indianmascots.com is an excellent site for anyone wishing to educate themselves on the unique difficulties faced by Native-Americans and schools and other legal entities using Indian, nicknames, logos, or even mascots. Struggles For Justice seconds Katehla’s recommendation to go to that site for more information on the issue while we all have a good debate on the issue here. Perhaps with a better base of information on the issue we will all be able to comment more intelligently and cogently.
There was a comment which was excellent bemoaning the fact that Struggles for Justice “disgustingly” argued against the right of students and the community to retain the logo and nickname and that it is essentially not the business of any blogger, outsider, or any agency of government beyond the community and the Mukwonago Area Schools. In point of fact, the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin established the Department of Public Instruction and a Superintendent that is popularly elected by the people of the state as having oversight and legal authority over matters of K-12 education in the State of Wisconsin.
The state statutes established by the law, permitting Mr. Koepke and any other individual who is a member of a Native-American community of people from challenging these logos, mascots, and nicknames was duly passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature this very year and duly signed into law by Governor James Doyle. That law has yet to be successfully legally overturned in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court or by the United States Supreme Court or any Federal court within that system. The State Legislature has yet to reverse itself on this law at all. So at this moment it is the law whatever side of this contentious issue we find ourselves on. So with apologies to the man who made that superb post, it is not the responsibility or fault of Struggles For Justice for the disgust he feels. It is the people who you elected to govern you.
An update: As of 8:30 A.M. Central Time, Saturday, October 16th in the Year of our Lord 2010, the Mukwonago Area Schools website did not show a clear and easily navigable post on the text of the DPI ruling in the Mukwonago Logo Case, nor did it provide other information to the public on this issue. There may be of course such information in some shared District file or folder or back page of the site containing this information. It would be more effective if the District either posted this information in a prominent place on its site or directed the public to the URL’s of such sites as indianmascots.com Staff e-mail for Dr. Sobottke was NOT showing any new communications from the District on this controversy as of late last evening. As to what was presented in classrooms throughout the District between Tuesday, October 12th and this morning, Struggles For Justice is admittedly ignorant. But it does not appear that the Mukwonago Area Schools have yet to unveil their comprehensive plans and strategy for managing this situation and making a successful transition to a new mascot, logo, and nickname as well as most importantly seeing that students and the entire community reconcile over this issue and come together as the fine group of people they all are. Commendations to the fine comments we are receiving on this issue from all angles on the controversy. And commendations to the District for making residents aware of a bullying and harassment program that is upcoming in the District to better educate all who access District services on this important concern. Nevertheless, it is a general program and not specific to the full dimensions of the logo controversy.
But most importantly, the character and conduct of Mr. Rain Koepke as the public sees it in Mukwonago is not the issue at all. The larger question of what the logo, and nickname actually does to harm children is what we must keep our focus on here. So, one final plea to go to indianmascots.com and get some education on this topic. But you are welcome to return to Struggles For Justice to make your now more enlightened pleas for justice. Mr. Rain Koepke has the full support of Struggles For Justice and Dr. Sobottke for as long as he lives and beyond. Period.