|Written by Greg Ruland|
|Wednesday, 02 February 2011 00:00|
Nearly 40 Mingus Union High School students met for four hours Jan. 24 with District Superintendent Tim Foist and MUHS Principal Tamara Addis to discuss class schedules and offerings for the 2011-12 school year.
The MUHS Student Leadership Planning and Strategies Meeting at Verde Valley Medical Center brought students from different grade levels and backgrounds together with administrators to express their thoughts about a variety of issues, including extracurricular activities and athletics, cafeteria food, public displays of affection, bullying and “sexting,” a practice that involves the sending of sexually explicit photos and messages by cell phone.
“The conversations were heated but respectful and many opinions were shared,” student participant Charlie Covey said. “Overall, it was a huge success.”
“We did this because it’s important for students to have a voice and be involved,” Addis said. “They’re in school. They’re doing it and we might as well ask them what they think.”
The collaboration was something many students said they wanted since they started high school, but past administrations did not want to consider student perspectives.
“In the past, none of the school administrators really seemed to have any interest in what a mere student would have to say,” junior Tyler Wrons said. “Today, I was proved wrong. You would be surprised as to how many different opinions there
Addis and Foist chose students who had a variety of different backgrounds and experiences, not just those on student council or in other leadership roles.
Opinion on school start time was split between those who felt strongly about the issue and those who would be willing to attend school regardless of class start time.
“I was surprised. Just about every student, more than I thought, said they knew of a student who was not going to Mingus because of the start time,” Addis said. “Most were in favor of a later time to start the day.”
“If we do move to the later start time, I believe it will do us good, both in the academic and punctuality field,” junior J.C. Lawler said. “I feel right now Mingus is in the process of becoming as great as it once was and will, with this schedule, become even greater,” he said.
The purpose of the event was to gather information, not to make decisions. The administrative team will also meet with staff and community members to gather more information before a decision about start time is made, Addis said.
Morality issues like bullying, public displays of affection, using foul language and “sexting” were also discussed. Most students said they opposed these behaviors and would work to reduce them by refraining from taking part and acting as role models for their peers.
“I feel the meeting today was a success and I hope they continue to ask for suggestions within the student body,” Lawler’s sister, senior Britney Lawler, said.
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