Students have further state and federal civil rights protections, if they are bullied or harassed because the student is a member of a “protected class.”
Q. What federal laws protect my child from being bullied or harassed?
A. The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights enforces several federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Pertinent laws are:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on disability in public entities.
Although parents/guardians should try to resolve complaints using the school’s complaint process, an option is to file a federal civil rights complaint. To file a complaint contact:
Q. What state laws protect my child from being bullied or harassed?
A. Connecticut State Law also prohibits discrimination in schools. C.G.S. Section 10-15c states:
“The public schools shall be open to all children five years of age and over who reach age five on or before the first day of January of any school year, and each such child shall have, and shall be so advised by the appropriate school authorities, an equal opportunity to participate in the activities, programs and courses of study offered in such public schools, at such time as the child becomes eligible to participate in such activities, programs and courses of study, without discrimination on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation; provided boards of education may, by vote at a meeting duly called, admit to any school children under five years of age.”
Schools are also places of public accommodation and therefore bound by state civil rights laws. To file a state civil rights complaint contact:
The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO)
21 Grand Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Telephone: 860-541-3400 or 800-477-5737
Web site: http://www.state.ct.us/chro/
Q. Are there any agencies that can assist me with my complaints?
A. There are several agencies that can help with your concerns.
The Connecticut Women's Education & Legal Fund (CWEALF) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women, girls and their families to achieve equal opportunities in their personal and professional lives. This Web site contains a valuable set of free legal booklets and brochures.
Connecticut Women's Education & Legal Fund (CWEALF)
75 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Web site: http://www.cwealf.org
Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW)
Since 1973, the PCSW has provided valuable research and analysis to the legislature and state leaders regarding such issues as sex discrimination in education, employment and credit, the health and safety of pregnant workers, child day care, women in nontraditional employment, sexual harassment, child support enforcement, equal education, women and healthcare, the economic status of women and welfare policy.
GLSEN-The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
GLSEN is a national organization fighting to end anti-gay bias in K-12 schools.
PFLAG - Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays
Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) is a national nonprofit organization with over 80,000 members and supporters and more than 460 affiliates in the United States.
State of Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate
999 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105-2475
Telephone: 860-566-2106 or 800-994-0939
Web site: http://www.ct.gov/oca