School board to revisit pepper spray policy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 22, 2016

SALISBURY — A policy that would allow high school students to carry pepper spray is up for review at the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education’s Monday business meeting.

At the board’s May 9 work session, the board voted unanimously to remove pepper spray from policy 5027/7275, and passed in a 5-1 vote to allow high school students to carry defensive sprays and personal shaving razors on campus. The decision drew national attention, and Chair Josh Wagner told the Post on May 8 that the board would reconsider the policies due to liability concerns.

The board will also consider partnering with a Visiting International Faculty program. According to documents attached to the board’s online agenda, 49 N.C. school districts participate in the state-funded program. The document lists seven possible pilot positions at four district schools — two at Isenberg, Koontz and Knollwood and one at Knox Middle School. The document also notes that the district will have an expected 34 open positions for certified teachers in the 2016-17 school year.

A discussion about the property for the new western elementary school will also occur. The board is currently under contract to purchase a parcel at the corner of N.C. 801 and Godbey Road. The property has drawn community criticism for being on a busy highway and for its proximity to Southern Power, which borders the property.

According to documents attached to the online agenda, the Superintendent’s Discipline Committee will make a recommendation to add two restorative classrooms for students who may struggle with behavioral issues. The classrooms would open at the start of the 2016-17 school year, and would have a maximum student-teacher ratio of ten-to-one.

In response to recent community feedback, the board will also consider meeting notification channels, business meeting start times and live streaming of meetings.

The board will meet at 4 p.m. in the Wallace Educational Forum board room. Public comment will be held at 5 p.m.