Justice Prevails in Mukwonago Logo Case

“Thank you Rain Koepke for challenging the Mukwonago Area School district’s race-based “Indian” Nickname and logo and its mascoting behaviors. I wish the Mukwonago Area School District the very best as it negotiates this change. The challenges now are for the district to develop a creative change process and to provide a supportive and safe environment for all its students regardless of which side of the issue they have supported.”

-Barbara E. Munson Wisconsin Indian Education Association

“I hope that the Mukwonago decision encourages other school districts with race-based “Indian” nicknames, logos and mascots to be proactive and begin to work towards the inevitable change.”

Robert Munson, Wisconsin Indian Education Association

The most basic human justice was done yesterday, when the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction declared: “On or before October 8, 2011 the Mukwonago School District shall terminate its use of the “Indians” nickname and the logo depicting the head of a male person wearing a feather headdress.”

This is a victory that can be shared, oddly enough, by both those who favored the change and those who did not. For in the end this is the right thing to do. The Mukwonago Area Schools showed wisdom by deciding to immediately abide by the decision and not appeal it via the courts. The removal of a symbol and name that were doing tangible harm to the students of the district is the acceptance of responsibility for the welfare of others. It is among the greatest responsibilities we can accept in this life and Mukwonago has done that.

In its decision, the Department, speaking with the legal authority of the State of Wisconsin found the district to be in violation of s.118.134, Stats., and PI 45.01 (3) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.” Essentially, the district was unable to produce “clear and convincing evidence” to “refute” the “presumption” that “the distict’s use of an unabmiguously race-based nickname and logo is presumed to promote discrimination, pupil harrassment, or sterotyping.” It is also a point of fact that the State of Wisconsin has not found any overt act of discrimination by the District in this case either.

What was pointed to in the ruling handed down yesterday to the people of Wisconsin was that “Empirical research indicates exposure to American Indian stereotypical images lowers the self-esteem of American Indian students, reduces American Indian student’s belief their community has the power and resources to resolve problems, and reduces the number of achievement-related future goals American Indian students see for themselves.”

Mukwonago High School Principal Mr. Shawn McNulty spoke to students at the high school as they prepared to close their school day yesterday. He accurately informed them of the decision and that the District will not fight this further and that the Mukwonago Area Schools will begin a program that will involve the community to help select an entirely new nickname, mascot, and logo that will presumably not be race-based or ethnically based. Mr. McNulty showed real enthusiasm in his voice for the upcoming process of moving on and making this change. It does him credit. The reaction of the school board and the district superintendent were not referred to but no doubt will appear in the press today and in the coming days both locally and statewide.

The most startling and perhaps the most significant change in the district’s position might be that they have accepted the findings of the volumes of empirical and peer-reviewed studies that show real psychological harm is done to children by these race-based nicknames and logos.

An odd discordant note was struck in the address by McNulty to students though, in that he continued to take the District’s line of argument that the entire controversy only came about due to the interference of one person. Though he wisely did not name the individual concerned, the entire student body and community knows who he is. He went on to make clear to students that a great deal of resources had to be expended by the district in fighting this case and that expense has deprived students in the district of the full benefits of the education they deserve. Putting the blame on the victim at this late stage does not do the district credit. Using the young man who came forward to lodge the original complaint in this matter at law as some sort of scapegoat or safety valve so that students, parents and the community will have someone else to blame in the years to come is not helpful. It is morally wrong.

In point of law, fact, and that which is moral and right, the young man in question, Mr. Rain Koepke, had every right to bring to a unit of government his complaint in the matter and seek basic redress of grievances guaranteed to citizens in several places in the United States Constitution. There is ample legal precedent for a single person seeking redress, and having that legal result applied more generally to persons who are similarly situated within the larger polity that is the people of the United States. This obsession that it was “the mere whim of a single individual” still clings to the Mukwonago Area Schools like a stench that will not leave. They can remove it by simply abandoning this explanation for what has occurred. It does not stand the test.

More importantly, it will be important for students especially to be able to internalize that this decision in the end was for what was right all along and that they too can and should be a part of that victory for justice. Let us not deny them that opportunity to get on the train of justice. It has room for all and always is ready to slow down and stop to pick up new passengers. Mukwonago officials here want that train to leave the station immediately and at full speed, before students, staff, parents, and the larger community can come to a full understanding of the ruling and begin to think of a better future for themselves and all of us.

