MILWAUKEE - The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Wisconsin today learned the Kenosha Unified School District issued a memorandum addressing concerns raised by the ACLU regarding the District’s culture of sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The ACLU and ACLU of Wisconsin previously sent a letter to KUSD demanding the district take prompt corrective action regarding serious concerns of pervasive gender discrimination, including sexual harassment, body-shaming, and victim-blaming.
The memorandum includes a call for the elimination of offensive and objectifying awards distributed at an annual cheerleading banquet and a new process for proposed awards. KUSD also indicated it held a mandatory training on discrimination and harassment on March 25.
Emma Roth, an attorney at the ACLU’s women’s rights project, issued the following response:
“We are encouraged by KUSD’s commitment to taking seriously the sexist treatment of its students. We think this is a step in the right direction for a district plagued by sex discrimination and sexual harassment, but still, have questions about its plan to address the underlying culture that led to the incidents the ACLU described in its letter.
“It’s important that KUSD not use a Band-Aid to cover up a systemic problem. We urge the district to hold trainings for all employees on an ongoing basis and address these issues on a holistic level, rather than treat each individual incident in a piecemeal fashion. The ACLU will monitor the implementation of these new policies and trainings moving forward.”