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Educational Opportunities : Civil Rights Division
Educational Opportunities Section

Fifty years ago, in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that the intentional segregation of students on the basis of race in public schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Subsequent federal legislation and court decisions also mandate that school officials not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, national origin, language barrier, religion, or disabilities. The Educational Opportunities Section enforces these statutes and court decisions in a diverse array of cases involving elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

Specifically, the Section can directly enforce Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA), and Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Upon referral from other government agencies, the Section also can enforce other statutes such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Section may intervene in private suits alleging violations of education-related anti-discrimination statutes and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Section also represents the Department of Education in lawsuits.

Educational Opportunities Section News
Friday, February 28, 2014
The Justice Department announced that they have entered into a comprehensive settlement agreement with the Stamford Public School District.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The Justice Department has entered into a settlement agreement with the Ganado Unified School District in Ganado, Ariz., to ensure that its English Language Learner students have equal opportunities to participate in its educational programs.
Friday, September 27, 2013
The guidance from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education is the first time the Departments have provided policy clarification on the use of race in higher education since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June.

More News and Speeches

Featured Initiatives
Departments of Justice and Education Issue School Discipline Guidance to Promote Safe and Inclusive Schools
The Departments of Justice and Education release joint civil rights guidance to schools on how to meet their obligations under federal civil rights law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
Review the Department of Justice's and Department of Education's jointly-issued guidance.
Dear Colleague Letter on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in Public Schools
The Civil Rights Division is committed to working to end bullying, harassment, and discrimination in schools against all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) students. We enforce federal laws that protect all students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, sex, national origin, disability, or religion.
On January 14, 2010, in the Northern District of New York, the Section moved to intervene in J.L. v. Mohawk Central School District.
A federal court has ordered the Walthall County, Miss., School District to eliminate policies that have resulted in significant racial segregation among students in the school district, the Justice Department today announced.
General Information Educational Opportunities Section
Anurima Bhargava
How to file a complaint.
Opportunities Section
(202) 514-4092
1-877-292-3804 (toll-free)
(202) 514-8337 (Fax)
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