Students Discrimination

News & Analysis as of

When Is A School District “Deliberately Indifferent” To Student Discrimination Claims?

When a student alleges discrimination within the school environment, the school district may be held liable if it was “deliberately indifferent” to the discrimination. Three recent cases involving allegations of sexual...more

Deliberate Indifference to Bullying Can Amount to Massive Liability – Lessons from the Pine Bush Settlement

$4.48 million. That’s how much the Pine Bush School District in central-New York just agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of current and former students who alleged that school administrators were...more

Plaintiff Seeks to Use Anti-Discrimination Law to Stop Fracking

On July 14, a complaint was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court against Governor Brown and the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) Supervisor Steve Bohlen.  The lawsuit claims Governor Brown and...more

Government Group Scrutinizing Policies at Campuses

Racist chants by students at the University of Oklahoma have gained national attention in the press and on the internet. Challenges to policies on reasonable accommodations at colleges, universities and schools have also...more

Court Denies Motion for Proportionality, Suggests Other Methods to Save Time and Money (Nebraska)

United States v. Univ. of Nebraska at Kearney, 2014 WL 4215381 (D. Neb. Aug. 25, 2014). In this housing discrimination case, the plaintiff sought an expanded scope of discovery through a motion to compel. The plaintiff...more

Court Affirms Three-Part Title IX Test Applies to High Schools

In a recent decision, Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a trial court finding that a public school district intentionally discriminated and retaliated against female...more

Transgender Issues Highlight Tensions Between Students' Rights To Liberty And Privacy

In the wake of controversy over school vouchers, fights over appropriate curriculum, and the endless battles to decide whether school funding is adequate, the nation’s public and private schools certainly have their share of...more

Dear Colleague Letter Urges Districts to Abandon “Zero Tolerance” in Student Discipline Policies

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice recently released a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) providing guidance on administering...more

Dear Colleague Letter Firmly Urges Districts to Abandon “Zero Tolerance” in Student Discipline Policies

The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice recently released a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) providing guidance on administering...more

Is the Joint DOJ and OCR Guidance on Discrimination in K-12 Student Discipline a Warning Shot for Colleges and Universities?

We’ve known it was coming for at least a year, and on January 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), in conjunction with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ),...more

What School Leaders Really Should Know About The Department Of Education’s Guidance On Discriminatory Discipline

Last week, the Department of Education issued a guidance package to help schools administer student discipline without discriminating against students on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The issue of...more

Federal Authorities Crack Down on Student Discipline Practices

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Issue Guidance Warning Against Unlawful Discrimination in Student Discipline - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week issued a...more

College Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Complaint

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) announced earlier this week that Logan University in Missouri settled a pregnancy discrimination complaint that the NWLC filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil...more

AB 1266 Expands Rights of Transgender Students - New Law Creates Challenges for California School Districts

This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1266, which adds a single sentence to California Education Code section 221.5 – a section that has long prohibited public schools from limiting participation in...more

The Basics Of Complying With The “Dear Colleague” Letter Issued By The U.S. Department Of Education On April 4, 2011

This is part one of a four-part series discussing compliance with the “Dear Colleague" Letter on Sexual Violence issued by U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on April 4, 2011, as well as subsequently...more

Feds Warn Medical, Dental, and Nursing Schools about Unlawful Discrimination against Students and Applicants with Hepatitis B

Three federal agencies recently publicized a joint agency letter that was sent to schools of medicine, dentistry, and nursing and other health-related schools about what the agencies perceive as potential discrimination...more

Tips And Tricks: Avoiding Discriminatory Discipline Of Groups Of Students

Discriminatory discipline has been a hot topic this year in public schools, and the focus on this topic makes it one that school leaders should not ignore....more

Colorado School Denies Six-Year-Old Transgender Student’s Request To Use Girls’ Bathroom

As The New York Times recently reported, a Colorado school district is facing a lawsuit after refusing to allow a six-year-old transgender student to use the girls’ bathroom in a local elementary school. The case highlights...more

Texas Court Refuses To Prohibit RFID Tags In School

On January 8, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a ruling denying a preliminary injunction in a case involving the use radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags embedded in name badges to...more

Anti-Semitic Bullying Claim Survives Motion To Dismiss

Eastern District Judge Arthur Spatt recently denied Northport-East Northport Union Free School Districts’ motion to dismiss in a case brought by a Northport High School student who had been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and...more

School District’s Actions To Stop Bullying Not Enough To Avoid $1 Million Damages In Student-On-Student Harassment Case

In Zeno v. Pine Plains Central School District, the school district lost its challenge to a $1 million damage award for student-on-student harassment. Former student Anthony Zeno prevailed at trial against his school district...more

Student Awarded $1 Million In Student Harassment Case Against School District

On December 3, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision that the Pine Plains Central School District violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964....more

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