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Marietta City School Board of Education discusses cell phones, mask policy

Photo by James Dobbs Board member Doug Mallett and Superintendent Will Hampton discuss the mask policy at the Marietta City School District Board of Education meeting.

On Monday, Marietta City School District Board of Education discussed the mask policy and the Five-Year Forecast.

Board member Mark Duckworth was absent from the meeting.

Superintendent Will Hampton started the meeting by discussing how the district handles inappropriate media on students’ cell phones. He said a mother in the district brought up the subject at the last board meeting. He said the school finds the student, collects the device with the inappropriate media on it and immediately turns it over to the police.

“Our business is trying to contain it, gather the phones, stop the spread of it, and then start to learn what you can, but it is not about exploring the phone, and searching through the phone, and trying to find the inappropriate photos,” said Hampton.

He said that if anyone else has a similar concern, then they should contact the building administrators.

During the board member reports and comments, Doug Mallett, board member, asked about making masks optional in the district.

“I just think we’re, we’re over killing right at the present time based on where the numbers are at, based on what the rest of the world is doing,” said Mallett. “I mean, we can wear these and try to avoid the flu I guess, for the rest of our lives, but I don’t think that’s the quality of life we want…”

He said he thinks people would be gratified to get the masks off.

Hampton said that last year, there was a rise in coronavirus cases after Thanksgiving, and he would like to see where the district stands after the break this year.

Board President Russ Garrison said his concern is if other districts are contributing to the number of cases in the county due to the change of their mask mandate policies.

Board Treasurer Frank Antill discussed the five-year forecast. He said he believes his forecast is accurate, and if anything, the district will receive more revenue.

“…Our balance ends up around $9 million dollars by the end of this year. It’s going to be roughly the same three to four to five years now,” he said.

He said that the district is becoming more dependent on state aid, and receives 40 percent of revenue from the state.

Hampton said the state allowed schools to loosen the substitute requirements in hopes to entice more people to apply for a substitute job. He said that the district is looking for more substitutes. The loosened requirements allow schools to hire substitutes without a college degree. He said this is often a barrier for those who do want to substitute.

The next Marietta City School district Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. at 111 Academy Drive.

James Dobbs can be reached at jdobbs@newsandsentinel.com

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