Decatur County Community Schools
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 Professional Staff Member

 

A.

First Level

     
   

If it is a matter specifically directed toward a professional 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 building principal.

 

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 building principal a written request 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.

     
   

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, 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 Board, after reviewing all material relating to the case, shall provide the complainant with its written decision and/or grant a hearing before the Board.

     
   

The complainant shall be advised, in writing, of the Board's decision, no more than five (5) business days following the hearing. The Board's decision on the matter will be final, and it will not provide a hearing to other complainants on the same issue.

     
   

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 the Superintendent

Should the matter be a concern regarding the Superintendent which cannot be resolved through discussion with the Superintendent, the complainant may submit a written request for a conference to the Board. This request should include:

 A.the specific 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 matter was not able to be resolved with the Superintendent;

 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 to an executive session.

The complainant shall be advised, in writing, of the Board's decision within thirty (30) business days. The Board's decision will be final and not subject to appeal.

Matters Regarding an Administrative Staff Member

Since administrators are considered members of the Corporation's professional staff, the general procedure specified in "Matters Regarding a Professional Staff Member" shall be followed.

Matters Regarding a Support Staff Member

In the case of a support staff member, the same procedure is to be followed as for "Matters Regarding a Professional Staff Member".

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 principal and then brought, in turn, to higher levels of authority in the manner prescribed in "Matters Regarding a Professional 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 building principal and then brought, in turn, to higher levels of authority in the manner prescribed in "Matters Regarding a Professional Staff Member."

Matters Regarding Instructional Materials

The Superintendent shall prepare administrative guidelines to ensure that students and parents are adequately informed each year regarding their right to inspect instructional materials and the procedure for completing such an inspection. See AG 9130A and Form 9130 F3.

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.The criticism is to be addressed to the building principal, 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.

 B.Upon receipt of the information, the building principal may, after advising the Superintendent of the complaint and upon the Superintendent's approval, appoint a review committee which may consist of:

  1.one (1) or more professional staff members including the principal;

  2.one (1) or more Board members;

  3.one (1) or more lay persons knowledgeable in the area.

 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 to the Superintendent.

 F.The committee's recommendation shall be reported to the Superintendent in writing within ten (10) business days following the formation of the committee. The Superintendent will advise the complainant, in writing, of the committee's recommendation and advise the Board of the action taken or recommended.

 G.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.

 H.The Board shall review the case and advise the complainant, in writing, of its decision within ten (10) 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