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Student Voice

Young Black Cincinnatians May Not Have Lived Through 2001’s Unrest, But They Know It Well

Jolene Almendarez, WVXU |

It’s been 20 years since a Cincinnati police officer killed Timothy Thomas, an unarmed Black teen in Over-the-Rhine – at the time, one of many deaths of Black men by police in the city – sparking demonstrations and protests. Last summer, police use of force was pushed into the national spotlight again after officers killed Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Earlier this month, several young people spoke in a roundtable discussion about how the 2001 civil unrest intersects with similar calls for justice now.


Amir Shackelford, Aubrey Jones and Noah Hawes are all age 20 or younger and agreed to meet at Elementz, a hip-hop cultural arts center not far from where the 19-year-old Thomas was killed in 2001. Most of them weren’t born then, but having grown up in Cincinnati, they each know a few different things about the unrest.

Officer Stephen Roach shot and killed Thomas in a dark alley as he ran from police. Roach said he thought Thomas was reaching for a gun, but reports later said Thomas was likely pulling up his baggy pants. Thomas was being arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors, mostly traffic citations. Roach was eventually acquitted of negligent homicide during a bench trial. Less than a year later, he was hired as an officer in Evendale.

Shackelford, 18, was active in the protests last summer, marching and going to City Hall. He’s a senior at the School for Creative and Performing Arts and does theater with Aubrey Jones.

Jones, 17, helped organize some protests and spoke at a few rallies. She’s biracial and says she’s scared for the safety of her two older Black brothers because the current justice system isn’t designed to protect them.

Noah Hawes, 20, says despite not trusting officials, it helps bridge the gap to see diversity in the city’s leadership.

Gamma LeBeau is 34 and a mentor to some of the kids at Elementz. He remembers the 2001 civil unrest and was friends with Thomas’ younger brother, Terry.

Questions discussed in the roundtable:

  • Reflecting on the killing of George Floyd and the 2020 demonstrations
  • The major issues during the summer of 2020
  • How they got involved
  • Do you all trust that your local officials and the local police have made changes for the better since last year?
  • What do you know about Timothy Thomas and the 2001 civil unrest?
  • Tell me how you and your peers of different races have experienced the racial divide in policing.
  • Do you think the 2001 and 2020 civil unrest have moved people closer to a more just society?

Cincinnati: 20 Years of Change?

Kyle Inskeep, WKRC |

This Local 12 News special report takes an in-depth look at that death and the days of unrest that followed in April of 2001. It examines the changes to police-community relations and also changes in Cincinnati socially and economically.

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – It’s been 20 years since Timothy Thomas was shot and killed by a Cincinnati police officer.
This Local 12 News special report takes an in-depth look at that death and the days of unrest that followed in April of 2001. It examines the changes to police-community relations and also changes in Cincinnati socially and economically.

Student Organizations File Amicus Brief in Critical Supreme Court Student Free Speech Case

Student Voice |

Student VoiceKentucky Student Voice Team (KSVT), Houston Independent School District Student Congress (HISD StuCon) and March For Our Lives, four grassroots student-led organizations working to elevate student voice at the national, state and local levels, have filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. to defend student free speech outside of school and on social media.

Mahanoy is likely to be the most important student free speech case in more than fifty years. Since Tinker v. Des Moines (1969), students have enjoyed off-campus First Amendment protections to hold rallies, testify at school boards, and lobby on legislation without being punished by their schools. The Supreme Court could deliver a debilitating blow to student activism if it decides to roll back these rights and authorize schools to regulate any “disruptive” off-campus or social media speech. 


Read the full press release at Student Voice.

Deer Park: Amity Students Build Virtual Library

A group of students at Amity Elementary known as the Website Wizards have been diligently working on a project to give K-6th grade students access to a virtual library featuring student authors, students reading some of their favorite books, and access to full versions of popular books worldwide.

The project was funded through a grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation called Learning Links, which allows students to create interesting projects in the classroom. The students determined that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a need for students to have virtual access to books.

The Website Wizards created the site from the ground up, utilizing the district website as a host, and building the site by learning about coding and content management systems.

Indian Hill High School students hold Courageous Conversations

/ Student Voice, student-voice, SW Ohio

It was a reversal of roles for Indian Hill High School (IHHS) students who were invited to present at the Ohio Association for College Admissions Counseling (OACAC) and Guiding the Way (GWI) to Inclusion Annual Conference. IHHS students became the teachers during the conference titled, STRONGER TOGETHER, which took place virtually, March 15-16.

During the workshop, students guided participants through a series of exercises and conversations. The purpose of their chat was to help admissions professionals become more aware of potential blind spots in the recruiting process and to leave with a renewed sense of making authentic connections with students during the application process.


