A mural of an American Indian chief's head in the gym of Michigan's Saugatuck High School.

(Mlive.com)

A mural of an American Indian chief's head in the gym of Michigan's Saugatuck High School.

Feds Reject Michigan Attempt to Ban Use of Indian Mascots by Schools

In February, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights cited 35 Michigan school districts for discrimination, saying their American Indian mascots reinforce stereotypes and hurt Native American students' self-esteem and learning.

But the U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights has denied the state's complaint, according to the Associated Press. Federal officials say Michigan officials provided no specific examples of racial incidents or American Indian students suffering specific harm because of the reported discrimination.

The state civil rights department said June 3 that it's disappointed by the ruling and is considering its options.

Michigan's Republican lawmakers are pleased with the decision, after criticizing the civil rights department for taking the complaint to the federal government. The state GOP felt the effort was misguided and done without input from communities.

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