Wrightslaw has a section on complaints. Pete Wright explains:
In our training programs, I explain that the facts and law do not control outcome. The decision-maker controls the outcome.
You must make the decision-maker want to rule in your favor. When parents write a compelling "Letter to the Stranger," they can often accomplish this objective.
My epal Tsu Dho Nimh has an excellent example, first quoting from Pete Wright:
And then going on to make a compelling example:
"Know what you want if the complaint is found in your favor. If you don't ask for anything when you file your complaint, you will not get anything when it is resolved."
And be very specific about this. If you can't define it as a desirable or undesirable behavior/activity/risk that can be observed and measured and tracked, it's not going to happen.
EXAMPLE: Saying "the school is not respecting my diabetic child's schedule and he's at risk, you have to do something" means nothing.
Define the problem behavior and the situation: "Billy is an insulin-dependent diabetic. Please see the attached meal and medication schedule from his pediatrician. He injects with insulin at 8:30AM after his breakfast. To avoid the danger of insulin shock, he must eat a snack with 200-300 calories between 10:30 and 11:30AM. There is another snack between 3 and 3:30.
His teachers have been notified of his needs and given a copy of his meal and insulin schedule.
His history teacher, Ms. Dewnothing, confiscates his snack and insists that he must wait until regular lunch at 12:30 because, as the attached e-mail from her says, "It's the schedule" and "It will distract the class if he eats a snack".
His science teacher allows him to eat the snack.
Explain the consequences: As a result of Ms Dewnothing's refusal to allow Billy to have the snack the pediatrician says is necessary, Billy's blood sugar is dropping during the hour before lunch. He is fidgety and unable to concentrate, and he is at risk of collapsing with dangerously low levels of blood sugar.
Explain the results you want: I expect that my child's medical needs will be met every day he is in school, with the snack eaten during the correct time. If Ms. Dewnothing does not accept the need for a diabetic child to have regular food intake, please send her to (insert class here).
Conduct yourselves accordingly.