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Student forums open doors to community dialogue

By John Nault and Alessandro Silvia

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Over the last month, Flint Hill has hosted forums, both grade-specific and open to the entire school and faculty. The forums were initiated by faculty member Nate Green, Flint Hill’s Technology Integration Specialist. These meetings have brought up many concerns and new ideas from the student body.  “The forums are a great way for students to say things that are on their mind that can help us make our community stronger,” said Green. So far they have made many powerful impacts on our community.

The subject of the first forum of the school year was twofold. First, participants discussed the flags inside the senior lounge, specifically over the presences of both the Gadsden and the LGBTQ pride flag inside the lounge. The second major topic addressed was the theme of the pep rally. Originally, the theme of the pep rally was “Red, White, and Blue,” but there was a question on whether the theme was inclusive enough. Because of the controversy, the pep rally theme was changed to green, white, and blue, the school colors. This change generated further conflict, sparking the grounds for the first student forum.

Because of the very polarizing nature of this situation, many students attended the first forum with varying views and things to say. What made the student forums so successful is that those in attendance were not forced to speak; they could simply listen to what others had to say. Due to the successful turnout of students at the first forum, the faculty thought it was best to have grade specific forums because they felt not everyone had an opportunity to speak their mind, as the time was very limited at the first forum.

The grade-specific forums were organized differently: only specific grades were allowed at one time. A limited amount of freshmen went to their forum. Almost no sophomores attended theirs. A group of about ten juniors went. The seniors’ forum had the best attendance out of all the grades. Some talked about how their year was going so far, while others continued talking about the hot topics from the last forum.

“I found the small number of people who attended disappointing,” said senior and  Student Body President Leyla Ebrahimi. “Often times, people fail to show at scheduled forums, which is unfortunate as forums are a great place to converse and learn from one another. I don’t believe they are the solution to our problems, but I do find them productive, and think they might provide a segue into discussing controversial subjects.”

The most recent student forum was in regard to dress code.  Those that attended talked about reforming dress code, skirt length, and tucking in shirts. Many people attended, from freshmen to seniors.

These will not be the last forums of this year that allow students’ voices to be heard. There are many to come, so if you have something you want to talk about, don’t be afraid to email Mr. Green and let him know what is on your mind.

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Student forums open doors to community dialogue