Undoubtedly, the exam schools, especially Boston Latin Academy, have been under some fire recently due to various problems. Between entrance tests, fights, and the efficacy of the school itself, many people have entirely lost sight of what we’re fighting for; the students. The media, school administration, and parents are attempting to expose and solve problems but they aren’t asking us, the students and people most affected, what we want and need. So, in pursuit of an accurate gauge of said wants and needs, students were asked a series of questions. Here’s what they said.
There have been some worrying incidents at our school over the last year. Which ones have stuck out to you and why?
“Probably the one where the girl got stabbed with the scissors. Even though it wasn’t a ‘stabbing stabbing’, it’s still like, that’s a little bit bad.” – 9th grader
“I heard that there was an incident with a sharp object or something, I think that was the one where I was like ‘oh wow, that’s really surprising’.” – 9th grader
“I would say the bullets being found on site because a gun is really only dangerous with bullets, and there’s so many possibilities of what could happen. […] I don’t know, you’re putting the students in danger and no real action was taken.” – 10th grader
“The fact that they got rid of the Pre-AP courses like there’s no Pre-AP Chem next year, no Pre-AP Calculus. So then kids aren’t gonna know enough and they’re going to be more stressed out senior year.” – 12th grader
“Mostly the fights because they’re so recent and they were really dangerous to be around. Especially with our grade, it makes a really big impression on the parents because we just got here.” – 7th grade
What needs to change at our school?
“Probably just the getting into the school, like the ISEE. We all had to work really hard to get in and it’s not easy to get good grades, but there are things that can make it easier so it might not be the most accurate.” – 9th grader
“What I’ve heard most from people around me is about situations with the teachers […] and the ways teachers treat students” – 9th grader
“The community needs to be definitely more united. I feel like nobody really knows each other, therefore no one’s really sticking up for each other.” – 10th grader
“The way that they choose school snow days, I don’t want to be here.” – 9th grader
“The grading policy shouldn’t be standardized for all the classes.” – 12th grader
What do you like about our school?
“I’ve met a lot of really good people here, like a lot of my best friends I’ve met here. And a lot of the teachers are really good and I feel like I’m actually learning.” – 9th grader
“I like how it’s set up, there’s maybe a little freedom.” – 9th grader
“I like the teachers! Some of the teachers are actually really great and offer really great advice and help. And they’re just there for you.” – 10th grader
“We get out at 1:40” – 12th grader
“It’s really inclusive towards the students and […] I really appreciate that some teachers do extra, and take some one on one time with students to make sure that they’re doing fine and also doing well in their classes.” – 9th grader
“How diverse we are. Like everywhere I go there’s different kids from each race and ethnicity. And how friendly everyone is, […] or at least most people.” – 7th grader
Though there is a variety of opinions, critiques, and praises presented by these different students, one thing is clear; we need to refocus. The problems at Boston Latin Academy impact the students most, so why are the administration, the media, and parents getting the final say in how to solve them? The students know what they want and need, and they have ideas on how we can problem-solve and improve. In the end, if we want to make this school a better place, we have to remember who we’re working for. We’re working for students, for the next generation, for future citizens, and most importantly, for human beings with valid opinions and emotions. They are the ones who know BLA’s flaws best, so they can solve them the best too.