Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

November 14, 2012

Complaint policy gets revised

CROSSVILLE — The policy committee of the Cumberland County Board of Education has recommended changes to the complaint procedure policy to make it conform to the teacher's contract and make it easier to understand.

Those changes include specifying the time period for each step in the policy and requiring written complaints be made within 30 days of knowledge of an incident. The policy currently does not have a time limit, but the teacher's contract does.

Director of Schools Aarona VanWinkle told the policy committee, "If you wait very long to make a complaint, it can be difficult to research and investigate."

Richard Janeway, 2nd District Representative, agreed, but did not want to discourage parents from bringing serious issues to light even though the 30-day period had passed. VanWinkle said the time period would refer to when the parent first learned of the incident, not when it actually took place.

If a complaint is not resolved after a meeting with the principal or immediate supervisor, step two calls for a conference with the complainant and teacher in an attempt to resolve the complaint. The committee specified that if the complaint was still unresolved after 30 calendar days, it would move to the next step.

The principal would have 2 school days to attempt to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties. If either party of the complaint is not satisfied with the solution, they may request in writing the complaint be reviewed by the director of schools. That is to be done within 24 hours. The principal would then have two school days to deliver the case record to the director.

The director is to confer with all parties to the complaint within 30 calendar days, and if unable to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties within 10 days, either party may request the director send a report of the investigation and findings to the board of education.

No time frame was included for how long the board would have to act on the request.

Janeway said, "If we put a 30-day limit on it, depending on when the request comes in, we'd be looking at a special-called meeting to say if we're willing to have a hearing or not."

Josh Stone, 4th District representative, "You risk parents feeling like we're stringing them along, whereas if there is a set number of days, they would know the worst-case scenario."

Janeway said he felt it better to be nonspecific about the time the board would have to act because of the time limits on setting agendas and board meetings.

While the policy states it applies to teachers, VanWinkle said the procedure in the policy is also used for complaints involving non-certified school personnel. That is done through administrative procedures, and the committee, after discussion, agreed not to change the wording of the policy at this time to include all school personnel.

"We treat them all the same," VanWinkle said. "Every employee needs this due process."

Other changes recommended include removing policy 5.502, complaints and grievances procedures for citizens, as the procedures are outlined in policy 5.501.

The introductory paragraph was moved to policy 5.501, which requires complaints and grievances from parents and citizens and students be made in writing.

The committee also recommended policy 6.305, student concerns, complaints and grievances, be removed because policy 5.501 already outlined the complaint procedure. The procedure outlined in 6.305 is also different from 5.501, and the 5.501 policy is the one included in the student handbook.

Discrimination and harassment grievances of students are handled differently, and information on that procedure was moved from policy 6.305 to 6.304, student discrimination, harassment and bullying, intimidation. Complaints may be made with a complaint manager, usually the school guidance counselor or Tim Claflin, school safety coordinator, or with any teacher or adult employed in the school. In that situation, the employee is to inform a complaint manager. Within 24 hours of the complaint, the manager will notify the student's parents and the principal, who will inform the director of schools. The parents or guardian will be allowed to attend an interview of the student in a non-intimidating environment, and that is to be done within five days. If the parent or guardian does not attend, the student may choose another adult to act as an advocate.

If allegations are substantiated, immediate and appropriate corrective or disciplinary action is to be taken.

The committee also recommended a change to policy 1.806, advertising and distribution of materials in the schools, to allow for the bus advertising approved by the board at the October meeting, and to allow for sports booster advertising at ball fields and gymnasiums, which were not allowed under the policy. The recommended policy allows, "Any advertisement program approved by the board of education and following procedures established by the director."

A change to the student wellness policy to address changes in federal and state laws was approved and use of electronic mail policy was changed to state messages "shall not be sent that contain material a reasonable person would consider obscene or offensive, or that promote illegal or unethical activity." Previously, the policy stated emails were not to be racist or sexist.

The policy recommendations must be approved in two separate readings by the board of education before taking effect. The policies reviewed by the committee will be part of the agenda for the Nov. 29 meeting.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • TMSAA rules get one-year try out

    Changes are coming for the elementary sports programs next year, with a 6-3 vote of the Cumberland County Board of Education. That vote of support of recommendations from the athletic committee was met with concerns from board members that the move towards county-wide rules and regulations was an attempt to move toward middle school teams.

    July 28, 2014 1 Video

  • ffg fire 1.jpg Fire damages home in Fairfield Glade

    Not only did Fairfield Glade volunteer fire fighters battle a blaze Saturday afternoon at 107 Runnymede Rd., hot weather conditions were a challenge as well.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Banned ex-boyfriend arrested in break-in

    Last Tuesday turned out to not be burglary and assault suspect Larry D. Durbin's day. It wasn't such a great day for his victim, either. Both were arrested.

    July 28, 2014

  • Changes to county wage scale cause debate

    County commissioners approved revisions to the Cumberland County employee wage scale, giving county employees a pay increase, but the changes to the scale created a brief debate among commissioners Monday evening.

    July 28, 2014

  • Suspects identified in arson fire

    Two Cumberland County men were detained and questioned in connection with an early Friday morning fire that destroyed or damaged two tractor-trailer rigs and a pickup parked at a closed business north of the city.

    July 28, 2014

  • Summer winding down in Tennessee

    July 25, 2014

  • Celebrating a year of writing our area's history

    Now that this column has passed its first birthday, I’d like to send thanks to those of you from our county and around the country who have sent messages and questions about things you’ve read in the Uncle Gib section. It is hard to cover many of these events in 500 words, and I try not go cover the same event more than three weeks. Research must be cut way down, and the most interesting information on each subject included.

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_1806.jpg Celebrate Farmers Market Week Aug. 3-9

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week.” Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ayers2.jpg County OKs resolution for CMC/Covenant refinance deal

    Cumberland County commissioners passed a resolution Monday evening giving its approval for Covenant Health to refund its bonds to refinance $40 million for Cumberland Medical Center.
    The request was made by Covenant Health, a Tennessee nonprofit corporation which now operates Cumberland Medical Center.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea includes ban from all Wal-Mart stores

    A Crossville man who was facing two counts of theft of more than $500, relating to shoplifting incidents at the Crossville Wal-mart, has entered a guilty plea, and part of his sentence is being banned from all Wal-Mart stores.

    July 24, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014