Has Your School Been Investigated for Civil Rights Violations?
By Lena Groeger and Annie Waldman, June 21, 2018
Cases that found violations or corrective changes
Every year, the U.S. Department of Education investigates thousands of school districts and colleges around the country for civil rights violations ranging from racial discrimination in school discipline to sexual violence. Related: DeVos Has Scuttled More Than 1,200 Civil Rights Probes Inherited from Obama →
For the first time ever, ProPublica is making available the status of all of the civil rights cases that have been resolved during the past three years, as well as pending investigations. See if your school district or college is being investigated for civil rights violations and why.
Check if Your School Has Been Investigated
Resolved cases: U.S. Department of Education, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Open allegations: U.S. Department of Education
The resolved data includes all cases the Office for Civil Rights reported as resolved between Jan. 20, 2015, and May 2, 2018. ProPublica has also added about 220 cases, most of which were resolved in a two-week period in December 2017, that were omitted from the most recent data provided by the Department of Education. Dates for when these cases were opened are not yet available.
The open case data includes open cases as of April 27, 2018. Unlike the resolved data, each entry in the open case data represents an individual allegation that may be associated with a broader probe. Similarly, there may be multiple open cases, even if only one allegation appears on a school’s page. We will be updating the open investigation data as it becomes available. If you notice any errors, or if you know of civil rights cases at a school or district that are not represented in our data, contact [email protected]publica.org.
If an investigation found insufficient evidence of noncompliance, or all claims in a case were dismissed or administratively closed, we considered the case to be resolved with no findings of violations or corrective change. If OCR settled with an entity through a resolution agreement, enforcement, a complaint mediation process, or other OCR involvement, we considered the case to be resolved with findings of violations or corrective change. If one allegation in a case resulted in a finding of noncompliance or corrective change, we marked the entire case as having findings of noncompliance or corrective change.
ProPublica has also standardized comparable resolution and allegation issue descriptions.