17:183      Hazing; public elementary and secondary students; intent and findings;  definitions;  policies

A. (1) It is the intent of the legislature that every public elementary and secondary school in this state shall be a safe, orderly, civil, and positive learning environment so that no student in this state feels threatened while in school.

(2) The legislature finds that while some forms of initiation for membership in student clubs and organizations constitute acceptable behavior, the hazing of students may degenerate into a dangerous form of intimidation and degradation.

B. (1) As used in this Section, "hazing" means any knowing behavior, whether by commission or omission, of any student to encourage, direct, order, or participate in any activity which subjects another student to potential physical, mental, or psychological harm for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, continued membership in, or acceptance by existing members of any organization or extracurricular activity at a public elementary or secondary school, whether such behavior is planned or occurs on or off school property, including any school bus and school bus stop.

(2) Hazing does not mean any adult-directed and school-sanctioned athletic program practice or event or military training program.

C. Hazing is prohibited in public elementary and secondary schools.

D. (1) Each city, parish, and other local public school board shall develop, adopt, and post a policy to enforce the prohibition in this Section against hazing and to prevent its occurrence.

(2) Each such policy shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(a) A statement that hazing of students, as defined in Subsection B of this Section, is prohibited.

(b) A statement that any solicitation to engage in hazing is prohibited.

(c) A statement that aiding and abetting another person who engages in hazing is prohibited.

(d) A statement that consent of the hazing victim is not a defense.

(e) A statement that all students, teachers, and other school employees shall take reasonable measures within the scope of their individual authority to prevent violations of the policy.

(f) A description of the procedures for students, teachers, and other school employees to report violations of the policy and the procedures to file a complaint for a violation of the policy.

(g) Procedures to investigate reports or complaints of violations of the policy.

(h) A description of the circumstances under which a violation of the policy shall be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

(i) A description of the appropriate penalties and appeal mechanisms for persons that violate the policy.

E. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to limit or exclude prosecution of or punishment for any crime or to limit the right to pursue any civil remedy.

Added by Acts 2004, No. 599, ยง 1, eff. July 5, 2004.