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Grievance Procedures

CODE: GA

Maine School Administrative District No. 31

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

(Affirmative Action, Title IX Section 504)


    1.    GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT:

            It is the policy of M.S.A.D. #31 to issue equal employment/educational opportunities/affirmative action regardless of race, sex,
           color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, or handicap in accordance with all federal and state legislation relative to                   discrimination.

            Inquiries can be made to:

     
                    Affirmative Action/Title IX Coordinator
                    Special Services Director
                    23 Cross Street
                    Howland, Maine  04448
                    (207) 732- 8307

            or    Section 504 Coordinator
                    M.S.A.D. #31
                    P. O. Box 326
                    Howland, Maine  04448
                    (207) 732-8307

            or    Director, U.S. Dept. of Education
                  John W. McCormack Post Office & Court Building
                   Post Office Square
                  Boston, MA  02109
                  (617) 223-9667

           or    Maine Human Rights Commission
                  State House Station #51
                  Augusta, ME  04333
                  (207) 289-2326

    2.    PURPOSE:

            a.    The purpose of a grievance procedure is to provide for prompt and equitable resolutions of student and employee
                   complaints alleging discrimination according to the provisions of Title IX (Civil Rights) Education Amendments of 1972,
                   Affirmative Action, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

            b.    Nothing contained in a grievance procedure should be construed as limiting the right of an employee or student having a
                   grievance, to discuss the matter informally with any member of the administration, and having the grievance adjusted
                   without further intervention provided the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of the agreement and the
                   employee or student has given the opportunity to express their views.  Further, the procedure should not interfere with
                   the employee's or the student's access to any other grievance procedure as established by law, such as State collective
                   bargaining laws, State and/or local anti-discrimination laws or regulations.  While Title IX deals only with sex
                  discrimination, other State and Federal Laws relative to employment practices deal with discrimination on the basis of
                  race, color, sex, religion, age, handicap, national origin, and ancestry.

    3.    PROCEDURES FOR INITIATION OF A GRIEVANCE:

            a.    Who may grieve?

                    All students and employees will use this grievance procedure for resolution of complaints related to discrimination
                    based on race, color, sex, religion, age, handicap, national origin, and ancestry.  Persons filing on behalf of a student
                    or employee or by groups or classes of students or employees will use the same procedure set forth below.  The exception
                    shall be students who feel harassed (for which there shall be a separate process).

            b.    What shall constitute a grievance?

                    Generally, a grievance is defined as any allegation of non-compliance of Title IX, Affirmative Action, or Section 504,
                    or any State or Federal legislation relative to discrimination.

    4.    TIME LIMITS FOR FILING GRIEVANCE:

            Stipulation of a time limit for the filing of grievance protects all parties to the grievance from the necessity of resolving
            grievances long after necessary information or witnesses become available.  Therefore, all grievances should be filed as
            soon as possible after the alleged infraction but within 60 days.

    5.    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE STEPS:

            If an individual has a grievance, (s)he will proceed according to the following procedure:

            Step 1:    Immediate Principal/Supervisor:

            Step one (1) will be handled by the grievant's immediate supervisor/principal or the Affirmative Action Officer.  The step is
            of an informal nature and it is hoped most grievances would be handled here.  Any student/employee covered by this agreement
            who has a grievance shall present in writing and then discuss it with his/her immediate supervisor/principal, in an attempt to
            resolve the matter mutually at the level.  A decision shall be rendered within ten (10) school days.

            Step 2:    Affirmative Action/Title IX Coordinator/Section 504 Coordinator:

            Step two (2) involves the Affirmative Action/Title IX Coordinator/Section 504 Coordinator.  The Coordinator will review written
            grievances not settled in Step One (1).

            If the employee/student is not satisfied with the decision, (s)he may appeal the decision to the Coordinator within ten (10)
            school days after the receipt of the decision of the immediate supervisor/ principal.  The appeal shall be in writing and must
            specify:

                    a.  The nature of the grievance.  (i.e.:  the specific provisions of the law which has been violated, misinterpreted, or
                         misapplied).

                    b.  The injury or inequitable treatment which is claimed.  (i.e.:  the specific loss to the employee/student in pay or
                         benefits, or opportunity).

                    c.  The remedies sought.

            The Coordinator shall investigate the matter and communicate her/his opinion in writing to the grievant within the (10) school
            days from the receipt of the written grievance.

            Step 3:    Superintendent:

            If the employee/student is not satisfied with this opinion, (s)he may appeal his/her grievance to the Superintendent in writing
            within ten (10) school days after the receipt of the Coordinator's opinion.  The Superintendent shall investigate the grievance
            and shall review the situation in consultation with the Coordinator and the grievant and render his/her decision in writing within
            ten (10) school days after the receipt of the appeal to his/her level.

            Step 4:    School Board:

            If the employee/student is not satisfied with the decision rendered by the Superintendent, (s)he may appeal the grievance to
            the School Board.  Such an appeal must be made within ten (10) school days after the receipt of the Superintendent's decision.
            The Board or a committee thereof shall review the grievance and, at its option, may request that a hearing be held with those
            involved in the grievance prior to making its decision.  The school Board shall render its decision in writing within twenty (20)
            school days after the receipt of the appeal.

            Step 5:    At anytime a grievant may choose to refer the grievance to State and Federal Agencies, mainly (in order of referral):

                    a.  State Agency:                            Maine Human Rights Commission
                                                                         State House Station #51
                                                                         Augusta, ME  04333
                                                                        (207) 289-2326


                    b.  Federal (Regional) Agency:        Director, U.S. Dept. of Education
                                                                        John W. McCormack Post Office &
                                                                        Court Building
                                                                        Post Office Square
                                                                        Boston, MA  02109
                                                                        (617) 223-9667

                    c.  Federal (National) Agency:        Director, Office of Civil Rights
                                                                        U.S. Department of Education
                                                                        Washington, D.C.  20201

        Nothing in this procedure shall prevent the aggrieved party from seeking whatever remedy (s)he may have at law or equity under
        the laws of this State or the laws of the United States or the Constitution.

First Reading:        05/17/1989
Second Reading:    06/21/1989
Amended:             02/15/1995
Amended:             07/15/1998
Updated:              04/16/2008