Deputy Decanter hired as new SRO

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Deputy Tommy Decanter with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, who was recently hired as the new school resource officer (SRO) at Clarksburg School, was introduced to the South Carroll Board of Education at the Jan. 21 meeting.

Decanter was hired by Director of Schools Lex Suite and was one of a few officers referred for the job by Sheriff Andy Dickson after former SRO Terry Dickey retired from the Sheriff’s Department.

Decanter, who has been serving as a court officer for the past five years, started as SRO on Jan. 4 and said he is really excited about his new position.

“I’m already hearing good things about him,” said board chairman Corey Bartholomew.

A Carroll County native and 1987 graduate of Huntingdon High School, Decanter has been serving with the Sheriff’s Department for the past 25 years.

The board unanimously acknowledged Decanter’s hiring as part of the consent agenda.

• • •

In other business:

•Suite informed the board that basketball homecoming ceremonies will be held at the new gym on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m., though no games will played that night. In addition to the naming of the homecoming court and queen, Suite said there will also be performances by the cheerleading squad, who have not been allowed to cheer at games due to TSSAA COVID rules. Suite also said that a special ceremony would be held in honor and memory of senior student and Lady Rockets basketball player Emily Peterson, who was killed in a tragic automobile accident back in October.

•The board was reminded that a board work session has been scheduled for 5:30 before the Feb. 18 regular board meeting.

•The 2021-22 school calendar was approved.

•The board approved the district’s seven-year Safety and Health Program Plan through TOSHA.

•The board gave second-reading approval to board policy updates regarding school board meetings, school district records, tobacco-free schools, district water testing, insurance management, basic program, parent and family engagement, graduation activities, sick leave, personal and professional leave, long-term leaves of absence, interrogations and searches, and bus safety conduct.

•The board passed a board policy update extending paid COVID-19-related sick leave for district employees. Suite said they currently have two employees in quarantine.

•A board policy update regarding charter school applications was approved on a first reading.

•The board voted to table the first reading on a board policy update regarding zero tolerance offenses. The new policy would add instances of assault resulting in bodily injury to the school’s list of zero tolerance offenses. Board member Donna McDaniel-Cox said that assault by a student on a teacher or administrator should be a zero tolerance offense, even if it does not result in an injury, and the board agreed that some legal references should be looked into before a decision is made.

•The board passed a board policy update on physical examinations and immunizations on a first reading.

•The board approved the district’s and school’s annual audit reports for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Suite advised the board that there was only one finding on the issue of segregation of duties – a finding small school systems often receive. Suite credited former Director of Schools Dr. Tony Tucker and office staff for good management.

•Board members were given annual evaluation forms for the director of schools, and Suite advised them they should fill them out and submit them before the February meeting.

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