BOE to vote on more security guards

February 18, 2019

HUNTINGTON — T he Cabell County Board of Education will vote whether to explore placing additional security guards at schools that do not have the man-trap entry for their building during its regular meeting Tuesday in Huntington.

The proposal by Superintendent of Schools Ryan Saxe would be in addition to the district’s existing contract for private security guards, like those present at the entrances of Cabell Midland and Huntington high schools.

A handful of older buildings — all elementary schools — do not have the double-doored mantrap main entrances, which are reinforced and remotely locked to deter intruders. Elementary schools that do not have mantraps in Cabell County include Nichols, Highlawn and Meadows.

The latter has been the scene of recent drama after Meadows Elementary’s Parent-Teacher Organization drafted a petition to the board last week that they have no confidence in Principal Connie Mize’s leadership, and called for the board to create a plan to improve safety at Meadows.

Their concern stems from a Jan. 16 incident in which a man who was being pursued by police was allowed into the school during class hours. He left and was arrested nearby, then prompting the school to go into lockdown mode.

The PTO has stated it plans to present its concerns to the board personally Tuesday night.

Mize has apparently been replaced at least temporarily at Meadows by substitute principal Mary Campbell, though the district did not comment on any personnel matter.

The agenda does outline paid suspensions for two yet-unnamed personnel employees beginning Jan. 14 and Jan. 14 “until the investigation is complete and a ruling issued.” It is not known if these suspensions are directly related to each other and/or the Meadows incident.

The board must declare the names of the employees publicly at Tuesday’s meeting before any vote can be taken.

In other business, the board may also approve a nearly $1.5 million contract with Apple Inc. Education to purchase additional laptops and iPads.

The purchase is a planned three-year, lease-to-own contract with yearly installments of $499,545.60. Funding is provided by state Step 7 money.

The Cabell County Board of Education meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at the district’s central office at 2850 5th Ave. Meetings are always open to the public.