Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Irish band banned from Wisconsin’s public schools

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“Chieftains” are no more. (Thks: Owen)

The Osseo-Fairchild School District in western Wisconsin was ordered Tuesday to drop its Chieftains nickname and logo after the state determined it was race-based and promoted discrimination and harassment.

The state Department of Public Instruction’s first-of-its-kind order comes under a new state law that went into effect in May. The law allows the agency to order schools to drop their race-based nicknames and logos if they are deemed discriminatory.

The ruling could mean more of the 34 other districts with similar American Indian-based names may be forced to drop them or face fines of $1,000 a day. Two other complaints _ over the use of the nickname Indians for schools in Kewaunee and Mukwonago _ are pending.

Perhaps the school district could respond by naming the athletic teams, “The Bingos.” Will the city have to change its name next?

If the state Department of Public Instruction would deal as swiftly with a failing school as it does with the school’s mascot, perhaps Wisconsin would not have lost out on the latest round of Race to the Top funding.

Priorities. All this fuss for an Irish band.

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