What is the purpose of the Students Speak website?
This website is dedicated to the valuable lessons we can learn from students’ own experiences about how to create better schools. Decisions about schooling are often made without listening deeply to students themselves. But students are in the best position to understand what they need in order to do well in school. The Students Speak website provides a platform that uplifts students’ voices and showcases their actions and advocacy so their ideas can influence educational decision making.
What can I find on the Students Speak website?
On this website you will find descriptions of actions and advocacy projects undertaken by students, summaries of academic research on the importance of students’ voices, and occasional conversations with students about timely issues and how they relate to learning. This website shows students actively participating in making real change.
Who are the students?
The students whose voices are featured on this website are secondary school students in Massachusetts who come from a diverse set of schools, communities and backgrounds. They all want to make their schools better—for themselves, for their classmates, and for students who come after them. They have learned about the advocacy campaign for Safe and Supportive Schools in Massachusetts and have volunteered to lend their voices to this effort. Each student decides how they would like their words, images and voice to be represented on the website and each one gets permission from their parent or guardian to be included and to participate in this work.
Who created this website?
This website is created and maintained by law student attorneys and their supervisors at the Education Law Clinic of Harvard Law School. The Clinic is part of a larger project, the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI), which is a collaboration between Harvard Law School and a non-profit child advocacy organization in Boston, MA called Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC).
Why did the Education Law Clinic create this website?
The Clinic created this website so that we can share everything we learn from students with the larger community as well. As part of TLPI, the law students and attorneys in the Clinic have been working for many years on an advocacy campaign for Safe and Supportive Schools in Massachusetts. We believe that in order for schools to become safe and supportive learning environments where all students can learn and succeed, we all must listen carefully to students and learn from them what they need in order to do well in school. We try very hard to keep students’ voices at the center of our advocacy and we want to support them to raise their voices and be heard on critical issues in education.
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