To ensure that it is effectively preventing and addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in its schools, Los Angeles Unified should resolve complaints within 60 calendar days regardless of the complaint process selected.
RECOMMENDATION #6 management disagrees that 90-days is an appropriate timeline. It is the opinion of the office at [sic] all complaints should be resolved in 60-calendar days. Also I looked at your UCP bulletin 5159.3, p. 9 and it still says 60 days it does not say 60 calendar days per regulations. Next year when you respond to this recommendation we hope to see the change to the UCP bulletin to confirm to regulations.
Recommendation 6 has two components:
a. Complaints of bullying should be resolved in 60 calendar days.
b. The UCP bulletin should define "day" as "calendar day."
RECOMMENDATION 6A. Complaints of bullying should be resolved in 60 days.
6A RESPONSE. The District has memorialized the 60-day timeline for resolving bullying complaints in multiple documents:
- BUL-5212.2 Bullying and Hazing Policy, November 26, 2014 (Exhibit 5a1)
o Section VIII K. Responding to Bullying and Hazing (page 8)
o Section X, Resolution of Incidents of Bullying (page 10)
- Bullying Complaint Response Worksheet Attachment C (Exhibit 5a2)
- BUL-5212.2 Bullying and Hazing Policy Attachment M, Title IX/Bullying Complaint Manager Log (Exhibit 6a1)
- School Safety Plan, Volume 1, Section 4.3.1 Bullying and Hazing (Exhibit 5a3)
- The Administrators Online Certification System directs the respondents to the timeline for reviewing and resolving incidents of bullying delineated in BUL-5212.2 Bullying and Hazing timeline and the Safe School Plan, Volume 1, Section 4.3.1 (Exhibit 5a4)
RECOMMENDATION 6B. The UCP bulletin should define "day" as "calendar day."
5B. RESPONSE: The Uniform Complaint Procedures bulletins define days as "Calendar days, unless designated otherwise" in Section III Related Definitions, G: Days (page 6):
- BUL-5159.3, May 15, 2014 (Exhibit 6b1)
- BUL-5159.4, November 14, 2014 (Exhibit 6b2)
LAUSD has clarified in both its UCP bulletin and Bullying and Hazing Policy bulletin that all complaints should be reviewed within 60 calendar days. Therefore, we have marked this recommendation as Fully Implemented.
- Auditor Rosa Reyes approved a 90-day timeline. The District submits Exhibit 3, the revised Bullying and Hazing Policy which denotes 30-day requirements for updates and 90-day requirements for determination of resolution.
- The District submits Exhibit 2, the School Operations iSTAR Evidence of Monitoring and Resolution report. This document memorializes the process by which iSTAR bullying reports are reviewed for school site compliance with the 30-day requirement for action and updates, and the 90-day requirement for resolution. The report is shared with the Operations Coordinators at the ESC levels who support the individual schools.
We believe that 60 days, which was Los Angeles Unified's policy at the time of our audit, is a more appropriate timeline to resolve bullying complaints rather than 90 days. Further, the Uniform Compliant Process bulletin still states 60 days and does not clarify 60 calendar days, as required in regulations.
- Has launched the MiSiS system with an incident reminder function to follow up on critical incidents (Exhibit 2N).
- Has drafted a revision of the Bullying and Hazing policy to require that there be at least one update within 30 school-days of a reported bullying incident to document the status of the investigation, actions taken, and need for on-going monitoring (Exhibit 2Jr).
- Will generate monthly iSTAR reports of bullying incidents identifying the status of the incident, and the number of actions and updates since the initial filing beginning 2014/15 (Exhibit 1B)
Los Angeles Unified did not respond to our request for additional information to substantiate its status of "fully implemented."
Currently, the state does not mandate response times for bullying complaints, but does require investigations of UCP complaints within 60 calendar days, unless this time period is extended by written agreement of the complainant pursuant to 5 CCR 4631(a). With respect to UCP complaints, the LAUSD provided evidence of completion of the Auditors recommendations, dated October 18, 2013. That aspect of Recommendation 4 is considered satisfied.
Though bullying complaints do not fall under the same mandates as UCPs, the District has instituted guidelines to require timely responses to allegations of bullying. Schools are expected to take all reported cases of bullying seriously, investigate promptly and thoroughly, document the actions taken, and monitor and follow up to ensure that the bullying has stopped. The iSTAR system allows for ongoing updates to the status of an incident..
Has revised the 25-day notice on dormant iSTAR incidents to alert administrators to document the status of investigation, actions taken, and need for ongoing monitoring of bullying incidents (Exhibit 4A).
Is revising its Bullying and Hazing Policy to
o Instate a timeline for response that is reasonable and similar to those requested by state regulations for incidents of discrimination and harassment. The revised Bullying and Hazing Policy will require that there be at least one update within 30 school-days after an initial filing to document status of investigation, actions taken, and need for ongoing monitoring (Exhibit 2J), and
o To direct schools to ensure that the complainant be advised of the findings of an investigation of an alleged incident of bullying. A sample Letter of Findings has been provided as an attachment to the revised Bullying and Hazing Policy as a formal communication with the complainant. A copy of the letter will be provided to the Title IX Bullying Complaint Manager (Exhibit 2J, and Exhibit 4B, Sample Letter of Findings)
-Revise its policies on responding to bullying and instate a timeline for response that is reasonable and similar to those requested by state regulations for incidents of discrimination and harassment.
-Create an automated response for open cases of bullying that have been dormant, reminding them to update the iSTAR report.
With respect to UCP complaints, to comply with the California State Auditor's recommendations, the District has*:
-Reviewed its UCP Bulletin BUL-5159.2 and trained staff on the required 60-day timelines for responding to UCPs.
-Revised its UCP complaint logs to allow improved monitoring of timeline compliance.
*evidence sent electronically
†Response Type refers to the interval in which the auditee is providing the State Auditor with their status in implementing recommendations made in an audit report. Auditees must submit a response regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year or subsequent to one year.
*Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.