Editorial: Judicial Board Protects Student Voice

Photo illustration purchased from BigStock.com.

The theme of the 2019-2020 academic year is “Responsible Leadership and Student Voice,” and the Judicial Board perfectly compliments this mission.

Last month, a record number of candidates ran for the Upper School’s Judicial Board, comprised of three elected students and three faculty members.

The Board convenes when a student makes a significant infraction. The individual visits the Board, which discusses possible consequences and makes a recommendation to Head of School Judith Guild, who reserves the right to make the final decision.

The Board embraces empathy in order to foster justice—not punishment. The ultimate goal is to decide how a student can best reengage with the community, while also learning from past mistakes. Meetings and decisions remain confidential.

Along with Dean of Students Paul Murray, this year’s elected faculty representatives are Math teacher Rupa Houndegla and English teacher Kenley Smith.

Nayely Peña ‘20, Samantha Estrada ‘20 and Betty Wang ‘21 represent the student body.

The Gator applauds all of the candidates who courageously spoke in front of the Upper School.

While the Judicial Board is one example of a critical place where student voice matters, there are also plenty of other ways for students to express themselves. We have the opportunity to sit in on Senate meetings or run for a position, reach out to the administration, start a club, do community service, or write for The Gator.

We can also be leaders by simply modeling ethical behavior inside and outside of the classroom. Being a good citizen or community member means being a role model for others.

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