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“Hearkening toward Jim Crow”: Fired DougCo superintendent alleges discrimination in complaint against school district, board members

Corey Wise, former Douglas County School District superintendent fired amid a controversial school board saga earlier this year, filed a state and federal discrimination complaint against the school district and four of its board members alleging Wise was unlawfully fired because he advocated for students with disabilities and students of color.

Attorneys for Wise filed the complaints with the Colorado Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Wednesday night.

“This needs to be thought of as a civil rights issue, and I don’t think there’s been enough attention to what is really the implications when we deprive students and staff of some of the voices that advocate for them,” said Iris Halpern, one of the attorney representing Wise.

Neither the school district nor the members named in the filing immediately responded to a request for comment.

The complaint is against the district and four recently-elected members of the school board’s conservative majority: Becky Myers, Mike Peterson, Christy Williams and Kaylee Winegar.

The Douglas County School Board — a seven-member board with four recently-elected conservative members who form a board majority — fired Wise because he supported students and staff wearing masks in schools to protect themselves and their families against COVID-19 and because of his role in developing and implementing the district’s equity policy, according to the filing.

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