Student Voice |

“Student Voice unequivocally condemns the rising hate, violence, and racism against the Asian-American community. We are sending solidarity and support to our Asian-American team members, program participants, and the broader community. Our thoughts are also with Asian-American students right now, and we hope that their schools will thoughtfully address anti-Asian racism through classroom conversation, curriculum, and overall school culture, in ways that are constructive, not retraumatizing for Asian-American students. The following are a nonexhaustive and growing list of resources around mental health, learning, information, donations, and more.”

Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity.

Anti-Asian Violence: Facing the Ugly History of Our Beautiful Kingdom

Michelle Miao, Talawanda High School – Democracy and Me, WVXU |

“There isn’t a quick solution to resolving anti-Asian hatred. It means dismantling centuries of discrimination and violent oppression, but it can start with paying attention to the lasting effects of this history in today’s society. We must recognize and call out casual scapegoating of the Asian community. We must educate ourselves and others about America’s history of discrimination against people of Asian descent, have difficult conversations, and support the Asian community, because as long as one minority faces discrimination, no one can truly be free.”

Michelle Miao is a junior at Talawanda High School.

Read her full opinion piece at WVXU’s Democracy and Me

HS Senior’s Research on COVID in High-Needs Areas Adopted by Congressional Coronavirus Task Force

Tim Newcomb, The 74 |

When high school senior Vivian Yee started researching the health disparities in underprivileged communities during the pandemic, she hoped to eventually help minimize inequities among the socially vulnerable. She didn’t have to wait long — her new, comprehensive approach to studying the impact of infectious diseases is being used by the congressional Coronavirus Task Force to guide both relief legislation and changes for future efforts.

Her project uses the U.S. government’s Social Vulnerability Index to demonstrate the greater impact of COVID-19 on socially vulnerable communities and identifies public health policies that can potentially improve health care responses and diminish inequalities.

“They actually accepted it to be used to guide the design of relief legislation,” she says. “I also wrote a lot about long-term changes that need to be made. As they continue to discuss, in the long run, how we can better prepare for the next outbreak, that is also something they are going to take into account.”

Yee, a senior at International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, did an internship last summer through the Department of Defense with the U.S. COVID Response Team and was encouraged by staff to work on her own experiments. With an interest in social justice and cell biology, Yee started looking at the pandemic in a way that brought together her interests.

I’m a high school sophomore. Here’s how schools can teach kids to solve real-world problems

Luke Harris, Fast Company |

“As we move into an increasingly robotic and digital age, solving complicated human problems becomes more important than ever. Schools need to teach more of the process of entrepreneurship and engineering, including development and research to truly understand user needs. If we want the entrepreneurs of the future to succeed, it’s important that our engineering curriculums teach them the necessary skills. During COVID-19, we gained an opportunity to rethink workplace practices and schooling techniques—let’s do the same with the way we teach engineering.”

Luke Harris

Luke Harris is a sophomore at Horace Mann in The Bronx, NY.

Dear Adult Leaders: Don’t Just Try to Copy-and-Paste In-Person Instruction to Online Learning

Margarida Celestino, The 74 Million |

To promote meaningful learning during COVID-19, teachers should not try to replicate in-person instruction online. In my experience, the way to promote meaningful learning is to adapt instruction in a way that recognizes the unique circumstances that we’re in.

Margarida Celestino

Margarida Celestino is a student at Casco Bay High School – Portland, Maine.

Meet TIME’s First-Ever Kid of the Year: Gitanjali Rao, 15

/ leadership, Student Voice, student-voice

TIME and CBS News |

Just 15 years old, Rao has been selected from a field of more than 5,000 nominees as TIME’s first ever Kid of the Year. She spoke about her astonishing work using technology to tackle issues ranging from contaminated drinking water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying, and about her mission to create a global community of young innovators to solve problems the world over. 


Student voice changed a high-schooler’s life. It now drives his leadership as a superintendent

Education Dive |

Gregory Hutchings, an African American who graduated from T.C. Williams High School in 1995, is now the district’s superintendent. In recent years, and decades after the integration of his high school in 1971, Hutchings’ district has focused its efforts on creating more opportunities for students of color. 

Key to the process has been giving students a seat at the table.

How to improve schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to students

Hechinger Report |

What is and isn’t working for students? What do they believe could be changed or refined? Students have identified common problems and shared similar ideas for what schools can do better.

