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Home » Educator Support » Investigations » Code of Professional Conduct » How to File a Complaint

How to File a Complaint

How to File a Complaint Against a Teacher/Certificated Educator

A written complaint must first be filed with the school district superintendent, educational service district superintendent, or the private school administrator, stating the grounds and factual basis for the complaint.

 

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has authority to investigate certificated school district employees for acts of unprofessional conduct or lack of good moral character or personal fitness. When an educational service district superintendent, school district superintendent, or the chief administrator of an approved private school possess sufficient reliable information to believe a certificated employee within such educational service district, school district, or private school is not of good moral character or personally fit or has committed an act of unprofessional conduct (WAC 181-87), such superintendent or chief administrator, within a reasonable period of time after making such determination, shall file a written complaint with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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 a school district; or
  2. The superintendent of an Educational Service 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)

Get contact information for your district and ESD.

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.)