School Civil Rights Lawyer


Despite school being a place for education and growth, some students encounter civil rights violations, whether through negligence or deliberate indifference by school officials. As a parent, it’s crucial to ensure your child’s rights are protected.


Our attorneys understand the importance of safeguarding your child’s constitutional rights. Our experienced team of school civil rights lawyers is dedicated to advocating for students who have faced discrimination and harassment in educational settings.

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What you should understand:

Protecting Student Civil Rights

Student civil rights actions include claims under §1983, the Equal Protection Clause, Title VI, Title IX and grievances related to hazing. 

§1983 Claims

To pursue a §1983 claim, a student must demonstrate that a school administrator, teacher, or school employee violated their federal rights while acting under the “color of state law.” Likewise, to hold a school board accountable, a student must prove that an official policy or custom directly led to, caused, or resulted in the violation of constitutionally protected rights. 

Equal Protection

To file an Equal Protection Clause claim, a student must allege intentional discrimination or deliberate indifference by school officials due to their protected class membership. There are four generally agreed-upon suspect classifications: race, religion, national origin, and alienage. However, this is not an inclusive list, with gender often classified as a quasi-suspect class. Notably, sexual orientation is not yet considered a suspect or quasi-suspect class under federal or Ohio state law, despite various local governments enacting protective measures for LGBTQ individuals. 

Title VI Claim

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits race, color, or national origin-based discrimination in federally funded programs. This protection applies to students in public schools receiving federal funding, and the burden of proof is similar to that of an Equal Protection claim.  

Title IX

Title IX is a federal law created as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 that protects all students and employees from gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation. This law applies to universities, colleges and any educational institution that receives federal funds. 


Hazing is any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers them, regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. Hazing can violate school policies and the law. State criminal law assigns varying degrees of severity to hazing, depending on the circumstances. It can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, and both individuals and organizations may face civil consequences. 

We’re Here to Help:

Don’t Let your child’s rights be violated.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our dedicated Student & Athlete Defense lawyers.

additional information:

Student civil Rights
Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my child's rights have been violated at school?

If you suspect that your child has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, or other civil rights violations at school, it’s essential to consult with our experienced attorneys. We can assess your case and determine the best course of action to protect your child’s rights.

How long do I have to take legal action for a school civil rights violation?

The statute of limitations for filing a claim related to school civil rights violations varies depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction. It’s best to consult with our attorneys as soon as possible to ensure you meet any applicable deadlines for legal action.


What does Title IX protect against?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects students and employees from gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unlawful retaliation in educational institutions receiving federal funds, such as universities, colleges, and public schools.

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