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School is for learning
The showing of a promotional video by the Boys and Girls Club during school hours at Mercer Island High School to drum up support for the PEAK project was inappropriate. Yes, the presentation took little away from school time and, in and of itself, was harmless. But what was the intent here? Persuasion. Mercer Island High School students will be presenting a petition with 1,000 student signatures to the City Planning Commission at a hearing on the project. Clearly the club wants to enlist students in their quest to convince adults and decision-makers to support the PEAK.
If the students were really to have a voice in the project, wouldn’t it have made sense to have them involved in the design of the facility two years ago? Many teens said they were just hearing about PEAK. And this is not about the freedom of students to have an opinion. There is no question that teens can think for themselves. They can certainly make up their own minds. No, involving the students at this point and having them sign a petition is aimed at pressuring adults to get the project approved. No matter the good intent behind the Boys and Girls Club and their project, soliciting support for their facility during the school day is improper.
How gratifying to see democracy in action on Mercer Island. Literally hundreds of Islanders sought to participate in the political caucuses. Parking lots, gyms and streets around schools last Saturday were crammed in the fever to caucus for nominees for president. Voters were both young and old and came bringing friends, children and relatives. Along with the dozens of volunteers who organized the events, the caucuses relied on simple tools: paper and pens, chairs and voices, and school gymnasiums. May this wave of political activism continue.
Yes for Island Schools
Absentee ballots for the March 11 Special Election will arrive in Island mailboxes any day now. Voting YES for the $9.9 million Capital Maintenance and Technology Levy for the Mercer Island School District is a simple, straightforward and yes, inexpensive way to support our schools. Voting yes will help preserve the investment we already have in our schools and, provide students and teachers with technology essential to a 21st century education. Mindful of the trust placed in them, school administrators, teachers and community members have worked hard on this list of investments that will benefit both students and the Island community. We say vote Yes.