Discrimination in Education

Working in the education setting, everyday I see some type of discrimination occur. When we hear discrimination in education it happens when a person takes unfair action against someone who belongs to a certain category that is entitled to full educational rights. Last year I worked in a self-contained setting and all of my students had something called an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). An IEP is a legal document that basically explains all of the special education services that the student will receive and it will explain why as well. Discrimination in education for example discrimination against the students who have IEP’s is very common. I have seen students not receive the help they need, because there are not enough resources and that absolutely qualifies for discrimination. A lot of times these students are discriminated against because their guardians or parents do not know their rights and it is very sad. It is also unfortunate that as an educator I am unable to let these parents know either.

Education discrimination can also be based off of the student’s disability, age, gender, nationality, or even their religion. I know it sounds pretty crazy but it is happening in this world. This discrimination normally takes place by teachers, administrators, or even by their peers. In order to prevent these things from happening, the government has implemented certain protections for these individuals. The first one is Tile VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which basically prohibits discrimination because of someone’s trace, color, or national origin. The next one is Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which prohibits sex discrimination. Also, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1990 prohibits disability discrimination. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 does not allow discrimination because of someone’s disability. This act also protects those who do not receive federal assistant due to their disability.

You are not allowed to retaliate against any person who opposed or testifies against you in any complaint which falls under Title VI. If this does happen, it is considered a violation. All of these protections protect all education programs as well as facilities that receive federal assistant which includes State education agencies, elementary and secondary school systems, colleges and universities, vocational schools, libraries, museums etc. There are many places to name! All of these places listed about must also provide benefits and services in a nondiscriminatory manner. This includes admissions, recruitment, financial aid, counseling, discipline, grading, physical education, athletics etc.

In conclusion, if you or someone you know is suffering from educational discrimination because of their disability or something of that nature there are plenty of attorneys who specialize in educational rights. Those individuals deserve the right to a fair education, no matter their disability, age, race, gender, etc.


Gruman, J. A., Schneider, F. W., & Coutts, L. (2012). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Los Angeles; London; New Dehli; Singapore; Washington DC; Melbourne: SAGE.

Pennsylvania State University World Campus (2019). PSYCH 424 Lesson 10: Education Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1973019/modules/items/25635725


  1. Sara Grace Jimma

    Your article caught my eye because it covers a similar topic that I addressed in my blog post, which is the discrimination some students might be experiencing in their schools. I really like that you not only address an issue that is occurring in our society today, but also tell us about our legal rights. As a student, I have witnessed discrimination take place in previous schools, and I have always addressed the issue by telling the teacher or student off and going to the school inspector (which is a person that is the head of the school). However, this happened in Denmark, so I am not certain of the legal system there, but it gives me a great comfort to know that there is indeed a system in place for this particular issue. Your post was not only informative, but more so a tool for people to use if they are or know someone who are facing discrimination.

  2. Your post was very interesting to me because I also work in the education system. I work in special education with high school students and there is definitely
    discrimination in the school system based on race, color, ethnicity, gender and abilities or lack of ability. I have witnessed discrimination taking place between the students at the school sites as well as between staff and students and staff with other staff members.

    On a personal level, my daughter who has a chronic illness was discriminated against by a teacher within her school system when she was forced to be hospitalized and had to miss a great deal of school due to it. In order to protect her rights and her honor status I needed to hold several meetings with the administrators, the site nurse, counselors and etc. It was a very educational experience and as soon as there was talk about a 504 plan they were more than willing to work with us throughout the process of her healing. Sadly, discrimination is something that every individual deals with at one point in their lives regardless of our race. I know I have experienced it throughout my life in several instances. I wonder if you can recall some instances where you may have experienced it to some degree. I have found that discrimination doesn’t discriminate. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Rebecca Hanna Hormann

    I found your post to be quite eye-opening and definitely something I would love to get more information on. I have not come in contact with many people who have necessarily felt discrimination on an educational level. I guess it’s something that we don’t really think about because, it is the type of discrimination that probably happens when we haven’t yet gained the knowledge about what discrimination is exactly and the amount of ways it happens. I feel like since it is so difficult to be defined and for a young person to recognize, it is not addressed very often. I would love to know more about the type of place that you were working in and how the kids got there! Thank you for sharing!

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