BOE fattens Midway

By Jan Runions -

The Midway School grounds will plump up a bit courtesy of the Claiborne County Board of Education, whose members approved a motion last week to purchase about one and one-half acres of land that borders the campus.

Second district board member Micheal Jo Gray said the reasoning behind the proposed property purchase has a lot to do with ramping up security at the school. Gray said the land would also provide much-needed parking space for the burgeoning population.

At a cost of $40,000, the purchase will enable a “closing off” of a substantial length of property that runs along Fords Chapel Road. The roadway, which intersects with Clouds Road, runs along the right side of the campus and curves around the back of the school property.

The residence currently sitting on the land, Gray said, could then be demolished after such valuables as the nearly new tin roof is extracted from the structure.

“This is one of the last – probably the last opportunity we will have to get this property,” said Gray during the work session held just prior to the regular board meeting.

During the regular meeting, board chairperson Shannon England passed her vote on the property purchase due to a conflict of interest.

In other action, the board unanimously approved several policy revisions recommended by the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA). One of those policies, dealing with alleged child sexual abuse, will now follow Tennessee statutes requiring the separation of a student from the alleged perpetrator if the abuse allegedly happened while under the supervision or care of the school.

The new policy requires the school principal to handle the matter. However, under certain circumstances, a parent or custodian can request the transfer of the student to another campus if the perpetrator has been criminally charged, adjudicated by the juvenile court for the crime or if the Department of Children’s Services substantiates the offense.

The passage of a second policy revision reflects the creation of a new chapter in Title 49. The new verbiage allows students with pancreatic insufficiency or cystic fibrosis to self-manage their medication.

As the Claiborne Director of Schools, Connie Holdway was given the task of developing the administrative procedures needed to implement this new requirement.

In another matter, the board unanimously approved a short list of people who will serve as hearing officers for non-tenured teachers facing dismissal. Non-tenured instructors can be dismissed for incompetence, inefficiency, neglect of duty, unprofessional conduct or insubordination.

However, the employee now has the right under the revised policies to be represented by counsel, call and subpoena witnesses, examine those witnesses and require that all testimony be given under oath.

Subsequent findings and decisions will be delivered in written form to the employee within ten working days following the close of the hearing. That employee then has the right to appeal the decision to the board within ten working days.

According to the revised policy, written notice of non-renewal will be hand delivered or sent to the employee by registered mail so that the employee has the document “in hand” within five business days following the last instructional day for the school year.

The board approved Morristown attorney H. Scott Reams, Jackson lawyer Dale Conder Jr. and Goodlettsville attorney Robert G. Wheeler Jr. as the hearing officers for the school system.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Claiborne school board will be held on the Clairfield School campus. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Aug. 13.

Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.

By Jan Runions

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