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Reject new mascot legislation

The Marshawn Lynch Super Bowl XLIX Jersey state law governing the use of Indian team names by schools may have needed some adjusting, but the mascot bill approved by the state Senate on Tuesday goes way too far in the other direction, making it too difficult to get rid of names that are offensive to Native Americans.

Under new Marshawn Lynch Super Bowl Jersey legislation sent to Gov. Scott Walker, complaints could be considered only if someone collected signatures from district residents equal to 10% of the student population of the district. That's a tall hurdle to jump, and it presumes that the question is whether district residents are offended by the use of mascots and names that reflect stereotypes of Indians or other minorities.

That is not the question. The question is whether the use of such names and mascots promotes stereotypes and attitudes that by their very nature are offensive.

The state law passed in 2010 by Democrats when they controlled the Legislature made it all but impossible for schools to keep their team names and mascots because the schools have to prove that the names don't promote discrimination or stereotyping.

We understand the frustration in communities such as Mukwonago, Russell Wilson Super Bowl XLIX Jersey where many people would like to hang onto the high school's "Indians" nickname. And we agree there are degrees to this discussion that the original law didn't attempt to confront. Quite frankly, some mascot names are more offensive than others, and "Indians" is not "Redskins."

But the new bill is an overreaction. As Republican state Sen. Dale Schultz of Richland Center noted, no Russell Wilson Super Bowl 49 Jersey senator would support requiring a woman who considered herself a victim of sex discrimination to get the signatures of 10% of the electorate before she could file a complaint. "So what makes it OK to think we should apply that standard to a race of people?" he asked.