CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cambridge Central School District is holding a public forum Thursday over a proposal to change its mascot, after a petition to move away from a Native American name and logo sparked some division in the district.

Last year, the school board was asked by petitioners to retire the school’s Native American imagery, citing that many Native American tribal governments and organizations find the use of this imagery demeaning and offensive to their culture.

The district says for the past six months, the board of education has maintained an open door for communication surrounding the mascot, receiving hundreds of letters and emails, and that they have also completed an exhaustive review of scientific literature and other objective information related to the issue.

To help facilitate discussion, the district has hired an outside mediation firm. “Bridges” will be present at the virtual forum Thursday night. In preparation, Bridges has conducted confidential interviews, which will also be used to develop the next steps in the process of what will happen to the mascot, and to provide information to the school board.

“It is our hope that working with Bridges will ensure that all voices are heard and that we emerge from this conversation as a cohesive community once again,” said Neil Gifford, Cambridge Board of Education President.

The school board anticipates to vote on the mascot issue this school year.

The Zoom link for the forum will be posted on the district’s website.