(05/09/2001)
The Calhoun County Board of Education sustained an earlier decision by Superintendent Ron Blankenship, after a two and one-half hour Level III grievance hearing Monday night. The case was brought by five Arnoldsburg School parents. Blankenship said the hearing was related to "alleged harassment of certain students in the MicroSociety program."

The parents contend there are problems with the delivery of the reward-punishment elements of the MicroSociety program at the school. The hearing was not open to the public, a decision made by the complainants. Principal Sheri Graham attended the hearing.

Arnoldsburg school parents Brenda Holcomb, Lisa Carpenter, Earl Stafford, Kerri Bourne and Wavalene McCoy have been filing citizen's appeals with the school system alleging "discrimination, segregation, harassment and excessive punishment" related to the issuance of B-Bucks in the MicroSociety program.

Blankenship made a decision on March 15th at Level II hearing that the use of B-Bucks as a reward and punishment in the lunch room be discontinued, according to Brenda Holcomb. He denied a request that Principal Sheri Graham be terminated.

"If you did not have your B-Bucks with you in the lunch room, you had to go to another table and recess was taken away or limited," according to Holcomb. Holcomb says she will continue with her case to the State Superintendent of Schools, although it appears the MicroSociety grant program is ending at the school.

Holcomb says she has a petition with 136 signatures opposing the program. Principal Graham and other Arnoldsburg School parents have supported the program and believe it is a worthy experience for children.

Holcomb, representing herself and two other parents, appeared before the school board over a year ago, to complain about the MicroSociety program and Principal Graham. Graham responded with threats of a lawsuit against the three parents, claiming their behavior was slanderous to her.

Graham recently brought assault charges against another parent who she claims accosted her on school property.


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