Uniform Complaint

Uniform Complaint

(NONDISCRIMINATION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY)

(Education Code §§212.5, 221.5, 231.5, 262.3, 35186, 48980, Code of Regulations, Title 5 §§4600, 4621, 4622, 4631, 4632, 4650, 4652, 4680- 4687, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 §1681, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 §504, Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994, Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, United States Code, Title 42 §§2000 et seq., United States Code, Title 20 §1681, and Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34 §§100.1, 106.1)

 

The Governing Board recognizes the District is primarily responsible for complying with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs. The District shall investigate any complaints alleging failure to comply with such laws and/or alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying and shall seek to resolve those complaints in accordance with the District's uniform complaint procedures.

 

The District shall use the uniform complaint procedures to resolve any complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying against any protected group as identified under Education Code section 200 and 220 and Government Code section 11135, including those with actual or perceived characteristics such as  race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, in any program or activity conducted by the District or that is funded directly by, or that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance.

 

Uniform complaint procedures shall also be used to address any complaint alleging the District's failure to comply with state and/or federal laws in adult education programs, consolidated categorical aid programs, migrant education, career technical and technical education and training programs, child care and development programs, child nutrition programs, special education programs, and the development and adoption of the school safety plan.

 

Uniform complaint procedures shall be used to address any complaint alleging the District’s non-compliance with Article 5.5 of Chapter 6 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code (commencing with Section 49010) regarding pupil fees. A pupil enrolled in a public school shall not be required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity.

 

Pursuant to Education Code section 52075, individuals may file a complaint under the district’s Uniform Complaint Procedure alleging that the school district has not complied with the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) requirements in the Education Code. A complaint may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of noncompliance with the requirements of the Education Code. A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a school district may appeal the decision to the Superintendent and shall receive a written appeal decision within 60 days of the Superintendent’s receipt of the appeal. If the school district finds merit in the complaint or the Superintendent finds merit in an appeal, the school district will provide a remedy to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians.

 

The Board prohibits any form of retaliation against any complainant in the complaint process. Participation in the complaint process shall not in any way affect the status, grades, or work assignments of the complainant.

 

The Board encourages the early, informal resolution of complaints at the site level whenever possible. The Board recognizes that a neutral mediator can often suggest a compromise that is agreeable to all parties in a dispute. In accordance with uniform complaint procedures, whenever all parties to a complaint agree to try resolving the problem through mediation, the Superintendent or designee shall initiate that process. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the results are consistent with state and federal laws and regulations.

 

In investigating complaints, the confidentiality of the parties involved and the integrity of the process shall be protected. As appropriate, the Superintendent or designee may keep the identity of a complainant confidential to the extent that the investigation of the complaint is not obstructed.

 

The District's Williams uniform complaint procedures, BP 7703.01, shall be used to investigate and resolve any complaint related to the following:

 

1.         Textbooks or Instructional Materials

 

2.         Facility Conditions

 

3.         Teacher Vacancies or Misassignments

 

4.         High School Exit Examination

 

 

Legal Reference:

 

EDUCATION CODE

 

200-262.4                  Prohibition of discrimination

8200-8498                 Child care and development programs

8500-8538                 Adult basic education

18100-18203            School libraries

32289                         School safety plan, uniform complaint procedures

35186                         Williams uniform complaint procedures

37254                         Intensive instruction and services for students who have not passed          exit exam

41500-41513            Categorical education block grants

48985                         Notices in language other than English

49060-49079            Student records

49490-49590            Child nutrition programs

52076                          Local Control Accountability Plan

52160-52178            Bilingual education programs

52300-52490            Career technical education

52500-52616.24       Adult schools

52800-52870            School-based program coordination

54000-54028            Economic impact aid programs

54100-54145            Miller-Unruh Basic Reading Act

54400-54425            Compensatory education programs

54440-54445            Migrant education

54460-54529            Compensatory education programs

56000-56867            Special education programs

59000-59300            Special schools and centers

64000-64001            Consolidated application process

 

GOVERNMENT CODE

 

11135                         Nondiscrimination in programs or activities funded by state

12900-12996            Fair Employment and Housing Act

 

PENAL CODE

 

422.6              Interference with constitutional right or privilege

 

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

 

3080               Application of section

4600-4687     Uniform complaint procedures

4900-4965     Nondiscrimination in elementary and secondary education programs

 

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 20

 

