Ewe Ess Duhpaartmentt uv Edjuhkayshun

Tamara Merges
Customer Service Team
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

Dear Ms. Merges:

Thank you for your 22 December 2014 acknowledgment of my open letter to Michael McConnell describing some of my experiences with civil rights violations during my 2005­–­08 graduate school career at the University of Idaho and more recently while taken into custody by suburban Boise police officers and incarcerated by mental health professionals who described as “delusions” some of my biographical experiences that can be readily fact-checked via public record as reality, genealogy, and history.

department of education office of civil rights email

Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) response to my inquiry

No sentient being living in a democratic society could possibly question whether or not imprisonment without arrest, access to competent counsel, and fair trial were violations of my civil rights. The rule of law is what constitutes civil society. For the health and wealth of our nation, hopefully the Department of Justice review of Idaho’s Skittles School will be more thorough than your personal reading.

As I explain in detail in my letter to Professor McConnell, your Department is already investigating the University of Idaho and Seattle Public Schools for their violations of Title IX and Title VI. My experiences are pertinent to both of those investigations.

Your letter redirects me to the Department’s website of instructions of how to file a discrimination complaint with your office. Those instructions include:

“E-mail: Complainants may file a complaint, using the following e-mail address: ocr@ed.gov.”

That is the email address that I courtesy copied in my 13 November 2014 letter to Professor McConnell.

Your Department’s instructions for filing a discrimination complaint also direct me to include:

  • The complainant’s name, address and, if possible (although not required), a telephone number where the complainant may be reached during business hours;
  • Information about the person(s) or class of persons injured by the alleged discriminatory act(s) (names of the injured person(s) are not required);
  • The name and location of the institution that committed the alleged discriminatory act(s); and
  • A description of the alleged discriminatory act(s) in sufficient detail to enable OCR to understand what occurred, when it occurred, and the basis for the alleged discrimination (race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act).

All of this information I included in my letter to Professor McConnell, with the exception of my telephone number or physical address. At this point, I must wholeheartedly agree with a student at his own institution, raped by one of her peers, later describing Stanford’s process for complying with Title IX, your system of enforcing federal law is “extremely detrimental to the ability of the survivor to keep on surviving.” Seven years after successfully completing graduate school coincident with the start of the Great Recession, I am rewarded for my hard work and job-seeking efforts with homelessness, destitution, and incarceration. Will your database accept a virtual space address for the time being? Could you use my blog home page as my home address? I have been working on accessing a Lifeline phone for more than two months, without successful delivery, and have already contacted the Federal Communications Commission, the agency tasked with overseeing that program that is supposed to guarantee telephone access to all Americans, with my concerns about corruption among its variously contracted, globally staffed, vendors.

Both the Department’s online instructions and again in your letter you remind me of the importance of timeliness in filing discrimination complaints, a valid issue that I also addressed in my letter to Professor McConnell. Perhaps my then and ongoing struggles toward brute survival might qualify as “good cause”-? Might “under certain circumstances” include providing witness testimony toward solving a homicide investigation unsolved after then 17, now 18, years-? Or, as I suggested to the detectives at Meridian Police Department when I asked for rescue from being trafficked by my own family, if federal agencies would like my further assistance with your open, future, or needing to be reopened investigations, and Idaho and Washington have not quite cottoned to Utah’s Homes for the Homeless program, maybe you could place me in a witness protection program while I continue typing my narrative statement of civil rights abuses within the continental United States?

A closer look at your response to my discrimination complaint:

Your salutation is bereft of proper business punctuation.

Your first collection of words, beginning with the narcissistic person pronoun, and ending in a full stop (chiefly Brit) or period (American) or dot (web terminology circa late 20th century) does not constitute a grammatically correct sentence, so it is difficult for me to guess at your meaning:

 “I am writing in reference to your November 28, 2014 correspondence to the U. S. Department of Education’s (Department) Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Customer Service Team you desire to file a formal complaint.”

Your second, or grammatically first, sentence, also beginning with the first person pronoun, has me wondering if the U.S. Department of Education might be subcontracting its business communications somewhere offshore:

“I am pleased to respond.”

Is your night job working out of a pleasure house in Bangkok, by any chance?

Or are you just another victim of No Child Left Behind?

Or, more gently still, perhaps you were simply concerned about yet another government shutdown and getting through the holidays without a paycheck?

Your second paragraph begins with a disagreement between subject and predicate:

“OCR enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receives [sic] Federal financial assistance from the Department…”

A little strange, coming from a Department titling itself Education.

Your second suggestion refers me to your Seattle office. That is what I call an internal communications problem. If you do not know how to forward emails within your internal departments, sub-departments, or regional offices, instead of referring your internal communications to external parties, do you think maybe you could ask your paid supervisor to help you out with using 21st century communications technology so the United States might, like, you know, keep itself competitive in the global economy? By improving your internal communications, you may deduct the last 120+ days from your 180 limit. And counting.

I’m “letting” the Department investigate. I’m not holding it inside, just like the White House wants. Now what happens?

Thank you again for your Department’s review of my civil rights violations as they apply to its long-overdue reviews of the University of Idaho and Seattle Public Schools.


Jana Brubaker


Office for Civil Rights, Seattle Office
U.S. Department of Education
915 Second Avenue Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099
Telephone: 206-607-1600
Fax: 206-607-1601
TTY: 800-877-8339
Email: OCR.Seattle@ed.gov

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