UNDATED (WXPR) - The Wisconsin legislature is considering changes to a law that could soften rules concerning racially-based mascots and logos at schools.
The bill would require a school district have at least ten percent of the district's members support the change. The bill also puts the burden on the person filing the complaint to prove that the mascot or logo proved harmful, and give a 120 day time limit to the process. The Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council is an umbrella group for 12 Wisconsin Native American tribes. It's Executive Director, Michael Allen, Senior says this is an old issue with a new twist. "While attempts were made to retreat from simply repealing the mascot and logo law, the current substitute is only a little better than continuing to support sports stereotyping and marginalizing Native Tribes."
Currently, if the Wisconsin school superintendent finds the use of the race-based nickname, logo, mascot, or team name promotes discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping, the superintendent must order the school board to terminate the use of the image or team name within 12 months, however, the state superintendent may extend the amount of time a school board has to comply with an order to terminate the use under certain circumstances.
Allen says in tough economic times, the legislature should concern itself with other issues.