6301-6577     Title I basic programs

6601-6777     Title II preparing and recruiting high quality teachers and principals

6801-6871     Title III language instruction for limited English proficient and immigrant students

7101-7184     Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act

7201-7283g  Title V promoting informed parental choice and innovative programs

7301-7372     Title V rural and low-income school programs

 

Board of Trustees: February 9, 1981

Reviewed:     April 1986

Revised:        March 1993

Revised:        June 1996

Revised:        May 2004

Revised:        September 2007

Revised:        May 2008

Revised:        July 2008

Revised:        March 2013

Revised:        April 2014

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Compliance Officers

 

The Board designates the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources as the Compliance Officer designated to receive and investigate complaints and ensure District compliance with the law. The Compliance Officer may designate another District administrator to investigate complaints.

 

Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources

501 Crescent Way / P.O. Box 3520

Anaheim, CA 92803

Phone: 714 999-1512

 

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that employees designated to investigate complaints are knowledgeable about the laws and programs for which they are responsible. Designated employees may have access to legal counsel as determined by the Superintendent or designee.

 

Notifications

 

The Superintendent or designee shall annually provide written notification of the District's uniform complaint procedures to students, employees, parents/guardians, the District advisory committee, school advisory committees, appropriate private school officials or representatives, and other interested parties. (5 CCR 4622)

 

The notice shall:

 

1.         Identify the person(s), position(s), or unit(s) responsible for receiving complaints

 

2.         Advise the complainant of any civil law remedies that may be available to him/her under state or federal discrimination laws, if applicable

 

3.         Advise the complainant of the appeal process pursuant to Education Code sections 262.3 and 49013(c), including the complainant's right to take a complaint directly to the California Department of Education (CDE) or to pursue remedies before civil courts or other public agencies

 

4.         Include statements that:

 

a.   The District is primarily responsible for compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

 

b.   The complaint review shall be completed within 60 calendar days from the date of receipt of the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to an extension of the timeline.

 

c.   An unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaint must be filed not later than six months from the date the alleged discrimination harassment, intimidation, or bullying occurs, or six months from the date the complainant first obtains knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

 

d.   The complainant has a right to appeal the District's decision to the CDE by filing a written appeal within 15 days of receiving the District's decision.

 

e.   The appeal to the CDE must include a copy of the complaint filed with the District and a copy of the District's decision.

 

f.    Copies of the District's uniform complaint procedures are available free of charge.

 

Procedures

 

The following procedures shall be used to address all complaints which allege that the District has violated federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs or which allege unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying.

 

All complaints shall be investigated and resolved within 60 days of the receipt of the complaint. Compliance Officers shall maintain a record of each complaint and subsequent related actions, including all information required for compliance with 5 CCR 4631 and 4633.

 

All known complainants and respondents involved in allegations shall be notified when a complaint is filed, when a complaint meeting or hearing is scheduled, and when a decision or ruling is made.

 

Step 1:  Filing of Complaint

 

Any individual, public agency or organization may file a written complaint of the District's alleged noncompliance with federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs. (5 CCR 4630)

 

A complaint concerning unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed only by a person who alleges that he/she personally suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying or by a person who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The complaint shall be initiated no later than six months from the date when the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying occurred, or six months from the date when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. However, upon written request by the complainant, the Superintendent or designee may extend the filing period for up to 90 days. (5 CCR 4630)

 

A complaint alleging non-compliance with the law regarding student fees and charges (Education Code section 49010 et seq.) may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of non-compliance.

 

The complaint shall be presented to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources who shall maintain a log of complaints received, providing each with a code number and a date stamp.

 

If a complainant is unable to put a complaint in writing due to conditions such as a disability or illiteracy, District staff shall assist him/her in the filing of the complaint.  (5 CCR 4600)

 

Step 2:  Mediation

 

The Compliance Officer may informally discuss with all the parties the possibility of using mediation.  If the parties agree to mediation, the Compliance Officer shall make all arrangements for this process.

 

Before initiating the mediation of a discrimination complaint, the Compliance Officer shall ensure that all parties agree to make the mediator a party to related confidential information.

 

If the mediation process does not resolve the problem within the parameters of law, the Compliance Officer shall proceed with his/her investigation of the complaint.

