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Fired Colorado superintendent files disrimination lawsuit against school district

Corey Wise, former superintendent of the Douglas County School District (DSCD), filed a lawsuit against the school district on April 13th on the basis that the school board fired him for illegal reasons.

Mr. Wise was fired on February 4th following a 4-3 vote by the Douglas County School District Board of Education during a special board meeting.

Mr. Wise, who has worked as a teacher and then as superintendent for 25 years, says he was fired for standing up for students and staff of color, the LGBTQ community and disabled students. In his lawsuit, Mr. Wise says he was discriminated against by the conservative majority of the Douglas County school board for implementing a school mask mandate in 2021 and for enforcing the district’s equity policy.

Mr. Wise claimed that his firing went against the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The complaint does not say how much compensation he is seeking, but does say he suffered emotional distress from the termination.

Because Mr. Wise had two and a half years left on his contract with Douglas County, he was paid one year’s salary as compensation. He has taken a job with the Cherry Creek School District as interim assistant superintendent for educational operations for the next school year, according to district spokeswoman Abbe Smith. 

Mr. Wise was a supporter of the move to a more progressive policy and was a target of rhetoric by the conservative school board candidates during the campaigning season.

The conservative candidates ran on a platform of ending the Education Equity Policy and mandatory masking in the DSCD and were elected in November of 2021. The district’s mandatory mask policy ended on December 7th of 2021. The Educational Equity Policy was replaced with a new resolution.

ARTICLE: SEAN SENN

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE DENVER CHANNEL

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