Notification to Parents/Guardians of Rights under

Connecticut General Statutes §§ 10-4a, 10-4b

State law requires that, if acts of bullying are verified, the Safe School Climate Specialist or designee must notify the parents or guardians of the students against whom such acts were directed as well as the parents or guardians of the students who commit such acts of bullying of the finding not later than forty-eight (48) hours after the investigation is completed.  This notification must include, among other things, notice that such parents or guardians may refer to the plain language explanation of the rights and remedies available under Conn. Gen. Stat. Sections 10-4a and 10-4b once such explanation has been provided by the Connecticut Social and Emotional Learning and School Climate Advisory Collaborative (the “Collaborative”) and published on the Internet website of the Board.

The Collaborative has not yet provided this plain language explanation, but the district is required to inform parents of their rights under the statute.  The text of the relevant statutes follows:

 

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-4a

Educational interests of the state identified

For purposes of sections 10-410-4b and 10-220, the educational interests of the state shall include, but not be limited to, the concern of the state that (1) each child shall have for the period prescribed in the general statutes equal opportunity to receive a suitable program of educational experiences; (2) each school district shall finance at a reasonable level at least equal to the minimum budget requirement pursuant to the provisions of section 10-262j an educational program designed to achieve this end; (3) in order to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation, each school district shall provide educational opportunities for its students to interact with students and teachers from other racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds and may provide such opportunities with students from other communities; and (4) the mandates in the general statutes pertaining to education within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Education be implemented.

 

 

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-4b

Complaint alleging failure or inability of board of education to implement educational interests of state. Investigation; inquiry; hearing. Remedial process. Regulations

(a) Any resident of a local or regional school district, or parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the public schools of such school district who has been unable to resolve a complaint with the board of education of such local or regional school district may file with the State Board of Education a complaint in writing, or the state board may initiate a complaint, alleging the failure or inability of the board of education of such local or regional school district to implement the educational interests of the state in accordance with section 10-4a. If the state board, or its designee, finds such complaint to be substantial, it shall notify the local or regional board of such complaint and shall designate an agent who shall conduct a prompt investigation in accordance with procedures established by said state board and report the results of such investigation to the state board. The agent of the State Board of Education, in conducting an investigation, may summon by subpoena any records or documents related to the investigation. If the findings indicate that there is reasonable cause to believe that a local or regional board of education has failed or is unable to make reasonable provision to implement the educational interests of the state as defined in section 10-4a or that a local governmental body or its agent is responsible for such failure or inability, said state board shall conduct an inquiry. The State Board of Education shall give the board of education or a local governmental body or its agent involved the opportunity to be heard in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-176e to 4-184. Said state board may summon by subpoena any person whose testimony may be pertinent to the inquiry and any records or documents related to the provision of public education in the school district.

(b) If, after conducting an inquiry in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the state board finds that a local or regional board of education has failed or is unable to implement the educational interests of the state in accordance with section 10-4a, the state board shall (1) require the local or regional board of education to engage in a remedial process whereby such local or regional board of education shall develop and implement a plan of action through which compliance may be attained, or (2) order the local or regional board of education to take reasonable steps where such local or regional board has failed to comply with subdivision (3) of section 10-4a. Where a local or regional board of education is required to implement a remedial process pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, upon request of such local or regional board, the state board shall make available to such local or regional board materials and advice to assist in such remedial process. If the state board finds that a local governmental body or its agent is responsible for such failure or inability, the state board may order such governmental body or agent to take reasonable steps to comply with the requirements of section 10-4a. The state board may not order an increase in the budgeted appropriations for education of such local or regional board of education if such budgeted appropriations are in an amount at least equal to the minimum budget requirement in accordance with section 10-262j. If the state board finds that the state is responsible for such failure, the state board shall so notify the Governor and the General Assembly.

(c) Upon the failure of a local or regional board of education to implement a remedial process, or upon the failure of a local or regional board of education or local governmental body or its agent to comply with an order of the state board in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, said state board may seek an order from the Superior Court to compel such board of education to implement a remedial process or to compel a local or regional board of education or local governmental body or its agent to carry out the order of the State Board of Education.

(d) The state board shall pursuant to the provisions of chapter 541 adopt regulations concerning procedures for purposes of this section.