Letter to the Editor: students need to address issues with the right people

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the opinion piece, “A Voice For Students,” written by Tommy Borin, published on November 18, 2014. I agree that students’ opinions, perspective and “voice” are very important in ensuring that students have the very best educational experience at BSM. Sometimes the student perspective is related to a very specific issue that can be resolved by going directly to the person who can best help solve the problem. For example, if it is a question of a handbook rule, going directly to the Deans is a good idea. They would be able to discuss, explain, help problem solve and ultimately offer a decision if necessary in response to a concern.

I agree with the author, when the problem is a little more complex, or there is not one person who clearly emerges as the right person, it can be confusing as to where to bring the concern. To this point, I would like to clarify that the BSM Board of Directors does not make decisions regarding the day to day operations of the school and would not be in a position to address issues at that level. Rather, the Board’s focus is long range and strategic; it is responsible for ensuring that the school’s mission is relevant and vital to our community and that we fulfill that mission.

Using the author’s example of being overwhelmed by homework, the group that would be best able to address the issue on a school-wide scale would be the Senior High Academic Council. This group is made up of myself, Dr. McNamara, Ms. Rasmussen, Mr. Pohlen and the department chairs of each academic department. In the spirit of the author’s main concern, there needs to be a structure or process by which issues would be brought forward. I would propose that Student Council is the most appropriate place to raise issues or concerns that affect student life. Perhaps the Student Council could take up this issue and develop some clear lines of communication between all students, the student council representatives and the administration regarding the opinions, perspective and “voice” of the student body. I would welcome the opportunity to strengthen our lines of communication, another good example of “striving together.”

(Susan Skinner, BSM Senior High Principal)