School Discrimination & School Bullying

Locations in Chicago & DuPage County

Discrimination in Education

Various federal laws prohibit discrimination in the realm of education on the basis of race, gender, age, national origin, and other protected categories. Federal laws that ban education discrimination include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and various other statutes. While these federal laws apply only to schools that accept federal funding, this includes the vast majority of K-12 and higher education institutions.

There are a number of federal laws which specifically prohibit discrimination in the provision of educational opportunities and services. A person or group may be discriminated based upon their age, race, color, national origin, disability, or sex. The following is an overview of some of the laws which seek to eradicate this form of discrimination.

Enforcement Responsibilities

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education enforces all of the federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the bases of age, race, color, national origin, disability and sex. The self-stated mission of the OCR is "ensuring equal access to education and promoting educational excellence throughout the nation."

OCR receives complaints directly from students, parents, and faculty. In addition, OCR performs compliance reviews to assure that all students receive fair treatment. For example, OCR may conduct a compliance review by tracking the demographics of students in special education courses in order to determine whether an inappropriate number of ESL students are on the attendance rolls for those courses.  To help dissuade future acts of discrimination, OCR also sponsors or holds a wide variety of workshops, refresher courses, and other educational seminars on education discrimination.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This portion of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in educational institutions that receive federal financial grants or assistance.  Complaints received by OCR may involve ability grouping, disciplinary practices invoked by schools, the prevalence or acceptance of inter-district student transfers, school desegregation, housing concerns, and racial harassment, among many others.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

This federal law prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal financial grants or assistance. Violations of this law may include the treatment of pregnant students, equal opportunity to participate in athletic programs, and sexual harassment, among others.  Title IX appears to have a positive effect on eradicating sex discrimination in education.

If your son & daughter is a victim of school discrimination, then contact Dvorak Law Offices LLC. today!

Bullying & The Law

Bullying has become a national epidemic among school-aged children in America, and should be of concern to most schools today. Because bullying can take many forms -- such as verbal, physical, and even mental acts -- it can sometimes go unnoticed by teachers, parents, and administrators alike. Still, because bullying on school campuses can escalate to serious violence and harm to a student, it is especially important for educators, teachers, and parents to understand what bullying is and how to prevent it.

Every state has passed some sort of law or policy regarding bullying. Montana is the only state that has passed a statewide policy discussing bullying without having enacted a statute specifically prohibiting it. All other states have at least passed a law defining bullying and authorizing school officials or other authorities to take appropriate action to stop it. There is currently no federal law specifically addressing bullying, but other federal laws, such as civil rights and nondiscrimination laws, may require schools to intervene with certain types of bullying.

Although anti-bullying laws vary from state to state, they generally focus on listing the specific behaviors that constitute bullying. These behaviors can include teasing, threats, intimidation, stalking, harassment, physical violence, theft, and public humiliation. States may also identify certain characteristics or traits of students who are often targeted for bullying, as well as provide guidance to school staff regarding how to address bullying issues. When mobile phones or web technology are used to harass or intimidate, it is called "cyberbullying."

Illinois Bullying Law

Illinois, 105 ILCS 5/10-20.14 and 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7
Illinois defines bullying as "any severe or pervasive" act that could cause fear of harm, a detrimental physical or mental health effect, or interference with the victim's academic performance or extracurricular activities.

If your son or daughter is a victim of bullying at school, then please contact the Dvorak Law Offices LLC. today!

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