Civil Rights Compliance Office (CRCO)

The CRCO is committed to the Hawaii State Department of Education's (HIDOE) overall compliance with Federal, State, DOE Administrative Rules, and Policy, which strictly prohibit any form of discrimination.

​​​​​​Our Mission: Respect Diversity

The CRCO is committed to the Hawaii State Department of Education's (HIDOE) overall compliance with Federal, State, DOE Administrative Rules, and Policy, which strictly prohibit any form of discrimination, including harassment and/or retaliation based upon a protected class, as it relates to students, employees, and members of the public who access our services, programs, and activities.  

Protected classes include: race; sex, including gender identity or expression; age; religion; color; ancestry; sexual orientation; citizenship; national origin; military/veteran status; disability; marital/civil union status; arrest and court record; genetic information; credit history; domestic or sexual violence victim status. The CRCO oversees HIDOE’s compliance with Federal laws that include, but are not limited to: Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, also known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and as amended in 1991; Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and as amended in 2008; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to name a few.

The CRCO also coordinates and responds on behalf of the department to complaints that have been filed by individual employees and/or parents with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission (HCRC); and the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). When required the CRCO follows up with corrective action plans and compliance requirements with OCR, EEOC, HCRC, the United States Department of Justice; the Office of the State Director for Career and Technical Education; and coordinates data request and other compliance requirements with the State Office of Language Access​.

The CRCO also conducts internal investigations of complaints arising from alleged protected class discrimination, harassment, or bullying from employees, students or parents of our public schools, statewide, in matters pertaining to Board of Education Policies 305.1 and 900.1. (See Important policies and forms below.)

The CRCO coordinates requests for reasonable accommodations under the Superintendent’s Directive for employees, statewide. ​

The CRCO conducts Chapter 19​ Administrative Appeal Hearings and related activities as the Superintendent’s designee.

Important policies and forms

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment — Memo

Equal Educational Opportunity Policy — Brochure

Employee and Applicant Non-Discrimination Policy — Brochure

Reasonable Accommo​​​dations​ — Brochure

  • Form RA-1: Reasonable Accommodation: Request & Approval form
  • Form RA-3: Authorization to Release Medical Information for Reasonable Accommodation

Examples of Non-Discrimination Laws

TITLE IX
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools and colleges receiving federal funding. Sex based discrimination includes both sexual harassment and gender based harassment. Sexual harassment is unwanted verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Gender-based harassment is unwelcome conduct based on the individual's actual or perceived sex; and includes harassment based on gender identity and non-conformity with stereotypical notions of femininity and masculinity.

TITLE VI
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

ADA/504
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. To be covered by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

  • Section 504: A civil rights law that ensures that a student with a disability has equal access to an education. Section 504 entitles students to free and appropriate public education by providing a reasonable accommodation or modification for eligible students who are found to be "qualified disabled persons" under Section 504.
  • Title I: Title I of the ADA pertains to the rights of individuals with disabilities in employment settings.  Under Title I of the ADA, an employer cannot discriminate against qualified applicants and employees on the basis of disability.
  • Title II: Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities.  Under Title II of the ADA, qualified individuals with disabilities cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their disability in services, programs, and activities that are provided by public entities.​

CRCO staff

  • Anne Marie Puglisi — Director
  • Beth Schimmelfennig – Civil Rights Compliance Specialist
  • Rhonda Wong – Compliance Specialist
  • Nicole Isa-Iijima – Tile IX Specialist
  • Aaron Oandasan – Title VI Specialist
  • Michael Murakami – Civil Rights Compliance Specialist/Intake
  • Krysti Sukita – ADA/504 Specialist
  • Linda Uyeno – Secretary

Contact Information

Civil Rights Compliance Office

Phone: 808-586-3322

Email: CRCO@hawaiidoe.org

Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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