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Tuesday, 14 May 2013 14:39

Legislation introduced to save schools funding if mascot complaint is successful

(AREA) -- Legislation recently introduced in the Michigan House would save school districts costs incurred if they are required to change their mascot after a state department complaint against Native American imagery. House Bill 4735, sponsored by 81st District State Representative Dan Lauwers, helps create a $3 million fund to cover schools expenses for changing mascots, should the federal complaint be successful. The money would come from the budget of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, which filed the complaint independently, without prompting from any Native American group or individual. Lauwers stated that if a state-funded department is going to arbitrarily issue a complaint that could hurt public schools, then it's only fair they pick up the tab for any potential costs. A total of 35 Michigan schools were listed in the complaint, including the Capac Chiefs, Kinde-North Huron Warriors, Port Huron Big Reds and Sandusky Redskins. The state Department of Civil Rights in February filed a complaint with the federal Department of Education, requesting the removal of all native American mascots and imagery, including logos and slogans, from Michigan public schools.