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HomeNewsPortland Schools Face Civil Rights Complaint Over New Policy Factoring Race and...

Portland Schools Face Civil Rights Complaint Over New Policy Factoring Race and Gender

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A picture of the book in question.
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An Oregon public school district faces a federal civil rights complaint over its new discipline policy. This policy factors in students’ race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed a federal civil rights complaint Thursday with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The complaint targets a discipline policy in Portland Public Schools (PPS) “for discrimination on the basis of race.”

The change in policy regarding disciplinary actions mandates that “continuous disruptive behavior” will now be addressed by a “support plan.” This plan emerged from a collective bargaining agreement in November 2023.

The support plan “must take into consideration the impact of issues related to the student’s trauma, race, gender identity/presentation, sexual orientation, disability, social-emotional learning, and restorative justice as appropriate for the student.”

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The agreement also requires the district to implement a research-based “Racial Equity and Social Justice, Restorative Justice, and Trauma-Informed” program. This initiative aims to reduce exclusionary discipline practices.

Parents Defending Education states that PPS has “enacted several concerning policies that treat students and educators differently based on race and gender identity.”

“PDE makes this complaint as an interested third-party organization with members who are parents of school children throughout the country. PDE and its members oppose discrimination on the basis of race and political indoctrination in America’s schools,” their complaint filed to the OCR states.

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Another aspect of the agreement that PDE takes issue with is Article 18 under the “Transfers” section. The Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) agreement defines transfers as “a change from one assignment to another.”

The PAT contract outlined “educational criteria” that would govern the transfer of staff in situations such as a “tax base failure, declining enrollment, or a program change.” This is intended to uphold a specific demographic representation within the staff pool.

As the district’s policy seeks to maintain “gender and racial balance” in the workforce, educators won’t be transferred if doing so “would decrease the building’s percentage of under-represented male or female or transgender/nonbinary/gender non-conforming professional educators to less than thirty percent.”

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Regarding racial balance, educators won’t be transferred if it would “decrease the building’s percentage of minority teachers to less than the student minority percentage in the building or below the percentage of minority professional educators in the District.”

“Accordingly, we ask that the Department promptly investigate the allegations in this complaint, act swiftly to remedy unlawful policies and practices, and order appropriate relief,” PDE wrote in the complaint.

In addition, the PPS oversees 45,000 students, and PAT represents over 4,000 educators. PPS did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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