PRC will begin ticketing out-of-state cars

Published 4:31 pm Friday, January 11, 2008

The Pearl River Central School District voted to have campus security officers begin ticketing vehicles with out-of-state car tags on school campus.

District Superintendent Dennis Penton said that up until this point, school officials have been sharing residence and vehicle registration information with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, but that the arrangement is not working out too well.

“Our new sheriff is interested in continuing that, but we can also do it within the school system by having the campus police do the same thing,” Penton said.

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Penton said that since parents have to show proof of residence within the school district to enroll the children, they can compare the proofs of residence to vehicle registrations when a car is stopped on campus.

“If a vehicle is stopped on campus, campus police can check the registration of that vehicle. If the vehicle is registered to the driver or driver’s parents, and they say that are living in Mississippi, they are guilty of having an out-of-state tag,” Penton said.

Penton acknowledged there could be exceptions, such as those who had just moved into the district and not yet changed the tag or individuals driving borrowed or company vehicles that may be registered out of state. However, Penton said he believes problem will help the out-of-state tag issue.

“We have tags on campus from all over the country… I propose we join in a commitment to ticket these out-of-state tags,” Penton said.

In a related matter, Penton also proposed that the school board modify the current Affidavit of Residency that is used by the school.

“Currently, when someone moves in and does not have two proofs of residence, such as a utility bill, we have allowed them to bring someone else with proof of residence with whom they are living and sign a legal notarized affidavit. However, it becomes impossible to check those proofs of residence because… these people float around. They move from place to place, and in and out of the district,” Penton said.

Penton said the new Affidavit of Residence would include a requirement for the resident to have a driver’s license, car registration or auto insurance with the legal address on it before children could be registered.

“I think this will greatly reduce the amount of confusion. We still have to have affidavits, but this will help,” Penton said.

Nathan Farmer, school board attorney, said the board would be well within its rights to instate the new policy.

“You have the right to demand that these people meet your qualifications. If they don’t meet your qualifications, you have the right to refuse admission to their children. We’re shifting the burden of verifying residence off the campus security and placing it on the parents,” Farmer said.

The board opened its meeting by swearing in two board members, returning member Michelle Boyd and new board member Jeff Jones. The swearing-in was officiated by Pearl River County Chancery Clerk David Earl Johnson.

In other business, the board:

— Voted to replace board laptops and donate current laptops to the school for department and teacher use.

— Approved financial matters.

— Approved personnel matters.

— Approved travel.

— Approved donations to Upper Elementary Principal’s Fund and Lower Elementary.

— Approved requests from two out-of-district students whose parents are employees to attend PRC school district for remainder of school year.

The board adjourned until Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m.