State News Roundup

January 29, 1992 1 min read
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The Wisconsin Department Of Public Instruction Has No Authority To censor A School’s Nickname Or Symbol, Including Those That Offend american Indians, A Wisconsin Judge Has Ruled.

The case involves Milton High School, whose “Redmen” nickname and symbol prompted a complaint by a local Indian woman. She asked the department of public instruction to review the school’s name and symbols to determine if they were discriminatory.

Milton school officials went to court, arguing that the state had no authority in the matter, and Rock County Circuit Court Judge John Lussow agreed.

“It’s not in the realm of statutory discrimination,” said Jon Platts, the Milton superintendent. “It’s basically a matter of local control. We believe it’s the local community and school board’s decision to make.”

In response to the complaint, Milton High last year abandoned a cartoon caricature of a tomahawk-wielding Indian but stopped short of the action taken by the Verona, Wis., school board, which voted last month to change its Indian name and symbol.

The Georgia Board of Education has proposed exempting from state inspections public schools and school systems that meet the standards of a specific private association.

The state board voted this month to exempt schools and systems that are accredited members of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools from visits by state education-department inspection teams monitoring compliance with state standards.

State officials said the rule change was made in response to budget cuts that had forced a reduction in the state’s school-inspection staff.

State inspectors will continue to monitor the approximately 500 Georgia public schools not accredited by the Southern association.

A version of this article appeared in the January 29, 1992 edition of Education Week as State News Roundup


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