A voice for students on school board? ‘No,’ Fargo says

A lot of school boards across the country have student representatives to provide the perspective of the students. The Fargo, N.D., board is dead set against the idea, the Fargo Forum reports today.

It has agreed by consensus that no student representatives will be invited to the board, denying a request by several student leaders.

Under their plan, student board members — one from each district high school — could take part in discussions, but wouldn’t be allowed to make motions or vote as part of the board’s decision-making.

“It (the proposal) really kind of runs against the grain of our policies, to jump from something happening, right to the school board,” board president Linda Boyd told the paper. “All of our processes have a path that starts with your building. All of the buildings have really vibrant student government and student participation that way.”

“We would like to thank the school board for taking the time to discuss our proposal and respect their reasoning behind the conclusion,” one of the students who proposed the idea said.

  • Thomas Mercier

    “This is the way we’ve always done it and we like our firmly entrenched hierarchy modeled on previous generation’s views on how education ought to be administered” said the school board collectively missing the opportunity to develop leaders, nay educate youth, within the school for the self preservation of their views.

  • Rob

    The Fargo situation merely illustrates the point that education is the only service in which the input/perspectives of those to whom it is delivered is generally – and intentionally – ignored

    • Leroy

      That’s not entirely true, take the prison system for instance. The ones using the system are not the ones making the decisions on how it works.

      In regards to student input, perhaps you were a better student than I was, but when I was in highschool, my goal wasn’t to get the best possible education that I could, my goal was to make my life as easy as possible. And any input I would of had – longer break periods, less homework, less class time, would have reflected that.

      • Rob

        my school didn’t have an open campus policy, which was totally bogus

  • Jay Sieling

    “Under their plan, student board members — one from each district high
    school — could take part in discussions, but wouldn’t be allowed to make
    motions or vote as part of the board’s decision-making.” It seems the students could still take part in the public meetings – taking part in those discussions, but not make motions or vote. They are not being totally discounted.

    • KTFoley

      I read “their” as referring to the student leaders from the previous sentence. The described plan is the rejected one.

      • Jay Sieling

        Yes. But even though the plan was rejected, they are not barred from participating.

        • KTFoley

          Could you describe what you believe that participation looks like?

          Asking because the board’s stated desire was to “increase student engagement” per the 3rd paragraph of the original article, and it’s not clear how the status quo accomplishes that for them.