Student Complaints Aired as Advisory Group Meets

The Providence Journal, page 21 – January 30, 1970

The newly assembled Advisory Committee to the superintendent of schools included 12 high school juniors, 10 Providence Teacher Union representatives, and 8 principals and administrators from the district.

The group was meant to serve as a vehicle for communication that would meet every two weeks, bringing together viewpoints from various stakeholders in the education community.

Students prioritized concerns about improving the physical spaces in the schools; administrators promised to take these propositions into considerations.

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Lincoln students have a voice

The Providence Journal, page B1 – May 20, 1974

The Lincoln Student School Committee was created in 1973 and is the only one of its kind in RI.

It was proposed by the student council to have this group of delegates attend the School Committee’s meetings.

The superintendent said that the student committee

“…definitely has opened a valuable avenue of communication.”

The Student Committee Chairman asserted that:

“Just the fact that we (the student school board) [exist] showed that we’re not all hoodlums.”

The Student School Committee focused on a variety of issues – they…

  1. Surveyed students around the state and in Massachusetts to get youth input on whether or not “no smoking” rules should be enforced.
  2. Circulated a survey to get feedback about an “open campus” to allow students to spend free time outside of the classroom.
  3. Advocated for mandatory meetings between students and guidance counselors.

The chairman of the student school board says that an important lesson he’s learned in his position is that “change takes time” – new ideas won’t take shape immediately. He also thinks that the Lincoln student school committee should be doing more to represent students in the middle and elementary grade levels. There is work being done to improve communication channels between these younger students and the high school representatives.

The student school committee is not elected by the student body at large, but rather by a elections board put together by the student council.

High School students stage Warren walkout

The Providence Journal, page B1 – March 10, 1976

250 students walked out in protest of what they viewed as an infringement on their open campus privileges to spend study periods socializing in the main foyer.

Success?

The demonstration was signaled by a fire alarm, and then lasted for only 15 minutes when the superintendent demanded students return to class if they wanted to engage him in conversation about their concerns.

The superintendent argued that the students had misunderstood the situation – their social spaces were being relocated, not eliminated entirely.

Outcomes?

What resulted was the formation of a student committee to partner with the superintendent and high school administrators to carry out the creation of new social spaces in the school.