DoDEA Civil Rights Program is a collaborative process designed to help DoDEA recognize and take reasonable steps to eliminate unlawful discrimination in DoDEA schools, programs, activities, and workplaces, as required under Executive Order 13160. DoDEA is committed to operating in a discrimination-free manner and promoting an inclusive, welcoming environment for all students, employees, and “other beneficiaries” (anyone who is not a DoDEA student or employee, such as parents, visitors, or volunteers).
DoDEA recognizes the need to protect against a hostile environment that can be created by peer-to-peer acts of discrimination, such as student against student or co-worker against co-worker. While the law does not expect DoDEA to guarantee a perfect environment free from minor acts or petty slights and annoyances, DoDEA policies and procedures are designed to promptly respond to and equitably resolve a reported incident of discrimination allegedly committed by a peer. If not equitably resolved, DoDEA could be accountable for allowing peer discrimination to create a hostile environment for a victim that denies, limits, or negatively affects their equal access to educational, work, or training opportunities and benefits.
DoDEA created “Discrimination Complaints Processing” or “DCP” to give you clear steps on how to put leadership on notice when you feel you are faced with one or more of the following three situations:
When they get a report of discrimination, our principals, program directors, and staff work locally with students, parents, and anyone else involved to promptly respond to and effectively resolve the situation. Reports are accepted and evaluated in a way that protects the privacy and due process rights of both the alleged victim and alleged offender, and anyone else involved. When discrimination is found, reasonable corrective action is taken to hold offenders accountable and restore DoDEA to a supportive, discrimination-free learning environment.
DoDEA is committed to protecting against discrimination in the workplace. Employees may use DoDEA’s DCP to file a complaint about discriminatory harassment by a peer or other forms of discrimination. An employee’s rights under EO 13160 supplement federal employee rights under Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws. Employees are encouraged to contact the Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity (DMEO) office to learn more about their equal employment rights.
All incidents of peer-to-peer discrimination within DoDEA should be reported. If you feel DoDEA is directly responsible for not preventing or equitably responding to discrimination, you may take action by filing a DCP complaint.
“Disparate Treatment” discrimination is when you should be treated the same as other people who are in the same situation as you, but you are not being treated equally, based on your race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or status as a parent (your “protected class”).
Some examples could include:
If you think a peer is treating you unequally or unfairly based on your protected class, report it. If you think DoDEA is treating you unequally or unfairly based on your protected class, you may file a DCP complaint of discrimination for “Disparate Treatment.”
“Hostile Environment Based on Non-Sexual Discriminatory Harassment” is when someone is harassing you based on your race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, or status as a parent (complaints based on sex/gender or sexual orientation are handled separately), and the harassment is so sufficiently “severe, persistent, and/or pervasive” that it creates a “hostile environment” for you.
If you think a peer is creating a hostile environment for you, report it. If you believe DoDEA has allowed you to be subjected to a hostile environment by a peer, employee, or “other beneficiary,” you may file a DCP complaint of discrimination for “Hostile Environment Based on Non-Sexual Discriminatory Harassment.”
“Hostile Environment Based on Sexual Harassment” is when someone is harassing you based on your sex/gender or sexual orientation, and the harassment is so sufficiently “severe, persistent, and/or pervasive” that it creates a “hostile environment” for you.
Complaints about sex/gender-based and sexual orientation-based discrimination are not more or less serious than discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, religion, age, or status as a parent; they are handled separately, because they have different statutory record keeping requirements.
If you think a peer is creating a hostile environment for you based on your sex/gender or sexual orientation, report it. If you think DoDEA has allowed you to be subjected to a hostile environment by a peer, employee, or other beneficiary based on your sex or sexual orientation, you may file a DCP complaint of discrimination for “Hostile Environment Based on Sexual Harassment.”
“Disparate Impact” discrimination is when a policy, procedure, criteria, or method of administration is supposed to treat everyone equally, but in practice, you end up treated unequal or worse than others based on your protected class.
