Restraint and Seclusion Complaint Information: Frequently Asked Questions

A restraint and seclusion complaint is a formal request to the Ohio Department of Education to investigate potential violations of requirements of Ohio rule (Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-15 sections G through K). The rule allows parents to file a complaint regarding incidents of restraint and seclusion that occurred after the effective date of June 24, 2021. Additionally, alleged violations must be within one year prior to the date the complaint is filed. The Department’s Office for Exceptional Children conducts a neutral investigation to come to a formal resolution of the issues.

General Questions


General Questions

    Who may file a complaint?

    Only a parent or guardian may file a complaint about his or her child.

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    Does this process apply to all students?

    Any students in kindergarten through grade 12 (general education students and students with disabilities) are eligible for this process.

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    What does the complaint need to include?

    A complaint must include the following:

    •  Student’s name, address and school district or other agency believed to have violated the requirements of OAC 3301-35-15 G through K.
    • The parent or guardian’s signature and contact information of the complainant.
    • Statements that the school district or education agency violated requirements of the OAC 3301-35-15 G through K, facts upon which the statements are based and proposed resolutions.

    A parent or guardian may use this restraint and seclusion complaint form (coming soon) to submit the complaint electronically or write a letter to mail the complaint.

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    Where do I send my complaint?

    Mail the complaint to:

    Ohio Department of Education Dispute Resolution Section
    25 South Front Street
    4th Floor, MS 409 Columbus, Ohio 43215
     
    Or email:
    OECComplaints@education.ohio.gov
     

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    What does the Department do with my complaint?
    • An education program specialist reviews the complaint and identifies issues for investigation. The Department sends a letter of allegations to the parent or guardian and superintendent with the alleged issues and requests documentation specific to the issues.
    • An education program specialist conducts a neutral investigation by reviewing the documentation provided by both parties. When needed, the education program specialist may request additional information, conduct interviews or conduct a site visit where the alleged violations occurred.
    • Using the facts provided by the parent or guardian and the district, the education program specialist determines if a violation took place and writes a letter of findings that is sent to the parent or guardian and the district.

     

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    How long is the complaint investigation?
    The Department must issue a letter of findings no later than 90 calendar days after receiving the complaint. The timeline may be extended due to exceptional circumstances.

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    What happens after the investigation?

    The parent or guardian and school district are notified electronically and via the U.S. Postal Service:   

    • If no violations are found, the complaint is closed.
    • If there is a violation, the education program specialist issues a student-specific and/or district corrective action plan within the letter of findings, and the district must complete any corrective action by the identified date.

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    Who can I call if I have questions?
    If you have questions about the complaint process, call (877) 644-6368

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Last Modified: 8/25/2021 3:34:23 PM