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Students from Across Tennessee Lend Their Insight on Issues Facing Public Education

JC High School Senior and Junior School Board Representatives Renie Morrow and Sydney Souder attending this year’s Student Congress on Policies in Education event in Murfreesboro, TN. Photo Submitted

Staff report

Students from Johnson County joined approximately 349 of their high school peers in Murfreesboro on
Tueasday, March 5, to express their views on public education in Tennessee at the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE). The event took place on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.

Attending from Johnson County High School were: Senior School Board Representative Renie Morrow and Junior School Board
Representative Sydney Souder.
“We are very proud of our Student School Board Representatives who attend the SCOPE conference every year to represent Johnson County,” said Mischelle Simcox. “They do a wonderful job.”

Now in its 37th year, SCOPE is designed to give students a voice where public education issues are concerned and to involve young people in finding solutions to the topics that are discussed.

Attendees participated in mock school board sessions, where they assumed the roles of school board members, school officials, parents, students and concerned citizens. School board members, superintendents, and educational leaders led the sessions.

Students then chose speakers to represent each of their 16 small groups who went on to take part in full-scale debates on current education issues.

This year’s four debate topics and results from the poll were:
1. High school graduation requirements shall include several pathways/options (college and career, industry credentials, etc.) that allow students to graduate with a regular high school diploma. (Agree: 59%, Disagree: 41%)
2. Students shall have the option of substituting club sports for physical education requirements. (Agree: 80%, Disagree: 20%)
3. Fighting on school grounds or during school activities shall be a zero-tolerance offense. (Agree: 24%, Disagree: 76%)
4. For purposes of honors recognition at graduation, the board shall use the Latin System (i.e. summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) instead of selecting a valedictorian and salutatorian. (Agree: 51%, Disagree: 49%)

SCOPE delegates elected 2020 SCOPE officers and they are:
· President: Charlotte Lange, Rossview High School, Clarksville-Montgomery County

·1st Vice President: Rishi Pillai, Nolensville High School, Williamson County

·2nd Vice President: Ty Youngblood, Greeneville High School, Greeneville