University School of Milwaukee
University School of Milwaukee

Michelle Obama's brother and his wife sue a private school in Milwaukee; they say the school displayed racial bias toward their children

April 20, 2022
Craig Robinson and his wife, Kelly, say their two sons were kicked out of the school last year after the parents raised concerns about bias in the curriculum and mistreatment of students of color.

The brother-in-law of former President Barack Obama contends in a lawsuit that a private school in Milwaukee expelled his children after he and his wife raised concerns about racial and socioeconomic bias at the school.

Craig Robinson, brother of Michelle Obama, and his wife, Kelly, have filed the suit against the University School of Milwaukee (USM), a private pre-K through 12th grade school, reports Good Morning America.

The Robinsons allege that their two sons were kicked out of the school last year after the parents raised concerns about bias in the curriculum and mistreatment of students of color. The school expelled the Robinsons' older child in April 2021 and their younger son in June 2021.

The school's reasoning, according to a letter it sent the couple, was because the Robinsons had "not fulfilled the foregoing commitments as a partner to USM and its Middle School teachers and administrators."

But Craig and Kelly Robinson assert in the lawsuit the expulsions were because of prior conversations they had with school administrators about racial and ethnic stereotypes in virtual classroom assignments.  The couple said they addressed their concerns with the school about providing a supportive, inclusive learning environment that was promised upon enrollment. 

During the 2020-2021 school year, the Robinsons raised concerns about USM's treatment of its students of color and underrepresented students. According to the lawsuit, "the Robinsons communicated directly with USM faculty and staff about the inclusion of language in various worksheets and projects that was offensive to persons of color, persons with disabilities, indigenous Americans and other underrepresented students."

Kelly Robinson also submitted two separate bias incident reports in January and March 2021 that outlined her and her husband's concerns about classwork that contained socioeconomic insensitivities, the couple says in the suit.

The Robinsons contend that the school took no action to respond to the reports and instead expelled the students.

Video from Good Morning America:

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