The Mukwonago Area Schools will lose two million dollars in state aid this year. What to do? Go get Senator Mary Lazich and have her delay the implementation of the High School’s loss of its Indian Logo that will cost the district fifty thousand.
Not only is two million dollars a great deal more money than fifty thousand, but loss of the two million has much more impact on the quality of education throughout the district than loss of the Indian logo can ever have.
The Mukwonago Area Schools has a budget in the tens of millions of dollars per year. Let’s say its forty million. Two million out of
forty million is a loss of about five percent of total budget. The fifty thousand dollar cost of retiring the old Indian nickname and logo is 0.125 percent of that budget. School Districts often maintain a small emergency fund. It could be tapped here.
What’s more important Mukwonago? Your child’s education or what symbol they have on their uniforms and what nickname the school has for its sports teams?
Lazich and the Mukwonago School Board would much better serve their constituents by seeking a one year delay in the loss of the two million dollars to the operating budget of the school district. But they are not.
It is astounding how the loss of two million is shirked off as just inevitable and what has to happen and the loss of fifty thousand to switching the logo is seen as a budgetary catastrophe of the first order.
Lazich could certainly get a one-time amendment to the state budget bill to exempt Mukwonago from the fifty thousand cost of changing logos by adding that amount to the district’s appropriation for the coming year.
But these are not real issues. The real issue is keeping a race-based symbol and nickname that enormous amounts of scientific research has conclusively shown to be harmful to the children educated in this school district. The Mukwonago Area Schools are a K-12 operation. We are talking about children here aged 5 to 18. This is not a professional sports team.
The research recounted in numerous previous posts on Struggles For Justice clearly demonstrates that this very symbol and nickname leads to greater racial stereotyping of all minority groups. It is something that directly feeds into bullying and harassment. The District has pretended to be concerned about the bullying and harassment issue but its stand on the logo issue belies that concern.
Much has been said about tradition and the storied history of the Mukwonago Indians and the symbol and its deep significance. The community needs to find an alternate drug to hype its identity and sense of self-esteem. Surely, there must be more that is good and worth preserving than a nickname and logo that racially stereotypes people who are non-white? Is this racial discrimination necessary to preserve the well-being of the white community in Mukwonago?
Lazich and the School Board have demonstrated they do not put the children and their welfare and justice for a Native-American student who originally brought the complaint at great cost to himself personally at center stage where it ought to be.
Taxpayers, residents, and especially those parents who have children in the district should look at this sad response to the DPI order and the budget and draw the correct conclusions from it. School Board members are elected officials. They serve the community. The first priority of any school is to protect the welfare of all students. The second is to educate and to do it well. Neither priority is being addressed here.
So how about it? If it is budgetary then let’s get Mukwonago fifty thousand more dollars for the coming year this one time and let them with dignity, grace and justice retire that symbol and nickname and select another.