Jasper City Schools to require clear, mesh backpacks

Posted 6/29/18

Students enrolled in Jasper City Schools this upcoming school year will be required to carry clear or mesh backpacks.  The Jasper City Board of Education approved the safety measure Wednesday …

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Jasper City Schools to require clear, mesh backpacks


Students enrolled in Jasper City Schools this upcoming school year will be required to carry clear or mesh backpacks.  

The Jasper City Board of Education approved the safety measure Wednesday night as part of handbook changes, and said they will soon be notifying local stores to stock the approved book bags/backpacks. Students in all grade levels will be required to abide by the new policy.

A post to the Jasper City Schools Facebook page Thursday specified that a book bag/backpack is considered any bag that is large enough to carry a textbook, including sacks, purses and other bags. Small purses and lunch boxes are not required to be see-through. 

Students with athletic bags will be required to check their bags in when they arrive to school, and school administrators will supply further instruction on access to those bags.

Superintendent Dr. Ann Jackson did not provide a statement about the policy change as of press time Thursday, but she previously told the Daily Mountain Eagle that the school system would be looking at ways to enhance security.

Some dress code changes and clarifications have also been added to be updated district handbook. For students in all Jasper City Schools, the handbook now specifies that "leggings, jeggings or tights are not considered pants and must be worn with a long dress or skirt three inches from the top of the knee."

For Jasper Jr. High and High schools, students can no longer wear hoodies over their heads or wear jeans and outerwear with holes that expose skin. Joggers have also been added to the list of restricted clothing.

A line item was also added that no gauge earrings or bars will be allowed.

Jasper City Schools students are now required to comply with dress code standards at all school sponsored activities. In addition, the required dress code also applies when students are riding buses.

In addition to dress code changes, students at T.R. Simmons Elementary, Memorial Park Elementary, Maddox Intermediate and Jasper Jr. High schools can now only have four days per semester excused by a parent note. Students were previously allowed to miss six excused days per semester.

Furthermore, students in all city schools who have more than three unexcused tardies in a nine-week period will face disciplinary action. 

Other changes to the handbook are as follows:

•Jasper Jr. High School students will still begin school at 7:50 a.m. but will now be dismissed at 2:50 p.m. Jasper High School students will now also have a start time of 7:50 a.m. and have a new dismissal time of 2:55 p.m.

Start and end times will remain the same at T.R. Simmons, Memorial Park and Maddox Intermediate.

•Now possession of tobacco products is a violation, along with usage.

•Violations have been added for sexual harassment and bullying, as well as  bomb threats or igniting bombs.

In other business, the school board:

•heard from Jasper City Schools Head Football Coach Bryan Moore that Kiro-Gambrell Field will be laser graded and top dressed with sand to make it playable for the upcoming football season.

Gameday Athletic Services will tear the field up, apply 156 tons of sand that will fill low spots, and grow grass to cover the field.  

"It will provide better runoff for us and a softer surface in the end, and it will fill in some of the holes," Moore said. "It's a Band-Aid right now. It's not a long-term fix."  

The company will monitor the field through the football season, should any problems arise. The work should take approximately one month and will be ready for the first home football game of the season, Sept. 14.

•approved personnel additions.

David "Butch" Sargent will be the new director of operations for Jasper City Schools. The position has been vacant since John Skalnik held the position. Sargent will be vacating his position as director of student services for Walker County Schools.

The school board also approved the new hire of Terrence "Tyrone" Prothro as a supplemented assistant for the Jasper High School football program. Prothro is a former wide receiver for the University of Alabama.

Amy O'Rear was also approved as the new assistant principal for Jasper Jr. High School.

"It's no secret the strengths that Amy has and all the abilities she has. She's going to do some really great things," Jasper Jr. High School Principal Lutis Moore said at Wednesday's meeting.