Who is in control of the school?

Under Missouri law (Section 171.011), the board of education for your school district is authorized to establish “all needful rules and regulations” to govern the operation of your school district.

Because the law gives such broad authority to your board of education, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does NOT have the power – in most cases – to get involved in disagreements between parents or patrons and school personnel.

If you disagree with a decision by school officials or with the actions of a school employee, we recommend that you take these steps:

  1. Make sure you are familiar with the school policies that apply to your situation.  Is your concern addressed by the student handbook or other school policy document?  Did a school employee act according to the district’s existing policy?  (The student handbook and other policies should be available on your school district’s Web site.) 
  2. Document your complaint in writing (what happened and when), so that you have an accurate record of events.  You may or may not choose to send this information to school officials at some point.
  3. Follow the “chain of command” to resolve your complaint.  Discuss your concern with your child’s teacher, if appropriate.  You may pursue your concerns with the principal or other building-level administrator.  If the issue is not resolved, contact the office of the superintendent.

If you would like to discuss your concern with a representative of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, please contact the Area Supervisor of Instruction for your region of the state.  This staff member works with school districts in your area and may be able to advise you further.

If your question/complaint involves a disciplinary action against a student, here is more detailed information that may be useful.  Discipline FAQs