BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY (CBS 2) — Some students said they’ve been ignored long enough, so they took a stand in the rain Monday to rally for, of all things, their class schedule.
Their position was, Jay Dow reports, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Briarcliff Manor High School’s proposal for next year reduces the number of periods in a day from nine to eight and extends the lunch break. However, eliminating that period means giving up free time, opportunities for teacher consultation, and most importantly, students said, the chance to take elective classes like Mandarin Chinese or public speaking.
“We want to have this academic time. We value our education,” said junior Jordan Mendelson.
“It’s not just those core classes that are going to get us into college. It’s those supplementive art classes. Those supplementive music classes that help us become a more well-rounded person,” said sophomore Nikirerra Myers.
The school’s principal said only 3-percent of the student body uses that extra period for elective classes and adds that although most students would lose about 23 minutes of free time, his plan would double their lunch period.
“We have students that are overstressed. We have students who have a great deal of pressure to complete their daily work load,” said Principal James Kaishian.
The students said this was not just about losing electives. They’re hoping their ability to organize this protest sends a message not only to the school board, but students in other schools.
“We’re hoping that other students will see this, and they’ll see this and say ‘I got to take a stand’,” said junior Philip Grossman.
It is a stand, they say, for their voice and for their future.
Kaishian said he would continue to meet with students for feedback on his new schedule and intended to finalize it in the next few weeks.