A lawsuit has been filed after a school district in Wisconsin told teachers to pay more attention to black students than to other students.
It was a whistleblower who documented to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty that the Madison Metropolitan School District had told teachers, in a policy statement, that teachers must “prioritize your African American students meeting with you first and more often.”
WILL requested the public records on that action, and the district refused, so a lawsuit was filed.
Officials at WILL explained withholding public records isn’t allowed in Wisconsin.
“Nearly a year ago, on January 31, 2022, WILL requested records from MMSD regarding its use of ‘small instructional groups’ for ‘reading, foundational skills, and math.’ A whistleblower had provided WILL with a partial copy of an official policy stating that MMSD teachers must ‘prioritize your African American students meeting with you first and more often,’” WILL said.
The legal action is a joint project of WILL’s Equality Under the Law Project and the Wisconsin Transparency Project.
Associate counsel for WILL, Cory Brewer, explained, “Race discrimination has no place in public education. It is illegal and immoral. Parents and community members have a right to know how and why Madison has been discriminating against students based on race.”
Added Tom Kamenick of the Transparency Project, “MMSD might be the state’s worst offender when it comes to extreme delays in responding to record requests. Several requests to the district have remained unfulfilled for more than a year, and they have a long history of problems.”
WILL submitted the original records request a year ago, and followed up in March, August, September (twice), November and December.
MMSD’s only response was that the request was under “review.”
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