Jess Rutledge’s senior classes aren’t just studying government, they have been attempting to do some governing of their own.
For the last few years, Rutledge has given seniors the opportunity to propose and debate bills of their own in an effort to improve the school. Rutledge said “I wanted them to learn what the legislative process was like; all the arguments and compromises that are made.”
Previous year’s bills have included open lunch proposals and changes to the student handbook.
The activity started with each student drafting at least five ideas of a change they wanted to make in the school. These ideas were put on a list and the debate began.
Students picked an idea to take off of the list and explained why they thought it should be removed. The other students gave their input on the matter, trying to convince the class to agree on their side. Once every student had said what they wanted, it was put to a vote. Just like in Congress, a majority vote was required for the bill to be removed until only one remained. The class then went into detail about the change until a full plan was made.
Rutledge said “With all the board construction, a lot of their ideas were based on facility so it’s a realistic possibility that their ideas may be used.”
The second-hour class created a bill to renovate the concession stands and build a multi-sport facility at the football field. This facility would be built Northeast of the rodeo area.
The entrance would lead to a 60 by 30-foot multipurpose room with a 10-foot ceiling on the top floor. There would be a home locker room on the north end of the building and a visiting locker room on the south end. Each locker room would be include showers and bathrooms on the East end of the building.
The facility would have a storage area with a garage door to the outside for easy moving of equipment. A basement would be dug out that would also serve as a wrestling room and storm shelter.
Senior Morgan DeVader said “I think this facility would be very helpful to students and be a nice new addition to our old school.”
The fifth-hour government class created a bill to renovate the school parking lot. This would hopefully help with the issue not having enough parking, especially during school events.
The plan would be to remove most of the outdoor classroom area, leaving a 10-foot wide strip from the curb and leveling the area so that it’s smooth with the rest of the parking lot. The entire parking lot would also be resurfaced and the parking stalls repainted. Each stall would be 9×15 feet with the south portion being 45-degree angled parking.
The entry would be widened at the SouthEast corner to 70 feet wide. Widening the entryway would potentially help with traffic between students entering or leaving school and parents dropping off or picking up children.
With the new lines and pathways, the carport would be moved to the north part of the parking lot where the current angled parking stalls are located.
Senior Sierra Quathamer said “The design of the parking lot is not very efficient for a busy high school/district parking lot.”
— Brendan Dugger, @whscharger