Monadnock Ledger – Transcript
Published: 04/11/2022 12:04:42
Modified: 04/11/2022 12:03:31
A student-led push for policy change at Great Brook School paid off last week when the ConVal School Board voted to amend the school handbook to ease restrictions on covers -heads at school.
“I like to wear a hat, and I thought it was weird that we couldn’t wear a hat,” said eighth-grader Ayden Emanuelson. “So in consultation we took the time to email the manager to see how we could change the rule.”
The process began in the fall, according to school counselor Laura Gorlay. After coordinating with GBS Principal Katherine Foecking, the students contacted the school board and began the process of deciding the new rule.
Previously, the school manual stated that headgear, including hats, hoodies and caps, would not be allowed outside of approved religious, medical or other reasons. The new language, developed by students with the help of staff members, states that head coverings for religious or medical reasons would still be allowed and that all other head coverings would be allowed in the hallways as long as they respected other dress code guidelines. such as school fit. In classrooms, individual teachers will be allowed to set their own rules regarding headgear.
Paul Bolduc, an eighth-grade teacher who took part in the process, said the students polled school staff, administration, parents and other students to find a reasonable compromise.
“There were a lot of good questions going back and forth between the students and the teachers,” he said.
The school board expressed concerns about adopting the new policy, and the vote was 7-6 in favor of adopting the change.
“I’m not sure the public clearly understands the impact this has on the school,” said Peterborough representative Dick Dunning. “The advantage of not having hats, bandanas and hoodies is that the teacher has the opportunity to look at the faces of the students.”
Dunning and other board members also said there were issues with consistency between classrooms and fairness between colleges because South Meadow School does not have such a rule change.
So far, according to Bolduc and Gorlay, the policy change has been successful at GBS. Some students are wearing hats, and those who are have been respectful in removing them in some classrooms.
Ayden said he was happy to be able to wear a hat now and that the compromises found to make it happen were successful.
“That seems fair,” he said. “I had a lot of help from my classmates and teachers.”
Gorlay called the process “a good civics lesson” for the students.
“It’s about local community action and how one or a few can make a difference,” she said.