Due process, though a basically flexible and imprecise concept, shall be defined as fair and reasonable approaches to all areas of student government and discipline on the part of all school officials.


The Washington Parish School Board recognizes that observance of applicable substantive due process entails two (2) basic considerations: (1) any objective sought relative to student governance must be legally defensible, i.e., based upon a rational or compelling state interest; and (2) the means taken to accomplish such objective must be within the constitutional limitations applicable to the in loco parentis position of school officials within the school district.  To assure compliance with these two (2) substantive aspects, the Board has endorsed the following as applicable to all policies, regulations, procedures, and any school rules.


  1. Each local rule or regulation shall have as its purpose a legally defensible objective;

  2. Each local regulation shall be based on a Board policy;

  3. All policies, regulations, procedures, and subsequent school rules at any level shall be consistent with ordinances, statues of the State of Louisiana and administrative regulations of duly authorized agencies e.g., Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) or Louisiana Department of Education, U.S. Department of Education.

  4. Both policies of the Board and regulations designated by local school administrators shall be specific and precise.

  5. No Board policies or local school codes of conduct shall deny any student his constitutional rights.

  6. Discharge of administrative responsibilities and exercise of authority shall recognize applicable legal parameters placed upon the in-loco parentis position of school officials.

  7. To be fair and reasonable in a legal sense, all exercise of administrative authority or that of other school officials, i.e., classroom teachers, shall be capable of withstanding close judicial scrutiny relative to freedom from arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory or otherwise illegal practices.

The area of procedural due process within the school district shall relate primarily to the area of discipline and disciplinary measures, e.g., corporal punishment, suspension, and expulsion.


The degree of procedural due process afforded in each of the above situations shall be dependent upon two vital factors: (1) the gravity of the offense a student is alleged to have committed; and (2) the severity of the contemplated penalty.  For example, a much greater degree of procedural due process shall be applicable in an expulsion situation than in one where the penalty is short-term suspension.


Under due process, each student shall be guaranteed a fair hearing, a fair judgment, a written record of the decision and a notice of his/her right to appeal.  This is applicable to the serious penalties such as suspension.


The full protection of procedural due process shall be afforded any student facing possible long-term suspension or expulsion.  In both of these situations, the Board may follow an adversary type procedure with legal counsel, permitted, cross-examination, transcribed record of the hearing, and related safeguards.



Ref:     U.S. Constitution, Amend. XIII

U.S. Constitution, Amend. XIV, Sec. 1

Ingraham v. Wright, 97 S.Ct. 1401 (1977)

Goss v. Lopez, 95 S.Ct. 729 (1975)

Carey v. Piphus, 98 S.Ct.1042 (1978)

Board of Curators of the University of Missouri v. Horowitz, 98 S.Ct. 948 (1978)


Washington Parish School Board