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Complaint Information and Resources

If you find yourself at the point of needing to file a formal complaint, we are here to help. Our goal is always to ensure that all complaints, as the first step, have been initiated for resolution with the school site principal and/or department supervisor.

Please note: Complaint forms are available by opening the links to the complaint titles below.

Information and processes for employment-related complaints and complaints initiated by employees are available on the Personnel Services homepage.

General Complaints

General Complaints Overview

The Tustin Unified School District exists to provide the best educational program and learning environment possible for all students entrusted to its care. To that end, the District welcomes constructive criticism of policies, programs, or operational decisions in order to improve its efforts and be responsive to its clients.

It is the intent of the Tustin Unified School District that matters giving rise to a complaint be addressed first on an informal basis and at the level closest to the situation. If a complaint cannot be addressed and resolved informally, then formal steps are available for resolution to any complaint leading, if necessary, to ultimate resolution by the Board of Education.

If a complaint by a parent requires a review and changing of a student’s written record, including the student’s grade(s), this policy shall be superseded by the protocol spelled out in Education Code Sections 49070 and 49071.

If confidentiality is a concern, every effort shall be made, but cannot be guaranteed, to respect the wishes of the complainant, without compromising the rights of all other parties involved.

In the interest of protecting the rights of anyone seeking resolution to a complaint, no harassment or retaliation of any kind against a student, parent/guardian, or community member shall occur because a complaint was filed.

Download Complaint Process, Board Policy, and Form:
General Complaint Form and Policy (English)
General Complaint Form and Policy (Spanish)

Uniform Complaints

Uniform Complaint Procedures

The District uses uniform complaint procedures to resolve any complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying against any protected group as identified under Education Code section 200 and 220 and Government Code section 11135, including those with actual or perceived characteristics such as race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, in any program or activity conducted by the District or that is funded directly by, or that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance.

Uniform complaint procedures are also used to address any complaint alleging the District's failure to comply with state and/or federal laws in adult education programs, consolidated categorical aid programs, migrant education, career technical and technical education and training programs, child care and development programs, child nutrition programs, special education programs, and the development and adoption of the school safety plan.

Uniform complaint procedures are also used to address any complaint alleging the district’s non-compliance with Article 5.5 of Chapter 6 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code (commencing with Section 49010) regarding pupil fees.

The District prohibits any form of retaliation against any complainant in the complaint process. Participation in the complaint process shall not in any way affect the status, grades, or work assignments of the complainant.

The District encourages the early, informal resolution of complaints at the site level whenever possible.

In investigating complaints, the confidentiality of the parties involved and the integrity of the process is protected. As appropriate, the District’s Uniform Complaint officer may keep the identity of a complainant confidential to the extent that the investigation of the complaint is not obstructed.

Should you have questions regarding the Uniform Complaint Procedures or find reason to file a Uniform Complaint, the District’s Uniform Complaint Officer is:

Robert Craven
Director, Educational Services
300 South C Street
Tustin, CA 92780
714.730.7301 Extension 368

Unless extended by written agreement with the complainant, the compliance officer will prepare and send to the complainant a written report of the District's investigation and decision within 60 days of the District's receipt of the complaint. (5 CCR 4631)

Download UCP Complaint Policy and Form:
UCP Complaint Policy and Form (English)
UCP Complaint Policy and Form (Spanish)

Discrimination/Harassment (Title IX) (Student-related)

The Tustin Unified School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The District prohibits, in any employment practice, educational program, or educational activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying, based on actual or perceived race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, veteran or military status, medical condition, pregnancy and related conditions, retaliation, or political beliefs; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The District will take steps to assure that the lack of English will not be a barrier to admission and participation in District programs. A copy of the District’s nondiscrimination policy is available from the Tustin Unified School District Office.

A designated Coordinator for Nondiscrimination is available at each of the District’s schools to handle complaints regarding discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and to answer inquiries regarding the District’s nondiscrimination policies.

Any student who feels that he/she has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying should immediately contact the school’s Coordinator for Nondiscrimination, the principal, or any other staff member. In addition, any student who observes any such incident should report the incident to the Coordinator or principal, whether or not the victim files a complaint.

Any school employee who observes an incident of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying or to whom such an incident is reported shall report the incident to the Coordinator or principal within a school day, whether or not the victim files a complaint.
Any school employee who witnesses an incident of unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying, shall immediately intervene to stop the incident when it is safe to do so.

