Reasonable Grounds School Harassment Cases

Under the Fair Housing and Public Accommodation Act, the Commission has jurisdiction over complaints of harassment directed at students in public and private schools in Vermont (K-12, colleges and universities).  As a neutral agency, our office will investigate complaints of harassment (we do not represent either side in an investigation).  However, the Commission will not accept a complaint of harassment unless the complainant has already filed a complaint directly with the school and given the school an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

Between FY 00 and FY08, the HRC investigated 27 charges of harassment in schools.  Of those cases, the Commission found no reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination occurred in 22 cases, and found reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination occurred in 5 cases.  In addition, 4 charges were settled through mediation prior to the commencement of an investigation.

Below you will find copies of the investigative reports for the 5 reasonable grounds cases.  Pseudonyms are often given to charging parties to protect the identities of the students and their families who have filed complaints.  Please note that in a few cases, the initial recommendations in the reports were for no reasonable grounds that were subsequently reversed by the Commission.  Click on the PDF image to retrieve the file.