The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 12, 2008

Teachers’ tattoos to be part of R-8 dress-code discussion

By Melissa Dunson

Tattoos on teachers will be one of the first topics of conversation when the Joplin R-8 Board of Education meets Tuesday.

R-8 administrators will bring up the issue of dress codes, and specifically visible tattoos, for board action.

Superintendent C.J. Huff said Friday that more than one person has raised the question with administrators. He said it could become more of an issue as the district hires young teachers from a generation that is typically more comfortable with tattoos.

Another issue the board plans to discuss during the public work session Tuesday is its residency policy, which allows students from other districts to pay tuition to attend Joplin R-8 schools.

Huff said the discussion is prompted by space issues and concerns about class size. He said about a dozen students from outside the district now pay to attend Joplin schools. He said that if the board decides to discontinue that policy, he would like to see those current students “grandfathered in” so they can continue to attend Joplin schools.

Huff said that if the district gets more space, the board could revise the policy to accept outside students again.

During the regular meeting that follows the work session, the board will deal with several bids and change orders for construction projects.

Changing the width of the new bus barn’s doors will add $20,692 to the project, while making 15 minor changes to the new South Middle School will save the district $29,000. Another change order for work on an elementary school will cost the district $36,446, with $19,000 of that being spent to remove “unsuitable” soil from the Eastmorland Elementary lot.

The board also will consider accepting a variety of bids for construction work and supplies, including the final bid for widening 20th Street in front of the new East Middle School. Asbell Excavating in Carl Junction submitted the low bid of $180,730.

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A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

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