Many situations arise that cause disagreements between parents or students and educators or administrators. Parent and student complaint resolution can be a complex area because of the rules and laws that need to be followed. Before you begin any type of communication, make sure that you review your school’s policies regarding this issue. There are likely some important procedural steps that need to be followed and these must be obeyed. However, there are some things you can do to help reduce the frustration level between parties.
Emotions often run high, particularly when young people are involved. It is essential that you try to de-escalate the situation and turn down the volume on the disagreement. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by listening. Allow the other party to tell you the problem, from his or her point of view. Take notes so that you can address some of the most important issues that were brought up.
Good communication is the key to resolving disputes. It is necessary to allow for open communication between parties. If there are specific rules in place governing the resolution of the dispute, make sure that the parent or student understands the process. Sometimes complaints happen because of simple misunderstandings. These can often be easily cleared up through communication. When a complaint is regarding a legal issue, it is necessary to stay neutral and get an education law attorney involved.
In many instances, people just need to be heard and to know that they are understood. Compassion is often needed, especially when dealing with emotional student problems. Take the time to explain any rules that apply to the situation. Do not make any statements that could damage the situation later, should the situation progress. Make sure that you have someone else of authority observe the conversation, but be sure that the person does not feel as though you are ganging up on him.
Minor disagreements or complaints can often be resolved with a simple conversation. When the complaint is more complex or deals with sensitive or legal matters, it is necessary to gather more information before trying to resolve it. It is best to make sure that you understand any possible areas of legal concern before speaking about them. Make sure that you document everything so that you can review the issues with other administrators or an attorney who specializes in education law.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Parent and Student Complaint Resolution, or other Education Law matters, please feel free to contact Candyce B. Pardee at 800.863.6718, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona with a branch office in Yuma, Arizona, and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.