In the past, students who fought back, even though they themselves did not strike first, were subject to the same disciplinary actions as the student who initiated the altercation.
Members of the Floyd County Board of Education moved to right this wrong on Monday evening when they voted to approve an amendment of a policy dealing with physical assault and threats of violence among students.
Recognizing that in “rare and limited cases, legitimate acts of self-defense do occur,” the board approved a policy amendment that will ensure that students who strike back in self-defense against “unprovoked attacks” will no longer be “automatically considered in violation” of board policy.
In other business, the board received reports from the superintendent that contact has been made with the state highway department in regard to traffic concerns at Prestonsburg Elementary School and near Betsy Layne High School.
“We are still exploring the possibility of accessing the use of a county road located behind Prestonsburg Elementary,” Supt. Ronald “Sonny” Fentress said.
Pavement markings, quick curbs and modified lane re-striping along Route 114, near the school entrance, are also safety improvements being considered.
Near Betsy Layne High School, plans to mark a portion of the roadway leading from the school as a “right turn only” onto U.S. 23 was also approved by the board.
“This is, I think, really the safest way,” said board chair Jeff Stumbo. Due to a high volume of traffic in the area, left hand turns are not easily maneuvered and past requests for a traffic signal at the site have been denied.
“I just don't think the highway department will ever install a traffic light there,” Stumbo said as he offered his opinion that a right-turn-only rule would be the best solution to the existing problem, an opinion obviously upheld by his fellow board members who voted unanimously, with the exception of Dr. Chandra Varia who was absent from the meeting, to approve the plan.