Criminal offenses such as drug use and sexual misconduct — what the Board of Education now terms “Class 4 offenses” — are punishable only by expulsion or placement in alternative school, after the board’s vote at a Thursday meeting.
“I want our code of conduct to be something that’s easily understood by our students,” said Superintendent Jon Paul Campbell.
Before the change, the school’s code of conduct contained just three violation classifications. The changes were requested by new Jacksonville High School Principal Rick Carter and recommended by Campbell.
“It will be clearly defined as to what is accepted and what is not accepted,” Carter said.
“Without safety and security of schools, it’s hard for education to go on,” Carter said. “I believe in disciplined, orderly environments.”
The previous code of conduct gave administrators more leeway to decide how students would be disciplined. The school board could choose from among suspension, expulsion and placing students in an alternative school.
In other business Thursday, the board eliminated its policy that had forbidden close relatives from working in a supervisor/subordinate situation. The vote came moments before the board hired Shannon Carter, Rick Carter’s wife, to serve as a counselor at Jacksonville High.
“We realized we would have to change that policy,” Campbell said, adding that it is better to give the board more discretion in hiring. “I think it gives the board control on a case-by-case basis.”
Before taking jobs at Jacksonville High the Carters worked with each other at Wellborn High School, where Shannon Carter was also a counselor.
“In this particular case, they have a proven track record of huge success together.” Campbell said.
Campbell said he thinks the board did the right thing to keep the couple together because they were successful at Wellborn.
“If I didn't think it was the best thing for students, I wouldn’t have made that recommendation,” Campbell said. “He had to sell me on it.”
Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.