VHS students need ID tags, teachers say

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2001

[08/17/01] Vicksburg High School students should wear ID tags to class and school events, a group of teachers from the school told trustees who were receptive to the idea at their meeting Thursday.

Cindy McClung, a government and history teacher at VHS, asked for approval and funding of student ID cards to resemble those already worn by teachers and other district personnel.

McClung said security is the main reason behind her request, that the teachers want to see implemented before the end of the fall semester in December.

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“We have a very open campus, and that’s a big concern of ours,” she said. Classes started Monday.

School officials have also cited security in implementing uniform dress codes at district elementary schools and one junior high, but there was no discussion of IDs for any other school, including Warren Central, the Vicksburg Warren School District’s other high school.

Joined by English teacher Betsy Selby and history teacher Ed Wong, McClung said the VHS IDs could be part of a lunch card program being developed by the district’s Child Nutrition department.

“This is an idea that has a lot of merit,” said Superintendent Donald Oakes. “It is definitely something that we are going to look at this year.”

Trustee Chad Barrett asked McClung about consequences for students who would lose ID cards or appear at school without them.

Vicksburg High Principal Don Taylor responded that the replacement cost would be affordable.

“We’d teach them a little bit about responsibility,” said Zelmarine Murphy, president of the five trustees.

Students at other high schools in Mississippi already have IDs, and some of them seem to like them, Wong said. He said he saw one student from Jackson’s Provine High School wear her ID to a basketball game at VHS last year.

“Putting on an ID has become like putting on fresh clothes at the beginning of the day for them,” Wong said.

Otherwise Thursday, school district trustees:

Amended the minutes of their April 19 meeting regarding the salary of teachers. The amended minutes show the Legislature made the supplement part of teachers’ Minimum Program Salary Schedule in a July 23 special session.

Wrote the School Safety Act of 2001 into the district’s disciplinary code. The act provides a roadmap for districts to expel students guilty of three “serious offenses” against school discipline.

Approved trips by Redwood Elementary GATES students to study archaeology at Poverty Point in Epps, La., on Sept. 21 or Oct. 5 and students from VHS’s Mississippi River class to tour the Mississippi River between Mound and St. Joseph, La., on a U.S. Corps of Engineers mat-sinking unit on Sept. 12.

Accepted a bid of $4,150 from John R. Myers for a hunting and fishing lease on 16th Section land near Bogue DeSha.

Granted Beechwood Elementary permission to advertise for bids for “Academy of Reading” software, which is estimated to cost $15,000.

Approved nurse Cynthia Nash’s request to spend $3,510, funded by the state’s tobacco trust fund, on school planners that have an anti-tobacco message.

Accepted donations, including $9,730 from the Warren Central Diamond Club for championship rings for the Warren Central High School baseball team; $141.68 from Margie Heltzel to Viking Voices, WC’s literary magazine, for its senior picnic; $50 each from Canufly.net and A&J Locksmith Services Inc. and $200 from the Vicksburg Bankers’ Association for the Vicksburg High School cross country teams; and $60 from Lonnie Boykins to the Vicksburg Football Lift-A-Thon.

Accepted Cheryl Case, Alicia Edwards, Manney Murphy, Terry Perkins and Mary Ann Walls for teaching positions.

Accepted Jane Baham, Sonya Childers, Kenneth Devine, Frankie Johnson, Renee Pitchford, Henry Phillips, James Sayles, Pamela Sobecki, Linda Tello and Stacey Wallace, all of whom are seeking emergency certification from the state, for teaching and counseling positions for the 2001-2002 school year.