On November 15, 2023, the US Department of Education released new civil rights data from the 2020-21 school year. The data reveals concerning (but not new) trends for students with disabilities and other marginalized groups. The data is indicative of ongoing violations of students’ rights on the basis of disability, race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national original and/or religion. Some students fall into more than one group.
The report examined these hot button issues:
- harassment and bullying
- school offenses, including physical attack and threats of physical attack
- student discipline
- referrals to law enforcement
- restraint and seclusion
- access to advanced courses
- access to teachers and school staff, such as counselors
- access to the internet and electronic devices.
As shown by this report and as acknowledged by US Department of Education officials, much more work needs to be done to ensure equitable educational opportunities for all students in these critical areas.