Sometimes parents will go straight to the superintendent or a board member without first talking with the teacher, or even the principal. Most districts have policies which require students and parents with complaints to go first to the teacher, then to the principal, then to the superintendent, and last to the board. These policies also require the student or parent to submit a written complaint that includes a statement of the complaint and any evidence in its support, the solution sought, the student’s signature, and the date of the conference with the principal.
If a student or parent goes to the superintendent regarding a problem, immediately request a copy of Board Policy FNG and GF, which describe how student (parent) complaints are to be handled. Using these policies, request copies of the complete complaint filed by the parent. This information forms the basis to make a response. Student and parent complaints are very serious. They should not be treated lightly.
What To Do When Things Get Rough!
If the parent is simply after you, do the following:
- Watch what you say.
- In fact, talk very little.
- Use the “broken record” technique when needed.
- Ask the parent to write down her complaints so that you can offer a written response.
- Stay cool. Remember, you are the professional.
- Call the association.