The 2018-2019 school year began with less fights than 2017, according to Morehouse Parish Schools Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor Ralph Davenport.

“For the month of August, there was only three students in fights, compared to 17 students for the same time period last year,” said Davenport. “I think this in in part due to the policy that came into effect this year.”

The policy Davenport spoke of states “… commencing with the 2018-2019 School Year, students in grades 5 – 12 who engage in such action as fighting as described above shall be suspended and recommended for expulsion. In addition, the administrator or the school resource officer shall determine if the police should be called. It will be left up to the administrator’s discretion as to whether the individual’s participation in a fight will be considered self-defense. If the administrator deems the action as self-defense, no punishment will be issued to that participant. After a hearing before the Superintendent or his/her designee, any such student who is found guilty of fighting shall receive as a minimum the following penalty: expulsion for one full school semester and readmission on a probationary basis to the Fresh Start Alternative School Program for a minimum of sixty (60) days. Students in Pre-K – grade 4 who are found fighting will be administered corporal punishment or suspended 3 days out of school notwithstanding any other provision which may be contained in the policy manual or any other document.”

Continuing on the theme of school violence, Louis Melton, district 2 school board member, asked the board to consider adding more resource officers to Bastrop High, Delta Jr. High and Morehouse Jr. High and placing an officer at HV Adams and Pine Grove.

“Bastrop High is not safe at all. The building is two stories and we have one resource officer there,” Melton said. “If something happens on the first floor and he is up on the second, it could take a while to get there. It is dangerous, and we need to do something. We need to start at an early age teaching children that law enforcement officers are not bad people.”

The 2017-2018 Revised School Year Consolidated Budget and the 2018-2019 School Year Consolidated Budget were both approved, as was an addendum to the Pupil Progression Plan. The addendum includes:

Students must score “C” or better in reading and math in kindergarten before promoting to first grade -a change from students must score 85% or better;

To qualify for class ranking, all high school honor students are required to complete successfully 24 units from the prescribed TOPS University Curriculum. In addition, each student must successfully complete a minimum of 14 honors classes selected from the curriculum – a change from 15 honors classes;

To be considered “Honors with Distinction,” students must successfully complete 14 honors classes – a change from 15;