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Student Civil Rights

Office of Student Civil Rights

The Office of Student Civil Rights is charged with receiving, investigating and resolving student complaints of discrimination. SPS complies with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Seattle Public Schools provides Equal Educational Opportunities

Seattle Public Schools, SPS, provides Equal Educational Opportunities and Equal Employment Opportunities and does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex; race; creed; color; religion; ancestry; national origin; age; economic status; sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity; pregnancy; marital status; physical appearance; a disability; veteran or military status; or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal. SPS provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is unfair or unlawful treatment of a person or group because they are part of a defined group, known as a protected class. Discrimination may include treating a person differently or denying someone access to a program, service, or activity because they are part of a protected class, or failing to accommodate a person’s disability.  Discriminatory harassment is verbal or physical harassment based on a protected class.

What is a protected class?

A protected class is a group of people who share common characteristics and are protected from discrimination and harassment by federal, state, or local laws.  Protected classes in Seattle Public Schools are those groups identified in the Non-Discrimination Statement above, such as sex, race, etc.

How do I file a complaint about discrimination?

If you believe that you or your child has experienced discrimination or discriminatory harassment at school, you have the right to file a formal complaint.

SPS Discrimination Complaint Form

For a full copy of the school district’s nondiscrimination complaint procedure, call or email the Office of Student Civil Rights, 206-252-0367 or The relevant District policies and procedures can also be found here: 

Policy 3210

Superintendent Procedure 3210SP.B

Before filing a complaint, you may want to discuss your concerns with your child’s principal or Seattle Public School’s Ombudsperson at 206-252-0529. This is often the fastest way to resolve your concerns.

For students, parents/caregivers, and members of the public, the Office of Student Civil Rights has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination in Seattle Public Schools, 206-252-0306 or or Seattle Public Schools, MS 33-157, P.O. Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1166.

Title IX

What is Sexual Harassment, including Sexual Assault, Title IX

About Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, often referred to as Title IX, is a Federal civil rights law. Title IX, which began with a focus on discrimination and ensuring equity in sports, includes a major focus on prevention of and response to incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Read the SPS policy and procedure on sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Seattle Public Schools Title IX Coordinator

Title II of the ADA

Seattle Public Schools is committed to non-discrimination and ensuring that information and communications for District-sponsored programs, events, and activities is accessible to students with disabilities. This includes students who are deaf or hearing impaired as well as blind or visually impaired in accordance with Section 504 and Title II of the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

View additional information on Student ADA

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) is a Federal civil rights law that is designed to eliminate disability discrimination in programs and activities that receive Federal funds. Since all public school districts receive Federal funds, all public school districts must comply with Section 504. Under Section 504, denying a disabled student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) constitutes disability discrimination.

View additional information on student 504 Procedures

External Resources

If you would like to talk with someone outside of the District about your concerns, you can contact:

Washington State OSPI Equity Civil Rights Office

U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

Updated: 3/24/2021 Accessible