Keep off the grass at Forrest School's stadium

Friday, April 20, 2007

While Orion Building is making steady progress on the addition at Forrest School, Marshall County's High School Football Jamboree may have to be played on the old football field.

Rick Daughrity, president of Orion Building and director of project management, gave the Marshall County Board of Education an update on the progress at the April Board Meeting on Thursday, April 12.

"Since the March 17 meeting, the parking area had been paved, the walkways are going in, the lights are going up. The concessions building interior is being trimmed out. Classrooms should be completed and handed over to the school the second week of May," said Daughrity.

But Daughrity cautioned the board that there might be a small glitch in the sprigging of the new football field. Like all other crops in the southeast, the recent cold weather has stunted the growth of sod grass. The growing season will be delayed briefly so the sprigging of the field will not begin until the end of May or the first of June. There will be fairly new growth on it in mid-August, the scheduled time of the Football Jamboree.

"The sod took a beating in the recent cold temperatures," said Daughrity. "There are at least 10 other season games scheduled to be played on that field and the Jamboree will be the first. Some damage to the new growth is unavoidable. It is immature grass and it takes a good year for mature growth to develop."

Daughrity said that rain would also be a key factor in keeping the grass healthy. A little rain will be fine, "but if we get some real gully washers, any playing on the field will create more damage to the sod."

Daughrity agreed to speak with the principal and athletic director to discuss the possibility of using the old football stadium for the Jamboree, especially in the event of inclement weather.

Cell Phone policy

A policy for banning the use of cell phones on school property is also being examined by the school board. All schools currently have their own policy banning the use of cell phones on campus and dealing with students who don't comply. The school board wants to have a uniform policy in place that all schools will adhere to.

Cell phones are considered disruptive in the classroom and some teachers and principals report that the text message feature has been used for cheating on tests.

Acknowledging the practical use of cell phones for contacting parents after school activities and while commuting to and from school, administrators simply ask that phones be turned off while students are on school property, and that they are not visible during those times.

For the first violation the student's phone is taken and the student must serve one day of in-school suspension. The phone is only returned to a parent or guardian.

Board member Craig Michael voiced his displeasure at the policy.

"I think the one day in-school suspension is too harsh. I, for one, forget frequently to turn my cell phone off. I don't feel we should punish those that innocently leave their phones on," said Michael.

The board will continue the discussion at its May 10 meeting in the Board Conference Room at the Board of Education Offices at 5:30 p.m.

Some good news for Marshall County Schools came in the form of donations from local businesses. Stan McNabb Ford made a $400 donation, Waste Management donated $7,000 donation for the purchase of two computerized learning centers, one each for Marshall County High School and Lewisburg Middle School.