Parents argue against law banning race-based mascotsSupporters of an Indian Chief school mascot in Mukwonago are asking the Wisconsin supreme court to strike down a state law that bars school from using such mascots and logos because they promote racial stereotyping.
By: By Gilman Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Supporters of an Indian Chief school mascot in Mukwonago are asking the Wisconsin supreme court to strike down a state law that bars school from using such mascots and logos because they promote racial stereotyping.
Attorney Sam Hall represents two parents of Mukwonago high school students who argue the state's Indian mascot law is unconstitutional because it forces tax payers to abide by the rulings of state education officials, who are biased against such mascots. In a petition sent to the state supreme court today, Hall challenged an appeals court ruling that barred the parents from suing the state. He says since the school district — as an arm of state government — can't challenge the law, the parents must be allowed to.
“Every law has to be subject to judicial review at some level, and if the district can't bring the suit then the taxpayers must be able to,” Hall said.
Hall says changing the logo would cost the school district more than $100,000: something tax payers have a right to challenge. Barb Munson of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association says she's disappointed that this legal battle is continuing. She says backers of the Indian mascot are approaching the dispute as if it were a legal game to be won or lost.
“This is not a game,” Munson said. “We are talking about a form of discrimination that the public schools are condoning, [the] school district is condoning and that [is] teaching generation after generation of our children to tolerate stereotyping.”
Thirty-three school districts have already complied with the law and changed their mascots. The state Supreme Court will decide within the next few months whether or not to hear arguments against the law banning race-based mascots.