Legislation would require more complaints to change school mascot

CREATED Sep 26, 2013

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MADISON - A group of Republican legislators are proposing a new law that would give anyone who objects to a school mascot more power to change that mascot.

If passed, anyone objecting to "a school board's use of a race-based nickname, logo, mascot, or team name," must meet a number of requirements.

A petition with signature from school district residents would need to equal at least 10 percent of the school district's student population, obtained withing the 120-day period before the complaint is filed. A hearing by the Department of Administration's Division of Hearings and Appeals will then be held. The burden of proof would be placed on the complainant.

"These changes are reasonable and address concerns brought forth by all parties," said Speaker Robin Vos. "It puts the proper mechanism in place for appeals from the community withouth an undue burden on school district."

Mukwonago Schools, whose mascot is the Indians, are supporting the proposed law change, saying they would need 470 signatures to meet the first requirement.

The school district said it could cost taxpayers between $50,000 and $100,000 to change the mascot name.