American Indian mascot complaint dismissed by federal officials

A federal agency has dismissed a complaint seeking to ban the use of American Indian mascots in Michigan's K-12 schools.

A federal agency has dismissed a complaint seeking to ban the use of American Indian mascots in Michigan's K-12 schools.

In February, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights cited

35 Michigan school districts

for discrimination, saying their mascots reinforce stereotypes and hurt American Indian students' self-esteem and learning.

The schools in northern Michigan cited in the complaint include: Cheboygan Area School District, Chippewa Hills School District and Morley Stanwood Community Schools.

However, the

U.S. Education Department's Office

of Civil Rights denied the state's complaint last week. 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 Monday it's disappointed by the ruling and is considering its options.

Michigan's complaint to the federal government has drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers who say it was misguided and done without input from communities.

The full list of schools cited by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights are below:

Athens Area Schools

Bay City Public Schools

Belding Area Schools

Birmingham Brother Rice

Woodhaven Brownstown School District

Camden-Frontier School District

Capac Community Schools

Cheboygan Area School District

Chesaning Union Schools

Chippewa Valley Schools

Clinton Community Schools

Dowagiac Union Schools

Gladstone Area Public Schools

Grass Lake Community Schools

Hartford Public Schools

North Huron School District

JW Sexton High School, Lansing School District

Marquette Area Public Schools

Morley Stanwood Community Schools

Huron School District

Tahquamenon Area Schools

Paw Paw Public School District

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

Port Huron Area School District

Chippewa Hills School District

Sandusky Community Schools

Saranac Community Schools

Saugatuck Public Schools

Tawas Area Schools

Tecumseh Public Schools

Tekonsha Community Schools

Utica Community Schools

Walled Lake Consolidated School District

White Cloud School District

White Pigeon Community Schools