School board

WCS board vice chairman Linda Armistead presents schools director Dr. Donna Wright with flowers after Wright was named the Tennessee Superintendent of the year.

Wilson County Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to pass updates of two policies, including one about bullying, at its Sept. 16 meeting.

The bullying policy change included verbiage that stated, “this policy shall cover employees, employees’ behaviors, students and students’ behaviors, while on school property, at any school board-sponsored activity, on school provided equipment or transportation or at any official school bus stop.”

The policy, which will be distributed to employees and students, said that if an act of bullying, creating a hostile environment, cyber-bullying, discrimination, hazing, harassment or other victimization of student takes place off school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity, the school system will take action only if the act or acts become an issue at a school or school-sponsored activity.

That would include acts of creating “a hostile education environment, or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the education environment of learning process.”

The policy defines each of the potential risks and the action that is to be taken if they occur.

The second policy change approved had to do with students graduating early.

“A student who meets all graduation requirements as established by the State of Tennessee and Wilson County School Board may graduate early by meeting guidelines for the early exit to post-secondary or early exit through hardship.”

The board also accepted school board attorney Mike Jennings report on the WCS vs. Mt. Juliet liquor-by-the-drink lawsuit. The school system is suing the city for back liquor-by-the-drink tax money.

The board did not, however, accept Mt. Juliet’s most recent settlement offer of $385,000. The school system is owed $480,000 plus potential court costs, Jennings said. 

Other actions during the meeting were to elect members to various committees.

Larry Tomlinson was chosen to remain as board chairman. The vote was 5-1-1, with board member Wayne McNeese voting “no” and Tomlinson abstaining.

Linda Armistead will remain as the vice chairman by a 5-1-1 vote. McNeese voted “no” and Armistead abstained.

Bill Robinson has volunteered to remain on the Tennessee Legislative Network. The motion was approved 6-1, with Robinson abstaining. The position deals with legislative issues.

Federal Relations Network member Armistead will also remain in the position. The vote was 6-1, with McNeese voting “no.” The network allows school board members to communicate with members of Congress.

Ethics committee members are board members McNeese, Karl and Mike Gwaltney. 

Chad Karl and Kimberly McGee will stay as Sick Leave Bank committee members. The vote was 5-2 with Karl and McGee abstaining.

The Sick Leave Bank is a state-created, member-focused group that exchanges members’ sick leave for up to 90 days of leave when a member-employee cannot work due to illness or injury.

Sick Bank Committee members from Wilson County Education Association will be Sarah Koby and Melissa Lynn. The decision to choose them was unanimous.

Four WCS students will serve as student board members for the school year. They are: Isabella Beene from Lebanon High School, Lauren Allen from Mt. Juliet High School, Donna Evins from Watertown High School and Isabella Leonard from Wilson Central High School.

Armistead also presented WCS director Dr. Donna Wright with flowers after Wright was recently named the state’s Superintendent of the Year. Wright will compete with 49 other winners for the National Superintendent of the Year.

The next school board workshop and meeting will take place Thursday, Oct. 3. The workshop will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

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