Attached you will find hot-off-the-press guidance from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on Bullying and Harassment.
The “Dear Colleague” letter:
§ 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 Fact Sheet offers highlights of the “Dear Colleague” letter, as well as information on how to get help from OCR.