  • Sophia Perry, a senior at Red Bank High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, says her school has been lax in enforcing its mandatory mask-wearing policy. 
  • Magdalena Slapik spoke to students — some attending school virtually, others in person — who shared their struggles and ideas for improvement. 
  • Camille Fei, a junior at Philip Simmons High School in Charleston, South Carolina, hopes to start an equity club this year to address the lack of antiracism education at her school. 
  • William Diep, a senior at The Brooklyn Latin School in Brooklyn, New York, has chosen to learn exclusively from home this year to keep himself and his family safe.
  • Evelyn Livingston, a seventh grade student at Cameron Academy of Virtual Education in Cameron, Wisconsin, wishes her teachers gave students opportunities to discuss current events, such as the racial protests of the summer.
  • Eric Sandage, a junior at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, Vermont, wishes his teachers assigned less work and made it more meaningful.

Giving Children a Voice Can Lead to Better Outcomes for All

Michaela Bruckmayer – RAND |

Developing the New European Strategy on the Rights of the Child

The European Union recently held the 13th annual Forum on the Rights of the Child, during which experts from a range of sectors who work on issues relating to children came together to discuss how best to guarantee the realisation of children’s rights.

Participants in the forum included policymakers, judicial and child protection practitioners, ombudspersons for children, international and non-governmental organisations, and staff from EU institutions and agencies. Perhaps most importantly, the event was also attended by children and young people themselves. They were asked to express their views on the topics discussed, as well as to reflect on what adults said and share their feedback.

The participation of children and young people in this event is in line with growing recognition of the importance of giving children the opportunity to participate in EU political and democratic life. The right of children to participate is enshrined in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). Under this treaty, one of the most widely ratified human rights conventions, state parties oblige themselves to ensure that children are given the right to express their own views “freely in all matters affecting the child [and that] the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.”

However, more could be done to make sure that this principle is translated into practice, and that children can express their views and that their voices are heard, including in decisionmaking.

Michaela Bruckmayer is an analyst at RAND Europe in the area of home affairs and social policy and conducts research for the European Platform for Investing in Children and the Child Participation study.

Lockland Students Featured in New York Times for Kids

/ Student Voice, student-voice, SW Ohio

Lockland Schools |

Lockland Elementary School 4th graders were featured in the New York Times for Kids national publication piece about the presidential election. Each of the featured young scholars wrote about what they would do first as our President.

Wyoming student takes aim at language barrier, creates videos for police


Wyoming High School senior Luca Barron says he came up with the idea after witnessing a traffic stop on his street. He says he noticed the people in the car didn’t speak English. Now Barrons says he’s created several videos he hopes will prevent language barriers in the future — and the Wyoming Police Department is praising him for it.

Forget civics class: Students want to make a difference in school policy

/ leadership, Student Voice, student-voice

Hechinger Report |

In recent years, students have led climate marches, gun control rallies and walkouts protesting federal immigration policies and racial injustice. Now they are demanding a greater role in school policy and the decisions that shape their educations.

A handful of states, including California, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Vermont, do allow student representatives full voting rights on state boards of education. Massachusetts is unique in that the student board representatives are elected by their peers.

Student seeks to create the ‘Netflix of online learning’

The Hechinger Report |

When the coronavirus pandemic first struck and classes shifted online last spring, Sophia Joffe was in 11th grade. Her private school in Toronto, Ontario, had made the transition admirably well, she thought, but she wondered what online tools existed to supplement her studies, and how she’d find the best options. She was also curious how students were faring in other schools. “I remember thinking that the school systems must have a great list of recommended online learning,” she said. “But I was wrong.”

Joffe saw an entrepreneurial opportunity. She invested $19 — the cost of hosting a website — and created, a database of more than 300 online learning tools, in tables clearly organized by grade level and subject matter, including a civics curriculum founded by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and engineering lessons on how to build a robotic arm.

Joffe’s database answered a pandemic-era demand: About a quarter of families and teachers want more online instructions and resources to help them use online learning tools, according to a recent NewSchools Venture Fund-Gallup poll. By October, her database had more than 500 unique visitors from more than 40 countries, and plenty of options to meet their individualized needs.

For 26 Years, NJ Teacher Had His 6th-Graders Write Letters to Their Future Selves. This Year He Got to See Them Opened

The 74 Million |

“This isn’t just … a creative writing assignment, you’re actually traveling from the past to the future,” says teacher Richard Palmgren. “You’ve taken like a snapshot of your past and you’re presenting it to your future self.”

For over 25 years, Palmgren has asked his sixth-graders to compose letters to their future 18-year-old selves. Letter writers describe their life as a middle schooler, chronicle current events, and share some wishes for what lies ahead. After students seal, stamp, and address their messages, Palmgren locks the envelopes safely away for six years to be sent back just a few weeks before high school graduation.

Normally, no one but the letter writers themselves lay eyes on these time-bending documents but this year for the first time, the ritual was captured in two short documentaries entitled Dear Future Me. Produced by Redglass Pictures and Garage by HP, the films show the sixth-graders writing their letters earmarked for 2026 and the seniors opening theirs penned back in 2014.

