SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
6 MAY 2022
Chairman Stoney Jackson opened the meeting asking Commissioner Tommy Pollard to offer prayer and lead the pledge. Minutes of 24 January 2022 were then moved for approval by Commissioner Erin Curry, seconded by Commissioner Joseph Sutton. Minutes approved.
First Agenda Item – Budget Amendment Line Item 141. Beth Moore-Sumners, Director Financial Management, spoke to the changes identifying the majority of those changes being within the individual line items. The budget line-item total of $672,997.43 remained unchanged. Commissioner Rodney Journey and Erin Curry moved for approval. Motion approved.
Second Agenda Item – Mr. Dale Berry spoke on the potential effects of a proposed Federal change to Title IX, which in the past has used a person’s status as male or female based on birth certificate information. The change would redefine the sexual identity to include among other means, sex-related characteristics, gender identity, language Mr. Berry called ambiguous. Mr. Berry cited his experience as an attorney in other states and later explained he would also be providing this information to Lewisburg. He gave examples of political use of funding to impose this potential ruling on schools, for example in Pennsylvania. His desire to speak to the committee, he said, was to make the committee aware of this process, and would like to have the committee go on record opposing it. Commissioner Reedy questioned if this is a proposed Federal ruling, could a state pre-empt such a ruling. Mr. Berry said the Federal government might say you can’t, but this is a traditional issue for the state. Chairman Jackson mentioned he had asked the county attorney to look into this. He mentioned the pronoun bill, HB2633, which had been approved at both TN chambers of the Tennessee legislature, but he wasn’t sure if Gov Lee had signed yet. That bill allows teachers to ignore the preferred pronouns of students in schools. He then asked Dr. Vicki Beard, School Superintendent, to address current situation in Giles Schools. She said bathrooms are being segregated in use by birth identity. Chairman Jackson said the county legislative body does not pass laws, and in any regard, this should go to the Legislative Committee, prior to the full commission. If a resolution is desired, the county attorney would draft such a resolution. A motion by Commissioner Judy Pruett to send to the Legislative Committee, seconded by Commissioner Joseph Sutton, was made. Roll call was made, with Judy Pruett, Brad Butler, Rodney Journey, Stoney Jackson, and Joseph Sutton voting yes and Mike Cesarini and Erin Curry voting no. The motion was approved 5 – 2.
With no old or new business, Commissioner Journey moved for adjournment, with Joseph Sutton seconding. Motion approved.
ATTENDEES: Members of the Committee – Commissioners Chairman Stoney Jackson, Joseph Sutton, Erin Curry, Judy Pruett, Brad Butler, Mike Cesarini, Rodney Journey; Other Commissioners – Terry Harwell, Larry Worsham, Harold Brooks, Tommy Pollard, Gayle Jones, David Wamble, Tim Risner, Roger Reedy, Bill Cary, Rose Brown, David Adams, Duane Jones, Joyce Woodard, Tracy Wilburn Other – County Executive Melissa Greene, Financial Management Beth Moore-Sumners, Nancy Griffin, Ambulance Roy Griggs, Assessor of Property Tommy Hyatt, and members of the public to include Dale Berry