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Follow Up On Why Howard S. Billings High School Can't Get To Every Student

Howard S Billings (Photo: Faith Bandy) 

While our recent article on Howard S Billings High School does shed light on some of the realities of the school, such as some students finding it difficult to speak up or get a guidance appointment honored. The overall reasons as to why some of these issues might be going on are rather simple, budgets don't often allow for a lot of help to go through and there could very well be some priorities that must come first over other students. These issues can result in the school being stretched out thinly for resources.

If you'd like to read our article addressing these issues you can do so here:

So one of the realities that are faced by many schools and this includes Billings, is budgets. There very well could be some budget constraints faced by the school. This boils down to the government giving less money to schools which can result in less staff being hired, and fewer hours for resources like the guidance departments to be run. If the school board can't provide the money to have guidance operating under a dual guidance counselor concept (this would be two guidance counselors working full time) then obviously the work needs to be split up between them. This could very well be the case at Billings where there is in fact, two guidance counselors but one of them might work 20% while the other might work 80% of the workload. While It can be difficult to manage a lot of kids with a tight budget, it's not entirely impossible. The guidance department does allow for at lunch appointments and the guidance counselor was available after school on certain days during the week for aid with post-secondary applications and questions. These tools may not have been used by all of the students to a full extent.

Howard S Billings is also trying to take an active role in trying to meet the needs of students who don't feel they have a voice. They do try and push for students to go into student council but that can be limited. The administration is aware of this issue and is open to trying to fix it. A debate club could solve some of the issues with students not feeling as if they have a voice. This would enable students to bring up issues that matter most to them and possibly gain support and then solve said problems. Another solution to this affair could be an appropriate sanction against those in the school who slander students who try to use their voice with terms like "racist" (when it's not a racist opinion), and "sexist" (when it's not a sexist opinion). Some student might be called this or other names because of their difference of opinions or just unpopular opinions and ideas.

The overall ability of the school to solve some of these issues is limited due to a budget that can be heavily controlled by the government. This can result in resources being stretched out, which in this case can be a real possibility. The guidance department was able to meet at lunch and after school to help some kids out. A debate club would help some students get a voice but there would need to be examples made for those who slander students who disagree with them.

By Michael Normandin

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