MCLAUGHLIN, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota school district on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that dropped its Midgets nickname because it was offensive to people of short stature has chosen a new moniker.
McLaughlin School District sports teams will now be known as the Mustangs.
The district abandoned the Midgets nickname last September at the request of the nonprofit group Little People of America, which considers the word a slur. The school had used the moniker for more than eight decades, but district officials in recent years had talked about changing it.
Officials sought suggestions from students and community members for a new nickname.
"We had about 70 different names suggested," McLaughlin Superintendent Scott Lepke told the American News (http://bit.ly/1MEgF2d ). "We whittled it down to the top three."
Mustangs beat out Thunder and Wolves in a community vote at the school earlier this month. Mustangs received 171 votes, Thunder 164 and Wolves 111. The district hopes to have a new logo ready for the next school year.
The reservation straddles the South Dakota-North Dakota border. In North Dakota, the Dickinson School District uses the Midgets nickname. The school board voted to drop the nickname in 1996, leading to a public outcry and the recall of three board members. Residents and students the following year voted down a proposed change in the mascot. The issue arose again in 2010, but no change resulted.