UPDATE: CFASD responds to ACLU statement over DPI dismissal

The District and Board of Education say they “absolutely stand against any form of discrimination, harassment, hostility, or bullying.”
The DPI said it agreed with the CFAUSD’s investigation findings in 2021 in that staff acted...
The DPI said it agreed with the CFAUSD’s investigation findings in 2021 in that staff acted appropriately in dealing with student discrimination complaints.(WEAU)
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 11:46 AM CST
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - The Chippewa Falls Area School District has released a statement on the DPI’s decision to dismiss the ACLU’s recent complaints of pupil discrimination.

The district says it was not planning to make any public comments on these cases but says Board members were concerned that the districts initial reports on DPI’s decision might be misconstrued as celebrating it.

You can read the entire statement from the CFASD here.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has denied appeals filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin on behalf of a student and a civil rights organization over discrimination claims within the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District.

In a release from the CFASD, it says the district conducted extensive investigations of the complaints and determined that District staff acted properly. CFAUSD says DPI determined that the District’s investigations met the requirements of applicable law and that the investigative records supported the District’s conclusions. The District said that its instructional and library media materials selection policy complied with state law, and added that the ACLU has not pursued further review of the District’s investigation process and conclusions.

The decisions by the DPI cover a complaint of a student’s claims of racism against her and Cultivative Coalition, a group of Chippewa Falls high school graduates. The complaints alleged the District discriminated against students “on the basis of race, sex, and sexual orientation by causing, encouraging, accepting and tolerating a school climate hostile to students with those protected statuses.” The complaints also alleged that the District disciplined students differently on the basis of race and that the District failed to “meet its statutory responsibility to provide appropriately diverse instructional materials,” according to the release.

In a statement from the ACLU, it says DPI did not reverse the District’s decision for the technical reason that the members of the Cultivative Coalition had already graduated and, therefore, would not benefit from any corrective action by the District. It says the decision “means that the District can ignore the multitude of evidence provided by the Cultivative Coalition that shows pervasive harassment in the District.”

The CFAUSD said in its release that it “is pleased with the results reached by DPI,” while acknowledging that there is still work to do.

“The District recognizes that there is still much work to be done to educate students and, more broadly, the community, about the rights and responsibilities that we all share to prevent and address discrimination.”

It says because of confidentiality laws regarding pupil records, the District isn’t able to release any specific information about complaint allegations and decisions made by the District.

Full statement from ACLU: