§403.1. Substance abuse in schools; definitions; confidential reports; immunity; penalty
A. The purpose of this Section is to protect teachers, administrators, school support personnel, and employees of the public school systems of this state from liability for damages as a result of reporting substance abuse on school campuses. It is intended that as a result of such reporting, the children attending schools in this state shall not be exposed to substance abuse while on campus, and law enforcement shall be aided in efforts to eradicate substance abuse by students.
B. For the purposes of this Section, the following terms shall mean:
(1) "Person" is any employee of a public school system including, but not limited to, teachers, administrators, school bus drivers, janitors, lunch room workers, maintenance employees, and coaches of athletic teams.
(2) "Student" is any person enrolled at school, including any person so enrolled but on temporary suspension, and any person physically on campus, whether a student or non-student.
(3) "School" is any public elementary or secondary school in the state of Louisiana.
(4) "Campus" is all facilities and property within the boundary of the school property and all vehicles used for public transportation of students.
(5) "Controlled dangerous substance" is any substance regulated or defined in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Law, Part X, Chapter IV of Title 40 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, except where prescribed by a physician and possessed and consumed by the person for whom prescribed.
(6) "Substance Abuse Prevention Team," hereafter sometimes referred to as "the team," is a panel of not less than six members consisting of at least one (a) administrator, (b) teacher, (c) guidance counselor, (d) parent representative, and (e) school support person. The team shall be trained by personnel from the Substance Abuse Prevention Education Program of the Louisiana Department of Education.
In the absence of the availability of a team trained by personnel from the Substance Abuse Prevention Education Program, the principal of a school may establish a substantially similar panel which shall be considered a substance abuse prevention team.
C.(1) Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a student possesses a controlled dangerous substance or an alcoholic beverage on a school campus, under circumstances other than those described in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, shall report such fact to the principal of the school or to the chairman of the Substance Abuse Prevention Team on a report form prepared by the Department of Education or on a substantially similar form. If the report is to the principal, the principal immediately shall forward it to the chairman of the team.
The team shall discuss the circumstances of the report with the student reported without disclosing the name of the reporting person and shall also meet with the parents of the student reported. The team shall thereafter report to the principal of the school and make recommendations for treatment, counselling, or other appropriate action.
(2) Any person having factual knowledge that a student has manufactured, distributed, or possessed with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance shall report such fact to the principal of the school who, upon a finding that there is reasonable cause to believe that the student has manufactured, distributed, or possessed with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, shall report such information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If the principal determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe the student possessed a controlled dangerous substance but did not manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, he shall refer the matter to the Substance Abuse Prevention Team chairman.
(3) The report required in Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Subsection shall be written and shall include the name of the person making the report, the name of the student suspected of committing the act so reported, and the specific incident which caused the reporting person to believe the act had occurred. Sufficient detail shall be included to allow the report to be adequately reviewed. When appropriate, the report shall include a behavioral profile of the student since his enrollment in class.
D.(1) The provisions of Subsection C of this Section shall not preclude any person from making a report of conduct to a law enforcement agency when that person has reasonable cause to believe that the manufacture or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance has taken or is taking place and that delay would jeopardize or impair the ability to control the manufacture or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance on a campus.
(2) The provisions of Subsection C of this Section shall not preclude any person from making a report of conduct to a law enforcement agency when that person has reasonable cause to believe that a student on campus is under the influence of alcoholic beverages and that delay would jeopardize or impair the ability to operate the school or result in the student's being a danger to himself or others.
(3) A law enforcement agency receiving a report under the provisions of this Subsection may conduct an investigation of the report. Such investigation may include the administering, upon the school grounds and after consent has been obtained from student's parent or legal tutor, of a breath or urine test for the presence of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance, if the investigating officer has reasonable cause to believe the student is or recently was on campus while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled dangerous substance. The methods for the administration and analysis of a breath or urine test under the provisions of this Subsection shall be the same as for chemical testing and analysis authorized under R.S. 32:663. The results of a breath or urine test authorized under this Subsection shall be provided solely to the student, the parent or legal tutor of the student, the principal of the school, and the chairman of the Substance Abuse Prevention Team, and shall not be used as the basis for any disciplinary proceeding against the student. The law enforcement agency may keep a copy of the test results which copy shall not be a public record and shall not be open for public inspection but shall be kept confidential under lock and key and maintained only for internal record keeping purposes to preserve the integrity of said agency's files and shall not be used for any investigative purpose. The test results shall be exempt from the Public Records Act* and shall not be admissible as evidence in any civil or criminal trial, hearing, or other proceeding.
E. All reports filed pursuant to this Section shall be confidential. The identity of the reporting person shall not be disclosed except when the constitution of the State of Louisiana or the United States so requires. All reports shall be exempt from the Public Records Act.
F. Any person who makes a report in good faith, pursuant to Subsections C and D of this Section, shall have immunity from civil liability that otherwise might be incurred. Such immunity shall extend to testimony in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.
G. The willful failure by a person with permanent status to make a report required by Subsection C of this Section shall constitute willful neglect of duty which may subject the person to dismissal pursuant to R.S. 17:443, R.S. 17:462, R.S. 17:493, R.S. 17:523, or R.S. 17:533, as appropriate. Any person without permanent status may be dismissed for willful neglect of duty under this Section after a hearing in accordance with the procedures set forth in R.S. 17:443.
Added by Acts 1981, No. 861, §1. Acts 1985, No. 828, §1.
*R.S. 44:1 et seq.