The Tangipahoa Parish School Board recognizes that harmonious relations with its parents and students can be maintained and improved through effective communications. The interest of all parties can best be served by sincere efforts of all concerned to promote understanding and cooperation. The Board, therefore, has adopted the following grievance procedure as a means to examine and resolve possible problems which relate to the administration of policies of the school district.
Mr. Lionel Jackson, Assistant Superintendent, 59656 Puleston Road, Amite, LA 70422, telephone number (985) 748-7153, is designated to coordinate the district’s efforts to comply with and carry out the responsibilities of the School Board defined in the references of this policy.
A grievance is a claim by a parent or student 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. Grievances are of two types: (a) substantive, according to law or policy, and (b) procedural, the methodology of administering policies or legal rights. The term “grievance” does not include matters for which the method of review is prescribed by law or where the School Board is without authority to act. It also does not include matters involving the Board’s right to establish educational policy and prescribe regulations and procedures for the conduct and management of the schools.
Any claim by an individual or group that there has been a violation of rights shall be a grievance, and shall be resolved through the procedure set forth herein.
An “aggrieved person” is the person or persons making the claim.
A “party in interest” is the person or persons making a claim and any persons who might be required to take action or against whom action might be taken in order to resolve the claim.
The term “days” shall mean working days.
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.
All grievances shall be handled in accordance with the following procedure:
Parents shall promptly present their grievance in writing to the school principal. Such notice shall be presented not later than five (5) days after the day on which the alleged grievance occurred. If extenuating circumstances prevent the submission of the grievance by the “aggrieved person”, the aggrieved person will notify the principal by certified mail to the anticipated date that the grievance will be submitted at Step 1. Included with the grievance shall be a detailed listing of all facts that support their position. Grievants shall list the names of any witnesses who will testify in their behalf. These witnesses will be interviewed and asked to submit signed statements during the grievance process. A parent shall specify the relief they are requesting. The principal shall schedule a conference with the aggrieved to attempt to resolve the grievance. Notification of this conference shall include a copy of the grievance procedure as outlined in Schedule JCE of the policy manual. A written decision by the principal must be rendered within five (5) working days after receipt of the grievance. If extenuating circumstances prevent the principal from issuing a written decision within five (5) working days, the aggrieved person will be notified by certified mail of the anticipated date of the written decision.
In the event the aggrieved person is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at Step 1, or if no decision has been rendered within five (5) working days by the principal, a copy of Step 1 appeal together with copies of the grievance and the Step 1 decision, shall simultaneously be submitted to the grievance coordinator. Such appeal shall be presented within five (5) working days of the receipt of the Step 1 decision. The grievance coordinator shall issue a written decision to the parent within ten (10) working days. In extenuating circumstances prevent the grievance officer from issuing a written decision within ten (10) working days, the aggrieved person will be notified by certified mail of the anticipated date of the written decision. The administrative office may schedule a meeting with the parent if deemed necessary. Written notice of the conference shall be given to all parties involved in an alleged grievance. Unless the grievance shall be so appealed, it shall be deemed to have been settled and the parent shall have no further rights with respect to said grievance.
If the grieved person is not satisfied with the decision of the Board, he may appeal the Board’s ruling through the administrative review processes of the Regional Office of Civil Rights, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, other appropriate agencies and, if unsuccessful through administrative processes, file suit through the appropriate court.
An “aggrieved person” shall have the right to present his own grievance or may designate a representative to appear with him at any step 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 step at least two (2) days prior to the hearing on the grievance.
Adopted: September 17, 1996
Ref: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Pickering v. Board of Education, 88 S. Ct. 1731 (1968); Givhan v. Western Line Consolidated School, 99 S. Ct. 593 (1979); Board minutes, 9-17-96