About Our Work

At the ACLU of Wisconsin, we care deeply about the well-being of students throughout Wisconsin and want to ensure that their rights are protected. For that reason, ACLU of Wisconsin Equal Justice Work Fellow, attorney Elisabeth Lambert, has been working hard to ensure that students are not discriminated against in Wisconsin schools. 

Elisabeth Lambert

If you are experiencing discrimination at your school, you should contact the school district to determine the complaint procedure. 

Watch this video by Elisabeth as she shares information about what discrimination is and how you can file a complaint if your student is a victim of discrimination in a Wisconsin school.

If you have any questions about our work, email Elisabeth Lambert at elambert@aclu-wi.org

We've done a lot of work recently in this area. Here are some of the most recent things we've done: 

DPI Finds Cedarburg School District Racism Investigation Deficient, Orders Corrective Action To Be Taken

ACLU Of Wisconsin To Wisconsin School Districts: You Are Legally Obligated to Teach Students About Race

Update: iForward Allows Gay-Straight Alliance Club, Agrees to Other Requests Following Administrative Action By ACLU of Wisconsin

ACLU of Wisconsin Administrative Complaint Alleges Pervasive Discrimination At Chippewa Falls School District

DPI Rules That Burlington School District Has Not Addressed Racism, Calls on District to Take Further Action

DPI Rules That Burlington School District Has Not Addressed Racism, Calls on District to Take Further Action 

Critical Race Theory

A nationwide attempt to censor discussions of race in the classroom is underway called critical race theory, an academic concept and practice that recognizes systemic racism is deeply ingrained in American society and examines how our systems promote inequality. Here's some work

Blog: State Lawmakers Are Trying to Ban Talk About Race in Schools (ACLU National)

Podcast: Kimberle Crenshaw on Teaching The Truth About Race in America (ACLU National)

Press Release: ACLU of Wisconsin Opposes Bills That Threaten Teaching of Meaningful Racial History Education to Wisconsin Students (ACLU of Wisconsin)

Other issues:

Juvenile justice: Youth are still developing, so as a result, society treats children and adults very differently in several contexts, such as driving and serving in the military. Yes, in the criminal justice system, we treat youth as adults. 

Spyware in Schools: We have been receiving assistance regarding the computer spyware being used in various schools. We agree that this could be a serious problem, especially if the spyware can access non-school-related materials and/or if it is installed on a computer that people other than the student uses.  

Students and parents can try to organize other students and families to oppose spyware. Here are some examples involving schools and colleges, which may provide ideas you wish to replicate. This includes a recent successful campaign in Montclair, NJ, to halt the use of spyware.

This article also provides some good background on why such apps are a problem: https://www.aclu.org/news/privacy-technology/those-free-remote-learning-apps-have-a-high-cost-your-students-privacy/\

How to Engage

If you want to find more information about how to engage your local school board members on this (or other) topics, you can check out a toolkit on our website here: https://www.aclu-wi.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/aclu_rightsforall_final.pdf