SKOWHEGAN, Maine — The Skowhegan Indians will keep their name after the district’s school board voted Thursday night against a request to change it.

The school board for SAD 54 voted 11-9 against changing the school’s name “The Indians,” as requested by the Penobscot Nation.

Residents for and against the name change spoke out Thursday night, with the school board warning people not to heckle them at times. One board member said, “In my 28 years on this board and all the controversy, this is the worst I have ever seen.”

Members of the Penobscot Tribe were in attendance Thursday night. While the outcome was not as they had hoped, they were still happy to see the school board take up the issue. “To listen to the school board members who were willing to vote ‘yes’ … who were willing to make the motion under extreme pressure and threats from the community and the budget and being reluctant I think is outstanding for them to do that,” said Barry Dana of the Penobscot Nation. “I’m impressed the vote was as close as it was.”