POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) — The Board of Trustees for the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 met this morning to discuss the name change of Pocatello High School's Indian mascot.
Members of the local community got the opportunity to speak on what impact the name has had on the community. Those who spoke included people who were in favor of the name change as well some who were against it.
Pocatello High School Principal Lisa Delonas believes that the name has negatively impacted the Native American community.
"You know it's difficult to sum up in a really brief statement how damaging it has been for those people," Delonas said. "It really is something that you need to read about and educate yourself on. I would encourage people to do that, to read, to listen and to educate themselves from the Native American perspective as to why this is problematic."
For Principal Delonas, the wait is over for trying to make this decision.
"We have altered, and we have changed," Delonas said. "We have tried, but ultimately, the ultimate thing is just to get rid of it, it's time. Our understanding is clear enough now."
Although the principal is on board with getting rid of the name "Indians," the Board will take its time in evaluating what to do next.
"They will hear the recommendation, discuss the merits of that recommendation, and then determine how they best view moving forward for the next steps," said PCSD 25 spokesperson Courtney Fisher.
Even if the mascot's name is not removed, Principal Delonas acknowledges change can still occur.
"I think if the School Board decides that we are going to keep the Indian mascot, then as a school, we need to really examine what steps do we need to take to really deepen the education of our students, so that they can truly be advocates for Native Americans and that anywhere they go, they can stand up for what's right," Delonas said.
The Board of Trustees will meet on Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. to make a choice on where to go next. They will decide whether to keep the name, get rid of the name, or take more time to make the decision.