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How can I file a complaint with the California Department of Education?

I recently moved my family to California because I got a job transfer to the state. Since my children could no longer go to their former school, I enrolled them in one of the schools in the local area. After a while, one of my children started complaining about bullying to the point that she no longer wanted to go to school. I have tried talking to the teachers and principle but all they had to say is that education today is like that. However, I believe that the education policy needs to be revised to offer solutions to such problems. For this reason, I have decided to file a complaint with the California Department of Education. The challenge is that I do not know how to do it and whether I can file the complaint at any department of my choice such as the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Megan Page

in Higher Education

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Kaitlin Dean on January 4, 2018

According to the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, section 4610, the Education Department of California is authorized through the Uniforms Complaints Procedures (UCP) to deal with complaints regarding discrimination of students and complaints concerning different programs that are mandated by the state or federal statutes. The department’s duty is to implement education policies mandated by the federal government. Therefore, they can only handle issues related to their line of work.

Complaints against a teacher, school, district or principal, are not within the jurisdiction of this department. The local district governing board is the one responsible for general education matters. Therefore, you cannot file a complaint against bullying at the CDE, Department of Education in Massachusetts or any other department of education. The only option you have is to contact your local school district administration to find out which local processes handle such issues. You can also contact the Commission on Teacher Credentialing if you have complaints against any of the teachers or the principal of the school.

Before you decide to take such drastic measures, it would be a good idea to exhaust all your options. This is because there is no guarantee that the commission will help you solve the problem. Today’s education is not what it used to be back in the day. For instance, with the improvement in technology, students can get bullied through social media and other platforms and they might never know who is responsible for the bullying. Therefore, it is advisable for you to come up with a different solution that would not only help your child but any other student that is being bullied. For instance, you can meet with the teachers and principal to come up with a strategy on how to sensitize the students to bullying and why it is wrong. Such a solution is long term, does not involve a lot of conflict resolution and might be of benefit to every student who attends the school. It might also be a good idea to encourage the school to hire an expert on bullying to talk to the students about bullying and why it is wrong. Last but not least, be there for your child and check up with her as often as you can so that you can know whether or not the situation is improving. This way, you will be able to know whether or not you need to handle the situation differently.

Emily Alexandera year ago

Bullying is definitely something you should not ignore. There are so many cases where bullying has gone too far and caused serious problems. However, I do not think filing a complaint with the California Department of Education is the solution. First and foremost, the department might not be able to help with your problem because that is not one of their duties. Second, you might spend a lot of time trying to find the right authority to report to that you forget to deal with the situation. If the teachers and the principal are not taking any action, you need to come up with a suitable solution to the problem. One of the things you can do is to hire a lawyer to sue the school for not taking action against such a serious problem. The other option you have is to move your child to a different school if the bullying is preventing her to learn.


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