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Press Release

Settlement Reached with Fulton County Schools to Protect the Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia

ATLANTA - The United States Attorney’s Office entered into a settlement agreement with Fulton County Schools in Georgia to resolve an investigation of the district’s response to an escalating series of student-on-student sexual assaults on a school bus serving students with special needs. The United States conducted its investigation under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974.

“Children with disabilities can be especially vulnerable and deserve to thrive in a learning environment free of violence of any kind, including when traveling to and from school aboard buses,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “We applaud the school district’s willingness to cooperate with our investigation and to amicably resolve this matter to ensure the protection and safety of these children.” 

“A school district’s responsibility is to protect its students, particularly students whose disabilities make them especially vulnerable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division. “As a result of the agreement reached today, Fulton County Schools will work to ensure that all students are safe on their school buses, and that bus drivers and monitors are trained to watch for and prevent sexual harassment and assault. Schools have a responsibility to address barriers to reporting sexual assault and to effectively investigate reports, taking into account the special needs or vulnerabilities of any affected students and their families. The Civil Rights Division will hold schools accountable to this critical obligation.”

The United States’ investigation found that the district lacked adequate procedures and failed to train employees in the proper reporting of and response to student-on-student sexual harassment and assault; failed to appropriately accommodate the special needs of students with disabilities in preventing and responding to sexual assault; and failed to make the reporting and complaint process accessible for parents and guardians with limited English proficiency. This agreement will strengthen the district’s policies and procedures for responding to student-on-student sexual assault and ensure that the district’s response accounts for the unique needs of students with disabilities and Limited English Proficient parents.

As a part of the settlement, the school district, among other actions, agrees to:

•revise its policies for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct;

•provide appropriate district personnel with training on student-on-student sexual misconduct, including the vulnerabilities unique to students with disabilities;

•ensure it provides students with disabilities the accommodations they need to participate in the district’s educational programs, particularly accommodations that support the communication needs of students with disabilities; and

•afford appropriate language assistance services to Limited English Proficient parents and guardians.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia worked in collaboration with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division’s Educational Opportunities Section to investigate this case. Aileen Bell Hughes, Deputy Chief, Public Integrity and Civil Rights Section was the lead attorney for the district in this matter.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated June 24, 2024

Civil Rights
Disability Rights