Bogalusa Schools focusing on discipline

Published 8:24 am Monday, September 15, 2014

In its continuing efforts to shore up the flagging school district, the Bogalusa City School System is focusing on strengthening and codifying disciplinary procedures, especially at the high school level, and its latest target is the policies regarding student expulsion.

According to Secondary Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor April Nobles, policy revisions were aimed at closing any loopholes regarding disciplinary measures for the most egregious offenses.

“We’re not going to give any more wiggle room,” said Nobles.

The biggest change to the policy can be found in the referral form for major infractions. Such acts include stealing, bullying, vandalism, intimidation, potentially injurious actions, sexual harassment, threats and the use of tobacco, among others. Disciplinary measures for a first major offense include a five-day behavior intervention program and an eight-hour anger management course. Second major offenses will generally warrant an expulsion recommendation.

Also in the new set of regulations is a policy regarding those students who, through their own actions, have already been removed to an alternative education site. Students who fail to follow the rules of the alternative setting will upon first offense be reported to the Child Welfare and Attendance supervisor, who will report the behavior to police and have the student arrested for disturbing the orderly operation of a school. A second offense will result in the student being reassigned to the Bogalusa Virtual School, and the student will have to finish his or her education through online offerings.

Superintendent Toni Breaux said she will make sure all parents are informed of the new regulations.

“We don’t want any conflicts with parents,” she said.

The school system is also making moves to hire a hearing officer for expulsion hearings.

These changes to the expulsion procedures are just one facet of a total disciplinary overhaul currently under way. The changes are being spearheaded by the newly formed W.I.S.E. committee.

“We raised that bar,” said Nobles. “We hope we have closed every loophole.”