ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) ----- With organizations nationwide looking at the use of Native American symbols in their schools, talk turns to the Stateline as Hononegah High School faces debate from thousands over what they should do with their mascot and chant.
"I know times change, but history doesn't. History is history."
On Wednesday, the first school board meeting following the filing of the petitions provided a platform for those from both sides to voice their opinions.
"When they represent something, they represent something. They eat it, they breathe it, and they sleep it."
Some graduates who see the symbol as a beacon for the area.
"When I see this image, this is a perfect image of a Native American that represented our area."
Members of the Hononegah Students for a Democratic Society believe the use of the iconography is damaging to the community's future.
"While Rockton has a rich history, stemming from Hononegah, the Native woman of Potawatomi and Winnebago descent, we are not honoring or respecting this history by making a mascot of an entire population of people."
With more than 12,000 signatures on both petitions, public conversation and discourse on the topic is far from over.
"While this is not done with malintent, we have entered a new decade, and the time to start a new conversation about our representation of Rockton's history is now."