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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 118201
Experience:  Attorney handling education matters.
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I work in a rural area in Louisiana Sheriff's Office. We

Customer Question

Hi ..I work in a rural area in Louisiana for a Sheriff's Office. We have never encountered
anything quite like this and just want to know the law as confirmed by an expert ..not
just as we try to interpret it. One of our local charter schools which is pre-k-12th grade is
having a lot of problems. The board is having issues, evidently with the new principal and
have put him on leave. Some are wanting board members to resign. Teachers are upset
and parents have differing opinions. They say they may put up banners and picket in front of the school. This seems unsafe and we saw about three laws which may deal with this matter. It would seem they would have to do this elsewhere so as to not cause problems for the children. One of the laws was dealing with interference with education. It was sort of nebulous though. Just wondering what you would recommend and value an opinion as hopefully this wont happen but in case. Respectfully ***** ***** advance
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Does your parish have any ordinances regarding assemblies, for example I know Jefferson and Orleans and St. Tammany have ordinances requiring those who are seeking to protest to obtain permits from the police?

Under the LA laws, disturbing the peace (RS 14:103) would be the law most commonly used if the protest interferes with the operation with the school. The protesters also cannot block the sidewalks or interfere in any way with people entering or exiting the school property. However, they can assemble on PUBLIC property, not school property, and they are allowed to protest, as that is their 1st Amendment constitutional right.

There is also LA RS 14:40.6, which prevents anyone from interfering with operations of the school. Lawful and peaceful protest off school property, even in view of the school, that does not interfere with anyone entering or leaving the school or cause traffic problems with parents getting students to school would not be a violation of this statute. If they do interfere in any way with the actual operation of the school, then they could be arrested for this charge in addition to the 14:103.

So, legally, you as a sheriff's office have a right to set up rules and a protest area outside of the school property and restrict protesters to that area, or you can simply inform the protesters that if they stay off school property, do not interfere with anyone entering or leaving the school and do not cause traffic problems for those getting to the school, they have a constitutional right to engage in lawful protest (and if your Parish has a permit process you can make them apply for a permit for the assembly and pay for a police detail as well if the parish ordinance provides for that).