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Student voice important in education system

Fort St. John students will have their thoughts on health indicators, mental health and Internet safety heard at the provincial level after the Student Voice Forum at the School District 60 board office Friday.
discussion
Sarah Wilkinson, a Grade 12 student at North Peace Secondary School, leads a discussion on Internet safety at the school board office on Friday.

Fort St. John students will have their thoughts on health indicators, mental health and Internet safety heard at the provincial level after the Student Voice Forum at the School District 60 board office Friday.

Sarah Wilkinson, a Grade 12 student at North Peace Secondary School, helped to lead the event.

She spoke to the group of 39 Grade 9-12 students on Internet safety – “discussing the privacy and issues of it, and really notifying the kids in this room about what it really is, and trying to get their opinions on how they feel about it,” she said in an interview with the Alaska Highway News.

Wilkinson, along with a handful of her peers, went to Richmond earlier this year, along with North Peace Secondary Vice-Principal, Jason Gill, to meet with other members of the BC Principals’ and Vice Principals’ Association, which runs the Student Voice program.

The association chooses topics for discussion each year, and student representatives from across B.C. bring them back to their peers for discussion. The results of those conversations go back to the association.

“I really think that our voice is the biggest thing that the education system could use,” Wilkinson said.

Gill, who helped the students facilitate the forum, was encouraged by the discussion.

“Our first topic … was on health indicators, so indicators around drug use, alcohol use,” he said.

“There was also conversation about self esteem and bullying, so we talked on some very, very powerful points, which led to a lot of good conversation around the room.”

Gill said part of his role is to “help them (the students) along the way to explore their leadership skills, and to become better leaders of their generations.”

 

peacereporter@ahnfsj.ca