GAE Complaints and Grievances

In order to provide the best possible educational climate and program for the Muscogee County School District, and to establish harmonious and effective relationships among those working toward this goal, administrative review procedures are established to resolve satisfactorily individual differences which would tend to unsettle or undermine the effective functioning of the school system.  School District employees are encouraged to solve difficulties and problems informally within the school or department.


"Complaint" means a claim by any full-time employee of any local unit of administration who is substantially affected in his or her employment relationship by an alleged violation of statutes, policies, rules, or regulations or written agreements with which the Muscogee County School District is required to comply.  Full-time employees are not temporary employees such as substitute teachers and part-time workers.

"Central Office Administrator" for Muscogee County School District will be designated as the Division of Human Resources.  The Library Director will serve as the Central Office Administrator for library employees.

"Local Unit of Administration"  for Muscogee County School District, is the (9) nine member Board of Education.  The Muscogee County Library Board will serve as the Local Unit of Administration for library employees.

"Administrator" means the individual at each level, if applicable, designated by the local unit of administration to preside over and make decisions with respect to complaints.  For Muscogee County School District, this will be the highest level of supervision for the Department or Division.  For school sites, this will be the Principal of the specific school.


The purpose of administrative review procedures is to secure, at the lowest possible administrative or supervisory level, proper and equitable solutions to complaints and to guarantee orderly succession of procedures within which solutions may be pursued.  It shall be incumbent upon all district employees to follow these procedures to settle their complaints.  This process shall:

  • Ensure that a complaint is considered fairly, with all due speed, and without prejudice or reprisal to the aggrieved person.

  • Encourage employee expression regarding conditions that affect him/her.

  • Provide a specific procedure which will facilitate the understanding of district policies.

  • Build confidence in the sincerity and integrity of the procedure as a means to establish the facts upon which a complaint is based and come to a fair conclusion.


  1. Performance ratings contained in personnel evaluations conducted pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-210 professional development plans and job performance shall not be subject to complaint under the provisions of this policy; provided.

    The termination, non-renewal, demotion, suspension, or reprimand of any employee, as set forth in O.C.G.A 20-2-940 et. seq., and the revocation, suspension, or denial of certificates of any employee, as set forth in O.C.G.A 20-2-984.5 shall not be subject to complaint under the provisions of this policy.
  2. A certificated employee who chooses to appeal under Code Section 20-2-1160 (the state of Georgia Fair Dismissal Act for certificated teaching professionals) shall be barred from pursuing the same complaint under this policy.
  3. Complaints cannot be pursued under this policy for issues arising from Policy EBBG - Risk Management and the designated procedure under which driving privileges of Muscogee County School District vehicles is revoked.


