WisPolitics reports: The Wisconsin Assembly voted 51-42 Thursday, Feb. 25, to approve legislation that could require schools to drop race-based nicknames, logos or mascots if a district resident complained to the state.
Republicans objected Tuesday to a final vote on the bill, forcing today's vote. They also objected to messaging the bill to the Senate to delay further action as GOP members complained over what they said was the oversensitivity of some and allowing a state bureacrat to weigh in on a local issue over a school's mascot.
More than 30 schools in Wisconsin still use "indian" logos or mascots, but when native people in these communities raise objections to these racist symbols, they are often met with hostility and even threats of violence. Senate Bill 25/Assembly Bill 35 (.pdf) would create a process by which the Department of Public Instruction can review complaints about racist school mascots, and attempt to resolve these issues in a fair manner. Watch students from Prescott, WI study the issue - and come to the hearing in Madison.
How you can help:
Press release from the Wisconsin Indian Education Association 'Indian' Mascot and Logo Taskforce 10/26/09. The National Indian Education Association calls for immediate elimination of race-based Indian logos, mascots, and names from educational institutions throughout the nation.