Kimberly, WI

In 2007, AU wrote a letter objecting to the Kimberly Area School District’s sponsorship of a religious modesty fashion show for elementary-school girls. After receiving AU’s letter, the District’s counsel informed AU that the District would revoke approval for the event to take place at a District school, remove all advertising for the event from District schools, and send a note to parents and students disclaiming any association with the event. The District, however, did not revoke $500 in funding for the show that had been awarded by the District’s Positive Youth Development Foundation, which provides grants to support various after-school activities. Though District officials claimed that the Foundation was a private entity that distributed funds raised from private sources, the Foundation operated out of the District’s main administration building, was run by District officials, and used District resources in vetting grant applicants and awarding funds to recipients, including a number of religious organizations that used the monies to support religious events and activities. Explaining that the Foundation and its grants to religious entities were at best in symbiosis with the District, and at worst a District operation through and through, AU sent the District a public-records request in January 2008 in order to investigate the improper arrangement. In May, District officials announced that the Foundation would no longer operate out of the administration building and that the Foundation would revise its bylaws to “comply with the concerns of separation of church and state.”