U.S. Department of Education will investigate Central Bucks | #Education

The OCR will now act as a “neutral factfinder,” analyzing evidence from the ACLU, the district and other sources.

The agency enforces Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. The agency wrote in a notice to the district and the ACLU that “Because the District receives federal financial assistance from the Department and is a public entity, the District is subject to these statutes and their implementing regulations.”

The ACLU tweeted on Friday that it’s “no big surprise” that the U.S. Dept. of Education decided to investigate. “The evidence we collected was overwhelming. And awful.”

In a statement on behalf of Central Bucks School District, Board President Dana Hunter responded to the OCR’s notice by doubling down on her request for the ACLU to release the names of the students involved in the complaint “so that the allegations can be investigated and addressed.” Hunter made the same request during October’s general school board meeting.

“We asked the ACLU for this information over a week ago, but it has refused to provide it,” Hunter said. “Thus, instead of being focused on the protection of students, the ACLU is more interested in making political points in the press.”

But the ACLU filed a federal complaint rather than a court case to keep the names of students, who are minors, private, according to ACLU attorney Rich Ting. Students, families, and district employees fear retaliation from the community and the district.

“Teachers and guidance counselors, they’re afraid because of a lot of things that they’ve seen happen which are outlined in the complaint,” Ting said in a WHYY interview.

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