A student’s voice

Mackenzie Shrum, Writer

Last night [Feb. 15, 2021], I had the absolute pleasure of listening to adults yell and get heated over what their kid wants. The argument last night was over our constantly changing COVID schedules and Norwin’s future plans. I listened to 2 minutes of multiple parents vent over their kids but yet I heard no kids voices, but why? I sat back and wondered why do the students not voice their own opinions on their own schooling?

  I listen to the school board meetings with my family from time to time. Mostly when there is a topic that I find interesting personally. Tonight, the topic was K-4 coming back for 4 days and potentially the seniors coming back for 4 days as well. As you can see, an important topic for a student to hear about.      

     But all the voices I heard vocalized were adults, even my very own dad. They’d go on about their own opinions and their own feelings about the topic. Not their children or at least not what I hear some of my peers have said to me regarding the plans. I think the meetings would go much different if students shared their opinions. I hear so many different opinions in all my 9 periods at school that vary throughout the schedule of my everyday school day. If students were allowed to share or decided to share the everyday comments I hear, I think the board, parents, and community would see a whole different side of the issue.

  In general, I usually hear the argument: ‘I want to go back five days ideally, but only if it is safe.’ This is an extremely fair statement that I believe most if not all people can agree with. But when an announcement is made by Norwin either regarding a new plan or more cases, I often hear the whispers in the halls being: ‘Why are we going back to school if there are this many cases?’ ‘Why are we thinking about a five day in person school learning when it’s still not safe?’ ‘Why are we going back to school when synchronous learning was working so well?’ I’ve heard all of these comments in the hall, but I never hear any of these comments in a school board meeting. Why? 


I simply believe that strong opinions equals more volume. To clarify, I think most of the people speaking at the meetings are people that feel very passionately about what they believe is right for their child and the school. Norwin students don’t have that much of an opinion on what happens, but we do have an overwhelming amount of confusion and lack of inclusion. To make an effort to include students to not only use their voice, but to also understand and form an opinion on information given, is also very important.  

  I have to acknowledge that I am also a student that fails to speak my mind as well. I’ll get angry and frustrated behind a screen but fail to say any words. I’m scared my opinion will be belittled or I won’t seem professional or mature enough to make my claim. I’m scared to be made fun of at school for having a different opinion, but I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be scared to share my own opinion on my own education and safety. I should feel comfortable enough to make my claim and so should my fellow students. True, nothing is stopping us. We can easily say something or speak up. It’s our own mindset that we won’t be heard over the authority in our schools, in our community, and in our own homes, when our voices can be even louder. We possess an insider’s look, a first-person perspective. Our parents and educators can only try to look at this through our shoes, but they can never tie the laces. We have to tie our own laces.