On Wednesday, the federal agency and Lebanon school officials confirmed the investigation had begun.
“We have received a letter from the Office of Civil Rights. They will investigate the allegations against the school district,” Superintendent Mark North said.
The letters announcing the formal investigation also indicate the complaints have been merged into one investigation.
“It means the Department of Education is taking this seriously and they are going to conduct a serious investigation,” Newman said.
The federal case could result in the district adding training programs or events designed to encourage racial tolerance and discourage bullying, according to Newman.
“I know there are a lot of people of goodwill in that district that want to help improve that culture,” he said.