Calling the lawsuit “baseless and inflammatory,” Evanston/Skokie School District 65 has asked a federal court to throw out a reverse discrimination lawsuit filed by a white teacher.

Earlier this year, drama teacher Stacy Deemar sued the district, claiming some programs and curriculum components unconstitutionally discriminate by race.

For example, the lawsuit alleges that District 65 “anti-racist training” pushed the concept that “white identity is inherently racist.”

It also claims that the district’s programs and policies teach students to “hate each other” based on race.

In a statement on the district’s website, Superintendent Devon Horton and the school board members say the lawsuit “takes out of context our District’s curriculum and training to advance the important work of equity in our schools.”

The statement adds that the District 65 leaders believe the lawsuit is part of a “concerted national effort” by the conservative Southeastern Legal Foundation “to target racial equity-based initiatives in K-12 schools.”

The Foundation filed the suit on Deemar’s behalf. The claim asks for $1.00 in damages, but also asks the court to stop District 65’s allegedly discriminatory practices.

However, the superintendent and board members say the practices are both legal and necessary in a diverse district, a demographic reality which “requires us to be bold in adopting lawful, sensitive and responsible policies … to address the challenges of institutional racism and other cultural biases ….”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.