On the heels of a gun related incident at Campbell County High School board members took action to provide an extra measure of security for students.
Asking for an amendment to the evening’s agenda Board Member Johnny Byrge asked for the addition of a School Resource Officer position to the staff at CCHS. With no opposition to the measure, Byrge took the opportunity to state his reasoning for the request.
“I think it’s something everybody knows we need,” Byge said candidly regarding his motion to hire another SRO.
According to Byrge’s motion, the additional officer would be placed at the school effective Nov. 17 with Dr. Michael Martin, director of schools, aligning the salary for the new position with that of the existing one.
Board members voted unanimously to adopt this change.
During the meeting the board also discussed a change to the system’s currently policy on corporal punishment.
Board attorney Dail Cantrell informed members that this was the first of many policies that would require review in order to meet the standards of the Office of Civil Rights.
“You can expect this year to be an interactive year for policy,” Cantrell said of the OCR’s ongoing look into whether school systems are compliant with civil rights requirements.
While there was some discussion as to whether the board should abolish corporal punishment completely, Chairman Eugene Lawson voiced his opposition to such action.
“I’m not going to vote to do away with corporal punishment,” Lawson told his colleagues.
Although board member Walt Goins argued that he is not convinced corporal punishment is effective the board voted to keep the policy in place making the suggested OCR changes.
Those changes include removing language that requires school officials to take into account a child’s age, physical condition, psychological condition or race when making a decision to administer corporal punishment.
Board member Faye Heatherly asked fellow board members to support the scheduling of town hall meetings to inform the community of what is going on in the schools.
Board member Bo Buckner noted that the public had historically shown little interest in such meetings scheduled by the board.
“I don’t disagree with you (Buckner), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it,” board member Mark A. Wells said of holding the meetings.
Martin called the proposed town hall meetings a proactive approach to letting the community know about the positive things going on system wide.
“We have tried to build as much infrastructure as we can while be have a shot at it,” Martin said of the $3.3 million in stimulus money that has been used to outfit all schools across the system with new computer equipment and software.
“It’s important that we as a school board let the community know what we are doing to make our schools better,” Heatherly concluded.
Board members voted in favor of holding the meetings.