• REPORT AN INCIDENT

    Title VI

    If you believe that you or your child have experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, language, sex, religion, gender identity, and/or disability in CSD, you have the right to file a Formal Title VI Complaint. The purpose of the Title VI Grievance Procedure is to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial response to Formal Complaints made under any of the following CSD Board Policies: GAAA, GAEB, JAAR1&2, JCAC, or JCAC R(1) (“Title VI Policy”). Incidents falling under Title VI are addressed by the Equity Department in the Office of the Associate Superintendent.

    You can report discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, language, sex, religion, and/or disability in CSD to any school staff member, any principal, or directly to the district’s Title VI Compliance Officer listed below. Once a formal complaint has been submitted, you will receive confirmation from the Title VI Office within 24-48 business hours.

    Title VI Compliance Officer

    • mari ann banks, ph.d., Equity Director
    • Wilson School Support Center
    • 125 Electric Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030
    • TitleIX@csdecatur.net 404-371-3601, ext. 1026
    • cell - 404-499-1684

    Programs that receive Federal funds cannot distinguish among individuals based on race, color, religion, ability, or national origin, either directly or indirectly, in the types, quantity, quality, or timeliness of program services, aids, or benefits they provide or how they provide them. The Title VI complaint procedure targets consciously, unconsciously, explicitly, or implicitly expressed acts that target individuals or groups based on perceived or actual membership in a protected class.

    Protected Classes include but are not limited to:

    Race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin – including actual or perceived shared ancestry, ethnic characteristics, or caste.

    Citizenship, or residency in a country with a dominant religion or distinct religious identity (including, but not limited to, individuals who are or are perceived to be Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Israeli, Arab, or Palestinian, or who come from or are perceived to come from other regions of the world or are members of another religious group).

    Age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, including actual or perceived gender expression, or pregnancy status.

    The U.S. Department of Education Title VI regulation (Code of Federal Regulations at 34 CFR 100) is enforced by the Department's Office for Civil Rights. Issue areas covered by Title VI include:

    More information regarding Title VI issues addressed by the OCR appears here or at the links above.

    OCR interprets Title VI to mean that in order to establish a violation of the statute, Complainant must show that the unwelcome conduct based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, based on the totality of circumstances, is subjectively and objectively offensive and is so severe or pervasive that it limits or denies a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the recipient’s education program or activity. Schools must take immediate and effective action to respond to harassment that creates a hostile environment. See OCR Dear Colleague Letter (Nov. 7,
    2023).

    To state a Title VI claim, the Complainant must establish discriminatory intent. Burton v. City of Belle Glade, 178 F.3d 1175, 1202 (llth Cir. 1999); see also Elston v. TalIedega Bd. Of Educ., 997 F.2d 1394, 1405 n.ll (llth Cir. 1993) (citing Alexander v, Choate, 469 U.S. 287, 293
    (1985)) (recognizing that "Title VI itself provides no more protection than the equal protection clause—both provisions bar only intentional discrimination.").

    How to File a Formal Title VI Complaint

    Before filing a formal complaint, you can seek an informal resolution by discussing your concerns with your child’s principal or with the school district’s Title VI Compliance Officer.

    You may file a formal complaint through the procedures listed below.

    Step 1: Your Complaint to the School District

    In most cases, complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the incident or conduct that is the subject of the complaint. A complaint must be in writing. To file a complaint, complete the form at this link

    Be sure to describe the conduct or incident and explain why you believe discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or sexual harassment has taken place. Submit a written and signed formal complaint (in hard copy or electronically) that details the incident in which the Prohibited Conduct/Behavior of the Respondent is alleged. Be sure to digitally sign and submit your written complaint as well as send copies of any written material or other documents you believe will help CSD understand your complaint — by e-mail, mail, or hand-delivery—to the District Title IX Coordinator using the contact information listed below.

    Title VI: Compliance Officer

    Step 2: The School District Investigates Your Complaint

    Once the district receives your written complaint, the compliance officer will give you a review of the complaint procedures and make sure a prompt and thorough investigation takes place. The complaint will be conducted in cooperation with the Human Resources Department if the alleged harasser is an employee.
     
    The investigation may include an interview with the charged party or parties, interviews with witnesses if any, and an examination of any relevant documents or artifacts. The district Title VI Compliance Officer will respond to you in writing within 30 school days. If your complaint involves exceptional circumstances that demand a lengthier investigation, the district will notify you in writing to explain why a time extension is needed and the new date for their written response.
     
    Step 3: The School District Responds to Your Complaint
     
    In its written response, the district will include a summary of the results of the investigation, instructions to appeal the determination (if needed), and a summary of any corrective measures the district has taken.  If you disagree with the compliance officer’s decision, you may appeal to the school superintendent. You must file a notice of appeal in writing to the superintendent within 10 school days of the date of the district’s response.
     
    The superintendent will schedule an appeal meeting within 20 school days after receipt of your appeal. The superintendent will send you a written decision within 30 school days after the appeal meeting. If your appeal involves exceptional circumstances that demand a lengthier process, the superintendent will notify you in writing to explain why a time extension is needed and the new date for his written response.
     
    Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices is prohibited.
     
    Additional Title VI Complaint Option
     
    You may also file a Title VI complaint directly through the OCR using the contact information below.
     
    Office for Civil Rights, Atlanta Office, U.S. Dept. of Education
    61 Forsyth St. SW, Suite 19T70, Atlanta, GA 30303
    OCR.Atlanta@ed.gov 404-974-9406 Fax: 404-974-9471
     
    If you believe a school district has discriminated against a child or their family on the basis of their national origin, immigration status, English language skills, or religion, you can also file a private complaint directly to the U.S. Office of Civil Rights using this portal.

    Understanding Title VI Discrimination: English Language Learners, Religion, Race/National Origin, and Sex/Gender

    English Language Learner Students
    The Section is charged with enforcing the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA). Section 1703(f) of the EEOA requires school districts to take action to overcome language barriers that impede English Language Learner (ELL) students from participating equally in state and district educational programs. Title VI investigates complaints that school districts are not providing adequate services to ELL students or are failing to take appropriate action in other ways.

    Although section 1703(f) of the EEOA does not require schools to adopt a particular type of language acquisition program, courts generally consider three factors to assess the adequacy of such a program:

    • whether the school's program is based upon sound educational theory or principles;
    • whether the school's program is reasonably calculated to implement the educational theory effectively; and
    • whether, after a period of time sufficient to give the program a legitimate trial, the results of the program show that language barriers are actually being overcome.

    Examples of conditions that may violate the EEOA include when a school district does the following:

    • fails to provide a language acquisition program to its ELL students or fails to provide adequate language services to its ELL students;
    • fails to provide resources to implement its language acquisition program effectively (e.g., an ESL program lacks ESL teachers or ESL materials);
    • fails to take steps to identify students who are not proficient in English;
    • exits ELL students before the students acquire English proficiency from ELL services;
    • fails to communicate meaningfully with non-English-speaking or limited-English-speaking parents and guardians of ELL students by not providing such parents and guardians with written or oral translations of important notices or documents;
    • fails to provide language acquisition assistance to ELL students because they receive special education services, or fails to provide special education services to ELL students when they qualify for special education services;and
    • excludes ELL students from gifted and talented programs based on their limited English proficiency.
     
    Religious Discrimination
    Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizes the Attorney General to address certain equal protection violations based on religion, among other bases, in public schools and institutions of higher education. The Educational Opportunities Section works to ensure that all persons regardless of their religion are provided equal educational opportunities. This includes addressing discrimination and harassment on the basis of religion and spans all religious affiliations. For examples, view the OCR cases list.
     
    Race and/or National Origin Discrimination
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in several areas, including housing, employment, and education. Title VI specifically prohibits discrimination by recipients of federal funds on the basis of race, color, and national origin, and prohibits, among other conduct, deliberate segregation on the basis of race, color, and national origin. For examples, view the OCR cases list.
     
    Sex/Gender-Based Discrimination
    Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizes the Attorney General to address certain equal protection violations based on sex, among other reasons, in public schools and institutions of higher education. In this area, CSD's work includes addressing sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment, harassment based on not conforming with gender stereotypes, and unequal athletic participation opportunities for students. For examples, view the OCR cases list
     
    Title VI: Retaliation
     
    Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices is prohibited. No person in the United States shall be subjected to retaliation based on their filing of a Title VI complaint.
     
    Retaliation is defined as the following by Title VI:
    • a strike back in response to another's action or accusation
    • a form of revenge or reaction because of a complaint filed against a person
    • refusal to promote, advance, or accurately support/qualify a person due to a complaint filed
    Examples that may constitute retaliation:
    • demotion or prohibiting advancement due to a filed complaint
    • firing, loss of benefits, or the like due to a filed complaint
    • unfair treatment or discrimination due to a filed complaint
    • Hostile Environment
     
    Title VI: Hostile Environment
     
    Creating a hostile environment for an individual filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices is prohibited. No person in the United States shall be subjected to a hostile environment based on their filing of a Title VI complaint.
     
    A hostile environment is defined as the following by Title IX:
    • a situation of a discriminatory or sexual nature that has occurred and created an adverse setting
    • an intimidating or offensive environment that causes a person to be fearful
    • a setting that denies, limits, or interferes with a person's ability to participate in or benefit from a program, activity, or job
    Examples that may constitute a hostile environment:
    • bullying, abusive or intimidating comments and actions
    • intimidating or offensive comments that alter the conditions of a person's work, classroom, team, or program environment
    • continuous offensive comments or surroundings of a discriminatory or sexual nature
     
    Additional Complaint Options
     
    City Schools of Decatur complies with all federal rules and regulations and does not discriminate in access, treatment, or employment in education programs or hiring practices on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, marital status, and/or disability. If the Title VI process does not meet your immediate needs, there are other options for students and stakeholders to lodge a complaint (see the link below). District employees may lodge a complaint through Staff Support