MSD revises handbooks; prepares for ’17-18 year

In the final meeting before school begins again Aug. 14, the Monticello School Board went over policies and procedures for the upcoming year in the July meeting Tuesday night at the MSD Central Office.
Among discussing the district’s and each school’s handbook, one thing that caught everyone’s attention was the inclusion of corporal punishment as a deterrent to unruly behavior in all five handbooks. Actually, it was just a re-insertion; that form of discipline was a part of all schools in the district until two years ago.
“Two years ago, the (handbook) committee decided to take corporal punishment out,” MSD Superintendent Sandra Lanehart said after the meeting. “We revisited that and, because of the law that you can’t suspend or expel a K-5 student, we added it again. We rarely were in a position to have to do that anyway but for those young kids, we really don’t have that many consequences.
“It was a policy in Monticello prior to two years ago and we’re bringing it back because if young kids think it’s a possibility, it’s a detriment (to unruly behavior).”
Corporal punishment, or spanking, has been banned in 31 states but Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming still allow it in some form, according to The Washington Post.
In many places, parental permission is required—and often given. It is more prevalent in Texas; least prevalent in Wyoming. The last state to abolish it was New Mexico, in 2011. The practice persists, according to The Post, because some educators and parents believe it helps modify disruptive behavior.
It was pointed out in all five handbook presentations that corporal punishment in the MSD will be used only as a “very last resort,” Lanehart and all four principals (from Monticello Elementary, Monticello Intermediate, Monticello Middle an Monticello High) were quick to point out.
“It’s the same policy that was in the handbooks before,” Lanehart noted. “It is only to be used when all other avenues of discipline have been exhausted.”
In other business in the jam-packed session, the board:
• Adopted Science books for MMS,
• Approved the purchase of updated security cameras for the district;
• Approved the purchase of Apple IPads for MES;
• Approved the sale of old IPads;
• Accepted the resignation of Alternative Learning Environment teacher Tonya Haney;
• Hired April Adams as an ALE teacher to replace Chris Allen, who resigned to take a similar position at Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Home; Zachary Morphis as an ALE teacher to replace Tonya Haney; Christna Graspar as a bus driver; Matthew Kolb as a coach and physical education teacher at MIS; Selena Jurado as a speech language interpreter; Darius Ridgle as a summer maintenance/custodian substitute and a part-time city park custodian; and
• Rehired Ashley Faulkner, an MIS certified teacher, and Victoria Jones as a bus substitute.   

The Advance-Monticellonian

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Monticello, AR 71657

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Monticello, AR 71655

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