Parents at Green Bank Elementary/Middle School Object to Hoodie Ban
At the September 19th Pocahontas County Board of Education meeting, Melia Thompson addressed the members. Thompson said that on September 12th, the school sent a message to the all of the parents of students at the Green Bank Elementary/Middle School, informing them that as part of the school’s Safe School Plan, students wearing hoodies with large pockets to school will be required to immediately place them in their locker and not bring them into the classroom. She said the email did not provide a reason for this.
Thompson said that on the following morning, a group of 20 parents met with Principal Melissa Jordan about the email. Jordan told them this is being required because of the ease with which vapes, illegal drugs or cigarettes can and be are being hidden in those hoodies.
Two hundred parents signed a petition regarding this and sent it to the school. They raised three concerns about the new policy:
- Even if a vape, cigarette or drugs are in a hoodie, they can easily be moved into other pockets when the garment is placed in a locker, so the policy provides no real safety.
- Only a few kids would be bringing those things in, and those kids are sneaky, so why punish all students with this policy.
- If current prohibition of those banned items is not working, update them, or bring a police officer in to patrol the hallways. The focus should be on educating students about how dangerous those items are, but this new policy will not stop or reduce these issues.
During the matters of the board discussion at the end of the meeting, Board Member Sam Gibson pointed out that he has observed that kids who were hoodies are almost in a cult. They tend to isolate themselves and not be communicative with others, and he sees that as the main reason hoodies should be banned, not just because vapes, drugs or cigarettes can be smuggled in them.
During her Superintendent’s Report, Lynne Bostic introduced the new Student Representative to the Board, Riley Pollack, a Junior at PCHS. Bostic also updated the members on the boiler and roof replacement project at Marlinton Elementary School. She said the new service entrance has been installed and the boilers will be delivered by September 29th.
Regarding the Air Condition Project at the Green Bank school, Bostic said it is now 90% complete, and will be done by November 8th.
She also talked about the many different jobs each of the nine staff assigned to the Central Office do. She said six of those nine are either new, or in different jobs from what they were doing last year.
Riley Pollack delivered her first report to the board. She said the National Guard and other military representatives made presentations to the students, and the recent College Day was also successful at PCHS,
Cammy Kesterson made a presentation regarding the summer school programs, saying they focused on career opportunities here in Pocahontas County.
Andy Cocina of Wendel Energy Service talked about the energy savings the county received during the construction phase of the 1.888-million-dollar project. He said they saved $103,601 in energy as the project moved forward, which was above the estimated $56,000. The project construction is being financed at 3% interest over 15 years, but the energy saved will pay for it all. He said Wendell energy guarantees at least a $129,000 savings next year, or the company will make up the difference.
Also at the meeting:
- The board approved routine financial reports.
- They approved the following supplements: Chief Mechanic -$2,500: Technology Coordinators -$3,000: and Changing the Supervisor of HVAC Maintenance supplement to $2,500.
- They approved the establishment of goals for the Superintendent per state policy.
- They approved a list of parent and community volunteers for this school year.
- They approved the recommended personnel actions, which can be found at the end of this story on our website, alleghenymountainradio.org.