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Pupil Nondiscrimination Program


The pupil nondiscrimination program provides technical assistance to local school districts, parents and school district residents on matters relating to nondiscrimination and equality of educational opportunity under state law and related federal laws, and the pupil discrimination complaint and appeal process under state law and rules. (Section 118.13, Wis. Stats. and PI 9, Wis. Admin. Code). The pupil nondiscrimination program also assists the State Superintendent resolve appeals of local school district decisions on pupil discrimination complaints.

Wisconsin's Pupil Nondiscrimination Laws

Under s. 118.13, except as provided in s. 120.13 (37m), no pupil may be excluded from a public school, or from any school activities or programs, or be denied any benefits or treated in a different manner because of:

  • sex
  • race
  • religion
  • national origin (including a student whose primary language is not English)
  • ancestry
  • creed
  • pregnancy
  • parental status
  • marital status
  • sexual orientation
  • physical disability
  • mental disability
  • emotional disability
  • learning disability


Each school district is required to designate an employee of the school district to receive complaints regarding discrimination under Wisconsin's pupil nondiscrimination law.

The law requires each school district to submit an annual compliance report to the Department of Public Instruction and periodically conduct a self-evaluation of the status of pupil nondiscrimination and equality of educational opportunity.

Wisconsin pupil nondiscrimination law requires additional district action.

Race-Based Nicknames, Logos, Mascots, and Team Names

2013 Wisconsin Act 115 made significant changes to the process for filing and resolving complaints regarding race-based, nicknames, team names, mascots, and logos. Questions about these changes may be directed to the department’s Pupil Nondiscrimination Program at 608-267-9157.

Related Federal Laws

Research and Reports