Families dismiss lawsuit against Whitewater schools

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Kayla Bunge
October 8, 2009
— The families of three black students have dismissed their federal lawsuit against the Whitewater School District.

The Minett families had claimed school officials were “deliberately indifferent” to a racist threat found scrawled on a bathroom stall at the high school last spring. They had alleged the school district failed to take adequate safety measures after the incident, according to the lawsuit.

Their lawsuit sought unspecified damages and changes to school policies.

Attorney Mark Sostarich, who represents the Minett families, said the families sought dismissal of the lawsuit because two of the three children no longer attend school in Whitewater.

Toby and Omolola Minett, the parents of two of the children, told the Gazette last month they moved out of the area and their children no longer attend Whitewater High School. The family now lives with relatives in Chicago, they said.

Toussiant Minett, the father of the third child, told the Gazette last month his son still is at Whitewater High School and playing football with hopes of getting a football scholarship.

At the time, he told the Gazette he wanted to keep pursuing damages.

Sostarich said they plan to reassess the situation at the high school after the football season. He said the families dismissed the lawsuit “without prejudice,” which means they could file again if they choose.

The school district “was prepared to mount a vigorous defense to the lawsuit,” according to the release.

Superintendent Suzanne Zentner said the district is “very pleased” with the outcome of the lawsuit and now can move on with other business, including its ongoing investigation into the incident and promoting diversity and acceptance.

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