Colorado state laws protect students from being discriminated against or bullied based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. See One Colorado‘s Make it Safe guide for more information about Colorado’s laws.
If you are being harassed, discriminated against, or bullied, it is important to report it to your school. We’ve included information below about filing a complaint.
Filing a complaint at your school:
- Start with reporting the incident to your school’s principal. Every school has a slightly different process for filing a report, so refer to the student handbook for your school.
- If you school is not responding to your complaint, you can file a harassment or discrimination complaint with your school district’s compliance officer. Information about filing a district complaint can be found in your school board’s policies in the first section titled “AC.” Note: Although most districts have an AC policy, some districts do not or have the non-discrimination policy titled differently.
- If you have any questions or concerns about filing a report with your school, please contact One Colorado’s Safe Schools Manager, Neil Aasve, at [email protected].
The Full Complaint Process:
To create a safe school where all students are safe and respected, every incident of bullying and harassment should be reported and handled appropriately. Although the reporting procedures for each school and school district may not be the same, school principals or designated administrators have the responsibility to hear reports, investigate reported incidents, and take appropriate disciplinary action, if necessary. To make sure your complaint is addressed, it is important to do the following:
- Use the appropriate reporting procedure.
- One way to determine the appropriate reporting procedures for incidents of bullying or harassment is to ask a supportive teacher, counselor, or advisor of your Gay Straight Alliance. If there are no active supporters in your school, you can always refer to your student handbook policies and follow the appropriate reporting procedures.
- Ask teachers, counselors, or other staff for help.
- All educators and staff are responsible for reporting instances of bullying and harassment. While they may not have the authority to take action on your complaint, they can be great advocates and guide you through the complaint process in your school.
- Keep detailed written records
- Descriptive details will help your administrator address your complaint. It’s important to write every detail of an event down, every time. If you experience cyber bullying or harassment, which includes text messages, voice mails, e-mails, and posts from websites, print these out and keep them for documentation purposes. For the incident you are reporting, you’ll want to include details of what happened, who did what to whom, what was said before, during and/or after the incident, and whether there were any witnesses (and, if so, who). It is just as important to document the complaint process as the event you are complaining about. Every time you have a conversation with someone, including conversations about what happened, where to report what happened, and follow-up about the report and/or actions taken, you’ll want to document this in detail. If your school has a formal reporting or information tracking form, use it. Write your details in a journal or find another way to track your information.
To learn more about bullying and how to make your school more inclusive and safe, view One Colorado’s Gay-Straight Alliance “Make It Safe” report here as well as GLSEN’s Know Your Rights page.