Wis. governor signs school mascots bill - WBAY

Wis. governor signs school mascots bill

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By TODD RICHMOND
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill making it harder to force public schools to drop American Indian nicknames.

The Republican bill changes a 2010 state law that required Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction to hold a hearing on a school's race-based nickname if it received even one complaint.

The new bill requires people with a complaint to submit a petition with signatures equal to 10 percent of the school district's student population to trigger a review. They must prove the nickname is discriminatory at a hearing. The Department of Administration, which is under the governor's control, decides whether to drop the name.

The Great Lakes Inter-tribal Council, Inc released a statement expressing their disappointment with Governor Walker's decision.

"Wisconsin's proud progressive history suffered a black eye today," the statement said. "No other ethnic group would or should tolerate discriminatory 'free speech' that is governmentally approved first at a school level, and now at the state level."

The law will go into effect Saturday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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