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Addressing Concerns (Chain of Command)

Addressing Concerns

North Tama desires to respond to concerns and/or questions as quickly and effectively as possible. In a school system, the chain of command refers to communication levels of authority in the school district. School Districts institute the Chain of Command to provide stakeholders at all levels with a person they may ask questions or report complaints. The value of having an established Chain of Command is an efficient tool that provides a roadmap when reporting concerns or communicating with school staff members.

Where do I begin the process if I have a concern?

Most questions/concerns are quickly and completely answered by communicating directly with the staff member involved with or responsible for the area of concern. An in-person or telephone conversation is almost always better than an email conversation, as it allows true two-way communication with less opportunity for misunderstandings. Each situation is different. See the "Progression for Addressing Concerns" listed below for examples.

Why can't I start right at the top with the school board?

It is the school board's legal obligation to be the judge and jury, making an impartial judgment in any concern brought to them for consideration. This means the school district has a legal obligation to provide due process for both students and employees. If the school board is prejudiced against an employee or student, has prior knowledge, or has made a judgment, then the employee or student will not get a fair process and the concern could be dismissed. The board will only review concerns that are unresolved after completing the complaint process and progressed through the chain of command.

I have a friend / relative / neighbor on the school board...why can't I just go to them?

As explained in the previous question, that board member would develop prior knowledge about a situation that may come before the board at a later date, which is similar to "jury tampering." The board member may have to recuse themself from any related action. Keep in mind that school board members have no legal authority as individual board members. They only have authority when acting as a member of the full board when the board is in session.

I find it hard to visit face-to-face with the person I have a concern with, what can I do?

Find a trusted individual (such as a friend, family member, or a school employee who you are comfortable with) to go with you. In any case, remember it cannot be a school board member.


Progression for Addressing Concerns / Chain of Command

Progression for Addressing Concerns / Chain of Command