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School board serenaded by elementary school children at Tuesday meeting

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Students from Brookhaven Elementary School dress up in red, white and blue and sing patriotic songs to open Tuesday night's school board meeting.

DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Students from Brookhaven Elementary School dress up in red, white and blue and sing patriotic songs to open Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

The Brookhaven School District Board of Trustees meeting opened Tuesday night with renditions of “American the Beautiful” and “Let Freedom Ring” presented by students from Brookhaven Elementary School as parents and other spectators hummed along.

The board held Tuesday night’s meeting at the Brookhaven Technical Center Culinary Arts Center to accommodate the large group of students and families.

After Board President Willie Harrison’s call to order, Brookhaven branch representative of the NAACP, Beretta Character addressed the board on a list of expectations that the NAACP has for the school board.

“We still have a ways to go to get the school board to work with African American members of the community,” Character said. “While we have seen some changes, we expect more.”

Character cited the number of African American students that are suspended or expelled in relation to students of other races, as evidence of an unfair disciplinary pattern by the school board.

Soon thereafter, the board voted to approve five agenda items, which included:

• A donation from Trustmark Bank to the Alexander Junior High School library in the amount of $500.

• Fundraisers for Brookhaven High School soccer, including a fish fry dinner and the sale of T-shirts and sweats.

• Funding for the Forensics and Debate Team to travel to Lafayette, La., to participate in a speech and debate tournament.

• The transfer of three students to the Brookhaven School District.

Interim-Superintendent Stephanie Henderson then brought a rural and low-income school program application and test security plan for the district to the board’s attention, which the board passed.

Brookhaven School District Director of Finance Susan Cochran presented the board with a financial review for the month of September, which saw a fund balance of close to $16.2 million by month’s end.

Finally, Henderson reminded the board about a school board tour which will take board members on a tour of district schools Thursday.