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BCS to rebuild code of conduct

The Brewton City Schools’ Board of Education announced their plan to rebuild the school system’s code of conduct completely from scratch during Tuesday’s special session meeting. This decision was caused by the many concerns a Brewton mother expressed during the board of education meeting on July 15, when she shared her concerns about the code of conduct dealing with sexual harassment policies and procedures within the system. 

Brewton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner said that the board doesn’t have the specific timeframe outlined for when they will begin reconstructing the code of conduct. However, Varner said that they do plan to create a committee of attorneys, educators and parents to address the needs of the code of conduct from all angles. Varner said this committee will collectively build the new code of conduct.

A few members of the board voiced their concerns on the code of conduct during the meeting. The school board’s vice president Regina Watson said that the code of conduct needed to be vetted by parents. Board member Bart Till asked if the board could be periodically updated on the status of the developing code of conduct. Varner agreed with Watson and told Till that they could periodically update the document. 

Until the board and code of conduct committee are able to create a new code of conduct, the board will continue to use the current code of conduct but with the several changes they added after hearing the mother’s concerns at the July 15 meeting. The mother didn’t want to comment if she were satisfied with the changes the board made to the current code of conduct. 

The board OK’d temporarily the 2019-2020 school year’s code of conduct during Tuesday’s meeting. The board added two paragraphs under the “It’s the law!” section, which address sexual harassment and other forms of abuse. Under the “Classification of Violations” Type II subsection, the board added four offenses that may constitute as examples of sexual harassment. 

The board also added pages 27 and 28, which address sexual harassment. The pages define sexual harassment and provide examples of sexual harassment. The pages also outline how to report sexual harassment and how first time and multiple offenders will be punished. 

Community members may access the temporary code of conduct by going to Tuesday’s board meeting agenda on the Brewton City Schools’ website and then clicking the section “2019-2020 Code of Conduct” under the agenda. The board highlighted all of the recently added section aforementioned in yellow.