Antoine v. Winner School District
What's at Stake
Filed in 2006, the ACLU’s Antoine v. Winner School District class action lawsuit alleged discrimination against Native American students in the mostly-white Winner, South Dakota school district. The lawsuit was settled in December of 2007, and the ACLU works directly with the community and the defendant school district to implement the resulting Consent Decree.
Representatives from the Winner/Ideal Native American community with their legal team on the steps of the federal court house in Sioux Falls on the night the settlement was reached.
In March of 2006, the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, ACLU of the Dakotas and Attorney General of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe filed a complaint in federal district court on behalf of Native American families with children in South Dakota’s majority-white Winner School District. The class action lawsuit claimed that the schools discriminated against Native American students in disciplining them, were hostile toward Native American families, and took statements from students involved in disciplinary matters that were later used to prosecute them in juvenile and criminal courts.
The Winner/Ideal Native American community and the Winner School District announced on June 18, 2007 that an agreement has been reached to settle the lawsuit. Under the negotiated Consent Decree, which was approved by a federal court in December of 2007, the district was required to enact policies and practices to ensure that the rights of Native American students are not violated and to enrich the educational experience of all students. The settlement was a major victory for the Winner/Ideal Native American community, and for the community at large.
Over the course of 2013, members of the Winner/Ideal Native American community, the ACLU, and the defendant Winner School District negotiated a new settlement agreement and proposed an Amended Consent Decree to recognize the important improvements that had been made as a result of the original Consent Decree, and to update the goals of the settlement. The ACLU continues to work with school officials, educational experts and the Native American community to achieve these goals.