Office of Professional Practices

How to File a Complaint Against a Teacher/Certificated Educator

To register concerns about a certificated educator's conduct, OPP recommends first filing a written complaint with your area’s educational service district (ESD) superintendent. If the ESD superintendent determines the certificated employee lacks good moral character or personal fitness or has committed an act of unprofessional conduct, the ESD superintendent may file a written report with OPP. Get contact information for your district and ESD.

OPP’s authority to open an investigation is limited (See WAC 181-86-100). OPP investigates allegations of misconduct by certificated educators. OPP may open an investigation upon receiving a letter of complaint from either:

  1. The superintendent of an educational service district (ESD); or
  2. A school district; or
  3. The chief administrator of a private school.

In addition to the above, OPP may independently open an investigation when it becomes aware that an educator has had a professional license revoked, suspended by or surrendered to another licensing agency or has been charged, arrested, or convicted of certain felony offenses.

Under RCW 28A.410.090(2), a parent or another person may file a written complaint with OPP alleging physical abuse or sexual misconduct by a certificated school employee if the parent or other person has already filed a written complaint with the educational service district superintendent concerning that employee and the educational service district superintendent:

  • Has not opened an investigation of the allegations; and
  • Has not forwarded the complaint to the superintendent of public instruction for investigation

Download the Sexual Misconduct/Physical Abuse Allegations Reporting Form and Instructions (Word)

The School District’s Responsibility
The school district superintendent, ESD superintendent, or chief administrator shall file a written complaint with OSPI when there is sufficient reliable information to believe a certificated employee is not of good moral character or personally fit or has committed an act of unprofessional conduct

OSPI’s Authority
OSPI has the authority to investigate certificated school district employees for acts of unprofessional conduct or lack of good moral character or personal fitness. (Further details are available in WAC 181-86-110.)

Questions About the Complaint Procedure?
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   Updated 3/9/2018

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