School board says MES incident will be addressed correctly

The Monticello School Board Tuesday night said <a target="_blank" href="http://mymonticellonews.net/articles/2009/04/21/news/local_news/doc49ee2...">last week's incident</a> at Monticello Elementary School will be addressed correctly.

Parents of children involved in an incident in which four second grade students were suspended for 'inappropriately touching' another student attended the Tuesday night board meeting but the issue was not on the agenda.

To be placed on the agenda, school board policy requires a letter of request one week prior to the meeting, board president Lee Busby told the parents.

However, the board may, at its discretion, allow patrons five minutes to address the board but most of the issues in this case could not be discussed publicly in open session, Busby said.

Regarding the issues that could be publicly discussed, Busby said there's probably a better venue for it.

"I have been advised by our lawyer that opening this up tonight would not be in our best interest right now," Busby said, explaining that individuals' rights could be affected by what is said in open session.

"It's not that we don't want to hear you — we do — but we're limited, legally," Busby said. "We don't want to get into a situation where names came out… I hope you guys can understand and appreciate that."

Busby commended all the parents for the manner in which they approached the board meeting and assured them the issue will be addressed correctly.

"I promise you, we're all about the safety of the kids and doing what's right for the kids," Busby said. "I know that you're disappointed but I hope you can understand our viewpoint."

At least one of the parents left a letter with the board and Busby welcomed the others to do so as well. He told them they are welcome to talk to board members individually with the understanding that the board members act as a whole and one board member cannot speak for the entire board.

The Advance-Monticellonian

Mailing Address:
PO Box 486
Monticello, AR 71657

Street Address:
314 Main Street
Monticello, AR 71655

Phone: 870-367-5325
Fax: 870-367-6612

www.mymonticellonews.net

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