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Grievance/Complaint Process

All employees and agents of a public school district, charter school or private school have an obligation and legal responsibility to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety or welfare of a student. Likewise, all parents, vendors and members of the public are encouraged to report any misconduct that may affect the health, safety or welfare of a student.

If you see something of concern on this campus please report it immediately, and confidentially, to the School Principal, Ann Leonard, by calling (850) 767-5520 or emailing leonaaa1@bay.k12.fl.us. If, for some reason, you are not comfortable reporting this at the school level, please contact HR Director John Cannon at (850) 767-4278.

Grievance/Complaint Process

GRIEVANCE POLICY/PROCEDURES

1. Purpose The purpose of the Student Grievance Policy is to provide guidance and procedures for addressing student grievances and complaints in an equitable manner in order to reach fair and appropriate resolutions to student complaints in compliance with Haney Technical Center’s standards for due process.

2. Definitions

2.1. Grievance - Any reported incident that occurred while the student was enrolled that is the subject of a complaint involving a student, a faculty member, other staff, guests visiting the Haney Technical Center (HTC), or other students. Such incidents must be a violation of school policies and procedures. Incidents or complaints reported may include sexual harassment, racial discrimination, or other types of allegations or grievance issues. Reliable documentation and/or testimony that allow a fair review of the complaint are essential components of the grievance process.

2.2. Student – Haney recognizes student status as a student engaged in an active course of study.

2.3. Guest - A guest is any person who is visiting HTC for any purpose who is not currently enrolled as a student. This may include vendors or any member of the general public. A guest may also be a person who is attending a class offered by another institution, agency or other non-HTC host such as Adult Education, local schools through extension education, etc. Guests are not eligible to utilize the HTC Grievance procedure, and should seek resolutions to problems through the appropriate representatives of the host agency or institution. Guests may be the subject of a grievance filed by a student.

2.4. Due Process - Due process refers to the right to be heard which shall be provided to all of the parties associated with a student grievance. Due process includes the right of notification of statements or charges made and reasonable opportunities to respond in a timely manner prior to disciplinary action taken by the school. Students should be informed of standards and regulations regarding student conduct and performance standards. Resolutions and disciplinary actions, which are outcomes of a complaint, shall be clearly explained and fairly administered.

2.5. Confidentiality - HTC staff, faculty and students have a right to privacy and confidentiality, subject to HTC rules and federal FERPA and GRAMA requirements. HTC shall exercise reasonable and diligent observance of the rights of all parties associated with a reported grievance.

2.6. Informal Grievance - An informal grievance is a complaint taken to an instructor or person(s) involved for consideration, and is often a preferred alternative to formal procedures for obtaining a reasonable resolution. While this process is recommended whenever possible, it is not a pre-requisite to filing a formal grievance.

2.7. Formal Grievance - A process requiring a written complaint relating to an incident which occurred on campus during the period of time when a student was actively enrolled. The formal written grievance shall be submitted to the Director of HTC for review. Formal grievances should be presented within 3 working days of the alleged infraction or occurrence to allow a prompt response to the grievance issue. Details and documentation concerning the incident in question must be provided with the formal complaint to the Director who shall conduct appropriate notifications and reviews in accordance with HTC policy.

 

2.8. Secondary Student - Student who meets the following criteria during the fiscal year in which they are enrolled: Is currently enrolled in grades 9-12 in a Florida public or private school / Is currently enrolled in grades 9-12 in a Florida public or private school / Is not more than 17 years old on or before September 1 or is documented as a retained senior or has been enrolled in less than grade 12 during the previous year and is no more than 19 years old on or before September 1 / Has not previously earned a high school diploma, certificate of high school completion, adult education secondary diploma or a high school equivalency diploma (GED).

3. Policy

 

3.1. HTC recognizes and supports the student’s right to grieve (formally or informally) any incident which they believe to be a violation of school policies or procedures. All such grievances will be given a fair hearing by school personnel.

3.2. Eligible grievances are those which occurred while a student was officially enrolled at the HTC.

 

3.2.1. HTC encourages students to address concerns on an informal basis whenever possible. In the event that an attempt at an informal review of the matter does not result in a satisfactory outcome, the student may choose to submit a formal grievance.

3.2.2. Students wishing to file a grievance must do so in writing within ten days of the alleged incident to allow for a timely review of the complaint and related details.

 

3.2.2.1. In the event of extenuating circumstances, the School Administration may choose to entertain a grievance which is submitted after three days, but is under no obligation to do so. The decision to extend the time for any particular grievance in no way obligates the School Administration to any future exceptions for other grievances.

3.2.2.2. The Director of Haney will be designated to receive the grievance and to ensure that the procedures outlined in this policy are followed including a response to the student who initially filed the grievance.

 

3.2.3. All grievances and subsequent actions shall be thoroughly and appropriately documented.

3.2.4. Any form of retaliation against a student who files a grievance is expressly forbidden by the School.

 

4. Procedures

 

4.1. Procedures for Informal Grievances

 

4.1.1. Students seeking an informal address to complaints shall first attempt to discuss the matter with their classroom instructor(s) and to seek a resolution.

