Student self-determination

Maybe I am overly swayed by the convincing arguments for children's suffrage laid out on last week's West Wing, but I think that a recent proposal from the Chapel Hill High Civics Club to have a student serve on the school board makes a lot of sense. This would probably be a non-voting position, but I have also heard of students getting elected directly to the board (which is pretty impressive considering few of their peers are old enough to vote).

Locally, students have been active in board discussions -- although not as members. Most recently, Chapel Hill High students complained that they hadn't been more involved in a discussion of changing the high school schedule.

Students have lined up to speak at recent school board meetings, and hundreds attended a forum they planned at Chapel Hill High to tell district officials they didn't want block scheduling.

Throughout the scheduling discussion, students said they felt the board wasn't listening to them.
- Chapel Hill Herald, 3/7/05

This sounds like a good, common sense idea to me that would benefit both students and the school system as a whole. Anyone want to make the case for why students shouldn't have a permant voice on the school board?



I can't think of one good reason not to have students on the school board. In fact, I'd say, let each high school student body elect one school board member and give these students a vote. We've got nothing to lose—if the students vote with our current school board's ‘tracking' crowd, we've lost nothing. At the very best, maybe there are some righteous students out there who are truly progressive and will get our school board serious again about differentiation! (Oh, Gloria Faley, I miss you! I'm afraid differentiation died with your departure and Pedersen can no longer stave off the conservative powers in this town—tracking is back—this town is sooooooooo phony!)
And while we're talking about our school board, can some one please tell me how the name ‘LEAP' was an improvement on ‘Tier 1'? What are the children of our community's elite professional and intellectual class ‘leaping' over—exposure to the vile masses? (I will never buy the idea that smart people must be segregated as much as possible. They should be segregated as little as possible—we're talking math class.)

I think my daughter would be interested in this. She starts at Chapel Hill High next Fall. Any pertinent info anyone has I will pass onto her if they wish.
She is also looking for volunteer oppourtunities this summer in Carrboro. Last sumer she volunteered with the Carrboro Parks and rec at the Century center for a 3 and 4 yr olds camp and can get a good reference from that if needed. She is very political and believes in a bunch of causes very passionately. She challenges my cynicism and apathy regularly. I figured someone reading this may have some good ideas where to channel some of that energy. Thanks

Sounds like a good idea--though I don't see it happening anytime soon. I wonder what STUDENTS would have to say about the SB'S proposal to have the School Substance Abuse Policy apply to reports of use OFF campus? This proposed policy was discussed at the March 3rd SB meeting. Here is the PDF link for the proposed policy--the "off-campus" application starts on page nine:

I think the idea of students being able to report other students (albeit only for COUNSELING) is PARTICULARLY interesting. Perhaps the SB should re-read Arthur Miller's "The Crucible."


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