Students Call For Student Voices in Conversations About Reopening Schools

Student Voice calls for students to be involved in conversations about re-opening schools after COVID-19.

Press Release
May 19, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 19, 2020


Media Contact:
Jenna Yuan | Director of Communications
jenna@stuvoice.org | (425) 260-8146


Student Voice, a national student-led organization advocating for student voice and equity in education, is calling on school districts, state governments, foundations and the broader private and public sector to involve students in decisions about reopening schools after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Taylor Kahn-Perry, the Executive Director of Student Voice said, “It is vital that young people, especially those from communities that have been historically marginalized by the education system, are partners in creating sustainable and equitable plans to reopen schools. Now more than ever, building trusting relationships between young people, teachers and adult-decision makers must be a priority to make sure our new systems are designed to benefit their key stakeholder: students."


Jenna Yuan, a senior at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Washington, a student member of the Re-opening of Washington Schools for 2020-21 Stakeholder Workgroup, the Director of Communications at Student Voice and the Chair of the Washington State Legislative Youth Advisory Council said, “Especially during this time, it’s critical to listen to student voices on how the many changes in education, including remote learning and re-opening schools in the fall, are affecting us. Students have important insight into what parts of remote learning we feel work and what parts don’t and what other issues are arising with our educations during this time. I’m glad that Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has given my fellow students and I the chance to represent our peers during this time and urge other state-level lawmakers to follow their lead in including student voice in all conversations about education.”


As educational systems change rapidly during and beyond this crisis, it’s critical that educators, lawmakers, funders and all those involved in learning work with students to address their concerns and move school forward together. Specifically, Student Voice is calling on decision-makers to:

  • Appoint student members to all task forces, workgroups, committees and advisory councils working to shape what learning will look like during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Listen to diverse student voices on their concerns and opinions about the ways their educations have changed — for better or for worse — during COVID-19.
  • Work with students as equal partners to design solutions that truly address their educational needs.


To advocate for student voice in conversations about reopening schools, Student Voice will share best practices for engaging students, provide connections to their 50-state student network and offer expertise via phone or video call to interested educators, lawmakers or decision makers. To schedule a conversation, email Merrit Jones, Student Voice’s President, at merrit@stuvoice.org.

About Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at StuVoice.org and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.

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