Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
During May 2010, Governor Doyle signed mascot legislation into law that created a new process for challenging a school board’s use of a race-based nickname, logo, mascot, or team name. The state Superintendent of Public Instruction promulgated rules to implement and administer the law.
Any school district resident can object to the use of a race-based nickname, logo, mascot, or team name by the school board of that school district by filing a complaint with the state superintendent. If a complaint objects to the use of a nickname or team name by a school board, the state superintendent must immediately review the complaint and determine whether the use of the nickname or team name by the school board, alone or in connection with a logo or mascot, is ambiguous as to whether it is race-based.
According to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI):
“If the state superintendent determines that the use of the nickname, logo, mascot or team name is unambiguously race-based, the onus is on the school district. The school board has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the use of the race-based nickname, logo, mascot or team name does not promote discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping as defined by the state superintendent by rule.
The rules specify that the use of any of the following nicknames or team names are unambiguously race-based and presumed to promote discrimination, pupil harassment or stereotyping unless the school district produces clear and convincing evidence refuting this presumption.
A nickname or team name is unambiguously race-based if it includes any of the following terms: 1. the full or partial name of any specific, federally recognized American Indian tribe, 2. Indians, 3. Braves, or 4. Redmen.
A nickname or team name is unambiguously race-based if it includes any of the terms arrows, blackhawks, chiefs, chieftains, hatchets, raiders, red raiders, warriors, or warhawks and is used in connection with any of the following logos or mascots: 1. A depiction of an American Indian person or persons, 2. Feathers or feather headdress, 3. Arrows, bows, spears, tomahawks, stone hatchets, or other historical or traditional American Indian weapons or tools, or 4. Historical or traditional American Indian drums, pipes, beadwork, clothing or footwear.”
The law is flawed since no school district chooses a mascot it believes will be the subject of ridicule. Mascots and nicknmaes are chosen for their strength, history, and sense of pride.
To summarize, anyone can file a complaint for any reason (“I’m offended, period!) and it’s up to the school district to answer to the race-card player that it’s not racist. Even the nickname, “Chief” is taboo under this law. Your school has had its nickname and mascot for 80 years? Doesn’t matter. A bureaucrat tucked away in cubicle in
How utterly foolish.
Last August, DPI ruled Mukwonago must change its name and mascot. The school’s nickname? The Indians.
Are you kidding me?
There have also been complaints about the Osseo-Fairchild (Chieftains) and Kewaunee (Indians) school districts. Osseo-Fairchild has been ordered to drop its nickname. Kewaunee did away with its nickname voluntarily.
The law was signed by a Democrat governor and pushed through by a Democrat-controlled state Legislature. The deck chairs are totally rearranged in
The Legislative Reference Bureau says Assembly Bill 26 (AB 26) “eliminates the specific right of a school district resident to object to the use of a race−based nickname, logo, mascot, or team name by filing a complaint with the school board and eliminates the right of the school district resident to obtain a contested case hearing on that complaint. The bill eliminates the authority granted to the state superintendent to determine whether the use of a race−based nickname, logo, mascot, or team name promotes discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping; to order a school board to terminate the use of a race−based nickname, logo, mascot, or team name; and to impose forfeitures upon the school board for failure to comply with the order. The bill also voids all orders issued by the state superintendent under the complaint, hearing, and order process eliminated by this bill; requires the state superintendent to dismiss with prejudice any complaints pending under the complaint, hearing, and order process eliminated by the bill; and requires a court to dismiss with prejudice any decision and order, issued by the state superintendent under the complaint, hearing, and order process eliminated by the bill, for which judicial review has been sought.”
In short, this bill repeals the previous law and any action taken under that law. State Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) is the author. State Senator Mary lazich (R-New Berlin) is the lead Senate sponsor.
The stakes are even higher in
Members of the North Dakota House last week voted 65-28 to require the university to keep the nickname and logo. The state Attorney General is authorized to look into an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA if any action is taken by the NCAA against the university for keeping its nickname and logo. The bill now goes to the North Dakota state Senate.
"Overwhelmingly, Native Americans and regular
"If we keep the nickname, you get respect. If you change, you get ridicule," said Rep. Mike Schatz (R.,