Title 17. Education
Chapter 1. General School Law
Part XII. Louisiana School and Student Safety
Subpart A. Threats of Violence or Terrorism
17:409.5 Restrictions and examination
A. (1)(a) If a law enforcement agency, based on its investigation as required by R.S. 17:409.4(B)(1), determines that a student’s threat is credible and imminent, it shall report it to the district attorney, who may file a petition no later than seven days after receiving such report with the appropriate judicial district court for medical, psychological, and psychiatric examination as outlined in this Subsection. Where the district attorney, in his discretion, decides not to file the petition or does not file such petition during the requisite period, the student who is the subject of a complaint and investigation shall be permitted to return to school. The school administration shall permit a student who is the subject of a complaint and investigation to return to school if at any point prior to a hearing the threat is determined not to be credible after an investigation by the school administration, a law enforcement agency, or the district attorney or by order of the court after a hearing.
(b) The appropriate judicial district court, for purposes of this Section, is either the district court having jurisdiction in the place where the school that is the subject of the threat is located or the district court having jurisdiction in the place where the student resides.
(2)(a) As soon as practical after the filing of the petition, the court shall review the petition and supporting documents and determine whether there exists probable cause to believe that the student is a danger to himself or others.
(b) If the court determines that probable cause exists:
(i) The court shall assign a time and place not later than seven calendar days thereafter for a hearing upon the petition and shall cause reasonable notice thereof to be given to the student, his attorney, and the petitioner. The notice shall inform the student that he has the right to be present at the hearing; the right to counsel; if indigent or otherwise qualified, the right to have counsel appointed to represent him; and the right to cross examine witnesses testifying at any hearing on such application.
(ii) The court may appoint the student’s treating physician if available or, if not, then another medical professional, preferably a psychiatrist, or a mental health professional, such as a school psychologist, to examine the student and make a written report to the court and the student’s attorney.
(3) An examination order by the court pursuant to this Subsection shall be conducted as soon as practical, and the examining medical or mental health professional shall report to the court any conclusions reached as a result of the examination. The medical or mental health professional shall consider whether:
(a) The student is suffering from serious mental illness which causes him to be a danger to himself or others.
(b) The student’s condition is likely to deteriorate unless he is provided appropriate treatment.
(c) The student’s condition is likely to improve if he is provided appropriate treatment.
(4) The student or his attorney shall have the right to seek an additional independent medical or mental health opinion.
(5)(a) If the student refuses to be examined by the court-appointed medical or mental health professional or if the judge, after reviewing the petition and affidavit and the report of the treating medical or mental health professional, finds that the student is a danger to himself or others, that he is mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and in need of immediate hospitalization to protect himself or others from physical harm, or that his condition may be markedly worsened by delay, the court may issue a court order for custody of the student, and a peace officer shall deliver him to a treatment facility designated by the court. The court shall not order custody to the Louisiana Department of Health or placement with a Louisiana Department of Health treatment facility without prior notice given to the department.
(b) If the judge, after reviewing the petition and affidavit or the report of the treating medical or mental health professional, finds that the student is not a danger to himself or others and is not in need of immediate hospitalization to protect himself or others from physical harm, the court may require that the student continue outpatient mental health treatment as a condition of the order. Such condition of outpatient mental health treatment shall be for a finite time that shall not exceed six months.
B. If the person who is reported to a local law enforcement agency pursuant to R.S. 17:409.3(A) is not a student, he shall not be permitted to be within five hundred feet of any school until he has undergone a formal medical or mental health evaluation and has been deemed by a health care professional to not be dangerous to himself or others.
Added by Acts 2018, No. 716, § 1. Amended by Acts 2019, No. 209, § 1.