A Capitol hearing on legislation aimed at eliminating Native American nicknames and logos by public schools in Wiscosin. The bill (PDF), from state Senator Spencer Coggs and state Representative Jim Soletski, recieved a public hearing in the Assembly Education Committee, where Representative John Nygren voiced concerns. "One person can object," to a district's use of such nicknames and logos, Nygren said. "One person can object and the school district is required to defend itself, not just with reasonable certainty, but with clear and convincing evidence, which in legal standards is a very high standard."
Rep. Soletski , the bill's Assembly author, responded to Nygren, saying it shouldn't matter how many people are offended. "If we irritate one person who objects to their sacred things being used in that manner, is any different than if it's a thousand?" The legislation provides for a five step complaint process through the Department of Public Instruction, which can then investigate based on those complaints.
Nygren's Assembly District includes the Pulaski school district , home of the Red Raiders, a nickname Nygren says some may think refers to Native Americans. "The Red Raiders is based on Polish heritage of that community," Nygren said. "One person could object to that and we would then still have to go through these steps and provide clear and convincing evidence to the contrary." Soletski said the district shouldn't have any problems under the provisons of the bill. "As long as the Red Raiders aren't wearing eagle feathers . . . I think that would be pretty easy to prove," he said.