Equity and Discrimination

Issues involving age, disability, race, ethnic origin, gender, and homeless status, including Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, desegregation, McKinney-Vento, and more.

Additional Resources

Beattie v. Line Mountain Sch. Dist.
Pennsylvania district court grants motion for preliminary injunction allowing female student-athlete to participate on boys wrestling team

ED/DOJ Resolution Agreement AUSD Re: Sex Discrimination
Without admitting any unlawful conduct, in order to resolve the Complaint, the District agrees to implement this Resolution Agreement (“Agreement”), which includes individual and District-wide measures.

ED/DOJ Letter to AUSD RE: Sex Discrimination Investigation
The District, without admitting any violation of federal law, voluntarily agreed to enter into the attached Resolution Agreement with the United States to resolve the complaints. The Resolution Agreement memorializes the District’s previous decisions to permit the Student to use male-designated facilities at school and on school-sponsored trips and to otherwise treat the Student as a boy in all respects.

NSBA Response to OCR's January 25, 2013 "Dear Colleague Letter" - Disabled Students Participation in Extracurricular Athletics
NSBA letter to OCR expressing its concern and request clarification on several points set forth in the Dear Colleague Letter issued on January 25, 2013 on the participation of students with disabilities in extracurricular sports.

Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression: Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools
Guidelines from a coalition of education and religious organizations, including NSBA, on balancing free speech and religious freedom rights while preventing bullying in public schools

Vidovic v. Mentor City Sch. Dist.
summary judgment in favor of school district in peer bullying/harasssment suit.

Doe v. Clenchy, No. 09-201 (Me. Super. Ct Nov. 21, 2012)
Superior Court granted school district's motion for summary judgment on transgender student's claims of discrimination and harassment in education and public accommodations

NSBA Amicus Brief - BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles v. EEOC (U.S. Sup. Ct.) - Merits Brief
Employment—Title VII—Final decisionmaker liability for racial animus of subordinates.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Comfort v. Lynn School Committee (1st Cir.)
Diversity: use of student race as factor in school assignments; supplemental brief; lead amicus Council of the Great City Schools.

NBA Amicus Brief - Comfort v. Lynn School Committee (1st Cir.)
Diversity: Racial Discrimination - Student assignment plan - Equal Protection

NSBA Amicus Brief - Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education (U.S. Sup. Ct.)
Title IX: school district's liability for known student-on-student sexual harassment.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Fuller v. Decatur Public School Board of Education (7th Cir.)
Due process, equal protection: zero tolerance policies - expulsion for fighting at school activitity - racial discrimination.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Grace Tuttle et al. v. The Arlington County Public Schools (4th Cir.)
Equal protection: school district's use of race as factor in assigning students to magnet school programs.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Grutter v. Bollinger, Gratz v. Bollinger (U.S. Sup. Ct.)
Equal protection: affirmative action - use of race as a factor in admissions process for purposes of fostering diversity.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Jackson v. Birmingham Board of Education (U.S. Sup. Ct.)
Title IX: third party private right of action for retaliation

NSBA Amicus Brief - Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC (U.S. Sup. Ct.) - Merits Brief
ADEA: Age as factor in retirement plans—facial discrimination

NSBA Amicus Brief - McFarland, et al. v. Jefferson County Public Schools (6th Cir.)
Diversity: use of student race as factor in school assignments; lead amicus Council of the Great City Schools.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (9th Cir.)
Diversity: use of student race as factor in school assignments; lead amicus Council of the Great City Schools.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 et al. and Crystal Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education et al. (U.S. Sup. Ct.)
Equal protection: constitutionality of voluntary student assignment plans that use race to promote diversity

NSBA Amicus Brief - Piscataway v. Sharon Taxman (U.S. Sup. Ct.) - Merits Brief
Equal protection: affirmative action, employment - use of race as a factor in determining which teacher to retain.

NSBA Amicus Brief - The Good News Club v. Milford Central School District (U.S. Sup. Ct.)
First Amendment: religion, speech - school policy prohibiting student religious clubs meeting in school facilities after hours -viewpoint discrimination.

NSBA Amicus Brief - Gross v. FBL Financial Services (U.S. Sup. Ct.)
Age Discrimination in Employment Act: burden of proof--mixed motive instruction. Filed 3/4/09.

