When your child is being treated by a teacher in a discriminatory manner, you have the right to act to protect him or her. Protecting your child can sometimes mean filing a lawsuit against the school district. If your child has been the victim of discrimination, here is what you need to know.
What Is Considered Discrimination?
There are several behaviors that could be discriminatory. For instance, racial or religious prejudices, such as treating Muslim students differently and referring to them in a derogatory fashion, is considered discriminatory.
Children can also be discriminated against due to their gender, disability, and sexual orientation. Discrimination can leave your child at a disadvantage in the classroom. This is particularly true when the teacher is the source of the discrimination. There are legal protections in place that prohibit discrimination in the schools.
What Can You Do?
The first step you should take if your child is being discriminated against is to meet with the school's principal. The meeting might not yield the results you want, but it can help to show that the school was aware of the problem. When you do meet with the principal, you can ask to either record the meeting or take notes and ask the principal to sign indicating that he or she agrees with your documentation.
If the teacher continues to treat your child unfairly, file a complaint with the superintendent. The superintendent's office must investigate your claims and provide a remedy for resolving the situation. Keep the documentation that you receive from the office. At this point, you should consider obtaining legal counsel.
Provide the office with any proof that you have. Your attorney can help you determine what evidence is needed. If the superintendent does not offer a solution that protects your child, you can file a complaint with your state's board of education.
Can You File a Lawsuit?
Most states require you to follow some or all the aforementioned steps before you can file a lawsuit. Once you have exhausted all your options for settling the matter through the school and the various agencies, you should be able to ask for monetary damages.
It is important to note that this is not an immediate solution to your problem. To protect your child from the teacher, you can attempt to have your child move into another classroom or to a new school. Your attorney can help push for a safer environment for your child. For more information, contact a professional in your area like those found at Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C.