Is Discrimination Allowed In Private Schools?

Posted on: November 10, 2014 by Charter & Private Schools Coverage

Is Discrimination Allowed In Private Schools?

It’s no secret that public schools are run much differently than private or charter schools. In fact, some individuals believe that private and charter schools could have a negative impact, while others strongly advocate the use of both. What’s interesting though, is that while discrimination is clearly illegal in many aspects of American life, there are instances in which private schools can determine who they want to let into their classrooms.

Despite the fact that many public schools have a “zero tolerance” policy for discrimination; most private schools are more lenient. How is this allowable though? First off, it’s important to understand that typically, there are two types of private schools. There is the sectarian, or “secular” schools that are usually part of a religious group or organization; such as a Catholic elementary school. The other type of private school is “non-sectarian,” or a school that is not connected to a particular religion. Rather, this type of private schools might be created by a group of private individuals or businesses.

Pretty much all public schools are not allowed to discriminate against students or their parents. Because they typically get money or funding from the federal government, there are many anti-discrimination laws that apply to them; the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 just to name a few.

The question of whether discrimination is allowed or not in private schools can get tricky. But there is one general rule that can determine this; if a private school gets federal funding, it absolutely may not discriminate against a student based on their race, gender (unless it’s a single gender school), national origin and religion. However if a private school does not receive federal financial assistance, it’s relatively free to pick-and-choose who attends the school. The one large exception to this is race; under a 1976 US Supreme Court case, private, non-sectarian schools may not deny a student’s admissions based on their race.

As an educator or administrator of a private school, it’s imperative that your clients know the laws and stay updated on what policies and procedures they must follow to limit their claims risks. At Care Providers Insurance Services for Charter & Private Schools, we offer comprehensive, competitively priced insurance for private schools as well as other coverages for non-profit and social service organizations as well as charter schools.

Posted in: Blog Private School Insurance