WILL Demands School District’s Compliance with the Law

Audio recordings show school district is ignoring state law and keeping parents in the dark on Human Growth and Development curriculum

The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) is asking the Wrightstown Community School District (WCSD) to comply with Wisconsin state law regarding Human Growth and Development (HGD) curriculum requirements. The call to action follows the Superintendent stating to a WCSD parent that they are not following the law.

The Quotes: WILL Associate Counsel, Cory Brewer, stated, “Parents should not have to spend an entire school year imploring their local school district to follow the law. Wisconsin statutes require that parents and community members are given a voice in critical discussions regarding certain curricula, and this school district seemingly believes it can simply decide not to comply with state law.”

WILL Associate Counsel, Lauren Greuel, stated, “WCSD themselves admitted that they are not following the law and have been in violation for months. WILL is committed to holding schools accountable to the law and advocating for the rights of parents to know what’s happening in their child’s classroom.”

Additional Background: Wisconsin Statute section 118.019 governs human growth and development instruction. Public school districts are not required to adopt a HGD curriculum, but once they do, certain requirements are triggered. For instance, schools are required to provide parental notice and an opportunity to opt their children out of HGD instruction. State law also specifically mandates that a committee made up of different sectors of the local community discuss what curriculum is appropriate based on community standards. This creates a way for community members to get involved and understand some of the decisions being made on a highly sensitive topic. This goes toward the purpose of the statute being to foster partnership between parents and students. The school district has admitted they are not in compliance with the committee requirement, even after at least one parent made the district aware of it in February of 2022.

Our Letter: Since we have been made aware of the district’s non-compliance, we are asking that the District quickly appoint an advisory committee that meets statutory requirements. We also ask that the District comply with the parental notice requirement so that receive an accurate outline of HGD curriculum, information about how they can inspect the complete curriculum, and notice that they may opt their children out. Without this, parents are unable to make an informed decision about whether or not to exempt their children from HGD instruction.

Finally, we ask that the District provide a substantive response to this letter by the end of October, including a timeline in which the District will comply. WILL asks that compliance be achieved by the end of the fall semester. If the District fails to comply with state law, we are prepared to take legal action.

WILL’s Model School Board Policies: WILL’s Restoring American Education Project (RAE) has specific model policies to help school districts navigate Wisconsin law. COMING SOON is a best practice guide on how to comply with the Wisconsin HGD statute.

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Cory Brewer

Cory Brewer

Education Counsel

Lauren Greuel

Lauren Greuel

Associate Counsel

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