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Tuscaloosa County school system creates new check-out policy

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The Tuscaloosa County School System has a new check-out policy for the 2018-2019 school year, but some parents are not happy about it. School leaders said they had too many students leaving early on a regular basis.

One parent said she was shocked when she came across the policy in the handbook.

"A check-out is not excused or in-excused, but they will make an exception for doctor's excuses," Heather said, "Last year for middle school, you could have ten check-outs. This year, it's four or you're penalized."

Superintendent Dr. Walter Davie said the new policy should not be a problem for most. But Davie said the group going home early is growing, interrupting teachers, office staff and other students.

"We really are just trying to slow down the great number of students," David said, "It's not all our kids, obviously, but it's a growing group that really is checking out too often. We need them in school and that's the purpose of the policy."

School leaders said students and parents can ask for excused absences at the principal's discretion. Examples include athletic events and doctor visits, and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Heather wanted the rules to be more specific.

"It should have been worked out one-hundred percent before they rolled it out as a policy," Heather said, "It's caused a lot of confusion for a lot of parents."

School leaders said they want parents and students to keep in mind, the policy is new. There may be adjustments made going forward.

Parents with questions about the new policy or exceptions to it are encouraged to contact their school principal.

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