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NAACP Branch Discusses Schools

News about school dominated remarks of Joseph Sutton, president of the Giles County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

At the Aug. 31 branch meeting, Sutton updated the group on the Giles County School System budget, teacher bonuses, principals and assistant principals, school renovation plan, incidents at Richland School and, effective July 1, the purchase of Martin Methodist College by the University of Tennessee system.

• “The Giles County Commission has passed its budget for 2021-22. The school system has a budget of $31.6 million. The full budget is $51 million. The commission moved eight cents around to take care of the deficit. The starting pay for sheriff’s deputies increased by more than 2 percent. Some, a few county leaders got a pay raise of 2 percent from the state.

• “Martin Methodist College no longer exists. It is now the University of Tennessee Southern. It became official July 1. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony that day. Many leaders were present - local, state, the president of UT and the governor of the state.”

• “Giles County teachers got a bonus in May of $500. Another bonus of $500 is proposed in the fall. The starting pay on the state salary schedule increased $2,000. There was no real pay raise for teachers.

“There is a new principal at Bridgeforth Middle School, a veteran educator but she has no administrative experience. Her name is Lori Hurd.

“There is a new principal and assistant principal at Elkton School. The new principal is Casey Lewis, who was assistant principal at Minor Hill Elementary.

“The School Board has finally gotten the report on the proposed renovation on their buildings. The report was due in June. It is 197 pages long, and it covers all the school buildings. This plan will take years to complete, and the estimated total cost is $91 million.”

• “Richland High School. A former teacher was arrested for changing a student’s grades. Secondly a young lady was chased and assaulted by some students on campus. She was a special needs student. There are no reports on how the students were disciplined, if any.”

On non school matters:

• The Giles County Commission approved the proposed marker on the Courthouse grounds to honor Pulaski native the late James M. Brown. The County Commission approved a settlement offer of $2 million in a court case. This was a class action case about probation against the county. As of July 12, the offer had not been approved by a judge.”

• “The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that the population of Giles County has increased to 30.400. In the next few months, the County Commission will address redistricting. Each district will be reviewed for any changes.”

• “The Community Advisory Council usually meets twice a month. Our Second Vice President Janice Tucker is the co-chairwoman of the committee. They are looking to honor Giles Countians who have made a big contribution to the county.

The Pulaski City Council approved the committee proposal to honor the Colored Troops of the Union Army that fought in Giles County in the Civil War. Fellow member Mrs. Vivian Sims and other branch members were part of this endeavor.

In other news, several Giles County Commission committees will meet in the next several weeks, among them the Redistricting Committee at 9 a.m., Sept. 14. The commission will meet at 9 a.m., Sept. 20.

In other business:

• Max Trotter said Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4577 in Pulaski has donated $500 to help flood victims in Waverly, Trotter is the branch treasurer.

• Hardin Franklin, a Pulaski City Councilman who reports on economic development for the NAACP branch, said more than one kind of rezoning will be sought for a residential development near Giles County Funeral Home.

• Regular monthly Giles County NAACP meetings are held the last Tuesday at 6 p.m. Masks are required at in-person gatherings.

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