Attorney General rules state can’t hold funding from schools with American Indian mascots

The Paw Paw Redskins

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Attorney General says that the state cannot withhold funds to schools based on their decisions to use an American Indian mascot or logo for their school.

Bill Schuette issued the 10-page statement Thursday morning.

Schuette issued his opinion to State Representative Tim Kelly and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whitson. Schuette’s opinion was sought by state Rep. Tim Kelly, a Republican from Saginaw County. In March,  Whiston proposed cutting up to 10 percent of a district’s annual payments if he had authority.

In the statement, Schuette says that the Superintendent does have a “broad authority under the Revised School Code and the State School Aid Act,” but says the Superintendent could not withhold funding “based on its use of a particular mascot or logo.”

The Paw Paw School District voted 4-3 in February to keep their mascot as the Redskins.  Belding decided to end using the Redskins are their mascot at the end of the school year and will now be the Black Knights.

Critics of schools with Indian mascots say they create a hostile environment and are culturally insensitive.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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4 comments

  • steve

    If the superintendent doesn’t like the name, he needs to quit and find a different system. Is there a system where the nickname is the LGBTs?

  • Danette

    I live in the school district with the REDSKIN mascot. What creates a hostile environment is all the other people from outside the community telling the youth what their name should not be and to not be proud of their school. Leave the schools alone and the kids in it. The Redskins in our community is a proud name and a name to fear to battle on the court, stage, field and classroom.

  • Jeff Hunter

    I know how one sided channel 17 news is pretty disgusting how you reported on Belding schools fighting to save their mascot. So how about a story now about how Belding can’t be the Redskins anymore but we can now have a mascot that was originally created to kill Indians. Wouldn’t that make a fantastic story? I’m sure a school board being hypocrites isn’t good enough news for channel 17. 🙄