Sometimes, disparate impact may be lawful, however, if both of the following things are true:
If you think DoDEA has a policy, procedure, criteria, or method of administration that is having an adverse impact on you based on your protected class, you may file a DCP complaint of discrimination for “Disparate Impact.”
“Retaliation” is when someone tries to use intimidation, threats, coercion, harassment, cyberbullying, or some other negative act to punish, discourage, or deter you, and any witnesses, from exercising your rights to raise a concern, file a complaint, or cooperate with an investigation about discrimination. Examples take many forms, such as posting offensive comments or rumors on Facebook, dropping or blocking a person from participation in an event or club, or an unwarranted low grade or poor performance evaluation.
The DoDEA DCP program will not be effective if people who are being discriminated against are afraid to speak up out of fear of retaliation. If you believe you are being retaliated against by a peer, report it. If you believe DoDEA has allowed you to be subjected to retaliation by a peer, a DoDEA employee, or an other beneficiary, you may file a DCP complaint of discrimination for “Retaliation.”
Filing a discrimination complaint provides students and other beneficiaries an opportunity to work together with their school to identify, evaluate, and equitably address allegations of peer-to-peer discrimination occurring in their learning environment. For employees, it is an opportunity to work with their first- or second-line supervisor to address and resolve incidents of discriminatory harassment or other forms of discrimination in their workplace, if they seek an alternative to engaging the EEO process.
For Students and/or Parents: Tell your teacher, coach, counselor, or any school staff member, or you can go straight to your School Principal. If you, or your parent or friend, tells a school staff member what is going on, they either handle it if they have the authority to do so, or notify someone who can, including report it to the Principal, if you have not already done so.
Employees: Go to your First-Line supervisor. If your First-Line Supervisor is not available or you believe they cannot be impartial (e.g., they are the subject of your report), go to your Second-Line Supervisor or whomever is the next-higher-level DoDEA official in your chain of command.
Other Beneficiaries: If the incident is -
A DCP complaint may be filed when you believe DoDEA is directly accountable for the alleged discrimination. In other words, you allege that a DoDEA employee, or other agent of DoDEA, is directly responsible for discrimination or has not equitably responded to or resolved a report of peer-to-peer discrimination. If the person you believe is responsible is a student, co-worker, or other beneficiary, then it must be reported as an incident of peer-to-peer discrimination, not as a DCP complaint.
A DCP complaint must be submitted in writing, and should include as much of the following information as possible:
a. Name/Contact Information.
b. Brief Description.
School Principal or the Program Director. A complaint must be submitted to the highest-level administrator of the school that conducted or sponsored the program or activity in which the alleged discrimination or impact occurred, or where employee, volunteer, or other agent of DoDEA alleged to be responsible is employed or provides services.
Next-Higher-Level DoDEA Superintendent or DoDEA Official. When the applicable DoDEA School Principal or Program Director is unavailable, is the alleged person responsible in the complaint, or has an actual or perceived conflict of interest, a complaint may be submitted to the next-higher-level DoDEA District or Community Superintendent or next-higher-level DoDEA official within the chain of command with authority over that school, program, or activity.
DoDEA DCP District Coordinator. A complaint may be submitted to the DoDEA DCP District Coordinator within the District where the incident occurred, and/or where a complainant or the person alleged responsible is employed or provides services.
DoDEA DMEO Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor. A DoDEA employee (or applicant for employment) who believes they have been aggrieved by unlawful discrimination in their employment (or application for employment) may first initiate their complaint by contacting DoDEA DMEO EEO staff assigned to the district where they are employed (or seek to be employed) to ensure they are fully informed as to all their dispute resolution options. District or regional POCs for DMEO may be found on the DoDEA DMEO webpage. Should a DoDEA employee (or applicant) be unable to pursue an EEO complaint (e.g., they have missed the filing deadline) or choose not to proceed under EEO, they are still free pursue an EO 13160 complaint as an alternative.
