Student-Based Discrimination

Do you believe your child has been the victim of discrimination in school? Is your child being denied access to learning or extracurricular activities that other students are benefitting from? We can help you determine whether your school district is in violation of anti-discrimination laws intended to protect you and your child’s civil rights.

Most anti-discrimination laws are federal statutes that address specific types of discrimination, such as discrimination based on disability, gender, sexual orientation or race. Here is a brief overview of the most commonly cited laws related to discrimination in schools. Our attorneys can help you understand which one applies to your situation,what remedies might be available, and then pursue those discrimination claims on your behalf.


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity operated by recipients of federal funds, including schools. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II) extends this prohibition against discrimination to the full range of state and local government services, programs, and activities regardless of whether they receive any federal financial assistance. Under these two laws, elementary, middle and high school students are entitled to access their education as adequately as their non disabled peers.

New Jersey’s State Anti-Discrimination Law

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) provides individuals with some of the strongest legal protections against discrimination of any state law in the country. The LAD applies in all places of public accommodation, including schools. Specifically, the law provides that every individual must have the opportunity to obtain all the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation without discrimination based upon his or her race, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, or sex.

The attorneys at Manes & Weinberg, LLC have successfully handled many student discrimination cases. Some examples include school districts refusing to: include grades earned at a therapeutic school into a student’s cumulative GPA, provide accommodations to enable a student to make-up work following bouts of anxiety, provide appropriately trained staff to meet a student’s unique needs, cease seclusion and restraints, and developing and implementing training programs to prevent racial and gender discrimination.

Gender and Gender Identity

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include sexual harassment; the failure to, provide equal athletic opportunity; sex-based discrimination in a school’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses and programs; discrimination based on pregnancy; discriminatory discipline; harassment and sexual violence; discrimination based on sexual orientation; and discrimination based on gender identity.

How can Manes & Weinberg help you?