Parent asks board to investigate incidents

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2006

A parent asked the Butler County Board of Education to investigate a pair of separate incidents in which two of his children were attacked on school grounds.

During Thursday's board meeting, Greg Luckie said his sons - one 12 years old and one 14 years old - were each attacked and choked.

Luckie said he was not notified of the first incident and was told his son's attacker received a three-day suspension. The second attack on his older son, said Luckie, resulted in the attacking student being sent home for the rest of the school year.

&#8220I've been told it's very difficult to get a student kicked out of school under the No Child Left Behind act,” said Luckie. &#8220But when does their right for an education end and my child's right for safety begin?”

Superintendent Mike Looney asked the board to address the issue in a closed meeting.

&#8220I just think it's in the best interest for all parties to discuss matters of discipline concerning a student privately rather than in a public setting,” he said.

Luckie said he remains concerned for the security of his two children.

&#8220School should be a safe haven,” he said.

In other business, the board:

n Accepted a bid of $38,200 from Goodwin Brothers for freezers for CNP Program at Georgiana High School.

n Voted to extend $14,637.67 each to Every Child Deserves a Chance, Pine-Level Community Development, Inc., and the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Alabama, as the system's state-mandated contribution to Non-Profit Community Agency At-Risk programs that benefit Butler County students.

n Regarding on-going construction projects within the school system, Administrative Assistant for Operations Wayne Boswell said contracts have been signed and work was scheduled to start on the McKenzie Gymnasium renovation project on Monday. Stock-Whorton Construction will complete the contract at a bid amount of $321,000. The lobby and restrooms in the gym will be renovated and modified.

Minus weather delays, Boswell said the project should be completed in 120 days.

Additionally, Boswell said the contractor has re-mobilized to finish work on the Harmon-Field bleacher project at Georgiana High School.

Concerning the recent annual inspection of all county school buses by the state, only two buses (3.6 percent) were found to have major deficiencies out of 56 inspected. The state's goal is to have no more than 24 percent of the buses in a school system's fleet with major deficiencies, according to Boswell. In a letter addressed to Looney, Joe Lightsey, Administrator of Pupil Transportation, said, &#8220We are quite pleased with the results and we want to thank you and your transportation maintenance staff for their continued efforts to provide safe buses for the students of Butler County.”

Boswell said the inspection included a check of bus braking, exhaust, steering, signaling systems, tires, and other safety items.

Although in Alabama it's not required until two years into a superintendent's tenure, Looney encouraged the board to consider completing an informal evaluation concerning his job performance. Board Member Joe Lisenby agreed.

&#8220I believe we owe it to Mr. Looney and to the constituents of Butler County,” he said.

Looney was hired in June 2005.