Student voice necessary for school policy making

Graphic by Will Cadenhead

Student voice necessary for school policy making

When policies are being made in any situation they will always impact the majority the most. So, when the students make up the majority of this school, then they should have the most to say about it. Students should give their voices and direct opinions into the process of policy making within our school. This would then create the best environment for them to learn and prepare for their future. Things like advocacy, good planning and careful decisions would all be helped by giving students some room to give their voices and opinions.

Policies affect students the most out of everyone in this school. They affect what students learn and how they learn. If a student’s voice is not considered in a process, then that will directly affect them and their future.

“Because nothing changes really unless students voice their discontent or their happiness. I mean, they create a culture that I think a lot of people blame the administration for but really it’s the students.” Dusty Dennis, student club leader and special education teacher, said.

The students create an environment on their own without a say in policy making, so just imagine what they could do if they did have a voice. It is not possible for a student to be able to decide their future when they do not even have a say in it. They have worked hard to achieve the things they do in this school. The administration needs to allow them to make the decisions of how best they learn and how best they should execute that.

Student voice is the number one way to make a change in this school, which also makes it the number one way to make policies effective. Students are the ones with the best input to the school’s true problems as well because they are the ones experiencing them everyday. 

“The perspective of the students is most important because teachers and staff, they just don’t get the perspective we do in this school,” Naomi Herr, sophomore student club leader, said

Lots of policies cause school wide controversy or students are often overall left in the dark when it comes to what things will change each coming year. The simplest solution to all this is simply letting students in. Let them give their voices and let them be a part of what they do in the school. They live here for eight hours everyday and they observe everything, including things staff often miss. They are the best way to make change, so the school just needs to let them make it.

 Just like with anything in life, diversity and advocacy play a huge role in how things will go and what will change. Due to this, it is so important to get all thoughts and opinions from all students, both the minorities and the majorities. The best and easiest way to do that is simply to let all students tell their stories. Let them give thoughts and opinions and let them tell staff how these policies will affect them personally. 

“Really anyone who wants to put their voice into change, and people who have ideas should just be able to put it out there and see what will happen,” Herr said.

Students need to be let in and to give input of what works best for them. Questions decision makers have about new policies such as, transport, communication and student popularity towards the subject could be simply answered. All they need to do is reach out to the students and ask. Everyone who is willing and able would love to have a say in things that will affect them every time they enter this building. So groups, both big and small should be able to have an impact on what goes on here. 

Because nothing changes really unless students voice their discontent or their happiness. I mean, they create a culture that I think a lot of people blame the administration for but really it’s the students.

— Dusty Dennis

Students understand their actions can have consequences. They understand what they make happen now will affect them down the road. With the ability for students to take action when it comes to school wide policies will also affect the whole school and students do understand that. 

“It’s all about getting students to understand that if they want to do this it can affect A, B, C and D. So it’s kind of a domino effect,” Dennis said.

Even if some students do not understand, the majority of them will, so it has little to no effect down the road. The positives completely out way the negatives when it comes to student voices. Not that the negatives even really exist. When the people for this story were interviewed they were asked about negatives. None of them came to the conclusion of a roadblock or absolute dead end with student’s voices being shown.

Students are at this school. They are both the majority and the minority, they receive the give and take of everything that happens in this building. 

Junior Caspar Gabor believes that students are the best people in this school to give opinions on what happens in the school, as well as they should be more informed on new policies and practices. He thinks this will help students feel more heard and understand things better.

Our voices are not only the most important but also the loudest. Students mutter and they shout, they care about their education and their futures and all the immense effort that goes into creating it. Student should not have to ask questions about what is happening in their school at any given time. If the policy makers just went to sources in the first place, then everyone could completely and quickly understand and accept why, when and how everything happens.

Students deserve their voices to be heard all the time but especially when it comes to their school and their learning. Talk to people and get the question out there of why does not everyone have a say in the policies that are made in the school. They not only affect you but everyone else too. No voice is too small to make a change. 

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