The Kewaunee School District is dropping its “Indians” mascot. The state education department planned to hold a hearing on whether the “Indians” nickname is discriminatory today, but Kewaunee school district officials decided instead to change the mascot voluntarily.
Kewaunee School Board President Brian Vogeltanz says they viewed the name as complimentary to the area’s Indian heritage, but district officials decided to change it because they would have likely lost the case. “The deck is really stacked against us. We’re really behind the eight ball trying to defend the mascot, which is partly what led to the decision to voluntarily do it. You know the law is written that if you have an “Indian” mascot right there in black and white it’s discriminatory and race-based. We would have to try to find some defense to say that it is not race-based and that’s difficult to do when in the law it says it is.”
A retired Kewaunee teacher complained about the “Indians” name under a new state law that gives the Department of Public Instruction the power to order schools to drop race-based names and logos. Vogeltanz says school officials plan to take new mascot and nickname suggestions from the public. He hopes they can have a new mascot in place by January first.
-Rick Schuh, WHBY