Policy committee covers several issues
At the policy committee meeting of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board on Tuesday, March 10, approval was given for several revisions in school board policy. Among one of the revisions is an item included in the student's dress code titled "Body Amor." This item states it is "unlawful and against school board policy for any student or non-student to wear or possess on his or her person, body amor on any school board property, school campus or at a school sponsored function... body amor shall pertain to bullet resistant metal or other material intended to provide protection from weapons or bodily injury." In addition, dress and grooming guidelines also state that ..."no student shall wear, possess, use distribute, display or sell any clothing, jewelry, emblem, blade, symbols, signs or other things which are evidence of affiliation with drugs, alcohol, violence or gang related activities or exhibits profane or obscene language or gestures. The issue of wearing hooded jackets or sweatshirts is also included in the dress code and is very specific. It states that ..."hoods shall be removed upon entering a building." This is primarily for security purposes and protection of the students and faculty.
Also addressed during the session and passed unanimously by the committee to go before the board for final approval was the issue of continuing education for school board members. In previous years, each member was required to attend a minimum of 6 hours of training and instruction annually in the school laws of the state of Louisiana. The item recently passed reduces that number of hours from 6 to 4, with two of the four hours to be focused on improvement of schools. The board members would also focus on duties and responsibilities of school boards, as well as open meeting laws, educational trends, research and policy.
Other topics voted on were surveillance cameras on school campuses, use of electronic telecommunication devices and technology acceptable use policy.
A new policy which was voted on unanimously and will be put into place is a Student Transportation Program of which the board will require the maintenance and observance of. Highlights of the program include:
Video Equipment on Buses- To ensure safety and proper conduct on school buses, video equipment will be allowed and a requirement when requested, and must be operated under rules and regulations of the Superintendent. The purchase of said equipment shall be the responsibility of the board for board owned buses, and the driver for contract buses. All privacy rights of students and employees will be observed.
In addition, the board will authorize the use of cellular phones to all bus drivers, provided they not engage in a call on a cellular device while operating a school bus. Only in an emergency situation such as 911, or law enforcement would operation of these devices be permitted.
All items passed during the policy meeting of the school board will be brought before the full board for approval at their next regular meeting on Tuesday, March 17 at the central office on Puelston Road in Amite.