Class of 2020 reading their letters from 6th grade.
Class of 2026 writing their letters.

Dublin student says kindness, not politics, is focus of her T-shirts for charity

The Columbus Dispatch |

Lucy McGary wants all students to feel how she did when she read the words on her school principal’s T-shirt. It was more than just a piece of clothing, the rainbow letters stamped onto the black fabric.

As a young Black woman, reading the phrases “Women’s rights are human rights” and “Black Lives Matter” was, to 17-year-old McGary, a gesture of love and support, especially as she returned to school following a summer of civil unrest and racial tensions that left her feeling hurt.

But many in the Dublin community disagreed.

When McGary learned that the T-shirts worn by three educators at Dublin Scioto High School on Sept. 10 had caused controversy, and that they could no longer wear them, the senior didn’t want those good feelings to disappear. So she designed similar shirts of her own.

CPS Student Joins National Town Hall Forum

/ equity, Student Voice, student-voice, SW Ohio


Walnut Hills High School student Simone’ Simmons will be part of a virtual National Town Hall Meeting focused on discussions of race and equity.

The National Town Hall Meeting is from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Friday, October 16. It is sponsored by the Council of the Great City Schools in conjunction with the Urban School coalition. The event features student leaders from 10 urban school districts and will be moderated by Tay Anderson, member of the Denver school board and a social justice activist.

‘Now we have to be strong for them’: Students join Gahanna-Jefferson teachers in strike

/ HR, Ohio, Student Voice, student-voice

The Columbus Dispatch |

Dozens of students with homemade signs extended the picket line outside Gahanna Lincoln High School on Wednesday morning, standing alongside their teachers on their second day on strike. 

“People are telling me they can’t eat, they can’t sleep. They feel like their futures are on the line, all because a few adults can’t sit at the table and agree,” said Jason Raymond, president of the high school’s student council. Raymond, a 17-year-old senior, said he encourages all students to share their voices, regardless of how they feel about the strike. Students who gathered Wednesday organized the effort on social media.

To him, supporting his teachers is what feels right. “I’ve seen teachers cry today. They’re the ones who are usually strong for us. Now we have to be strong for them,” Raymond said. “I want the school board to look at the teachers and understand that no one would be doing this — giving up their pay, their health insurance — if they didn’t think it was important.”

Youth Voices: A Student Town Hall on the 2020 Election – October 20th, 2020

National Council for the Social Studies |

Moderated by NCSS President, Stefanie Wager and New York Times–bestselling author, Kenneth C. Davis, join NCSS in its first virtual Town Hall to hear directly from a panel of students on the subjects of citizenship, the election process, and civics. The Moderators will introduce the Town Hall with brief student statements reflecting their broad concerns about democracy, social studies, and citizenship. 

From there, students on the panel (and via pre-recorded videos) will discuss two broad questions:

  • What issues matter most to you? 
  • What do they think it means to be a citizen?  

Breakout topics and questions will include:

  • Do you see yourself in the political process?
  • How well does our election process work for you, and how could it be improved?
  • What do you see as the future of democracy in America?
  • Does the electoral college still work?
  • Should we control campaign spending and the influence of money in politics?
  • Does America’s two-party political system work, or can it be changed? 
  • Is 18 the “right” voting age? 
  • Is democracy in peril in our current partisan environment?

Learn more at the NCSS

We Are The Radical Monarchs

PBS – POV (Point of View) |

Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color on the frontlines of social justice. Set in Oakland, California, the film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units on such subjects as LGBTQ allyship, environmental preservation and disability justice. Official Selection, SXSW. A co-presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting.

Full video available through CET Passport.

Norwood High School students help renovate, reopen basketball court

/ Student Voice, student-voice, SW Ohio

Norwood High School sophomore Jazsmin Madden, 15, was one of the students who came up with the idea to renovate the court. “Bad choices are being made by kids due to peer pressure, and things they see in movies and on TV and online now,” Madden said. “They’re out by themselves getting into these bad things because they don’t have a healthy alternative.”

City officials worked with ASAP Norwood, an organization that works to prevent substance abuse, to renovate and re-open Waterworks Park Basketball Courts.

Youth leaders working to build a more perfect union one project at a time

/ leadership, Student Voice, student-voice

CBS News |

For the “CBS This Morning” series A More Perfect Union, Adriana Diaz speaks to a group of teenagers, many who can’t even vote yet, working to strengthen communities and American democracy itself, one project at a time.

What Teens Say They Need, and How Schools Can Adjust

/ Student Voice, student-voice

Edutopia |

Students say they want a voice in the big education decisions that affect their lives—and their top concerns are backed by plenty of research.

