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Tekonsha, Athens, other schools targeted in nickname complaint from state


LANSING, MI (WTVB) - The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, seeking the withholding of federal funds from thirty-five school districts that use Native American nicknames, mascots, terms, graphics, and other associated imagery. The complaint asserts that continued use of such imagery by the named schools "...creates a hostile environment and denies equal rights to all current and future American Indian students." Tekonsha, Athens, Camden-Frontier, Dowagiac, Grass Lake, Paw Paw, and Saugatuck are among the schools named in the complaint. It's believed to be the first group complaint filed by the state agency; an individual complaint filed over a decade ago forced the Marshall Public Schools to drop their long-standing "Redskins" nickname and become the "Redhawks".