Over the last few years, there’s been a recurring discipline issue come up at school. It’s been recurring because, while the rule is clearly outlined, the enforcement mechanism has not been. Last week, enough was enough, and the administration figured out a workable enforcement mechanism.
Before calling the whole school together and telling them what was going to happen, though, they called the student leadership together and asked them what they thought. It went something like this.
Principal: “Hey, we value your input. [A] has been a recurring problem. We want to do [X] and [Y] to fix it. Here’s how that would work. What do you think?”
Various students: “[Y] is a great idea, but [X] doesn’t feel fair.”
Principal: “Hmm, ok. The logic behind [X] was this.”
Students: “We don’t think that’ll work because of these reasons.”
Principal: “Ok. I’m going to keep [X] as an option if the situation doesn’t improve, but for now we’ll just go ahead with [Y]. Any objections to that?”
Students: “No, we’re cool. But while we’re at it, can we talk about this other issue? We have some ideas on how to improve it.”
Principal: “Yeah, we’ve been thinking about that. We’re thinking of doing this.”
Students: “That’d be cool, but we have some other ideas, too!”
Principal: “Those are cool ideas. We’ll think about them, and let’s talk about them more later.”
Our students have often felt that they don’t have a voice and that their suggestions are not listened to. It was very, very refreshing to see administration actively seek out the input of the student body’s chosen leaders and then – this is the important part – change their plans based on student input. Color me impressed.