SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) — A Maine school district is embroiled in a debate over how it should replace its now retired Native American-themed mascot and nickname.

The board of directors for the Skowhegan-based School Administrative District 54 met with community members, students and members of the Penobscot Nation on Thursday to discuss the mascot-transition plan after voting in March to retire the “Indian” nickname and mascot.

The Morning Sentinel reports community members are split on how to move forward. Some believe the mascot is tied to the community’s identity and others feel it is a racist and hurtful relic.

Superintendent Brent Colbry introduced the six-point transition plan and says that if a new mascot is selected, it will be implemented in the 2020-2021 school year.

(Copyright (c) 2024 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox