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Grievance Procedure

Approved 11/14/18

Diagonal Community School District: Code No. 102.R1 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

It is the policy of the Diagonal Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color,
national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual
orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its
employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have
questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact Lorna Paxson, 403 W. 2nd Street, Diagonal Iowa,
50845, by phone at 641-734-5331 or by email at lpaxson@diagonalschools.org.
Students, parents of students, employees, and applicants for employment in the school district have the right to
file a formal complaint alleging discrimination. The district has policies and procedures in place to identify and
investigate complaints alleging discrimination. If appropriate, the district will take steps to prevent the recurrence
of discrimination and to correct its discriminatory effects on the Complainant and others.
A Complainant may attempt to resolve the problem informally by discussing the matter with a building principal
or a direct supervisor. However, the Complainant has the right to end the informal process at any time and pursue
the formal grievance procedures outlined below. Use of the informal or formal grievance procedure is not a
prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies. Please note that informal processes and procedures are not to be
used in certain circumstances (e.g., sexual harassment and sexual assault).
Filing a Complaint
A Complainant who wishes to avail himself/herself of this grievance procedure may do so by filing a complaint
with the equity coordinator(s). An alternate will be designated in the event it is claimed that the equity
coordinator or superintendent committed the alleged discrimination or some other conflict of interest exists.
Complaints shall be filed within 10 working days of the event giving rise to the complaint or from the date
the Complainant could reasonably become aware of such occurrence. The Complainant will state the nature
of the complaint and the remedy requested. The equity coordinator(s) shall assist the Complainant as needed.
Within 15 working days, the equity coordinator will begin the investigation of the complaint or appoint a
qualified person to undertake the investigation (hereinafter “equity coordinator”). If the Complainant is under
18 years of age, the equity coordinator shall notify his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) that they may attend
investigatory meetings in which the Complainant is involved. The complaint and identity of the Complainant,
Respondent, or witnesses will only be disclosed as reasonably necessary in connection with the investigation or
as required by law or policy. The investigation may include, but is not limited to the following:
• A request for the Complainant to provide a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint;
• A request for the individual named in the complaint to provide a written statement;
• A request for witnesses identified during the course of the investigation to provide a written statement;
• Interviews of the Complainant, Respondent, or witnesses;
• An opportunity to present witnesses or other relevant information; and
• Review and collection of documentation or information deemed relevant to the investigation.
Within 5 working days, the equity coordinator shall complete the investigation and issue a report with
respect to the findings.
The equity coordinator shall notify the Complainant and Respondent of the decision within 5 working days
of completing the written report. Notification shall be by U.S. mail, first class.
Decision and Appeal
The complaint is closed after the equity coordinator has issued the report, unless within 10 working days after
receiving the decision, either party appeals the decision to the superintendent by making a written request
detailing why he/she believes the decision should be reconsidered. The equity coordinator shall
promptly forward all materials relative to the complaint and appeal to the superintendent. Within 5 working
days, the superintendent shall affirm, reverse, amend the decision, or direct the equity coordinator to gather
additional information. The superintendent shall notify the Complainant, Respondent, and the equity
coordinator of the decision within 5 working days of the decision.
Notification shall be by U.S. mail, first class.
The decision of the superintendent shall be final.
The decision of the superintendent in no way prejudices a party from seeking redress through state or federal
agencies as provided by in law.
This policy and procedures are to be used for complaints of discrimination, in lieu of any other general complaint
policies or procedures that may be available.
If any of the stated timeframes cannot be met by the district, the district will notify the parties and pursue
completion as promptly as possible.
Retaliation against any person, because the person has filed a complaint or assisted or participated in an
investigation, is prohibited. Persons found to have engaged in retaliation shall be subject to discipline by
appropriate measures.
NOTE: A school district may have a different coordinator for each law or consolidate the responsibilities
under one employee. The Iowa Department of Education encourages districts to have no more than two (2)
coordinators: one for employment and one for programs. If the district has more than one coordinator,
publications of this policy and notifications must include the name, contact address, contact phone number
and email address for each coordinator.
NOTE: The sample grievance procedures include an appeal process that ends with the superintendent. If the
board chooses to have a different practice that involves the board in these grievance procedures, the
procedures should be updated to reflect this practice.
NOTE: The Office for Civil Rights requires that the procedures must designate reasonably prompt time
frames for the major stages of the complaint process. The number listed in the italic brackets for each stage
includes suggested time frames based on guidance from both the United States Office for Civil Rights and the
Iowa Department of Education. Districts should ensure that the time frames selected are reasonable for the
individual district.
NOTE: Some conduct that falls under a school’s equal educational opportunity policy also may trigger
responsibilities under the state’s anti-bullying/anti-harassment laws. By limiting the response to a specific
application of its equal educational opportunity policy and the accompanying grievance procedures, a school
may fail to properly consider whether the alleged conduct also results in bullying and/or harassment
Approved 11-14-18 Reviewed: 11-14-18 Revised 11-14-18