Former Douglas County schools superintendent preparing ‘future litigation’ against board

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Douglas County School bus depot in Castle Rock, October 25, 2021.

Former Douglas County School District superintendent Corey Wise could sue the school district over his controversial termination.

Wise’s attorneys have formally requested records under Colorado open records law in a letter sent to the district on Friday. The letter also requests the preservation of evidence from the district’s school board for “future litigation.”

Attorneys are seeking board members’ official and personal communication records about Wise’s performance and termination, the equity policy, racial demographics, COVID-19 masking and other pandemic-related protocols, the teacher’s union and other topics.

Douglas County Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CPR News. 

The school board fired Wise in a contentious Feb. 4 meeting. The week before, Wise was given an ultimatum in a private meeting that may have violated state law: resign or be terminated. 

More than 1,500 teachers called out sick on Feb. 3 ahead of Wise’s firing to protest the school board majority’s anticipated action and other recent decisions, causing schools to close. They rallied in front of the district’s offices in Castle Rock and were joined by parents, students and other supporters. 

Days later, hundreds of students walked out of classes across the district to also speak out against the board.

The conservative majority of the school board elected last fall made swift moves on highly politicized issues in the weeks leading up to Wise’s removal. They ended the mask mandate and began working to change the district’s equity policy, which many principals urged the board to keep in place.

Wise, who worked for Douglas County schools in various roles for more than 25 years and became superintendent last year, is being represented by law firms Allen Vellone Wolf Helfrich & Factor and Rathod Mohamedbhai.