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Duty to Protect Students

Local Educational Agencies responsibilty to students.

Access to quality education is a fundamental right of every student and is fully guaranteed and protected by the California Constitution. Education plays a central role in our society and numerous laws are designed to promote equality in educational opportunities and to safeguard all students from discriminatory practices in public schools.

The duty to protect children in the public schools from discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying is the responsibility of the local education agency (LEA). California Education Code (EC) Section 200 et seq., is a comprehensive statutory scheme, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of various protected groups. Specifically, Education Code Section 220 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes as described in Penal Code Section 422.55.

At a minimum, LEAs are to have taken the following steps:

Discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying of students based on their protected status can have a profound and prolonged adverse effect on the students’ ability to benefit from public education and maximize their potential. The responsibility to protect all students rests primarily with the LEAs under numerous laws set forth above.

Therefore, all LEAs are urged to review their discrimination policies and complaint procedures, and ensure that they are consistent with current laws, adequately disseminated, and fully implemented.

Nondiscrimination In Public Schools Brochure (DOC; Posted 03-Jul-2012)


Questions: Office of Equal Opportunity | 916-445-9174 
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