Cf: GAK, GAMC, GBN
The Superintendent and his/her designee shall possess the authority to discipline employees when an employee's behavior warrants such action. A principal or other supervisor shall have the authority to recommend to the Superintendent when appropriate that employees at the school or department in which he/she is employed should be disciplined.
To the extent possible, discipline of an employee should be progressive in nature such that penalties become increasingly harsh as similar or related conditions continue or infractions are repeated. Such progressive discipline shall not in any way inhibit the Superintendent’s authority or, in the case of certain employees, the School Board’s authority, to discipline, suspend, or terminate an employee based on a single event.
Should any disciplinary measure become necessary, any documentation shall be considered confidential and treated in accordance with statutory provisions and School Board policy.
Hearing procedures are statutorily required for certain discipline or disciplinary actions imposed against teachers as defined below. However, the Superintendent and/or principals and supervisors are not precluded from taking other disciplinary measures with respect to teachers which do not require such procedures and/or from disciplining other employees, as he/she/they deem appropriate.
For purposes of this section:
Discipline and disciplinary action shall include only suspension without pay, reduction in pay, involuntary demotion, or dismissal.
Written notice shall be considered given when the notice is hand delivered to the teacher, or on the day it is delivered to the teacher by registered mail, certified mail, or a commercial courier.
The Superintendent may take disciplinary action against any non-tenured teacher but only after providing the non-tenured teacher with the written reason(s) therefor and seven (7) days to respond. The teacher’s response shall be included in his/her personnel file. Thereafter, the Superintendent shall notify the non-tenured teacher in writing of his/her final decision. The non-tenured teacher shall not be entitled to a hearing before a disciplinary hearing officer or the School Board.
Within sixty (60) days of such notice, the teacher may seek summary review in district court to determine whether or not the Superintendent’s action was arbitrary or capricious.
A tenured teacher shall not be disciplined except upon written and signed charges by the Superintendent or his/her designee of poor performance, willful neglect of duty, incompetency, dishonesty, immorality, or of being a member of or contributing to any group, organization, movement, or corporation that is by law or injunction prohibited from operating in the state of Louisiana, and then only if furnished with a copy of such written charges and given the opportunity to respond.
The teacher shall have ten (10) calendar days from written notice of the charges to respond, in person or in writing. Following review of the tenured teacher’s response, the Superintendent may take interim disciplinary action. The teacher may be placed on paid administrative leave. If the teacher has been arrested for a violation of La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§14:42 through 14:43.5, 14:80 through 14:81.5, any other sexual offense affecting minors, any of the crimes provided in La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15:587.1, or any justified complaint of child abuse or neglect on file in the central registry pursuant to Children’s Code Article 615, the administrative leave shall be without pay. In no event shall paid administrative leave exceed fifty (50) days from notice of the Superintendent’s interim decision.
Within ten (10) calendar days after written notice of the Superintendent’s interim disciplinary action or within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the tenured teacher’s response if no interim disciplinary action is taken, a tenured teacher may request a hearing before a disciplinary hearing officer. If the tenured teacher fails to timely request a hearing, the disciplinary action shall become final.
Hearing Procedures for Tenured Teachers
Upon request for a hearing, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall randomly appoint a hearing officer from the list of persons previously approved by the School Board as disciplinary hearing officers. All hearing officers must be qualified to serve as a disciplinary hearing officer in accordance with state law. If the School Board fails to maintain such a list, the Superintendent may randomly appoint a hearing officer from a list of persons previously approved by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The hearing may be private or public, at the option of the teacher, and shall commence no sooner than ten (10) calendar days nor later than thirty (30) calendar days after receipt of the teacher's request for such hearing. The disciplinary hearing officer shall have the power to issue subpoenas and shall conduct the hearing in accordance with the procedures adopted by the School Board.
The teacher shall have the right to appear before the disciplinary hearing officer with witnesses on his/her behalf and with counsel of his/her selection. The disciplinary hearing officer shall hold a hearing and review to determine whether the interim decision of the Superintendent was arbitrary or capricious and shall either affirm or reverse the action of the Superintendent. The disciplinary hearing officer shall notify the Superintendent and the teacher of his/her final determination, with written reasons, within ten (10) days from the date of the hearing. If the Superintendent's disciplinary action is affirmed, it shall become effective upon the teacher's receipt of the decision of the disciplinary hearing officer. If the Superintendent's disciplinary action is reversed, the teacher shall be restored to duty.
Within sixty (60) days from the postmarked date of such written notification of the decision of the disciplinary hearing officer, the School Board or the teacher may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to review the matter as a summary proceeding.
The time periods contained above may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.
TENURED BUS OPERATORS AND CONTRACT APPOINTEES
The Superintendent shall have the authority to discipline tenured bus operators and performance contract appointees, including suspension without pay, when circumstances necessitate immediate action. If sufficient grounds for suspension without pay are subsequently not found to exist by the School Board or Superintendent, the tenured bus operator or contract appointee shall be reimbursed for any loss of compensation.
The Superintendent shall have the authority to discipline any non-tenured, non-contract, or other school employee, including suspension without pay, when circumstances warrant such action.
Revised: October 4, 2012
Revised: September 4, 2014
Revised: May 16, 2019
Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§13:3204, 17:81, 17:81.8, 17:443
Reed v. Orleans Parish School Board, April 30, 1945, 21 So.2d 895
Frazier v. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, App. 1 Cir. 1961, 128 So.2d 250
Board minutes, 10-4-12, 9-4-14, 5-16-19
Bossier Parish School Board