Complaint Process FAQ

What happens when I submit a complaint?

Violations of national policy are taken seriously and are thoroughly investigated. When a complaint is received, it is reviewed to identify violations of Honor Society policy. In some cases, more information is needed before a determination can be made. We may contact you and/or the school with additional questions.

Once violations are clearly identified, the national office will contact the adviser and/or principal in writing to notify them that a complaint has been filed. We will identify the nature of the complaint, the violation of Honor Society policy, and the steps required to bring the chapter into compliance. A timeframe for compliance will be outlined and the chapter will be asked to submit a copy of its bylaws and other relevant information for review. Schools are usually asked to respond within 20 business days, except in time-sensitive cases where a more immediate response is required.

Where can I find the official complaint form?

There is an online submission form available here.

I want to appeal the nonselection or dismissal of my son/daughter. Can I file a complaint with the national office to have the decision reviewed?

No. The national office does not hear appeals or render decisions for selection or dismissal.  All appeals must be filed at the local level.

How long does it take to review and resolve complaints?

Generally, complaints will be reviewed within 20 business days of receipt. When violations are present, the school will be contacted within that time.

The timeline for resolution of a complaint depends on many factors, including the need for additional information from you and the school, whether extensive revisions and changes are needed to the chapter’s procedures and policies, and when the complaint was filed (during the school year vs. summer).

Complaints filed after the conclusion of the school year may not be resolved until the next school year.

Can I monitor the status of my complaint?

In most cases, you will receive email updates regarding the status of the complaint, including the date the school was contacted, what violations have been found, when a response is expected and when the school has responded and become compliant. However, you may contact the national office at [email protected] to check the status of your complaint at any time.

What is the difference between a complaint and an appeal?

Appeals are requests to review or overturn a selection or dismissal decision. The national office cannot hear appeals or change any selection or dismissal decision made by a chapter’s faculty council.

Complaints may be filed when a chapter is in violation of an Honor Society policy. The national office will investigate complaints in an effort to bring the chapter into compliance. Complaints must note a specific violation of Honor Society policy, as reflected in the NJHS Constitution.

In some cases, when the violation has had a direct impact on a selection or dismissal decision, the corrective action may result in a re-evaluation or reversal. Please note that in many cases, even when a violation has been identified and changes are required, there may not be any impact on selection or membership status.

What are some examples of violations of NJHS policy?

Examples include:

  • Absence of a faculty council
  • More/fewer than 5 faculty members serving on the faculty council
  • Principal serving on the faculty council
  • Incorrect scholarship (GPA) requirement, including:
    • Requiring class percentages (e.g., top 10% of the class)
    • Calculating GPA excluding elective courses
    • Using per-course requirements (e.g., “No C’s allowed” or “no grades below….” )
    • Enforcing quarterly or semester average requirements (e.g., score 90 or above for all quarters/semesters)
  • Chapter has no published selection procedure
  • Chapter has no chapter bylaws
  • Improper or automatic dismissal, and/or lack of due process
  • Chapter does not conduct service projects
  • Chapter refuses to accept a transfer member from another chapter

When should I submit a complaint to the national office?

When a violation of NJHS policy has been identified and brought to the attention of both the adviser and principal, and the violation has not been corrected, parents, students, and interested parties may submit a complaint to the national office.

Please file complaints within the current school year while your student is still enrolled in that school. Complaints filed after a student has graduated may have no effect on membership status.

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