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United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights Guidance on Issues of Harassment and Bullying

The United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights issued a "Dear Colleague Letter" addressing the issues of harassment and bullying on October 26, 2010.


This guidance:
  • Clarifies the relationship between bullying and discriminatory harassment under the civil rights laws enforced by the Department of Education’s (ED) Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

  • Explains how student misconduct that falls under an anti-bullying policy also may trigger responsibilities under one or more of the anti-discrimination statutes enforced by OCR.

  • Reminds schools that failure to recognize discriminatory harassment when addressing student misconduct may lead to inadequate or inappropriate responses that fail to remedy violations of students’ civil rights. Colleges and universities have the same obligations under the anti- discrimination statutes as elementary and secondary schools.

  • Discusses racial and national origin harassment, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and disability harassment and illustrates how a school should respond in each case.

 

The following links provide additional information about this recent guidance:


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