The most wonderous aspect to this case is Mr. Rain Koepke himself. He stood alone against an entire community and unit of government and his peers and advocated for justice with dignity, restraint, persistence, firmness, non-violence, lawfulness, and right and he prevailed along with all those who believe in justice and right. This is precisely the kind of citizen the Mukwonago Area Schools spends millions of dollars a year to produce! A citizen who is active and informed as to public affairs and who sees what is right and then stands for it and advocates for that right using the legal system and law of our land established just for the purpose at issue here. This is what we want all citizens to be. The students who honorably and with lawfulness and dignity stood on the other side of the issue must receive praise as well. They are already showing us they will be good citizens too.

So, Mr, McNulty, go back on the PA again and tell students that the cost the district paid in defending the logo was a decision they made. That this is sometimes the cost of the democratic process that schools teach our children all their formative years. There will be issues in controversy from time-to-time and that justice, and respect for law, can actually have a monetary cost that is worth expending. Most importantly here in this case, the District has been free at any point in this process to have simply agreed with the complainant, and retired the nickname and logo. They did not. If anyone in the Mukwonago Community has a complaint about the decision to spend real resources and time and energy on this fight at the expense of students they should take this matter to the Mukwonago Area School Board where the full responsibility lies.

Mr. Rain Koepke is the kind of citizen who deserves a National Medal of Freedom bestowed by the President of the United States. But he is not well-known, young, and just beginning his lifelong committment to social justice and right and law. Such awards are customarily bestowed on those who have won many such fights for justice and have done so according to law, non-violence and moral right. Rain Koepke has won just such a fight. It is his first. This writer knows there will be many others to come and the nation will be better for it. His tribal elders may wish to bestow some token of honor upon him as a man of his tribal nation. It would be appropriate. The elders of his tribe will know what honor to bestow. It is well deserved.

The victors here are the entire American people. The result in this case should, like a stone thrown into a still pond, ripple across the nation and cause other school districts and colleges, universities and sports teams to consider finally doing the right thing and remove these nicknames and logos from the national landscape. This victory can permit more people to expand their vision of hope and justice and to finally see the right and join in the struggles for justice for us all. “With Liberty and Justice for All” is what Mukwonago students pledge each morning. Let it be so.

31 thoughts on “Justice Prevails in Mukwonago Logo Case

    • hmm a punk who beat all of you bigoted maggots whose only ounce of courage, if it can so be called is spent running your mouths on a computer screen and yet all of you wonder why these things have happened, well I’ve got my two words for you,” I WIN!!”

      • “Bigoted maggots” huh Rain? You mean the students who didn’t paint their faces or do Tomahawk chops or anything else degrading towards “your people?” You mean the other members of the community who never did any of those things either? Calling people names like that make you seem very small, Rain.

        And do not use the excuse that people bullied you at school for being a Native American. That is garbage, to be honest. In my four years there (you were there for 3 of those), I never heard anyone denigrate our mascot in any way. Students get picked on Rain, that’s just how it is in high school. I’m sorry if you think you got picked on more than others, but maybe you shouldn’t have been proclaiming that you believed you were going to turn into a werewolf or make “hate lists.” Since you can’t complain to the DPI about Menomonee Falls’ use of the Indian mascot, or any other schools for that matter, I hope you enjoyed your moment in the sun because it’s over now.

        Also, one last question: Why on earth would you wear the SAME EXACT Indian logo on your vest if it offends you so dearly? I found that pretty funny and ironic.

    • Rain, I’ve never met you, but was hoping to find a forum to offer some advice: as difficult as it might be, please consider dropping the ad-hominem attacks (‘moronic’, ‘maggots’) and celebration of the decision as a ‘winning versus losing’ situation. I do believe the Presidential Medal of Honor comments and historical civil rights comparisons were over the top, and with a fair defense of righteous, civil behavior, Dr. Sobottke would call out some of your inappropriate remarks.

