BOE purchases new buses, changes dress code

Published 5:12 am Monday, July 25, 2011

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Board of Education will appeal a case involving the county’s only board certified teacher as a matter of principle, approved the purchase of four school buses and changes to the dress code at its regular Thursday meeting.

In addition, School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd announced that Central High School will be allowed to field a fast pitch softball team.

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The board voted to appeal a ruling in a case involving board certified teacher Paula Westmoreland on the recommendation of its attorney Henry “Hank” Sanders.

Sanders explained that Paula Westmoreland, president of the Lowndes County Education Association, is the only board certified teacher in Lowndes County. He said the appeal he recommended had to do with the fact that the state only provides $5,000 for the position of bard certified teacher as a bonus.

However, the way the law reads, the employees’ and the employer’s withholdings must come from the same $5,000.

Sanders said everyone “appreciates the work” that Westmoreland did. He said, “It’s not a whole lot of money, it’s more of a principle dispute.” He also said that this case could affect other school systems.

The board voted to purchase two special needs and two Class C 72-passenger buses from Yancey Bus Sales.

The board also approved changes to the dress code adding navy blue to the permitted pants, skorts and shorts color of Khaki, maroon to the permitted shirt color of white and navy blue to the permitted skirts and jumpers color of khaki.

Permitted outerwear may now be any color.

Shoes must have black, white, brown or gray laces and slippers, sandals, flip-flops and heels are not permitted.

Also no insignias, logos or graphics can include references to drugs or alcohol on any article of clothing other that those approved by the school principal.

Boyd announced that Central High will be allowed to field a fast pitch softball team. However, the school board will provide transportation and practice must be held at the school.

And in addition to other action items, the board nominated Kelvin Lawrence, LaRue Pringle and the Rev. Larry Townsend to the Lowndes County Board of Equalization.