Wisconsin Assembly passes Indian mascot bill

Madison, Wisconsin (AP) April 2010

The state Assembly has passed a bill that would allow the state schools superintendent to ban American Indian mascots and logos.

The Assembly approved the bill 53-45 with no debate. The Senate passed the measure last week. It now goes to Gov. Jim Doyle, who can sign it into law or veto it.

Under the proposal, a school district resident could object to the use of a race-based nickname, logo, mascot or team name.

The state superintendent can decide whether to hold a hearing on the complaint. He or she could decide nothing is necessary if the use refers to a federally recognized American Indian tribe that has approved the use.

If the superintendent holds a hearing and finds the use promotes discrimination, he or she must order the school district to stop. Districts would have to comply within a year or face fines of up to $1,000 a day. Districts could get extensions of up to eight years for portions of compliance that cost more than $5,000.