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Student Bill of Rights

Right 3

Influence Decisions

All students have the right to shape decisions and institutions that will affect their future.

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Let's Discuss:

  • In your school, do you believe teachers and administrators provide opportunities for students to share their opinions on school decision making?
  • If your school has student council, is this the main avenue for Student Voice? Is this a good model to follow?
  • Are you satisfied with the role your student council/government plays in decision making? Why or why not?
  • What would you change about traditional student government to better amplify student voices?
  • Besides through student government, what are other methods (protests and walkouts, testifying to your school board, etc.) through which you could potentially allow your voice to be heard?
  • Why might student voice be an important part of school decision-making?

Subtopic Ideas:

Student government, student protests, effective student involvement, student representation on school boards, walkouts

More about the right to influence decisions

What role do student councils play in high schools?
Student councils at Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South, York and Lyons Township high schools sponsor student activities, raise money for charities and sometimes select a liasion to serve on the school board, though they don't always have a voice on school policies.
Just Listen: Students Talking About Their Learning to Grab the Attention of Teachers and Administrators
How do young people really experience their own learning? It’s easy for educators to make assumptions—but often we can find more authentic answers by listening closely to what students say. That’s what sparked WKCD’s new “Just Listen” series of video clips, in which high school students speak directly to viewers about teaching and learning. Averaging one minute in length, they convey kids’ thinking in a way that’s easy to share and talk about with others.
Harvard’s 5 Ways Adults can Welcome Student Input to Improve their Schools
When schools find ways to welcome student opinions — to partner with students “as stakeholders in their own learning,” especially at the secondary level — they do more than equip students with tools for lifelong success. They also wind up creating programs and policies that are more effective at meeting the schools’ own goals for supporting young people in their healthy development.
How Chicago’s Public Schools are Giving their Students a Real Say in Schools
Chicago’s student voice committees are not your grandma’s student council. Actually, they probably aren’t your student council. They don’t plan prom, they don’t pick themed days for spirit week, they don’t run campaigns to get elected. Instead, these students conduct surveys and hold town halls and interview their peers and teachers to figure out how to make their schools better. And in the best-case scenarios, they get the adults in the building to pay attention.
Study On How Student Relationships with Administrators can Lead to Empowerment
Student leaders who meet with college and university administrators regularly and have a voice on governing boards feel much more effective, according to new research measuring students’ perceived influence on campus.
EdTech’s Podcast on Raising Student Voices
What else? This week’s episode main feature is a LIVE podcast discussion on raising the student voice, including what we can do to bring student’s into decision making whilst improving their communication skills.