Posted on August 5, 2016

‘Bias Incident Team’: Students’ Three Blind Mice Halloween Costume ‘Makes Fun of a Disability”

Jillian Kay Melchior, Heatstreet, August 3, 2016

A University “Bias Incident Team” took a carving knife to three students’ “three blind mice” Halloween costumes last fall, saying the costumes mocked the disabled.

The incident took place at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, according to records reviewed exclusively by Heat Street. The offending students had posted pictures of themselves in costume on Facebook.

The documents,which Heat Street obtained under open records laws, reveal that a member of the Bias Incident Team reported the students herself: “There was concern about their choice as it makes fun of a disability,” says the team’s meeting minutes.

The Bias Incident Team decided to follow up directly with the costume wearers, noting that “this incident is being considered a personnel issue in Residence Life” because the students were also staffers.

Photos of the mouse costumes were also removed from Facebook, though it’s unclear whether the Bias Incident Team compelled students to take them down. {snip}

Apparently the mouse costumes were a cautionary tale for the Bias Incident Team. During at least two different Bias Incident Team meetings, administrators discussed the need to “be pro-active next year before Halloween about choosing an appropriate Halloween costume,” also suggesting that “we may do an ‘inappropriate costumes’ de-briefing such as a news media article or overview.”