An Analysis of Community Attributes Likely to Result in School Districts Repealing Native American Mascots Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/6t053h74z

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  • Michigan’s State Department of Education issued a resolution in 2003 calling for all public K-12 schools to repeal their American Indian mascots and in 2013 the Michigan Department of Civil Rights filed a complaint with the United States Department of Education in response to school districts failing to do so. There is much research to suggest that race based mascots not only stigmatize a minority population, but negatively contribute to Indian education and falsely portray Native American culture. Using Michigan school districts and data provided by the American Community Survey, this research sheds light on a larger policy question: what factors influence communities to repeal the mascot and what characteristics do these communities have in common? Out of the 48 school districts in Michigan with an Indian mascot, seven repealed their Indian mascots after the resolution passed. This research uses ten samples, drawing 21 cases from the 48 school districts and uses difference-in-means tests to measure the significance between the mean variables of interest (referenced below) and the group classification of whether the mascot was repealed. Using online media sources, this research also uses qualitative analysis to further identify factors influencing the repeal in three school districts. This research finds that average Native American population, educational attainment and poverty level play no significant relationship in repealing the mascots in school districts. My research suggests that drawing conclusions of communities is near impossible due to the challenge in evaluating factors that cannot be easily quantified on a systematic level. This data was largely limited by a small sample size of Michigan school districts and a small sample of districts who actually repealed their Native American mascots.
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