Grievance Procedures

These grievance procedures were adopted by an online vote 13-0 on April 26, 2024.


A distinction exists between unacceptable behavior, inappropriate conduct, bylaw violations, unprincipled struggle, and principled struggle.

The procedures contained in this document apply to all of these except for principled struggle.


Unacceptable behavior is unwelcome action or communication (or even suggested action or communication) that makes a person feel uncomfortable, distressed, unsafe, or humiliated. A list of examples is included in the SCORE Code of Conduct.

Inappropriate conduct is behavior which violates the expectations and standards set by this organization in SCORE Code of Conduct. For example, a consistent pattern of talking as frequently as possible and at great length and/or talking over others.

Bylaw violations are actions or omission of actions which violate the rules specified in SCORE Bylaws such as leadership failing to fulfill its duties (e.g. accommodation) or any person taking action specifically prohibited by a majority vote.

Unprincipled struggle is that which is based on individualism instead of collectivism:

Where grievance is raised against other members not based on the values we share and the reasons we organize together or on the basis of the interests of the overall organization, but instead from the standpoint of personal interests or clique interests, or for measures that are beneficial to only one or a few people, for the purpose of making organizational affairs worse, or for ulterior purposes. Our shared values and reasons for participating are the limit of necessary unity between us. For example, agreement on historic or existing countries or events has no bearing on the actions required to achieve our short or medium term goals.

Where grievance is made in order to out of personal interest; to create conflict and cause dissension; to talk behind people's backs; or, to spread rumors, lies, gossip, and libel.

Where grievance is targeted against those with different views, especially for the purpose of creating disunity among members, instigating mutual antagonism and internal sectarianism.

Where grievance is avoided due to the mentality of fearing criticism and struggle, the conservative mentality of "minding one's own business," or the mindset of "the less work, the better." These lead to "unprincipled peace" and organizational fizzle.

Principled struggle begins from the basis of all deserving respect and dignity, from the assumption of authenticity, honesty, and good faith, with the interests of the organization as a whole kept in mind. Please refer to SCORE Structure for Constructive Struggle and SCORE Code of Conduct for more details on how this process should proceed inside this organization.

The question of principle is a question of method which we use in viewing and handling problems in accordance with the general laws governing the development of things. If our general laws governing the observation and handling of problems are wrong, if our position, standpoint and method are wrong, errors will certainly occur in our observation of and dealing with questions.

If we wrongly understand the laws governing the development of certain problems then the method with which we handle such problems will certainly be wrong. Therefore, we should not treat a question of principle lightly. If errors occur in principle, then not only individual errors, but also errors of a systematic and persistent nature, affecting a series of practical problems, will occur.

There are often several solutions for concrete and practical problems. If divergent views occur over such concrete and purely practical issues, so long as these views do not involve principle, we should try our best to compromise, to make concessions, to accept and subscribe to others' views. We should make all possible compromises with other members holding different views concerning questions of a purely practical character and unrelated to our shared values and reasons why we organize together.


It is imperative to make clear through onboarding and ongoing education to all new members the well-wrought and collectively agreed-upon details of the bylaws, code of conduct, the program, what is expected of them, and how criticisms are handled while maintaining unity with comrades.


The following is the procedure for filing a grievance against an individual or group:

SCORE prioritizes marginalized people's safety over privileged people's comfort. This means we will not act on complaints regarding the following:


Self-flagellation, penance, revenge, and apology are not goals of this process. Reform as demonstrated by concrete action and contributing to the growth of all involved; or, expulsion are the expected outcomes.



The IGO must ensure the following steps are completed and documented:


If a member engages in harassing or other unacceptable behavior, and is asked to stop, they are expected to comply immediately. If a member continues to engage in harassment or other unacceptable behavior, the person will be removed from the environment where the behavior is occurring, such as a meeting, virtual/digital organizing space, or other methods of virtual communication. If harassment or other unacceptable behavior continues, the individual may be removed from SCORE.

Further action beyond removal from the situation is detailed below.

General Procedure

  1. Grievance or Incident reported
  2. Gather information
  3. Meet with each party
  4. Write opinion/findings
  5. Present findings to the general membership for vote
  6. Meet with each party to discuss final decision
  7. After an incident has occurred which requires escalation, the IGOs will engage their duties to membership. Anyone can submit a grievance report, understanding that in some cases that is a formality for documentation.

Members engaging in harassment or other unacceptable behavior will have the opportunity to engage with the people involved in handling the incident. It is at the discretion of the IGOs whether they will investigate alone, or assemble a volunteer committee, or, especially in the case of continuous internal conflict, assemble a fixed-member committee; except, in the case where it would be appropriate for the IGO to recuse themselves. In that case, they must utilize a committee-style investigation while continuing to fulfill their responsibilities by functioning actively as a facilitator through the process.

The composition of the investigators are also at the discretion of the IGOs. However, members committing to investigation are also making a commitment to attend all meetings, to contribute to writing out findings and recommendations, and to presenting that information.

During investigation, any testimony is acceptable: virtual interviews, written statements, recorded virtual meetings, etc. Behavior that has occurred due to one's disability or circumstances will be taken into consideration, if this information becomes known.

Remedies and penalties recommended are unlimited in the range from doing nothing to probation and monitoring to expulsion with the understanding that self-flagellation, penance, revenge, and apology are not goals of this process. Demonstration by concrete action is what is expected, or expulsion. We are not strangers and we must work arm in arm with each other if we will continue to work together.

