The state Senate has passed a bill that could spell the end for Indian nicknames and logos in Wisconsin schools. State Senator Luther Olson, a Republican from Berlin, questioned what impact the legislation will have. “The reason this bill is here is because people believe that Indian mascots, logos and team names promote discrimination, pupil harassment or stereotyping,” said Olson. “I hate to break it to you folks but that isn’t what causes those things. It’s the ugliness in people’s hearts.”
Olson and other opponents of the bill said districts which use Native American names and logos do so out of respect. The bill’s author, Milwaukee Democrat Spencer Coggs, said it allows the opinions of minorities to be respected. The bill (SB 25) provides for a complaint process with the Department of Public Instruction, and gives the state Superintendent the authority to order districts to drop race-based logos and nicknames.
AUDIO: Bob Hague (:60 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)