 

The use of mediation shall not extend the District's timelines for investigating and resolving the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to such an extension of time. (5 CCR 4631)

 

Step 3:  Investigation of Complaint

 

Within a reasonable time of receiving the complaint, the Compliance Officer shall provide the complainant (if known) and/or his/her representative an opportunity to present the complaint and any evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint. The Compliance Officer also shall collect all documents and interview all witnesses with information pertinent to the complaint.

 

A complainant's refusal to provide the District's investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation. (5 CCR 4631)  This provision shall not apply to anonymous complaints alleging non-compliance with the laws regarding student fees and charges (Education Code section 49010 et seq.) if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of non-compliance.

 

In accordance with law, the District shall provide the investigator with access to records and/or other information related to the allegation in the complaint. (5 CCR 4631)

 

Step 4:  Response

 

Unless extended by written agreement with the complainant, the Compliance Officer shall prepare and send to the complainant a written report of the District's investigation and decision, as described in Step #5 below, within 60 days of the District's receipt of the complaint.  (5 CCR 4631)

 

Step 5:  Final Written Decision

 

The District's decision shall be in writing and sent to the complainant. (5 CCR 4631) The District's decision shall be written in English and, when required by Education Code 48985, in the complainant's primary language.

 

For all complaints, the decision shall include:  (5 CCR 4631)

 

1.         The findings of fact based on the evidence gathered.

 

2.         The conclusion(s) of law.

 

3.         Disposition of the complaint.

 

4.         Rationale for such disposition.

 

5.         Corrective actions, if any are warranted. If a complaint alleging non-compliance with the laws regarding student fees and charges is found to have merit, the District shall provide a remedy to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians that, where applicable, includes reasonable efforts by the District to ensure full reimbursement to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians, subject to procedures established through regulations adopted by the state board. 

 

6.         Notice of the complainant's right to appeal the District's decision within 15 days to the CDE and procedures to be followed for initiating such an appeal.

 

In addition, any decision concerning a complaint of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying based on state law shall include a notice that the complainant must wait until 60 days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the CDE before pursuing civil law remedies. (Education Code 262.3)

 

If investigation of a complaint results in discipline to a student or an employee, the decision shall simply state that effective action was taken and that the student or employee was informed of District expectations. The report shall not give any further information as to the nature of the disciplinary action.

 

Appeals to the California Department of Education

 

If dissatisfied with the District's decision, the complainant may appeal in writing to the CDE within 15 days of receiving the District's decision. When appealing to the CDE, the complainant shall specify the basis for the appeal of the decision and whether the facts are incorrect and/or the law has been misapplied. The appeal shall be accompanied by a copy of the locally filed complaint and a copy of the District's decision. (5 CCR 4632)

 

Upon notification by the CDE that the complainant has appealed the District's decision, the Superintendent or designee shall forward the following documents to the CDE: (5 CCR 4633)

 

1.         A copy of the original complaint.

 

2.         A copy of the decision.

 

3.         A summary of the nature and extent of the investigation conducted by the District, if not covered by the decision.

 

4.         A copy of the investigation file including, but not limited to, all notes, interviews, and documents submitted by the parties and gathered by the investigator.

 

5.         A report of any action taken to resolve the complaint.

 

6.         A copy of the District's uniform complaint procedures.

 

7.         Other relevant information requested by the CDE.

 

The CDE may directly intervene in a complaint without waiting for action by the District when one of the conditions listed in 5 CCR 4650 exists, including cases in which the District has not taken action within 60 days of the date the complaint was filed with the District.

 

Civil Law Remedies

 

Civil law remedies may be available under state or federal discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying laws, if applicable. In appropriate cases, an appeal may be filed pursuant to Education Code section 262.3.

 

A complainant may pursue available civil law remedies outside of the District's complaint procedures. Complainants may seek assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys. Civil law remedies that may be imposed by a court include, but are not limited to, injunctions and restraining orders.

 

For complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying based on state law, a complainant shall wait until 60 days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the CDE before pursuing civil law remedies, provided the District has appropriately and in a timely manner apprised the complainant of his/her right to file a complaint in accordance with 5 CCR 4622. The moratorium does not apply to injunctive relief and to complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying based on federal law.

 

Board of Trustees: February 9, 1981

Reviewed:     April 1986

Revised:        March 1993

Revised:        June 1996

Revised:        May 2004

Revised:        September 2007

Revised:        May 2008

Revised:        July 2008

Revised:        March 2013

Revised:        April 2014

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Copies of the district’s complaint procedures shall be available free of charge.