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up the American flag because our country represents freedom – and our own country’s schools are trying to take that away,” Elkhatib said, adding, “I have lived half my life in another country and I am having to explain this to Americans that have lived here their whole life – that is very sad,” he stated.
Elkhatib referenced the pants that he wore to the meeting, noting the pants featured an American flag print as a pattern rather than a logo or emblem. “The dress code allows patterns,” he told the Board.
He concluded, “There is no way that this can go on. There is no way that we can have freedom in this country. There is no way that we can teach our kids right from wrong if the first thing we say is that they cannot wear the flag,” he concluded.
Per Board of Education policy regarding public participation, the Board members did not address the speakers or situation at the meeting but shared that all parties who spoke would receive a written response from the BOE. Millage Rate Proposed
The Board proposed the yearly millage rate for individuals living within the Vidalia city limits in both Montgomery and Toombs Counties. The proposed millage rate for individuals who live in the city limits in Montgomery County is 14.852 mills, which is an increase of .342 mills. Through this proposed rate, individuals in Montgomery County will see a 2.36% property tax increase for Vidalia taxes. Meanwhile, the proposed millage rate for Toombs County remains at 14.852, because an increase is not necessary.
Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will not exceed 14.51 mills. Also, the proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is around $13.68; the proposed tax increase for a nonhomestead property of the same fair market value is around the same amount. Public hearings were held on September 14 and 21, and another will occur on Thursday, September 23, at 12 p.m. at J.R. Trippe Middle School. The millage rate will be adopted at the meeting following the hearing.
Hirings, Field Trips
Hired as Special Education paraprofessionals were: Dakota Husted for Vidalia High School, Kaitlin Colson for Sally D. Meadows, and Joenice Va’zquez Valentin and Teresas Brown for J.D. Dickerson.
Also, several field trips were approved for the Vidalia High School Technology Student Association and Health Occupations Students of America to several locations, including Clayton, Atlanta, Jekyll Island, and Washington, D.C., for leadership conferences.