2021 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 118 - General school operations.
118.13 - Pupil discrimination prohibited.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 118.13 (2021)

118.13 Pupil discrimination prohibited.

(1) Except as provided in s. 120.13 (37m), no person may be denied admission to any public school or be denied participation in, be denied the benefits of or be discriminated against in any curricular, extracurricular, pupil services, recreational or other program or activity because of the person's sex, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability.


(a) Each school board shall develop written policies and procedures to implement this section and submit them to the state superintendent as a part of its 1986 annual report under s. 120.18. The policies and procedures shall provide for receiving and investigating complaints by residents of the school district regarding possible violations of this section, for making determinations as to whether this section has been violated and for ensuring compliance with this section.

(b) Any person who receives a negative determination under par. (a) may appeal the determination to the state superintendent.


(a) The state superintendent shall:

1. Decide appeals made to him or her under sub. (2) (b). Decisions of the state superintendent under this subdivision are subject to judicial review under ch. 227.

2. Promulgate rules necessary to implement and administer this section.

3. Include in the department's biennial report under s. 15.04 (1) (d) information on the status of school district compliance with this section and school district progress toward providing reasonable equality of educational opportunity for all pupils in this state.

(b) The state superintendent may:

1. Periodically review school district programs, activities and services to determine whether the school boards are complying with this section.

2. Assist school boards to comply with this section by providing information and technical assistance upon request.

(4) Any public school official, employee or teacher who intentionally engages in conduct which discriminates against a person or causes a person to be denied rights, benefits or privileges, in violation of sub. (1), may be required to forfeit not more than $1,000.

History: 1985 a. 29; 1987 a. 332; 1991 a. 131; 1995 a. 27 s. 9145 (1); 1997 a. 27; 2005 a. 346; 2007 a. 97.

When a school board pursued purposefully segregative practices with current, systemwide impact, systemwide remedy was appropriate. Columbus Board of Education v. Penick, 443 U.S. 449 (1979).

For a school system that was a dual system when Brown I was decided in 1954, the measure of the school board's post-Brown I conduct under its unsatisfied duty to liquidate the dual system was the effectiveness, not the purpose, of its actions to desegregate the system. Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, 443 U.S. 526 (1979).

It is impermissible for a school district to rely upon an individual student's race in assigning that student to a particular school so that the racial balance at the school falls within a predetermined range based on the racial composition of the school district as a whole. Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 551 U.S. 701, 127 S. Ct. 2738, 168 L. Ed. 2d 508 (2007).

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