How to Write a Complaint Letter to a Principal

Written by natalie smith
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How to Write a Complaint Letter to a Principal
Writing a letter to the principal can prevent future incidents. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Nothing is more distressing than seeing your child come home from school in tears. As parents, we try our best to shield our children from bullies and discomfort, but when they get to school, our children are on their own. When a situation arises at your child's school and it wasn't handled properly or it resulted from an inadequate policy, you have a duty to inform the child's teacher or the principal.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Begin the letter by typing your address without your name. Skip a space, and type the full date. Skip another space and type the principal's name and title, her school and the school's address.

  2. 2

    Skip another space, and type "Dear Mr./Ms. (Name)" followed by a colon.

  3. 3

    Open the letter by explaining that a situation occurred with your child and that it needs to be remedied. Be specific about the incident and what you would like to happen as a result. Direct requests usually get better results than indirect ones, so do not be afraid to ask for what you want in a firm but polite manner.

  4. 4

    Write the details of the incident in subsequent paragraphs. Keep the tone professional, but be firm throughout that this incident or policy is unacceptable.

  5. 5

    Close the letter respectfully, and sign your name.

  6. 6

    Make copies of the letter in case further incidents occur and you need a legal record of your correspondence.

  7. 7

    Mail the letter by certified mail so that you have confirmation that it was received.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not hear back from the principal within two weeks, call her directly and inquire. She may not be able to tell you if an offending child was punished because of privacy laws, but you should at least know if the situation has been handled.
  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your letter, send a letter to the district superintendent. Refer to the letter that you wrote to the principal and outline what was or was not done to remedy the situation.

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