NEWBERRY — The Newberry County School District is working on updating their board policies for the district. The board is currently updating the policies in sections, and held the first reading for Sections A and B.
Changes to the policies included new policies, revisions to previous policies and overall deletions. Section A covers foundations and basic commitments while Section B covered board governance and operations.
Section A will see a change to the tobacco-free schools policy. The proposed change to the policy states that all vehicles owned, leased or chartered by the school will be tobacco free. This will prevent the use of, but not limited to, cigarettes, snuff and e-cigarettes.
Chairman Jody Hamm said he agreed with the policy change.
One issue with the policy was if e-cigarettes was an all inclusive term that included all vaping devises. Hamm asked the principals that were present if the wording was clear to them, to which they said yes.
“I think this is a good policy, I think some people will have heartburn about it, but it is a good policy,” Board member Ike Bledsoe said.
In Section B, a proposed policy would allow board members to take part in a board meeting via electronic device. This would mean a board member could make a motion, second a motion and vote on a motion without physically being present.
Board member Jessie Reeder disagreed with the policy, saying board members should be present to participate.
“The policy states this is only made in certain allowances, medical, military or employment,” said Board member Lucy Anne Meetze.
Board member Lee Attaway said he had no problem with a board member participating via electronic means, but did not think a vote should be allowed in that form.
“I make a motion to accept the this particular policy, except take out the voting section,” he said.
Reeder seconded the motion. Before the vote took place, board member Hugh Gray said if you take out the voting section, there would be no point in the rest of the policy.
Board member Clyde Hill, Reeder and Attaway voted for the motion. Bledsoe, Gray, Hamm and Meetze voted against the motion.
Bledsoe made a motion to accept the policy in its entirety. Gray seconded the motion and it was passed with only Reeder voting against.
The first reading of changes to be made to Sections A and B was approved, and the changes will be available for district staff members to review. A hard copy will be available at the district office at 3419 Main Street in Newberry.
• For the 2015-16 school year the district hired a total of 67 teachers, 24 percent of which were minorities.
• The board recognized the Mid-Carolina High School All State Honors Chorus. Matalyn Mills, Hayden Bowers, Jacob Wicker and Marquand Bowers auditioned and were selected for the All-State Honors Choir sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association. They will rehearse and sing in the SCACDA Honor Choirs on Oct. 23-24 at Southern Wesleyan University. The board also recognized Dr. William Buford, for his contribution to the Future Farmers Association.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.