Dear Colleague Letter regarding the participation of students with disabilities in extracurricular athletics.

Jan. 25, 2013 –  the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter regarding the participation of students with disabilities in extracurricular athletics.
The Dear Colleague letter provides an overview of the obligations of public elementary and secondary schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Department’s Section 504 regulations;


  • cautions schools against making decisions based on presumptions and stereotypes;
  • details the specific Section 504 regulations that require students with disabilities to have an equal opportunity for participation in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities; and
  • discusses the provision of separate or different athletic opportunities.


For a copy of the DCL, please visit:



Nondiscrimination statements for adult education publications and post-secondary

I have received confirmation from both the Boston Office for Civil Rights and the Washington, DC Central Office of the USDOE/OCR on the issue of nondiscrimination statements for adult education publications.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal assistance.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Any programs operated by the an educational entity that receives federal funds must place their statement of Non-discrimination in all official publications advertising its services or programs. The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) has a position that once you start listing protected classes, you must list them all. The most recent addition was gender identity and expression. Please check to make sure you are not omitting any categories.


CHRO has a poster listing all protected classes at


Secondly, the nondiscrimination statement must also include the name, office address and telephone number of the Title IX and 504/ADA Coordinator. This applies to both pre-school and adult education programs. There is a provision at 34 CFR 104.38 that addresses pre-school and adult education.

See –

Students in pre-school, adult education (continuing education) and colleges/universities that receive federal funds are protected under Section 504 and ADA. “Section 504 would apply to postsecondary students attending colleges that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.”

Technically colleges and universities (most receive federal funds) should also be listing Section 504 in addition to ADA in their statements. I doubt that OCR would find serious fault with just listing the ADA Coordinator, who would cover 504 anyway.

See also here –

If the 504 and ADA Coordinators are two different people, contact information for both should be listed.

And here –


Sample Grievance, Complaint, Investigation forms

Sample Grievance, Complaint, Investigation forms can be found at:


Many thanks to Tim  Connor, Assistant Superintendent of Hampden-Wilbraham RSD and Randy Ross of the New England Equity Assistance Center for providing these forms.


Here is a note from Randy:

“Most of these materials are from Hampden-Wilbraham RSD.  These files are from their Investigative Manual and I have a few more if they would be helpful. Their terrific Title IX person is Tim Connor, Asst Superintendent. His email is He would certainly respond graciously to any queries from CT districts.

On our website I have some other forms, policies, etc. These are from about 2 years ago. The link is  As I mentioned before, generally, when OCR is not involved, I recommend a policy that is inclusive of all forms of harassment and, when possible, also covers bullying. OCR of course can only require a policy based on the particular type of harassment complaint. For sexual harassment, they see the Grievance Procedure as inclusive of the policy.”


Chilling Look Into Your Kids’ Online World

Connecticut State Trooper Samantha McCord says your kids’ online behavior could be dangerous, even criminal – and could bring the police to your doorstep. Or worse.

You’re at home, cooking dinner. The kids are upstairs doing homework on their computers. The doorbell rings and when you open the door, you find the Connecticut State Police on your doorstep.

“We have a search warrant,” the trooper says, as she enters the house. “Your daughter has been harassing another student over the Internet.”

Or: “Your son is wanted for criminal impersonation.”

Or: “We are charging your child with harassing and bigotry, which is a felony.”

The police come in, they take your computer, your iPod, your kids’ game console, and your nightmare begins.

read more …………..



The Mean Girl Dilemma



By Peter DeWitt on January 16, 2013 6:57 PM

“As the issue of girl bullying has risen to new prominence, it has attracted a more troubling kind of attention. Reality television show producers discovered that mean girls sell, and they churned out scores of programs featuring breathtakingly aggressive females.” Rachel Simmons

Stephanie is a “mean girl.” She says she’s “just kidding” as she rolls her eyes when adults, including her parents, call her on her behavior. It started in third grade when she tried to get girls to join her club. In the club, Stephanie wanted to talk about other girls. This is human nature, right? One by one the girls in the club realized they had better things to do because they didn’t like the language Stephanie used and definitely didn’t like what she was saying about other girls.

In fourth grade Stephanie began experimenting with Facebook. She wrote abusive language on another girl’s Facebook page which wasn’t a good idea because her face and name appeared next to the words. Parents began doing screen shots to document the behavior. Even worse, Stephanie began “Friending” people she didn’t know. She wanted more “friends” and talked back and forth with kids that she only knew through social networking.

How does she know they are kids?

In fifth grade, Stephanie stepped it up a bit. She posed in a provocative photo. With her hands up against the wall, showing her back with her face turned around covered in professionally done make-up, Stephanie used the new photo as her Facebook profile picture. In addition to Facebook, Stephanie began creating fake accounts for other students grabbing pictures from Flicker.

School always disciplined her when it became a school issue. Her parents were responsive and they took away her phone, iPad and iPod each time. She apologized to classmates and said she didn’t know why it was “a big deal.” Her parents grounded her and close friends for that year stopped hanging out with her. Mostly, because their parents noticed changes in their own children and didn’t want their daughters under Stephanie’s influence.

Stephanie always found a new friend to hang out with each year but her behavior was always the same. There was always a new girl who wanted to be “cool” with Stephanie. They were confronted with how “uncool” things were after being disciplined for being mean to other peers. More parents followed suit with parents who came before them and forbid their children to hang out with Stephanie.

The school did everything from detention to counseling. They even brought in the state police internet crimes unit to talk with students about internet safety, which is something the teachers always focused on as well. But there was always one problem. Stephanie didn’t get it, and unfortunately, she’s not alone. Many girls participate in relational aggression.

Relational Aggression Among Girls
Relational aggression (RA) is a term to describe behaviors that are used to harm someone by damaging or manipulating their peer relationships. The Colorado Foundation for Families and Children describe it as “The use of relationships to harm another person; for example starting rumors, spreading gossip,teasing, creating or joining cliques, and deliberately excluding another person.”


read more …………..


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