The Education Department Is Fielding A Record Number Of Racism, Sexism Complaints

 In the past year, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) documented its highest number of discrimination complaints in the nation’s schools, according to The New York Times.

From October 2021 to September 2022, the number of discrimination complaints filed to the OCR doubled from the previous year, with nearly 19,000 complaints filed, according to the NYT. A majority of the complaints alleged discrimination on the basis of disability, race or sex, which the OCR credits to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the most divisive civil rights climate in decades” and the reversal of the Trump administration’s rollback of of civil right protections. 

“It reflects the confidence in the Office for Civil Rights as a place to seek redress,” Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary for civil rights, told the NYT. “At the same time, the scope and volume of harm that we’re asking our babies to navigate is astronomical.”

The complaints recorded include an investigation into the Granbury Independent School District in Texas, which removed 130 books from its library shelves, including books with LGBTQ themes including “This Book Is Gay” and “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a complaint to OCR to open an investigation into a secret recording that showed Superintendent Jeremy Glenn ordering district librarians to remove books with LGBTQ themes and characters.

The OCR resolved an investigation in December into Ottumwa Community School District in Iowa, finding that the school district failed to take action to protect a black middle school student who faced “racial harassment,” according to a press release by the OCR. The investigation found in one incident, to mimic George Floyd’s death, a white middle school classmate knelt on a Gatorade bottle when around the student.

Another investigation found that a Jewish student of Kyrene School District #28 in Tempe, Arizona, faced antisemitic harassment for months while the school district failed to take action despite being made aware of the harassment. The investigation found that during the 2018-2019 school year, a student was called names like “stinky Jew” and “filthy Jew” and students saluted her like Nazi soldiers.

The OCR was established in 1980 along with the Department of Education “to investigate alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” according to the National Archives.

The Education Department Is Fielding A Record Number Of Racism, Sexism Complaints The Education Department Is Fielding A Record Number Of Racism, Sexism Complaints Reviewed by Your Destination on January 02, 2023 Rating: 5

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