Monday, September 27, 2010

Bill Would Amend Title VI To Include Ban On Religious Discrimination In Schools Receiving Federal Funds

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act currently prohibits denying participation in any program receiving federal financial assistance  based on "race, color or national origin." Senator Arlen Specter and Rep. Brad Sherman announced on Friday that they were introducing bills to amend Title VI to also ban discrimination on the basis of religion in order to protect Jewish, Muslim and Sikh students from harassment at schools and colleges receiving federal funds. The House version is HR 6216. The bill is a reaction to the position taken by the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights that Title VI does not apply to anti-Semitic harassment of Jewish students, and by implication members of other groups that have both religious and ethnic characteristics. (See prior related posting.) [Thanks to Joel Katz (Relig. & State in Israel) for the lead.]