A Guide for Students and Families - Civil rights and nondiscrimination
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Washington State Public Education:
A Guide for Students and Families

Civil rights and nondiscrimination

All children have a right to an education. Schools cannot discriminate or treat you or your child differently because of you or your child's race, color, national origin (language), religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Each district has a complaint procedure for students and families who feel they have experienced discrimination.

  • If your child is harassed, bullied, or called names, you should tell your school about your concerns. The school should step in to stop the behavior.
  • If you need an interpreter to communicate with teachers or other school staff, the school must provide an interpreter for you free of cost.
  • Federal law protects students with disabilities. If you think that your child may have a disability, you can ask the school to evaluate him or her and, if needed, write a plan to accommodate your child's needs. Your child may qualify for a 504 plan even if he or she doesn't qualify for special education services.

For more information about your rights or to report an unresolved concern, contact OSPI's Equity and Civil Rights at (360) 725-6162.

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How to Make a Complaint of Unlawful Discrimination With Your School District

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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