Indian Hill High School student builds volunteer force to keep virtual students connected


In March, when the Indian Hill School District joined districts across Ohio in distance learning, Indian Hill High School (IHHS) student Sophie Chabris felt the distance.

Chabris turned that feeling into a plan of action for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. She created the IHHS Corona Care Callers Program. The mission of the program is to create meaningful connections between students, particularly those who are part of Indian Hill’s Brave Virtual Academy (BVA), a new learning option for Indian Hill families wanting to study in a flexible, online environment.

Lakota West’s Student Athlete Advisory Board: More than Meets the Eye


Every other Sunday, August through May, nearly 60 of Lakota West’s finest student-athletes gather for two to three hours to practice a skill shared across all their sports: leadership. Senior members, or “veteran leaders,” organize and lead each meeting for their junior member counterparts, or “emerging leaders.” 

Following Jeff Janssen’s “The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual,” every meeting zooms in on a new chapter and theme, combining small group discussion with a former Lakota athlete as their guest speaker. 

Students Share Insights and Advice for School Leaders, Policymakers for Coronavirus Reopening in Virtual Town Hall

The 74 Million |

Hundreds from across the country gathered in a virtual town hall on Aug. 26 to partake in a student discussion of reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing movement for racial justice.

Questions addressed included:

  • What are young people thinking and feeling about starting the year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic after a spring of disrupted learning?
  • How have the pandemic and school closures exacerbated racial tensions and created greater urgency for addressing racism in school?
  • What advice can young people share with school leaders in this unprecedented moment?

Attorney General Yost Announces Teen Ambassador Board Members

Ohio Attorney General’s Office |

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced that more than 400 students representing 68 Ohio counties have been named to his office’s Teen Ambassador Board for the upcoming school year. The participants represent more than 180 schools throughout the state.

Board members advise the Attorney General’s Office on issues relating to teens, and they work with their peers to develop solutions. They also attend presentations, hear from elected officials, interact with assistant attorneys general, and have the opportunity to participate in events throughout the state once activities resume, but until then, the office plans to offer video calls with prominent figures around Ohio.

Colorado Students Weigh In On Virtual Learning During The Pandemic

/ Student Voice, student-voice


School children of all ages share their thoughts on remote learning ahead of the new school year. Most have mixed feelings about more remote learning.

COVID-19 and school openings are a dangerous mix. Don’t force us students to risk it.

NBC News Think | Sadie Bograd

The inability of our policymakers to grasp a concept that a fifth grader could understand is highlighting something students have known all along: Our voices matter. As the direct recipients of education, we deserve to be included in decisions that impact our everyday lives. The public officials determining what school will look like during a pandemic need to listen more to public health experts — but also to students, who spend over 30 hours a week experiencing firsthand the impacts of their policies.

Sadie Bograd

Sadie Bograd is a high school senior in Kentucky and a reporter for the Press Corps at Student Voice.

Students, History Experts Call For Anti-Racist Curricula in K-12 Schools

/ Student Voice, student-voice

Student Voice |

The Education Justice Collective’s Move School Forward team, which includes Student Voice, hosted a Town Hall on Decolonizing K-12 Curriculum featuring history experts and student organizers from across the country. History experts explained the necessity of accessible, accurate history and civics education to democratic society and students told the stories about their experiences in school related to anti-racism, decolonizing curriculum and civic action.

30 Days of Action – Move School Forward

/ Student Voice, student-voice

Education Justice Collective |

Thousands of students from across the country are coming together in the month of July to launch the Move School Forward: 30 Days of Action campaign and to demand education justice for all students, including action around anti-racist curricula and police-free schools.

Their ten guiding principles envision an education system that includes students as full participants in the decision-making process, from the school to state levels.


More Than A Hashtag

/ social-justice, Student Voice

Spark Online – Lakota East High School |

Among the thousands of protestors in Cincinnati on June 7 was East junior Camille Heard. She attended the protest with her sister, mother, and a family friend. For Heard, taking part in the protest meant more than just marching down the street.

How has fear shaped our lives?

/ Student Voice, student-voice

Michigan Public Radio |

Gen Z is growing up in a world changed forever before they were even born by events like September 11 and Columbine.

They’ve also been hit with two defining events that will shape their lives in ways we can’t even anticipate: the looming threat of climate change, and the more immediate threat of COVID-19.

Listen how growing up in a sort of “age of fear” has shaped their lives.

Speaking up and speaking out against social injustice – students discuss solutions


CPS students discussed several topics over the past three weeks as part of the weekly “Speak Up and Speak Out” video conference hosted by Cincinnati Public Schools including strategies on ways to improve civic duties including voting opportunities, school curriculum and instruction and interactions with police.


