On March 6, the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) sponsored the 2018 Student Congress on Policies in Education (SCOPE) Conference.
The Kingsport Board of Education, which recognized the students during its April 3 meeting, covered the cost of sending them to the conference. Those participating this year were senior Karli Ailshie, junior Julian Chastain, junior Halle Hernandez and junior Kevin Loo. The students provided a report on their experience to the BOE. Jason Clayman, social studies teacher at D-B, was the SCOPE Conference sponsor for the trip.
The conference concluded with delegates electing 2019 SCOPE officers from among the day’s speakers. Kevin Loo was elected first vice president for next year’s event.
As previously reported, eight Sullivan County high school students, two from each school including one who attended last year, attended this year’s SCOPE event.
More than 350 high school students from across the state gathered in Murfreesboro at the Middle Tennessee State Student Union Building to discuss current topics in education. Students explored education issues through mock school board meetings and group discussions. At the end of the day, participants met as a congress, where each group’s student leaders debated one of the day’s topics.
The four topics were:
Should student information be shared without parental permission? (53 percent agree; 47 percent disagreed)
Should corporal punishment be banned from all schools? (47 percent agreed; 53 percent disagreed)
Should all students have to pass a civics exam to graduate high school? (69 percent agreed; 31 percent disagreed) (Current Tennessee law requires students take a civic exam, but there is no requirement to pass it.)
Should cyberbullying be a zero-tolerance offense? (17 percent agreed; 83 percent disagreed)
The events at the conference are designed to give students an understanding of how school boards operate. Students expressed their opinions by voting on position statements involving the debated issues.