California Education Code Section 221.8:
The following list of rights are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.):

a) You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
b) You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
c) You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
d) You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
e) You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:

(1) Equipment and supplies
(2) Scheduling of games and practices
(3) Transportation and daily allowances
(4) Access to tutoring
(5) Coaching
(6) Locker rooms
(7) Practice and competitive facilities
(8) Medical and training facilities and services
(9) Publicity

(f) You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
(g) You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
(h) You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
(i) You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
(j) You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.

How to File a Complaint
All complaints shall be filed in writing and signed by the complainant. If a complainant is unable to put a complaint in writing due to conditions such as a disability or illiteracy, District staff shall assist him/her in the filing of the complaint.

Complaints shall also be filed in accordance with the following rules, as applicable:

1. A complaint alleging District violation of applicable state or federal law or regulations governing the following programs: Adult Education; After School Education and Safety; Bilingual Education; Career Technical and Technical Education and Career Technical and Technical Training; Career Technical Education; Child Care and Development; Compensatory Education; Consolidated Categorical Aid; Every Student Succeeds Act / No Child Left Behind; Migrant Education, Regional Occupational Centers and Programs; School Safety Plans; Special Education; and State Preschool may be filed by any individual, public agency, or organization. (5 CCR 4630)

2. Any complaint alleging noncompliance with law regarding the prohibition against requiring students to pay student fees, deposits, and charges or any requirement related to Course Period without Educational Content or the LCAP may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support an allegation of noncompliance. A complaint about a violation of the prohibition against the charging of unlawful student fees may be filed with the principal of the school, the Superintendent, or Superintendent’s designee. However, any such complaint shall be filed no later than one year from the date the alleged violation occurred. (Education Code 49013, 52075; 5 CCR 4630)

3. A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) may be filed only by a person who alleges that he/she personally suffered the unlawful discrimination or by a person who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to it. The complaint shall be initiated no later than six months from the date when the alleged unlawful discrimination occurred, or six months from the date when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination. The time for filing may be extended for up to 90 days by the Superintendent or designee for good cause upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension. (5 CCR 4630)

4. When a complaint alleging unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) is filed anonymously, the compliance officer shall pursue an investigation or other response as appropriate, depending on the specificity and reliability of the information provided and the seriousness of the allegation.

5. When the complainant of unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) or the alleged victim, when he/she is not the complainant, requests confidentiality, the compliance officer shall inform him/her that the request may limit the District's ability to investigate the conduct or take other necessary action. When honoring a request for confidentiality, the District shall nevertheless take all reasonable steps to investigate and resolve/respond to the complaint consistent with the request.

Investigation of Complaints
Within 10 business days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer shall begin an investigation into the complaint.

Within one business day of initiating the investigation, the compliance officer shall provide the complainant and/or his/her representative an opportunity to present the information contained in the complaint to the compliance officer and shall notify the complainant and/or his/her representative of the opportunity to present the compliance officer with any evidence, or information leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint. Such evidence or information may be presented at any time during the investigation.

In conducting the investigation, the compliance officer shall collect all available documents and review all available records, notes, or statements related to the complaint, including any additional evidence or information received from the parties during the course of the investigation. He/she shall individually interview all available witnesses with information pertinent to the complaint, and may visit any reasonably accessible location where the relevant actions are alleged to have taken place. At appropriate intervals, the compliance officer shall inform both parties of the status of the investigation.

To investigate a complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying), the compliance officer shall interview the alleged victim(s), any alleged offenders, and other relevant witnesses privately, separately, and in a confidential manner. As necessary, additional staff or legal counsel may conduct or support the investigation.

A complainant's refusal to provide the District's investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation. Similarly, a respondent’s refusal to provide the District’s investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any other obstruction of the investigation may result in a finding, based on evidence collected, that a violation has occurred and in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

In accordance with law, the District shall provide the investigator with access to records and/or other information related to the allegation in the complaint and shall not in any way obstruct the investigation. Failure or refusal of the District to cooperate in the investigation may result in a finding based on evidence collected that a violation has occurred and in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant. (5 CCR 4631)

The compliance officer shall apply a "preponderance of the evidence" standard in determining the veracity of the factual allegations in a complaint. This standard is met if the allegation is more likely to be true than not.

