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Letter to the editor: Youth voice at Morris Area Schools

To the editor:

On Monday, April 23, the Morris Area School Board voted to not renew the contract of a probationary teacher. Many community members attended the meeting to show support for the teacher, many being students of Morris Area Elementary and Morris Area High School.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the students who attended the meeting and voiced their feelings about these circumstances which will now impact their future decisions and the decisions of others.

It takes grit and passion in order for adults and students alike to share thoughts and opinions with others. For some this comes easy, however, mind you, many of these were students and some were as young as 11. Students presented the board with petitions that were organized and signed by students, letters of positive experiences with the teacher, and comments of support for the teacher. It's not often that students are this passionate in support of a teacher. Although many students at the meeting did not speak, showing up is the first step in being a leader.

I hope you will join me in applauding these students for taking part in civic engagement and standing up for what they believe in. I am saddened that the first experience, for some, advocating to a governing board did not come out in favor of these young leaders. In closing, I want to remind all students to keep fighting for what you believe in, even if what you're fighting for is the least popular opinion.

Jacob D. Just

Student Representative to the Morris Area School Board