Education Equity

Lincoln Public Schools is committed to the concept of educational equity for students, staff and patrons of Lincoln Public Schools. In all programs conducted by the school district, the dignity and worth of all human beings will be recognized. Such recognition shall be extended regardless of a person’s economic status, race, ethnic background, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or mental, physical or linguistic ability.

In addition it is the policy of Lincoln Public Schools to assure that all students have equal opportunity to take part in all school programs. The material used with students is to represent all types of people, both male and female, in a variety of jobs, skills and leadership. Lincoln Public Schools is committed to providing an environment free of harassment based on economic status, race, ethnic background, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or mental, physical or linguistic ability.

Notice of Nondiscrimination: The Lincoln Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status or economic status in its programs, activities and employment.

The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies

Title VI: Discrimination or harassment based on race/color/national origin

Students

Russ Uhing — Director of Student Services/Equity Administrator, 5905 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68510, 402-436-1650 (ruhing@lps.org)

Employees

Eric Weber — Associate Superintendent for Human Resources, 5905 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68510, 402-436-1575 (eweber@lps.org)

Others

Walter Powell — Multicultural Administrator, 5905 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68501, 402-436-1604 (wpowell2@lps.org)

Title IX: Discrimination or harassment based on sex; gender equity

Eric Weber, Assoc. Superintendent for Human Resources, 5905 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68510, 402-436-1575 (eweber@lps.org).

Section 504

Russ Uhing, Dir. of Student Services and 504 Coordinator, 5905 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68510, (402) 436-1650 (ruhing@lps.org)

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Marla Styles, ADA Coordinator, 5905 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68501, (402) 436-1579 (mstyles@lps.org)

Complaints or concerns involving discrimination or needs for accommodation or access should be addressed to the appropriate coordinator.

For further information about anti-discrimination laws and regulations, or to file a complaint of discrimination with the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education (OCR), please contact OCR at 

Office for Civil Rights
One Petticoat Lane
1010 Walnut Street, 3rd Floor, Suite 320
Kansas City, MO 64106

Phone: (800) 877-8339
TDD: (877) 521-2172
Email: ocr.kansascity@ed.gov

Other Important Contacts

If you would like more information about the policy as it relates to curriculum, classrooms, practices, student activities or any part of school life, you may call any of the following people:

For assistance or to express concern
Russ Uhing, Director of Student Services / Equity Administrator
Email: ruhing@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1650

For assistance specific to race relations and multicultural issues
Walter Powell,  Multicultural Administrator
Email: wpowell2@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1604

In matters related to instruction
Matt Larson, Associate Superintendent for Instruction
Email: mrl@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1625

For assistance from the ADA coordinator
Marla Styles, ADA Coordinator
Email: mstyles@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1579

For student or Section 504 assistance and concerns
Russ Uhing, Section 504 Coordinator
Email: ruhing@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1650

In matters related to homeless students
Ellen Reilly, Homeless Coordinator
Email: ereilly@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1963

In matters related to curriculum
Takako Olson, Director of Curriculum
Email: tnagaya@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1634

For assistance concerning special education
Jenny Fundus, Director of Special Education
Email: jfundus@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1932

In matters related to affirmative action
Walter Powell,  Multicultural Administrator
Email: wpowell2@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1604

In matters related to federal Title IX legislation or sexual harassment
Eric Weber, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Email: eweber@lps.org, Phone: 402-436-1577

The LPS District Offices can be reached at 402-436-1000
Every effort will be made to find a fair solution.

Guidelines for Religious Holidays

The Lincoln school district complies with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The First Amendment requires that public schools neither promote nor interfere with the practice of religion. This requirement sometimes presents some difficult situations for schools. For one thing, schools are expected to teach about many facets of society, including the moral, ethical and religious values held by people in that society. For another, schools are a part of the fabric of our American society – and so is religious practice. Schools are required to be a part of practically all activities that go on in a community, including religious holidays, while avoiding either the promoting of religious practices or interference with religious practices.

To further complicate the situation, some religious observances have evolved into cultural, secular observances, while still retaining religious meaning for many Americans. Christmas, Easter and Hanukkah are examples of religious holidays that are now observed as cultural events. Other holidays have their origins in religion, but have lost practically all religious meaning in terms of the way most Americans observe the holidays. Valentine’s Day and Halloween are examples.

The issue for schools is how to allow students to be a part of American society’s observance of such events and yet not require any student to participate in an observance which conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs.

To avoid interfering with the religious practices of students, efforts are made to avoid scheduling major tests and major student activities on dates of religious significance. If you are concerned about any particular date on which there might be a school conflict with your family’s religious activities, please call your child’s school.

In an effort to deal with this admittedly complex situation, Lincoln Public Schools has developed guidelines with advice from citizens, religious leaders and staff members. The guidelines are intended to help staff members be sensitive to the problems surrounding religious events without robbing those events of their luster as part of our American heritage. Guidelines are as follows:

All activities included in the instructional program shall be inclusive and pluralistic – that is, students of varying cultural, ethnic and religious heritage should be able to feel included and feel comfortable being included.

  1. The role that diverse religious traditions have played in the historical development of our society should be recognized.
  2. A school program or student performance should not be a forum for religious worship – all school programs should serve an educational purpose.
  3. Student participation in any program, or performance (e.g., music) which may involve religious materials which a student may find personally objectionable should be voluntary.
  4. Persons who are authorities on a particular culture or religion may serve as resources in the classroom.
  5. Religious symbols may be used as teaching aids when used objectively to teach about a religious heritage.
  6. Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and Easter eggs and bunnies are considered to be secular, seasonal symbols and may be displayed provided they do not disrupt the instructional program for students.
  7. Holiday parties may be held as long as they do not become religious observances, as long as all children can be included or positive alternatives provided for those who choose not to participate.
  8. In ceremonial functions, opening and closing remarks are used instead of invocations and benedictions.
  9. Because baccalaureate is a traditionally religious service, it is sponsored by a community group rather than by the school district.

We appreciate the support Lincoln parents have traditionally given to Lincoln Public Schools. Your cooperation with the schools as they attempt to follow these guidelines will be most helpful.

If you have any questions about the guidelines, or wish to express any concern, please talk with the principal at your child’s school or call Russ Uhing, educational equity administrator, 402-436-1650; or Steve Joel, superintendent, 402-436-1601