      THAT said, I fully agree with and applaud your actions regarding this issue; the DPI decision; and Dr. Sobottke’s eloquent and extensive analysis. The reason I offer the above advice is twofold: first, I do not want uncivil comments to detract from the main issue at hand; and second, for your esteem and development. I know you fought against popular 53149 opinion, but above and beyond the local adversity, you should also calmly celebrate the people that are *with* you. You do have support in both the local and larger community, stretching back through the mid 90s (when I went to MHS) and the original Pfaller complaint, and earlier to various Native American rights issues. Many in town likely did not speak out because, ironically, their ethnic status of “White” makes it harder for them to make a public claim of stereotyping. Perhaps even larger, some fear the retaliation and tacitly sanctioned anger from people in town.

      But as you move forward, do it with class and dignity, knowing that there are others behind you.

  1. Don’t you think you’re over emphasizing and romanticizing one small conflict? Surely more deserving people have not gotten presidential medals of freedom. And you slight your students by praising Rain as the best of the best for such a, in the scope of things, meaningless act. In 3 years chances are no one will remember the logo change, and while its value may be argued as a symbol, there are better milestones for which to remember justice from. This is a small victory for the natives also. Is not the washington redskins more offensive? Everywhere racism can be found in the american society even when it is not obviously apparent. One cannot hold back the tide if one is to be as sensitive as to take offense. Students were cheerijng on the logo and it was a badge of pride to be an indian. How could cheers be mistakenly interpreted as insults? How can ?i am proud to be an indian” make some one feel less proud to be an indian?

    Thank you for your time, and i have no problem at all with the decision and i intend to follow it to the letter.

  2. This small conflict caused a school district to tell the people of Wisconsin that defending this little conflict cost the District huge amounts of money, time, and resources that were vitally needed for the education of students.. An agency of the State of Wisconsin in a legal ruling having force of law has required the District to remove the logo and nickname within a year. One person stood against virtually an entire community and his school and administration to argue for the change. As I stated in the Face of Courage, for someone to do that is quite remarkable. Most human beings even if given the chance do not fight the majority opinion. If this issue is so meaningless and trifling let us all forget it right now. Why wait five years to be unconcerned about it? The brutal fact is that the Mukwonago Area School Board and Administration and the community it serves have been obsessed with this issue both when it was raised in the 1990’s and real discrimination was found by the State of Wisconsin over this and again this past year. Something so meaningless should not provoke your comment or notice at all. Whether or not you feel great respect for the symbol and nickname or no matter how attached you are to it or no matter how respectful people are, the point of the ruling was that research which now even the School District supports shows harm is done to Native-American children by this. That is a real concern for all of us. But thank you for a thoughtful and thought provoking comment: well done.

  3. A Presidential Honor of Freedom Mr. Sobottke? Really? As a history teacher, I feel like you should know better. It makes me sick to think that you believe that Mr. Koepke is in the same ranks as Jonas Salk, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and John F. Kennedy, along with countless others.

    Also, Mr. Koepke’s comparison of this decision to Brown V. Board is outrageous! I bet you wish that it truly was that important, but we all know that it is minuscule in comparison.

    As for our school district’s money being used to defend ourselves, it was very necessary despite what you may say. For us to just retire our “Indians” would have seemed cowardly and would have outraged the community. Oh, I have a fantastic idea! Let’s give all of the school board members and district administrators Presidential Honors of Freedom for their bravery in standing up to this ridiculous law!

    The government may force our school to get rid of our mascot, logo, and nickname, but we will always be the Mukwonago Indians. All alumni, current students, teachers, and community members will continue to wear Indians clothing, all while RESPECTING the symbol (as we have done forever).

    Long live the Mukwonago Indians!

    • Act 250 does not force a school district to mount a challenge when a complaint is filed. School boards and District Administrators decide what they are going to do with their resources. The Mukwonago School district chose to mount its challengge in spite of the fact that its symbolism was determined by the DPI in the earliest phase of the complaint process to be an unambiguously race-based nickname and logo. In spite of this determination, The District decided to pursue its case.

