Lawfare: One person filed 5,590 civil rights complaints with Department of Education in 2023

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Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) graphic contains the word "discrimination," which is spelled incorrectly by the OCR.

By BRENDAN CLAREY | CHALKBOARD NEWS

Over two-thirds of all Title IX complaints came from one individual to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, as the agency seeks to increase its staff for the next fiscal year. 

The branch of the education agency that enforces federal funding statutes tied to civil rights legislation said 5,590 out of 8,151 complaints related to alleged sex discrimination came from one person, continuing a consistent trend where an individual has filed thousands of cases every year. 

According to the annual report to the president and secretary of education, the OCR said that it had seen the largest number of complaints ever during the 2023 fiscal year (FY).

“In FY 2023, OCR confronted the highest volume of complaints in our history, receiving 19,201 complaints,” the report reads. “That number represented a 2% increase over our previous record high in FY 2022 of 18,804 complaints.”

“Nonetheless, we kept pace with the high volume, resolving 16,448 cases compared to the previous fiscal year’s 16,515 cases, and achieving the third highest number of complaint resolutions in OCR history,” the report reads. 

The report later highlights that the vast majority, nearly 69% of complaints related to allegations of sex-based discrimination were filed by one individual, which moved the majority of complaints away from disability allegations.

“In FY 2023, however, a single individual filed 5,590 complaints raising sex discrimination allegations,” the report reads. “This high volume altered the ratio of complaint filings for this fiscal year.”

Put another way, the individual would have had to file an average of over 15 complaints every day, including weekends and holidays. 

As The 74 reported last year, there were 18,804 civil rights complaints filed last year, but nearly 7,400 Title IX-related ones were filled by one individual. That person was reportedly the same one who filed over 6,000 claims in 2016. 

Under former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the OCR changed its case processing manual to allow staff to dismiss complaints filed by the same individual, as was reported by The New York Times in 2018. 

Catherine E. Lhamon, the current and former assistant secretary for civil rights during the Obama administration, criticized the decision at the time, saying the OCR should never filter cases and that the OCR should function more like the Justice Department. 

“The thing that scares me is when they get to say ‘we won’t open some cases because it’s too much for us,’ or ‘we don’t like the complainant,’ or ‘it’s not our week to work on that,’ you start to change the character of the office,” Lhamon told The New York Times in 2018.

In a request to Congress asking for more federal taxpayer funds to operate the OCR, the Department of Education cited its increasing caseload, which includes those filed by the individual complainant.

The OCR is asking for nearly $20 million more in fiscal year 2025 to hire 86 more full-time enforcement employees, according to a congressional justification document. That document said that the agency’s funding for employees “have not kept pace with case demand” with funding for three fewer employees since 2013. 

“At the same time, the number of complaints received increased by 93%, from 9,950 complaints in fiscal year 2013 to 19,201 in fiscal year 2023, which is the highest total complaints received on record,” the justification document reads.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of immediately wanting more money, perhaps they should look into the person filing all the complaints and why.

  2. Follow the money.
    What NGO is behind this persons income?
    Sore oh’s employee?
    This is a full time job for someone to say the least.

  3. I remember arguments years ago about filing frivolous lawsuits. (I wish I could remember more about that topic way back then, but I was pretty busy working and raising kids.)

  4. Quite a racket. Increase complaint filings to get more appropriations? Maybe the one person filing all the individual complaints should be seriously reviewed to see how and why. Maybe the individual is a lawyer representing many individuals? Initial statement deserves verification.

  5. Clearly not many “old people” working at the Department of Education with only 3% of complaints, or could it be that mature adults simply handle issues better and don’t feel the need to complain?
    I also second Terrance’s suspicion regarding increase funding based on “increased complaints”.

  6. From the operators of what seems like an epic money-laundering racket, the hive of unelected bureaucrats dedicated to maintaining the current abysmal standard of American literacy, we should believe this?
    .
    Why indeed? Here’s the tell: “In a request to Congress asking for more federal taxpayer funds to operate the OCR, the Department of Education cited its increasing caseload, which includes those filed by the individual complainant.”
    .
    An $82.4 billion-dollar federal enterprise, accountable to no one, powerful enought to brainwash generations of American children into functional illiteracy, is crippled “by an individual complainant”?
    .
    $82.4 billion dollars isn’t enough, The Department’s just gotta have (a lot) more, to protect itself from an “individual complainant”?
    (‘https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget25/summary/25summary.pdf)
    .
    What assures us that government officials who manufactured Covid hysteria and Russia-gate scandals would never loose an army of bots to “file 5,590 civil rights complaints”, making it look like they all came from one person just because it could be a great opportunity for an agency to supplement its budget, and if it works for Education, it might work even better for other agencies too?
    .
    Of course this could never happen, but what if it did?

  7. Is this truly a single individual, or more plausibly a government funded non profit organization masquerading as such?

  8. How many minions do they have (who are THEY?) sitting at computers and processing form letters that create that kind of files? Mind blown!

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