TITLE 17. EDUCATION

 CHAPTER 2. TEACHERS AND EMPLOYEES

 PART II. TENURE

 SUBPART C. SCHOOL BUS OPERATORS

 

17:493     Removal of bus operators;  procedures;  right to appeal

 

A. A permanent school bus operator shall not be removed from his position except upon written and signed charges of willful neglect of duty, or incompetence, or immorality, or drunkenness while on duty, or failure to comply with the reporting requirements of R.S. 17:491.3 relative to being arrested for one or more of the specified offenses, or physical disability to perform his duties, or failure to keep his transfer equipment in a safe, comfortable, and practical operating condition, or of being a member of or contributing to any group, organization, movement, or corporation that is prohibited by law or injunction from operating in the state, and then only if found guilty after a hearing by the school board of the parish or city in which the school bus operator is employed.  Additional grounds for the removal of any permanent school bus operator shall be:

 

(1) The abolition, discontinuance, or consolidation of routes, but then only if it is found as a fact, after a hearing by the school board of the parish or city, that it is in the best interests of the school system to abolish, discontinue, or consolidate said route or routes.

 

(2) A conviction of or plea of nolo contendere to a violation of a parish or municipal ordinance that prohibits operating a vehicle while intoxicated or any of the following offenses relative to operating a vehicle while intoxicated regardless of whether the violation occurred while the operator was performing an official duty or responsibility as a school bus operator at the time of the offense:

 

(a) R.S. 14:98, operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

 

(b) R.S. 14:32.1, vehicular homicide.

 

(c) R.S. 14:32.8(A)(2), third degree feticide.

 

(d) R.S. 14:39.1, vehicular negligent injuring.

 

(e) R.S. 14:39.2, first degree vehicular negligent injuring.

 

B. All hearings hereunder shall be private or public, at the option of the operator affected thereby.  At least twenty days in advance of the date of the hearing the superintendent, with approval of the school board, shall furnish the affected operator a copy of the written grounds on which said abolition, discontinuance, or consolidation of routes is sought.  The operator affected shall have the right to appear before the board with witnesses in his behalf and with counsel of his selection, all of whom shall be heard by the board at said hearing.  For the purpose of conducting hearings hereunder, the board shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of all witnesses on behalf of the operator.  Nothing herein contained shall impair the right of appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction.

 

C. If a permanent school bus operator is found guilty by a school board, after due and legal hearing as provided herein, on charges of willful neglect of duty, or of incompetency, or immorality, or drunkenness while on duty, or failure to comply with the reporting requirements of R.S. 17:491.3, relative to being arrested for one or more of the specified offenses, or physical disability to perform his duties, or failure to keep his transfer equipment in a safe, comfortable, and practical operating condition, or of being a member of or contributing to any group, organization, movement, or corporation that is prohibited by law or injunction from operating in the state, or if the operator is convicted of or has pled nolo contendere to a violation of any offense as specified in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section, and ordered removed from his position or disciplined by the board, the superintendent with approval of the board shall furnish to the school bus operator a written statement of recommendation of removal or discipline, which shall include but not be limited to the exact reason, offense, or instance upon which the recommendation is based.  Such operator may, not more than one year from the date of the said finding, petition a court of competent jurisdiction for a full hearing to review the action of the school board, and the court shall have jurisdiction to affirm or reverse the action of the school board in the matter.  If the finding of the school board is reversed by the court and the operator is ordered reinstated and restored to duty, the operator shall be entitled to full pay for any loss of time or salary he may have sustained by reason of the action of the said school board.

 

D. In the event that one or more school bus operators must be removed due to the abolition, discontinuance, or consolidation of routes, the principle of seniority shall apply, so that the last school bus operator hired to serve within the school system to be affected shall be the first to be removed.

 

E. For the purposes of this Section, immorality shall mean any conviction of a felony offense affecting the public morals enumerated in Part V of Chapter 1 of Title 14 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.

 

Amended by Acts 1956, No. 248, § 1;  Acts 1970, No. 494, § 1;  Acts 1975, No. 418, § 1;  Acts 1983, No. 581, § 1;  Acts 2003, No. 273, § 1;  Acts 2010, No. 533, § 1, eff. June 24, 2010;  Acts 2013, No. 137, § 1, eff. July 1, 2013.