Berlin High School is looking for a new mascot.
It has to change from the Indians name and logo, despite a long battle to keep it.
Soon the signs reading "Indians" in the Berlin High School gym will be taken down.
And the warrior spears will no longer grace the football team's helmets.
“We were already in the process of change prior to the injunction that was put in place last year,” said Superintendent Bob Eidahl.
A lawsuit challenging the removal was dropped Monday. It was a fight that had gone on since 2011.
Thomas Sobieski, the alumni who raised the original complaint against the district, issued this statement:
"The decision is good for all future graduates of Berlin High School and any schools Berlin competes against."
Thomas Sobieski, the 1962 Berlin High School graduate who originally petitioned the school district to change the name in 2011, issued the following statement:
“The decision is good for all future graduates of Berlin High School and any schools Berlin competes against in sports. My decision to file the complaint came after the Berlin School District failed to respond to my attempts to educate them about the research that determined that these sports identities harmed not only American Indian students but also other minorities. The elected officials of all eleven federally recognized tribes have unanimously signed resolutions asking schools to please not use race-based sports identities.”
Eidahl says change won't come cheap.
“We will have some cost to change out above the normal uniform rotation. And it will be between maybe 10 and 15,000 dollars, it'll just depend,” said Eidahl.
Many of the trophies and plaques from previous athletic seasons feature the Indians logo and name. And though Berlin school officials say they're ready to move on in the future with a new mascot, they don't want to part with the trophies from the past.
"We really haven't talked to the DPI about specifics yet. Do they have to be changed or is it just from this moment forward that it has to be something new?" asked Eidahl.
The Department of Public Instruction told FOX 11 News the trophies and plaques with the old logo and name are still allowed to be displayed.
Eidahl says the district will send out community surveys to pick a new mascot, but wouldn't divulge any of the possibilities.
Community members we spoke with say it will be difficult finding a fitting nickname for the school.
“I'm originally from Omro, and they're the foxes. The Winneconne are the wolves, I mean, how many animals can you use?” asked Jess Piotter of Berlin.
“Maybe just name them after their teams that they have, the different Berlin teams, maybe just pick one and name it after that?” said Robin Menger of Berlin.
Time is ticking for the name and logo change: Berlin has until July 1 of next year.
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