OCR investigation in response to WILL complaint will hopefully mean answers for families at the Sun Prairie Area School District, but parents and students will need to wait and see
The News: A Title IX investigation has been opened into the Sun Prairie Area School District (SPASD) by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a complaint in June of 2023 following a troubling incident that occurred at SPASD, where an 18-year-old male who identified as transgender showered completely undressed next to four freshman girls in the girls’ locker room.
Following the school’s failure to sufficiently address the incident, disregard for parents’ concerns, and their stonewalling of an open records request, WILL worked alongside parents of the school district to seek an investigation and remedies from the Department of Education under the Biden Administration. The federal government notified WILL that in response to our complaint they are opening an investigation of SPASD.
The Quotes: Cory Brewer, WILL Associate Counsel, stated, “Parents and students should be able to feel confident that their school is complying with federal laws like Title IX, but right now in Sun Prairie parents do not have that confidence. We applaud the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights for investigating the allegations made in our complaint, but we all need to wait and see if they take this as seriously as they should. We hope this results in answers for parents and families at the Sun Prairie Area School District, but we won’t know until we see the results of the investigation.”
Dan Lennington, WILL Deputy Counsel, added, “By no means is what happened in Wisconsin an isolated incident. When schools fail to act in accordance with the law and either ignore or disregard their own policies, parents have a right to fight back. Now it’s imperative that the Biden Administration conducts a thorough investigation and provides transparency and peace of mind to Sun Prairie parents.”
Additional Background: Back in April of 2023, WILL heard concerns from parents and in turn demandedanswers from the Sun Prairie Area School District. WILL also submitted an open records request asking for applicable district policies and correspondence related to the incident which occurred on March 3, 2023. To date, the only response WILL has received included a request by SPASD for approximately $11,000 in pre-payment before fully responding to our open records request.
WILL then filed a complaint with OCR in June of 2023. WILL claimed in our complaint that SPASD discriminated against four freshman girls on the basis of sex. SPASD locker room use policies fail to protect students because they lack clarification about how, when, and where males and females can use locker rooms in the district. Beyond this, the district failed to comply with requirements under Title IX when it learned the incident happened. OCR will now investigate our allegation that the response by the District was completely inadequate.
Read More Here:
- OCR Opening Investigation, November 2023