OCR Launches Investigations into Shared Ancestry Violations in Schools and Colleges

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a list of higher education and K-12 institutions under investigation for alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The investigations focus on discrimination, including harassment based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics. This action is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address the rise in reports of antisemitism, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, and other forms of discrimination in schools and colleges since the Israel-Hamas conflict in October 2023. The OCR website will be updated weekly with the list of institutions under investigation. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized the administration’s commitment to creating safe and inclusive learning environments.

“Hate has no place in our schools, period. When students are targeted because they are—or are perceived to be—Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, or any other ethnicity or shared ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “These investigations underscore how seriously the Biden-Harris Administration, including the U.S. Department of Education, takes our responsibility to protect students from hatred and discrimination.” 

The OCR is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination by educational institutions based on disability, race, color, national origin, sex, age, and the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act of 2001. The released list includes institutions currently under investigation for possible discrimination based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics during Fiscal Year 2024, as of November 16, 2023, with some complaints alleging antisemitic or anti-Muslim harassment.

See the list here.

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