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Suit filed over mascot law

Two Mukwonago residents are suing the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), challenging the constitutionality of a recent state law dealing with race-based mascots in schools.

Two Mukwonago residents are suing the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), challenging the constitutionality of a recent state law dealing with race-based mascots in schools.

Last month, the DPI ordered the Mukwonago School District to drop its "Indians" mascot within a year, or face financial penalties as stated by the law.

Now a suit has been filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court, against that order. Jeff Nichols is an attorney with the Crivello Carlson law firm in Milwaukee, which represents the Mukwonago residents.

"Their position on it is that, the ruling by the Department of Public Instruction has violated due their process rights," says Nichols. "Because based on that ruling, they as taxpayers - as all taxpayers in Mukwonago - are going to be forced to fund the change to the school nickname."

The suit estimates that removing all signs of the "Mukwonago Indians" mascot would cost local taxpayers $100,000. Nichols says this isn't a matter of whether a mascot is race-based or discriminatory, but rather if the law is constitutional, and if the DPI has the authority to determine how school districts operate.

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Backers of the law say it allows residents to take action against mascots they feel promote racial discrimination or stereotypes.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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