STOW — A new student committee that would serve as a liaison between the student body and the Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education could be formed in the future.
Questions remain as to how to recruit members for the student committee and what its precise functions would be.
Board member Jason Whitacre, who proposed the idea, said he would like to see the student committee formed "to maintain a fluid, open line of communication between the students and the board."
The impetus stemmed from the March 14 Walk Out; three of the board members —Whitacre, Kelly Toppin and Gerry Bettio — approved a resolution the night before that stated the students should not leave the building, but stay inside to pay their respects to the 17 killed in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting. Board President Lisa Johnson-Bowers and Board member Dave Licate voted against the resolution. Several hundred participated in the Walk Out, which was a part of a nationwide movement, despite the resolution. Whitacre said that a more open communication could have led to a better understanding and resolution of the conflict.
"The students can ask about policy," Whitacre said, who added that the students also could give ideas to the school board. "I don't see a downside in engaging students in the board process. Some states even allow for student board members, although Ohio doesn't provide for this."
However, one obstacle could be getting students to come to meetings, said Bettio.
"In all my years here, I have never seen a student come up to the board to present a question," Bettio said.
Johnson-Bowers said that students might not come "because they have 50 million things to do."
Toppin suggested adding a section on the board agendas that would allow students to address the board.
The board agreed to discuss the idea of a student committee at its next work session May 14 at 5 p.m., at the administration building.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or ??@AprilKHelms_RPC??