Government class proposes bills to improve school

Lauren Schutter, Eli McDaniel | sports editor, social media editor

Senior government students have proposed changes to the bell schedule, excused absences and improvements to the parking lot and volleyball equipment.

Annually, Jess Rutledge’s government classes work to create bills to improve the school.

These bills are made with the idea of improving the school building, fixing or modifying school policies, or maybe proposing something new altogether. “It gives the kids an idea of what congress is like, and gives students an opportunity to change something in the school for the better,” Rutledge said.

Previous year’s bills have included driving during open lunch, changes to the dress code, renovations of the concession stand and changes to the student handbook.

Each government student submitted three bill ideas, then the classes’ separate lists were compiled. After removing duplicates, the list for each class totaled more than 30 proposals. After about two weeks of discussions and debates among classmates, the list was narrowed down to three bills per class. Proposals that died in committee included a hybrid schedule, eliminating or moving AB, repairing air conditioning and many others.

The final six bills were sent to principal Jan Hutley for comment at the conclusion of the project.

“I love the drop-down volleyball nets and outdoor seating,” Hutley said. “I think they all had some good-spirited reasons behind them. I would love to be able to get some nicer seating. 

As for the next step, Hutley said she would review the proposals and decide how to use the student’s suggestions. “I take them seriously and join in on the classes. So I will go through them and consider what’s possible. Some things may not be possible but I’m going to be serious about them.”

Reserved Parking spaces 

The 2nd-hour bills focused mostly on school improvement and new ideas. The first bill proposed was that of “Reserved Parking Spaces/Decorating Spaces”. Seniors first, then juniors would (in theory) have their names drawn to pick a parking spot and decorate it with paint. These stalls would be power-washed at the end of the year.

The second bill 2nd-hour proposed was “Drop-Down Volleyball Nets”. They would cost approximately $18,000 per unit, but this price would not be without benefit. This would provide an easier setup and taking down of the nets, and also allow volleyball players or community members to play/practice year-round.

Longer Advisor Base

The final bill proposed was “Longer AB”. The initial plan was to reduce each of the seven class periods by 2 minutes in order to add 14 minutes to AB, but after a quick discussion with principal Jan Hutley it was decided to reduce the proposed time to 1 minute. Hutley worried that the lunch period would be messed with too much as the food delivery trucks are on a set schedule.

Mental Health Days

The 5th-hour class had bills that revolved more around the students and their well-being. The first bill proposed was “Mental Health Days.” One main reason behind this bill was to raise awareness of mental health issues and to give students a chance to take some time to de-stress or get some help.

Teacher Evaluations

The second bill the class had to offer was Teacher Evaluations This proposal would give the students a chance to share things about teachers or classes, positive or negative. 5th-hour Government student Justin Carlson said, “I think teacher evaluations would be beneficial, also I could tell teachers how to better teach me.”

Update outdoor seating

5th-hour last bill submitted was “Update Outdoor Seating”. This bill would involve adding six new picnic tables along with revamping the table under the “awning” out at the front of the school. Along with that, they would like to put some sort of cover over it to give it a purpose.

Listen to seniors discuss their bills Friday on the Senioritis podcast, available at

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