In 2002, a federal lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on behalf of 17 Native American students some as young as six years old who were terrorized when Sioux Falls school officials and police brought a German Shepherd into the Wagner Community School to conduct a drug sweep of all the K-12 classrooms. The school is located near the Yankton Sioux Reservation and all the students were Native Americans. In one classroom the dog escaped from its handler and chased the students around the room. In other rooms, students were told that sudden movements could make the dog attack them. Several began trembling and crying. One of the students had been seriously bitten by dogs on three occasions, and was terrified to go back to school after the dog sweep.
In 2006 ten Native American families filed lawsuits against the Winner School District claiming that the school discriminated against Native American students. The school district denied the claims but agreed to enter settlement discussions. A settlement was reached which included improving education for Native Americans, a separate set of officials to handle disciplinary issues, and the inclusion of more Native American themes in the school curriculum.