Students discuss school safety with superintendent

Kali Ray, Reporter

The Parkland, Fla., shooting impacted the discussion of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SSAC) when they met in February.

The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council is made of students from all five high schools, with a student from each grade and two seniors. Students discuss different issues with the superintendent and other district administrators at the meetings, and they get lunch.

At the February meeting, the student members were asked “what makes [them] feel safe,” according to Eryn Patrick, senior.

They shared what physical things at the schools make them feel safe, such as locking doors, but Patrick emphasized that they were also asked about emotional safety, such as if students felt that they knew someone they could go to if they felt emotionally unsafe. Most students said that they would talk to a specific teacher or perhaps a counselor.

The idea of “#what’s your 17,” recently introduced in Student Advisory, was initially floated at that SSAC meeting.

Patrick said she feels heard during the meetings.

“They really just let us talk,” Patrick said. “It’s a pretty open discussion and they write stuff down and take notes.”

All sorts of topics are covered, such as racial equality, gender equality, diversity, mental health and student teacher relationships.

Patrick said the conversations are very productive and representative of many groups.

“I feel like everyone get to [speak] their point of view,” Patrick said. “There’s different races, different genders, sexualities, groups and clubs.”

While any student can apply, Patrick was invited to apply to the group.