Complaint Procedure and Resolution
STUDENT/PARENT/GUARDIAN(S) COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
The following procedure will be used to address a complaint from a student, parent, or guardian. Complaints can include, but are not limited to, discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, handicap, age or gender, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, the handicap/disability in the placement, instruction and guidance of pupils; employment, assignment, training, or promotion of personnel; provision and maintenance of physical supplies and equipment, the development and implementation of the curriculum, including the activities program; and in all matters relating to the instruction, supervision, administration and Board policy development:
- Report the alleged incident to the principal as soon as possible after the event(s) has occurred. If the complaint involves the principal, the report of the alleged incident should be made to the appropriate Associate Superintendent as soon as possible after the event(s) occurred.
- The complaint will be investigated and the individual bringing the complaint will be advised of the outcome of the investigation within ten (10) days.
- If the individual bringing the complaint is not satisfied with the principal’s resolution, he/she may appeal to the appropriate Associate Superintendent. The appeal must be made in writing within ten (10) days from receipt of the principal’s decision.
- If the individual is not satisfied with the Associate Superintendent’s resolution of the complaint, he/she may appeal to the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee. The Superintendent of Schools following a documented investigation, may direct the notification of law enforcement authorities where appropriate.
- First Contact: Appropriate building principal
- Follow-Up Contact: Appropriate Associate Superintendent, 810 West Markham, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201;
- Associate Superintendent High Schools 501-447-1137
- Associate Superintendent Middle Schools 501-4471136
- Associate Superintendent elementary Schools 501-447-1133
- Appeal: Superintendent of Schools, 810 West Markham, Little Rock, AR; 501-447-1000
Date: November 15, 2012
Date: November 18, 1999
Cross Reference: Student Handbook, District Procedures Handbook for Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
COMPLAINT RESOLUTION FOR TITLE II, TITLE VI, TITLE VII, TITLE IX, ADA, SECTION 504, OR OTHER SIMILAR REQUIREMENTS
The specific purposes to be served by these procedures are:
- To ensure that a complaint is considered fairly, with all due speed, and without prejudice or reprisal to the aggrieved person;
- To encourage student expression regarding conditions that affect him/her;
- To provide a specific procedure that will facilitate the understanding of district policies affecting students;;
- To build confidence in the sincerity and integrity of the complaint resolution procedure as a means to establish the facts upon which a complaint is based, a problem is stated, and a fair conclusion or solution is reached.
- A “complaint” is an allegation of action or inaction by the District or its representatives in violation of Title II, Title VI, Title IX, ADA or Section 504, or the implementing regulations, or other similar requirements.
- The “complainant” is the student, patron, or employee bringing the complaint.
- "Employee" means a person who is a full or part-time employee who is on the payroll of the District.
- “Patron” means any student’s parent or other resident in the LRSD.
- The "responsible official” means the employee designated by the District to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the above mentioned requirements.
- "Student" means a person enrolled in one of the schools operated by the corporation.
- "Superintendent" means the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.
The following process will be used in the review and resolution of complaints regarding compliance with Title II, Title VI, Title IX, ADA, Section 504, or other similar requirements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended:
Step 1 (Informal Resolution)
The complainant is encouraged to try to resolve any issues relating to implementation and compliance with any of the aforementioned legal requirements at the lowest administrative level possible. The complaint should be brought to the administrator/supervisor at the point where the possible violation exists. Within ten days after receipt of the complaint, the administrator will attempt resolution with the complainant in an informal manner. If a satisfactory informal resolution cannot be reached, the complainant and/or the administrator may seek the assistance of the District’s responsible official.
Step 2 (Formal Complaint)
If the complainant is unable to secure a satisfactory resolution through informal means at step 1, the complainant may file a formal complaint. The complaint should be filed with the LRSD official who has district level responsibility for that area. The complaint must be filed within ten days of the response of the administration at step 1. The complaint should be in writing and give a concise but thorough overview of the alleged problem or violation and indicate the specific relief requested. All relevant documents also should be included. The responsible official will investigate the complaint and collect whatever information is needed to make an informed decision. The responsible official will issue a written finding within fifteen days of the receipt of the complaint or inform the complainant of the reasons that it is not possible to issue a finding in that time frame. If a finding cannot be issued within fifteen days, it will be issued as soon as practicable.
Step 3 (Appeal to the Board of Education)
If the complainant is not satisfied with the finding at step 2, he/she may request a hearing with the Board of Education. The request for the hearing must be made within ten days of the written finding issued at step 2. The request for the hearing must include a statement of the complaint, the finding of the responsible official from step 2, and any response to the finding that the complainant wishes to present. It should include the reasons that the complainant believes the finding is in error.
The individual members of the Board will review the information presented with the written request for the hearing prior to the following month’s Board agenda meeting. The Board will decide at the agenda meeting whether or not to place the appeal on the agenda for a hearing. If the Board decides not to hear the complaint, the written finding of the District’s responsible official will be the position of the LRSD.
The failure of the complainant to comply with the identified timelines will be considered to be an abandonment of the complaint.
Effect of Settlement
Any settlement of a complaint will be applicable to that complaint only and will not be binding authority for the disposition of any other complaint.
The LRSD is committed to compliance with its legal obligations. As a result anonymous complaints will be thoroughly investigated and handled in a serious manner. However, anonymous complaints are more difficult to substantiate and investigate. Therefore, complainants are encouraged to be open, forthcoming, and identify themselves to assist in a satisfactory resolution to the complaint.
The LRSD recognizes that some students, patrons, and employees will not come forward with legitimate complaints because of a fear of retribution. The LRSD will not condone or tolerate reprisals against complainants by any of its employees. Employees who exercise retaliatory behavior against any complainant will be appropriately disciplined.
Reporting Outside the Process
In instances where there is a genuine sense of potential reprisal and it is not realistic to report the complaint at the lowest administrative level, the complaint may be made with the District’s responsible official. The responsible official may refer the complaint to another administrator in the department’s organizational structure to attempt a resolution.
Date: Nov. 15, 2012
Date: July 22, 1999