Personal Column: The Problem With Student Petitions

Multiple times over the past few years, students in the district have created online petitions to cancel school on certain days of the school year. Then, the petition link is shared all over social media in an attempt to create widespread reach and have as many people as possible sign the petition. 

What people don’t realize, however, is that this is not a reasonable action to take. While our first amendment rights grant the right to petition, there is no requirement for the district to follow through with it, no matter how many names are signed. Additionally, student, parent, teacher and community voices have already been heard. Six months prior to the school year, the district takes requests for a proposed calendar for the year, then prepares two versions for anyone to vote on. That way, if there is a complaint pertaining to the final calendar, the district is completely free from any accusations of arbitrary decisions. 

To make these petitions and have students sign them is merely wishful thinking. The calendar of set dates was finalized months ago; the district cannot change anything a week in advance just because some 5,000 people tapped a button in support of canceling school. If that were the case, school would be canceled as often as students want, for little to no reason. This negatively affects the entire education system and creates an even larger problem for the school board. 

Students – and people in general – cannot make up their own rules as they go along. People need to learn that not everything will go their own way, and when that does not happen, they need to accept that. Rules are set in place for a reason, and they should be followed. This goes for all parts of life and though it is completely justifiable to voice an opinion against something unjust, there is a time and place. Taking a day off from school is not one of these cases.