DoDEA First- or Second-Line Supervisor. A DoDEA employee who wishes to pursue an allegation of EO 13160 employment discrimination (not an EEO complaint) must submit their complaint to their DoDEA First-Line Supervisor. If there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest (e.g., the DoDEA First-Line Supervisor is the alleged offender in the complaint) or their DoDEA First-Line Supervisor is not available, the complaint should be brought to the next-higher-level DoDEA official in the employee’s supervisory chain of command.
When in Doubt, DoDEA DCP Lead Coordinator. A complaint may be submitted to the DCP Lead Coordinator at Civil.Rights@dodea.edu for forwarding to the appropriate DoDEA School Principal, Program Director, or other appropriate Activity official under the circumstances.
Hopefully, all discrimination complaints can be effectively resolved at the lowest level, the first time you bring it up. DoDEA recognizes that things don’t always go the way we hope, however. After you report your DCP complaint at the school, program or supervisor level, if you feel your complaint was not handled properly or equitably, you still have the option to submit a Request for Reconsideration to your DoDEA DCP District Coordinator, who will make sure your complaint is reviewed, again, and given a “Final Decision” by a next-higher-level DoDEA Reviewing Official.
A Request for Reconsideration may be submitted under the following circumstances:
Click on the “Contacts” tab to find your DCP District Coordinator. If you are not sure if you have the right person, feel free to email Civil.Rights@dodea.edu for help.
A Request for Reconsideration must be in writing and should include:
Even a Final Decision is not the end of the line, if you feel the alleged discrimination has not been equitably resolved. Any Final Decision may be appealed to the DoDEA Civil Rights Program for an independent EO 13160 review to ensure the lower-level processing and reconsideration are in compliance with DoDEA’s responsibilities to operate discrimination-free.
The objective of an EO 13160 appeal is to ensure and, when necessary, restore DoDEA compliance with its responsibility to operate in a discrimination-free manner.
An EO 13160 appeal is a statement submitted in writing alleging that administration of a lower-level discrimination complaint and/or a Request for Reconsideration was not handled or the discrimination not corrected in accordance with EO 13160, with DoDEA AI 1443.01, Volume 2, and/or other applicable DoDEA policy intended to protect against inequitable treatment or impact based on a person’s protected class. An EO 13160 appeal must be “complete” to be eligible for acceptance and consideration.
To be “complete,” an appeal must meet the following five (5) criteria:
Appeals must be filed directly with DoDEA I&IR by either:
When a DoDEA employee timely files separate claims under both EO 13160 and EEO, DoDEA I&IR must transfer the EO 13160 appeal to DoDEA DMEO to be consolidated into and adjudicated under the EEO complaint process, exclusively, in accordance with Section 4.5 of DoDEA AI 1443.01, Volume 1, and then close the EO 13160 appeal.
Discrimination is unequal treatment of a person or a group of people based on their “protected class.” Your “protected class” is your:
Discrimination stops you from being able to do something, have something, or enjoy something that other people get to do, have, or enjoy freely, because your protected class is different from theirs (your race, color, sex, religion, etc., is different from theirs).
Discrimination can make it hard for students to learn, employees to work, and any other beneficiary to have access to or enjoy the benefits of the DoDEA education or work experience, because they do not feel safe or accepted and/or are denied an equal chance to participate.
An Executive Order has the same power and force as a federal law passed by the U.S. Congress, but it is issued by the President. In 2000, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13160 requiring all federally-conducted education and training programs and activities to operate in a discrimination-free manner.
Discrimination is when one person is treated unequal from another based on their protected class, but not all unequal treatment is against the law.
DoDEA programs and activities include DoDEA schools, academic programs (including online and home schooling programs), sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities, counseling, special education programs or other supportive services, job skills training, scholarships, fellowships, internships, financial aid programs, summer enrichment or other special activity camps, teacher or other employee training, career enhancement programs, and any other programs or activities that DoDEA operates directly and/or is sponsored by DoDEA for the benefit of its students, employees, and other beneficiaries.
