Cambridge School Board tables mascot issue for now

The Cambridge School District was set to take up the issue of the Indian name and logo again on Thursday evening. However, it’s not on the agenda, and with two board members absent, a decision was made at the meeting to table the issue for the night.

But that didn’t stop people from sharing their thoughts about keeping or getting rid of the mascot.

Last month, the state education commissioner told the district to get rid of the name and imagery by July. If they don’t, state funds could be withheld.

Plenty of speakers showed up in favor of keeping the mascot— one Native American woman saying it’s their heritage.

“I have my own personal feelings I mean obviously in support. I have yet to see a person come up to this podium of Native American descent that has been in support of retiring this mascot. I’ve seen the exact opposite,” one speaker said.

Another speaker brought a note from the Stockbridge Muncie Indian tribe, native to this area, asking to end the use of Indian imagery. One speaker cited a study saying Indian imagery can lead to lower self-esteem in Native Americans.

One speaker remained neutral and seemed exhausted, just wanting the debate to end.

“It’s an understatement to say that 2021 was a hard year. Having this ongoing point of contention hasn’t made it any easier. It’s caused an expenditure of resources at a time when kids are really struggling,” he said.

Other people asked the board to stop dragging out the mascot back-and-forth and follow the commissioner’s guidance.

“Why is the Cambridge Indian issue still open and unresolved? Can we afford to spend another penny? I say no,” said another resident of Cambridge.

The only mention of the mascot by the officials at the meeting was Superintendent Dr. Silvernell noting in his report that it would take about $92,000 to replace all of the Indians imagery.