Final Written Decision
The District's decision shall be in writing and shall be sent to the complainant and respondent [5 CCR 4631]

Appeals to the California Department of Education
Any complainant who is dissatisfied with the District's final decision may file an appeal in writing with the California Department of Education within 15 calendar days of receiving the District's decision. (Education Code 222, 48853, 48853.5, 49013, 49069.5, 51223, 51225.1, 51225.2, 51228.3, 52075; 5 CCR 4632)

The District’s Title IX Coordinator for Nondiscrimination is:
Robert Craven
Director, Educational Services
300 South C Street
Tustin, CA 92780
714-730-7301 extension 368

Download Complaint Policy and Form:
Discrimination Harassment Policy & Complaint Form (English)
Discrimination/Harassment Policy & Complaint Form (Spanish)

For more information:
California Department of Education Equal Opportunity & Access

United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights

Williams Uniform Complaints (Facilities, Instructional Materials Sufficiency, Teacher Vacancies and Misassignments)

The District shall use the following procedures to investigate and resolve complaints when the complainant alleges that any of the following has occurred: (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR4681, 4682, 4683)

There should be sufficient textbooks and instructional materials. Each student, including English learners, must have a textbook or instructional materials, or both, to use in class and to take home.

School facilities must be clean, safe, and maintained in good repair.

There should be no teacher vacancies or misassignments. There should be a teacher assigned to each class and not a series of substitutes or other temporary teachers. The teacher should have the proper credential to teach the class, including the certification required to teach English learners, if present.

Teacher vacancy means a position to which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of the year for an entire year or, if the position is for a one-semester course, a position to which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of a semester for an entire semester.

Misassignment means the placement of a certificated employee in a teaching or services position for which the employee does not hold a legally recognized certificate or credential or the placement of a certificated employee in a teaching or services position that the employee is not otherwise authorized by statue to hold.

If you do not think these requirements are being met, you can obtain a Uniform Complaint Form at the school office, District office, or downloaded from the District’s web site. You may also download a copy of the California Department of Education complaint form from the following Web site: www.cde.ca.gov/re/cp/uc.

The District’s Coordinator for Williams Uniform Complaints is:
Robert Craven
Director, Educational Services
300 South C Street
Tustin, CA 92780
714.730.7301 Extension 368

Download Complaint Form:
Williams UCP Complaint Policy and Form (English)
Williams UCP Complaint Policy and Form (Spanish)

Student Fees

Complaints alleging District noncompliance with the prohibition against requiring students to pay fees, deposits, or other charges for participation in educational activities may be filed using the complaint forms below:

Download Board Policy and Complaint Form:
Student Fees UCP Complaint Policy & Form (English)
Student Fees UCP Complaint Policy & Form (Spanish)

Sexual Harassment - Students

The District is committed to maintaining an educational environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. The District prohibits sexual harassment of students by other students, employees, or other persons, at school or at school-sponsored or school-related activities. The District also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against persons who complain, testify, assist, or otherwise participate in District complaint processes.

Download Board Policy and Complaint Form:
Sexual Harassment UCP Complaint Policy & Form (English)
Sexual Harassment UCP Complaint Policy & Form (Spanish)

Bullying

Every student is entitled to a safe school environment free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. The District’s Policy on Bullying can be accessed on the District’s website. Copies are available in the school office.

The District prohibits bullying. Bullying is defined in Education Code section 48900(r). This includes, but is not limited to, discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying based on the actual or perceived characteristics set forth in Penal Code Section 422.55 and Education Code section 220, such as disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

School personnel must immediately intervene if they witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying, provided it is safe to do so. Acts of discrimination or bullying should be brought to the attention of the principal.

You may make an anonymous complaint by contacting the principal. Complaints of bullying or discrimination will be considered confidential. However, it may be necessary to disclose certain information in order to effectively investigate. Students who violate the District’s policies on bullying or discrimination may be subject to discipline, including suspension and expulsion. The District prohibits retaliation against individuals who make complaints of bullying or provide information related to such complaints.

Download Board Policy and Complaint Form:
Bullying UCP Complaint Policy & Form (English)
Bullying UCP Complaint Policy & Form (Spanish)

Complaints Concerning Content of Instructional Materials

The District uses a comprehensive process to adopt District instructional materials that is based on selection criteria established by law and Board policy and includes opportunities for the involvement of parents/guardians and community members. Complaints concerning the content or use of instructional materials, including textbooks, supplementary instructional materials, library materials, or other instructional materials and equipment, shall be properly and fairly considered using established complaint procedures.

For more information, please contact your site principal.

Employment-Related Complaints

Information and processes for employment-related complaints and complaints initiated by employees are available on the Personnel Services homepage.