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ACLU calls on Greendale School District to improve racial climate

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Posted at 4:31 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 17:31:26-04

The American Civil Liberties Union has called on the Greendale School District to improve its racial climate after one family's complaint about the district creating a "racially hostile environment."

The ACLU is asking the district to look into incidents in its elementary and high schools that involved the use of racial slurs, posting racially offensive videos and other harassment. The ACLU claims a number of these incidents have occurred in the last month.

"While the District may have taken action against some of the individuals involved, the repeated incidents show a need for an effective and systemic response and one that meaningfully includes affected students and families," ACLU of Wisconsin staff attorney Karyn Rotker said in a news release.

The Greendale School District released the following statement:

"While we are not able to comment specifically regarding this complaint as it is an active investigation, we would like to stress that Greendale Schools strives to provide a safe, secure, and respectful learning environment for all students at school. The district consistently and vigorously addresses bullying and harassment so that there is no disruption to the learning environment and learning process. The schools will not tolerate any form of harassment. The policies of the Greendale Board of Education are very specific regarding this lack of tolerance. Harassment and discrimination complaints are investigated promptly, thoroughly and impartially, and corrective actions taken wherever necessary.

"Greendale Schools continues to make equity work, including cultural competence and responsive practices, a part of its core improvement work. The district continues to be engaged in cultural competency work and professional development for staff, and we continue to be committed to this work."