Students to address candidates, BOE

Staff Report

LOGAN, W.Va. – On Tuesday, October 18, at 6 p.m. at Word of Life Church at Logan, students from Logan County High School and Chapmanville Regional High School will welcome community members and panelists to a forum not only for candidates running for public office, but also for members of the Logan County Board of Education.

The first half of the forum directs questions to the BOE: A high school student asks about the recent investigation into the BOE’s controversial use of funds in past years: “The Logan County BOE was reported to have lost a substantial amount of funds during a time when our school system is in major need of improvements. How do you plan to rebuild and what changes are being put towards this problem so that our schools can have the resources they need to set students up for success?”

Students also address the recent increase in mental health related incidents they are seeing in their schools — including lock-downs due to threats of violence, and cases of self-harm — and ask the board how they plan to address students’ need for more access to counseling and trauma prevention.

In addition, students seek to know more about the BOE’s future plans to invigorate the vocational program and diversify the job training options available to them.

The second portion of the forum addresses candidates for the Senate’s 7th district and the House of Representatives’ 24th district. Candidates for governor and the 3rd congressional district were also invited. Students seek to know where these candidates stand on the following issues, which they see as the most pressing to their communities:

— Diverting funds to support improvements to our roads, and increase broadband Internet access exponentially to create 9,000 new jobs, make travel safer, improve students’ academic performance, and attract new businesses.

— Make college tuition more affordable and [ultimately] make public colleges and universities debt-free.

— Expand West Virginia’s simulated workplace experience to expose students to more pathways to work, create a computer science curriculum and integrate more technology into classrooms, increase teacher pay, and update health education standards to include

mental health awareness and substance abuse prevention.

— Make it easier for people with a background in coal mining to get hired in new job markets, while providing training to help ex-miners especially to start their own small businesses.

— Creating a more caring and informed environment in schools for youth with mental healthcare needs so that students are set up to succeed in the future.

— Use a $0.05 tax on every prescription pill distributed to fund the creation of more recovery centers, treatment facilities, and drug abuse prevention programs.

The student leaders that have planned this forum will continue working on issues that affect their communities, and seek to bring more young people from Logan County into these efforts. These groups are both Our Children Our Future Student Chapters, and are recipients of mini-grants through the Young West Virginia Student Power-Building Network that will help support projects that they work on this year.

Sponsors of the event include: American Friends Service Committee; Step By Step Inc.; Jr. LEAD, and Our Children Our Future.

Staff Report

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