FILE:  JCE

Cf:  GAE

 

COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES

FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

 

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board recognizes that harmonious relations with its students and parents can be maintained and improved through effective communications.  The interests of all parties can best be served by sincere efforts of all concerned to promote understanding and cooperation.  Therefore, any parent or student shall have the right to appeal the application of policies and administrative decisions affecting him/her.

 

All grievances shall be handled expeditiously and shall be handled according to the following procedures.

 

PROCEDURE

 

  1. Definitions

 

    1. A grievance is a claim by an individual that he/she has suffered harm or injury by the interpretation, application or violation of a contract, a School Board policy, a law or constitutionally guaranteed rights.  The term "grievance" does not include matters for which the method of review is prescribed by law (e.g., student discipline) or where the School Board is without authority to act.

    2. Any claim by an individual that there has been a violation of rights shall be a grievance, and shall be resolved through the procedures set forth herein.  Group grievances are not allowed but, with the consent of the aggrieved persons involved, several individual grievances may be consolidated for consideration.

    3. An "aggrieved person" is the person or persons making the claim.

    4. A "respondent" is the person or persons responsible at each level of the procedure for responding to the claim of the aggrieved person.

    5. A "party in interest" is the person or persons making a claim (aggrieved person) and any person or persons who might be required to take action or against whom action might be taken in order to resolve the claim respondent).

    6. The term "days" shall mean working days.

    7. The central office grievance committee shall be composed of the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, Program Supervisor, and one person at large selected by the Superintendent.

 

  1. Purpose

    The primary purpose of this procedure is to secure, at the most immediate level possible, equitable solutions to a claim of the aggrieved person.  Both parties agree that these proceedings shall be kept confidential at each level of procedure.

  2. Grievance Process

    Grievances shall be processed as rapidly as possible.  The number of days indicated at each level are a maximum, and every effort shall be made to expedite processing the grievance.

 

Level One - A student/parent with a grievance must first receive a copy of the complaints and grievances procedure and discuss the grievance orally with his principal.  Within three (3) days, the principal shall render an oral decision concerning the grievance.

Level Two - In the event the aggrieved person is not satisfied with the disposition of his grievance at Level One, or, if no decision has been rendered within three (3) days after presentation of the grievance, the aggrieved person shall present the grievance in writing to the principal specifying:

 

        1. The nature of the grievance; and

        2. The nature or extent of the injury, loss, or inconvenience, and

        3. The results of previous discussions; and

        4. The dissatisfaction with decisions previously rendered.

 

This written grievance must be presented to the principal within three (3) days after the individual's receipt of the Level One oral decision.  The principal shall communicate his/her decision on the grievance to the aggrieved person in writing within three (3) days of the receipt of the written grievance.  The decision of the principal shall also notify the aggrieved person of the name of the central office person to whom that decision may be appealed.

Level Three - In the event the aggrieved person is not satisfied with the disposition of his/her grievance at Level Two, or, if no decision has been rendered within three (3) days from the date of receipt of the grievance by the principal, the aggrieved person may, within three (3) school days thereafter, appeal to the member of the central office staff who has jurisdiction to deal with and help resolve the matters stated in the grievance.  The appeal shall be in writing and shall set forth the same types of information called for at Level Two.  The central office grievance committee charged with the responsibility of handling Level Three of this procedure may meet with the parties in interest, but, in any event, the committee must render a decision on the grievance within five (5) days from the date of their receipt of it.

Level Four - In the event the aggrieved person is not satisfied with the disposition of his/her grievance at Level Three, or, if no decision has been rendered within five (5) days from the date of the receipt of the grievance by the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, the aggrieved person may appeal to the Superintendent.  The appeal shall be in writing and shall set forth the same types of information called for at Level Two.  The Superintendent may meet with the parties in interest, but, in any event, he/she must render a decision on the grievance within five (5) days from the date of his/her receipt of it.

Level Five - In the event the aggrieved person is not satisfied with the disposition of his/her grievance at Level Four, or, if no decision has been rendered within five (5) days from the date of receipt of the grievance by the Superintendent, the aggrieved person may request, in writing, that the Superintendent place the grievance on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board.  Such written request must include the same types of information called for at Level Two, and copies of all decisions previously rendered in connection with the grievance must be attached to the request for a hearing before the Board.  The request for a hearing before the Board must be made no later than five (5) days after receipt by the aggrieved person of the decision of the Superintendent at Level Four, or, if no decision was rendered by the Superintendent, no more than five (5) days following the last date on which the Superintendent could have rendered such decision.

The hearing shall be conducted as informally as possible, and all parties in interest shall be given the opportunity to present evidence in support of their positions.  After hearing from all such parties, the Board shall render its decision on the merits of the grievance at that Board meeting or at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

 

  1. Miscellaneous

 

    1. A grievance may be withdrawn at any level without prejudice or record.  Additionally, there shall be no recrimination against a person because a grievance has been filed in accordance with the provisions outlined herein.

    2. Copies of all written decisions of grievances shall be sent to all parties involved.

    3. Appeals of grievance decisions will be limited to the specific issues raised in the original grievance.  The parties in interest will not be allowed to expand the issues during the grievance procedure, except to the extent necessary to respond to administrative decisions made along the way.

    4. Failure by the aggrieved person to meet the timelines and requirements of this procedure shall result in dismissal of his grievance.  Failure by respondent to meet timelines and requirements of this procedure shall allow the aggrieved person, at his/her option, to proceed to the next level of appeal.

 

  1. Representation

    An "aggrieved person shall have the right to present his/her own grievance or may designate a representative to appear with him at Level Five of the above procedure.

    The "aggrieved person" who chooses to have representation shall provide advance notice of such in writing to the superior at the respective procedural level of at least two (2) days prior to the hearing of the grievance.

 

Revised:  May, 1990

Revised:  February, 2004

Revised:  March, 1996

Revised:  June, 2014

 

 

Ref:     20 USC 1681 (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)

Pickering v. Board of Education, 88 S. St. 1731 (1968)

Givhan v. Western Line Consolidated School, 439 US 410, 99 S. Ct. 693, 58 L. Ed. 2d 619 (1979)

Board minutes, 2-23-89, 5-24-90, 2-26-04

 

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board