FILE:  GBK

Cf:  GAK, GAMC, GBN

 

EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE

 

 

The Superintendent and his/her designee shall possess the authority to discipline employees when an employee's behavior warrants such action.  A principal shall have the authority to recommend to the Superintendent when appropriate that employees at the school in which he/she is employed should be disciplined.

 

Discipline of an employee shall be progressive in nature such that penalties for poor job performance or broken rules become increasingly harsh as similar or related conditions continue or infractions are repeated.  Such progressive discipline, however, shall not 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 the circumstances of any single event.  Documentation of employee behavior, employee performance and any disciplinary action taken shall be properly and thoroughly recorded.

 

Should any disciplinary measure become necessary, any documentation shall be considered confidential and treated in accordance with statutory provisions and School Board policy.

 

TEACHERS

 

Hearing procedures are statutorily required for certain disciplinary actions for teachers as defined below.  However, such procedures do not prevent the Superintendent and/or principal from taking other disciplinary measures which do not require a hearing, as he/she feels appropriate.

 

Definitions

 

For the purpose 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.

 

Non-Tenured Teachers

 

The Superintendent may take disciplinary action against any non-tenured teacher after providing such teacher with the written reasons therefor and providing the teacher the opportunity to respond.  The teacher shall have seven (7) days to respond, and such response shall be included in the teacher’s personnel file.  The Superintendent shall notify the teacher in writing of his/her final decision.  The teacher shall not be entitled to a hearing before the School Board.

 

Within sixty (60) days of such notice, the teacher may seek summary review in district court of whether or not the Superintendent’s action was arbitrary or capricious.

 

Tenured Teachers

 

A teacher with tenure 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 teacher’s response, the Superintendent may take interim disciplinary action, which may include placing the teacher on paid administrative leave.  If the teacher has been arrested for a violation of any of the following:  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.  Paid administrative leave shall not exceed fifty (50) days from notice of the Superintendent’s interim decision.

 

Within ten (10) calendar days after written notice of the interim disciplinary action or within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the teacher’s response if no interim disciplinary action is taken, a teacher may request a hearing before a disciplinary hearing officer.  If the teacher fails to timely request a hearing, the disciplinary action shall become final.

 

Upon request for a review hearing, the Superintendent shall randomly appoint a hearing officer from a list of persons previously approved by the School Board as disciplinary hearing officers.  If the school district serves fewer than twenty thousand students, the School Board shall maintain a list of at least five (5) hearing officers.  If the school district serves twenty thousand students or more, the School Board shall maintain a list of at least ten (10) hearing officers.  All hearing officers shall 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.

 

Such 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 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 on 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.

 

BUS OPERATORS/CONTRACT APPOINTEES

 

The Superintendent shall have the authority to discipline tenured bus operators and persons employed on performance contracts, including suspension with or 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 bus operator or contract appointee shall be reimbursed for any loss of compensation.

 

NON-TENURED EMPLOYEES

 

The Superintendent shall have the authority to discipline, including suspension, any non-tenured, non-contract employee with or without pay, when circumstances warrant such action.

 

Adopted:  November 1, 2010

Revised and adopted:  August 20, 2012

Revised:  September 8, 2014

 

 

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, 8-20-12, 9-8-14

 

Plaquemines Parish School Board