A scholarship aimed at helping students is under fire. The Wisconsin Dells School District says it will no longer accept a local Lions Club scholarship the way it is written.
One of their requirements is that the scholarship can only go to a U.S. citizen.
Lake Mason Lions Club Spokesperson Ralph Jacobsen said this has been a requirement for the past five years. School officials said they did not see it until this year.
They said this year, there was a handwritten note this year saying the group wanted the requirement of being a U.S. citizen underlined. Wisconsin Dells High School Principal Hugh Gaston said that raised red flags and the district felt the scholarship requirements wasn’t fair for all students. That is why they didn’t want to include it in the scholarship packet this year.
“Regardless of if they were born in Baraboo and grew up a block from the school or if they were born in another country and they came here legally or illegally. I still think it’s our mission to serve and connect with all students regardless of their background,” said Principal Hugh Gaston, Wisconsin Dells High School.
Principal Gaston said the school district has been in contact with the district’s legal counsel.
He said this scholarship doesn’t reflect their values and mission of connect, inspire, achieve, everyone, every day. The Lions Club spokesperson said it’s not about exclusion it’s about showing patriotism.
“U.S. Citizenship is something that people work to get and once they get it, they are rewarded with many benefits,” said Ralph Jacobsen, Lake Mason Lions Club.
We spoke to an immigration attorney who says in general if a group is fundraising on their own, they have the right to do whatever they wish with their money.
Both groups said they hope they can work together to bring the scholarship back in the future.