Facial Piercings Banned in Knox Co. Schools

By Crystal Howerton

During the regular session meeting on Tuesday evening, September 17, 2007, the Board of Education voted to ban facial piercings in Knox County Schools due to educational and safety concerns.
“Facial piercings have been a rising issue in schools.  They have been found to be disruptive to the educational process and have been a safety concern, as well," said High School Principal Andy Turgeon.  "By implementing this new policy we hope to improve the safety of all
students and reduce disruptions by not having a student draw attention to him or her self."
A letter was sent home with students on Friday afternoon outlining the policy on appropriate dress, including the recent addition.  "NO facial piercings (piercing must be limited to the ears and the piercing must be no larger than that required by a standard earring.  Tongue piercing is not permitted.)"
The question of navel piercings was brought up at the meeting, as well.  Superintendent D.J. Leverton said that he feels the issue has already been addressed within the dress code, which states "No bare midriffs. (Tops must cover the stomach sitting or standing.)"  According to Supt. Leverton, navel piercings should not cause undue concern if students are adhering to the dress code.
In regular business, administrators reports were accepted, as well as the Program and Services Evaluation Reports for Finance/Budget, Instructional Effectiveness and Food Service, as presented.
Adult Ag Instructor Joanie Baker approached the Board and received approval to pursue an application for state funded expansion of the Adult Agricultural Education Program through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Baker outlined the benefits of expanding the adult education program in the community; however, it would mean an increase to her hours and salary. 
Prin. Turgeon reported on results of the Spring 2007 MAP testing stating that the district met all area of AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress).  He informed the Board that APR (Annual Performance Report) results should be available by October 1, however it is anticipated those requirements have also been met.  Board President Joe Delaney said that congratulations were in order for everyone involved in continuing to improve the district’s test scores.
   The 2007-08 calendar was revised to provide six make-up days.  In addition to the current make-up days of January 21, May 19 and May 20, make-up days of May 21, 22, and 23 were added to the calendar.
The Board voted to approve cell phone usage reimbursement for administrators in the amount of twenty-five dollars per month, per Supt. Leverton’s request.
Maintenance Director Steve Ramer reported on the condition of the district’s tractor, stating that it hasn’t been operating efficiently.  Supt. Leverton requested permission to enter into a two-year lease agreement with The Farm Shop, Edina, for a Massey-Ferguson 1533 for the district’s use.  According to Leverton, he has spoken with The Farm Shop and they recommended this tractor for the various tasks it will need to perform.  Prior to adjourning, Board members voted to authorize the superintendent to enter into a lease agreement with the Farm Shop for the lease of a tractor.