Friday, October 1, 2010

Who Ya Gonna Call?

A commentator to one of my blogs this past week asked us about an incident in the Fern Creek High School in Jefferson County. The commentator was concerned because an incident involving a gun had not been reported to parents. The commentator wanted to know if the school had met legal requirements for reporting the incident.

That generated queries from me to both Marcia Seiler, head of the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability (OEA), and to Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday. They both got back to me very quickly with information on this particular incident, which I have added in another comment to the blog linked above (the school did nothing improper).

However, the reason for this new blog is that I realized many people in Kentucky may not know where to go if they do want to anonymously report a potential issue with their schools.

So, here is some information from Ms. Seiler telling you how to communicate problems to her office and even do so anonymously if you so desire:

OEA has a webpage that the public can access to file a complaint. We take anonymous complaints, but the complaint must provide sufficient detail that OEA staff can determine the facts to investigate. General and broad complaints about a district, school or individual, without facts providing specific dates, schools or individuals, generally are insufficient for investigation. If the person provides a phone number or other contact information, OEA staff can contact them for additional information.

We do require the complaint be in writing (input via the web site meets this requirement), but they can also call us and discuss an issue with an investigator to determine if the matter is something we would handle. Sometimes, with a brief conversation, we are able to assist an individual with their issue without a full investigation.

The OEA website is:

The OEA toll-free hotline is: 1-800-242-0520

Of course, if you bring an issue to us at the Bluegrass Institute, we’ll try to track down answers, as well. But, especially if something is time critical, taking the problem direct to an action agency is the best way to get fast service.

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