The University School of Milwaukee has filed to dismiss the lawsuit filed against them by Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, and his wife, Kelly Robinson, after accusing the school of being racially insensitive and failing to be inclusive; claiming that the Robinson’s “hope to win not in the court of law, but in the court of public opinion–where legal rules, facts, and evidence matter little.”
USM believes the case should be dismissed “for failure to state claim upon which relief can be granted,” according to court documents filed Thursday. The documents say USM “exercised its contractual right to deny the Robinson children reenrollment for the 2021-2022 school year” as they believe it had to be done because it was in the best interest of the school.
“We made the decision to file the motion to dismiss because we’ve analyzed the claims that the Robinson’s have brought and believe that there is no merit to them,” USM attorney Lindsey Davis told WTMJ.
The Robinson’s filed a lawsuit against the school after their children, 11 and 9 years old, were expelled despite being “model” students; asserting that USM used racial stereotypes in their assignments and were insensitive to pupils of color.
“That opened up a window into the classroom, and what we saw was a repeated use of racial and ethnic stereotypes in actual assignments, a disregard for children who weren’t physically in the classroom and an insensitivity to socioeconomic status,” Craig told TMJ4.
Davis made it clear that race played no part in USM’s decision to decline the Robinson’s school reenrollment.
“Its decision was based on a conclusion reached that the Robinson family was not and never would be happy with the education being offered at USM and they made their unhappiness clear through hundreds of pages of emails, text messages to teachers personal cell phone, dozens and dozens of phone calls,” Davis said. “And despite all of USM efforts to address the Robinson’s concerns and repair a relationship; it was clear that was not going to happen and it became a very destructive situation that was not in the best interest of the school.”
Davis said the decision to expel the Robinson’s children was uncommon and “exceedingly rare.”
“In the 10 years that I’ve been representing USM, there’s been only one case in which a family was not invited to return to school based on parent conduct,” Davis said.
The court papers claim the Robinson’s omitted information regarding their own behavior throughout that school year.
“Mrs. Robinson began regularly attending her older son’s virtual classes during the pandemic to observe and critique his teachers,” the legal documents contend.
The documents maintain USM cooperated with the Robinson’s in trying to work through the issues the couple presented to the school.
“USM faculty and administrators spent hours each week working with them to address their concerns and that USM committed significant resources to help the Robinson’s regain a healthy relationship with the school,” the filings argue
According to the papers filed, the case should be dismissed because it is of the belief that “the plaintiff failed to identify any actionable breach of contract.”
“The Enrollment Contract unambiguously allows USM to do precisely what USM did—to ‘deny enrollment or reenrollment or dismiss a student if University School officials determine for any reason that enrollment is not in the best interests of the school,'” the court documents claim.
“And because the Robinson’s admit having entered an enforceable contract with USM they cannot maintain their promissory estoppel cause of action,” the court papers continued.