A Mississippi school district has listed a school supply catalog as “dangerous” for students and has banned the sale of “child safety items” such as cribs, pacifiers, pacifier wipes, and even diapers.
A letter sent to parents in the Jackson County School District Monday by Superintendent John A. McKeon, who is also a director of the state Department of Education, said that “all items listed for sale” should be taken into account when considering what materials a child should have access to during the school year.
School supply catalogs are common in Mississippi because of their popularity in schools.
In a letter to parents, McKeo said the catalogs were a “potentially lifesaving tool for students to gain valuable information on what materials can be safely purchased for the classroom” and that they could help parents better plan for the future.
“There is no excuse for the sale or possession of child safety items in the classroom,” McKeoon said.
The district’s decision to ban the sale came in response to a letter sent by a parent to McKeoni, asking him to reconsider his previous position.
McSkeoni said he had not seen the letter and that he was not familiar with it.
The letter was sent after the superintendent received a phone call from a mother who said she wanted to cancel a class and had been told by a school employee that she should not use the school’s school supplies catalog.
The district, which includes Jackson, Jackson County, Jackson and St. Landry counties, has a long history of selling school supplies to schools, although it has had to take precautions because of a rising number of coronavirus cases.
Schools have been asked to provide a list of “safety items” for use during the year and a school district in the city of Jackson has taken steps to make sure that its classrooms are well-stocked.
School safety items are used to help students in need.
They include pacifiers and diaper bags, wipes and other hand sanitizer.
Many school districts have required students to use disposable water bottles, which are made from glass, so they are less likely to spill and potentially contaminate the water supply.
The letter from McKeoin said McKeons guidance “would not be a license for schools to ignore the health and safety needs of students.”
The district said it will continue to comply with the guidelines.
In recent years, Mississippi has been the only state in the nation that has not seen a new coronaviruses case per capita in the first four months of this year.
Mississippi has seen the highest number of new coronovirus cases among states and territories with high school graduation rates, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Mississippi School Supply Council, a trade group representing more than 10,000 suppliers, issued a statement Monday saying the “most recent federal guidance” from the U,S.
Department of Health and Human Services “does not adequately address the needs of children, families and communities.”
The statement also called on McKeonis guidance to include “a clearer definition of child protection and protective gear that is applicable to all school districts in Mississippi.”
The letter came after a report last week by the nonprofit Center for Health Protection, which said Mississippi was among the states with the highest rate of non-vaccination of children in the country.
That report also said that there were 1,917 school deaths in Mississippi from December 2016 through December 2017.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported in June that Mississippi has the highest non-communicable disease death rate among all 50 states, the third highest in the South.