More needed to force schools to dump offensive nicknames under WI bill

Oct 17, 2013

MADISON, WI (AP)--   The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a bill that would make it harder to force public schools to drop American Indian nicknames.  

The Assembly passed the measure 52-41 Tuesday. The Senate was expected to take up the bill Tuesday but GOP leaders later announced they'll consider the bill next month.

Currently, the state Department of Public Instruction must hold a hearing on a school's race-based nickname if one person complains about it.  The school must prove the nickname doesn't promote discrimination.  DPI will then decide whether the name must go.

The bill would require a complainant to collect signatures equal to 10 percent of the school district's student population to trigger a review and would have to prove discrimination.  The Department of Administration, not DPI, would make the final call.