Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
Bylaws & Policies
 

9130 - PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS

Any person or group having a legitimate interest in the operations of this Corporation shall have the right to present a request, suggestion, complaint, or concern relating to Corporation personnel, the program, or the operations of the Corporation. At the same time, the School Board has a duty to protect its staff from unnecessary harassment. It is the intent of this policy to provide the means for judging each public complaint and concern in a fair and impartial manner and to seek a remedy where appropriate.

It is the desire of the Board to rectify any misunderstandings between the public and the Corporation by direct discussions 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, complaints, or concerns reaching the Board, Board members, and the administration shall be referred to the Superintendent for consideration according to the following procedure.

Matters Regarding a Staff Member

 A.First Level
  If it is a matter specifically directed toward a staff member, the matter must be addressed, initially, to the concerned staff member who shall discuss it promptly with the complainant and make every effort to provide a reasonable explanation or take appropriate action within his/her authority and Corporation administrative guidelines.
  

This level does not apply if the matter involves suspected child abuse, substance abuse, or any other serious allegation which may require investigation or inquiry by school officials prior to approaching the professional staff member.

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

 B.Second Level
  If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the First Level, it shall be discussed by the complainant with the staff member's supervisor and in compliance with provisions of a collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.

 C.Third Level
  If a satisfactory solution is not achieved by discussion with the staff members supervisor, a written request using the Complaint Resolution Form for a conference shall be submitted to the Superintendent. This request should include:

  1.the specific nature of the complaint and a brief statement of the facts 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.steps taken to date to resolve the issues.

 

Should the matter be resolved in conference with the Superintendent, the Board may be advised of the resolution.

 D.Fourth Level
  Should the matter still not be resolved, the matter shall then be referred to the Complaint Resolution Committee.
  The Complaint Resolution Committee, after reviewing all material relating to the case, shall grant a hearing.
  The Complaint Resolution Committee shall review the facts and promptly recommend an appropriate action to the Superintendent. The committee may also inform the Superintendent of any dissenting committee memberís opinions.
  The complainant shall be advised, in writing, of the Committee's decision, no more than seven (7) business days following the hearing.
  If resolution is not achieved to the satisfaction of the complainant and/or school employee, they may, within fifteen (15) business days, appeal the matter by written letter to the Board of School Trustees.
  If the complainant contacts an individual Board member to discuss the matter, the Board member shall inform the complainant that s/he has no authority to act in his/her individual capacity and that the complainant must follow the procedure described in this policy.

Matters Regarding Corporation Services or Operations

If the request, suggestion, complaint, or concern relates to a matter of Corporation procedure or operation, it should be addressed, initially, to the building administrator or site supervisor and then brought, in turn, to higher levels of authority in the manner prescribed in "Matters Regarding a Staff Member."

Matters Regarding the Educational Program

If the request, suggestion, complaint, or concern relates to a matter of Corporation program, it should be addressed, initially, to the involved staff members and then brought, in turn, to higher levels of authority in the manner prescribed in "Matters Regarding a Staff Member."

Matters Regarding Instructional Materials

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

 A.Discuss the concern with the teacher/librarian/principal/other involved staff members.

 B.If not satisfied by the outcome of this informal meeting, the parent/citizen shall formalize his/her criticism of materials. This form shall be turned in to the building principal or supervisor.

 C.The criticism is to be addressed to the involved staff member and immediate supervisor, 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.

 D.Upon receipt of the information, a meeting will be held at the building level with the principal, the teacher and the citizen within ten (10) school days of the filing of the complaint.

 E.If the written complaint is resolved at this meeting, the only additional action necessary shall be to send a copy of the complaint with the resolution reached, attested to by the parties, to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

 F.If the written complaint is not resolved at this meeting, then the complaint will be forwarded immediately to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for a formal review.

 G.The Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction shall appoint a review committee to formally evaluate the complaint and appoint a chairperson. This review committee shall be made up of:

  1.One (1) administrator

  2.Two (2) classroom teachers

  3.Two (2) parents

  4.One (1) department representative

 

School personnel will be assigned from schools not involved in the challenge.

   
 

Upon reviewing the formal complaint, the evaluation committee shall make a recommendation to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

   
 

A formal letter shall be written to the citizen within thirty (30) business days of receipt of the complaint by the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. This letter will state the findings of the evaluation committee and the official ruling as to the use of the materials being challenged.

   
 

An appeal of this decision may be made through the Superintendent to the Board of School Trustees.

 H.The review 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

 I.The material in question may not be withdrawn from use pending the committee's recommendation to the Superintendent.

 J.The complainant may appeal this decision, within thirty (30) business days, 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.

 K.The Board shall review the case and advise the complainant, in writing, of its decision within thirty (30) business 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.

I.C. 20-26-5-4
20 U.S.C. 1232h