The legal status of each duly appointed or elected member of the Washington Parish School Board is that of a public official who cannot be removed from his/her office except as provided by state law.  The legal obligations pursuant to each Board member shall not commence until he/she has been duly elected or appointed and officially taken office.  His/her official capacity as a Board member shall continue until the expiration of his/her term in office, unless otherwise vacated.


Such status does not authorize said member to act for or bind the Board individually.  The powers and duties vested in the School Board shall only be exercised by action of the Board as a whole at duly called and organized meetings.  In this respect, no motion or resolution shall be declared adopted without the concurrence of a simple majority of the Board present and voting, unless otherwise stipulated.


While Board members may enjoy a degree of immunity from damage suits, individual Board members are not absolutely free from liability.  The members may not be immune from liability, especially civil rights cases, if actions taken were presumed to be legal and resulted in deprivation of rights, or if they knew or reasonably should have known that their actions taken were unconstitutional, or if such actions were taken with malicious intent to cause a deprivation of rights.  Moreover, liability may be equally applicable, not just from policies, ordinances, regulations, or decisions officially adopted by the Board, but also from a custom or standard practice or procedure, even though such a custom, practice or procedure has not received formal Board approval.



Ref:     Constitution of Louisiana, Art. VIII, Sec. 9

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:51, 17:52, 17:81

Wood v. Strickland, 95 S.Ct. 992 (1975)

Monell v. Department of Social Services of New York, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 2035-36 (1978)

Owen v. City of Independence, Mo., 98 S.Ct. 3318 (1978)


Washington Parish School Board