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Portland Public Schools Face Civil Rights Complaint for Disciplinary Policy That Factors in Race, Gender Identity

An education advocacy group hit Portland Public Schools (PPS) with a federal civil rights complaint Thursday over a policy that requires factoring students’ race and gender identity into disciplinary decisions.

Parents Defending Education (PDE) alleges in its federal civil rights complaint that PPS is violating civil rights law and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment through its new “Student Support and Discipline” policy, which requires educators to respond to “disruptive student behavior” by developing a behavior support plan that considers characteristics like race. The policy also requires the school district to assign educators based on race and gender identity.


The policy states that behavior support plans “must take into consideration the impact of issues related to the student’s trauma, race, gender identity/presentation, sexual orientation, disability, social emotional learning, and restorative justice as appropriate for the student.”