  4. The size of the civil rights issue is not relevant to the importance of the case. Dr. King said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I’ve suggested that Rain Koepke is not yet ready or deserving of a Medal of Freedom. He must win many more such battles for his people and to grow and develop into a man who is on par with those you mention. He is young: 18 years of age. He has a tremendous upside you do not evidently see. So do many of the students who have attended MHS with him who are on the opposite side of this controversy. You also reveal an ignorance of the research on this issue undertaken by Dr. Stephanie Fryberg in 2002 and peer reviewed and confirmed by hundreds of other researchers. The Mukwonago Area Schools have informed Wisconsin citizens that they agree with this research. Take a look at the blog post on the need for education on the logo issue on this blog. Also, contact the Wisconsin Indian Education Association and Ms. Barbara E. Munson and she will be happy to provide you with the full data base of reserach and testimony in this case and a similar case in Osseo-Fiarchild. As fellow historians I suppose my stand for justice is outrageous. You have paid me the highest of compliments with that remark.

    The research clearly shows that young people are actually harmed by this nickname we use at Mukwonago and the logo. Are you in fact in favor of continuing to do harm? What District do you work for? Perhaps a debate with the entire student body of the Mukwonago High School present would be educational and instructive. You are hereby so challenged. Of course we would both have at least 30 days to prepare and we should use the historical best format of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. You should speak for one hour. I will reply for an hour and a half, and you will have a half hour rebuttal. Shall we call it on? Simply contact me via Mukwonago High School where I am on staff and we can contact the administration and invite our social studies students to witness and hear this debate on this important issue. I look forward with zest to the contest. You may also have me visit your school if not MHS under the same arrangements.

    • Mr. Sobottke. I am a student at MHS and I have absolutely no interest in debating you. Let’s just make that clear from the get-go. However, a debate of this matter with the entire MHS Student Body would go terribly for you, just pointing that out.

      This “research” that proves that students are harmed may be true in some schools, but I can assure you that with all of the precautions our school takes in preventing this, the amount of harm is minimal. We have AT ALL TIMES, treated our mascot with the dignity and respect it has always deserved. I’m sure you know these precautions, but in case you do not, here are some of them: no face paint, no Tomahawk-chopping, no tribal wear, etc.

      And, once again, long live the Mukwonago Indians!!

      • You refuse to challenge him in public and make warnings that he would lose? Your idiocy and blindness make my point again and again. Get the message YOU LOST!!!!!! People who matter and don’t have the mental capacity of a five year old proved that your precious symbol causes said harm and even the administration that you covet so even proved that when they decided to send out their new anti bullying policies and protocols. So try to leave the herd, open up a book or piece of literature and read for yourself if you capable of doing so and see the truth. Oh and I’ve seen your so called precautions and they are a total joke. No different than the anti Klan legislation of the 1920s, hollow and pointless. Your fans are seen in their own photographs covered in body and face paint and Homecoming of 2009 game there were war hoops and moronic yells from MHS fans and students and yes I know this because I was there and have several witnesses to support me.he apparent “tribal wear” is there on the shirts but you fools don’t even know whose”tribal wear” it is.Considering that all of the Wisconsin tribes, including the Potawatomi and their governments and all of the inter tribal organizations and councils have on record condemned the logos and requested to every school that they be abolished because they are perpetuating a racist stereotype and promote discrimination. Sorry Tom but it looked liked you needed some help and you know me too well to let my family get beat on alone. One last question, who are you to say that this decision was no different than Brown vs Board of Education? Regardless of your upcoming moronic reply take these two things into account, now that Mukwonago has fallen, now the others will too like dominos. If someone does not like how they are being honored and ask you to stop and attempt to show you why, why do you keep doing it?

      • Treating your mascot with respect has nothing to do with treating American Indian people with respect. There are 565 federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands, the Mukwonago “Indians” is not one of them.

