U.S. Dept. of Education Finds Victor Valley Union High School District Violated Black Students’ Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has determined that the Victor Valley Union High School District (VVUHSD) violated the Civil Rights Act by disciplining Black students at higher rates and with greater severity than their white peers.

OCR announced a settlement with VVUHSD Tuesday. The district has agreed to:

  • Revise its disciplinary action policies
  • Hire a new director with expertise in nondiscriminatory discipline to implement the course correction
  • Create a stakeholder equity committee
  • Regularly review discipline data for evidence of bias and make data available to the public
  • Train staff on new discipline policies
  • Conduct climate surveys to assess perceptions of fairness and safety
  • Provide compensatory education to students who were subjected to discriminatory treatment

“District discipline practices that disproportionately harmed Black students departed from district policies and state law,” ICR said in a press release. “Throughout OCR's investigation, administrators, teachers, and student witnesses reported discrimination in multiple areas such as suspensions, expulsions, truancy, and issuance of law enforcement citations. This reported discrimination was consistent with statistical evidence of racial disparities in student discipline as well as with district records reflecting specific instances of harsher discipline of Black students as compared to white students who engaged in similar behavior. OCR also found that the district violated the Title VI regulations by failing to maintain and produce timely, complete, and accurate records regarding school discipline to demonstrate its compliance with Title VI.”

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