From the U.S. Attorney’s Office: DCSD Reaches Settlement Agreement with Federal Authorities for Harassment Based on Religion and National Origin

The DeKalb County School District Reaches Settlement Agreement with Federal Authorities for Harassment Based on Religion and National Origin

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—November 18, 2014. The Department of Justice and United States Attorney’s Office reached a settlement agreement today with the DeKalb County, Georgia, school district to resolve the department’s inquiry into the district’s ability to prevent and effectively respond to peer-on-peer harassment based on national origin and religion.

The agreement ensures that the more than 100,000 students in DeKalb County school district (DeKalb County) will be protected by clear and comprehensive anti-harassment policies and procedures in compliance with federal civil rights laws. It also ensures that parents and students will have access to essential information, including discipline policies and procedures, in their preferred language.

In May 2013, DeKalb County, the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office reached a settlement agreement that resolved specific allegations of religious and national origin harassment of a Sikh student. At the time of the 2013 agreement, the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office and DeKalb County agreed to continue working collaboratively to resolve the remaining concerns regarding the content and implementation of the school district’s anti-harassment policies and the training of employees and students on such policies. Since then, DeKalb County has worked with the Justice Department and the United States Attorney’s Office to develop a plan for enhancing anti-harassment protections and increasing access to information for all parents and students; today’s agreement is the result of that collaboration.

The agreement requires, among other things, that the DeKalb County school district develop and implement annual age and position appropriate trainings on religious and national origin harassment for all students, staff who interact with students (including administrators, teachers, counselors, and bus drivers), and district-level administrators who interact with students or who are involved in addressing harassment or bullying in the district. The training will include topics related to post-9/11 backlash and harassment that perpetuates negative stereotypes impacting the Sikh, Muslim, Arab-American and South Asian communities.

“We commend the DeKalb County School District’s commitment to ensuring that all students – including Sikhs, Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians – can grow and learn in a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination based on religion or national origin,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta for the Civil Rights Division. “DeKalb County school district has worked hand-in-hand with the department to identify and expand those policies that are successful at protecting kids while modifying those practices that need improvement, and we are confident that the district will continue its work to eliminate harassment in its schools.”

“Every child should be able to attend school without the fear of being taunted and physically assaulted based on his religion or national origin,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates for the Northern District of Georgia. “I am encouraged that DeKalb County School District has demonstrated a commitment to ensure that its schools are free of harassment.”

The enforcement of Title IV is a top priority of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ is available on its website at http://www.justice.gov/crt.

Assistant United States Attorney Aileen Bell Hughes handled this matter on behalf of the United States Attorney’s Office.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

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Source: justice.gov

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7 Responses to From the U.S. Attorney’s Office: DCSD Reaches Settlement Agreement with Federal Authorities for Harassment Based on Religion and National Origin

  1. Kim says:

    According to WSB, DCSD now has a “personal safety plan” in place for the young Sikh at LHS. It may just be me but needing a “personal safety plan” is the problem. Very sad. See: http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/dekalb-schools-reach-settlement-after-harassment/vC3WFK/

  2. Do any other students in DeKalb have such a plan? Why does the WSB report show Lakeside? Is this student now attending LHS? We were under the impression that the events occurred at Peachtree MS. That feeds into Dunwoody HS.

    Also, we can’t understand the covert comments about the LHS principal. Could you all please just state the facts? What exactly is the problem? If you don’t want to post about it, send us an email at dekalbschoolwatch@gmail.com. All personally identifying information will be kept confidential.

    Thanks.

  3. Kim says:

    I must have missed a comment – nothing covert here.

  4. Sorry – the covert comments about the Lakeside HS principal are mostly on another thread. We can’t quite get to the truth of it. We are trying. We hope people will post here or send us emails that will tell us what’s happening in clear language. We want to hear specific examples rather than claims of ‘DeClyne”. We’re listening!!

  5. sawyerbrown68 says:

    The workers feel great sympathy for the individual and his family.

    Mr. Principal cannot do his basic job. Most of the workers have experienced his leadership in some toxic manner and no longer want to work for him. Most of the workers think he might have some issues of the mental or personality disorder kind.

    The workers don’t think he prepared himself for the job. The workers think he is under great stress, duress, and possible mental exhaustion. They think the pursuit of the doctorate together with the duties of the principal brought on this erratic behavior. Examples of these behaviors are many. He tells false stories about himself; he schedules and cancels faculty meeting abruptly; the few faculty meetings are disorganized and without purpose; he is more concerned with letting teachers wear patriotic clothing than he is concerned with the final exam schedule; he does not hire teachers in a timely manner.

    He cuts too many corners. The workers feel that this will harm Lakeside eventually.

    The workers feel great sympathy for the individual and his family BUT the school cannot long endure Mr. Principal.

    From a New York Times article about Bill Cosby (Bill Cosby’s Sudden Fall, Explained Sociologically, Nov. 20, 2014), we see our future: “According to Mr. Adut, this level of attention can make allegations of misconduct much more powerful by turning them into what game theorists call common knowledge. When everyone knows that everyone else knows about the claim (and so on), society can judge people and groups that do not act on that knowledge.

    Under these circumstances, moral scandals can contaminate reputable groups and institutions that are linked to the target, forcing them to distance themselves publicly.”

  6. A bit off topic – but of interest to teachers (also found now on our resources for teachers page) >>

    Check out this new app at iTunes designed for teachers >> iTunes Books: How to Explain Everything

  7. Pingback: Settlement with Dekalb Schools to Address Bullying Based on Religion and National Origin | dekalb school watch two

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