How We Investigate Complaints
Complaints filed under SCOE's Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and a decision made within sixty calendar days of the SCOE's receipt, unless the complainant agrees to an extension. SCOE's compliance officer or designee may interview alleged victims, alleged offenders, and relevant witnesses. The compliance officer may review available records, statements, or notes related to the complaint, including evidence or information received from the parties during the investigation. The compliance officer may visit reasonably accessible locations where discrimination is alleged to have occurred. As appropriate, SCOE's compliance officer periodically will inform the parties of the status of the investigation. The complainant will be notified when a decision is made. Complaints that are not filed under SCOE's Uniform Complaint Procedure will be investigated and decided pursuant to the applicable procedure.
What Happens After The Investigation
For complaints filed under the Uniform Complaint Procedure, the compliance officer will prepare and send a final written decision to the complainant and respondent, if any, within 15 working days of SCOE's receipt of the complaint (unless this deadline is extended by mutual agreement).
If the complainant or respondent is not satisfied with the decision, either the complainant or respondent may, within five business days, file the complaint in writing with the Board. The Board may consider the matter at a Board meeting or decide not to hear the complaint, in which case the compliance officer’s decision shall be final.
The complainant or respondent may appeal SCOE's decision within fifteen calendar days to the California Department of Education. The appeal must specify the reason for the appeal and whether SCOE's facts are incorrect and/or the law is misapplied. The appeal must include a copy of the original complaint to SCOE and a copy of SCOE's decision. For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s webpage on Uniform Complaint Procedures: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cp/uc/index.asp.
For complaints alleging unlawful discrimination based on state law, the complainant may pursue available civil law remedies, including seeking assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys, sixty calendar days after filing an appeal with the California Department of Education. (California Education Code § 262.3.) Note that this sixty day moratorium does not apply to complaints seeking injunctive relief in state courts or to discrimination complaints based on federal law. (California Education Code § 262.3.)
Complaints may also be filed with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, within 180 days of the alleged discrimination. For contact information, see the section above on “How do I file a complaint of sex discrimination?” For more information, visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.
If the compliance officer finds that a complaint has merit, SCOE will take appropriate corrective action.