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Liberty BOE discusses civility as handbook gets updated

The Liberty County School System Board of Education is updating its governance handbook and reviewed a draft Tuesday at its morning work session.
One of the many topics discussed was the board’s civility policy. The purpose of the policy is to “set clear expectations for civil behavior” amongst board members.
Board member Dr. Yvette Keel asked if they should keep a place to sign the policy.
“The only thing we have to sign legally is the code of ethics and conflict of interest,” Keel said. “Do we want to keep this signature on this or remove it because a signature is not required for the code of civility?”
Board member Carol Guyett preferred to keep the signature line. Board member Marcus Scott IV said he wouldn’t be signing and believed the policy to be unnecessary.
Keel said school district attorney Phil Hartley recommended having a civility policy in place because it can be changed.
“What he recommended was that the statements that are in the civility policy that are also in the code of ethics need to be removed from the civility policy,” Keel said.
One of the improvements recommended to the district from AdvancED, a non-profit, non-partisan accreditation organization, is to have a civility policy and review it each year, Keel added.
BOE Chairwoman Lily Baker said it didn’t matter whether the policy was signed or not, but said the board agreed to get rid of the consequences related to violating the policy.
Board member Carolyn Smith Carter talked about the need for the policy.
Board member Verdell Jones believed the guidelines should stay and was also fine with having a signature line or not.
The discussion also included inserting House Bill 1149 (LC 44 0172) into the handbook, which addresses travel reimbursement and monthly pay of board members; directing issues with staff members to the superintendent only; prohibiting personal electronic devices from disrupting meetings and scheduling the superintendent’s evaluation.
In other business, Torri Jackson, LCSS student services support specialist, talked about the Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen (REACH) Scholarship Program.
The program is endorsed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s Complete College Georgia Initiative and awards $10,000 scholarships to college-bound middle school students when they graduate from high school.
Jackson talked about the progress of the program in Liberty County.
The district will sell a surplus printer online.
Jason Rogers, executive director of maintenance and operations, said an AS/400 printer has fully depreciated and cannot be used with current software.
The printer was purchased in 1998 for $21,000 and listed on a fixed assets listing, which requires BOE action.
The printer will be sold on
Note: As of Aug. 22 enrollment in the district is 9,957.

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