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31 school districts in Wisconsin asked to change Native American team names

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Thirty-one Wisconsin school districts were asked Tuesday to voluntarily drop their Indian mascots and team names.

The state's Indian Education Association sent a letter to the affected schools, saying a change would show respect for tribal nations.

In December, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill that virtually gutted a 2009 law passed by Democrats which set up a complaint system for those offended by Indian monikers. Majority Republicans did a number of things which make it harder to carry out the '09 law without repealing it altogether.

Now, it takes a petition to get the state to review a school district's nickname. The administration department makes the final call instead of the education agency. And it's up to the complainants to prove that an Indian nickname is discriminatory.

The Democrats put that burden on the school districts. The law also wiped out the state's earlier orders to individual districts to drop their Indian mascots and nicknames.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)