STUDENT HEARING PROCEDURES
When the Superintendent and/or his/her designee has determined that a hearing should be conducted regarding a student matter, the hearing shall be scheduled and the parents shall be sent written notification of the hearing. Such notification shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the parents or legal guardian at the last known address on file with the school. In the case of a disciplinary matter where the student has been removed from school, the hearing shall be held as soon as possible, but no later than ten (10) school days after the student's removal from school, unless an alternate date has been agreed upon by all parties.
Prior to the hearing, the parent/guardian has the right to view and copy any evidence to be presented by the school at the hearing. The evidence shall be kept on file at the school office. Notice of this right shall be included with the notification of the scheduled hearing.
At the hearing conducted by the Superintendent or his/her designee, the specific reason(s) concerning the matter shall be presented by the principal or a designee in support of the recommendation. The student's prior performance and attendance may be discussed. The student or a representative may produce witnesses or offer evidence in the student's behalf and may cross-examine any witnesses that are brought to the hearing. This is not the right to cross-examine students or other witnesses who have given statements only and who are not present at the hearing.
After hearing the case, the Superintendent or designee shall determine whether the student is guilty of the principal's or a designee's charges and whether corrective or disciplinary action shall be imposed. If the findings and disposition of the hearing are made at the conclusion of the hearing, the Superintendent or a designee shall inform the parent/guardian and the student of the findings and disposition of the case. In any event, the Superintendent or a designee shall mail (by certified mail, return receipt requested), or hand deliver to the parent or guardian, the Child Welfare and Attendance section, and to the principal or a designee, a decision of the findings no later than seven (7) school days after the hearing if the parent or guardian was present or no later than three (3) school days after the hearing was scheduled and if the parent or guardian was not present. General Counsel may review cases where he/she reasonably believes there is a legal issue which has surfaced either at the hearing level or from any other source. Should General Counsel determine that there is a legal issue serious enough to warrant, he/she may recommend to the Superintendent that the designee's decision be overturned subject to the Superintendent's final decision prior to the matter going to the School Board should such be timely requested. In the case of a suspension hearing, the decision of the Superintendent shall be final.
If the hearing was an expulsion hearing and the Superintendent or designee determines that a student should be expelled, the parent or guardian of the expelled student or the student (if the student is 18 years of age or older), may request a review of the expulsion decision by the School Board. The request for review must be in writing, and must be mailed and postmarked within ten (10) days after receipt of written notification of the expulsion decision. The request for review may also be hand delivered to the School Board Office at 1050 South Foster Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, within ten (10) days after receipt of written notification of the expulsion decision. Requests for review which are not mailed or delivered within this time period shall not be processed unless extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated by the parent/guardian or student.
In the event that a parent/guardian or student timely requests a review of an expulsion decision by the School Board, the Superintendent and/or his/her designee shall list each such request as an agenda item for the first or second next regularly scheduled meeting of the School Board. If the review request is received after the deadline for completion of the School Board meeting agenda, then the item will be placed on the agenda of the second or third next regularly scheduled meeting.
The written record of the expulsion proceedings, to include all evidence and prior decisions rendered and also include a statement by parents or guardians (and/or student if of legal standing) that provides the basis for the request to review, will be provided to all School Board members in the agenda packet on the Monday prior to the School Board meeting at which the review is to be on the agenda.
At the meeting when the item appears next on the meeting agenda, upon the request of the presiding officer, the School Board Members shall indicate whether or not they have had the opportunity to review the case. Upon affirmation by the members, the presiding officer, shall inquire of the School Board whether or not a hearing of the case should be scheduled at the next regularly scheduled School Board meeting. Absent a motion and second to hear the case, the Superintendent's recommendation stands. The parent or student shall have the right to determine if the expulsion review is conducted in public or private session.
At the review by the School Board, the School Board shall function similarly to an appellate court in reviewing evidence from the expulsion hearing. Each side should present to the School Board two (2) days prior to the review, a written report stating each side's position with attached documents, which were presented at the hearing. At the review hearing by the School Board, only one person shall argue for each side, and normally no testimony shall be taken nor new evidence be presented. Each side shall be allowed ten (10) minutes (no more than 15) to argue the case. Members of the School Board may ask questions of either side during this presentation or following the presentation as the School Board chooses. After hearing the arguments of both sides, the School Board shall deliberate the case privately if executive session is requested but openly if an open session is requested. Following School Board shall be based solely on the report submitted, whatever documentary evidence is submitted with the report, and the oral argument of each side.
The Superintendent and/or hi/her designee shall notify the parent, guardian (and/or student, if of legal standing) in person, or in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, or hand delivered, of the decision of the School Board.
Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§14:122.1, 14:328, 17:81, 17:416
East Baton Rouge Parish School Board