Elected school officials across Illinois are being asked to back a proposed change to state law that would prohibit voting-age students from serving on the boards of the public districts where they are enrolled.
James Russell, a spokesman for the Illinois Association of School Boards, said it’s not that his group believes teenagers are not mature enough to be elected leaders where they attend classes. Instead, he said, a high school student on a board poses too many potential conflicts of interest.
“The student is now, technically, his teacher or principal’s ‘boss,’ ” according to the recommendation from the school board association’s resolutions committee. “The student is now voting on all salary and contract decisions for all personnel in the district.”
Committee members, who serve on school boards statewide, said problems also could arise because students would become privy to confidential discussions about disciplinary matters involving peers and teachers.
The question: Should students be kept off school boards? Explain fully.