SCHOOL BOARD PHOTO

Kayla Fleming/For the Times The Macon County Board of Education discussed policy updates at its meeting last Thursday evening.

The Macon County School Board did not take any action last Thursday evening with its previously-discussed intent to purchase agreement on property for the new elementary school. Macon County Director of Schools Tony Boles informed the board that he had requested an intent to purchase be drawn up but had not yet received it. The Board agreed to put the item on the agenda for their Feb. 25 meeting.

The board also voted to approve several policy revisions recommended by the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA), including one concerning students’ immunizations.

Board members Lionel Borders and Tim Case voted against the policy, which would allow parents to object to immunizations on religious grounds as long as there was not an epidemic or threat of an epidemic.

Case had previously asked Boles to check with TSBA to see if certain language could be removed from the policy. TSBA director of policy and staff attorney Jennifer White wrote a response to the question saying that, while the language does not have to be in the policy, “removing it … would not change the fact that there are only certain vaccine exemptions available under state law.”

Case told the Board, “When I joined the military… I swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Approving this … (with this language) implies that we, at some point in the future, could take somebody’s religious liberties away from them if they object to an immunization. I oppose it.”

The policy update ultimately passed, with the three other board members voting in favor.

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