COSA eDocs Store resources on equity and discrimination
A collection of downloadable resources available individually for purchase from the NSBA Council of School Attorneys (COSA) for modest fees.

An Educated Guess: Initial Guidance on Diversity in Public Schools After PICS v. Seattle School District
On the last day of its term, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in two much-awaited school cases that will impact the ways in which public schools use race in student assignments.

2005 listing of school districts under desegregation orders
Response from U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division to a 2005 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, providing a list of school districts, organized by state, that at the time were operating under desegregation cases to which the U.S. government was a party.

Dealing with Legal Matters Surrounding Students’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
This Fall 2004 publication by an NSBA-led coalition of organizations provides practical guidance on schools’ legal responsibilities with respect to issue of students' sexual orientation, including harassment and bullying, curriculum, and other school programs and policies.

Not Black and White: Making Sense of the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Regarding Race Conscious Student Assignment Plans
This publication is intended to help public schools understand how they can continue their efforts to achieve the educational benefits of a diverse student enrollment and avoid the harms of racial isolation in light of the recent Supreme Court decision. It outlines the central points the Court made--highlighting what rulings are now binding and pointing out the questions that remain--warranting careful consideration for schools in adopting or reviewing race conscious student assignment plans and policies.

A question of representation: Diversity and 21st century school boards
This October 2008 issue of NSBA's Leadership Insider discusses demographic change and achievement gaps; minority representation on school boards; the impact of board diversity on student achievement; the Voting Rights Act and vote dilution lawsuits against at-large election systems; the case for at-large elections; and options for school districts. The collection of online resources accompanying this issue is here.

Legal Issues for School Districts Related to the Education of Undocumented Children
This booklet discusses 13 legal questions commonly asked by school board members and school administrators related to undocumented students. Unfortunately, few of the questions have definitive answers. Plyler directly addressed only the narrow question of whether undocumented children are entitled to receive a free public school education. Plyler is the sole U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the rights of undocumented children in public schools. Moreover, lower court cases and state laws rarely address the questions raised in this booklet.

NSBA GC Letter to ED on OCR Bullying Guidelines
NSBA GC Francisco Negron's December 2010 letter to ED GC on OCR bullying guidelines

ED Response to NSBA GC's Letter to ED on OCR Bullying Guidelines
ED's March 2011 letter to NSBA GC Francisco Negron responding to NSBA December 2010 letter to ED on OCR bullying guidelines

Mohat v. Mentor Exempted Village Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ.
Order/opinion granting school district's motion to dismiss suit brought by estate of deceased student and parents

Doe v. Clenchy
Maine Superior Ct holds that school district does not have an affirmative duty under MHRA to allow transgender student access and use of girls' bathroom.

Legal Clips Article on Harassment
Clips article on settlement of Title IX harassment suit

Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Harassment Against Students
Article from June 2001 issue of NSBA Council of School Attorneys (COSA) newsletter Inquiry & Analysis.

Federal district court holds that student stated valid claim for denial of FAPE under IDEA based on peer bullying and harassment

Hotchkiss v. MCS
Complaint in civil rights suit involving strip search of student - Fourth Amendment, equal protection, due process, section 1981

Kowalski v. BCPS 2008
Motion to dismiss suit - granted in part and denied in part. Granted as to student's free speech claim and denied as students due process claim.

KK v. BCPS 2009
Motion for summary judgment. Granted in favor BCPS on student's due process claim

Consent Decree and Order 2011 - requiring WBSB to officially recognize GSA and abide by EAA.

Oliveras v. SLCSD - complaint
Legal complaint filed in NY ND alleging race based bullying

Anoka-Hennepin School District Consent Decree
Consent decree between AHSD and ED/DOJ settling Title IX sexual harassment suit and OCR complaint.

Pungitore v. Barbera, No. 11-6249 (S.D. N.Y. Mar. 30, 2012)
Student failed to state claim under IX against school district for refusal to transfer her to accelerated math program

Long v. Murray County Sch. Dist.
Georgia districty court summary judgment order dismissing section 1983 substantive due process claim based on peer bullying and section 504/ADA disability harassment claim.

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