Civil Rights

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Federal In Reversal, Feds Seek to Revive DeVos-Era Questions About Sexual Misconduct by Educators
The Education Department's decision follows backlash from former education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other conservatives.
Andrew Ujifusa, December 14, 2021
4 min read
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Law & Courts Supreme Court Weighs a Type of Damages Schools Can Face in Civil Rights Lawsuits
The issue involves compensation for "emotional distress," and the case holds implications for suits brought under Title IX and other laws.
Mark Walsh, November 30, 2021
6 min read
Hands of people point to a boy insinuating bullying.
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School Climate & Safety Violence, Hate Crimes in Schools Surged in Pre-COVID Period, Federal Watchdog Finds
Data from several years preceding the pandemic sketched a troubling trajectory, the Government Accountability Office found.
Andrew Ujifusa, November 29, 2021
7 min read
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Federal Schools Could Count Nonbinary Students Under Biden Proposal
The Civil Rights Data Collection for this school year could also revive questions about inexperienced teachers and preschool discipline.
Andrew Ujifusa, November 18, 2021
6 min read
Catherine Lhamon, nominee to be assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education, testifies during a Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
Catherine Lhamon, then-nominee to be assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, testifies during a Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing in July.
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Federal Senate Confirms Catherine Lhamon to Civil Rights Post; Kamala Harris Casts Decisive Vote
Joe Biden's controversial pick to lead the Education Department's office for civil rights held that job in the Obama administration.
Andrew Ujifusa, October 20, 2021
2 min read
A staff member holds the door open for kids on the first day of school at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
A staff member holds the door open at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas in 2020. This year, Texas has prohibited school districts from requiring all students to wear masks.
Mikala Compton/Herald-Zeitung via AP
Federal Feds to Probe Whether Texas Ban on School Mask Mandates Violates Disability Rights Laws
The Education Department has already opened investigations in six other states that ban universal school mask requirements.
Evie Blad, September 21, 2021
2 min read
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
Andrew Ujifusa, September 10, 2021
3 min read
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles on April 13, 2021.
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles in April 2021.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Federal Education Department Opens Civil Rights Probes in 5 States That Ban School Mask Mandates
The move on behalf of students with disabilities deepens the fight over masks between the Biden administration and GOP governors.
Evie Blad, August 30, 2021
4 min read
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Federal Citing Pandemic, Ed. Dept. Will Collect School Civil Rights Data for Two Consecutive Years
The unprecedented step of collecting the trove of data two years in a row reflects equity concerns stemming from COVID-19's impact.
Evie Blad, August 13, 2021
3 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the education secretary at the U.S. Department of Education.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Senators Grill Civil Rights Nominee on Transgender Students, Sexual Assault Investigations
If confirmed as assistant secretary for civil rights, Catherine Lhamon will handle some of the Education Department's most sensitive issues.
Evie Blad, July 13, 2021
6 min read
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Education Funding Education Department Issues Directive on Shielding Students in Poverty From Funding Cuts
The agency released the "maintenance of equity" guidance on COVID-19 relief as part of a public-relations blitz on equity amid the pandemic.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 9, 2021
5 min read
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Federal What's at Stake in a Review of Federal Sex Discrimination Protections for Students
The Biden administration's review of Title IX may prompt new guidance on how schools deal with sexual harassment and protect LGBTQ students.
Evie Blad, June 4, 2021
10 min read
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Equity & Diversity Group Seeks Federal Probes Into Schools That Pledge to Address Systemic Racism
Parents Defending Education, a group critical of anti-racism and "woke" education, says such district efforts may violate federal law.
Andrew Ujifusa, May 17, 2021
8 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Biden Pick for Education Civil Rights Office Has History With Racial Equity, LGBTQ Issues
Biden selected Catherine Lhamon to lead the Education Department's civil rights work, a role she also held in the Obama administration.
Evie Blad, May 13, 2021
2 min read