District 65 faces lawsuit from teacher based on antiracist curriculum


Daily file photo by Patrick Svitek

The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Education Center, located at 1500 McDaniel Ave. On Tuesday, the district was named a defendant in a lawsuit filed by one of its teachers.

Jacob Fulton, Summer Editor

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 is facing a lawsuit due to its antiracist programming, which a teacher in the district said violates her constitutional rights. 

The lawsuit was filed in federal court Tuesday on behalf of drama teacher Stacy Deemar by the Southeastern Legal Foundation. Deemar, who has worked for the district for nearly two decades, alleged that the district has treated both students and employees differently based on race. 

Deemar cites the district’s implementation of antiracist training for teachers, beginning in 2017, as well as the inclusion of similar values in district-wide curriculum, as examples of division and race-based harm found throughout the district. 

According to the lawsuit, Deemar has previously filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights about District 65’s hiring practices and creation of affinity spaces, among other complaints. 

Deemar’s lawsuit isn’t the first time the district’s antiracist curriculum and practices have come under fire. 

For months ahead of the district’s reopening this March, Superintendent Devon Horton, who is listed as a defendant in the Tuesday case, and other school board members received harassing messages after announcing plans for online learning priority groups. 

District 65 Director of Communications Melissa Messinger told The Daily in a statement that the district has not yet been served with the lawsuit or evaluated its claims. As a result, she said District 65 declined to comment on the lawsuit’s content. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacobnfulton

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