The findings and recommendations are to be communicated to the general membership. In the instance of a larger organization, these would only be disclosed to relevant local chapter. The imposition of confidentiality merely shifts public discourse into the realm of private discussions, fueling exclusivity and sectarianism, irrespective of the outcome.

It is not an option to request further investigation or a change to the recommendations during discussion by general membership. What will be voted on is the recommendation as presented. During voting, anyone who is directly involved in the incident other than as a witness will recuse themselves from deciding on actions.

A majority vote will commit all chapter members to the recommendations as outlined by the investigation.

After the decision is made, regardless of the outcome, the person who committed the harassment or grievance should detail their response if so desired and provide to the IGOs for documentation.

In the case of retaliation for filing a grievance, a new grievance should be submitted for these actions and the IGO may determine whether to factor this into the original complaint.

Unacceptable Behavior

If a member engages in harassing or other unacceptable behavior, and is asked to stop, they are expected to comply immediately. If a member continues to engage in harassment or other unacceptable behavior, the person will be removed from the environment where the behavior is occurring, such as a meeting, virtual/digital organizing space, or other methods of virtual communication. If harassment or other unacceptable behavior continues, the individual may be removed from SCORE.

After removal from the situation, and after the prompt situation is resolved, proceed with the General Procedure with the following changes.

Due to the seriousness of this accusation, this person should immediately be considered on probation and under monitoring until the final recommendations of the investigation are voted on by the general membership.

Inappropriate Conduct

We are committed to providing a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment, where members do not just follow the Code of Conduct but rather foster a norm of behavior for all members. If inappropriate conduct is being escalated per this procedure that indicates a change is required.

After removal from the situation, and after the prompt situation is resolved, proceed with the General Procedure with the following changes:

Bylaw Violations

A violation of the rules of the organization is a failure to act in one's elected capacity. It is understood that certain requirements are constrained by material limitations, but if they are being escalated per this procedure then it is being indicated that a change is required.

After the offending party is removed from the situation (involuntarily recused), and after the prompt situation is resolved, proceed with the General Procedure with the following changes:

Unprincipled Struggle

We are radically opposed to unprincipled disputes. They are useless and harmful, and there is generally little right or wrong, or good or bad, about them. In such unprincipled struggles, therefore, there is no point in passing judgment as to who is right and who is wrong, or estimating who is better and who is worse, because that is impossible.

What should be done is to stop and review the work shared and restart in a positive way from the standpoints of principle. Request the connection of the dispute to our shared values & principles, our path to our goals, and our political program.

Prompt Action

  1. Ask the comrades involved unconditionally to stop them and get back to principles.
  2. Put the stress on the questions of principle and avoid stressing those not involving any principle. Refuse to be dragged into unprincipled disputes. Two wrongs does not make a right.
  3. Starting from the assumption that comrades have each other's and the organization's best interests at heart, and the assumption that this is NOT an uneven relationship, uncover the core issues outside of our shared values and reasons for organizing together. This requires practice and emphasis in all interpersonal training. One example of a method to do so is as follows:
    1. Interruption (e.g. "Excuse me!")
    2. Request change (e.g. "How would it be for you if we made this prompt change and investigated a long term change?" or "Would you be willing to try this out for this amount of time?")
    3. Check one's own agreement ("Can we take this amount of time to think about it?")
    4. Investigate others' intentions (e.g. "I would like to find a way to get both of our needs met.")
    5. Communicate one's own intentions. (e.g. "I would prefer to do this and this because I have a need for this.")

    After the prompt situation is has ended, if there is no resolution, proceed with the General Procedure with the following changes:

    • Step 2. Information gathering: ensure it is investigated how or if the behavior has influenced past work, and the defining of present objectives, and the advancement of the current work.
    • Step 3: Meet with each party: Interviewer(s) never play the role of a judge. If your judgment is inappropriate, both sides of the unprincipled dispute will feel dissatisfied and the dispute will continue.
    • Step 4. Writeup of Opinion/Findings: Ensure focus is on identifying elements of our process of struggling with each other which did not work, so that we can improve all internal struggles.
    • Enforcement and consequences: offender(s) must demonstrate, as must we all who have learned from the struggle, adherence to the revised and updated group understanding of how to struggle in a principled way. Repetition of the same unprincipled behavior or argument can change this offense from unprincipled struggle to inappropriate conduct or unacceptable behavior.


    A person may appeal as often as they desire, and discussion should be brought up on the agenda at the next meeting of the general membership. The vote on the recommendations of the investigation may be reopened at any time.

    While this appears very laissez-faire, the reality of a small organization without a distinction between Chapter and National is that, unless some dramatic, new information comes to light, no real appeals process exists.


    The consequences of harassment and grievance without concrete demonstrable change are able to include any recommendation agreed-upon by the majority of membership, accepting changes to organizational governing documents or processes which have defined a separate process for revision.


    For the purpose of educating the organization and disseminating positive examples of unique lesson learned, if it would add to this procedure or to our other governing principles, in the same way "oops, ouch" or "no sorry" are announced outside stack, "commendation" should be announced to be entered into meeting minutes. This should put a pin in place for discussion outside the current meeting or struggle to recognize, document, and communicate how a member took action in a novel way to mitigate any of the unconstructive behaviors described here. Again, the purpose of commendation is not individual recognition, rather it is internal education and improvement.

    Document History

    • 2024-05-11: Created