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School faces fines for not changing mascot name

Published On: Aug 14 2013 10:18:10 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 14 2013 10:29:27 PM CDT

The battle continues between some Wisconsin schools and the state over the name of their mascots, and for one school, time is running out.

Berlin High School dropped their two-year lawsuit challenging a state law that is meant to ban race-based nicknames including names that some might find offensive to Native Americans, and the state can order schools to change them.

Berlin now must change its mascot from the Indians by July 1, 2014.

For Mukwonago High School, the deadline from the state to change its mascot is less than 24 hours away and district leaders said they have no plans to make the change.

The school is known as the Mukwonago Indians and three years ago, a student complained that the logo and name were offensive.

Now the school district faces fines up to $1,000 a day if they don’t make the change by the state's deadline. District leaders hope the state will hold off until the state Legislature revisits the law.

“That’s where our issues lie. We feel it’s a very poorly-issued state law and one that needs to be replaced,” said Shawn McNulty, Mukwonago superintendent. “Most people that we talk to are very happy that the school board has said we are not going to abide by the Department of Public Instruction’s order.”

Mukwonago High School isn’t alone.

More than 30 high schools across Wisconsin have Native American-linked mascot names but only four schools are the subject of formal complaints.

A representative of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association said all Indian mascots should be changed because they are offensive to some people.

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