Henderson students can now report bullying anonymously through a new online tool. The school board got its first look at the website during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening. Assistant Superintendent of Student Operations Shannon Bennett said the website is an attempt to simplify the process of receiving reports of bullying in the district.

“That’s the purpose of us putting this together,” said Bennett, “to make it really, really easy for students. It allows students to report incidents quickly and confidentially.”

A link to the webform is located on the district’s website. Currently, students can find the link under the “Departments” menu.

Trustee Jean Williams asked if there was a way to place a link directly on the main page to make it easier to find the form.

“Absolutely,” replied Bennett. “We can definitely make that happen.”

Superintendent Dr. Thurston Lamb said both district administrators and campus principals are notified when someone submits a report.

The board also approved two equipment purchases as a part of a $300,000 grant for vocational instruction at the high school. Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Stephanie Bonneau told the board that the district will purchase 15 welding stations and several welding machines totaling around $120,000. The East Texas Council of Government (ETCOG) will eventually reimburse the funds once the receipts have been filed. 

“The district was awarded the grant back in February,” said Bonneau. It was a cooperative effort between ETCOG and the Henderson Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO). The organizations, which identified a shortage of welders in the region, are providing $150,000 each to help teach welding to high school students. HEDCO has purchased its portion of the new equipment directly and provided it to the school.

In other business, the board:

Approved the minutes of the Sept. 10, board meeting.

Approved the financial report for September 2019.

Approved a renewal of the district’s investment policy and strategy.

Nominated Drew Butler and Denny Eby to serve on the Rusk County Appraisal District’s board. Trustee Jon Johnson, who currently serves on the board, and another member both have terms ending in December, opening two vacancies. Johnson said once all the nominations are received, the appraisal district with ask the school board to cast votes for the candidates.

Set the next monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. for Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Held a closed-door session to discuss a personnel issue. 

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