(AREA) -- Michigan's House Education committee chairwoman is calling on a state department to rescind its complaint over the use of American Indian mascots in schools. Alto Republican Representative Lisa Posthumus Lyons released a statement criticizing the Michigan Department of Civil Rights for taking its complaint to the federal level. The department filed the complaint last week with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights asking to ban the use of American Indian mascots and imagery in K-12 schools and deny funding to schools that continue to use them. The complaint says the use of the mascots denies equal rights to American Indian students. Lyons says the department is "putting students' education funding at risk for political gain." She says the issue should be resolved at the local level.
In the Thumb and Blue Water area there are four schools that have used Indian mascots including Sandusky, the home of the Redskins. Superintendent Mike Carmean says the school does not discriminate against students of any culture. Attorneys have advised the district to wait and watch the developments in the complaint as 35 schools in Michigan would be affected and there would probably be an appeal of any order. Other area schools with Indian mascots include the Port Huron Big Reds, Capac Chiefs, and the Kinde-North Huron Warriors.