Louisiana family sues St. James Parish School Board, alleging son unfairly expelled

Nick Bartholomew Oct. 27, 2015, 1:24pm


A Louisiana family is suing members of the St. James Parish School Board and several school officials, alleging false grounds for their son's expulsion from high school.

Unnamed plaintiffs John Doe and Jane Doe, on behalf of their child, filed a lawsuit Oct. 22 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the St. James Parish School Board, seven board members and Supt. Alonzo Luce, administrative director Gaynell Albert, assistant principal Gary Stein, and principal Pam Bourgeois, in their official and individual capacities, alleging they unfairly expelled their son from school and lacked due process.

According to the complaint Child Doe was expelled from St. James Parish Math and Science Academy in a hearing Sept. 22, while being denied his right to call and question a witness as well as reviewing documentation. He was charged with engaging in a consensual sex act with another student. Child Doe denies this happened.

The suit says school officials have refused to implement Child Doe’s state-mandated individualized education plan. An appeal was brought up at a school board meeting Oct. 13, which turned into a surprise hearing that the plaintiffs were not allowed to properly prepare for, the suit says. The expulsion was upheld.

The plaintiffs seek their son's reinstatement into school, unspecified damages, costs of suit, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. They are represented by attorney Nelson Dan Taylor Sr. of J.K. Haynes Legal Defense Fund.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-05370-SSV-SS.

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