LANSING, Mich. (AP) — 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 Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons released a statement Monday 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.
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Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.