Public Complaints 
     Relations  9130


Any person or group having a legitimate interest in the schools of this District shall have the right to present a request, suggestion or complaint concerning District personnel, the program, or the operations of the District.  At the same time, the Board of Education has a duty to protect its staff from unwarranted and/or duplicative complaints.  It is the intent of this policy to provide the means for evaluating each public complaint in a fair and impartial manner and to seek a remedy where appropriate, while also being in compliance with provisions of Ohio law and negotiated agreements between the Board and employee bargaining representatives.  Any matters covered by the Ohio Public Employees Bargaining Law O.R.C. Chapter 4117 are not appropriate topics for public comment.

It is the desire of the Board to rectify any misunderstandings between the public the School District by direct discussion of an informal type among the interested parties. It is only when such informal meetings fail to resolve the differences, shall more formal procedures be employed.

Any requests, suggestions or complaints reaching the Board, Board members, and the administration shall be referred to the Superintendent for consideration according to the following procedure.

Unless the complaint could not have been discovered earlier, the review procedure shall be applicable only to events which have occurred within the past twelve (12) months.  The Board shall follow the Model Policies and Procedures for the Education of Children with Disabilities regarding any concerns or complaints about the educational program of any student being assessed and/or receiving special education services.

Matters Regarding a Professional Staff Member


A.    First Level

If the concerns is specifically direct toward a teaching staff member, the matter must be addressed, initially, to the concerned staff member who shall discuss it with the complainant and make every effort to provide a reasonable explanation or take appropriate action within his authority and District rules and regulations.

As appropriate, the staff member shall report the matter and whatever action may have been taken to the building principal.


B.    Second Level

If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the first level, the complaint shall provide the building principal with a dated written statement identifying the nature of the complaint, a summary of level one resolution attempts with a staff member, and their suggestions for resolution of the situation.  Upon receipt of the written statement, including a specific an indication as possible of the facts (who, where, what, when and why) the principal shall communicate with the complaint, to discuss and work toward resolution of the complaint.  Any agreed resolution between the principal and the complaint shall be reduced to writing.  If an agreement cannot be reached, the principal shall provide the complainant with his/her disposition in writing.   


c.    Third Level

If a satisfactory solution is not achieved with the building principal a dated written request for a conference shall be submitted to the Superintendent within five (5) school days of the principal's written disposition communicated to the complainant.  This request should include:

    1.  the specific nature of the complaint and a brief statement of the facts (who, what, where, when and why) giving rise to it;


    2.  the respect in which it is alleged that the complainant (or child of the complainant) has been affected adversely;


    3.  the action which the complainant wishes taken and the reasons why it is felt that such action be taken;


    4.   a summary of level two resolution attempts with the building principal.


Within five (5) school days of receipt of this written request for a conference, the Superintendent shall contact the complainant to schedule a conference to discuss the matter.  Any agreed resolution between the Superintendent and the complainant shall be reduced to writing. If an agreement is not forthcoming, the Superintendents shall issue a written decision.

D.    Fourth Level

Should the matter still not be resolved, or if it is one beyond the Superintendent's authority and requires a Board decision or action, the complainant shall request in writing a hearing by the Board.  The written request for a review by the Board shall be sent to the Superintendent within five (5) school days of his/her decision.

In order to be considered for review by the Board, a complaint must have followed all levels of review and procedures as outlined in this policy.  The complainant shall advise the Board, in writing, of the specific basis (bases) for his/her disagreement with the disposition of the building principal and Superintendent.

The Board will meet with the complainant only in highly unusual situations.  The Board retains the discretion to determine the manner in which it will review all complaints received.  However, all complaints that adhere to Policy 9130 shall receive a written response by the Board.


Matters Regarding a Administrative Staff Member


In the case of a complaint directed toward an administrative staff member, the general procedure specified in "Matters Regarding a Professional Staff Member" shall be followed.  The complaint shall be discussed, initially, with the person toward whom it is directed and if a satisfactory resolution is not achieved at this level, the matter shall be brought, as required, to higher levels terminating with the Board.



Matters Regarding the Superintendent or Treasurer


Should the matter be a concern regarding the Superintendent or Treasurer which cannot be resolved through discussion with the Superintendent or Treasurer, the complaint may submit a written request to the Board President for a conference with the Board.  This request shall include:

    
    A.    the nature of the complaint and a brief statement of the facts giving rise to it;


    B.    the respect in which it is alleged that the complainant (or child of the complainant) has been affected adversely;

    C.    the reason that the matter was not able to be resolved with the Superintendent or Treasurer;

    D.    the action which the complainant wishes taken and the reasons why it is felt that such action should be taken.

The Board, after reviewing the request, may grant a hearing before the Board, or a committee of the Board, or refer the matter, if permitted by State law, to an executive session.

The complainant shall be advised, in writing, of the Board's decision within thirty (30) days.  

If the complainant contacts an individual Board member to discuss the matter, the Board member shall inform the complainant that he/she has no authority at act in his/her individual capacity and that the  complainant must follow the procedure described in this policy.

Matters Regarding a Classified Staff Member


In the case of a complaint directed toward a classified staff member, the complaint is to be directed, initially, toward the person's superior, and the matter then brought as required to higher levels in the manner prescribed as for Professional Staff Members.

Matters Regarding a Program or Operation


If the request, suggestion or complaint relates to a matter of District school policy, procedure, program or operation, it should be addressed, initially, to the building principal or the head of the classified department who is most directly concerned, and then brought, in turn, to higher levels of authority in the manner prescribed in "Matters Regarding Professional Staff Member."

Matters Regarding Instructional Materials


If the request, suggestion or complaint relates to instructional materials such as textbooks, library books, reference works and other instructional aids used in the District, the following procedures shall be followed:


A.    The criticism is to be addressed to the Superintendent in writing, and shall include:

        1.    author;

        2.    title;

        3.    publisher;

        4.    the complainant's familiarity with the material objected to;

        5.    sections objected to, by  page and item;

        6.    reasons for objection;

        7.    in what school and class the material was used;

        8.    how the material was used.


B.    Upon receipt of the information, the Superintendent shall, appoint a review committee (see Policy 2530.01) consisting of:

        1.    a principal;

        2.    a teacher in the subject area;

        3.    a library staff member.


C.    The Superintendent shall be an ex officio member of the committee.


D.    The committee, in evaluating the questioned material, shall be guided by the following criteria:

        1.    the appropriateness of the material for the age and maturity level of the students with whom it is being used

        2.    the accuracy of the material;

        3.    the objectivity of the material;

        4.    the use being made of the material.

E.    The material in question may be withdrawn from use pending the committee's recommendation.

F.    The committee's recommendation shall be reported to the Superintendent in writing within thirty (30) days following the formation of the committee.  The Superintendent will advise the complainant, in writing of the committee's decision and advise the Board of the action recommended.


G.    The complainant may appeal this decision to the Board through a written request to the Superintendent, who shall forward the request and all written material relating to the matter  to the Board.


H.    The Board shall review the case in committee session and advise the complaint in writing of its decision within 10 days.

No challenged material may be removed from the curriculum or from a collection of resource materials except by action of the Board,  and no challenged material may be removed  solely because it  presents ideas that may be unpopular or offensive to some.  Any Board action to remove material will be accompanied by the Board's statement of its reasons for the removal.

 

Revised 10/21/96

Revised 11/20/00

 

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