Monday, October 24, 2011

Student Declaration of Independence

I.                   Declaration of Student Rights
We, as students of Grosse Pointe South High School, deserve basic rights as young adults. Being in a public school, a student deserves freedom while maintaining discipline. The student should have the right to dress, express, and act the way they want to, as long as it is appropriate for a school environment. The student should be able to make decisions for their own self that benefit them and the school.
Academically, with the vast majority of classes offered, the student should be able to take whichever classes they want, as long as it goes along with their ability level. The student has to complete certain academic requirements, but the electives are their choice, it all depends on their interests and expression. If the student chooses to take seven academic classes, it is their right. If the student chooses to take the bare minimum of academic classes and the rest classes of their choice, it is their right.
With extracurriculars, the student has the right to participate in whichever pertains to them. From orchestra to choir to sports to clubs, there is about everything offered to interest a student. No administration should have the right to stop these activities; the students have the right to keep them ongoing for as long as they choose.
Being in high school, open campus should be an automatic right for the student. For lunch especially, it allows the students to choose wherever they want to go that interests them. When it comes to attendance, the student should be allowed to take full advantage of the open campus while respecting the attendance policy. As long as approved by the parent, the student should always have the right to leave if sick, injured, or for other reasons. Going along with attendance, the student should always have the right to have the weekends off, holiday breaks off, and occasional regular school days off. Constantly having homework and work to do is not always to the student’s interest, so these breaks are necessary.
When it comes to teachers and counselors, the student should always have the right to communicate with them, whether it be for help or other reasons. Teachers should always be willing to accept the student for their personality and behavior, and to create a good relationship with each one of them. Students have the right to talk to them and counselors, to figure out what is best for them, for help, whatever it best for them.
A student of Grosse Pointe South should have many rights, being a public school. The student should have the right to express themselves academically, through sports and activities, and whatever other ways they choose. School should be a place to benefit the student, give them rights is the best way of showing it.

II.                10 Complaints
I.        Start time- The start time is just too early. It is easier to get up when it is lighter out. The extra half hour that we could add to the start time would increase the attendance in school. It would increase the attendance because the students would most likely get up on time and not skip their first hour. This would boost the grades of the students in the school.
II.      No free period like other schools- Other schools, like Ligget, have a free period when you can do what ever you want. We should also have designated rooms where students can take naps, like in China at some work places. This free period would recharge students’ brains, and work harder. This period could not only be for taking naps, but you can catch up on work, or go get food. Students will not sleep as much in class because they know they have a nap coming up.
III.    Homework on weekends- Homework on weekends is rarely done. Rather than wasting the assignment, we should be given the homework during the week. The undone or half-way done assignments bring down students grades. There is no point to assigning work that will not get done, because without doing the homework, students will not understand the topic. Without understanding the topic, students will not do will on the test that teachers will subsequently give.
IV.    No snow days- Snow days are rarely had here in Grosse Pointe. Even if the entire state and surrounding states are not in school, we still have school. It should not matter that we do not have buses; some of us still need to get rides to school. If there is enough snow to close down most schools in the surrounding areas that would mean that it is too cold to walk. Also, it is very hard to drive in those conditions, so students could be late to school because of difficult driving conditions.
V.      Electronic use in classrooms- The electronic policy is pretty strict. Students should be allowed to use their iPods or other devices after they finish a test, or while homework is being done in class. If they are not disrupting the other students, it should not be a big deal. IPods help some people be more focused and get more done faster. If students got their homework done faster in school, then they would have less at home, and it would be more likely to get done, and not be a zero.
VI.    Lunch too short- The time we get for lunch just does not cut if. If a student wants to go across the street to Subway, then they barely have time to eat. By increasing the lunch period by just ten minutes, it would give the students a chance to go somewhere to get food and to enjoy it. It would also give students minds a break, and have a chance to recharge. Being rushed during lunch is not fun, so adding the extra ten minutes would make it more of a relaxing period.
VII.  Attendance policy- Students are not allowed enough absences. Ten absences are not very many for an entire semester. There are sometimes issues with illness, doctors’ appointments, and even custody. It makes it very hard for students to feel like they can stay home and recover from an illness, when they feel they might miss too many days of school. Even just making the days absent to twelve would greatly improve the attendance policy.
VIII.                        Food/Drink policy- Teachers do not want their students leaving class for any reason, so if drinks were allowed in class, it would take away one reason for students to leave. Also, sometimes students do not get a chance to eat breakfast in the morning. So, being allowed to eat in a classroom would be very helpful. As long as the foods or drinks are not mess or distracting there should not be a problem. Eating and drinking can also help some students concentrate, which would lead to higher grades and test scores.
IX.    Tests and Quizzes on Mondays- Having a quiz or test on a Monday makes life more difficult. Some students will forget over the weekend, and some just will not study, because it is the weekend and they do not feel like it. It is very difficult to have a quiz or test on a Monday because the student did not have the review day the day before, they had it three days before. The extra night to prepare if the test was on a Tuesday, would give the students who did study over the weekend a chance at a better grade. Tests and quizzes on Mondays are harder to concentrate on, because it was just the weekend, where students stayed up late, and are now tired.
X.      Unnecessary required credits (computers, art, health, etc.)- Some required credits are just unnecessary. Some students are not very good at computers, or art, and just do not want to know about health. Not doing well in these classes that they have no interest in taking will just bring down their overall grade point average. These classes are sometimes mundane to students, and serve no real purpose. Some students want to take an arts class, or computer class, and they should be able to, but it should not be required that every student do so.

III.             Concluding Statement

The students are the majority of the population at Grosse Pointe South. Therefore it is only fair that the student body make most of the decisions, or at least get a say in the matter. Instead we are forced to go to a school where we don’t agree with half of the rules and policies. We, the student body, are taking a stand. The student body is revolting against the school, the board and Mr. Provenzano. We are told as teenagers that we need at least 8 hours of sleep that is hard to do when school starts at 8:00 A.M. we should be able to come to school at a reasonable hour. We deserve a free period every day, just a single hour a day where we can do homework or anything within reason. The weekend is a time for students to be relieved of stress and take a break, we are swamped with sports, drama, and homework all week, the student body deserves to have no homework over the weekend. The fact that we have one snow day a year is preposterous! It can be below zero degrees and we still must come to school, when schools like L’Anse Cruse have two in a row, we must get more then one snow day. There should be and acceptance of electronics in class rooms, high school students are old enough to be able to use a cell phone in class. Students go to school for approximately eight hours a day, it should not be too much to ask to have a longer lunch. When you are legitimately sick you should not be penalized, you should still be getting credit for taking the class as long as you get the work done. We get to eat once a day, that is it! We are not allowed to eat or drink anything in class, and that is just not fair because teachers can eat what they want when they want it and the students just have suck it up and be hungry. When there are tests and quizzes on Mondays it makes it difficult to get a good grade because you cannot ask questions and no teenage wants to have to worry about studying all weekend. When we are forced to go to school we should be able to pick what classes we take, not be forced to take unimportant classes such as computers. It is the student’s school; therefore the students should make the decisions. We will not cease until our new requirements are met. It is time for the students to take a stand. We will no longer be walked over and bossed around. Our demands must be met or there will be consequences.

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