- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) - A northern Indiana high school is beginning the search for a new mascot after the school board decided to retire the Redskins moniker.

On Monday night, the Goshen Community School Board voted 5-2 in favor of getting rid of the mascot that has represented the school for nearly 90 years. The name will be retired Jan. 1, 2016.

The board made the decision after more than two hours of comments from more than 50 people, including graduates, parents, teachers and other members of the public.

Members of the board said it was a difficult decision, because there were strong arguments on both sides and one of them would be disappointed no matter what.

“It’s very hard because you care about the students in the schools and what you teach young children going forward,” said school board President Cathie Cripe, “And you care about the people in the audience who feel badly that their particular mascot won’t go forward. It’s very hard.”

Those who sought the change argued the Redskins name is offensive and derogatory to Native Americans. Redskins supporters asked the school board to stand against “political correctness” and continue a community tradition.

“Women not having the vote was OK until it wasn’t. Slavery was OK until it wasn’t. Segregation was OK until it wasn’t. And Redskin was OK until it wasn’t,” Cripe said.

Due to a recurring debate over the Redskins name, it was removed from athletic jerseys years ago, but it remained on student clothing and memorabilia. The idea of changing the Redskins resurfaced at a meeting on June 8, prompting people to send more than 300 emails to the school board over the past two months.

The mascot change is expected to cost between $7,000 and $16,000, the school board said.

At the meeting, the board did not decide what steps will be taken to replace the mascot. However, Goshen High School students and residents have said they want to have a say in picking a new mascot.

Over the past few decades, other schools throughout the U.S. have moved away from their own Redskins monikers.

North Side High School in Fort Wayne also is considering changing its Redskins mascot.

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