The Columbia County school board adopted a new policy on Wednesday that sets guidelines for when teachers and administrators may restrain students.
The policy also calls for having crisis teams at each school trained to confront students who may hurt themselves or others.
Deputy Superintendent San-dra Carraway said the policy, in essence, trains school personnel to use multiple alternatives for calming an unruly student before resorting to physical restraint.
The training will be conducted annually and officials hope to include teachers who are not designated members of a crisis team, Carraway said.
Though a state mandate required the school board to accept the policy, many felt it was a bad move.
"I think this policy is going to get us in trouble," board chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said.
Buccafusco referred to it as a "lawsuit waiting to be challenged."
Board attorney Pete Fletcher also doesn't like the policy. He believes it might scare some untrained teachers into allowing students to engage in inappropriate behavior without stepping in for fear of being sued.
Fletcher encouraged school officials to train as many educators as possible.
"That's going to be the really big component," he said. "If somebody decides to challenge ... they're going to be looking if we employed these techniques."
Also at the meeting, school officials established a timeline for the sale of bonds to fund school construction projects.
The bonds likely will go on sale Nov. 8 with the hopes of raising about $35 million for construction of several replacement schools in the county. Investors will be paid with revenues from a 1-percent sales tax package voters approved during the July primary election.
The first school scheduled to benefit from the bond sale will be Columbia Middle. School officials are looking for a new site for the school on Columbia Road with the hopes of finishing construction by the start of the 2012 school year.
The current site for Columbia Middle will be used by the school system's transportation and nutrition services departments.
Other schools also scheduled to get new buildings with proceeds from the bond sale are Evans Elementary, Martinez Elementary and the system's alternative school in Grovetown, though the bond won't cover the entire expense for those projects.
In addition to new schools, bond money will be used to pay for roofing projects, athletic facilities upgrades, auditorium upgrades, ventilation work at Harlem High School, new buses and upgraded technology.
Following the meeting, Grovetown High School Prin-cipal Penny Jackson noted that her school won its appeal to the state for failing to make adequate yearly progress.
Jackson said the school had missed making AYP due to one student failing math and was four short for meeting the attendance benchmark.
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