MADISON (WKOW) -- A new bill would make it harder to force Wisconsin public schools to remove race-based nicknames.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and three other Republicans released details of the proposal Thursday. It would change current law to place the burden of proof on the person complaining about the mascot, rather than the school district. It would also require a petition challenging the nickname signed by residents of the district totally at least 10 percent of the student body. Those signatures would have to be obtain within 120 days of when the complaint was filed.
The bill would also give the Department of Administration the authority to order the nickname be removed. Right now the Department of Public Instruction has the authority to force schools to drop race-based nicknames, logos and mascots if a single complaint is filed.
"These changes are reasonable and address concerns brought forth by all parties," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). "It puts the proper mechanism in place for appeals from the community without putting an undue burden on school districts."