Monday, August 14, 2017

Appealing A Bad OCR Decision On Alleged School Discrimination

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

Have you filed a complaint alleging discrimination or improper retaliation with the United States Department of Education (USDOE) and their Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and received a negative ruling?  Did they say the clear wrongful acts (to you) were not really bad or not really discriminatory?  If so, you may have an appeal right if you act fast.

Per the USDOE website, within 60 days of the date of the letter issued by OCR, an appeal must be filed with the "Director of the Enforcement Office (Office Director)."  

The bases for appeal listed are:

1)  Factual information was incomplete, and/or
2)  Factual analysis was not correct, and/or
3)  Wrong legal standard was applied 
a)  The outcome would be changed due to #1-3 above.

The appeal must be filed timely, and if it isn't, the parent/student/claimant, must show a good reason the appeal was filed late, which is defined as:

"1.  the complainant was unable to submit the appeal within the 60-day timeframe because of illness or other incapacitating circumstances and the appeal was filed within 30 days after the period of illness or incapacitation ended; or
2  unique circumstances generated by agency action have adversely affected the complainant." (per USDOE/OCR)

The decision will be forwarded to the parent/student/claimant in writing after review.

So, if you are piping mad about an OCR ruling against you or your child, appeal of that decision may be an option, but must be pursued timely and with adequate proof.


Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney 

717 K Street, Suite 228 
Sacramento, CA 95814 
Phone: 916-444-9064 
Fax: 916-444-1209
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Please see my disclaimer on the bottom of my blog page. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting, etc. etc.!  This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship.

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