- Associated Press - Friday, August 22, 2014

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - The Livingston Parish School Board has approved 10 lawyers to serve in the district’s pool of disciplinary hearing officers.

Superintendent John Watson tells The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1zbg8O2 ) the pool was established Thursday to comply with Act 570 of the 2014 legislative session, which changed the way teacher discipline cases are handled.

Previously, the superintendent, principal and employees would choose one representative each to serve on a panel to hear the cases, Watson said. That job now will fall to the hearing officers, whose decisions can be appealed to the 21st Judicial District Court.

The hearing officer will review each case to determine if the superintendent’s disciplinary decision was arbitrary or capricious. The officer must render a decision, with written reasons, within 10 days of the hearing. The teacher and School Board then have 60 days to file an appeal with the court.

The state’s teacher unions hailed the new process as more fair for teachers, saying the prior three-member hearing panels were skewed to favor the district.

Under the law, only mediators, arbitrators, attorneys or retired judges may serve as a disciplinary hearing officer.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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