Remember the Titans? (MF EAST HS) and the Mascot DebateApril 23, 2010
With the passage of the Indian Mascot Bill through the Wisconsin state assembly, which Doyle confirmed he will sign, there is some debate on what high schools that have Indian based mascots can do, including my old high school, who’s mascot is the Indians.
For those that want a brush up on the bill:
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — 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.
Mike Nichols wrote a column about the Indian mascot recently, and I’ve argued here that other people could take offense to ethnocentric mascots. But since those people don’t have native American blood, they are disregarded.
The only question that really remains is what should MFHS do?*
Between 1969 and 1984 Menomonee Falls had two high schools. The Titans of Falls East and the Indians of Falls North. When the Schools combined the football coach (Jim Jeskewitz) took a color from each school (silver from East and Maroon from North) and combined them to the new MF(combined/union)HS Indians. There are still many people that live in Menomonee Falls that call themselves Titans and still consider East “the only true high school in Menomonee Falls.” Some rivalries are hard to give up. Even though the Titans and Falls East hasn’t been around for 26 years, the tradition is still there, and if MFHS can no longer use Indians, Titans is a good alternative, especially if they revive that logo.
Though rumor has it, this option is not on the table and MFHS wants to keep their current logo of an F with a feather, which could still be objected to. Tough to say at this point.
If MFHS declines to revive the Titan’s mascot, perhaps the community could support that name, and push for a village wide vote. I’d propose allowing the community to vote on the issue. (Marquette did the same thing following the Gold debacle). Give them about 4 or 5 choices (Falcons, Titans, Tokotos, Koopa Troopas… etc), allow the community to vote on line and whatever the voters decide will be the name of MFHS for the future. I feel like that’s a suitable solution.
*this question negates the option of MFHS and similar schools holding out for a year and hoping that WHEN Republicans win back a majority in the senate, assembly and also gain the governorship that the bill will be overturned. A dicey option but it could happen.