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State wants judge to toss Berlin Indian mascot lawsuit


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state has asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit from five Berlin school district residents who are trying to save their schools’ Indian nickname and logo.

The suit challenges the constitutionality of the 2010 state law which set up a statewide complaint system for those offended by Indian monikers.

The State Department of Public Instruction ordered the Berlin district drop its nickname, the “Indians,” after ruling that the name and logo discriminate against Native Americans.

The state says such a lawsuit should be filed by a school district and not by individual taxpayers. But plaintiffs’ attorney Sam Hall disagrees, and he does not expect the suit to be thrown out.

Earlier this year, a Waukesha County judge threw out the state’s order to have Mukwonago High School change its Indian nickname.

Judge Donald Hassin said a DPI official was biased in handling a complaint against the name.

Since then, the state has asked an appeals court to strike down Hassin’s ruling. That case is still pending.