Edgefield County As It Happens

Edgefield County, South Carolina

June 15, 2005

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School Board needs to get in line

web posted June 15, 2005

In the last few school board meetings board members Brad Covar and Andy Livingston have made an issue out of the policies regarding students who get expelled at the end of the year. Most all of these students are allowed to come back and take exams and retain credit for the year.

Expulsion results in the student missing all classes for the rest of the year. A student expelled in September loses the entire year and the student who is expelled in May misses a few weeks and gets to take exams and obtain credit for the year.

That is not consistent policy as board members Brad Covar and Andy Livingston point out. Even Chairwoman Sallie Cooks says she, “must be missing something,” because she too thinks the policy is wrong. Why the board did not motion to fix the obviously broken policy is unknown.

It is not as if the problem has not been brought to the attention of the present leadership on more than one occasion because it has.

This problem is more notable because the policy is allowing nonviolent offenders to be held back while offenders who have been found with drugs and even having, and threatening to use, weapons like a razor are allowed to not only pass the grade but return next year after missing only two or three weeks of school.

The only exception to the rule is if the violent offender has a gun. Well, that’s a relief.

The sad part of this inaction is that those who have already been allowed to slide through the loophole can’t be held to any new policy, the board can’t make it retroactive. So, rest assured, when your children return to Strom Thurmond next year they will be in the company of those who are selling drugs and trying to cut others with a razor. Students that are being pushed through the system rather than make them accountable.

We are sure these individuals will no doubt grow up to respect the “Rule of Law” having learned how to play it to their advantage with our school board sitting on thier hands. The board needs to wake up and get in line with the law which states if a student is expelled they lose credit for the entire year be it day 1 of school or day 180.

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