Last month, Michelle Obama's brother Craig and his wife Kelly took legal action against the University School of Milwaukee after their "model, high-achieving" sons were allegedly booted from the institution without merit. The parents claimed their 9-year-old and 11-year-old's dismissal was an act of retaliation against the family after they reported non-inclusive and racial bias embedded in classroom learning materials.
According to recent court documents, USM says Craig and Kelly's case should be dismissed due to "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Per the Robinsons' contractual agreement, the private school argues they had the right to deny the boys' enrollment in 2021, as the administration found it was in the "best interest of the school."
Steve Hancock, head of USM, said in a statement, "As you will recall from the recent media blitz, numerous false claims were made regarding racial and socioeconomic bias at the school. When initially raised, these concerns were taken very seriously, fully investigated, and ultimately found to be without merit."
In its motion to dismiss the Robinsons' lawsuit, USM claims the case was an attempt by the couple to get national attention and blame USM for their "eventual separation from its community."
Craig and Kelly's lawsuit says the school expelled their children after they flagged concerns about USM's failure to provide a "supportive, inclusive" learning space for students of color. However, USM says the couple left out information regarding Kelly's demanding behavior towards teachers grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lindsey Davis, USM's attorney, told WISN, "It was clear to USM at a certain point that it could not have a productive relationship with this family."
Despite the private school's motion to dismiss their case, the Robinsons plan to "vigorously pursue this litigation."
The family's spokesperson told NPR, "The University School of Milwaukee continues to demonstrate that they are unwilling to accept responsibility for their culpability in fostering a culture of racial insensitivity and bias. The Robinsons remain confident in their case."
A hearing on USM's motion to dismiss the lawsuit is scheduled for July.