Why No Student Voice?

Going over my Guide to Students on School Boards this weekend, I found an interesting fact: Almost all of the states of the states that have outlawed students on school boards allow corporal punishment in schools.

The 14 states that have laws that don’t allow students to serve on district boards of education Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia.

The 19 states that legally allow corporal punishment are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

This represents a diminutive view of young people in general, resultant of social norms from hundreds of years ago.

High rates of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination, exist in these states’ schools as well. Relying on fear and intimidation to ensure social structure is ever-present in these states’ school systems, as well as throughout many of the local communities in these states.

The results of these stringent efforts to systematically disenfranchise students ensures the success of the school-to-prison pipeline that targets low-income students, students of color, and others. This pipeline, in turn, is devolving much of society for the benefit of the notorious one percent.

Ultimately, I believe that states have outlawed students on school boards in order to ensure social division, secure corporate profits, and maintain the culture of fear that benefits historically powerful populations in our society, including the legacy of racism and much more.

To note though, even though other states may not have laws against students on school boards, and others still actually have students there who aren’t allowed to say or do anything significant, the danger is that positioning students on school boards may be largely tokenistic: Without a relevant framework informing their actions, well-meaning adults may simply be placating popular interest without affecting any real change in schools.
Its important to understand that students on school boards is a step towards meaningful student involvement, but not the whole path. That is a much larger framework involving many more activities that can actually engage every single student in every single school all of the time. That’s my grand vision for school reform today, and what I think we should all be working for in schools everywhere.
Luckily, I’ve seen the number of students, parents, educators, and others who agree on that grow each year. We’re heading toward the future, and its coming to meet us in schools right now.

Published by Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker and writer who researches, writes and shares about youth, education, and history. Learn more about me at https://adamfletcher.net

2 thoughts on “Why No Student Voice?

  1. Satanists launch campaign to stop corporal punishment in schools http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/14/satanists-launch-campaign-to-stop-corporal-punishment-in -schools/

    School Corporal Punishment of Children is Constitutional – Appeals Court Rejects Latest Challenge to Corporal Punishment http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/school_law/2014/03/appeals_court_rejects_latest_c.html?r=17 68919278&preview=1

    WATCH 3 Minute YouTube video trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vt4v7KsFi8 for Documentary Movie “The Board of Education” by Jared Abrams Exposing the brutally violent Truth about “Paddling/Spanking/Corporal Pain Punishment” (internet search of school paddling blog proof of sexual violence targeting children in America’s schools) of Children in America’s Public Schools. Please sign and share petition to Congress to enact Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy D NY federal bill “The Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act” to withhold federal funding to educational institutions that allow corporal punishment of students http://chn.ge/QaERCo


  2. AL, FL and TN among “school paddling states” that do not require parental consent, notification for children to be hit with big wooden spanking paddles by educators, mandatory child abuse reporters by law, in school with impunity, creating a “Police State” atmosphere where parents are unable to protect children from repeated school beatings.

    Mom testifies about being unable to protect daughter from repeated school “paddlings” by men https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWv1penj3AM


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