For the past four months, a group of Kentucky teenagers has been working to make a one-sentence change to a state law. In the history of student activism, this is not a big ask. They want local school boards to have the option—just the option—of including a student on the committees that screen candidates for superintendent jobs.
That’s it. They aren’t asking to choose the superintendent; the elected school board does that. They just want to have one student sit among the half-dozen adults (including two teachers, a parent, and a principal) who help vet candidates and make recommendations to the board.
“I thought everyone would view it as a no-brainer,” said Nicole Fielder, 18. She said this on Tuesday from Frankfort, the state’s capital, where she was missing classes in order to advocate—for the sixth time—for this bill.
Policymakers should be begging students to serve on committees and school boards, not the other way around. That’s because students are their secret weapons: Kids can translate abstract policy into real life with a speed and fluency that no adult can match.
Related: an emphasis on adult employment.