CCSD school board candidates lay out plans for future

CCSD school board candidates lay out plans for future

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Changes in the school system are coming in Charleston County schools and parents there will be the ones helping make the decisions.

Six of the nine Charleston County Consolidated School Board candidates talked about their plans for the future Thursday night. The candidates are each competing for one of the five open seats.

"I want to hear from the candidates specifically what they would do on day one," Paula Orr, a Charleston County School District mom said.

Parents like Orr and community members came out Thursday night to hear what candidates are  hoping to do once they get in office.

But it was the students in the crowd who asked most of the questions, including what the candidates' positions were when it came to having resource officers in schools.

"I see them as a threat to all students more so in safety because that puts a shield and light on the kids that he's here to use his body stick," candidate Tony Lewis said.

"They are trained by the school district and too many times the teachers and principles are relying on cops to handle discipline," candidate Chris Collins said. "They are not here to do disciple at all. The only time police officer is being used is when a crime is committed."

"It's a very simple and primary role, one to protect the school from intrusion and if intrusion were to take place to secure it to keep students safe, not to police the students, not to act in roles that are contrary to that contract," candidate Michael Miller said.

Candidates also got to say what changes they want to see in the school district's policy.

"We need to have a culturally competent staff who understand who they are teaching and can bring all kinds of kids together in a classroom to understand each other. That's also equally important," candidate Priscilla Jeffrey said.

"There should not be a policy in a manual that is out of state with federal or state law," candidate Gary Leonard said. "That should be a given because the people implementing that policy need to be current on what it is and it's dependent on the school district to make sure those policies remain up to date."

Voters will select the new school board members in November.

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