Editorial: Walk the walk

We, at the Hoofprint, believe that students and administrators must play an active role in allowing more student involvement in decision-making — especially in matters that directly impact them. The newly implemented bell schedule has put in effect numerous changes, ranging from two tutorial days per week, to an early dismissal time on Wednesdays.

We’ve seen common sentiments of frustration among students with the new schedule and even a desire to revert to last year’s. We complain and complain, but for what? Complaining is after-the-fact and oftentimes does little to further productive solutions to an issue. On our end, we should, instead, take the initiative to inform ourselves of the issues around the campus and to then seek ways to garner both effective and practical change. Because despite how much we talk about an issue for days on end, failing to actually do anything about it reflects only an attitude of complacency.

Thankfully, we’ve taken some steps in the right direction. Several students started a petition in their civics classes that called for a return to last year’s schedule because they believe “the schedule Walnut High School is using for the 2015-16 school year is not in the best interest of the students.” In order for our actions to produce any impact, we first need a firm conviction in the power of the student voice. It’s time to ditch the mentality that we hold no leverage — it is precisely this idea that perpetuates the cycle of excluding students from the decision-making process.

But it takes two to tango. As students, we need to keep in mind that, on the administration’s part, there are factors to take into account that extend beyond students’ considerations, including the bus schedules, food service and quotas for instructional time. However, the student voice must be taken into account, too. We have an Associated Student Body, a Speaker of the House, a class cabinet for every grade level — all intended to serve as liaisons between the administration and student body — but the absence of a discussion with any of these mediums is concerning, to say the least. In order for students to participate in decision-making processes, those in charge must keep open ears so that they hear the student voice, loudly and clearly.

By Head Editorial Board