MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Students, parents and community members all had something to say about Marquette Senior High School nicknames at Monday night's Board of Education meeting.
Though a tough and divisive issue, every board member that spoke at the end of the night said they're proud of how the community handled the meeting.
"Coming into tonight, people were talking about the community coming into this room rolling their sleeves up. The community didn't know whether it was going to be a fight, or if we were coming into this room to get some work done. I'm very proud of my community in that I think it was the latter and not the former,” said Board of Education Trustee, Glenn Sarka.
Even though a special committee researched the issue and recommended a nickname change because it may offend some Native American students, the school board has not made a decision on whether or not to eliminate the “Redmen” and “Redettes” names.
The board is only gathering public input for now, with the board's student representative saying every comment is valuable.
"We'd like to learn from this. We're all going to leave this more educated on other viewpoints and we're going to see how much exactly everyone in this community really, truly, cares about the school,” said Board of Education Student Representative, Braedyn Locke.
Board President, Rich Rossway, says it will be a while before any decisions are made.
"I think that input is so incredibly important and we need to see and do what is best for our students, and I think this is a great opportunity as a community to really show what we stand for and to show how you can work on complex issues and resolve those issues,” Rossway said.
Rossway, as well as other board members, realize the issue is divisive but they encourage people to keep the same civility going forward as was shown at Monday’s meeting.
"What I most hope going forward is that we can all take pride in how we handle this situation. I'm proud of how it was navigated tonight, and how we navigate going forward as a community, because I'm really proud of this community,” said Board of Education Trustee, Keith Glendon.
You can read more about Monday’s meeting here.