Schools set up ‘no tolerance’ against fights

Published 11:49 am Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New code of conduct includes policies to deter fighting and new dress code guidelines

Crenshaw County Schools updated three items in its code of conduct. The school board changed its dress code and adopted new fighting and corporal punishment policies.

Hems will be at least an inch longer this year. The dress code changed the highest allowable hem length from four inches above the knee to three inches above the knee.

Superintendent Boyd English said the change would help parents and administrators. At three inches, English said administrators would be able to pull out a 3-inch by 5-inch index card and quickly measure the hems.

“And we want to dress for success,” he added. “That’s just a part of it.”

The school board adopted an official corporal punishment policy. Up to this point, English said one did not exist.

“The state requires that we present specific guidelines on corporal punishment and we did not have a specific policy on how we administered it in the past,” he said. “Now there are clear procedures for every administrator to follow.”

The four-step corporal punishment policy starts with a verbal warning for misbehaving. A second violation requires a parent/teacher conference. Detention is administered for third offenses. The final step is an office referral.

“Most districts have three levels. We have four. This just makes sure that as the offenses get more severe, there are progressive offenses,” English said.

Until this year, Crenshaw County Schools did not have a set fighting policy for each school to follow. Punishments were at the discretion of the school principals. For primary grades, that will still be the case. Although, the policy does not specifically impose grade guidelines, English said elementary grade administrators would be asked to use common sense. He recommended the new fighting policy be used for grades six and up.

The progressive plan offers three steps. The first fighting offense will result in a three-day suspension and five days in ISS. The second fighting offense will call for 10 days in alternative school.

After the third offense, a disciplinary hearing will be required.

“This gives administrators a clear guideline,” English said.

The Crenshaw County will meet again on Monday at 5:30 p.m.