Dear Parents and Community Members,
I am writing to inform you of some important changes for the upcoming school year and to ask for your help with a few items. I cannot tell you how important it is for our schools to have the support of parents and the broader community as partners. The success of our schools depends on that partnership and we need you.
During the time of COVID, many disruptions have presented themselves in many different ways. It has been a really challenging couple of years for us all, but our children have been the most affected. It is my hope that we are now in a place where we can leave many of these things behind and look forward to a normal school year without all of the past disruptions.
As we transitioned into the 2021-22 school year, we saw an expected increase in student behaviors due to so many disruptions to the learning environment as a result of COVID. Those behaviors manifested themselves in many different ways including physical altercations, poor student attendance, and other various issues. We will offer support to students where we can, but there is no excuse for becoming physical and fighting with others.
Recently, we asked for our school board to consider a policy change for the 2022-23 school year that would give principals the ability to apply maximum discipline on the first offense for a physical altercation. The school board approved that policy proposal and principals can now suspend, remand to alternative school, or outright expel a student from school on a first offense for fighting. This allows principals to discipline more aggressive students based on the seriousness of the offense.
Any student who was involved in a physical altercation in the 2021-22 school year will automatically be remanded to the alternative school or expelled for the same offense in the 2022-23 school year. All students who are expelled from school must go in front of the judge with their parent/guardian to be held accountable for finding a way to educate their child during the term of the expulsion. Parents, we ask that you talk to your students and make sure they are aware of the consequences for their actions.
Thank you to parents who send their students to school each day and expect them to follow the rules. This is unfortunate to say, but we do have parents who have encouraged their children to go to school and fight others. When we can, we will make sure that law enforcement is aware of those behaviors in an effort to hold both the student and the parent accountable for their actions. Please note that only a very small percentage of students cause the disruption and it is our goal to remove those who disrupt learning for the overwhelming majority.
More than 95% of our students come to school and do what is right by following school rules. My request from parents and the community is that we start talking more about the students who are doing great work and following the rules. Lauderdale County Schools has students earning college credit, receiving industry certifications, winning various academic awards, participating in LCS Middle College, etc. The list goes on and on and on and they deserve our community’s recognition for their efforts.
Hundreds of employees come to work for our children each day and they are also doing great work for our children. They, too, could use a lift from us all. Please help us in the future by sharing posts and recognizing the students and employees who deserve it.
If you are not subscribed to our schools’ and our district’s social media accounts, I ask that you make it a point to do more to educate yourself about the great things our students are doing each day. At the end of this letter, you will find a few links to our district accounts. Most schools also have their own accounts on social media and those are easy to find from the district sites.
The future of our community looks bright and education is the key to making that future even brighter for our youngest citizens. Lauderdale County is a great place to live and work and we want and need your help to make it an even better place. It takes us all and I am hopeful that you will continue to support Lauderdale County Schools, its employees, and most importantly, its students.
Shawn Kimble, Superintendent
Check out our district’s presence on Facebook and Twitter at the addresses below:
- Twitter: @LaudCoSchools
- Facebook: Lauderdale County Schools https://www.facebook.com/groups/142042059527370/
- Instagram: Lauderdale County Schools: https://www.instagram.com/lauderdaleschools/
- LCS Live Feed - https://www.lced.net/live-feed
- LCS News - https://www.lced.net/news
- Our mobile app can be found on the Google or Apple Store by searching for “Lauderdale County Schools, TN”
Our district YouTube channel has videos and occasionally live content. Many schools are keeping families informed on items through informational videos.