March 23, 2015

They Stand Against the Possibilities of What Capable Young People Can Contribute to this Commonwealth

By Sahil Nair

Last November, Dr. Tom Shelton resigned from his position as Superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools. While the district evaluated its options and the steps necessary to begin the superintendent selection process, we, students of the public schools and members of the Student Voice Team, saw an opportunity to elevate the voices of students into real school governance discussions.

I was part of a team that published an Op-Ed, and the feedback was phenomenal. Students, Parents, Teachers, Community Leaders, and Fayette County’s entire School Board rallied around the idea.

But the law stood in the way.

No matter how much the community said they wanted to work side by side with informed students on the superintendent selection process, the school board said that the law, as it was interpreted by the Attorney General, made that impossible. Their hands were tied. They were simply not allowed to work with a student at this level.

Today, we stand on the steps of our Capitol building. All of you, students and adult allies alike, have grown familiar with this place, as we have shepherded our bill through the legislative process. But certain legislators within its hallowed halls do not simply threaten the peaceful passage of a piece of paper.

They stand against the possibilities of what capable young people can contribute to this Commonwealth.

They stand against not only the future of our world, but also the now.

The voice of the Commonwealth of Kentucky has rung out clear and true, affirming that Student Voice Matters. Our state stands with her students.

Let us hope that in our Democracy, petty politics stands aside and defers to the rule of the people and House Bill 236 is heard on the chamber floor; and passed in this legislative session.

Informed and engaged students and our adult allies deserve nothing less.

That is why I, Sahil Nair, Stand With Students.

These remarks were deliverd at the Stand With Students Rally organized by the Student Voice Team on the steps of the capitol in Frankfort on March 23, 2015. The Rally called for the passage of House Bill 236, which would add student voting members to superintendent screening committees.

Sahil Nair

Sahil Nair

Sahil is a co-founder of KSVT and former member. He was previously Chair of the State and External Affairs Committee. Sahil graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar in 2015 and Georgetown University in 2018.