Friday, April 12, 2013

OCR Investigations Underway In...

...Framingham, Massachusetts, where students have been complaining and protesting that high school officials took it easy on a male student-athlete accused of sexual assault, even after his second offense.  The students note that the school's drug and alcohol policy carries stronger sanctions than the five-day suspension he eventually received.  The accused student was allowed to continue to play football despite both reports of assault, and still sees both victims at school every day.  The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights received a complaint that the school district's response violates Title IX, and has begun an investigation into whether the school district had in place, and followed, appropriate procedures for handling allegations of assault, and whether it had designated the required Title IX Coordinator position to someone on staff. 

...Longview, Texas, where a former high school girls soccer coach has filed a complaint with OCR containing allegations of inferior treatment for his and other girls' team, compared to boys' teams who have access to better facilities and equipment and more coaches. The complainant, a high school teacher named Eric Yoder, earlier complained to the school district's Title IX coordinator and then the school board, and filed a complaint with OCR after both earlier complaints were rebuffed.  The high school's athletics director, for one, has accused Yoder of being interested only in his salary, though it's clear that the scope of Yoder's complaint is much broader.  OCR officials arrived in Longview last week, and reportedly talked to over 250 student-athletes as part of its investigation.