Supreme Court gives computers to Hinds County, Starkville schools

March 25, 2002

Administrative Office of Courts

Outdated equipment for the Mississippi Supreme Court will become free technology for Byram Middle School and Terry High School this week.

The Hinds County School District will be the second public school district in the state to benefit from the Mississippi Supreme Court's surplus property giveaway. Employees of Starkville Public Schools on Monday picked up 30 computers to use in Armstrong Middle School.

The Supreme Court is giving about 150 used computers to public schools. Carolyn Briscoe, finance director for the state court system, said the computers are six- and seven-year-old models that have been used by the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the trial courts. The computer technology is outdated and no longer useful to the court.

Lisa Jones, technology coordinator for the Hinds County School District, on Monday dug through stacks of computers in a basement storeroom at the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson. Jones was looking for 15 to 20 usable models, most of which will be placed at Byram Middle School. She hopes to move the computers later this week.

Jones said the need is greatest at Byram Middle School.

"That's one of our schools that does not have a lot of access to computers," Jones said. "We are hoping that we would find enough to place a computer in at least half the classrooms."

Supreme Court Justice James W. Smith Jr., chairman of the court's computer committee, said he and fellow committee members James E. Graves Jr. and Oliver E. Diaz Jr. thought students could benefit, even though the equipment is past its expected life span.

"They have excellent utility for teaching tools," said Smith, who is a former teacher and school principal.

Public school officials interested in the computers may contact Briscoe at 601-359-3731.

Media may contact Beverly Pettigrew Kraft, court public information officer, at 601-354-7452.

Digital photographs are available of court staff loading computers for transport to Starkville and of Jones, the Hinds County technology coordinator, testing computers.

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