EC may add full-time resource officer

By Gary Huffenberger -

East Clinton Superintendent Eric Magee updates the school board.

East Clinton Superintendent Eric Magee updates the school board.

LEES CREEK — East Clinton Local Schools leaders will consider adding a full-time school resource officer, who would be a deputy with the county sheriff’s office.

The matter was raised Tuesday night by East Clinton Superintendent Eric Magee at the monthly board of education meeting. The officer, Magee said, would spend 40 hours a week in the district’s four school buildings and three campuses.

Based upon a contract between the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and Clinton-Massie Local Schools for a school resource officer, East Clinton could expect to pay about $47,600 for the position, said Magee.

Board of Education President Linda Compton said she would like to see a job description of what the officer would do on a day-to-day basis, apart from incidents that call for a trained officer.

Board member Mark Garen asked whether the officer would wear a gun. Magee said yes. The superintendent added he does not support arming teachers.

Board member Tim Starkey recommended Magee talk with area school districts that already have a resource officer — Clinton-Massie and Wilmington City Schools — for input and insight. The board member also said he “definitely” thinks an officer in the schools is something to consider.

As a next step, Magee said he will “pursue specifics” with the sheriff.

During his superintendent’s report, Magee said a recent EPA inspection of East Clinton facilities found that the football field does not have a septic system.

“It’s basically a line that runs to the storm drains and then out into the ditch across the field. So, there is no septic system down there,” Magee reported.

The EPA’s recommendation at this juncture is for the school to install a pump station that would pump wastewater from the football stadium up to the existing system and go through the filtering process.

The estimated price tag is $55,000. The superintendent said the septic system should be in place prior to the 2016 football season.

Several parents spoke during public participation about their busing concerns, in particular a particular bus driver and the length of walking to a bus stop.

One mother — names won’t be used so as not to identify children — said her two children walk more than a mile to get on their bus. She also said one of them was temporarily “kicked off” the bus for allegedly damaging a seat. The write-up about the incident stated there was no doubt the child was responsible because that child is the only one who sits there.

The mother wondered how that could be possible, given the bus has two routes.

Another parent is concerned the students’ activities on the bus are being “nitpicked.”

But a student who rides the bus in question and who attended the board meeting spoke and was not critical of the driver.

Compton said it sounds like there are problems that need to be addressed. And Magee encouraged those with bus-related concerns to contact the district immediately so the bus video can be accessed for evidence.

The board meeting was held at the middle school media center and East Clinton Middle School Counselor Valerie Stuckey gave a report.

In her third year as the school’s counselor, she said she has probably seen a higher percentage of needs among the middle school students this year, adding there is “just a lot of hurting going on with these kids.” There are two members of the middle school staff with cancer, she said.

Stuckey also said that new Clinton County Juvenile Court Judge Chad L. Carey has “made it not pleasant to be in front of his court, and they [students] know it. I think it will improve our attendance and probably already has.”

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

East Clinton Superintendent Eric Magee updates the school board. Clinton Superintendent Eric Magee updates the school board.

By Gary Huffenberger