Human Rights and Equity Programs

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8AM-4:30PM. To file a complaint, call (703) 324-2953 to be scheduled for an intake appointment via telephone or videoconference.
703-324-2953 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 318
Fairfax, VA 22035
Michael L. Simms

Education Discrimination

Private Education

Image of student studying

The Fairfax County Human Rights Ordinance (Ordinance) prohibits any private educational institution or its agents, employees or officers from discriminating in the terms, conditions, benefits, privileges or services of that institution because of a person’s membership in a protected class.

Who is protected?

In education, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or disability.

It is also important to know that it is illegal to discriminate against someone because they have opposed illegal discrimination, filed a complaint, or assisted in an investigation. This is called retaliation, and the law protects those who oppose illegal behavior.

File a Complaint

To file a complaint please complete the online questionnaire.  For more information about discrimination in education contact the OHREP at 703.324.2953, 711 TTY.

Examples of discriminatory actions:

A few examples of illegal discrimination in education are:

  • a teacher disciplines or grades students differently based on their race, sex, religion, national origin or disability
  • students are denied opportunities such as scholarships or extracurricular activities because of their race, sex, religion, national origin or disability
  • a student cannot physically access a facility because of barriers or a lack of ramps or elevators
  • a school refuses to make a reasonable accommodation for a student’s disability, for example an American Sign-Language interpreter, a screen-reader or other assistive device, or an accommodation such as an extended testing period or oral examination
  • a school denies a student the use of a guide or support animal for a disability
  • a teacher requests sexual favors in return for grades or repeatedly makes sexual comments to a student
  • a classmate repeatedly makes sexual comments or gestures, or subjects a peer to sexually offensive images
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