GUILFORD, CT (WFSB) -- A Connecticut shoreline town voted to change a school's mascot.
The Guilford High Indians will soon be a thing of the past.
The Board of Education held a special meeting on Monday evening and voted to the the "Indians" as the high school's mascot.
Monday night’s meeting at 7 p.m. came after two forums that the Board of Education held just last week on the topic of changing the name, which some people say is offensive.
“I think it’s about time,” said Dee Jacob, of Guilford, who had two children go through the public school system.
“I think it’s important to show sensitivity to these things. I’m on the house hunt, looking to move to the area, so it’s encouraging to me that this is a community that takes this seriously and there is enough momentum behind making the change,” said Shari Sykes, who is hoping her daughter will start fifth grade in the fall.
Some folks in town did say they could see the other side of the matter, and thought maybe the town should wait.
A week ago, the school board had experts weighing in on the subject of race, culture, and the use of Native American mascots, symbols, and names.
Last Thursday, the board held a public forum to get feedback from community members on the future of the mascot.
In a statement to Guilford Public Schools, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation said “Supporters of Native-themed mascots argue that it evokes a sense of nostalgia from their days in school and believe such mascots are intended to honor Native Americans. Yet while we understand their sentiment, we do not feel honored.”
“Native Americans are not mascots, nor should our cultures be misappropriated as such. Race or ethnic-themed mascots or school nicknames perpetuate the stereotypes and racism that harm Native and non-Native students.”
“People are not mascots. Animals, other names are mascots. I don’t know why it’s taken so long, but it’s about time,” Jacob said.
The Board of Education said the school system will stay committed to teaching Native American history as well as subjects of race and equity.