Senate Bill 25 addresses the issue of Indian mascots and logos. http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2001/data/SB-25.pdf
State of Wisconsin
Please contact members of the Senate Education Committee in support of SB217 ? Improving the process for eliminating ethnic mascots, nicknames and logos from the public schools. Ask them to endorse the bill and send it to the Senate for a vote. They will be voting on this issue in a week, so write or call NOW. This can really make a difference!
If you are from a senator's district this is especially important. If you know supporters from a senator's district, please share this Action Alert. See more on SB 217: http://treaty.indigneousnative.org/nomascot_bill.html
Congratulations to everyone who participated in an excellent March 15 hearing for the bill. There was no testimony presented against the bill. The support for the bill was broad and deep, including students from Hortonville and Wauwatosa East. Written and verbal testimony in support of this bill was brilliant and inspiring. What a testament to the beauty of the human spirit.
Here are some ways to contact committee members:
August 17, 1999 - Introduced by Senators George and Risser, cosponsored by Representatives Boyle, Young, Carpenter, Turner, Pocan and La Fave, by request of American Indian Study Committee, Wisconsin Indian Education Association and Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council. Referred to Senate Committee on Education.
An Act to create 118.135 of the statutes; relating to: the use of ethnic names, nicknames, logos and mascots by school boards, granting rule-making authority and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law prohibits discrimination against pupils on a number of grounds, including race and ancestry. This bill provides that a school district resident may object to a school board's use of an ethnic name, nickname, logo or mascot by filing a complaint with the state superintendent of pupil instruction. The state superintendent must schedule a hearing on the complaint (within 45 days) at which the school board has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the use of the ethnic name, nickname, logo or mascot does not promote discrimination, pupil harassment or stereotyping. (The state superintendent must render a decision within 45 days of the hearing.) If the state superintendent finds in favor of the complainant, the state superintendent must order the school board to terminate its use of the ethnic name, nickname, logo or mascot within twelve months after issuance of the order. A school board is subject to a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each day that it uses the ethnic name, nickname, logo or mascot in violation of the order. The decision of the state superintendent is subject to circuit court review.
TEACH RESPECT NOT RACISM
This bill, drafted by Senator Gary George and Representative Frank Boyle will improve the discrimination complaint process as it applies to the use of ethnic mascots, logos, and nicknames in our public schools.
Discrimination complaints under current 118.13 statutes divide local communities and heighten cultural misunderstandings. In Milton and Mukwonago, after much harassment, the Indian complainants were forced out of the communities where the Redmen and Indian symbols remained. In Menomonie, the community was so divided that school board members were recalled for supporting the student council's request to change the generic Indian logo to a student designed Mustang.
Forty-one Wisconsin public school districts still have archaic, racist Indian logos and team names.
Nineteen Wisconsin public school districts have changed since 1991. Most recent changes are Medford and Milton, congratulations to both. Under current law, discrimination complaints can be filed - the new bill affords due process to complainants. (Through direct appeal to the state superintendent, 45 day time limits and by shifting the burden of proof from the complainant to the school district) The bill was written in consultation with the Department of Public Instruction and has DPI support.
Wisconsin Indian leaders are on the cutting edge of the issue of eliminating Indian mascots and logos nationwide. The Wisconsin legislature is in a position to take similar leadership and to work together with Wisconsin Indian tribes in a spirit of Inter-cultural harmony. Now is the time for inspiring progressive national leadership that Wisconsin is uniquely ready to provide, because our Indian Nations and our State Legislature are strong and ready to work together harmoniously.
Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC) adopted a resolution in January of this year calling for the elimination of Indian mascots and logos by the dawn of the new millennium. The Wisconsin Indian Education Association Indian Mascot and Logo Taskforce will stay with the issue until all Indian mascots/logos/nicknames are eliminated from Wisconsin public schools.
The Youth Indian Mascot and Logo Task Force (a consortium of Indian and non-Indian high school and college students will continue to keep the issue alive in the state of Wisconsin until all Indian mascots/logos/nicknames are eliminated from the public schools.
The issue will not go away. We will not go away.Wisconsin Indian Education Association
1999 Senate Education Committee with "Indian" Constituencies
Please note that Alberta Darling and Margaret Farrow share the Menomonee Falls "Indians".
Assembly Education ReformStephen L. Nass, Chairperson, 31st AD, (r) Mukwonago "Indians" (ward 1 Milton)
Assembly Education CommitteeLuther Olsen, Chairperson, 41st AD, (r) Berlin and Weyauwega/Fremont "Indians"
Teach respect - not racism