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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Guest Blogger- Student Activism

Guest Blogger:

This blog post has a very special guest author. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he wrote this intro. Jason Kalver.

Hello, everyone reading this. I am Jason Kalver. I live in Morris Township and am a freshman in Vet. I have a story to tell you.

On the second day of school, when I got on the Morristown bus to go home, the bus driver said, “girls in the front, boys in the back”. I was perturbed. Why hasn't someone done something about this rule? It was then that I realized that I was someone. I resolved to change this rule. Asking several other kids, I found that other buses did not have this rule. Bus drivers rotated, though, so information from the drivers was spread out. While looking through busing laws to find where this idea was from, Mr. Quaglio asked if it was constitutional. It was. I checked the U.S. and New Jersey Constitutions. He told me to contact Mr. Menadier. I sent Menadier an email saying “I'm on the Morristown bus, on which there is a rule that girls sit in front and boys sit in back. The bus driver claims it is a rule from the county, however a perusal of Morris County law finds no such rule. Could you investigate?” We went to the bus driver, who said there was no such rule.

Some days later, I asked the bus driver the source, and was shown a rule list from the Denville Board of Education saying, in all caps, “GIRLS IN FRONT, BOYS IN BACK”. I contacted a New Jersey senator to propose a bill prohibiting gender segregation on public school buses. I got no responses.

In mid-October, Mr. Menadier told the bus driver that the rule had been revoked, due to my having broached the subject and brought the rule into focus. We could finally sit wherever we wanted(except in the driver’s seat).

In psychology, there is something called the bystander effect. If there is an emergency, like a fire, do not say “someone call 911”. Ask a specific person to call 911 or call 911 yourself. Otherwise, everyone will wait for someone else to do it as the fire consumes the building. The same thing applies here. You are a specific person, so you should do the thing that should be done. Don’t be a bystander.


Your Task:

Jason's letter to the NJ Senator led to a phone call from the Senator to the school- long story short, his actions led to change. Think of some local issue that you could address with the goal of leading to change. Explain what that issue is and what you can do. Please read the other comments to make sure that your points are original. If your action leads to change, you can be the next guest blogger (it fufils all the social media components for that marking period.) Get moving!