4.1.2. If the student is unable to come to a satisfactory resolution in the classroom, the student should consult with a Career and Academic Advisor.

4.1.3. The Career and Academic Advisor will investigate the complaint, talking to all named parties as appropriate to ascertain whether or not any violation of School policy or procedure occurred.

4.1.3.1. After completion of the investigation, the Career and Academic Advisor will suggest a resolution and seek to gain consensus from all parties involved. Such action will be properly documented and may involve meeting(s) with any or all parties involved.

 

4.1.4. If a satisfactory resolution through informal means is found to be acceptable to all parties involved, no further action shall be required. If no satisfactory resolution is found the student may elect to use the formal grievance procedure.

4.1.5. If the subject of the grievance is a Career and Academic Advisor, the student may contact the Director of Haney. A grievance that involves a Director, staff member, or instructor will be referred to an alternate staff member of the same level for all required considerations.

 

4.2. Procedures for Formal Grievances

 

4.2.1. Formal grievances must be submitted in the form of a written letter and must contain a statement of the alleged violation(s), a statement of the student’s desired resolution, and the student’s name, address and phone number,. Although documentation of the alleged incident is not required as part of the grievance, reliable documentation and/or statements can assist the School in a fair and accurate review of the grievance.

 

4.2.1.1. Written grievances will be given to the Director of Haney Technical Center.

4.2.1.2. The Director reviews to the grievance to ascertain if all of the required information has been provided.

 

4.2.1.2.1. If the Director determines that the information provided by the student is insufficient, additional information will be requested from the student.

4.2.1.2.2. In order to resolve the situation in a timely manner, students shall be encouraged to provide the information promptly. If the student fails to provide the requested information in a reasonable period of time (typically three working days), the grievance may be cancelled and no further consideration will be given.

 

4.2.1.3. The Director (having received all of the necessary information to proceed) will investigate the alleged incident to ascertain which School policies or procedures may have been violated.

 

4.2.1.3.1. If the grievance concerns an instructor or program, the Director will notify the Director over the instructor or program promptly.

 

4.2.1.3.1.1. In the event that the Director is the subject of the grievance, the grievance shall be referred to an alternate staff member of the same level for all required considerations.

 

4.2.1.3.2. Depending on the nature and severity of the alleged violation, the Director has the discretion to involve administrators (AP, AA,) in the review and resolution.

 

4.2.1.4. Such investigation may include a review of all relevant and available documentation (provided by the student or otherwise available) and any other evidence as might be available.

 

4.2.1.4.1. The aggrieved student will be given an opportunity for a fair hearing with the administrators involved in the grievance proceeding.

4.2.1.4.2. The involved administrators and Director will make a final determination as to the validity of the grievance and the recommended resolution. Once determined, the final decision will be documented in a letter to the student.

 

4.2.1.4.3. After receiving the response from the School, the student may request (verbally or in writing) a meeting with the Director and other involved administrators to seek clarification of the response.

 

4.2.1.5. If the resolution provided by the School representative is not satisfactory to the grieving student, a request for reconsideration may be filed with the School AP or AA who is the administrator over the division identified in the grievance.

 

4.2.1.5.1. In the event that the AP or AA was involved in the grievance consideration, the request for reconsideration will be forwarded to the President.

4.2.1.5.2. A request for reconsideration must be submitted in writing within 3 days from the time the student was notified of the outcome of the grievance.

4.2.1.5.3. The Director will forward all relevant information, documentation and evidence to the AP or AA for review in a timely manner.

 

4.2.1.6. The AP or AA shall review the request for reconsideration and the available information in a timely manner. Such review will include a hearing with the aggrieved student. The AP or AA may then select one of the following options:  

 

4.2.1.6.1. Support of the initial grievance resolution provided by the School Representative, designating that resolution to be fair and appropriate based on the information reviewed.

4.2.1.6.2. Determination that an alternate decision is appropriate based on the review of the available information. Such decision will supersede any previously made decisions.

 

4.2.1.7. The AP or AA shall provide a decision in writing in a timely manner to the student.

4.2.1.8. The decision of the AP or AA shall be considered final for the School and no further remedies will be offered as part of the School Formal Grievance Process.

4.2.1.9. If the student does not agree with the school’s decision, an appeal may be sent to the District Superintendent.  This has to be done within three (3) days after the school’s decision.

4.2.2.0. Students retain the right to contact the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education in cases where the student grievance is not satisfactorily settled at the institutional level. The Council on Occupational Education can be reached at: 7840 Roswell Road Building 300, Suite 325 Atlanta, GA 30350 800-917-2081 (voice) 770-396-3898 (voice) 770-396-3790 (fax) http://www.council.org

4.2.2.1 Students also have the right to file a complaint with our state authorizing agency, which is the Florida Department of Education, by contacting the Career and Adult Education, 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 734, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400, Phone:850-245-0446, Fax: 850-245-9052, Email:CareerandAdultEd@fldoe.org.