Michelle Obama’s brother and his wife filed a lawsuit against a Milwaukee school after their children were disenrolled from the academy over their parents’ “disrespectful and demanding” communications.

Craig Robinson, and his wife, Kelly Robinson, who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, enrolled their 9- and 11-year-old sons in a private school in Milwaukee a pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school, in 2016.

In April 2021, the school expelled their older child, and then in June 2021, their younger son was expelled, which eventually led to the couple suing USM on Monday.

The Robinsons accused the University School of Milwaukee of terminating their two children’s re-enrollment contracts for the 2021-2022 school year after the couple complained that teachers treated students of color and socioeconomically underrepresented students unfairly, according to a civil lawsuit filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit stated that the school failed to provide the Robinsons with the supportive and inclusive learning environment promised in their enrollment contracts. The Robinsons claimed Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press that the boys had attended the school from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 for about five years.

The lawsuit asks for unspecified monetary damages as well as a jury trial.

The enrollment decision had nothing to do with their accusations of inequality or discrimination, according to USM. Every year, roughly 1,100 students attend the independent school, which has a campus that runs from Milwaukee to the nearby suburb of River Hills.

In a letter written to the Robinsons, their dismissal was due to the Robinsons’ failure to “fulfill the foregoing promises as a partner to USM and its Middle School instructors and administration.”

USM Head of School Steve Hancock told the couple they had “repeatedly engaged in disrespectful and demanding communications with and about our teachers and administrators.”

In an April email, Hancock wrote this:

“Despite our continued efforts and requests, you continue to directly engage with USM’s fifth-grade teachers and administrators in a manner that is not consistent with the school’s Common Trust and Core Values — including via numerous emails, texts, and conversations that are disrespectful and deflating.”

It “has only become more evident that there has been a complete breakdown in your family’s trust of and respect for USM,” Hancock wrote.

While the Robinsons have spoken up about their experiences at the school, they claim that the problems they’ve witnessed are part of a larger trend that dates back many years.

In addition to the claimed racist slurs used by white students that USM was made aware of during the previous two years, the parents were also concerned about a school activity dubbed “Underground Railroad,” according to the suit.

The “Underground Railroad,” according to the lawsuit, was a simulation in which students of color were told to act as “runaway slaves” while USM faculty acted as “slave catchers.” The program was only ended after multiple students of color, USM parents, Black alumni, and others protested its insensitivity, the couple said.

Kelly Robinson said,

“Just as recently as 10 years ago, the University School of Milwaukee had in their fourth-grade curriculum that students reenacted the underground railroad. And students dressed up as slaves and ran through the school in the dark and the teachers were actually the slave masters who captured these students,”

“Hearing these stories and understanding the pain that other families have gone through are one of the reasons why we wanted to come forward with this story,” She added.

Sources: Wnd, Independent, Nbcnews

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