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Victor Elementary School District Civil Rights Violations

Victor Elementary School District
Victorville, California
Found in Violation of
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by the
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights!

The following letter, dated June 28, 2001, from the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) finds that the Victor Elementary School District (VESD) violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for attempting to retaliate against a teacher who had lawfully filed civil rights complaints, on behalf of his students, on charges of racism and refusal to assist students with severe special needs. The school that was responsible for the complaint that lead to OCR's findings was Lomitas Elementary School, Denise Edge, principal.

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OCR concluded that the Victor Elementary School District (which refuses to acknowledge OCR’s findings that they violated Federal Law) had attempted to act against the teacher while he was engaged in activities protected by law (listed below) and that the "district’s actions . . .may well discourage other teachers from engaging in protected activities necessary to the protection of the civil rights of students."

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As a result:

"OCR found a violation of 34 C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations) § 100.7(e)."

This law, as part of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, states:

Implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in all programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.


§ 100.7 Conduct of investigations.

(e) Intimidatory or retaliatory acts prohibited. No recipient or other person shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by section 601 of the Act or this part, or because he has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this part. The identity of complainants shall be kept confidential except to the extent necessary to carry out the purposes of this part, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising thereunder.

The district tried to argue that their actions against the teacher were justified because a student’s records, which demonstrated that he/she had SEVERE special needs, (the student’s name had been removed to ensure that the child’s identity remained confidential) had been posted in a public setting in order to demonstrate the alleged harm perpetrated on special needs students within the district, which, in ASEE’s opinion (and based upon correspondence to ASEE from parents of students within the district) continues to this day. What VESD did not mention (or did not know) is that during the initial investigation of the district, in which they were monitored for a period of two years for compliance with Federal Law (please refer to OCR Docket Number 09-96-1268 - available under the Freedom of Information Act), that OCR had originally stated to the teacher that this student’s situation justified an additional, individual complaint, filed by his/her parent(s). Unfortunately, the child’s home situation was so dysfunctional that the teacher could not locate the parent(s) in order to encourage an additional complaint being filed on behalf of this student. Furthermore, VESD failed to mention to OCR that the Lomitas Elementary School and the District had positively identified this child as a special education student in the very public publication of his/her school’s yearbook – available for purchase by hundreds of students and their parents. This child was further identified by both name and photograph. In the opinion of ASEE, this action by the district "appears to have violated a multitude of student privacy protection laws, including, but not limited to the Federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA)." Furthermore, ASEE believes that the district’s claim regarding the alleged breech of confidentiality is nothing less than hypocritical, especially in light of their positive identification of this student in a Lomitas Elementary School Yearbook.

While VESD continues to "deny the validity of any of OCR’s conclusions and made no admissions of a violation of the law" (in the opinion of ASEE, this is the moral educational equivalent of Timothy McVeigh’s justification of his actions), VESD has agreed to a "Voluntary Resolution Plan" and will be monitored for compliance by OCR. Please note, on the portion of the attached letter, listed below, that Mr. Charles R. Love’s direct line is not properly listed; his actual phone number is (415) 556-4285.

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A copy of the actual Voluntary Resolution Plan (below), agreed to by the district on June 18, 2001, states that this matter was partially resolved in that the district "recognized" their "savings . . . (by) achieving a voluntary resolution of this matter." While it is not known, specifically, what VESD meant by this statement, it is the opinion of ASEE that the District understands that, had they not agreed to a voluntary resolution, OCR has the authority to withhold all Federal monies from the district and may have done so had the district not agreed to a resolution.

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While ASEE has no additional comments on this case, the media is encouraged to investigate further by obtaining records, available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act, on this and related cases. These cases include:

  • OCR Docket Number 09-00-1234 (which refers to the case on this page)
  • OCR Docket Number 09-96-1268 (the original complaint filed against Lomitas Elementary School and the Victor Elementary School District)
  • OCR Docket Number 09-98-1356
  • OCR Docket Number 09-99-1055

This information may be obtained by contacting:

San Francisco Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
50 Beale Street, Suite 7200
San Francisco, CA 94105
Telephone: 415-486-5555
FAX: 415-486-5570; TDD: 877-521-2172