’s fair that we would break that chain, that link, to the history of indigenous peoples,” Diana Lenzi, a former educator, said.
It was a close vote by the school board, ending 4-3 in favor of keeping the mascot.
Thomasboro is not the only school with Native American imagery in Central Illinois. Tuscola are the Warriors. Sullivan are the Redskins. There have been conversations at those schools in the past about changing the names.