An audience of 14 sat in the air-conditioned confines of the Chester Boren Middle School Library. They were there for the June meeting of the Centralia R-VI Board of Education.
Those that stayed for the duration of the two hours-plus meeting heard board members, pass a budget, eliminate a social worker position, ban student cell phone use and lunch deliveries at the high school.
Jim Newsted, CHS track and football coach, was there to introduce some of the CHS track team’s state qualifiers, including but not limited to Scarlett Fox, Peyton Davis, Lynsie Curtis, Schyler Angell and Lily Stidham.
Board member Erle Bennett said the track program under Newsted is “the best it’s ever been. We have some of the best athletes, but so many of them just gut it out and that comes from great leadership.”
After Newsted finished his presentation, the audience shrank to six.
During the meeting they dealt with the new student handbooks and their contents, which included a new cell phone policy.
They approved the handbooks, including inserting a flier saying “If you see something, hear something, say something,” to all handbooks.
Regarding cell phones, when Ford asked about their educational application, the response was: “They get used educationally, but 90 percent of it is not,” said Nathan Gordon, principal of Chester Boren Middle School from the audience.
“Personally, I would take a sledgehammer to every one of them,” said board member Erle Bennett, regarding cell phones.
CHS Principal Matt Smith said 70 percent of his building discipline issues came from cell phone use.
They unanimously voted to approve the handbooks. Smith called attention to a new high school procedure which would prohibit cell phone use.