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Jackson BOE hears facilities request from Blackbears

February 22, 2008
RIPLEY — Jackson County Board of Education heard a request Thursday from the Jackson County Blackbears to use the Ripley High facilities for home games.

Kelli-Jo Devereux presented information about the newly formed semi-professional football team. She said while the county offers many programs for youth, little is done to occupy young people once they graduate. Devereux called that period a “transitional stage in life” and referred to those who have fallen into drug or alcohol use.

The team consists of “young men from all walks of life,” including rival high schools who are now working together on the sports field, she said. Devereux said the team will not be operating for profit and any money beyond what is required to keep the team running will be given back to the community. She offered to let the boosters sell concessions at the games to benefit the students of the school.

In addition, she said each player has signed a contract agreeing to adhere to the team’s stance on drug and alcohol use, to participate in the community when called upon and to conduct themselves in a proper manner both on and off the field. Waivers have been signed by players and their families to release the school and the board of education from any liability in the event of an injury.

Other teams which share a similar philosophy and code of conduct have been sought for the team to play.

The Jackson County Blackbears have been practicing on the field at Ripley High and, if allowed to call Memorial Stadium their home field, would play four or five home games there this year.

Steve Wedge, board member, said he would like to see a copy of the liability waivers signed by the teams. Board member Jack Wiseman was concerned about having ambulance service on hand during games.

No decision was made by the board at the meeting as the item was not included on the agenda for a vote.

? The board approved changes to the school calendar in light of recent snow days. March 6 and June 2, which were originally early-dismissal days, will now be full instructional days. June 6 will now be the final day for students and June 10 will be the final day for teachers.

? Increases in the price of adult meals in schools were approved. Breakfast is up 50 cents from $2 to $2.50. An additional 25 cents has been added to lunches, taking the price from $2.75 to $3. The changes will go into effect March 1.


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