Equity and Civil Rights
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Equity and Civil Rights

Civil Rights Laws

What are Civil Rights?
Civil rights are personal rights guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution, federal laws enacted by the U.S. Congress and state laws enacted by our state legislature.

What is Discrimination?
Discrimination is the unfair or unequal treatment of a person or a group because they are part of a defined group, known as a protected class.

What is a Protected Class?
A protected class is a group of people who share common characteristics and are protected from discrimination and harassment under federal and state laws. Protected classes defined by Washington State Law include:

  • Sex
  • Race/Color
  • Creed/Religion
  • National origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Disability and the use of a trained dog guide or service animal
  • Honorably discharged veteran or military status

More information about civil rights requirements for Washington public schools is available in OSPI’s guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools.

The following state and federal civil rights laws prohibit discrimination in public schools.

PROTECTED CLASS
(Discrimination prohibited)
FEDERAL LAW WASHINGTON STATE LAW
Age

Age Discrimination Act of 1975
(34 C.F.R. Part 110)

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

Disability

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
(34 C.F.R. Part 104)

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(28 C.F.R. Part 35)
Applies to public entities with 50 or more employees.

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW - Washington Law Against Discrimination*

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

National Origin
National origin also refers to students who have a limited proficiency in English.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(34 C.F.R. Part 100)

Executive Order 13166
Federally operated and federally funded programs and activities must be made meaningfully accessible to limited English proficient (LEP) persons.

Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)

Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. §1701, et seq.)

Employment Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

WAC 162-28-040 – Human Rights Commission – English language limitations and national origin discrimination

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

Race

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
(34 C.F.R. Part 100)

Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)

Employment Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

Religion/Creed
Creed refers to a shared belief system or faith.

U.S. Constitution
First and Fourteenth Amendments

Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)

Employment Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Washington State Constitution, Article I, sections 5 and 11

Chapter 28A.600.025 RCW - Students' rights of religious expression — Duty of superintendent of public instruction to inform school districts.

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

Sex

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §2000c, et seq.)

Employment Discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)

Chapter 28A.640 RCW - Sexual equality

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

Sexual Orientation

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)
Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex and sex-stereotyping, such as discrimination based on a person’s failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity.

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

Gender Identity and Expression

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (34 C.F.R. Part 106)
Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex and sex-stereotyping, such as discrimination based on a person’s failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity.

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

Veteran/Military Status  

Chapter 28A.642 RCW - Common school provisions – Discrimination prohibition

Chapter 392-190 WAC – Equal educational opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited

Chapter 49.60 RCW
Washington Law Against Discrimination*

OSPI Guidelines: Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools

*Schools must comply with Chapter 49.60 RCW in employment and as places of public accommodation.

 

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