Legislative Briefing at the Massachusetts State House
On February 25, 2020, 12 Massachusetts high school students testified at the Massachusetts State House about what they need in order to do well in school. The students advocated for the Legislature to continue funding the Massachusetts Safe and Supportive Schools initiative and to prioritize student voice in educational decision making.
Prior to the briefing, the students spent several weeks working with attorneys and law students from the Education Law Clinic of Harvard Law School to identify their personal priorities and develop their testimony. The students hosted members of the Clinic at their high schools and also journeyed for a visit to the Harvard Law School campus during their February school vacation. The students learned what it means to self-advocate, how to speak effectively to policy makers, and the value of using their own voices to push for change.
Legislators heard directly from students about what they need from their schools. Priorities highlighted by the students included strong relationships with teachers, opportunities for genuine learning, safe and supportive school and classroom environments, and support for students with disabilities. Most importantly, students expressed how much they want adults to listen to them when they open up about their needs and struggles.
Visit each student’s page below to read his or her testimony in full and to see video clips from the legislative briefing.