Press Release: Obion County Schools’ Director of Schools and Board Members Take Stand Against State’s New Retention Law

Obion County, TN- At the monthly Board Meeting, on 9/6/2022, the Obion County Board of Education took a stand in opposition to the 3rd Grade Retention Law that went into effect this school year. The Board strongly feels that retention decisions are best made locally by the teachers, administrators, and parents who know their students.
When New Business “J. Consider/Approve Third Grade Retention Resolution” was proposed, Tim Watkins, Director of Schools, asked the Board to approve the resolution to be sent that stated the total disapproval of the State’s decision to pass a law that takes the decision of retention out of local hands. Watkins took the opportunity during this proposal to clarify his stance on the State’s new law. “Bottom line, this is not good for our kids,” stated Watkins. He also stated that “the Obion County School District knows our students better than the State does.” The Board passed the resolution to be sent in. Watkins wants to thank the Board for taking this stand and made the statement, “This resolution shows that the Obion County Board of Education stands for the students and staff of Obion County Schools.” Keisha Hooper, Vice Chairman, motioned to approve and Barry Adams, Chair Pro Tem, seconded the motion, none opposed.
To listen to Watkins' full statement, you can hear it here:
When New Business “K. Consider/Approve Amendment to Board Policy #4.603 – Promotion and Retention” was proposed, Watkins made sure that everyone knew that while the Board would be voting to approve the amendment, it was only because it was to stay in compliance with State law. Barry Adams motioned to approve the amendment, stating “I would like to move that we reluctantly change our policy to stay in compliance with the law.” Shannon Hogg, Member of the Board, seconded the motion, none opposed.
Watkins urges everyone to contact their State Representatives and Senators and ask them to reconsider this law, which has the potential to be harmful to thousands of children across the state.
To view the full statement released today, you can view it here:
To view the resolution that will be sent to the State, you can view it here:
Media Contact:
Lauren Kendall
Communications Director
(731)885-9743 ext.2015