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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Concern raised over football injury
At city school board meeting

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Shelby and Orlando White told the Martinsville School Board on Monday night that their son E.J. suffered a concussion in a middle school football game and no ambulance was on hand at the game.

They and a number of others who spoke during a time for public comment asked the school board to make sure an ambulance or trained personnel are on hand at games to respond in case of injury.

She said E.J. has had some memory loss and headache.

“The next child might not be as lucky as mine,” Shelby White said.

Orlando White said he was several hundred miles away from home on a job when his wife phoned him crying when E.J. was hurt. He asked the school board to put themselves in his place. “You’re helpless. I’m saying to myself, ‘Where’s the ambulance?’”

Schools Superintendent Pam Heath said in an interview after the meeting that the school division already has begun having medically trained staff on hand at games. She said that in the case of E.J., from the time a call was placed for medical help to the time Stone Ambulance arrived was 10 minutes. She also said that even if an ambulance had been assigned to the game, there was no guarantee it would have been there, because it would have left if it had received another call.

In other business, the school board heard reports from several teachers and a student about various student projects that have taken place or are underway as part of the school division’s project-based

learning initiative. They talked about the excitement of students in discussing, researching and doing projects to address real problems in their schools or the community and publicly presenting their findings.

“We’ve got a lot of exciting things going on,” said Angilee Downing, assistant superintendent of instruction.

Projects included making lemonade on a hot day at school, researching jobs available for youths in the community, learning about the cultures of other countries, building dog houses, interdisciplinary projects, doing paintings to encourage adoption of SPCA animals, and many others.

The board also:

• Voted to opt out of the Virginia Retirement System — Virginia Local Disability Program.

• Approved updates to school board policies dealing with student suspension/expulsion.

• Heard an update on health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.

• Made these appointments: Audrey Franklin, elementary teacher at Albert Harris; Jennifer Goins, elementary teacher at Albert Harris; Yvonne Evans, special education teacher at Clearview Learning Center; and appointed the following coaches: Harvey Wade, Martinsville High School, coordinator for varsity football; Debra Easley, MHS, co-head coach, varsity girls tennis; Rebecca Crabtree, MHS, co-head coach varsity girls tennis; Brian Chitwood, MHS, assistant coach varsity boys baseball; Vincent Dandridge, MHS, assistant coach varsity boys basketball; Lynn Murphy, assistant coach varsity girls soccer, MHS; Ryan Brent, Martinsville Middle School, head coach boys soccer; Joy Johnston, MMS, head coach, girls soccer; Nathaniel Hairston, MMS, head coach wrestling; Logan Harr, MMS, assistant coach, football; Joseph Tyree, MHS, head coach junior varsity football; Michael Welch, MHS, head coach, junior varsity boys soccer.

• Naomi Hodge Muse, president of the Martinsville-Henry County NAACP, again requested that some school bus aides who hadn’t been paid for several months, be paid. Heath and School Board Chairman Robert Williams said the division has investigated and they are not due additional pay because the work they did was part of their duties.

• Chad Martin said 200 to 300 people have signed petitions requesting that more minority educators be hired in the school division. He gave the school division contact information for several historically black colleges and universities.


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