A changing curriculum after Native incident | Weekly Wausonian
Wausau News for Sept. 30, 2021
Wausau School District leaders vowed to review the district’s curriculum after a Facebook post of a teacher dressed as a Native American sparked controversy.
The post, from a father of an indigenous student, showed a teacher dressed in buckskin and headband similar to Native American dress during the colonial days as part of the history lesson.
Indigenous leaders called it racist and problematic, and held a press conference outside Monday’s school board meeting at John Muir Middle School.
In response, the district said it would be bringing in outside help to review the school’s curriculum to ensure such incidents don’t happen. The district has apologized for the incident. School Board President Patrick McKee told The Wausonian he sees it as an opportunity to make a positive change in the district.
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What else in Wausau?
City leaders approved a new contract with the Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau, on a trial basis. The one-year contract sets new performance standards following an incident last year in which the CVB’s director accepted room tax dollars intended for the city from Expedia, only turning them over when city officials investigated. That incident led many municipalities to pull out of their contracts with the CVB. The director has since retired.
Wausau has been approved as a refugee site for Ethiopian refugees. The site has been approved but the budget has not yet. Wausau could also be a site for resettling Afghan refugees, according to a release from the Ethiopian Community Development Council. The ECDC is currently hiring staff and the first resettlement could include 10 or so individuals, with another 75 coming later.
A babysitter accused of trying to hide an infant’s death on her watch is changing her plea to insanity. Marissa Tietsort was ruled fit to stand trial but her attorney is changing her plea to not guilty by reason of mental defect. Tietsort was arrested in 2019 after police say an infant died in her care and she tried to hide that fact by bundling the baby up before handing her back to her mother. Her three-week trial is slated for Nov. 29.
Around the metro
It’s a little outside the local area, but Minocqua Brewing Co. owner Kirk Bangstad says his Super PAC is funding a class action lawsuit against school boards that haven’t put in place mask requirements (which could include some Wausau area districts). The PAC will fund lawsuits in both eastern and western districts in Wisconsin. Bangstad has made waves for refusing to take down a Biden sign that violated local ordinances, and previously ran for Congress before dropping out.
Aspirus says COVID test requests have increased dramatically at its hospitals. Requests were up 164% in August compared to July, as more people are required to have a negative test to return to work or school. Aspirus officials say not to go to the walk in for COVID tests, but to sign up through Aspirus’ website.
Basil, an Asian fusion restaurant in Weston, says it will be closing its doors soon. The restaurant is set to close Oct. 2, after 12 years in business. Basil was started by Jim and Tee Daly, who also opened Daly’s downtown. Jim and Tee sold the restaurant to their daughter and later closed Daly’s in order to retire.
It’s the season for beer fests! That continues this weekend with the Lincoln Lager Barleyfest 2-6 pm Saturday at the Smith Center in Merrill. Sample 100 beers from brewers all over the state. Plus games, prizes, food, and live music by Ron Denson. Check out the Facebook event page for more.
If you want something for the kiddies, bring ‘em out to the Old-fashioned Harvest Fest 9 am to 6 pm Sunday at Willow Springs Garden. Be sure to check out the old-fashioned oat threshing, antique tractor display, horse-drawn wagon ride, corn mazes and live music by Carl Jackson. There’s even a stick horse rodeo for the kids, and plenty else to keep them occupied. See all the details on the Willow Springs’ event page.
And if you’d like to be a little more active first, come check out the Red, White and Blue 5K run/walk 10 am Sunday at Dale’s Weston Lanes. Proceeds benefit the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Run costs $45. ($25 kids under 18 years old.) See more details on Never Forgotten’s event page.
The D.C. Everest volleyball team remains undefeated at 6-0 in Valley Conference play. The Evergreens came back to defeat Merrill in five sets after falling behind 2-1 Sept. 23. The Evergreen girls will next host Wausau West Oct. 7. The Evergreens’ record comes despite not leading any individual statistical categories, or most team stats except blocking.
Wausau West continues to dominate the Valley Conference in girls tennis, holding a 6-0 record. West blanked Rapids 7-0, winning all four singles and three doubles matches to hold its undefeated status. West No. 1 singles player Mia Bailey has a perfect 6-0 record, and Warriors No. 1 doubles team of Anika Eder and Katie Meyer are tied for first in the conference with only one loss on their record. The conference season concludes today (Thursday) with the Wisconsin Valley Conference meet.
The Warriors football team blew past Marshfield 18-3 last Friday, helping the team to a 3-1 record and tied for second in the Valley Association Football Conference, which SPASH leads. West will host the conference leaders this Friday, and take on Appleton West the following Friday to close the season.
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