America’s public schools have a legal responsibility to protect every student’s right to learn in an environment free from unlawful discrimination. Institutions, programs, or activities that receive funds from the Department of Education are required by law to operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. This includes most everything a school does: admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, student services, counseling and guidance, discipline, classroom assignments, grading, and so on.
When schools fail to meet their responsibilities under federal civil rights laws, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is tasked with remedying such failures. Often, the process of remedying civil rights violations begins with filing a complaint with OCR.
In order to demystify this process, we’ve created a PDF guide to walk you through this process.