DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Former Douglas County School District Superintendent Corey Wise filed a discrimination lawsuit against the school district on Wednesday.
In the civil rights lawsuit, Wise makes several claims against the Douglas County School District.
The 33-page document obtained by the FOX31 Problem Solvers shows specific allegations made by Wise.
“Mr. Wise does not himself contend that he was discriminated against because of his personal identity or protected characteristics. Rather, through his advocacy on behalf of students and staff whose characteristics are protected by state and federal civil rights laws, the new Board majority associated Mr. Wise with such protected groups, and unlawfully fired him for that association and advocacy.
Mr. Wise’s termination was also an illegal act of retaliation against what the Board majority perceived as Mr. Wise’s opposition to its policy preferences—but which in fact was Mr. Wise’s legally protected opposition to discrimination, which he in good faith believed was required by state and federal civil rights law.”
Here are some of the claims listed in the lawsuit:
- Associational discrimination: Wise has been subjected to unlawful discrimination for his association with youth of color, LGBTQ+ students, and students with certain disabilities that make them particularly susceptible to severe symptoms or fatality from COVID-19.
- Retaliation for engaging in protected activities: Wise engaged in protected opposition by objecting to the Douglas County Health Department’s discriminatory public health order and participating in a lawsuit to advocate for disabled students.
- Anticipatory retaliation: Comments made by individuals with the Douglas County School District indicate that they anticipated that Wise would engage in protected activities in the future and be an obstacle to implementing their racial preferences and prejudices, including frequent comments that they did not feel supported by Wise and that they did not believe he would partner with them in the future as they sought to implement changes to the curriculum and rescind the Educational Equity Policy.
- Discrimination and retaliation based on advocacy: There is direct evidence that Individual Respondents, and thus respondent DCSD, engaged in discrimination and retaliation based on Mr. Wise’s advocacy for youth and staff of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and students with disabilities. Mr. Wise advocated for all children and staff—no matter their circumstances—to have a fair shot at success and an equal opportunity to thrive in school.
The Cherry Creek School District told FOX31 Wednesday that Wise was hired as the interim assistant superintendent for education operations for the Cherry Creek district.
The Douglas County Board of Education called a special meeting in early February to discuss Wise’s job. In a 4-3 vote led by the board’s newly elected conservative majority, the board voted to fire Wise.
FOX31 is still reviewing the documents and will update this story with more specific details of the lawsuit.