Lutcher High School teacher’s future in hands of school board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Staff Reporter

LUTCHER- A veteran teacher at Lutcher High School has been assigned a date for a tenure hearing to consider accusations that she is not performing her duties as an educator in St. James Parish.

Tara Lafrance, a high school math teacher, is scheduled to have a tenure hearing on March 5, 2007 in Lutcher for allegations of willful neglect of duty as advised in Louisiana Revised Statute 17:443. The St. James School Board approved the tenure hearing by a 6-1 vote with board member Patricia Schexnayder opposing.

The statute states that a tenured teacher may be dismissed for one or more of the following charges: willful neglect of duty, incompetence, dishonesty, immorality, or being a member of, or contributing to, any group, organization, movement or corporation prohibited by law or injunction from operating in the state of Louisiana.

The board chose Tuesday to schedule the hearing rather than taking other disciplinary actions. It is unknown what other measures were taken before proclaiming a hearing to be set.

Sources say that Lafrance is in on paid leave from the classroom pending her hearing. The school board has sent a copy of the resolution to schedule the hearing to Lafrance should she wish to respond to it. The law requires that the accused tenured teacher be notified in writing of her hearing within 20 days of the date set.

The results of the hearing will determine whether she is guilty of allegations of willful neglect, and if found guilty, whether Lafrance should be dismissed or disciplined for her actions.