Harassment: Harassment, as that term is used in general, is when one person taunts, insults, teases, annoys, makes fun of, bullies, pinches, slaps, or touches, stalks, threatens, intimidates, undermines, gossips about, spreads false stories about, or just plain keeps picking on another person, even though they know the person doesn’t like it and has told them to stop.
Discriminatory Harassment: Harassment is “discriminatory harassment” when the reason one person is harassing another is based on that other person’s protected class. One of the most well-known types of discriminatory harassment is “sexual harassment,” but the term also includes being harassed because of your race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or status as a parent.
Hostile Environment: A “hostile environment” is when discriminatory harassment gets so bad it is against federal civil rights law.
Minor offensive acts of discriminatory harassment, such as petty slights or annoying comments, are wrong and against DoDEA’s policy that we must treat each other with respect, but minor acts are not unlawful. They become unlawful when the harassment against you is so sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it makes you too angry, too hurt, too upset, or too afraid to focus on or enjoy what you’re doing at school or work, or makes you not want to come to school or to work, or makes it hard for you to participate in a program or activity, because you do not feel safe or welcome. When it gets this bad, it creates an unlawful “hostile environment.” Also, you don’t have to be the one being harassed to be in a hostile environment, because anyone else forced to witness it can be upset by it, too.
Discriminatory harassment that is so bad it creates a “hostile environment” is a tricky thing to explain. Being annoyed or upset by thoughtless, insensitive, or insulting minor acts or comments may be a violation of DoDEA’s conduct policy, but it is not necessarily enough to create what the law considers a “hostile environment.” There are four things that, when combined, create a hostile environment based on discrimination under the law:
FIRST: “Objectively Offensive” Behavior. The discriminatory behavior that you are complaining about has to be “objectively offensive,” based on the “Reasonable Person Standard.” This means that the behavior that you find offensive is the kind of thing that any reasonable person who was in a situation similar to yours would also feel is offensive, just as you do. The law does not protect against your own personal opinion of what you think is offensive, but protects against behaviors that most people would agree should be considered offensive.
SECOND: “Unwelcome.” The objectively offensive behavior must be clearly unwelcome before an offender may be held accountable.
THIRD: “Sufficiently Severe, Persistent, or Pervasive.” The objectively offensive behavior has to be “severe,” “persistent,” and/or “pervasive.” This means that behavior is something more than a petty slight or other minor act or annoyance. See “What is “severe, persistent, or pervasive” below to learn more.
FOURTH: “Unreasonably Denies, Limits, or Interferes with Equal Access.” This means that the impact on you denies, limits, or interferes with your equal access to educational, work, or training opportunities and benefits. In other words, the discriminatory harassment is so bad it makes you too angry, too hurt, or too afraid to focus on or enjoy what you’re doing at school or work, or makes you not want to come to school or to work, or makes it hard for you to participate in a program or activity, because you do not feel safe or accepted.
“Severe” discriminatory harassment is when a single act is so bad and the negative impact is so extreme that any reasonable person in the same situation would agree the one act is enough to create a hostile environment.
“Persistent” discriminatory harassment is when someone is committing minor acts of harassment against you, again and again, even after you’ve told them to stop or you asked your principal or first-line supervisor to make it stop, but it keeps happening. Even though each offense, by itself, alone, is “minor,” having it happen again and again creates a “hostile environment” for you, because it doesn’t stop.
“Pervasive” discriminatory harassment can happen in two ways: First is when one person commits a minor act of harassment against you and it spreads to other people who copy it and start doing it to you, too. Second is when one person commits a single minor act of harassment against you, but then they also do it to other people, too, creating a hostile environment wherever that person goes.
Even if the offensive discriminatory acts against you do not meet all four of the elements required for it to be considered a hostile environment, the harassment may still be a violation of DoDEA’s general conduct code. So, be sure to report the behaviors, anyway. It’s always better to speak up rather than suffer in silence.
