This Dear Colleague Letter outlines the obligations of schools to prevent bullying and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. The guidance draws a distinction between bullying and discriminatory harassment, and outlines the obligations of schools to address both forms of student misconduct appropriately. The guidance points to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Schools have responsibilities under these statutes to prevent and address discrimination, sometimes beyond the requirements of their anti-bullying policies. The letter offers several concrete examples in which schools failed to respond to discriminatory student conduct appropriately, and guidance on what should have been done differently.
Office of Civil Rights
English Learners with Special Needs
Civil Rights Legislation
Administration and Leadership