2:260 - Uniform Grievance Procedure

Policy 2:260

Board of Education

Uniform Grievance Procedure

The Complaint Manager will attempt to resolve complaints without resorting to the grievance procedure. If a formal complaint is filed under this procedure, the Complaint Manager will address the complaint promptly and equitably. A student and/or parent/guardian filing a complaint under this procedure may forego any informal suggestions and/or attempts to resolve it and may proceed directly to the 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’s parents/guardians); this includes mediation.

It is the intent of District 39 to operate within the laws listed below, however students, parents/guardians, employees, or community members should notify a District Complaint Manager if they believe that the Board of Education, its employees, or agents have violated their rights guaranteed by either of the following laws or when authorized by Board policy:
  1. Disability discrimination under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
  2. Sexual harassment, sex discrimination, or sex equity under the Illinois Human Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 105ILCS 5/2-3.10.

Right to Pursue Other Remedies Not Impaired

The right of a person to prompt and equitable resolution of a complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies (e.g., criminal complaints, civil actions, etc.). Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies and 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 this policy.

Deadlines

All deadlines under this procedure 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 formal complaint with any District Complaint Manager after attempts at informal resolution have not been successful. 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 or, if the complaint is against the Superintendent, may bring the complaint to the President of the Board of Education. The Complaint Manager may request the Complainant to provide a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint or require a meeting with a student’s parent(s)/guardian(s). The Complaint Manager shall assist the Complainant as needed.

For bullying and cyber-bullying, 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 required by this policy.

Investigation

The Complaint Manager will investigate the complaint or appoint a qualified person to undertake the investigation on his or her behalf. The Complaint Manager shall ensure both parties have an equal opportunity to present evidence during an investigation. 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.

The Complaint Manager will inform, at regular intervals, the person(s) filing a complaint under this procedure about the status of the investigation. Within 30 school business days of 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. If a complaint of sexual harassment contains allegations involving the Superintendent, the written report shall be filed with the Board of Education, which will make a decision in accordance with the following section of this policy. The Superintendent will keep the Board informed of all complaints.

Decision and Appeal

Within 5 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 U.S. Mail, first class, as well as the Complaint Manager.

Within 10 school business days after receiving the Superintendent’s decision, the Complainant or the accused may appeal the decision to the Board of Education by making a written request to the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager shall promptly forward all materials relative to the complaint and appeal to the Board of Education. Within 30 school business days, the Board shall affirm, reverse, or amend the Superintendent’s decision or direct the Superintendent to gather additional information. Within 5 school business days of the Board’s decision, the Superintendent shall inform the Complainant and the accused of the Board’s action.

This grievance procedure shall not be construed to create an independent right to a hearing before the Superintendent or Board of Education. The failure to strictly follow the timelines in this grievance procedure shall not prejudice any party.

Appointing Nondiscrimination Coordinator 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 shall appoint at least one Complaint Manager to administer the complaint process in this policy. If possible, the Superintendent will appoint two Complaint Managers, one of each gender. The District’s Nondiscrimination Coordinator may be appointed as one of the Complaint Managers.

The Superintendent shall insert into this policy and keep current the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the Nondiscrimination Coordinator and the Complaint Managers.

Nondiscrimination Coordinator:
Name: Heather Glowacki
Address: 615 Locust Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091
Email glowackh@wilmette39.org
Telephone: 847-512-6003
Complaint Managers:
Name: Denise Thrasher Tony DeMonte
Address: 615 Locust Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091 615 Locust Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091
Email: thrashed@wilmette39.org demontet@wilmette39.org
Telephone:  847-512-6004 847-512-6007

Adopted: February 17, 1998
Revised: January 22, 2008; June 27, 2016

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