We the Students

“People who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” -Father of the Constitution and fourth U.S President, James Madison

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By definition, a Student Council is a representative structure for students only, through which they can become involved in the affairs of the school, working in partnership with school management, staff and parents for the benefit of the school and its students. These two beneficiaries found in the definition are separate as, “the school,” refers to its Administration while, “students,” refers to the student body.

Our highly active Student Council at Rider manages to benefit one of these two very well and that is the School and it’s Administration whereas the other, our Student Body, receives less recognition for their leadership. The Student Council excels in providing positivity for Rider’s campus as last year, the Council was recognized for Painting for a Purpose with a Top Video in the State award. The video explained how Rider’s Student Council raised around $1000 by giving painting lessons to kids and then used the money to purchase gifts to donate to CASA for Children. While a noble cause that showcases the strength of Rider’s Student Council, the video is exemplifies how the majority our Student Council’s actions are community services that work to primarily benefit the school’s image, benefiting the Students with experience but still leaving us with no representation. Little say did we, as students, have in the making of rules such as the strict hallway passes in 2014, dress codes and use of technology during or between classes in 2015 or the district wide shortening of lunch times in 2016.

This kind of misrepresentation can be traced to colonial America when our founding fathers built the legislative branch in which states send representatives to a bicameral congress, therefor forming Direct Representation with the People and States in contrast to Great Britain’s Virtual Representation; a system in which the British Parliament, unelected, held the right to speaking for all British Subjects, including America. Due to this misrepresentation in laws enforced on the colonies, the States of America united to cooperate in having a say in law making. Inspired, 1934 educators in Chicago wanted to teach students the democratic process, citizenship and service while experiencing the exchange of ideas and problem solving strategies; uniting to form an Association of Student Councils, chicagodistrictstuco.weebly.com/, throughout Illinois which cooperates under a Constitution, a piece Texas’s own Association is missing.

This ability to cooperate is a growing trend in Wichita Falls as 2015-16 school year saw the Wichita Falls JROTC Brigade that consists of the rival Battalions from WFHS, Rider and Hirschi; coming together for a Brigade wide Service Learning Project in honor of America’s veterans and 100 years of ROTC. The Brigade, lead by Rider’s own Jake Vance (graduated), collaboratively created a City Proclamation with the Mayor, stating April 23rd as ROTC Day. The three high school’s JROTC Officers continue to meet in the 2016-17 school year for future Brigade projects, utilizing our cooperation to train leadership and prove that we, as Students, harness the power which knowledge gives to govern ourselves.

Currently, Rider’s Student Council could have a greater representation as well as the District Student Body and thus I propose we, as experience seeking Students, write a Constitution stating our powers of representation within the District’s administration. Stating that:

We the Students

of the Wichita Falls Independent School District, in Order to form a more perfect Education, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common teacher, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Knowledge to ourselves and our Posterity,

Do Ordain and Establish this Constitution for the Future Leaders of America.