School board considers youth trustee

Nanaimo school district staff will be looking into formulating policy that could see the addition of a student trustee to the school board.

Trustee Donna Allen, who proposed the motion at a board meeting last month, said student representation is something trustees have been discussing informally for some time.

The student trustee would provide a line of communication between the student population and the board, getting students more involved in educational matters.

“They would not be elected, they would not have a vote but there is ... involvement that they can have and I think it’s a timely piece that students have some more formal representation because we know overall that we haven’t engaged young people in taking an active role in politics or even getting out to vote,” Allen said, adding that the students might feel there is no way they can make changes.

She said there does seem to be interest amongst students but it would require dedication, even though they wouldn’t be involved as much as a regular trustee.

Allen said she has talked to peers from the Vancouver School Board about student trustees and even met with two of them, who impressed her.

“I just thought it’s time that we quit just talking about it and see if we want to move forward and see what can happen,” she said.

Allen said she expects superintendent Dave Hutchinson and district staff will have some ideas for the board by September.

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