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New security system at high school locks doors after bells

By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer/Photographer

The Johnson County School Board convened on Thursday, August 8, for their regular monthly meeting. All board members, with the exception of Howard Carlton, were present.
The first item on Augusts’ agenda was the consent agenda, which gained board approval. Following the approval of the consent agenda, Student School Board Representative Blake Robinson presented his monthly report to the board. Robinson excitedly reported that Joel Penton, a former five-time champion Ohio State Buckeye player who turned down a career in the NFL to instead devote his time to motivational speaking, will be visiting the students at JCHS on August 22 at 9:00 a.m. Penton speaks to students about self-esteem and peer pressure and how to achieve ones goals. The Johnson County Community Foundation donated the funds needed for the event.
The next item on the agenda was the request for an approval to transfer funds from the General Purpose School Fund to the school Federal Projects Fund for the fiscal year ending on June 20, 2014 and thereafter. It was the recommendation of the Federal Auditor that visited Johnson County Schools earlier this year that the funds be transferred in order to avoid a deficit. “If the transferred funds are ever used, they will be replaced by Federal dollars” said Director of School, Morris Woodring. The board approved the transfer of $150,000 from the General Purpose School Fund to the Federal Projects Fund.
Russell Robinson gave a short budget update to the board at the August meeting stating that Johnson County Schools ended the year with three million dollars in the bank after 20 million dollars in total revenue. Currently, the school district is in good financial standing.
Director of Schools Morris Woodring was next to give his report to the board. Woodring thanked Northeast Correctional Facility for the use of inmate crews that worked to complete various projects throughout the district over the summer. One project was the new walking trail at Laurel Elementary School. The trail is officially open for use and a ribbon cutting ceremony to honor the new addition to Laurel Elementary was held on August 13. JCHS also got a bit of a facelift this summer; the most noticeable being the new locking door system. Johnson County High School Principal Lisa Arnold reported that she has been fielding concerns from parents about the new system. Some parents fear that the locking doors could pose a hazard in an emergency situation; however, Arnold says these fears are unfounded. The new doors do lock automatically with each bell. Tardy students will be unable to enter the classroom after the doors are locked without first reporting to the office. However, students are never locked inside the classroom or the school. Students are free to exit at any time. The doors simply prevent anyone from entering the school or the classroom without authority but they never prohibit exiting.
After assurance that no further matters were to be called before the board, Board Chairman Gerald Buckles called the August meeting to a close.