Feds investigate discrimination complaint over St. Johns County Schools dress code

Dorothy S. Bass

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The U.S. Division of Education and learning has introduced an investigation into a complaint that the St. Johns County College District discriminated against woman students via its enforcement of the costume code, according to a department memo received by Information4Jax.

“OCR will examine the next legal issue: irrespective of whether the district subjected woman learners to discrimination on the basis of sexual intercourse in link with enforcing costume code requirements, in violation of Title IX and its employing regulation at 34 C.F.R. § 106.31,” the memo from the DOE’s Business for Civil Legal rights reported.

Those people federal laws prohibit discrimination on the foundation of sexual intercourse in training courses or actions.


The investigation follows months of backlash in the district, not only towards the procedures directors utilized to carry out the costume code policy but versus the language contained within just that coverage.

“The Complainant alleged that the district’s gown code targets woman pupils based mostly on the way it is created,” the memo said. “The Complainant also reported that in district elementary, middle and significant colleges, personnel enforce(s) costume code necessities in another way for female and male college students.”


Document: Place of work of Civil Rights detect of grievance to St. Johns County universities

Similar: Lawyer weighs in on investigation of discrimination grievance more than gown code

The disappointment led Nancy Tray, a dad or mum of a few students in the district, to file that Title IX complaint in March.

“So to me, it is unquestionably quite overdue,” Tray explained to Information4Jax in an interview. “As somebody with a daughter, who’s starting up sixth grade following year and is currently being confronted with all of these issues, it’s quite own to me.”

Tray stated she filed the grievance on March 29 and, 8 times later on, she was contacted and interviewed by representatives from the OCR. Weeks afterwards, the district would be embroiled in nationwide focus over the controversial editing of feminine students’ yearbook shots at Bartram Trail Higher College, which Tray forwarded to the OCR to even further notify her grievance.


“Over the earlier handful of months, as matters transpired, I have been sending it like, ‘now appear at this yearbook thing,’” Tray stated. “So yeah, I assume that most likely played a function.”

Tray’s complaint also observed a challenge with the Bartram Trail’s Dress for Results principles and grading in vocation academy programs. The every month initiative expected pupils to don professional apparel, with stricter costume guidelines, for a grade.

The record of Dress for Good results Working day needs for women is more time than it is for boys.

This graphic was bundled on the St. Johns County School District webpage outlining Costume for Achievements Day prerequisites. (St. Johns County University District)

The complaint also cites the controversial editing of female students’ yearbook pictures at Bartram Trail Significant School.


“Bartram Trail Superior University altered the annual yearbook pics of feminine learners whose attire college staff members deemed to be a dress code violation, but it does not appear that college workers altered the pics of male students,” the memo claimed. “The Complainant stated more that some of the female learners ended up mocked about their yearbook photos.”

The Workplace of Civil Rights (OCR) designed clear that the start of this investigation does not necessarily indicate that the district did nearly anything wrong.

“Please notice that opening the grievance for investigation in no way indicates that OCR has designed a perseverance on the deserves of the grievance,” the memo stated. “During the investigation, OCR is a neutral factfinder, gathering and examining suitable proof from the Complainant, the district, and other resources, as correct.”

As the Instruction Office investigates the Title IX complaint, the district is already in the approach of overhauling the dress code coverage, such as the development of a varied committee to scrutinize and advise updates to the recent coverage.


As of Tuesday, no new conference date for the committee has been scheduled after the past a single was postponed.

Additional information and facts about how the OCR handles compliant investigations can be identified on the office’s website.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT Information4Jax – All rights reserved.

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