Changing with the times

Published 7:20 pm Friday, August 3, 2018

In just this past week, both the Beaufort County School system and the Beaufort County Board of Education took positive steps forward to evolve with the times. First, BCS administrators made changes to the code of student conduct policy in regards to technology use, illegal substances, student refusal of searches and students who engage in persistently dangerous behaviors, to more accurately reflect the current times we live in.

The section of the policy that covered the unauthorized use of technology was broadened to include student owned devices, prohibiting activities that would violate the student code of conduct or the law, including bullying or harassment on social media. While bullying is not a new phenomenon, being harassed on social media was not an issue as little as 10 years ago.

But it wasn’t just BCS making adjustments. On Tuesday, the BOE voted unanimously to adopt its agreement with the Beaufort County Sherriff’s Office to expand the agency’s School Resource Officer Program. Currently, the BCSO employs seven student resource officers, with the goal of the expansion is to have a student resource officer at each of the 13 BCS schools.

It wasn’t mentioned by either BCS or the BCSO, but one can’t help but think deadly school shootings, like at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last February, played a significant part in increasing the number of student resource officers. School shootings have sadly become more and more common in our recent times, and it’s good to see changes are being made for policy to evolve with the times.

Small, rural communities, such as Washington, can be resistant to change. So, that makes it all the more refreshing when changes, like the ones made by BCS and BOE, are made, along with the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners’ decision to replace the county’s old water-meter reading system with an Advanced Metering Infrastructure project in late July and the addition of free public Wi-Fi along the Washington waterfront.

It is forward thinking like this that modernizes Washington and makes it attractive for others to come make it their home. New residents are a positive. The biggest benefit goes to the local economy. More people in Washington means more people more business for all the shops, restaurants and businesses in town. Often new residents purchase older homes and plan to renovate. That means hardware stores and local tradesmen see an increase in work.

In short, changes to improve Washington and keep it current with the times serve to benefit everybody and can help the city thrive.

Keep it up Washington.