November 15, 2023
On November 15, 2023, the Pennridge Complaint was submitted to the US Dept of Education, Civil Rights Division, and the US Dept of Education Office for Civil Rights. The complaint was filed by Advocacy for Racial and Civil (ARC) Justice Clinic Penn University. The basis of the complaint is discrimination based on race that violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and discrimination based on sex that violates Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972.
The Complainants are:
Organizational Complainant, NAACP Bucks County
Organizational Complainant PairUP Society
Individual Complainants – three Black students, a queer student, a transgender teacher
For years, teachers, students of color and LBGTQ+ students have reported race and sex-based harassment. The discrimination includes Pennridge School District’s failure to take reasonable and necessary measures to address persistent and severe harassment of LGBTQ+ students and students of color. We are asking the USDOJ and US Department of Education to investigate the hostile environment at Pennridge School District, assert jurisdiction, order PSD to take measures to remedy the hostile environment for students of color and LBGTQ+ students. Our request includes but is not limited to:
Mandate all School Board members and District staff receive racial bias and cultural competency training approved by Office of Civil Rights.
Create a District wide DEI position, headed by a non- school board member
Create new guidelines and revise the Code of Conduct to expressly prohibit the use of racial slurs and other racially discriminatory behavior and make public a process for responding to complaints that includes appropriate discipline utilizing restorative justice practices for students.
Eliminate the use of summary citations.
Click on the links below to read news media coverage of the lawsuit.