Republicans propose new school mascot law


by Chris Patterson

MADISON -- Wisconsin Republicans announce new legislation changing the process to remove race-based school mascots.

The current school mascot law only requires one member of the community to file a complaint for the Department of Public Instruction to investigate and rule.

So far, the Mukwonago High School Indians have been ordered by the state to abandon their race-based school mascot. In an interview, Mukwonago Principal Dale Henry told a local newspaper he would fight any challenge to his school's use of the indian mascot and team name.

After mounting political pressure, a group of Republican lawmakers drafted legislation requiring a petition to get the process started. The amount of signatures on that petition would need to be equal to 10% of the school district's student population. The proposed legislation says signatures must be obtained within a 120-day period before the complaint is filed.

State Representative David Craig, a resident of the Mukwonago School District, says, "This legislation is a good step in recognizing that a single individual should not be able to dictate their will over a whole community, and in the process deprive an entire group of people their right to due process."

The proposed legislation will also expand the opportunity for collaboration and partnerships between tribes and school districts on nicknames and logos.

We're told this new piece of legislation will be considered by state lawmakers in the coming weeks.


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