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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Blytheville School Board looking to allow students with criminal records complete schooling virtuall

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark With virtual schooling here to stay, the Blytheville School Board is reviewing their policies.

To allow students with criminal records to continue their education virtually while their case is in the court system.

“One of the policies that was brought up was do we have anything in place that addresses students coming back to us,” says Blytheville School District Superintendent Bobby Ashley. “Let’s say after being released and them having their court date. Now that we have virtual, that is the best option.”

Ashley says they’ve had a policy in place for six years, that addresses situations when a student commits a crime off campus.

He says a student is not allowed back at school while their case is in the courts.

Before, the district and guardian would work out a homebound way for the student to continue schooling while their case is in court or for however long they were expelled from campus.

Ashely says say’s it’s about respecting the situation.

“A lot of times the crime not only affects the two people that were involved, it affects a whole lot of other people,” Ashley says. “So, we want to make sure we’re being fair to the students here at our campuses and for just the situation in itself.”

The district would work with the courts and all involved to make sure virtual schooling would be a successful option for the student.

He says they would also update the courts on the students performance in virtual learning.

Students who don’t have a device would receive one from the district.

Ashley says virtual schooling is a positive effect from the pandemic, and he says it could be successful for other students too.

“I think it’s something that not only is it here to stay, it needs to stay, so, we can advance,” says Ashley. “Most size doesn’t fit all when it comes to an education.”

Ashley says while they will continue this conversation at their next school board meeting.

If a student were to commit a serious crime off-campus property now, the best option for them to continue school would be virtual learning.


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