Changes Coming for 2020-21 School Year
BY DAVID FISHER
WEAKLEY COUNTY (July 28) — Numerous changes are in the works for Weakley County students in the upcoming school year, after school board members tackled a heavy agenda during their most recent meeting.
One of the biggest changes was pushing the start date forward from August 3 to August 17; however, students will also see other changes including updates to the dress code and suicide prevention policy.
School board members approved the second and final reading of a revised School Board Policy dealing with the student dress code. The amended dress code allows students to wear spirit wear, such as sweatshirts, T-shirts or other team, club, or school extracurricular activity items providing it is approved by the school.
Other changes include striking the wording “Students shall wear shirts tucked in at all times.” The dress code regarding shirts stipulates, “No skin may show between the shirt and pants in any position.”
The statement “Belts are to be worn on pants which have loops” is removed from the policy.
Additionally, board members unanimously approved the final reading of a suicide policy, as mandated by the state.
According to Director of Schools Randy Frazier, there was no guidance in place regarding how to deal with the problem. To help alleviate the situation, all Tennessee school systems are required to approve a new Student Suicide Prevention/Intervention/Postvention Policy.
The policy states faculty and staff are expected to be proactive in maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment and to immediately report to the building principal any indications a student might be in danger of harming himself or herself or others.
The policy stipulates all district employees must attend either an annual in-service training in suicide prevention at the building level or participate in other equivalent training approved by the director of schools. This training must be compliant with Tennessee law. The training shall include, but not be limited to, identification of risk factors, warning signs, intervention and response procedures, referrals, and postvention strategies.