The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) annually collects data from public schools and school districts on incidents of harassment and bullying. Beginning in 2015, this data mandated schools to include incidents of discrimination based on a student’s perceived religion. The data returned showing voluminous numbers. As a result, OCR is now proposing to modify the data collection categories to better respond to these incidents, especially where ethnic and/or ancestral harassment is combined with direct religious discrimination. Antisemitism falls under this category.
This is important because this new proposal will require schools throughout the nation to report incidents of antisemitism. This can only help to better protect Jewish students.
Right now, there is a limited window to show support. The federal government needs to hear from us by November 18, 2019. Please email the Office for Civil Rights, commenting on why you support this change.
Sample comment to post on OCR website:
I am writing to express my enthusiastic support for the Office for Civil Rights’ proposal to combat religious discrimination by modifying data collection categories. This change is critical so that government agencies can better respond to incidents of bullying and harassment, especially where ethnic and/or ancestral harassment is combined with direct religious discrimination. As someone who is deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitism in America, I believe this change will enable authorities to better protect Jewish students. This proposal is a necessary and important new tool that I wholeheartedly support.