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Pitt County School Board is often ignored

WED. | 11-17-21 | OPINION

     I think that many students and faculty at Rose would agree with me when I say that the return of our student body to full in-person learning this semester for the first time since March 2020 has been difficult but nevertheless welcomed. Online learning had been a significant challenge for many, both mentally and logistically, so it came as a great relief to me and others when we finally received the go-ahead to return to school with our friends and classmates. 

     However, it cannot be ignored that with the return of students comes the return of clashes between students and faculty over a variety of topics, including the dress code, wearing masks properly and

School Board Image.png

Image courtesy of Pitt County Schools,

navigating the troublesome webpages of FlexTime Manager. Though these clashes have long been a natural companion to high school education, it seems to me that they are noticeably more serious this year, probably from a combination of both pent-up stress and the jarring adjustment to in-person school that many students have struggled with after only seeing their classes through a computer screen for the past 18 months.

     In attempting to deal with our stress and various poorly-received policies, many students have taken to venting or complaining to teachers and school administrators. What is often unfortunately forgotten is that these faculty are struggling to deal with difficulties and stress of their own, which are only worsened by the complaints piled on them.

     It was recently brought to my attention by a frustrated teacher that, despite what many students may think, faculty can do very little about the complaints they’re given. This is because, contrary to seemingly popular belief, they don’t make the policies that some students take issue with. Students may find themselves complaining about the dress code to a teacher who doesn’t fully agree with it themselves. In most cases, these policies aren’t even made by the Rose administration either. So, reader, you may be asking yourself: “Then who does make them?” Allow me to point you in the direction of the Pitt County Board of Education.

     The Pitt County Board of Education consists of nine elected members who represent the nine districts of Pitt County Schools (PCS). Each elected to 4-year terms, they make the big decisions about the schools, and yes, that includes dress codes and mask mandates which seem to be a major point of contention right now among students.

     With that in mind, it seems rather pointless and unnecessarily harsh to complain about things like the dress code to teachers who have little control over it. It does little (if anything) to change the contended policy, and it only stresses the teacher further than what they are already dealing with. Instead, I think students who seriously oppose a school policy should make an effort to learn more about the Board and how they function. Their frequent meetings can be attended in person or virtually over the PCS YouTube channel, and it’s truly eye-opening to see how much effort has to be put into every decision that keeps our public schools running.

     If students have a genuine desire to change a school policy, they can make their issue known to the Board, who can act on said issue. Write a letter to Rose’s district representative Ms. Tracy Everette-Lenz, or take the initiative and attend one of the Board’s frequent meetings to take part in public expression, where members of the public can address the board with their thoughts or concerns. All of that information (and how to act on it) can be easily found on the Pitt County Schools website. I can guarantee that taking that initiative will be more effective at addressing any issues than complaining to a teacher will.

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