BLUE RIDGE, GA – The Fannin County School System will not interfere in the possible formation of any club within the school system as long as that club meets the school’s requirements, Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney said Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The possible formation of a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Fannin County High has been a local hot-button issue for the past week. There has been rigorous debate within the community, both online and off, with community members weighing in heavily on both sides.
The possibility of the club’s formation began after a pair of petitions showed up on Change.org, one for and one against, Sept. 25.
Cioffi felt the discussion important enough to issue a statement in the form of a letter the same day, which stated the guidelines for forming a club. He said later in the week that any group meeting the criteria would get approval to form a club.
“I support everything Mr. Cioffi said in his letter and when interviewed,” Dr. Gwatney said Tuesday, Oct. 1, adding that as long as the guidelines for club formation are met, the club would be allowed to form.
Gwatney also stated that the matter was a “non-issue until something formal is done.” He echoed Cioffi’s words from last week, saying that no request to form any new club has been made and no certified teacher has stepped forward as a sponsor.
View Cioffi’s letter here.
View Cioffi’s statement on the issue here.
As to whether or not the school system would have the authority to override the school’s approval of any club, Dr. Gwatney said he didn’t know because such issues aren’t treated in that manner.
“We don’t look at it like that. We work with the schools and try everything possible to resolve the issue at the school level,” Dr. Gwatney said. “There may be some kind of hierarchy, but we don’t look to that for guidance.”
Dr. Gwatney said he had no issues allowing members of the system’s administration to make big decisions.
“We are fortunate we have such a good administration that makes such good decisions,” Dr. Gwatney said. “Everyone is treated fairly (and) held to the same criteria.”
Fannin County High School students rallied together to elect this year’s Homecoming Court:
Freshman Class Kinsley Sullivan and Austin Garland. Sophomore Class Parker Peugh and Mason Rice, Chanley Watson and Micah O’Neal. Junior Class Hannah Cruse and Jade White, Amber York and Grant Sullivan, Hannah Dickey and Andy Lim, Reagan Henderson and Tate Henderson, Cassandra Stepp and Steven Stacy, Kelsey Walton and Reid Honeycutt, Angelina Young and Jade Underwood.
The final candidates for Homecoming King and Queen are Hannah Dickey and Andy Lim, Reagan Henderson and Tate Henderson, Cassandra Stepp and Steven Stacy, Kelsey Walton and Reid Honeycutt, Angelina Young and Jade Underwood.
Homecoming King Andy Lim is the son of Tech and Hoa Lee Lim. He participates in Special Olympics, received the Green Hand Award in Future Farmers of America (FFA), as well as the FFA Chapter Degree Award as he was voted “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day” senior superlative. Andy’s post-graduation plans include becoming a Hibachi chef. Andy enjoys fishing, playing on his iPad and listening to music.
Homecoming Queen Kelsey Walton is the daughter of Ryan and Tonya Walton. Kelsey received awards for Spanish one, two, and three. Kelsey’s post-graduation plans include traveling as much as possible, attending Georgia Southern to pursue a degree in business, obtaining certifications in languages and become a Medical Interpreter or an International Business Interpreter. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her close friends.
Last years reigning Homecoming Queen, Cassidy Graham, attended to pass the crown down unto Kelsey Watson. A big congratulations to this year’s contestants and winners Andy Lim and Kelsey Walton.
Thursday afternoon, September 6, Dr. Gwatney sent out a letter explaining a recent event at Fannin County High School. It’s been reported that students are smoking and inhaling electronic cigarettes.
District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee contacted Dr. Gwatney sharing that several students from other counties have needed medical treatment after using these electronic cigarettes. Unfortunately, an incident has happened like this here in our own county.
It’s been discovered that a substance known as, “Kronic” is being sold locally and the students are getting ahold of it; this has resulted in students needing medical attention and have been escorted to the hospital.
Currently, Fannin County High School staff and faculty are doing everything they can to talk to our students about their decisions to vape and using electronic cigarettes. Our students also need to be aware and mindful of what substances they are putting into their electronic cigarettes and/ or vapes.
Parents and guardians should be aware and look out for these items. Electronic cigarettes, vapes, etc. can look like USB flash drives, lighters, pens, and other common items. Please ask and talk to your students about what they know—and may not know—about vaping and electronic cigarettes. Let’s take this time as a community to take care of our kids.
The school district has been kind enough to post various pictures of devices to watch for on Facebook page (Fannin County School System). For more information on vaping, you may refer to the CDC website at the following website: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/index.htm