MARQUETTE - Dismissal of a complaint seeking a ban on the use of American Indian mascots in state K-12 schools will largely have no affect on Marquette Senior High School athletics one way or the other.
"On our part, we always would cooperate with whatever (decision) is handed down," MSHS athletic coordinator Jamie Tuma said.
"We won't discriminate against anyone."
Marquette Senior High School is voluntarily gradually phasing out its use of an Indian chief’s face and head dress on uniforms and instead using a block letter M, as shown on the football team’s helmets in this Sept. 14 photo. (Journal file photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights denied the complaint filed by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
Tuma said MSHS has been voluntarily gradually phasing out its use of an Indian chief's face and head dress.
"As we replace uniforms, we're using the block (letter) M, which is a nice showpiece for MSHS athletics," she said.
"It's easily recognizable and looks nice on clothing and uniforms."
Tuma said the Indian head logo can still be found on select school individual T-shirts sold by the school, but not on team uniforms.
She noted the recent ruling, which could still be appealed by the state agency that sought the ban, did not affect the school's use of the nicknames "Redmen" or "Redettes."
Tuma said if the most recent ruling was reversed on appeal, "we would have to revisit each team" to make sure the school was in compliance in terms of using Indian mascots or logos.
MSHS was one of three Upper Peninsula high schools - among 35 state-wide - listed by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights that use Indian mascots or imagery.
The other two are Gladstone (Braves) and Newberry (Indians).
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.