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Menomonee Falls High School superintendent recommends retiring mascot

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MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The months-long debate over the Menomonee Falls High School mascot continues.

The Menomonee Falls school superintendent weighed in at Monday night's board meeting Nov. 11.

Superintendent Corey Golla recommended the high school retire their Indians mascot by the end of the school year. The discussion over the mascot started after a resolution came about this summer of possible legislation which would ban the use of Native American imagery in Wisconsin schools.

The superintendent says he does not want the Indian mascot to stick around because it does not create a sense of belonging and unity for all students and families in the community.

"I don't believe it is in the best interest of our students, however, for our students, our families, our district to continue to compel our students to be represented by a mascot that is regarded as harmful, offensive or disrespectful," said Golla.

Before the board meeting, the Menomonee Falls Indigenous Peoples Group shared how Indian mascots affect Native Americans living in and near the community.

"Native American mascots and logos are injurious to Native American students' self-esteem and grade level achievement," said Oneida and Menominee tribal member Mark Denning.

Comments made during the meeting brought differing views to the table. Some argue erasing the Indians mascot that has been around since the 1980's would erase the community's history. Others say future students deserve a mascot that unifies them.

While views differ greatly, Golla says it's important to stand up for the minorities within the community.

"We create a sense of belonging by honoring the minority voice in our school community," he said. "Efforts to drown out those voices simply because they conflict with the preferences of the majority does not create a sense of belonging."

The debate isn't over yet. The board will have another discussion on the mascot in two weeks, and they expect to vote on this issue on Dec. 9.

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