How to Submit a Formal Complaint Against a School or District
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Office of Accreditation is tasked with receiving complaints made against schools or districts. All formal complaints must be submitted in writing and include the name and contact information (valid phone number or valid e-mail address) of the individual(s) filing the complaint and must contain specific details concerning alleged violations. Formal written complaints should be submitted through the MDE’s web-based Accreditation Complaint Portal.
The MDE is prohibited from providing any details regarding the status of a complaint and/or investigation.
PLEASE NOTE: The MDE lacks the authority to investigate allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse within local school districts, discrimination, harassment, bullying, and retaliation within local school districts, or violations of civil rights, the Open Meetings Act, and the Public Records Act. If a complaint involves allegations of one of these categories, additional information can be found at the following links:
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights maintains jurisdiction to investigate allegations of violations of civil rights.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission maintains jurisdiction to investigate charges of discrimination, including instances of harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation.
Mississippi Code Ann. § 37-11-69 mandates school districts to include in its personnel policies, discipline policies, and code of student conduct, a prohibition against bullying or harassing behavior, and adopt procedures for reporting, investigating, and addressing such behavior. Please contact your local school district for more information on how to report allegations of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and retaliation within your local school district.
The Mississippi Ethics Commission enforces the Open Meetings Act and the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, and thus maintains jurisdiction to investigate alleged violations of the Open Meetings Act and Public Records Act.
Suspected Fraud, Waste and Abuse within a Local Education Agency (local school district) may be reported directly to the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor.
The MDE’s fraud/waste/abuse policy provides information about how to report suspected fraud/waste/abuse within the MDE.
Complaints, including the identity of the individual(s) filing the complaint(s), may become subject to a public records request, pursuant to the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 (Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-1).
To submit a formal complaint, visit the Accreditation Complaint Portal.