Student voices not heard in MCPS with the minority making all decisions


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Polls would allow student voices to be heard in school and county wide decisions

Sami Saeed, Opinion Writer

Student government organizations and educational administrations strive to represent the student voice. Yet, there is no efficient method of gathering nor reflecting the genuine interest of students. Instead, a minority of students make most of the decisions both school- and county-wide. Implementing a polling system would fix this glaring issue in the education system.

In Montgomery County, there is no straightforward process for students to input their thoughts on even the most basic decisions, such as spirit days or school events. Often, the only reason students know about a spirit day is from social media or a friend, highlighting how student input is not valued during the creation of these events in the first place. 

When a significant decision is made in MCPS, students may not even realize a change has even happened. Many student representatives such as the Student Member of the Board (SMOB) are simply not representative of students. Of the last four SMOBs, three were from Richard Montgomery, showing how just one school can dominate the decision-making of all 110,000 MCPS students. 

Polls would rectify the problem by asking opinions on topics ranging from county-wide matters to voting for a class spirit day. It is not only in the best interest of students, but teachers as well to represent the student body. “A system of polling students on their opinions about school and county decisions would be extremely beneficial for improving our schools,” sophomore Jayden Mandler said. Polls allow student leaders to make changes tuned to the interest of the student body.  

There is the possibility that since many students are apathetic about school and county decisions, they would not participate in the polls. However, several local social media such as @mocopolls or @mocodiscussions have thousands of student followers wanting to be represented.  “There are common misconceptions within this. Students do care more about issues than people think,” sophomore Daniel Pereira said.

Students also are impacted and involved with school issues outside of social media. A polling system can represent the lost voices of many students who did not have the time or outlet to be heard. It will also help inspire and educate them on problems affecting MCPS, allowing all students to be far more involved in how their education system functions. “Student representation is necessary to ensure that students have agency in creating the education that they need to succeed in the future,” English teacher Eleanor Simpson said. 

Direct student input would not only benefit MCPS student officers and administrators but the student body as a whole. It will finally give students a chance to be heard, and make every student think critically about critical issues currently affecting MCPS. With this polling system, the days of having a minority of students dictate the decisions every student will experience will be over, and MCPS can become a representative school system.