Lawmaker urges department to withdraw school mascot complaint

LANSING — State Rep. Nancy Jenkins has urged the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to withdraw its complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the use of American Indian mascots or imagery in schools.Local schools, as well as the State Board of Education and Michigan Department of Education, were given little to no notice before the complaint was filed. The complaint asks for the use of American Indian names, mascots, slogans, chants and/or imagery in schools to be banned. The department asked that schools unwilling to follow the desired mandate lose federal education funding.“Putting our local schools’ education funding at risk without even trying to work out the potential issue locally is irresponsible and thoughtless of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights,” said Jenkins, R-Clayton. “Before taking such drastic action, the department should have brought their concerns to the school districts, where the issue should be addressed. I urge the department to withdraw their complaint and handle this concern properly.”Jenkins’ district includes the Clinton Redskins and Tecumseh Indians named in the complaint.

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