ACLU blasts DPI for handling of Chippewa Falls Schools harassment allegations

The ACLU has been fighting this fight against DPI and Chippewa Falls Schools since 2021.
Open school locker door
Photo: Laura Rivera/Unsplash

(The Center Square) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin says it wants someone held accountable for allegations of past harassment in Chippewa Falls Schools.

Whether that is the school district itself, or Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction doesn’t seem to matter.

The ACLU on Wednesday blasted both over the DPI’s decision to not punish Chippewa Falls school leaders over the years-old allegations.

“In its decision, DPI chastised the District for failing to ‘investigate the complaint’s allegations to determine whether facts exist that are sufficient to find a hostile environment.’ DPI warned the District that any future investigations ‘must make this important initial finding.’ However, 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,” the ACLU said in a statement.

The Cultivative Coalition is a group of Chippewa Falls High School graduates who say they were harassed or discriminated against based on their race, sex, or sexual orientation. They said the school district allowed or ignored the harassment for years.

“Cultivative Coalition and our allies will continue to advocate for the students and families whose lives have been forever altered by the pervasive discriminatory behaviors that plague CFAUSD hallways. Unfortunately, this decision means that marginalized students and their families in the CFAUSD will continue to experience the lifelong pain of unaddressed harassment and discrimination,” the ACLU added.

School leaders in Chippewa Falls accept the DPI’s findings, and also accept the decision from the department to not punish the school district going forward.

“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,” Chippewa Falls Schools said in a statement.

The ACLU has been fighting this fight against DPI and Chippewa Falls Schools since 2021, and is promising to continue going forward.

Benjamin Yount
Benjamin Yount writes for The Center Square.

Don't Miss Out!

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest education news and commentary everyone ought to know about.