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Long BoE considers school-uniform policy
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Whether to pursue a school uniform policy was a key item discussed during the Long County Board of Education’s May meeting.
Board member Florence Baggs voiced concerns regarding school uniforms, and said she had heard pros and cons on their effectiveness. She noted, however, she felt the students might need a change in the cultural environment and having a uniform policy in place might help them academically.  
Parents and teachers have completed surveys about such a policy and Vicky Wells, Walker Middle School principal, presented some of the findings.  
According to Wells, the survey was done in March with 100 parents being in favor of a uniform policy and 55 against it.  
The teacher survey showed 15 teachers in favor of uniforms, six against and two undecided.
Board Chairman Dempsey Golden, and member Emma Strickland expressed opposition to a uniform policy. Strickland said it was her belief such policies were set up to help ensure the safety of students and not for academic purposes.
After discussion by members, no formal action was taken in regards to uniforms.

In other business
• Board member Billy Hall told the board he had been approached about possibly establishing a soccer team in the school system.
He made a motion for the superintendent to conduct a feasibility study on establishing a soccer program. The motion was seconded by Linda DeLoach and approved by the board.
• School Superintendent Dr. Edwin Pope informed the board Georgia High School Graduation Test scores were up and he was proud of the progress. Testing Coordinator Kathy Simmons said the scores exceeded the RESA and state scores in the areas of math, English and science.
• Pope also gave a report on the alternative school, stating there were 12 students attending.
• Pope also informed the board there will be a community workshop on June 21 in Savannah in the event any member would able to attend.
• Randy Simmons spoke to the board about his dissatisfaction with the current baseball program and said he felt the board was partly to blame. Specifically, he mentioned the turnover rate of coaches, the condition of the fields and  sun delays during games.
The board thanked Simmons for his comments. It was noted the sun-delay problem was being addressed and the possibility of redesigning the field was also being considered.
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