By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
At the meeting of the school board for the Pearl River County School District on Monday, Supt. Alan Lumpkin said campus police chief Brandon Herrin will put together a committee that will review school “lock down procedures” and make recommendations to improve campus security on the school system’s three campuses at McNeill, Carriere and Burgetown communities.
Lumpkin told the school board that Herrin is already meeting with administrators and answering their questions about campus security concerns. He said the steps were being taken in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting incident, during which 20 elementary students and six adults were shot to death in the Sandy Hook elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012.
Said Lumpkin, “Everyone has questions since this terrible tragedy has occurred. And we welcome those questions. We should all know what to do in case of any security emergency situation.”
He also said that door locks at the elementary schools in McNeill were being fixed so that they can be locked from the inside with the push of a button by administrators and personnel at the schools, and that way the doors and the school could be locked down immediately in case of any problems. Currently, they have to be locked with a key from the outside.
All three campuses are patrolled by armed campus police.
In other matters, the board:
— Recognized the alternative school at Burgetown for having the highest attendance rate for December with a 95 percent attendance rating.
— Recognized the Middle School for having the best energy savings percentage during December.
— Approved cancellation of Mark Gipson/Court Properties lease on 1.6 acres of sixteenth section school lands in 16-6-16 for nonpayment.
— Approved a new lease for Mill Creek Baptist Church for 6.61 acres on 16-6-16.
— Approved a release for Amy McClain from the Pearl River County school system so she could attend in the Picayune school system.
— Approved the following resignations: Amanda Penton as high school teacher effective Dec. 21, Debra Spence as lower elementary kindergarten assistant effective Dec. 18, and Pam Frierson as Special Education Director effective Oct. 18.
— Approved the following recommendations for employment: Candace Pierce for Middle School teacher effective Jan. 3, Brittany Morris for substitute cafeteria worker effective Jan. 8, Jeanie Spradley for upper elementary reading tutor effective Jan. 3, Karen Varnado (certified teacher) to provide homebound services for the 2012-13 school year, Laurie Johnson Billiot for high school math tutor effective Jan. 7, Sadie Penton as varsity dance (Blue Angels) coach effective Jan. 7, Kayla Inabinett as assistant varsity fast pitch softball coach for 2012-13 school year, Amanda Smith as high school special education teacher effective Jan. 8, Lori Bailey as lower elementary teacher assistant effective Jan. 8, and Rosemary Shows as high school part-time math teacher effective Jan. 8,
— Approved out-of-state travel to Chalmette, La., for field trip to Jean Lafitte National Park for the classes of Sharman Lumpkin, Debbie Burge, Tracy Stockstill and Brandy McCoy.