Mar 22 2017

Provocative Talk for Parents, Should MHS Students Receive Healthy Relationships Survey


    On March 8th the Piedmont Unified School District School Board meeting took place in City Hall.  The meeting takes place every month and this particular meeting started off with a run down of all the recent activities and school related topics that the board members felt needed to be addressed.  The Millennium High School representative, Max Miller, addressed recent and upcoming events for both PHS and MHS.  He talked about the plays coming up (The Clearing and Sense and Sensibility), gave an athletics overview for the spring sports teams, and touched on the annual fundraiser that MHS students organize in March.  The MHS community dinner seemed to be a crowd favorite among all the board members and Max Miller mentioned how they are trying a catering service instead of having the students serve the food.  At least four of the board members raved about the recent musical production, Legally Blonde, put on by Amy Moorhead and claimed it was a community builder.  Other than the updates on high school events there was talk of a speaker series, Provocative Talk for Parents, Math and Information Night for ninth graders, and the Proposed Gated Havens meeting.  The Superintendent, Randall Booker was recognized for his great efforts in organizing a lot of events as well as searching for a new principle in replacement of Brent Daniels

    After the board members introduced different topics, they gave the audience a chance to speak about topics that were not on the agenda.  Dimitri Magganas spoke about his support for International Women’s Day that took place on March 8th.  Chris Dewong and Mr. Brady talked about H1 and how Piedmont was one of the first schools to apply for school funding.  Chris Dewong mentioned different construction programs such as the New construction and Modernization program.  The New construction would take place if a new school needed to be built or portables needed to be replaced by a new building.  Modernization is a project to enhance the educational environment of a preexisting facility.  Lastly, Mr.Brady brought up his Healthy Relationships survey.  Mr.Brady’s survey dealt with students and their relations to other people as well as their comfort with issues like STIs, contraceptives, sex, drugs and etc. The survey seemed very useful and helpful for the school board and parents to get a grasp on how advanced the students at PHS/MHS are and if any actions need to take place to spread awareness about safe sex and protection. This topic sparked lots of audience members, including myself to discuss their feelings on the effectiveness of the survey and if PUSD had done a good job in the past promoting healthy relationships.  While I was speaking, I provided Mr. Brady with a suggestion for his survey.  He earlier mentioned how he was having trouble deciding whether not to give the survey to middle school students and that he had mixed feelings from parents on the subject as well.  I thought it would be a good idea to offer the survey to only high school students the first year and on the survey have a question asking the students if they would have felt comfortable answering these questions when they were in middle school.  I thought this would be a good solution because it gives anonymous advice from students that were very recently in the same shoes as the middle schoolers and are more in touch with what steps the middle schoolers are at.

    I interviewed Dimitri Magganas before the School Board Meeting and he stated that he regularly attends the school board meetings and is a huge supporter of H1.  He mentioned that even though he is in favor of H1, he has many concerns regarding the measure.  The measure requires construction and contractors and Dimitri mentioned how expensive contractors are and the skyrocketing prices for east bay construction costs.  He had a very interesting and unique way to look at the H1 proposal and was very insightful.

by Mia Arthur, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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