Group sues Colorado over law banning Native American mascots

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FILE — Alina Balasoiu, a student at Lamar High School, walks back to school after playing in a soccer game in the fields behind the school in this file photograph taken March 31, 2015. Colorado lawmakers are considering a proposal to ban Native American mascots in public schools and colleges. the state Senate Education Committee is scheduled to discuss a measure Thursday, April 1, 2021 that would impose a $25,000 monthly fine on public schools, colleges and universities that continue to use an American Indian-themed mascot after June 1, 2022. (RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via The AP)

DENVER (AP) — A North Dakota-based organization representing Native Americans has sued Colorado for a measure banning American Indian school mascots. The law was passed last year amid a nationwide push for racial justice following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis. The Native American Guardian’s Association’s lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court and names several Colorado state officials. The lawsuit argues that the complete erasure of Native American imagery is not beneficial and that the use of positive and respectful Native American symbols and mascots in schools helps neutralize offensive stereotypes. The law fines public schools, colleges, and universities $25,000 monthly for use of American Indian-themed mascots after June 1, 2022.

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