Complaint Procedure for Students, Parents*, and Volunteers
A complaint procedure has been developed to handle complaints from students, parents or guardians, and volunteers. The complaint procedure includes the following steps:
1) Complainants may talk to the building principal or immediate supervisor to try to resolve the problem informally. If the complaint is based on the conduct of the complainant’s principal or immediate supervisor, the complainant should contact that person’s immediate supervisor. Complaints should be reported as soon as possible after the event giving rise to the complaint.
2) If the complainant prefers to proceed with a formal complaint, or if the matter has not been resolved informally, he or she may file a written complaint with the district’s compliance officer by calling 242-7781. Formal complaints should be filed as soon as possible after the event giving rise to the complaint, or when it is determined that the complaint cannot be resolved informally.
3) The district’s compliance officer/designee will investigate the complaint by taking a written statement from the complainant, the respondent named in the complaint, and those witnesses who have been identified who also have relevant information pertaining to the complaint. Relevant documentation will also be taken into account. During the investigation, the respondent may elect to have a union representative, friend, counsel, or any other individual present during interviews and subsequent meetings.
4) Upon completion of the investigation, the compliance officer shall issue a written report, making findings with respect to individual allegations set out in the complaint, and rendering an ultimate finding as to whether the greater weight of the evidence, based on the entire record, indicates the district’s discrimination policies have been violated.
5) The district prohibits retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint of discrimination. Any individual intentionally providing false information in a complaint investigation may be subject to disciplinary action.
In the event the compliance officer finds:
- No violation of the district policy, the compliance officer will share the findings with the complainant and the respondent.
- A violation of the district’s non-discrimination policy or no violation of the district’s non-discrimination policy, but other inappropriate behavior on the part of the respondent, the findings will be reviewed by the compliance officer with the complainant:
- By the compliance officer and the respondent’s principal or the immediate supervisor, the director responsible for the respondent, and a representative from human resources management.
- If disciplinary action is taken, a copy of the discipline letter will be placed in the employee’s file or the student’s file. All other information regarding the case will be kept in confidential files in the Office of Intercultural Programs. Any disciplinary consequences are confidential.
- The district has no jurisdiction over parents and volunteers. However, steps can be taken to ensure that individuals do not continue to violate non-discrimination policies.
The matter will be closed after the investigator has met with the complainant and the respondent unless, within ten days of this review, either side files a written appeal to the superintendent stating the reason(s) they believe the decision should not stand.
In the event of an appeal, the superintendent/designee shall review the written record and meet with the appealing party. The superintendent/designee may affirm, reverse, modify, or remand the matter for further proceedings and shall, within twenty (20) days of the written appeal, confirm this decision in writing to the appealing party.
Except in the event of a termination of a certified employee, the superintendent’s/designee’s decision shall be final.
The district encourages individuals to use the internal complaint procedure. However, the complainant may seek legal advice of his or her choosing, or file a formal complaint with the Des Moines Human Rights Commission, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, or other agencies. If the complainant seeks other avenues of redress, the district may choose not to conduct its internal complaint procedures.
*When ‘parent’ is used, it is meant to include guardian.