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Many Indiana schools maintain Redskins name

GOSHEN, Ind. (WISH) – A northern Indiana school district is getting rid of its mascot after 90 years. Goshen Community Schools will stop being known as the “Redskins” on Jan. 1, 2016.

In a 5-2 vote Monday, Goshen Community schools ruled that Redskins is not an acceptable mascot. Now, they’re searching for a new one. In a nearly four-hour-long debate, community members, including Native Americans, voiced their concerns. One Native American said, “I am not your mascot.” The mascot and logo change is estimated to cost between $7,000 and $16,000.

Goshen high and middle schools were two of seven Indiana schools that carry the Redskins name, according to the American Indian Cultural Support. Emmerich Manual in Indianapolis is also nicknamed the Redskins.

The AICS website says since Goshen’s ruling, 176 Indiana schools have Native American “racial” mascots. Other mascots they consider offensive are names like Braves, Chiefs and Indians.

Goshen’s decision piggy backs a recent controversy over the name NFL team Washington Redskins. In early July, a federal judge in northern Virginia ordered the cancellation of the team’s federal trademark registrations because the team name is disparaging to Native Americans.

On AICS’s website, it acknowledges that many schools say they use these mascots out of honor. But, the organization asks, “If the people being ‘honored’ feel only degradation, pain, racism, and disgust, then where is the ‘honor?’”

AICS members want all of these names retired.