Council Report (10/21/20)
On October 21st, in one of its strongest showings in recent memory, Council passed a bylaw revision and failed two others.
After reports, Council moved into a discussion of the Online Only Council Student Bylaw, brought by Pierce Seigne. The bylaw adds two additional members to Council for the 2020-2021 who represent (and are voted on by) students who are fully online, and participants in the Hanover High Online Academy. The stated intent of the motion is to “give a voice and votes” to online students. The bylaw came with the recommendation of the Organizational Engineering Committee, of which Seigne (the bylaw’s sponsor) is Chair. A brief question session followed the introduction of the bylaw, in which it was clarified that these positions would last the duration of the school year, and would remain in place even if the entirety of HHS were to move online. Seigne explained that these students would still have a different experience to speak to, as the Hanover High Online Academy would remain separate from HHS fully remote. Debate was astoundingly brief, with only two speakers. The motion passed by a large margin.
Council next continued debate over the Dress Code Motion, brought on 10/7 (the last Council meeting) by Ms. Stevenson. The motion sought to change the handbook’s Personal Appearance policy by adding the following language under the heading “Students Cannot Wear”: “Any clothing/masks/markings that have derogatory language towards self or others. This includes codes for derogatory language.” At the last meeting, Stevenson explained that the motion came as a result of students wearing overtly political and controversial messages on masks. In her authorship speech, she cited JCOMM as another potential method for trying to interpret the existing language and potential punishments/ways to prevent future occurrences. At the last meeting, there was lengthy debate. However, at this meeting, Reilly Uiterwyk, within the first ten speakers, moved to close debate. The motion to close passed. The Dress Code Motion failed. Preceding the failure of the motion, several speakers pointed out the lack of differences between existing language and the new stipulation, and the opportunity to use JCOMM in all of its might.
With the major items on the agenda complete, Council moved on to Notes and New Business. Pierce Seigne brought his Schoology Calendar Motion, which sought to require teachers to post major assessments on the Schoology Calendar, instead of just on the Schoology template. While students initially seemed in favor of the motion, teachers spoke to the annoyance of the additional Schoology requirements, and of the fact that students ought to be able to keep track of their work as is. Mr. Berube stated that he believed that these issues seemed fairly small in scope, and were likely better handled on an individual student-teacher conversation basis. The motion failed, and the meeting adjourned.