School administrators or bullies?
Apr 10, 2011 | 2463 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

It seems that the real school bullies are the school administrators at Secaucus High. After a student asked a question about credit awarded for art classes, he was asked to apologize and his teachers were questioned to see if they encouraged him (“Student disciplined for question at board meeting” April 3, 2011). The school administrators should be taking steps to encourage thoughtful, independent student participation rather than shutting students down and shutting them out of decisions about their own education. The civic mission of schools is to educate our youth and prepare them for exactly the type of civic activity that this student exhibited – asking thoughtful questions of our elected representatives. Co-curricular activities like JSA (Junior State of America) encourage political awareness and engagement for students in order to make our democracy stronger and more inclusive. More civic learning opportunities and experiences are needed in all aspects of the school community. The intimidating actions of the Secaucus school administrators stifle the student leaders who want to improve their school and their education. Punishing students who have the courage to speak out and ask questions at school board meetings serves only to perpetuate the political apathy and cynicism that afflicts our entire society. Let’s be glad the school administrators didn’t ask the student for his lunch money, too. Jeff Harris CEO, The Junior Statesmen Foundation 1600 K Street No. 803 Washington, DC 20006 202-296-7838 650-544-5008

Jeff Harris

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