Wilson County schools

Wilson County School board members voted 6-1 to approve an updated Student Code of Conduct and a Bus Code of Conduct at their meeting Monday night.

Board member Kimberly McGee voted against both proposals.

After the meeting, McGee said she voted “no” on each issue because the “agenda came out late” and she didn’t believe she could vote for it Monday night.

Both codes would take effect during the 2020-2021 school year.

A committee of 14 educators from schools across Wilson County spent the past five months going over each section of the 2019-20 codes and made changes it believed were needed to make codes clearer.

The updates presented to the board at its Feb. 28 workshop by Southside Elementary School assistant principal Dr. Carmen Bouldin, W.A. Wright principal Bryan Adams and Barry Tatum Academy principal Shaun Caven.

“Many times (the principals and assistant principals) are not given a whole lot of discretion of how administration works through this,” said WCS Director Dr. Donna Wright, adding that the Codes of Conduct are reviewed each year. The committee members were appointed by Wright.

Adams said the committee “really focused in on what schools are dealing with right now in 2020. Things have changed and schools and kids are different, even just five years ago. We really focused in on behaviors that students are bringing into schools today and we wanted to make sure we addressed those.

“One of the pieces is the administrator having the discretion to apply the consequence. There are difference scenarios that come into play, in dealing with students and making sure you’re handing it best for your school community.

Caven said that with the current policy, if a student was in trouble, he’d go to the Student Discipline Hearing Authority for a hearing to determine the punishment. With the new code, the principal could remand a student directly to the Barry Tatum Academy.

For the bus riders policy, Adams said the committee “was concerned about student attendance as far as the students getting to school, but we wanted to make sure we’re supporting the bus drivers as well to make sure they’re getting our babies home safely.”

Other business

The board also approved an Eagle Project to be built at Springdale Elementary by Scout Fox Underwood of Troop 911. He plans to build what he is calling “The Learning Circle,” which will consist of five concrete benches that could serve as an outdoor classroom. It will include decorative and shade trees and will be built at the rear of the school.

Wilson Central High School filmmaker Isabelle Leonard has won a chance to be recognized at the Beverly Hills Film Festival this spring, Wright announced. The film Leonard wrote, directed and edited is called “Perspective.”

Students involved in animation clubs and classes, known as Story Maker, have created a full-feature animation film which will debut on April 30 at The Capitol Theatre. The event is a “red carpet” premiere, according to Wright.

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