  1. A complaint by the employee at the initial level shall be in writing using the “GAE Complaint and Grievance” form (see addendum to this policy), clearly stating the intent to access the policy’s grievance process, and specifically stating the statute, policy, rule, or regulation or written agreement of the local unit of administration that is alleged to have been violated or with which the Local Unit of Administration has failed to comply.  The complainant shall be entitled to file a complaint within ten (10) business days from the most recent incident upon which the complaint was based. 
  2. The employee shall have ten (10) business days after receiving the written decision to file an appeal at any level up to and including the Local Unit of Administration.  All employees must request in writing for each successive levels of review.  
    If a decision at one level is not appealed to the next level of the procedure within the time limit specified, the complaint will be deemed to be discontinued and further appeal shall be barred; however, another complaint may be submitted for a new or similar occurrence.
  3. A hearing shall be scheduled for any level of appeal not later than ten (10) business days from the receipt of the “GAE Complaint and Grievance” form submitted by the employee. Each decision is to be made in writing and dated.  Each decision shall contain findings of fact and reasons for the particular resolution reached.  The decision reached at each complaint level shall be sent to the complainant by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery no later than ten (10) business days of the decision.  The failure of an administrator to communicate a decision to the employee within the specified time limit shall permit the employee to proceed to the next step in the administration review procedures.  The total time frame for the complaint process shall not exceed sixty (60) business days from the initiation of the complaint until notification to the employee of the decision rendered by the Local Unit of Administration.
  4. At Level One, neither the administrator nor the employee shall have a representative (legal or non-legal) present to assist or make the presentation.  At Level Two and Three, the employee shall be entitled to have an individual of his or her choice present to assist or make the presentation.  At the Local Unit of Administration level, nothing shall prevent the local unit from having an attorney present to serve as a law officer who shall rule on issues of law and who shall not participate in the presentation of the case for the administrator or the employee.
  5. An accurate record of the proceedings shall be kept at each level.  The proceedings shall be recorded, preserving all evidence.  These recordings shall be made available at all times to the parties involved.  All costs and fees shall be borne by the party incurring them unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties involved, except that the cost of preparing and preserving the record of the proceedings shall be borne by the Local Board of Education.
  6. Written notice, as hereinafter set forth, shall be given to the employee of each hearing at Level Two and Three by hand delivery or by sending a copy by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the last known address.
  7. The employee will have the right to be heard at all process levels, present evidence, and examine witnesses.  All evidence must be submitted by the employee five (5) days prior to the set date for the Level Two and Level Three hearing to the hearing officer presiding over the hearing.  The Board of the Local Unit of Administration, when hearing an appeal from a prior complaint level shall hear the complaint de novo.
  8. The employee shall not be subject to any retaliation as a result of filing a complaint under the policy.  Should any retaliation occur, the employee may submit a subsequent complaint under this same procedure immediately at Level Two of the process.
  9. The administration of the school district shall ensure that employees are informed of this policy upon hire, on an annual review basis, and during the administration of formal performance counseling that could lead to further disciplinary action using the official MCSD Performance Improvement Counseling form. 


When an employee has a complaint under the provisions of this policy, he/she shall file the complaint in writing with the Level One Administrator who shall be the principal or the Director or highest level of supervision within that Department or Division, giving the facts of the alleged violation relating to statutes, policies, rules, or regulations.  The complainant shall comply with the applicable procedures set forth above and the hearing conducted in accordance with said procedures.

The Level One Administrator shall record the date of receipt of a formal written complaint and shall give notice to the complainant of the time and place of the hearing and document such notice.  The decision shall be rendered and communicated in compliance with the procedure outlined in this policy


A complainant dissatisfied with the decision at level one shall be entitled to appeal to the Central Office Administrator, which is the Division of Human Resources, by filing written notice of appeal. The appeal must be filed within ten (10) business days after the complainant is notified of the Level One decision.  The Central Office Administrator shall obtain copies of all minutes, transcripts, documents and other records relating to the complaint and shall conduct a hearing and render a decision, in accordance with the Procedure herein above set forth.


If the complaint is not resolved at Level Two, the employee may, no later than ten (10) business days after receipt of the Level Two decision, appeal to the Local Unit of Administration, the Muscogee County Board of Education.  The appeal shall be made in writing, and all papers relating to the complaint shall be attached.  The Board of Education shall conduct a hearing on the complaint in accordance with the Procedures herein above, set forth, render a decision, and send it to complainant as set forth above in, the Procedures outlined in this Policy.  The decision of the Board will be final on all complaints unless an appeal is made to the State Board of Education by those personnel that fall under O.C.G.. 20-2-0940.

Complaints are to be processed as rapidly as possible; therefore, the number of days indicated at each level should be considered as maximum, and every effort should be made to expedite the process.  In the event a complaint is filed at such time that it cannot be processed through all the steps in the procedure by the end of the school year, and if left unresolved until the beginning the following year, it could result in irreparable harm to a party in interest.  By mutual agreement of all parties in interest the time limits set forth herein will be reduced so the procedure may be completed prior to the end of the school year, or as soon thereafter as possible.

Appeals from the decision of the Local Unit of Administration to the State Board of Education shall be governed by the State Board Policy and O.C.G.A. 20-2-1160.


Original Adopted Date: 03/18/2002 Last Revised Date: 08/16/2021 Last Reviewed Date: 08/16/2021
Policy Type
Policy Audience