  5. Mr. Sobottke,
    Having been a student of yours in the very recent past, I expected this blog to have a little more historical perspective and, quite honestly, a little more respect towards those who comment on your writings.
    First, I do not know Rain, so I cannot pass judgment on him, but to suggest that he has the potential to enact social change in the way of Dr. King or Rosa Parks is verging on irresponsible on your part. You are a historian, and a passionate one, so do not try to tell me with a straight face that if Rain is able to wipe our state free of Indian mascots that he has accomplished anything near MLK or Rosa Parks. Those two helped create equal rights for African Americans. Native Americans have equal rights in this country; Rain does not need to fight for this. “The size of the civil rights issue is not relevant to the importance of the case.” This is simply not the case. The president should not hand out the Medal of Freedom in a case like this (or cases like this if Rain does as you say and win more “battles for his people”) based on the precedent set by the previous recipients. Also, are you suggesting that any citizen who is informed and active in the political process is worthy of this medal? If so, its meaning will be decreased because there are many citizens like Rain who are just as dedicated to their causes as is he.
    The tone of some of your responses to comments was sarcastic and condescending as well. You wrote, “As fellow historians I suppose my stand for justice is outrageous. You have paid me the highest of compliments with that remark.” You know very well that was not the intention of the commenter when he made his remarks, so do not try to diminish what he said by twisting his words into a compliment. If you really want to debate someone and you plan on disregarding everything they say and degrading every word, that leads to a counter-productive debate. You know this. Then you asked the commenter, “Are you in fact in favor of continuing to do harm?” Mr. Sobottke, do not be ridiculous. Nobody is in favor of doing harm to anyone, much less to young people.
    Finally, where is the other side of the argument? You showcase studies that favor your side, but a good debater is able to take counter-arguments and prove them wrong. All I know about you is that you are able to find work that goes along with your line of thinking.

    • One reason that Dr. Sobottke cannot post credible research proving that stereotypes are not harmful and do not promote discrimination is because no such research exists. Since the Fryberg research proving that American Indian stereotypes were a form of discrimination was first published in 2002 a body of research replicating and expanding from the field of Social Psychology into related disciplines such as Counseling Psychology, Sports Psychology, and even Cultural Geography has grown exponentially around the theme. This research was provided to the Mukwonago Area School District by the complainant during the evidence gathering phase of the case. Amazingly, the district failed to educate itself prior to the hearing by simply reading the materials presented for its review. If the district had read it it might have proceedeed as Kewaunee did and saved a lot of taxpayer money.

    • “Are you in fact in favor of continuing to do harm?” Mr. Sobottke, do not be ridiculous. Nobody is in favor of doing harm to anyone, much less to young people.
      Finally, where is the other side of the argument? You showcase studies that favor your side, but a good debater is able to take counter-arguments and prove them wrong

      This is one of the primary problems, the continued insistence that these images have no effect on students. Clearly, the evidence that exists shows that these images, whether they be positive or negative, do have a negative effect on children. As stated many times, there is no evidence to the contrary. To have a students body that appears to be so reactionary and so unwilling to discuss the issue – from all side – shows the importance of such a forum. By properly implementing Act 31 (the state mandate the requires public schools teach treaty rights, tribal sovereignty, and history in the k-12 curriculum) and accessing the vast array of resources available connected to native people one would think the district, the student body, and the community would embrace such an opportunity. Remaining reactionary and completely intractable regarding the issue is so counter productive. The district claims it has been proactive in the past regarding the Indian logo issue. Now we will see if the district decides to be even more proactive and embrace the opportunity to both learn and heal.

  6. Let’s get rid of that medal of freedom from the president. Relax everyone. It will not happen. Rain Koepke needs to grow up some more and do great things. Let him. This is my blog for God’s sake. When writing and researching and teaching American history look for the old Dr. Sobottke in the classroom. But on this blog he is a fierce fighter for social justice. You’d better get used to it. He paid for the domain, has posted all but two posts, and has worked on it. It’s his baby. Get your own. You are welcome to post here as you have and please come on back. Your comments are earnest, honest, and well intended, and well understood. I am sorry I am not the Dr. Sobottke you knew at MHS. There is a different Dr. Sobottke who works in the history profession. This is a blog of social justice issues and opinion: primarily his own. Can you accept this? I’d like to reassure all my former students that they all have my full admiration, love and respect, no matter what they believe on this issue. Well done and a great post but it needed some clarification from me.

  7. The title of one research paper cited in the case history should cause us all to be allies in working toward eliminating race-based Indian stereotypes from our schools:

    Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2010, 40,3, pp.534-553.
    “Effect of Exposure to an American Indian Mascot on the Tendency to Stereotype a Different Minority Group,” by Chu Kim-Prieto, Sumie Okazaki . Lizabeth Goldstein and Blake Kirschner.

