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Civil rights probe; Federal officials investigating complaint filed against USD 234

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Office for Civil Rights is conducting an investigation into a complaint filed by a parent against USD 234, Superintendent Diane Gross said Tuesday.

Gross told school board members about the complaint during Monday night's regularly scheduled board meeting following a budget hearing. OCR personnel are currently interviewing district staff.

Gross said the complaint was filed sometime last year, but the new superintendent was unable to comment on the specifics surrounding the case. Gross replaced former superintendent Rick Werling on July 1.

"I'd rather not do that right now," Gross said. "I can't elaborate (on the complaint)."

The OCR enforces five federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age in programs that receive federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Education website said. A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the alleged discrimination.

"If something happens and a parent or student feels like their civil rights have been violated, they have an avenue to file a complaint," Gross said.

Typically, Gross said a district will try to cooperate and share facts with the investigating parties.

Calls to the Office for Civil Rights regional office in Kansas City, Mo., were not returned Tuesday.

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