‘Betsy Book Bus’ nearing goal, BOE receives feedback on policy

Published 4:05 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Don’t expect a summer slide when it comes to reading in the community.

Elizabethton City Schools is continuing to make progress on the Betsy Book Bus, a mobile library that will serve children and teens in different Elizabethton communities.

The Board of Education received an update on the project during Tuesday’s meeting and learned the process to have a mobile library is nearing completion.

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According to school officials, this is the last week for the “Betsy Book Bus Book Drive” for students — an initiative to encourage students to bring in gently used books from ages birth to 19 years old for the bus.

ECS is looking to join Johnson City, Greeneville, Greene County Schools and others across the state that already have a library on the road. The program is formed in partnership between the school system, Governor’s Books from Birth, Foundation, Imagination Library and First Tennessee Development District.

Bekah Price, public relations coordinator for the system, mentioned during Tuesday’s meeting that the system is within $6,000 of achieving the $15,000 projected goal.

Community sponsors are invited to partnership in the project. With a bus expected to be decommissioned in April, Price added the goal is to receive donations by the end of March to make sure all items are taken care of before hitting the streets around June or July of this year.

For more information on the initiative or how to donate monetary or with books, visit the Elizabethton City Schools Facebook page or contact Central Office.


In other business during Tuesday’s BOE meeting, the item of corporal punishment was discussed with Tom Johnson speaking to the board.

Johnson, a representative with the Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline, spoke about the school’s policy regarding corporal punishment. The policy gives any principal, teacher or assistant principal the ability to use the punishment if it is deemed necessary for the discipline of a child. According to the policy, corporal punishment is only for “spanking” and any other physical punishment is forbidden. Following an amendment by BOE member Phil Isaacs, a parent or guardian must be notified by the use of corporal punishment.

The policy passed on a first reading through the board during last month’s meeting by a 3-1 margin with BOE member Susan Peters voting nay and Tyler Fleming being absent. With the policy now on the books, Johnson talked about the concerns of corporal punishment.

With a paddle in hand, Johnson added he hoped that all resources and discussions would be made available during any policy talks and that he hopes to see the system take a stance that steers clear from corporal punishment in the future.