The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance to schools about when bullying can violate federal civil rights law.
Amid a recent spate of incidents of anti-gay bullying, the guidance reminds schools that while federal laws don’t specifically protect students based on religion or sexual orientation, they do protect religious students based on their shared ethnic characteristics and gay, lesbian, and transgender students against sexual or gender-based discrimination.
Education Week’s Christina Samuels reports here on the guidance and has comments from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Russlyn H. Ali, the assistant secretary for civil rights.
The Education Department issued a “Dear Colleague” letter, a fact sheet, and a press release.
A version of this news article first appeared in The School Law Blog.