School board Honors Ben Childs and eliminates corporal punishment from school policies

By Linton Johnson

The paddle will be a relic of the past when Elbert County students return to the classroom on August 1.
The Elbert County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to remove corporal punishment from local school policies, thus eliminating paddling of students in the future. Superintendent Chuck Bell made the recommendation to board members.
“Moving forward, and we’ve talked quite a bit about this, we would like to move forward with an understanding that our approach to school discipline is going to be such that we’re not going to use paddling of students as a means of discipline for violations of the student code of conduct,” Bell said.
Elbert County joins the vast majority of school districts that have already eliminated corporal punishment in recent years, Bell said.
In other business Monday, the board heard a financial report from Chief Financial Officer Ben Childs, who said the school district finished fiscal year 2018 in the black, taking in $28.5 million in revenue against $26.7 million in total expenses. It was Childs’ final report to the board as he recently took a position as vice president of Harris School Solutions, which produces software and provides support to schools and districts for financial, education and nutrition solutions.
Board chairman Ben Baker commended Childs on his contributions to the school district’s improved financial condition during his eight years as CFO, including a clean audit this year.

“When he came to us eight years ago, the school system had a $550,000 deficit, in the red and in real turmoil financially,” Baker said. “Even though I’d like to say the board might take a little credit for it, I’ll give Mr. Childs most of the credit for getting our finances in order, understanding school finances, with a lot of good advice. You’re going to be missed dearly, and we appreciate everything you’ve done.”
The board voted to hire Keith Martin as the district’s new CFO. An experienced school financial manager, Martin comes to Elbert County from Honea Path, S.C.

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