Rep. LaFave vows to fight bill attacking school mascots

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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) _ State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, announced Tuesday he will fight state legislation to eliminate all school mascots deemed “race and ethnicity-based.”

The Escanaba and Gladstone school districts have Native American-based mascots, the Eskymos and Braves, while the North Dickinson County school’s Nordics mascot could be considered culturally insensitive despite recognizing the region’s forefathers.

“I have not heard from one Upper Peninsula resident who was offended by a school’s mascot,” LaFave said. “This bill is just another weak attempt at forcing political correctness onto us, typically from individuals who could not find Escanaba, Gladstone or Felch on a map much less know how these communities respect and celebrate their local schools’ mascot.”

LaFave noted that previous attempts to force Michigan schools to change mascots have been denied by the U.S. Department of Education and the state Attorney General. Senate Bill 646, submitted by state Sen. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit), has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee and has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

Should the legislation be approved by that committee and the Senate, it would advance to the House where LaFave has promised to fight it for all students and families.

“This ridiculous bill will not become law,” LaFave said. “I was elected to bring Upper Peninsula values to the Capitol and not to have Lansing, Detroit or anyone else dictate new school mascots from their high horse.”

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