Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
SHAWANO, WISCONSIN - Some people in this small town in central Wisconsin town would love to see the media attention surrounding seventh grader Miranda Washinawatok die down and so things can get back to normal.
Miranda is the 12 year old Menominee basketball player who was suspended for one game saying "Ketapanen" in her ancestral Native language, which means "I love you." She, along with two other Menominee students, were discussing how to say words in Menominee. Their teacher became upset.
Miranda was suspended that night from playing basketball in a game that was slated as parents recognition night. Needless to say, Miranda and her parents were not in a celebratory mood.
Some think because officials at the Sacred Heart Catholic School have apologized, things should get back to normal and let bygones be bygones.
Others do not feel the apology has gone far enough.
Friends of Miranda, who are listed as "Susan V and Concerned Citizens," have posted an online petition online that targets the Sacred Heart Catholic School.
The petition's headline reads: "Tell Wisconsin That "Love" in Menominee is Not a Four-Letter-Word."
The website further explains "Ketapanen" is NOT a four-letter word. Even though it means "I love you" in Menominee, saying it still got Miranda Washinawatok in trouble at school.
Sacred Heart Catholic School has a student population of 64 American Indian students out of a population of 102 students. Many of the Native students are Menominee. The Menominee Indian Reservation is located six miles north of Shawano, a Menominee word that means "south."
The intention of the petition is to gather 20,000 supporters to sign it so that pressure can be put on Sacred Heart "to add American Indian languages and culture to their curriculum and stop violating rights of American Indian students."
Sign the "I Love You" Petition at www.thepetitionsite.com
posted February 9, 2012 10:15 am est
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