Marty Naylor, a father of a middle school student at Douglas Middle School, spoke with the Marshall County Board of Education on the possibility of getting lockers installed on their campus.
Before Naylor addressed the board, Terry Kennamer, the board president, asked if he had received the policy on addressing the Board. In the policy, you are only allowed to speak to the Board for three minutes.
Kennamer asked for the time to be set and told Naylor he could begin.
Naylor said his daughter is a 7th grader at Douglas Middle School and he brought this question up to the Board last year. He questioned the size of the backpacks and the lack of lockers. He has asked previously when the lockers were removed with no response. Someone at the campus told him that the reason the lockers were removed was because they were in disrepair.
He would like to know what the plan is for replacing the lockers and if it had already been funded. If it has been funded, where is the money that was supposed to be used for the replacement? It has been recommended that the students do not carry a backpack that exceeds 20 percent of their body weight, but some of the younger students are carrying backpacks that way upwards of 25 pounds.
He said their backpack include items such as toiletries, maybe a lunch box and school necessities which makes them heavy. He said that students do not feel comfortable leaving their personal belongings in areas that are open to other students.
His question to the Board is what is the plan of action for lockers at Douglas Middle School.
Kennamer said the School Board will take his question under advisement and get back with Naylor when they come up with an answer.
Kennamer questioned what the students were required to carry. He believed that the only material that needed to be carried was a three-ring binder.
Naylor told the Goard that he would gladly have his daughter get her backpack and show the members what all was in hers. He knows that they were required to carry a three-ring binder for all of their classes along with pencils, paper and other items that are used during the school period. This three-ring binder is supposed to be large enough to hold all the materials for all of their classes.
He said the school should be providing lockers so that the students do not have to carry heavy backpacks. He went on to address that the backpack is just her school items. That does not include those students in extracurricular activities.
He gave an example of a young lady who participated in a sport. He said this student had her backpack, a gym bag, a cheerleading bag, a basketball bag, a volleyball bag and a purse. He wanted to make clear that he knew a purse is not required, but as they are young teenagers, that is one item they like to carry.
Superintended Cindy Wigley asked one of the personnel from Douglas Middle School if the school had lockers in the gym for the items that can be used for gym. The person she asked responded by letting her know that there were gym lockers available.
Naylor was quick to add that those lockers are shared by two students at a time. He said his daughter shares a locker and that is the reason he knows that.
Kennamer said they would look into the situation.