The DeSoto Parish School Board, recognizing the importance of the safety and welfare of students, teachers, and staff, enact the following guidelines concerning discipline for students who instigate or participate in a fight while on a school campus, while on their way to or from school, or at any school sponsored activity.


If there is no school or district assertive discipline policy on the number of days for a suspension, the number of days for a suspension shall be at the principal's discretion.  The principal should evaluate the circumstances involved with the incident, the age of the students and the grade, and set the number of days of suspension accordingly.


In a case where a student does not fight back when attacked by another student, the student who does not fight back should not be suspended (exception will be if he/she instigated the fight).  When a student physically assaults another student, that shall be considered a fight.  When a student does not assault the other student, but merely tries to block punches or restrain the other student, he/she is not participating in the fight.  If a student instigates a fight (verbally pushes the other student into a fighting situation), he/she is guilty of a suspendable offense (instigating a fight).


The School Board recognizes that there is some judgment principals must make in cases related to student fights.  Areas that should be considered in making disciplinary determinations are:


  1. Who started the fight?

  2. Were both (or more) participating in the fight?

  3. What kind of fight occurred (kicking, punching in face, wrestling, biting, tearing clothes, pushing, cursing, etc.) and how much disturbance did it cause to the school?

  4. How involved were the students in the fight? (One student may have been seriously physically assaulting the other student who was minimally fighting back)

  5. Is this the first offense of fighting or other disciplinary action for this student?

  6. Should both students receive the same disciplinary action?


When determining appropriate discipline for students who fight, principals must keep in mind that overall school discipline may be adversely affected by a fighting incident and how the principal deals with it.  Students should know in advance how many days they can be suspended for fighting (should be in the student handbook or other assertive discipline plan for that school) and the principal should strictly follow the rules as stated to the students.


Approved:  August, 2004



Ref:    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. ยงยง17:81, 17:416, 17:416.1

Board minutes, 2-2-95


DeSoto Parish School Board