A students, parents/guardians, employees, or community members should notify any District Complaint Manager if they believe that the Board of Education, its employees, or its agents have violated their rights guaranteed by the State or federal Constitution, State or federal statute, or Board policy, or have a complaint regarding any one of the following:
The Complaint Manager will first attempt to resolve complaints without resorting to this grievance procedure. If a formal complaint is filed under this policy, The Complaint Manager will address the complaint promptly and equitably. A student and/or parent/guardian filing a complaint under this policy may forego any informal suggestions and/or attempts to resolve it and may proceed directly to this grievance procedure. The Complaint Manager will not require a student or parent/guardian complaining of any form of harassment to attempt to resolve allegations directly with the accused (or the accused parents/guardians); this includes mediation.
Right to Pursue Other Remedies Not Impaired
The right to prompt and equitable resolution of a complaint filed under this policy shall not be impaired by the person's pursuit of other remedies, e.g., criminal complaints, civil actions, etc. Use of this grievance procedure does not extend any filing deadline related to the pursuit of other remedies. If a person is pursuing another remedy subject to a complaint under this policy, the District will continue with a simultaneous investigation under the policy.
All deadlines under this policy may be extended by the Complaint Manager as he or she deems appropriate. As used in this policy, “school business days” means days on which the District’s main office is open.
Filing a Complaint
A person (hereinafter Complainant) who wishes to avail him or herself of this grievance procedure may do so by filing a complaint with the designated Complaint Manager. The Complainant shall not be required to file a complaint with a particular Complaint Manager and may request a Complaint Manager of the same gender. The Complaint Manager may request the Complainant to provide a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint or require a meeting with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student. The Complaint Manager shall assist the Complainant as needed.
For any compliant alleging bullying and/or cyber-bullying of students, the Complaint Manager shall process and review the complaint according to Board policy 7:180, Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment, in addition to any response by this policy. For any compliant alleging sexual harassment or other violation of Board policy 5:20, Workplace Harassment Prohibited, the Complaint Manager shall process and review the complaint according to that policy, in addition to any response required by this policy.
The Complaint Manager will investigate the complaint or appoint a qualified person to undertake the investigation on his or her behalf. If the Complainant is a student under 18 years of age, the Complaint Manager will notify his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) that they may attend any investigatory meetings in which their child is involved. The complaint and identity of the Complainant will not be disclosed except (1) as required by law, or this policy, (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint, or (3) as authorized by the Complainant.
The identity of any student witnesses will not be disclosed except: (1) as required by law or any collective bargaining agreement, (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint, or (3) as authorized by the parent/guardian of the student witness, or by the student if the student is 18 years of age or older.
The Complaint Manager will inform, at regular intervals, the person(s) filing a complaint under this policy after the status of the investigation. Within 30 school business days after the date the complaint was filed, the Complaint Manager shall file a written report of his or her findings with the Superintendent. The Complaint Manager may request an extension of time. The Superintendent will keep the Board informed of all complaints.
If a complaint contains allegations involving the Superintendent, the written report shall be filed directly with the Board of Education, which will make a decision in accordance with paragraph four of the following section of this policy.
Decision and Appeal
Within five business days after receiving the Complaint Manager’s report, the Superintendent shall mail his or her written decision to the Complainant and the accused by first class U.S. mail as well as to the Complaint Manager. All decisions shall be based upon the preponderance of evidence standard.
Within 10 school business days after receiving the Superintendent’s decision, the Complainant or the accused may appeal it to the Board of Education by making a written request to the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager shall be responsible for promptly forwarding all materials relative to the complaint and appeal to the Board of Education.
Within 30 school business days, the Board of Education shall affirm, reverse, or amend the Superintendent’s decision or direct the Superintendent to gather additional information. Within five school business days after the Board’s decision, the Superintendent shall inform the Complainant and the accused of the Board’s action.
For complaints containing allegations involving the Superintendent, within 30 school business days after receiving the Complaint Manager’s report, the Board shall mail its written decision to the Complainant and the accused by first class U.S. mail as well as to the Complaint Manager.
This policy shall not be construed to create an independent right to a hearing before the Superintendent or Board. The failure to strictly follow the timelines in this complaint policy shall not prejudice any party.
This Uniform Grievance policy does not apply to grievances which may be brought under the procedures set forth by the collective bargaining agreement.
Appointing Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Managers
The Superintendent shall appoint a Nondiscrimination Coordinator to manage the District’s efforts to provide equal opportunity employment and educational opportunities and prohibit the harassment of employees, students, and others. The Nondiscrimination Coordinator also serves as the District’s Title IX Coordinator.
The Superintendent has designated the Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Personnel and the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services to implement the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure. The District’s Nondiscrimination Coordinator may be appointed as one of the Complaint Managers. Please refer to Exhibit 2:260-E, Complaint Managers/Nondiscrimination and Title IX Coordinator.
LEGAL REF.: Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §621 et seq.Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq. Equal Employment Opportunities Act (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act), 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq. Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. §206(d).Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000FF et seq.Immigration Reform and Control Act, 8 U.S.C. §1324a et seq. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §11431 et seq. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §791 et seq. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq. Title IX of the Education Amendments, 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.; 34 C.F.R. Part 106 State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/70-5(a). 105 ILCS 5/2-3.8, 5/3-10, 5/10-20.7a, 5/10-20.605/10-22.5, 5/22-19, 5/24-4, 5/27.1, 5/27-23.7, and 45/1-15. Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act, 410 ILCS 513/. Illinois Whistleblower Act, 740 ILCS 174. Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/. Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act, 820 ILCS 180, 56 Ill.Admin.Code Part 280. Equal Pay Act of 2003, 820 ILCS 112. Employee Credit Privacy Act, 820 ILCS 70/. 23 Ill.Admin.Code §§1.240 and 200-40.
CROSS REF.: 2:105 (Ethics and Gift Ban). 2:265 (Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure), 5:10 (Equal Employment Opportunity), 5:20 (Workplace Harassment Prohibited), 5:30 (Hiring Process and Criteria), 5:90 (Abused and Neglected Child Reporting), 6:120 (Education of Children with Disabilities), 6:140 (Education of Homeless Children), 6:170 (Title I Programs), 6:260 (Complaints About Curriculum, Instructional Materials, and Programs), 7:10 (Equal Educational Opportunities), 7:15 (Students and Family Privacy Rights), 7:20 (Freedom from Harassment), 7:180 (Preventing Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment), 7:185 (Teen Dating Violence Prohibited), 7:310 (Restrictions on Publications; Elementary Schools), 7:315 (Restrictions on Publications; High Schools), 8:70 (Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities), 8:95 (Parental Involvement), 8:110 (Public Suggestions and Concerns)
ADOPTED: November 22, 2004
REVISED: February 22, 2010
February 28, 2011
January 26, 2015
December 14, 2015
January 22, 2018
May 29, 2018
September 28, 2020
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