LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Civil Rights wants the federal government to step in and prohibit the use of American Indian mascots and imagery in Michigan schools.
The department filed a complaint Friday with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. The complaint cites 35 Michigan K-12 school districts responsible for the "alleged discrimination," but the result could have national implications.
The complaint says research now shows the use of those mascots and imagery causes "actual harm" to American Indian students by lowering self-esteem, impacting student learning and achievement.
The department says the research results provide a legal basis to prohibit the use of the imagery and mascots. It claims the continued use "denies equal rights" to American Indian students.