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County schools adopt religious freedom policy

Religious freedom will be allowed in the Lincoln County SchoolDistrict as long as actions are considered constitutional, saidschool board members last night.

“We will state before every ball game that we disagree with theSupreme Court’s ruling, but we will follow the law,” saidSuperintendent Perry Miller about a policy the board adoptedMonday.

The policy, which will be read over the public address systembefore athletic events, states that the school district encouragesstudents to exercise their constitutional rights.

The policy also emphasizes to students that the Supreme Court’sruling, which prohibited prayer over public address systems beforeathletic events, in no way diminishes the right of students to prayin school.

In other matters, school board members decided to amend the longrange building plan for the district in order to reflect upcomingroofing projects at all schools.

Board members say the much-needed improvements to roofs in theschool district is a feasible project because of funding from othersources.

“It’s my understanding that the Mississippi Public SchoolBuilding Funds will pay for almost all of it,” said Miller.

The school board also looked at revising the athletic admissionspolicy concerning the age for senior citizens. Board membersallotted to allow anyone 62 years old or older free entry intoathletic events.

In employee matters, Enterprise Girls Basketball Coach BillyVaughn was chosen to serve as boys basketball coach as well thisyear. The school was unable to find a replacement for former boyscoach Andrew Smithie, so Vaughn took on both tasks. He will havethe option of keeping both jobs or going back to coaching one teamnext year.

Board members also decided to approve the lease of an easementto Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association, if the termsof the agreement are met and approved by the Secretary of State’soffice, reported Transportation Director Stan Long.

The easement is located near the construction site of a newsubstation on Highway 550. The substation, under construction sinceMarch, will help SWMS EPA provide more advanced service tocustomers in Lincoln, Jefferson and Franklin Counties.

The power company must follow procedures, including having asurvey and appraisal conducted, in order to obtain theright-of-way. The area will also be retainable by the schooldistrict if no longer needed by the power company.

The next scheduled school board meeting has been changed fromSept. 4 to Sept. 5, due to the Labor Day holiday. The meeting willbe held at 5:30 p.m. at the central office on Monticello Street,and is open to the public.