|Otsego Public Schools|
|Bylaws & Policies|
9130 - PUBLIC COMPLAINTS
Any person or group having a legitimate interest in the operations 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 unnecessary harassment. It is the intent of this policy to provide the means for judging each public complaint 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 District 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, or complaints 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
|If it is a matter specifically directed toward a teaching 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 reasoned explanation or take appropriate action within his/her authority and District administrative guidelines.|
|As appropriate, the staff member shall report the matter and whatever action may have been taken to the building principal.|
|If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the first level, it shall be discussed by the complainant with the building principal.|
|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 by the complainant with a copy to the Board. 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 shall be advised of the resolution.
|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, may grant a meeting before the Board.|
|The complainant shall be advised, in writing, of the Board's decision, no more than seven (7) days following the hearing.|
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.
The complainant is not to discuss the matter with an individual Board member as a Board member has no authority except when the Board is in session.
Matters Regarding an 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 a Support Staff Member
In the case of a complaint directed toward a support 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 District Services or Operations
If the request, suggestion, or complaint relates to a matter of District procedure or operation, it should be addressed, initially, to the building principal/director and then brought, in turn, to higher levels of authority in the manner prescribed in "Matters Regarding Professional Staff Member".
Matters Regarding the Educational Program
If the request, suggestion, or complaint relates to a matter of District 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 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, or complaint relates to instructional materials such as textbooks, library books, reference works, and other instructional aids used in the District, the complaint should be directed to the building principal. If the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the following procedure shall be followed:
|A.||The criticism is to be addressed to the Superintendent, in writing, and shall include the author, title, publisher, the complainant's familiarity with the material objected to, sections objected to, by page and item, and reasons for objection.|
|B.||Upon receipt of the information, the Superintendent shall, after advising the Board of the complaint, appoint a review committee consisting of:|
|1.||one or more professional staff members including a media coordinator;|
|2.||a Board member;|
|3.||one or more lay persons knowledgeable in the area.|
The Superintendent shall be an ex officio member of the committee.
|C.||The committee, in evaluating the questioned material, shall be guided by, but not limited to, 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|
|D.||The material in question may not be withdrawn from use pending the committee's decision.|
|E.||The committee's decision shall be reported to the Superintendent in writing within ten (10) 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 taken or recommended.|
|F.||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.|
The Board shall review the case and advise the complainant, in writing, of its decision within ten (10) days.
20 U.S.C. 1232h