Students in Danville have chosen the Bears as the school’s new nickname, after the school board voted last spring to end the use of the Indians name.
The Danville Bears was one of four options that students voted on a week ago. Fourth-grader Willa Mantius announced the results on Thursday.
The school board had voted in March to adopt a policy prohibiting offensive school symbols or representation by a race or ethnic group, after multiple forums and chances for public input, the Caledonian Record reported. The board voted to reaffirm the policy this summer in response to a petition asking the board to reconsider the name.
“I am happy that this long process has reached its conclusion,” Superintendent Mark Tucker wrote in an email to the newspaper. “I think the policy the Board developed and implemented to address the mascot issue was both well-considered and respectful of the important role the school administrators and staff play in helping students to develop agency and voice in their school life.”
He said the process caused a lot of rancor in the community, which he said he’s choosing to see “as a reflection of this community’s continued interest in, and passion for the school.”
The Indian logo was removed from the gymnasium floor by the summer of 2001 and was no longer on uniforms or used in school cheers as of 2003.