Three Frederick County Public School students shared their thoughts on topics ranging from social justice to mental health during an online youth forum held Friday night.
The event was hosted by Tarolyn Thrasher, who also hosts “Next on the Mic”.
The three students who joined the call were two seniors from Urbana High School, Maggie and Hasita, and a fifth-grader from Oakdale Elementary School named Lauren.
When asked about social justice topics and Black Lives Matter, in particular, all three students said they feel such topics and current events should be addressed in school.
Maggie said she knows it could be a difficult conversation to have in the classroom though if teachers have differing views from students.
Hasita suggested bringing in guest speakers who are knowledgeable about the movement in order to prevent any uncomfortable in-classroom situations.
Lauren, the youngest of the three, agreed that it should be discussed in school but was also worried about how the discussion would unfold between students and teachers.
“We should talk about it...but it would be hard to talk about it in my school because there are mostly white teachers,” she said.
When asked if they feel there should be a more diverse teaching force Hasita said she feels like she would be able to connect with her teachers more if they looked more like her.
On the topic of virtual learning, all three said they don’t mind learning from home but that they do miss the social aspect that comes with being inside the school building.
“There’s definitely an aspect where it sucks that I can’t be in school for my senior year but I actually really like virtual learning, but it’s definitely harder,” Hasita said. “When you don’t understand a concept it’s hard to just go and ask the teacher...but I would definitely rather be at home and safe than at school around a bunch of other people and you don’t know where they’ve been.”
Thrasher also asked the girls their thoughts on SROs and each didn’t have much to say because of a lack of direct interaction.
This is the first youth forum Thrasher has hosted and she hopes to hold more in the future. She hopes it can be a way to show students they can, and deserve, to have a voice on how they are educated.
“I want to be able to give them a platform and teach them how to be vocal,” she said. “A lot of things that are affecting our younger generation we don’t get to hear about from them because we are so wrapped up in our adult world...we should hear from the source.”