The Letcher County Board of Education has voted to purchase a security system for Letcher County Central High School.
Letcher School Supt. Tony Sergent said the security system is a “money saving opportunity” when compared to the $64,000 spent by the system last school year to provide 24-hour-a-day security guards at the high school.
“We would like to cut that in half,” said Sergent. “I feel like it is something that is necessary to do to save us quite a bit of money.”
In the past, a full-time security guard worked 40 hours a week and substitute security guards worked 48 hours on weekends.
“We’re not eliminating it completely, we’re just cutting down the number of hours a week that we have them there,” Sergent said during a special meeting held September 11. “The vehicle is always parked in front of the school so you would always think there was one there and there may be at certain times. We’re not going to have them 24 hours a day, seven days a week like we did before and use a security system to compensate for that.”
The board will pay Lewis Electric Security Systems of Whitesburg $4,985 for the new system.
In other business, the board approved LCC’s request to take the senior class to New York City between March 30 and April 3.
“I have taken this trip numerous times and I tell you the joy you see on these students’ faces when they get to go and see the things they study about but may not get to see otherwise is truly rewarding,” said LCC Asst. Principal Scottie Billiter.
The trip usually includes a Broadway play and a cruise on the Hudson and East rivers. Students also visit Central Park, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center.
The cost is $1,000 per student, and about 70 of the 189 seniors are interested in going on the trip, said Billiter.
Board Chairman Robert Kiser asked Billiter about raising funds for the senior trip as the activity relates to recently revised-regulations in the “Accounting Procedures for School Activity Funds” handbook, referred to as the Redbook.
Billiter said that in previous years, class sponsors kept track of how much money each student raised.
Sergent said that based on Redbook regulations that went into effect July 1, fundraising effort of an individual student is no longer allowed.
“The minute you raise the first dollar in the name of the senior trip, if there are 220 seniors they are all now eligible to go,” said Sergent. “And they can go whether they have raised any money or not.”
Board Member Dr. Sam Quillen Jr. said the new regulation leaves individual students without any responsibility to help raise funds.
“That is ridiculous,” said Quillen. “I’m sure those kids and the parents you met with will work hard for this. This is not my point. My point is putting out the idea in any form that you are entitled to something for doing nothing.
Kiser suggested that a deadline be set for when students can sign up to go on the senior trip. Billiter said there would be a deadline, and that students will begin making payments by the end of September.