Tuesday's regular Jackson County School Board meeting followed the agenda closely, moving rapidly by the numbers, slowing only to honor a brave young student and his family, and then going down to the topic that most of the audience was present to hear about: proposed school uniforms and possible countywide disciplinary changes, both recommended by a majority of the county's principals.
At last week's workshop that lasted about three hours School Superintendent Steve Benton presented some ideas that had come out of a meeting of principals, the men and women who are charged with not only seeing that the students get an education but are safe while the process is ongoing. The first, and the most immediately controversial, was to establish a standard uniform for all students from grades six and up. Recommended were long khaki trousers and a polo type shirt of a standard color.
At the regular meet the topic was listed for discussion. Each school board member spoke of contacts made with parents and with students, oftentimes their own offspring, and the pros and cons of the concept of uniforms as a worthwhile and cost effective measure and whether or not it was acceptable countywide. The consensus, if it were indeed a consensus, seemed to be somewhat middle ground. The principals will be discussing the plan with their individual school's advisory committees and looking at changes. It was noted that the changes, if they take place, will be with the coming school year.
The disciplinary changes have yet to be codified, but seem to lean toward a more even use of the alternative school for enforcement of behavior problems.