Mascot Debate - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Mascot Debate

Mascot Debate

by Elizabeth Fay

WISCONSIN (WAOW)--State lawmakers are now looking at a bill which might put an end to school districts using Native American mascots, logos and nicknames. If it passes, offensive school symbols must be removed or districts could face fines.

Mosinee High School has used the "Indians" nickname for more than a century. The District Superintendent, Jerry Rosso, says decades ago, an Indian logo decorated the school and their mascot dressed in a full head dress.

After complaints from people who found that offensive, the school made changes. School board members eliminated the mascot and changed the logo to the letter 'M.' All that's left is the nickname "Indians." But some people in the community still take offense.

Bob Munson is married to an Oneida Indian and says studies show race-based nicknames can harm a child's self esteem. "I take personal offense because my children have been hurt by it. That's the personal part, but on the other hand, why should any students be harmed by a mascot," says Munson.

Munson is on the Indian Mascot and Logo Task Force. The organization calls for the removal of stereotypical school symbols and asks for respect for the indigenous culture.

The State Assembly passed the bill today. Now, it heads to the state senate.

Online Reporter: Elizabeth Fay

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