George: Discipline issue handled swiftly

BEVERLY – Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Terry George said reports of a student discipline issue at Beverly Elementary School were handled swiftly and in accordance with state policy.

The Inter-Mountain fielded phone calls Wednesday from parents saying a “disruptive student at Beverly Elementary School was bringing a knife to school, and that the student was throwing pencils at the teacher and other students.”

Callers also said “students at that school were afraid and did not know how to deal with the student.” They indicated “school officials including the principal and guidance counselor were made aware of the situation, but one one was taking them serious(ly).”

George told The Inter-Mountain he would look into the issue, and called back saying he spoke with Beverly Elementary School principal Paul Zickefoose and the person who is in charge at the school during Zickefoose’s absence. George declined to release that employee’s name.

“There was no reported threat made against Mr. Zickefoose,” George said. “There was a (Beverly Elementary School) student with a Swiss Army knife that was in his backpack. His backpack was in his locker. Another student informed the teacher that the student had the knife. This incident happened last Friday.”

George said Zickefoose called the student’s parents and appropriate disciplinary action was taken.

George said the same student was in school Monday when another incident happened.

“No pencil was thrown at anyone,” George said. “The student tossed a pencil into the air. He also used inappropriate language. Two teachers were eyewitnesses to that incident. Disciplinary action was again taken.”

George said all incidents were handled in the school, at the school level.

“Most incidents like this do not come to the county office,” George said. “School principals handle level one and level two incidents. Level three and level four incidents come to the board office. This is in accordance with state board policy.”

George said he believes the incidents were handled at the school level swiftly by the principal.

“Beverly Elementary School offers its students a safe environment conducive to learning,” George said.