Op-Ed: How Brimmer Supports Student Voice

Cartoon illustration by Ava Lockhart ’21.

As a student, I’ve been through many different school systems, but one school stands out among the rest—Brimmer and May.

Teachers and administrators here not only allow students to share their thoughts, but they also strongly encourage them to do so. In fact, the theme for this school year is “student voice and responsible leadership.”

For deeper insight, I spoke to Upper School Head Joshua Neudel.

“By asking students to extend the theme into their work in the School, we felt like we could explore the many different facets of student voice and leadership,” he told me.

At other schools I have attended, I felt like students had little to no say in school happenings, and sharing opinions on school affairs was often frowned upon. I felt that my voice went unheard, with little opportunity to develop leadership skills.

Having a dedicated administration that cares about the community and the ideas of everyone involved is what makes Brimmer such a great place to learn.

Just one example of this is the opportunity that the Judicial Board provides students.

The Judicial Board is just one aspect of how Brimmer differentiates itself from other schools. That a group of students and teachers are elected by the community to help implement justice is truly amazing, and rare to find in a school environment.

As recently reported in The Gator, “a record number of candidates ran for the Upper School’s Judicial Board, comprised of three elected students and three faculty members.”

No such body exists at any past schools I’ve attended, but rather, kids were left to the judgment of a board of higher-ups, some of whom they had never even met.

However, Brimmer actively supports students in sharing their voices. This School also has a student-run, award-winning newspaper. Just one of the schools I’ve attended had anything that resembled a newspaper, and it was nowhere near as well done as The Gator. Being a part of the newsroom has not only kickstarted my joy for writing, but also given me more confidence in my voice and opinions.

It is an absolute honor to be part of a community where students are encouraged to not only share their thoughts freely, but also partake in aspects of the justice system themselves.

Encouraging students to use their voices and grow into confident leaders in a school environment is what makes Brimmer stand out above the rest.

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