Piggott schools make big changes to handbook and lunch debt

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - The Piggott High School handbook is getting several changes this year, that students and parents need to know about.

Among the changes are new disciplinary actions and rule amendments.

Interim Superintendent Barry DeHart said the school is making one of the changes to help alleviate lunch room debt.

"One of the things that has been a problem is our lunch room debt over the years," he said.  "It's an 8 to 10 thousand dollar debt each year."

He said the school is implementing a new policy that would ban students with $50 or more of debt from participating in any extra-curricular activities.

"We have lots of kids that play sports, they're in the band, they're cheerleaders, they're in all types of FBLA, FCLA, FFA, Spanish club, science club," he said.  "So, they want to do those things."

He said students whose parents are making steady payments on their debt or pay the debt in full would then once again be eligible to participate in these activities.

Another policy change going into effect this fall has to do with disciplinary action for students using their cell phones.

DeHart said any student caught using their phone in school outside of their lunch period will face one day of in school suspension on the first offense.

He said the second offense is punishable by three days of out of school suspension.

The third time a student is caught disobeying the cell phone rules they face five days of out of school suspension.

"There are so many things that kids can do now to go to different apps to find a math equation just in a split second," he said.   "It's hard for us to keep up with all the different technology that kids can use on their phones so, this hopefully will alleviate some of those problems."

The school is also doing away with valedictorian and salutatorian beginning with the incoming freshman class.

Now, any student who has above a 4.0-grade point average with no B's on their transcript will be eligible to speak at their graduation ceremony.

"The reason that we chose to do this is for our valedictorians and salutatorians, it became difficult," he said.  "If you're an athlete there are four classes that you do not get to take during that time so, it becomes really unfair as to the grade point averages."

DeHart said the incoming freshman class has 75 kids.

He predicts once the ceremony change occurs, around 3 or 4 of the first graduates will be eligible to speak at their graduation.

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