Response From the White House and President Obama

January 5, 2016

WH- 20160105-06780308

Dear Dedrick Moone:

Thank you for your letter to President Barack Obama regarding your daughter being bullied. The White House has referred your letter to the U. S. Department of Education’s (Department) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Customer Service Team for reply, and I am pleased to respond.

OCR enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receives Federal financial assistance from the Department; in addition to many public schools, colleges and universities, and some private and parochial schools also are recipients of Federal financial assistance from the Department. These laws are:

· Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, on the bases of race, color, or national origin;

· Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, on the basis of sex;

· Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, on the basis of disability; and the

· Age Discrimination Act of 1975, on the basis of age.

OCR also enforces Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities, whether or not they receive Federal financial assistance.

OCR also enforces the Boy/Girl Scouts of America Equal Access Act, which addresses equal access to school facilities for the Boy Scouts and certain other youth groups.

OCR’s enforcement offices investigate complaints of alleged discrimination filed with the Department. Please keep in mind, however, that complaints must be filed with OCR within 180 calendar days of the alleged discrimination to be considered filed in a timely manner. Determination of subject matter jurisdiction and determination of whether OCR has jurisdiction over the institution alleged to have committed discrimination are initial steps in complaint investigation.

I am forwarding your complaint to OCR’s Philadelphia Enforcement Office (Philadelphia Office) for further review and appropriate handling. The Philadelphia Office is responsible for investigations of educational institutions in Maryland and provides technical assistance.

If you wish, you may contact the Philadelphia Office directly at the following street mail address, e-mail address, or telephone and facsimile numbers.

 

In addition, on October 26, 2010, the Department issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education anti-discrimination laws at: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/guidance-targeting-harassment-outlines-local-and-federal-responsibility .

The civil rights laws represent a national commitment to end discrimination in educational programs. The laws also work toward promoting the Department’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.

I hope this information provided is of assistance to you.

Sincerely,

 

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Customer Service Team

 

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