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Mother of LPSS student fighting new volunteer policy

Posted: 10:31 PM, Aug 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-23 23:31:50-04

A Lafayette Parish mother is fighting the school system’s policy that forbids her from chaperoning her child’s field trips.

The mother, who asked not to be identified, said she was convicted of a felony in 2011, but has since served her probation and had a judge sign off that the felony should not be reflective of her record.

“She calls me back and says something is on your record, and ‘you are not allowed to be a chaperone,'” the mother said.

The mother said the felony stemmed from a family feud between her and another family member, and she takes full responsibility for her actions.

LPSS Chief Administrative Officer Joe Craig said the school system is doing what is in the best interest of all children.

“With the enforcement of Act 634 on July 1, we can’t take away pre-trial diversions or expungement. If a felony shows up on a background check, the district is not going to allow them to volunteer in our schools,” Craig said.

The mother said her case is much different.

“I provided them with the paperwork, saying the problem was dismissed and that it didn’t reflect my record, and it was all taken care of, and it still wasn’t good enough,” she said.

Craig was not able to speak on her specific case, but he said the district will follow the law.

“When it comes down to it, if an individual has a felony, we are going to be somewhat cautious on allowing that individual to serve as a volunteer in the schools because a kid’s safety is number one,” Craig said.

“It’s just not a mom. It could be a dad out there that has something on their records that’s not that bad… and you’re going to take our right away… even if it is a state law,” the mother said.

The mother said she was able to chaperone every field trip for her child last school year and was never asked for a background check. LPSS officials say it could have been due to her involvement with the specific field trip or a new administrator that let it slip through the cracks.