How do I make a complaint about discrimination?

Here is information on how to file a complaint form with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR).  Main website:

San Francisco’s DOE Office of Civil Rights is the regional enforcement office which services all of California. Parents, caregivers or students can contact the office to discuss their situation at: (415) 486-5555.  Written complaints may be sent to this office at:
50 Beale Street, Suite 7200
San Francisco, CA 94105-1813
Fax: (415) 486-5570

Anyone can file a civil rights complaint, not just a victim of the discrimination.  A complaint must be filed within 180 days of the alleged incident.  A complaint may be filed online with the form available, or a complaint can be made through a letter.  The letter must include the following information:

  • Name, address, and phone number of complainant
  • Information about the person/class of persons injured by discrimination
  • Name and location of institution that committed discrimination
  • Description of the incident with sufficient detail

OCR will promptly acknowledge receipt of a complaint and will contact you by letter or telephone to let you know whether they will proceed further with the complaint. OCR has a variety of options for resolving complaints, including facilitated resolutions and investigations. OCR does not act as an advocate for either party during the process.

OCR does not handle cases that are being addressed by another agency or within a school’s or college’s formal grievance procedure.  You do not need to file a uniform complaint with the school district in order to file an OCR complaint.