Students are playing an active role in school policy at Stevens High School in Claremont. Two students who joined the school board earlier this month as student representatives, and, the school’s Student Voice Organization are active in the debate around cell phone use in classrooms. They have pointed out that the use of cell phones is not just for entertainment, but used for notetaking, calendar reminders, school/class reminders, pictures of board notes, and translation. Students delivered a petition of 372 signatures to allow cell phone use in the classroom for productivity and accessibility purposes. From the Claremont Eagle Times:
Jesse Baril and Prescott Herzog joined the board for the first time Wednesday night, bringing a petition on the new electronic devices policy, signed by 372 students.
The board is currently reworking school district policy on electronic devices…
“Ms. Magoon,” Baril continued, “does add that: ‘When discussing the policy of the use of private modern electronic communication devices, please keep in mind the students who use these devices on a daily basis as a way of classroom survival. These are our special education students. These devices are used for notetaking, calendar reminders, school/class reminders, pictures of board notes, translation, and music as a way to control impulsive behavior. When looking at this policy, please keep in mind the total Stevens High School population.”
Herzog submitted the petition to the board, which read: “We, the undersigned students, believe that students at Stevens High School should be allowed to have use of private modern electronic communication devices, during class for instructional purposes, at all facilities by students and staff. Modern electronic communication devices should be used only for instructional purposes with the permission of a teacher.”
In a recent poll by the Student Voice Organization, 74% of respondents indicated they would support allowing student school board representatives to vote on non-budget items, and 58% would support a measure allowing 16-year olds to vote in local elections, including school board and city council.
Stevens High School students, including Herzog, also attended the 2018 Student Voice Summit at St. Anselm College in March. Over 100 students, educators, and administrators convened to connect, collaborate, and learn about the impact student voice can have on learning and school culture.
Interested in learning more about student voice and how it affects student engagement, learning, and outcomes? Learn more:
- Should student voice inform professional development?
- Student roles in cultivating school culture
- More on Student Voice