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Assembly to take up mascots bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly is expected to vote on a Republican bill that would make it harder to force public schools to drop American Indian nicknames this week.

Right now the state Department of Public Instruction must hold a hearing on a school’s race-based nickname if the agency receives a complaint from one person. The school must prove the nickname doesn’t promote discrimination. DPI then decides whether the name must go.

The bill requires a complainant to collect signatures equal to 10 percent of the school district’s students to trigger a review and would have to prove discrimination. The Department of Administration, not DPI, would make the final call.

The Assembly has scheduled a vote on the measure for Tuesday. Republican and Democratic leaders have allotted three hours for debate.

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