I am writing this letter in response to a letter published in today's WTO (Wednesday March 20, 2013) Readers Forum regarding Student Council.
I am a retired educator. I taught in the Warren County School District for 33 years. During that time I served as Advisor and Co-Advisor for Student Council at Youngsville High School for many of those years.
Any student can submit an application to serve. They must also have the signatures of several teachers to apply. The student body votes on the members they think will best represent the school as well as the student body. These students are considered the future leaders by their peers.
Student Council has a copy of its bylaws and each student is encouraged to read these bylaws and understand what is expected of them. Yes, there is a demerit system in place. These premier students are kept at a high academic standard. Often they must be excused from academic subjects to work on blood drives, decorate for Student Council sponsored dances, attend Council meetings during homeroom, etc. They are expected to ask permission by their teachers whose classes they will be missing and are expected to make up any missed assignments.
At the end of each marking period I and my co-advisor would go over each Council Member's report card and if they did not maintain a particular grade average they were asked to bring that grade up by the next marking period or be removed from Council. We did not want any student to fail because of extra-curricular activities such as student council. They were also expected to help with fundraisers, dances, and community projects.
My Council members were the cream of the crop and it was an honor to be their Advisor.
Once or twice, maybe more, Student Council was asked to provide food for Christmas or Teacher Appreciation Day. This gesture was to show our appreciation to the staff as a big thank you to them for allowing my Council members to miss valuable class time to expedite the various projects we worked on throughout the year.
Student Council members were also treated to many wonderful field trips for all of their hard work over the school year.
I feel that the writer should have made a phone call to the school or should have spoken to the Advisor directly and ask for an explanation before submitting a letter to the Readers Forum.
Randall C. Swanson
Happily Retired Teacher