Office for Civil Rights

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Office for Civil Rights
Agency overview
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Agency executive Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
Parent department U.S. Department of Education
Website http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Education that is primarily focused on protecting civil rights in Federally assisted education programs and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, age, or membership in patriotic youth organizations.

Mission[edit]

OCR is one of the largest federal civil rights agencies in the United States, with a staff of approximately 650 attorneys, investigators, and staff. The agency is located in twelve regional offices and in Washington, D.C., headquarters. The Office for Civil Rights is responsible for ensuring compliance by recipients of federal education funds with several federal civil rights laws, including:

In the case of school bullying school districts may violate these civil rights statutes and the Department of Educations’s implementing regulations when peer harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability is sufficiently serious that it creates a hostile environment and such harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by school employees. Under these federal civil rights laws and regulations, students are protected from harassment by school employees, other students, and third parties.[1]

Leadership[edit]

The United States Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights is the head of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education. The Assistant Secretary is also the primary civil rights advisor to the United States Secretary of Education.

Currently, the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights is Catherine Lhamon (August, 2013-present). Former Assistant Secretaries were Cynthia G. Brown (1980), Clarence Thomas (1981–1982), Harry M. Singleton (1982–1985), LeGree S. Daniels (1987–1989), Michael L. Williams (1990–1993), Norma V. Cantu (1993–2001), Gerald A. Reynolds (2002–2003), Stephanie J. Monroe (2005–2008), and Russlynn Ali (2009-2012).[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (October 26, 2010). "Letter to a Colleague" (PDF). Letter to a Colleague. United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Retrieved November 9, 2011. "The statutes that [The Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education] enforces include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504); and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II). Section 504 and Title II prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. School districts may violate these civil rights statutes and the Department’s implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. parts 100, 104, and 106, when peer harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability is sufficiently serious that it creates a hostile environment and such harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by school employees." 

External links[edit]