The state Superintendent of Public Instruction would decide if schools have to get rid of Native American mascots and logos, under legislation approved Thursday in the state Assembly. The bill allows any resident of a school district to file a complaint with DPI about a race-based mascot, and gives the state Superintendent the authority to order it removed.
State Representative Brett Davis (R-Oregon) says the issue is already being handled on the local level, with 32 school districts across the state taking action to change their name or mascot from a Native American symbol since 1991. He says the bill allows one person in Madison to make a decision about an issue that’s often of great local importance.
State Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) was among several Republicans who criticized the bill as a waste of time, which sparked an angry response from state Representative Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee). The Milwaukee Democrat says no one has the right to decide when someone else can be offended, especially when it comes to symbols that could be culturally or racially offensive.
The bill now heads to the state Senate.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:07)