As part of our Parents' Night Out series, we're proud to present this guide to the New Orleans & Louisiana school discipline system for parents, educators and advocates.
This is just the beginning of a conversation around access and equity. As with any brief, there are issues that we haven't touched on here that we will in the future, including parent perspectives and policy supports to ensure equitable education experiences for every child.
Psst — have you RSVP'd to tonight's School Discipline Happy Hour at Second Vine Wine?
Video: OPEN Conversations on School Discipline with LOTS Academy and India King
Suspension, expulsions, and school climate in New Orleans
“Willful disobedience” is the #1 cause of Louisiana discipline incidents, accounting for 14% of out-of-school suspensions and 10% of expulsions. But it’s not defined by law, which means schools can suspend students for anything from a fistfight to a uniform violation.
New Orleans kids screen positive for post-traumatic stress disorder at more than five times the national rate. PTSD is strongly linked with academic problems, concentration issues, extreme emotional outbursts, and disassociation.
Louisiana Act 1225
Established the Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission and provides for “alternative facilities” to support students instead of imprisoning them.
OPSB Discipline Policy & Procedures for Students with Disabilities
Guidance for parents of IEP and 504 Plan students on what schools can and cannot do in the discipline process.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Regulations on Discipline
IDEA is a federal law ensuring that all kids with exceptionalities are provided with educational accommodations. This link explains what discipline looks like for students who have been formally assessed and those who have a suspected exceptionality.
Counseling and Advocacy for Students
(504) 525-2366 | childrens-bureau.com
Building Relationships Between Students & Schools
(504) 249-5274 | thecra.net
Holistic Legal Representation for Youth
(504) 658-6860 | laccr.org
What You Can Do
Get a written copy of the school’s discipline policies at the beginning of the year. If your child is disciplined, make sure the school is acting in line with their own rules.
Request formal documentation
of any discipline incident, and a one-on-one meeting with the school to resolve the issue. If a school tries to suggest informally keeping your student home, refuse. They deserve
with your child’s teacher and identify allies who can support your child in difficult moments.
and watch the trends. Some discipline issues aren’t even behavioral: if the student is confused and frustrated by math, they may act out in class, and need tutoring instead of suspension.