U.S. Department Of Education Received Substantial Uptick In Racial Harassment Claims
Here’s a shocker. The U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights division received significantly more complaints regarding racial harassment in schools in 2017, according to data the department provided for a Huffington Post report.
According to the report, the increase is the largest jump in its category since 2009, with the division never receiving more than 600 complaints until the 2017 fiscal year, when the number climbed to 675, which represents a nearly 25% increase from the previous year. Prior to that year the number had ranged between 362 and 577 reports.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is charged with addressing complaints under Title VI, the federal law that protects students from discrimination based on race, color and national origin.
Catherine Lhamon, who ran OCR during the Obama administration, said she could not speculate on the reasons for this increase, but pointed to outside data showing a surge in hate crimes nationally.
“Our schools are places that encapsulate and reflect the national climate as well,” said Lhamon, who is now chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. “It is distressingly unsurprising that there might be an uptick in racial harassment complaints coming to OCR.”
Zoe Savitsky, deputy legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, pointed to the numbers as evidence that the Trump administration is creating a toxic national environment that is in turn affecting schools. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center started surveying teachers about how the election had influenced their school’s climate. Many teachers reported seeing an increase in hateful language and attitudes toward marginalized student groups.
“I am saddened but not surprised,” said Savitsky of the rise in racial harassment complaints in schools.
Damned shame. All that progress made just to have Trump’s ‘Murica drag us back to the dark ages. For the parents in the comments section, have your kids had more complaints and issues since Trump’s election?
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