In 2020, the ACLU of Wisconsin filed a discrimination complaint on behalf of Jessie Mchomvu, whose biracial son was continually targeted with persistent racial jokes and comments at school, even hearing a fellow student express the desire to drive a car over Black Lives Matter protesters.
After hearing our complaint, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) ordered the district to establish a corrective action plan, spelling out the steps it will take to ensure future compliance with the procedures specified in its nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies, as well as the steps it will take to conduct a complete factual investigation of Ms. Mchomvu’s claims.
Instead of adhering to DPI’s directive and conducting a reasonable investigation into whether a racially hostile environment was present in Cedarburg schools, the District challenged the DPI order in court, arguing that the agency's standards were unreasonably high and that further action was unnecessary and excessive.
In May 2022, an Ozaukee County Circuit Court judge largely sided with DPI, affirming that Cedarburg had neglected to take even the most basic measures to find out whether a racially hostile environment existed within its schools. Cedarburg conducted a second investigation, as DPI had originally ordered. Because the District’s second investigation and analysis was also insufficient, Ms. Mchomvu brought this issue to the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education, where her complaint is pending.