Video from WCPO –

One discussion point went directly to how the students feel the schools need to update what is being taught in social studies and English classes. 


The Young Voices Behind The Movement


Joining WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition today is Nadyaa Betts, co-president of the Walnut Hills High School Black Culture Club and one of the organizers of a June 12 March for Justice protest on campus. Also joining the program is Santino Jordan, he took part in a Hyde Park protest put on by a Withrow High School graduate. And Ayesha Chaudhry, part of a group that organized a COVID-safe march in Mason this past Saturday.

Cincinnati Schools Hosted Speak Up Speak Out Forum

Spectrum News 1 |

A half dozen Cincinnati Public school students shared their voices Wednesday afternoon after protests have been organized around the country after George Floyd’s death.

“This is an opportunity for the young people in the city of Cincinnati to rise up in peaceful demonstration to take a stance against racism that is seen in our communities and potentially also experienced within our schools,” Laura Michell, Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent said.

The virtual meeting was open for all seventh through twelfth grade students. The students that were selected to talk, shared how they’re feeling in today’s world. The Speak Up Speak Out forum will continue weekly to allow the conversation to continue.

‘This Is a Revolution’: Student Activists Across the Country Take Their Place — on the Front Lines and Behind the Scenes — in Historic Protests

The 74 Million |

Determined to enact change and inspired by the collective power of this moment, students who can are taking face masks and signs and joining peaceful protests. Some living at home, wary of putting their parents’ and siblings’ health in danger, are turning to Zoom calls with friends and posting Instagram Live stories. 

Others are observing for now, figuring out how they want to join a movement that is not without risk for peaceful demonstrators and has been overtaken by violence, looting and arson at night in multiple cities.

CPS Students Speak Up, Speak Out Forum Launches Wednesday

Cincinnati Public Schools |

CPS Students Speak Up and Speak Out is an opportunity for CPS students to speak up and speak out and have their voices heard surrounding racial injustice and inequities in our city and country. Community leaders will come together to dialogue with our student leaders on how we can effectively make true progress and support them through this time of injustice and racism.

The primary audience is 7th- through 12th-grade students, with a special focus on our African-American Students; Open to media and community in a listen-only mode.

Young people in Springboro protest death of George Floyd

Journal-News |

The Springboro event organizers, Katherine Cismesia and Brooklynne Stange, both 16, are students from Springboro High School.

Student Photographers Document History During the Pandemic

/ Student Voice, student-voice

Edutopia |

As the world closed down, a high school photography assignment captured the imaginations of students and teachers around the country.

Teens create first-of-its-kind publication in Cincinnati despite coronavirus setbacks

WCPO – Cincinnati |

The name of the publication, “Tellus Zine,” comes from the latin word “tellus” which means earth, and “zine,” which is a self-publication. Photography, painting, poetry and short narratives are just a few highlights readers will see.

Along with the board members, Tellus Zine will feature creative works from 22 young adults ages 12 to 21. The publication is free and is accessible at There is also information on how teens can get involved in the next edition.

Milford Students Sing for Children’s Hospital Video

/ arts, community, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Milford EVSD |

Milford High School was set to perform “High School Musical Junior” as their spring play, but the COVID-19 shut down canceled the show. Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center reached out and asked our students to provide vocals for this video!

10 Milford student provided the soundtrack: Paige Riek, Andrew Richmond, Lesley Webster, Anna Verderber, Lexi Fields, Emma Stevens, Sophie Mailloux, Isabelle Rowe, Payne Ackermann, and Everett Nabors.

St. Xavier student creates website for grocery delivery during pandemic

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

The site has been up for two weeks and in that time he has recruited 70 volunteers and fulfilled 30 orders. Between his Zoom online classes he checks orders and emails to help correspond between people in need and his volunteers.

‘I’m Really Struggling’: In 6 Home Classrooms, Families Keep Learning Alive In A Pandemic

via WVXU |

Inconsistent access to technology and specialists for language and special education services are among the most pressing issues. Such challenges always existed, but the crisis has amplified them.

With education as it was known upended, The Enquirer and WVXU teamed up to sit or phone in with six families on Thursday to find out what a day of learning at home looks like and to share struggles and triumphs.

Ohio children feel traumatized by some active shooter drills. Do students need them?

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

“Grown-ups don’t understand what it feels like. Even when they tell me it’s a drill, I still have to hide, so I don’t believe them.”

“In a fire drill, you don’t set a fire.”

Reading Students Shine at God, Flag, and Country Competition

/ Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Reading Community City Schools |

Reading students competed in the Fraternal Order of Eagles annual God, Flag & Country Oratory Program on Saturday, February 15, 2020. First-place winners are now eligible to compete for district, zone, state, and national titles.

