Will Files Open Meetings Lawsuit Against Appleton Area School District
WILL and Appleton resident John Krueger have followed up on their verified complaint against the Appleton Area School District by filing an open meetings lawsuit in Outagamie Circuit Court. District officials were served with the summons and complaint last Thursday.
In June, WILL filed a verified complaint with the Outagamie District Attorney and Wisconsin’s Attorney General detailing how a committee formed by the school board met repeatedly in secret, without providing notice of its meetings or opening their meetings up to the public. The committee was tasked by the school board with recommending a reading list for the district’s 9th grade communication arts curriculum.
Because neither the District Attorney nor Attorney General filed a lawsuit within 20 days of receiving the verified complaint, Mr. Krueger has the right to bring a lawsuit himself on behalf of the State. “We want to move quickly on this,” said Mr. Krueger, “districts around the state are in the process of adapting curricula to meet new academic standards, and a court ruling would make it clear that Wisconsin’s school districts need to make such meetings open to the public.”
WILL’s work has already had positive effects. “A resident of a nearby school district learned about our complaint and realized her own district was doing something similar,” said Tom Kamenick, associate counsel and open government specialist at WILL. “When she complained, the superintendent consulted with legal counsel and quickly promised that future meetings would conform to the open meetings law.”
The complaint can be read here.