Equity and Civil Rights
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Equity and Civil Rights

For Districts
Nondiscrimination Policy Statement

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) requires recipients of federal funds to issue notices of nondiscrimination based on the following federal civil rights laws:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975
  • Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act

These regulations contain minor differences relating to the required content of notices of nondiscrimination and the methods used to publish them. A combined nondiscrimination statement that covers these requirements is encouraged and should include two basic parts:

  1. A statement that specifies the basis (protected class) for nondiscrimination.
  2. Name or title, address and telephone number of the employee or employees responsible for coordinating compliance efforts.

Note: If a school district offers a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, there may be additional requirements for an annual notice of nondiscrimination. For more information, visit OSPI’s Career and Technical Education.

The Equity and Civil Rights Office recommends including Washington state protected classes as part of a district’s comprehensive non-discrimination statement.

Notice of Nondiscrimination (Federal Guidance) - U.S. Department of Education

Sample Comprehensive Nondiscrimination Statement

This sample statement combines the protected classes in Washington law (Chapters 28A.640 and 28A.642 RCW) as well as the above federal regulations.

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___________ School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts* and other designated youth groups. The following employee has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:

Title IX Coordinator
Name or Title**:
Telephone Number:

Section 504/ADA Coordinator
Name or Title**:
Telephone Number:

Compliance  Coordinator for State Law
(RCW 28A.640/28A.642
Name or Title**:
Telephone Number:

*Only public schools that receive funds through the Department of Education should include “Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

**OCR recognizes that including a person’s name may result in an overly burdensome requirement to republish the notice if a person leaves the coordinator position. It is acceptable for a school district to identify its coordinator only through a position title.

Recommended Addition to Statement

___________ School District will also take steps to assure that national origin persons who lack English language skills can participate in all education programs, services and activities. For information regarding translation services or transitional bilingual education programs, contact _____________________.

Methods of Notification

Notification may include:

  • Posting information notices.
  • Publishing in local newspapers or school and student-operated newspapers and magazines.
  • Distributing memoranda or other written communications to students and employees.

Continuous notice must be included in bulletins, announcements, publications, catalogs, application forms or other recruitment materials that are made available to all participants, students, applicants or employees. 

How do I determine when to include my nondiscrimination statement on publications?

Your policy statement must be included in almost everything you print in large quantity that you disseminate on an annual or periodic basis to participants, students, applicants or employees. 

Routine letters or daily announcements do not need to include the statement, although a district may choose to do so. The determining factor of whether or not to include the statement is if the publication will be sent to all participants, all students, all applicants or all employees. For example, a student handbook or district calendar should include the statement.

Why are school districts required to include the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups in the nondiscrimination statement?

The Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act was passed in 2002 and applies to school districts that receive funds through the U.S. Department of Education. Under the Boy Scouts Act, schools and districts that provide 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 may not 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. To comply with federal regulations, school districts must inform people of the protections provided under the Boy Scouts Act (34 C.F.R. §108.9). Including the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups in the district’s nondiscrimination statement satisfies this requirement.

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