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updated: 10/13/2010 12:10 PM

Dist. 102 to discuss future of 'Indians' mascot

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Like other school districts across the country, Aptakisic-Tripp District 102 will discuss if it should keep the "Indians mascot for one of its schools.

School board member Pelleg Graupe said this week he wants to have a discussion on mascot names at the board's next meeting, Oct. 25.

Aptakisic Junior High School's "Indians name "doesn't necessarily bother me, he said, but he "wants to be ahead of the discussion in case someone takes issue with the name and wants the board to address it.

Graupe added no one has complained to him about Aptakisic's mascot let alone knew what it is but he thinks the school board should develop a position.

At a school board meeting Tuesday, Graupe provided board members with examples of school districts across the country that have supported or rejected such names.

In Wisconsin, Kewaunee High School recently got rid of its Indians name after it received a complaint from a former teacher. A new state law there allows school district residents to file complaints against race-based names.

Meanwhile in Oklahoma, a high school that has a majority of students with Cherokee heritage approved a "Tommy Tomahawk mascot.

Graupe said he understands both sides of the issue: that such names can be used respectfully, but they also can be "pejorative terms.

If the board does support the current name, it should be used with dignity and respect, Graupe said, and students should learn about why that name was chosen.

Aptakisic's school colors are red and white, and T-shirts are sold that refer to Indians football and basketball, Indians moms and dads and more.

Chief Aptakisic, also known as Chief Half Day, lived in the area in the early 1800s until his Potawatomi tribe was resettled in Missouri in 1837.

Superintendent Theresa Dunkin said she will find out exactly how names were determined for the district's four schools by the next meeting.