By Grant Witthoff –
The Lincoln High School student body consists of nearly 2,000 students, with a plethora of different ideas and goals. These students then rely on the school system to be for the direct benefit of said student, getting them ready to be an adult, to thrive in a college environment, to show them the path to go down in this crazy world, and to allow us to spread these different ideas into the world, for better or for worse.
But as the generation as a whole grows older, we implement new ethical policies, and rules into our society, under strict guidelines ruled by the previous generation who have a more primitive idea of the way things should be, like gay rights, slowing down the process for this generation to make change.
If you started in the schools, and let students take the wheel of their education, electing student representatives, voting on ideas like going through a trial run of life, rather than a roller coaster ride through high school, having your representatives create dress codes, deciding punishments for broken rules that the students had designed for the benefits of the group, deciding as a large whole what they need to graduate based on college requirements. Then students would have a large input on their education, Students would be involved, engaged, and empowered. It would help students make the world into be a beautiful ecosystem that works in perfect unison, and make those that wander the halls of Lincoln High School feel like they are a part of something bigger, that their opinion, and input actually can make changes.
One thing to look at is, are students capable of making decisions as a group for the better of their school environment? At this point there is no definite answer to that question. However, one thing to look at is the way the school is set up, and if it’s the best option for students, because it’s like the students are all getting on a roller coaster ride and the school is pushing them through till the end.
However, if you had a higher level of student involvement, independent studying, learning independently, and control you would see the students sending themselves through school, through their education rather than the school pushing them. The teachers and staff of the school want as many students to graduate from high school as possible. That’s not a bad thing, but it leaves room for students to avoid learning, to get bored, and to get lost. Whereas if this was implemented, even for just a trial with a few students, there would be a possibility of great learning and the students wouldn’t just be graduating, they would be excelling.
Also, it would allow for a small scale representative of whether today’s youth are actually capable of creating a functioning environment for themselves. If students could prove that they could run a school, as far as being productive and keeping peace, then you could move to the next level of letting youth take even more control over their lives, and if that was a success then the next level, and etc..
If students were allowed to practice this kind of independent education then the possibilities are endless if it was shown students will thrive in this kind of environment. Each school would have a wider variety of focus programs, because, they would be formed solely by the students, and we would create a place that even more students want to be. This could lead to higher graduation rates, and even higher rate of students seeking a post-secondary education, creating an overall more educated population, increasing the demand for jobs, but also increasing the amount of new jobs in our community. With the endless amount of possibilities, its hard to see this not worth being an experiment at the very least to see how students interact under a system like this, and if interacting well, students should be allowed to then progressively choose to take part in this form of independent learning.
In any case this system appears to be a good opportunity for students to show independence, create rules for themselves, and overall increase performance in schools.