Massachusetts is often lauded as one of the most progressive states in the country, and our state civil rights laws routinely provide broader protections than their federal counterparts. So it may come as a surprise that Massachusetts does not have a functional state counterpart to federal laws prohibiting discrimination in education like Title IX and Title VI.
Massachusetts has a law titled “Fair Educational Practices,” Mass. G. L. c. 151C. That chapter contains provisions prohibiting educational institutions from doing the following:
- Discriminating against a U.S. citizen on the basis of race, religion, creed, color or national origin in the admission process;
- Retaliating against employees, students, or applicants for assisting in any proceeding under the law;
- Asking for the race, religion, color, or national origin of an applicant;
- Discriminating in admission or in the provision of benefits, privileges, or services based on a student’s race, religion, creed, color, age, sex or national origin;
- Excluding students from admission because they are blind, deaf, or require a guide dog;
- Requesting information about, or to discriminate on the basis of a failure to provide information about, certain criminal records;
- Sexually harassing students.