    Kim-Prieto et. al. found that exposure to an American Indian mascot caused subjects to stereotype Asian Americans more that did those in the control group. Race-based Indian mascots in our schools make them incubators of racisl and ethnic discrimination. We all need to think about how stereotypes are affecting us throughout our society.

  8. I stand corrected. But I must state again that the Mukwonago Area Schools continue to take the position that the law the state made on this issue is wrong, that the DPI ruling was wrong, and that the complainant in the case should not have been permitted to come forward at all.

    As to my debating style: let’s leave that to the upcoming series of community debates on the issue. Your side has yet to find its champion and I will from this point on play it close to the vest as to how I plan to bring this issue before the public in a live debate format in the full style of that of Lincoln-Douglas.

    As to this blog and my posts being biased. Right on brother. I am biased as all hell. I stand for justice. I have the right to my opinions. I post as the administrator of this blog just about every single post that comes in. What could be more fair? The District has millions of dollars of resources to argue me into silence. They community stands united against me. What more could you want? Let’s have this be a place where my side gets to speak too.

    Dr. Thomas Martin Sobottke

  9. JBR: One final point. Yes, the Mukwonago Area Schools have been very proactive on this issue. In 1996, they filed and implemented A Corrective Action Plan to eliminate and prevent any discrimination in regard to the logo situation. But, in 2002, Dr. Stephanie Anne Fryberg of the University of Arizona published a groundbreaking research study that shattered that plan to bits. Since then 300 peer-reviewed studies have confirmed this research. Even then State of Wisconsin Superindendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmeister (2005) was moved to ask all school districts in Wisconsin to review such policies as the 1996 plan. Mukwonago pointedly refused to even consider doing so according to its own legal counsel, Mr. Olson, in the hearing of August 27, 2010 at DPI in Madison. Have you read all the posts relating to this issue on this blog? Have you gone to indianmascots.com? Have you read the DPI ruling of October 8, 2010 in the Mukwonago Area School Logo Case in full and digested its findings and rulings? Do you recognize that a complaint was filed under a new law that permitted Mukwonago’s 1996 plan as proactive as it was to be put under scruitiny by DPI and ruled upon? Much has happened since 1996. Just about all that has transpired no matter how hostile you might be to me or my blog or ideas has countered the District’s position on this issue. A legal ruling has been handed down not by this blog but by an agency of the State of Wisconsin with full legal authority. Do you understand the significance of that?

  10. thank u Katehla, my name is actually Rain its part of a very long first name, it says so on my birth certificate and those idiotic little maggots just cant get it through their heads apparently, thank u and thank u tom for defending me and urselves from these fools

  11. “Dr. Stephanie Anne Fryberg of the University of Arizona published a groundbreaking research study that shattered that plan to bits. Since then 300 peer-reviewed studies have confirmed this research. Even then State of Wisconsin Superindendent of Public Instruction Elizabeth Burmeister (2005) was moved to ask all school districts in Wisconsin to review such policies as the 1996 plan. Mukwonago pointedly refused to even consider doing so according to its own legal counsel, Mr. Olson, in the hearing of August 27, 2010 at DPI in Madison. Have you read all the posts relating to this issue on this blog? Have you gone to indianmascots.com? Have you read the DPI ruling of October 8, 2010 in the Mukwonago Area School Logo Case in full and digested its findings and rulings? Do you recognize that a complaint was filed under a new law that permitted Mukwonago’s 1996 plan as proactive as it was to be put under scruitiny by DPI and ruled upon? Much has happened since 1996. Just about all that has transpired no matter how hostile you might be to me or my blog or ideas has countered the District’s position on this issue. A legal ruling has been handed down not by this blog but by an agency of the State of Wisconsin with full legal authority. Do you understand the significance of that?”

