Dept. of Ed. Publishes Database of Pending Civil Rights Investigations
On Wednesday, the Department of Education published a full list of active civil rights investigations that will be updated monthly.
On Wednesday, the Department of Education published a searchable database containing all active civil rights investigations that will be updated monthly.
The list includes the state, the institution, the institution type, the type of discrimination complaint and the date the investigation was opened.
Users are able to search investigations by subcategories, including race and national origin discrimination, sex discrimination, disability discrimination and age discrimination.
There are currently 1,754 records for race and national origin discrimination, 2,155 records for sex discrimination, 4,675 records for disability discrimination and 146 records for age discrimination.
Users can delve further by selecting a more narrowed type of discrimination from a drop-down, including admissions, denial of benefits, retaliation, racial harassment and religion. Active investigations can also be searched by state.
Similarly, under the Obama administration, the Department of Education published a list of higher education institutions with open Title IX sexual assault investigations. The list was criticized by colleges who felt overregulated by the Obama administration. Many believed it suggested something was wrong even when no evidence of discrimination was found, reports Inside Higher Ed.
During a June 2017 meeting between the Department of Education and the National Association of College and University Attorneys, Candice Jackson, the then-acting assistant secretary for civil rights, called the list the “list of shame” and said addressing colleges concerns with it was high on the department’s list of priorities.
Now, the department continues to release the list of active sexual violence investigations at higher ed institutions upon request but does not post updates online.
A disclaimer in the new database says the inclusion of an institution does not mean that institution violated a federal anti-discrimination statute.
“Rather, it means that a complaint was filed with OCR and the agency determined the complaint should be opened for investigation, or the agency has opened a compliance review. OCR is still investigating the cases included on this list, or is otherwise working to resolve the cases,” it continues. “Some cases are resolved with a finding that there is insufficient evidence an institution violated a statute enforced by OCR.”
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