Springboro JROTC senior honors POW/MIA’s with Eagle Scout project

/ Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Dayton Daily News |

Fans attending the Jan. 28 Springboro home basketball game against Franklin witnessed an emotional ceremony between the junior varsity and varsity games, an event that took senior Jonas Yu a year to plan and coordinate.

MHS Journalism Profile: Streitenberger is a familiar face at McClain High School

/ Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Highland County Press and Greenfield EVSD |

Brandon Streitenberger has been an educator at McClain High School for 28 years. He has taught government, psychology, U.S. studies, world studies, ancient world history and geography.

The article is the fourth of 12 personal-profile stories written by MHS journalism students about influential people in their lives.

New Richmond HS seniors ‘Roar on the River’ with a their weekly news show

/ Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Clermont Sun |

Three teams of seven students, all seniors from Nicole Parker’s public speaking class, are producing Roar on the River, a news show recently introduced at New Richmond High School. The students use the tools provided in the school’s makerspace to create their news show.

Innovative Learning: Letting high schoolers design the future

/ Solutions, Student Voice, tech

via Hechinger Report |

At the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries conference in Boston, school groups showed off how they are using technology in the classroom, how students are taking the lead on projects that aim to solve local or global problems, and otherwise experimenting with nontraditional learning experiences.

Indian Hill High School students selected for Regional Youth Leadership experience

/ leadership, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Indian Hill EVSD |

IHHS juniors Amitesh Verma and Will Ford are exploring careers and social issues as part of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Youth Leadership (RYL) program.

Fairfield: FHS Journalism Students Spread “Be Better” Message to Classmates

/ Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Fairfield City School District |

FHS principal addresses serious issues facing school, explains in detail his televised personal message to students.

Sycamore JH school student speaks to lawmakers in effort to get kids’ hearing loss covered by insurance

/ legislation, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via WKRC |

House Bill 243 if passed, would require insurance companies to cover hearing aids and related services for people under 22 years old.

Bethel-Tate school district joins in support of annual student organized fireworks show

/ Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Clermont Sun |

The Bethel-Tate Board of Education approved a request from the Bethel-Tate High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society to join in supporting an annual fireworks show and festival, with this year’s event scheduled for mid-May.

High School senior Samuel Frondorf, president of the school’s NHS, presented the request to the school board during its regular monthly meeting on Jan. 13.

Greenfield: MHS Journalism Profile – Angela Shepherd has a love for writing

/ ELA, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Highland County Press and Greenfield Exempted Village School District |

Sycamore: Young Aviators To Chat with Astronauts In Space

/ community, science, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Sycamore Community Schools |

Second graders from across the district will get to speak with astronauts aboard the International Space Station in February. Maple Dale Elementary is one of nine North American sites to be selected for this unique opportunity.

The voice-only communication, called an ARISS Contact, will happen sometime between February 17-23. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, the school will not be notified of the precise date and time until 24 hours before the event.

Cincinnati Public Schools no longer offer driver’s ed, creating challenges for students

/ literacy, Student Voice

via WCPO and Paola Suro, Justice Ferrell, Isaiah Cowins |

Many public and private high schools used to offer driver’s education courses to their students. But starting in the 1990s, many schools removed those classes.

No Cincinnati Public Schools offer driver’s ed courses. Ohio Law says anyone younger than 18 years old is required to take driver’s education courses in order to get a license.

It can be a challenge for teenagers to find affordable, accessible lessons. Classes range in cost from $400 to $800.

This story is part of WCPO’s efforts to highlight News Literacy Week. WCPO is working with the News Literacy Project to partner with Hughes Stem High School, where students Justice Ferrell and Isaiah Cowins helped lead the reporting on this story.

Hope Week at Madeira High School promotes mental health awareness

/ health/wellness, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via WLWT |

They’re told to QPR: question, persuade and refer when a student is struggling.

“A lot of kids are suffering, and they a lot of times keep it bottled, and they’re too afraid to tell anyone, and that can get really dangerous, especially with suicide and everything going on in today’s culture,” said junior Izzy Gutierrez.

Lakota freshman raises thousands for foster care children after viral act of kindness

/ community, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via WLWT |

A Lakota freshman is making a big impact on his community and receiving praise from around the globe after a video on social media went viral.

“The main goal that I posted the video for was to open people’s minds up. You don’t understand what people go through outside of school,” Martin said. “I want to go farther in this and see where this goes, and I want to keep giving.”

Students from Loveland High School’s Tigers Inc. meet with Ohio Secretary of State

/ curriculum, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Loveland City Schools |

The students in Mr. Murnan’s class Tigers Inc. at Loveland High School (LHS) had the unique opportunity to meet with and present to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose on January 9.

