School Board Facing Hard Deadline For Student Handbook

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(Memphis) The clock is ticking on the Shelby County school merger.

With just weeks to go, the board is coming up on a hard deadline to approve some school policies.

Tuesday night’s meeting could have been a good time to do that, but the board is putting off big issues like corporal punishment, further slowing down the process.

Board Members say there are about 15 student policies to approve before they can send the student handbook to the printers.

They say they must physically give every student a paper copy of those policies the first day of school or face possible legal action.

The student handbook lays out all the rules for students. It tells them how to dress for school and other important rules.

Shelby County School Board`s Policy Committee took up the last big policy issue they must address Wednesday.

Those policies include grading procedures, employee ethics and how schools must handle child custody issues, just to name a few.

Some committee members say they can`t wait much longer and must finish approving the policies soon.

“It`s very important to have our policies unified at this point so that we can open schools in August and everyone is working from the same handbook,” said committee member Patrice Robinson.

Once policies are set by the School districts, they're sent to the committee to go over the details and ask questions.

The policy then goes before the full school board for a vote.

Board members say what takes so much time is that, if the district doesn't have the policies ready, they are sent to the full board without committee vetting.

The full board can send it back to committee if they have questions.

Committee member Kevin Woods says he prefers the remaining policies go through committee first so it doesn't slow down the process.

“You are opening yourself up to a much longer debate because you`re not able to say this has been viewed by them and approved by them,” said Woods.

A few remaining polices will go before the full board for a final vote at their next meeting though some of them have not been through the policy committee.