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Parents petition to change BoE visitor policy

Change.org petition has more than 260 signatures

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POSTED: August 9, 2012 12:27 p.m.
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A sign at Frank Long Elementary School tells visitors to stop before they enter the school's campus as students arrive for the first day of school Aug. 6. A Change.org petition to change the policy received more than 288 signatures by Thursday afternoon.

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A petition requesting the Liberty County Board of Education to change its new visitor policy is gaining momentum on Change.org.

Petition creator Kristina Barnard has a daughter enrolled in first grade at Joseph Martin Elementary School and said she was frustrated Monday that she could not walk her daughter to class. 

Barnard vented on Facebook Monday with a status that asked why she could not escort her daughter, and when she saw more than 25 comments from other concerned parents, she realized how widespread the frustration is.

The rule stems from a May BoE policy change that requires visitors to request campus visitations more than 24 hours in advance and to have an administrative escort while on campus. Observations are limited to 20 minutes and may be requested only one time per semester unless federal regulations require different procedures.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Conley previously said the policy came on recommendation from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. 

“I don’t anticipate a change from the superintendent or the board on this issue, but I’m sure it will be discussed,” Conley said Tuesday. “Safety is at the heart of this decision, and safety is one thing that everyone agrees on.”

Some Sound off callers and the Liberty County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People spoke against the policy when it was adopted, calling it a lack of transparency.

See more on this story in Friday's Courier.

 

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