*****NEW****Click on link below to be directed to the Hodgson Russ Legal Bills Jan- May 2016- THE FLEECING OF THE TAXPAYER.

Monday, September 26, 2016

US Education Department Office of Civil Rights- it's your responsibility to report violations.

Concerned Hamburger received an inquiry about the legal expenses of the Hamburg School District regarding the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights"OCR".   An overview of the Agency is below.  The Hamburg school district was billed a great deal of money by Attorney Andrew Freeman to defend against a parent complaint regarding the violation of a student's civil rights 
Several bloggers have written about their frustrations related to special needs kids not getting their required services because of a lack of resources provided by the school administration.   If any teacher, community member or parent is aware, or perceives,  that a violation has occurred it is your responsibility to file a complaint with the US Education Department Office of Civil Rights.   
The Office of Civil Rights states, "a complaint of discrimination can be filed by anyone who believes that an education institution that receives Federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination, but may complain on behalf of another person or group."    (click on the "complaint of discrimination"  link in purple). 
The legal bills reveal that Ms. Kaney and Attorney Andrew Freedman had experience with OCR, and one would hope that they have sharpened their pencils to ensure all the students needs are met.   At a salary in excess of $125,000 it is expected that Assistant Superintendent Kaney know the laws, and follow them to ensure the needs of all students are met.  
Allowing one child to fall through the cracks in not an option.  
Overview of the Agency (Office of Civil Rights) 
The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.
We serve student populations facing discrimination and the advocates and institutions promoting systemic solutions to civil rights problems.  An important responsibility is resolving complaints of discrimination. Agency-initiated cases, typically called compliance reviews, permit OCR to target resources on compliance problems that appear particularly acute. OCR also provides technical assistance to help institutions achieve voluntary compliance with the civil rights laws that OCR enforces. An important part of OCR's technical assistance are partnerships designed to develop creative approaches to preventing and addressing discrimination.
The Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. These civil rights laws enforced by OCR extend to all state education agencies, elementary and secondary school systems, colleges and universities, vocational schools, proprietary schools, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, libraries, and museums that receive U.S. Department of Education funds. Areas covered may include, but are not limited to: admissions, recruitment, financial aid, academic programs, student treatment and services, counseling and guidance, discipline, classroom assignment, grading, vocational education, recreation, physical education, athletics, housing, and employment. OCR also has responsibilities under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (prohibiting disability discrimination by public entities, whether or not they receive federal financial assistance). In addition, as of January 8, 2002, OCR enforces the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act (Section 9525 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001). Under the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, no public elementary school or State or local education agency that provides an opportunity for one or more outside youth or community groups to meet on school premises or in school facilities before or after school hours shall deny equal access or a fair opportunity to meet to, or discriminate against, any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, or any other youth group listed in Title 36 of the United States Code as a patriotic society.

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