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Mukwonago mascot controversy headed to Supreme Court?

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MUKWONAGO (WITI) -- What's in a name? For some at Mukwonago High School, the Indians name is about pride. But for others it's considered offensive, and even a racial stereotype. Now the state court of appeals says the mascot has to go.

During a basketball game at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, parents at Mukwonago weighed in on the controversial issue involving its nickname.

"It's going to end up being a political battle, it's in the court system now," said Randy McDermott. "It's not anything negative at all, it's not an offensive situation to any Native American, it's really a celebration of where they come from and what they've done and that's really what it is."

State law changed in 2010 giving people the opportunity to file a complaint against a school district, if a school had a raced based nickname, logo or mascot. And if someone complained, the state superintendent's office would have the power to force a district to drop the name and everything associated with it. Two parents sued the Department of Public Instruction stating the state's efforts to drop the Indian name was unconstitutional because it violated equal protection and due process guarantees.

"Our district we lost our referendum people don't have money to give nobody can afford their taxes to go up," said Debbie Graham, who supports keeping the Indians name.

The district said it would cost nearly $50,000 to change the names, logos, uniforms and everything associated with its nickname.

"All this money could be put toward education," added McDermott.

The two parents who sued the state are arguing that people who complain in this matter have an advantage over the district taxpayers who would have to pay for the mascot change. No word yet if the state supreme court will take the case, but if it doesn't the district would be forced to change its name by next year.

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