Opinion: The school needs to take into account the student perspective when making decisions that will affect students’ school experience.
To counteract the challenges presented this school year, Diamond Bar High School’s administration has been quick to establish their own solutions. However, such corrections fail to truly represent the popular opinion among students as the school has continued to ignore Brahma feedback, which is frustrating.
One of the biggest areas of concern to students this year has been school lunches. The free lunches are very much appreciated, but DBHS is taking the wrong approach in ensuring every student can get these lunches before the period is up. In a matter of weeks, DBHS students have gone from quickly giving out lunches to having students wait in line for the majority of their lunch break. Students are often lectured about their poor time management skills, but, when it comes to distributing school lunches in a time-efficient manner, the school doesn’t seem to be doing much better.
Similarly, the college visits hosted by the Career Center often overlap with class times causing some seniors to decide between attending their course or learning more about college opportunities– causing excess, and unnecessary, stress.
While DBHS alone does not decide when the college visits can occur, it would alleviate a great deal of academic stress if students had more time slots to choose from, such as after school or during lunch. Considering that college visits go over important information regarding tuition, specific programs and living expenses, it only makes sense that the school provides more opportunities for students to attend college visits that fit within their academic schedule.
Whereas inefficient lunch distribution and clashing college fair visits are inconvenient at best, the most unfair part of the school’s lack of time management and communication is how severely it can affect students’ ROP credits.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, DBHS hired a teacher without the proper qualifications to teach ROP Chemistry and Forensics, which meant that students taking the course would not receive ROP credits. However, this was not communicated clearly to students until recently, not to mention the school did not alter the course title, leading students to think they were getting ROP credits, even though they weren’t.
Many students had to scramble to make the transfer into an already-full Forensics period with an ROP-certified teacher for the next semester. This situation is not only unfair to students for the time and effort they already put into the class, but also puts the teacher in an uncomfortable situation as they had to break the news and face student complaints. The whole situation put an immense source of worry and stress on students and could have easily been avoided with better communication and time management skills.
While college visits primarily affect seniors, the long lunch lines are something a majority of students have to deal with. In addition, having a non-ROP teacher instruct an ROP class forced a variety of grade levels to face the consequences.
Even if DBHS cannot find a way to get around the problems, they should be as transparent as possible with students in order to assure students that their opinions are valued in the decision-making process. The alternative would be to let the issues persist the entire school year, with student feedback being undervalued or ignored altogether.