    I am really confused by your response. I was at the hearing. I know all the things you are referring to. I have been involved in this issue for many years and understand the importance, significance, and necessities connected to the ruling. If Mukwanago would have truly implemented Act 31 I firmly believe we would not be having this conversation. At the hearing it was unbelievable to hear the district use a inservice day including tribal educator Nick Hockings – a very close personal friend of mine – as a way to demonstrate how proactive the district has been. They have been everything but since 1996. I know a lot has happened since 1996, and even more since 1988-1990 when I was witness to the awful behavior of anti treaty protestors at scores of boat landings in Northern Wisconsin. I firmly believe this administration and staff needs an American Indian Studies intervention. It remains remarkable to me how out of touch this district is when it comes to the issue of not only race based mascots, but also how oblivious they are to tribal history, culture, and sovereignty issues. Mr. Sobottke – I am an ally of yours so your comments are a bit befuddling to me.

  12. JBR:

    I’ll eliminate your befuddlement: I was wrong. We are allies. I recognize that now. Thank you for your superb comments here.

    I’ve been getting 250 hits a day on this blog now and you would not believe the hostility. Or, yes you would. In all the morass of comments I arose to defend myself against I unintentionally confused your comments and unfairly branded you as ignorant of things that in fact you are even better informed upon than I.

    Please accept my sincere apologies and thanks for your support in this cause. I too am puzzled by my employer’s reaction to things even before the decision. I have been told by management that a comprehenisve plan is about to unfold that will solve all of the problems we are discussing on this blog on this issue. I took the official, Mr. Mark Blodgett, an Associate Principal at Mukwonago High School at his word.

    But as so often happens in politically charged cases like this, the District’s view of dealing wtih things may not yet accept the reality of the situation and fall far short of what is needed.

    I too agree with you that my District needs a huge intervention from folks like you and all those I have had the distinct pleasure to meet over the past few months. Hopefully, we can meet and therein may lie a friendship and camraderie as well. I hope to find time to attend a week long program put on by the WIEA or Wisconsin Indian Education Association this summer at some point and to share what I learned with my social studies colleagues, many of whom are skeptical of the research and openly consider the DPI decison just plain ridiculous and wrong.

    Thanks for setting me straight. You should be befuddled no longer. Keep coming to this blog. And, I am looking for a contributor or two for some blog posts of their own. You are welcome to submit something at ekttobos@sbcglobal.net You have the background, intelligence, and ability that is desperately needed here and in Mukwonago.

    Dr. Thomas Martin Sobottke

    • Dr. Sobottke. All is well. Have you thought about attending the Wisconsin State Human Relations Conference in Wisconsin Dells on November 18th and 19th? I plan on being there and I know there will be a large contingent of people/resources that would be helpful to the Mukwanago District. Perhaps they could send a contingent themselves? Thank you the blog offer. Did you happen to see Wisconsin Public Televsion’s Teen Connection on Tuesday, October 5th at 7:00 PM? The program was about Indian Logos and Mascots. Two students from Prescott were panelists and they did a great job, along with long time advocate Richie Plass. My guess is that the episode will be on line soon. Keep up the great work. Best Regards.

  13. This whole thing is just a scam for rain to get back at the people that he doesnt like. Everyone knows that rain didnt get picked on because he was indian, but because he was always making trouble for himself. When you wear the same vest everyday, you are just asking to get picked on and made fun of. Another thing, Rain isnt his real name because the kid is barely indian. His real name is Brian. So this whole scandal is just that, a scandal. THANKS ALOT RAIN! way to ruin 90 years of tradition

  14. HA from fight starting to attempt to make peace with pleas of mutual humanity and humility, an irony and an insult to even attempt this for the how ever so many times, Ive honestly lost count but considering who its from its hollow, hey hollow just like the mascot HAHA

  15. rezrider, you have a job.Where are you finding discrimination leveled against you ? You have every opportunity like everyone else. If you act like a loud mouthed jerk, people will treat you like one.Not every person will get along with another, that is just the sad reality of human existence. if you are picked on take a hard look at yourself and realize….. it will take two parties to find opposition as it will take two parties to find resolution.

    • Hmmm loudmouth jerk that explains why no here like you then wouldnt it? I can tell how Tom and the others have tried to educate people who want to be educated but as they say you can lead a horse no water but cant make it drink, that explains alot too HA why dont you just go away and pout by yourself. Its so sad how you simply want people to notice you that you pick fights and then attempt to become such a peace maker, you almost make the UN blush, just go away

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