DOJ investigating D20 Superintendent’s previous district

(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently visited schools in a district in Washington where Jinger Haberer, current Superintendent for Academy School District 20 (D20), was previously employed.

FOX21 first learned of the investigation from a concerned parent in D20, who sent a communication that they say was from the DOJ, regarding an investigation into Ellensburg School District in Kittitas County, Washington where Haberer was previously Superintendent.

According to a statement from the Ellensburg School District Superintendent Troy Tornow, which was sent to FOX21 by D20, the DOJ conducted a site visit from Feb. 6-9 at the district in Washington in connection to an investigation that began last year. The statement said the site visit’s purpose was “to investigate school district systems and procedures as a result of an investigation, which began in the fall of 2023, by the Educational Opportunities Section of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.”

Ellensburg specified that no individual staff members or students were being investigated.

According to the statement, the investigation stemmed from allegations of harassment in the school district, following a series of “incidents” at Ellensburg High School that the district said began two school years prior and resulted in the DOJ requesting “a very large amount of information and data regarding the complaint.”

The district reiterated that no individual staff members or students are being investigated. D20 also addressed that fact, stating “Academy District 20 Superintendent Jinger Haberer has no formal involvement in this matter and respectfully defers to the information provided by the current leadership.”

The Ellensburg School District did not specify the referenced incidents that sparked the investigation.

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