ACLU of Wisconsin pleased that Sheboygan Falls lifted suspension on basketball players

January 23, 2014

On Friday, January 17, 2014, Sheboygan Falls School District officials lifted a suspension that had been imposed on two basketball players, the Sheboygan Falls News reported.
Jordan and Juwaun Jackson, who attend Sheboygan Falls High School, were suspended from a basketball game because officials believed they displayed gang signs in a photo published in a local newspaper.
Parents allegedly complained about the photo to school officials, who then contacted the Sheboygan Falls Police Department.
Earlier on the Friday, ACLU of Wisconsin executive director Chris Ahmuty sent a letter to Jean Born, the school district administrator, asking her to reinstate the brothers, who are African American.
The letter also requested records about the school’s equal education and nondiscrimination policies, in order to investigate the school’s efforts to comply with existing state law and new federal guidelines, which discuss “exclusionary discipline practices which disproportionately impact students of color.”
Friday Ahmuty issued this statement in response to the reversal of the suspension:
“The ACLU of Wisconsin is pleased that the Sheboygan Falls School District has lifted the one-game suspension of two basketball players for allegedly displaying gang signs.
“We believe the suspension was unwarranted based on the facts and the law protecting public school students from violations of their rights.
“While details of the appeals hearing and dismissal are not known, the ACLU of Wisconsin believes that the district’s reversal was the only reasonable outcome.
“We hope that the Sheboygan Falls School District, its teachers, students and parents can learn from this incident not to jump to unwarranted and possibly biased conclusions.
“The ACLU of Wisconsin’s investigation of the district’s policies and practices regarding student rights and nondiscrimination will continue. We will share our findings with the district and community. If necessary we will offer our assistance to improve district policies and practices.”
The ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose more than 6,000 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.