Congratulations to the Marion High School sophomore class. They saw something they wanted to change — that they didn’t get open lunch like the juniors and seniors — and they did something about it. Instead of simply saying, “We want open lunch, too,” they developed a specific proposal, then took that proposal through the right channels to get a hearing with USD 408 Board of Education.
Their proposal came with several conditions — sophomore open lunch is only Tuesday through Thursday and they cannot drive on open lunch — and concessions — eligibility requirements as incentive to do well in class. Ultimately, the sophomores offered so much in return for open lunch privileges, that Board of Education President Chris Sprowls said he thought the class was being tougher on itself than the board would have been, and MHS Principal Tod Gordon said earlier drafts of the proposal were even more restrictive.
The sophomores’ proposal is a great example of getting what you want through give-and-take. You can’t always get everything you want, like open lunch Monday through Friday, and you might have to offer something in return. By looking at it as a two-way street, the sophomores were able to get something they really wanted. It’s a shame that so many state and national politicians seemed to miss that lesson on compromise when they were students.
To go along with congratulations for the sophomores, teacher Lisa Johnson deserves credit. Gordon said the proposal began as a project in her English class. Every year she has students write policy proposals and actually send them to policy-makers. This is the second year in a row that the project has resulted in a real change at MHS. Last year the students requested adding one minute to the passing period between classes, because getting all the way across campus was a challenge. Since adding that one minute to the passing period, tardiness has been almost eliminated, Gordon said.
I wonder what will come out of the project next year.
— ADAM STEWART