DENVER – Former Douglas County School District Superintendent Corey Wise spoke publicly to Denver7 Thursday for the first time since he was fired in early February – on the same day his attorneys announced they had filed a civil rights complaint against the district and the four board members who voted to fire him over his termination.
Wise’s attorneys filed the discrimination complaints Wednesday night with the Colorado Civil Rights Division and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, arguing the district and the four board members elected last November – Mike Peterson, Becky Myers, Christy Williams and Kaylee Winegar – fired Wise “because of his association with and advocacy for students with disabilities and students of color, and in retaliation for, and in anticipation of, Mr. Wise engaging in protected activities.”
“You’re flipped upside down,” Wise said of how he felt after he was fired. “You lose sleep. Stress. You have the gamut of grief. Anger, depression – everything.”
The discrimination charge claims Wise’s civil rights were fired because of his advocacy for students with disabilities, LGBTQ students and students of color, as well as his support for the district’s equity policy and mask mandate, which the new board voted to drop almost immediately after taking office. The filing anticipates the district and majority board members “will fabricate pretextual reasons for terminating Mr. Wise” in response to the filings.
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