A grievance is a situation occurring in the course of the school's operation which causes students to consider themselves legally wronged. Schools are responsible for providing procedures for the expression and resolution of grievances (see HCPS procedures below).
Students who believe they have been aggrieved should first take their complaint/concern to their Guidance Counselor and request that a Pre-Grievance Conference be scheduled with the Guidance Counselor, the program instructor, and an Administrator.
If the grievant is not satisfied with the results of the Pre-Grievance conference, he/she should see the Principal’s Secretary to receive a copy of the Hillsborough County Public Schools Formal Grievance form (SB60801 form). The grievant should complete items 1 – 7 and attach a written statement, as stated below.
The Principal will investigate the alleged incident and talk to the necessary witnesses. The Principal will complete the requirements for a Level 1 Grievance and will respond, in writing, to the grievant within 10 school days from the date the form was received at the site.
See the grievance form procedures, provided below, for details regarding additional recourse.
HCPS Grievance Procedures: The official procedure for filing a written, formal grievance within Hillsborough County Public Schools is listed below:
A grievance subject to this procedure is a complaint of an alleged violation of federal, state or local laws applicable to the School Board including, but not limited to, claims of unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or violation of specific School Board policy (ies) or procedures(s). All other complaints may be addressed to the appropriate Principal, immediate supervisor, or site administrator. The grievance process is not intended to replace other processes available because of various laws.
Pre-Grievance Conference: When an individual feels that he or she has a complaint or grievance (as defined above) he or she shall discuss the complaint or grievance with the individual, the Principal of the school, the immediate supervisor, or that person’s supervisor as soon as possible. Every effort shall be made to arrive at a satisfactory resolution of the problem on an informal basis.
Completing a Formal Grievance Form (SB60801, Rev. 12/2011 form): Request the official grievance form from the Principal’s secretary. These are the instructions that are printed on the back of the form:
1. Person(s) filing a Level 1 grievance must complete items numbered 1 – 7 of the Grievance Form and attach a written statement (see item number 6 on the grievance form). A copy should be retained by the grievant. A grievance shall be presented within 60 days after the aggrieved person knows of the act or condition on which the grievance is based, and if not so presented, the grievance shall be considered waived. A Level 1 grievance must be precluded with a “pre-grievance conference.”
2. Person receiving the grievance form shall complete item number 8 on the grievance form.
3. The Principal or site administrator rendering the Level 1 decision shall respond in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school or work days from the date the form was submitted/received at the site.
4. The Principal or site administrator rendering the Level 1 written response must complete item 9 of the form and forward a copy with attachments (see items 6 and 10 on the grievance form) to the grievant and to the General Manager of Employee Relations at the address.
5. Person(s) wishing to appeal their grievance to Level 2 must complete the “Level 2 Grievance” section of the Formal Grievance (see item numbers 11 and 12 on the grievance form) and submit documents to the General Manager of Employee Relations at the address above within ten (10) school or work days from the date they received the Level 1 decision from the Principal or site administrator.
6. Person(s) wishing to appeal their grievance to Level 3 must complete the “Level 3 Grievance” (see item 13 on the grievance form) of the Formal Grievance and submit your appeal to the General Manager of Employee Relations at the address on the grievance form within ten (10) school or work days from the date they received the Level 2 decision from the Superintendent. Your appeal shall not introduce new evidence, and no witnesses may be called.
7. If you are a parent of a student suspected or identified as having a disability who needs special education and related services, you have rights under the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA). IDEA contains provisions relative to dispute resolution processes. Parents may obtain copies of information about the procedural safeguards and the available dispute resolution processes from Exceptional Student Education personnel at their child’s school, at each district area office, and at the Velasco Student Services Center located at 1202 Palm Avenue, Tamp, FL 33605, (813) 273-7025.
Institutional Accreditation Agency – Grievance: If after exploring all possible solutions to a problem with the School District staff, a student may contact the Florida Department of Education as well as the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. Inquiries should be addressed to:
Florida Department of Education Career and Technical Education
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 734
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Dr. Gary Puckett, Executive Director/President
Council on Occupational Education
7840 Roswell Road, Building 300, Suite 325
Atlanta, GA 30350
Phone: (800) 917-2081
FAX: (770) 396-3790