DoDEA is directly responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent, or promptly respond to and effectively resolve, the following when it happens in relationship to a DoDEA-conducted or sponsored program or activity:
Not Resolving Reports of Peer-to-Peer Discrimination: A “peer” is someone who is in an equal position, or who has equal authority, to you. Peer-to-peer discrimination is when a student discriminates against another student, an employee against another employee of equal or higher rank, a volunteer against another volunteer, a parent against another parent, and so on. DoDEA is responsible for promptly responding to reports of peer-to-peer discrimination (from students, employees, or other beneficiaries) and for taking reasonable steps to stop it. No DoDEA employee may allow peer-to-peer discrimination to go on between students or other beneficiaries under their supervision once they are made aware of it.
Employee-to-Student or Employee-to-Other Beneficiary Discrimination: No DoDEA employee may unlawfully discriminate against a student or other beneficiary. DoDEA is responsible for promptly responding to and resolving complaints from students, parents, volunteers, visitors, and other beneficiaries claiming an employee has discriminated against them or has been allowing a peer to discriminate against them.
Supervisor-to-Subordinate Employee Discrimination: DoDEA is directly responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent unlawful discrimination by a supervisor (or any higher-level DoDEA official) against a subordinate, which includes acts of sexual harassment or other discriminatory harassment, and promptly responding to and effectively resolving any employment-related complaint.
No. In the event it is substantiated that DoDEA has been, or continues to be, out of compliance with its EO 13160 responsibilities, DoDEA may offer, at its sole discretion, any non-monetary remedies that may be required to restore DoDEA to EO 13160 compliance. Remedies are intended to place a person adversely impacted back into a position as close as possible to where they would have been had there been consistent compliance.
Under DoDEA’s DCP, you may file a complaint alleging any one or more of the following types of discrimination:
Instead of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, DoDEA is required to protect against sexual harassment and sex discrimination under EO 13160. You can file a DoDEA DCP sex discrimination complaint, but not a “Title IX” complaint. Here‘s why:
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, commonly known as “Title IX,” protects against sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination in civilian public and private schools that accept federal money from the U.S. Department of Education (US ED). DoDEA schools are different, because DoDEA is actually a federal agency, itself, and a component of the Department of Defense. DoDEA gets its funding directly from Congress, not through the US ED. Title IX only applies to schools that get money from the US ED. You can’t file a sex discrimination complaint against DoDEA with the US ED, because the US ED has no authority over DoDEA.
“Sexual harassment” is misconduct that includes any one or more of the following actions:
No. Section 8-801 of EO 13160 expressly states, “This order is not intended, and should not be construed, to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or its employees.”
The DCP process is the “anti-harassment program” for employees, as required by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employees may use the DCP procedures to identify and try to resolve discriminatory harassment early on and not have to wait for it to get so bad it escalates into an EEO complaint. To learn more about your rights under DoDEA DCP and EEO, visit the DoDEA DMEO website.
The DCP process is an “anti-harassment program” for students, employees, and other beneficiaries. You can make a complaint about discrimination that is happening to you or bring a complaint on behalf of someone else. The important thing is to work together with your school administrators to keep DoDEA discrimination-free.
DCP Coordinators are available at the school, district, and HQ levels to answer your questions about the DCP process and to administer complaints.
DCP School Level Coordinators: Your School Principal or Program Director
DCP Employee Coordinator: Your First-Line Supervisor (or next-higher-level DoDEA official in the chain of command, in the event of a conflict of interest). Employees are also encouraged to consult with DoDEA DMEO about all their employment-related rights.
The DoDEA District Chief of Staff serves as the DCP District Coordinator for their District.
At DoDEA-HQ, contact the DCP Lead Coordinator at Civil.Rights@dodea.edu.
Ms. Wendy K. Cooley
Pacific East Chief of Staff
Dr. Louis D'Angelo
Europe East Chief of Staff
Mr. Paul Salatto
Europe South Chief of Staff
Dr. Laura Hussein
Europe West Chief of Staff
Mr. Charlie Council
Mid-Atlantic Chief of Staff
Ms. Michelle L. Jones
Pacific South Chief of Staff
Mr. Joel L. Grim
Pacific West Chief of Staff
Mr. Greg Bull
Southeast Chief of Staff