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Ole Miss to use walk-through metal detectors

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@chronicle-tribune.com

GAS CITY -- The Mississinewa Community School Board of Trustees approved metal detector guidelines Monday night, which will bring walk-through metal detectors to the high school and middle school for periodic usage.

Superintendent Tab McKenzie said the schools have already had the metal detector wands, but they will bring in walk-through detectors this spring to use on a random basis. He said they will purchase six detectors which will be portable and can be transferred between the two schools.

When in use, the detectors will be set up at the entrances where the students enter. Once school is in session, the detectors will sit at the main office entrance for anyone who comes through the school during that given day.

The board also updated the tobacco free campus policy. McKenzie said there has been a policy in place for the past 25 years, but there was a separate policy for staff, students, corporation and the building, so they wanted to collate all of it into one policy.

Additionally, McKenzie said tobacco usage has changed over the past 25 years to now include e-cigarettes and vaping, so they wanted to update the policy to include those types of tobacco usages as well.

The student transportation policy was also updated. McKenzie said the corporation buses do not pick up students who live outside of the district, but if the student is dropped off at a house of a caregiver or other relative that does live within the district, they can get on the bus there.

Foster children and homeless children are also able to be picked up by the district as long as they live within the county, which is legally mandated by the state. McKenzie said these exceptions have been ongoing but they wanted to clarify the policy and put it in writing.

The school board also took the time to recognize Ole Miss PreSchool teachers and staff, for their work toward gaining state accreditation. Each teacher and staff member was given a framed newspaper clipping discussing the achievement and were individually thanked.

“I appreciate the leadership down at Westview starting with Mr. Smith, Mrs. Mathias, Mrs. Strong and Mrs. Winter, I appreciate the teachers and the paras (paraprofessionals) that work with these little people everyday,” McKenzie said. “When I walk through the halls I see the compassion, love and understanding that these kids need and an outstanding curriculum. So we applaud you and we’re very proud of our preschool program at Mississinewa, and you represent that and make it happen everyday.”

The next Mississinewa school board meeting is scheduled for March 4 at 6:30 p.m.