Covington’s Wednesday night policy proposal postponed, board member resigns

By Will Sanders

December 20, 2013

Will E Sanders

Staff Writer

COVINGTON — The public uproar by parents, students, teachers and coaches in Covington who were upset with a proposed policy change by the Covington Board of Education concerning Wednesday and Sunday after school activities last month has forced board members to re-evaluate the plan.

The measure, which sought to end sport activities and all other extracurricular functions by 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, came under sharp criticism during the board’s meeting last month when the policy received its first reading. At present the board’s policy stipulates such activities end no later than 7 p.m.

During the board’s monthly meeting Thursday, however, the second reading of the policy was suspended.

Now, Superintendent David Larson and board members, including board President Dr. W. Dean Pond, will re-evaluate the policy before it comes before the board in the future — if it does at all.

No definite answer was given at the meeting when the policy might be voted on again, but it would not be any sooner than the board’s annual organizational and monthly meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Revisions to the Wednesday Night Policy were proposed and later passed a second reading by the board in October in a 3-2 vote, but afterward the board’s legal counsel later ruled the passage of those revisions were nullified — meaning the policy would once again need to undergo two readings.

The decision not to conduct a second reading of the policy Thursday night follows both a work session held earlier this month concerning the proposal and the sudden resignation of board member Jon Furrow, who was noticeably absent from Thursday’s meeting.

Furrow, along with fellow board members Alex Reck and Brad Hall, were the majority votes in the October passage of the policy before it was nullified. Pond and board member Lee Harmon voted against the measure in October.

Larson thanked Furrow for his service to the board but gave no other explanation for the resignation except to say that Furrow “felt it was the right time to step down.” The board now has 30 days to appoint a new board member.

Addressing the concerns by the public involving the Wednesday Night Policy, Larson said the board will re-examine the policy and its language before moving forward, noting that there was “a lot of misunderstanding” involving the proposed policy.

“This was never met to be punitive to our programs,” the superintendent stated.

Pond reassured the board and public by promising the policy was never met to cause public disagreement.

“Our intention all along was to do what was best for the kids,” Pond said. “We have to keep in mind what is best for the kids in the community. … We are all trying to do what is right.”

In the meantime, Larson said he and the board will continue to “work on the language” of the policy.