Case: OCR Investigation of Arcadia Unified School District

12-01020 | No Court

Filed Date: 2012

Closed Date: July 10, 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In October 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) initiated a joint investigation of the Arcadia Unified School District into allegations of sex-based discrimination against a middle school student in the district. The investigation was pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, based on allegations that the District was discriminating agains…

In October 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) initiated a joint investigation of the Arcadia Unified School District into allegations of sex-based discrimination against a middle school student in the district. The investigation was pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, based on allegations that the District was discriminating against the student based on sex by denying him equal access to the District’s education program and activities because he is transgender.

Specifically, the complaints alleged that the district prohibited the Student from accessing facilities consistent with his male gender identity, including restrooms and locker rooms at school, as well as sex-specific overnight accommodations at a school-sponsored trip to an off-site academic camp in October 2011.

The investigation included site visits by OCR staff to the district schools attended by the student and the overnight camp site; interviews with District administrators and faculty, camp administrators, the student and his family, parents of some of the student’s classmates, California Department of Education officials, administrators in other California school districts with policies addressing transgender and gender nonconforming students, and other gender identity experts.

Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the district expressed an interest in voluntarily resolving this case and entered into a resolution agreement that commits the district to take specific actions. On July 23, 2013, the district, without admitting any violation of federal law, voluntarily agreed to enter into the resolution agreement with the United States to resolve the complaints.

Under the agreement, the district agreed to provide the discriminated student access to sex-specific facilities designated for male students at school consistent with his gender identity; treat the student the same as other male students in all respects in the education programs and activities offered by the district; and ensure that any school records containing the student’s birth name or reflecting the student’s assigned sex are treated as confidential.

For school-wide measures, the district agreed to work with an expert consultant to support and assist the district in creating a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment for students who are transgender or do not conform to gender stereotypes; amend its policies and procedures to reflect that gender-based discrimination, including discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, transgender status, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes, is a form of discrimination based on sex; and train administrators and faculty on preventing gender-based discrimination and creating a nondiscriminatory school environment for transgender students.

The United States closed the investigation as of July 24, 2013; however, the United States continued to monitor the implementation of the resolution agreement. The district agreed to provide documentation of its compliance with the agreement through written compliance reports, which were be produced to the United States on February 15 and August 15 of 2014, and annually thereafter on August 15 for each year this Agreement is in place. The provision in the agreement related to the student remained in place until he left the district. The other district-wide provisions were in place until the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

The report included a copy of all relevant policies, procedures, regulations, and related materials that were implemented, revised, or rescinded during the reporting period; a copy or detailed description of all gender-based discrimination or harassment complaints or incidents that occurred during the reporting period.

On July 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice approved the Arcadia Unified School District’s reports and resolved the case.

Summary Authors

Ginny Lee (2/23/2017)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bhargava, Anurima (District of Columbia)

Zeidman, Arthur (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bhargava, Anurima (District of Columbia)

Zeidman, Arthur (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

12-01020

Resolution Agreement

OCR investigation of Arcadia Unified School District

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

Settlement Agreement

12-01020

Findings Letter

OCR investigation of Arcadia Unified School District

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

Findings Letter/Report

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Education

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2012

Closing Date: July 10, 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A transgender middle school student who wanted to use sex-specific facilities while at school

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Arcadia Unified School District (Arcadia), School District

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.

Title IV, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c et seq.

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2013 - 2015

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Discrimination Prohibition

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Monitoring

Reporting

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Gay/lesbian/transgender

Discrimination-basis:

Gender identity

Sex discrimination

Sexual orientatation

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run