The District's Complaint Coordinator (CO) shall investigate any complaints brought under this policy. Throughout the course of the process as described herein, the CO should keep the parties informed of the status of the investigation and the decision-making process.
All complaints must include the following information to the extent it is available: a description of the alleged violation, the identity of the individual(s) believed to have engaged in, or to be actively engaging in, conduct in violation of this policy, if any; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; and a list of potential witnesses.
If the complainant is unwilling or unable to provide a written statement, including the information set forth above, the CO shall ask for such details in an oral interview. Thereafter the CO will prepare a written summary of the oral interview, and the complainant will be asked to verify the accuracy of the report by signing the document.
Upon receiving a complaint, the CO will consider whether any action should be taken during the investigatory phase to protect the complainant from further loss of educational opportunity, including, but not limited to, a change of class schedule for the complainant, tentative enrollment in a program, or other appropriate action. In making such a determination, the CO should consult the principal prior to any action being taken. The complainant should be notified of any proposed action prior to such action being taken.
As soon as appropriate in the investigation process, the CO will inform any individual named by the complainant in connection with an alleged violation of this policy, that a complaint has been received. The person(s) must also be provided an opportunity to respond to the complaint.
All investigations shall be commenced as soon as practicable upon receipt of a complaint and concluded as expeditiously as feasible, in consideration of the circumstances, while taking measures to complete a thorough investigation. The complaining party shall be notified in writing of receipt of the complaint within forty-five (45) days of the complaint and shall reach a determination concerning the complaint within ninety (90) days of receipt unless additional time is agreed to by the complaining party.
The investigation will include:
- Interviews with the complainant
- Interviews with any persons named in the complaint
- Interviews with any other witnesses who may reasonably be expected to have any information relevant to the allegations, as determined by the CO
- Consideration of any documentation or other evidence presented by the complainant, respondent, or any other witness, which is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations, as determined by the CO
At the conclusion of the investigation, the CO shall prepare and deliver a written report to the superintendent which summarizes the evidence gathered during the investigation and provides recommendations based on the evidence and the definitions in this policy, as well as in State and Federal law as to whether the complainant has been denied access to educational opportunities on the basis of one (1) of the protected classifications, based on a preponderance of evidence standard. The CO’s recommendations must be based upon the totality of the circumstances, including the ages and maturity levels of those involved.
The CO may consult with the board's attorney during the course of the investigatory process and/or before finalizing the report to the superintendent.
In cases where no District CO is able to investigate a complaint due to concerns regarding conflicts, bias or partiality, or for other reasons that impair the CO's ability to conduct an investigation, the CO may, in consultation with the superintendent or Board President, engage outside legal counsel to conduct the investigation consistent with this policy.
Absent extenuating circumstances, within ten (10) business days of receiving the report of the CO, the superintendent must either issue a final decision regarding the complainant or request further investigation. A copy of the superintendent's final decision will be delivered to the complainant. The superintendent may redact information from the decision in the event the release of information raises concerns regarding the integrity of the complaint or investigation process. The Board authorizes the superintendent to consult with legal counsel to determine the extent to which information in an investigation report must be provided to either the complainant or respondent.
If the superintendent requests additional investigation, the superintendent must specify the additional information that is to be gathered, and such additional investigation must be completed within ten (10) business days. At the conclusion of the additional investigation, the superintendent must issue a final written decision as described above. The decision of the superintendent will be reviewed by the Board upon request.
If the complainant feels that the decision does not adequately address the complaint s/he may appeal the decision to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction by submitting a written request to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Pupil Nondiscrimination Program, or by contacting the DPI Pupil Nondiscrimination Program at (608) 267-9157. Any person, including the respondent in a complaint, who is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination as a result of a complaint may choose to file a grievance utilizing the district's grievance procedure as outlined in Policy 3430 - Leaves of Absence or Policy 4430 - Leaves of Absence.
The Board reserves the right to investigate and resolve a complaint or report regardless of whether the member of the Oshkosh Area School District community or third party chooses to pursue the complaint. The Board also reserves the right to have the complaint investigation conducted by an external person in accordance with this policy or in such other manner as deemed appropriate by the Board.