Students led a presentation about their business venture and received their Ohio nonprofit status.

Currently Tigers Inc. is the umbrella organization for three separate cohorts: Marketing, Strategic Project Management and Wealth Management. More cohorts are being considered as additions. Running Tigers Inc. like an actual, traditional business allows students to apply their developing knowledge and skills across a range of areas.

Students Celebrate Life And Work Of Dr. Martin Luther King

/ Student Voice

via Statehouse News Bureau |

Of the many commemorations of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday across Ohio was a state sponsored event at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus with Governor Mike DeWine.

The event also featured the winners of the state’s annual student oratorical contest.

Below are excerpts from the speeches of 9-year-old third grader Leah Noelle Jackson of Bedford, 15-year-old freshman Ayla Bella of Columbus, 17-year-old senior Playon Patrick of Columbus and 11-year-old sixth grader Adonia Balqis of Columbus.

via WVXU

Governor DeWine listens to students from Anderson, Deer Park, Norwood, and Loveland schools

/ community, Student Voice

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine visited with students and school staff in Franklin, Hamilton, and Lawrence counties throughout the day on November 26th, to highlight a significant state investment in prevention education services for students in grades K-12.

Image via

Student leadership exchange creates open conversations

/ leadership, Solutions, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via WLWT Cincinnati |

The Leadership Exchange, an idea that began at Sycamore High School, brings together suburban and inner-city students to create a safe space for honest peer to peer dialogue. Through the work of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, students from suburban and urban schools such as Withrow High School come together for “frank lessons about leadership.”

Read the full article on WLWT.

Group Hopes If NKY Kids Vote Early, They’ll Vote Often

/ civics, Link, Student Voice

via WVXU

Cathy Stavros with Kids Voting Northern Kentucky says their non-partisan organization takes ballots for children to official polling places, with the idea parents will bring their kids along. Stavros says about 11,000 students voted in the last presidential election, and another 300 volunteered as poll workers and election officials.

full article available from WVXU

Cincinnati Youth Make Recommendations For Policing Changes

WVXU Cincinnati |

A group of Cincinnati teens, sponsored by the Children’s Law Center, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Urban League, is making recommendations to the city of Cincinnati to reduce the number of youth arrests and eliminate racial disparities.

The goal was to come up with policy recommendations but they also learned about the juvenile justice system and how to request information.

Beechwood Independent Schools encourages students to get real-world career experience

via WCPO Cincinnati

EDGE is a program “rooted in the idea that our students need educational design that is geared toward experience,” superintendent Mike Stacy wrote in a recent letter to members of the community. It allows students to select one of eight paths to pursue with extra focus throughout their time in the school system.

Read the complete story on WCPO.

High school student’s newsletter helps connect immigrants

/ grants, Student Voice

via the Orlando Sentinel

Rayala, a senior at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio, gathers news that she thinks would be of interest or relevant to immigrants living in central Ohio, and she works with a team of translators and editors to tell the stories in three languages: Telugu, Tamil, and French.

The newsletter has about 300 subscribers, and Rayala is working to expand it to other languages, including Spanish, Somali, and Nepali.

read the full article in the Orlando Sentinel

Ohio student runner disqualified for wearing hijab

/ sports, Student Voice

via WCMH Columbus

A student on the varsity cross country team at Ohio’s Sylvania Northview High School was disqualified this past Saturday after running her race for wearing her hijab even though she had run in several races before. Officials informed her coach that she was disqualified.

A student-athlete for three years, she has a FIFA approved hijab for soccer.

There is no written rule against wearing a religious head covering for cross country. Instead, it is verbal, making it unclear to both athletes and coaches.

read the full article available at WCMH

Florence middle school students participate in live NASA broadcast of historic all-female spacewalk

/ science, Student Voice

via WLWT Cincinnati

Nick Wilson, science teacher at Jones Middle School in Florence, tuned into the live NASA broadcast for his sixth-grade science class because it was a teaching moment, as well as a history-making moment.

Wilson’s students even asked a question that was tweeted out to NASA, and it was shown during the live national feed.

full article available via WLWT

Innovation Hubs Facilitate Good Old Fashioned Collaboration

/ curriculum, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Lakota Local School District

For the last month, Lakota sixth-graders have been using their daily Personalized Learning Time scribbling their ideas on the whiteboards and huddled around their Chromebooks at these stations – not lost in their own individual research, but collaborating in teams and exchanging ideas.

“I started the lesson in my classroom, but the moment we started visiting the Hub and making use of the collaboration spaces, I couldn’t believe how much the level of engagement ramped up.” – Tanya Hoeting, 6th grade teacher.

The project based learning activity, which asks students to create a 60-second video providing a solution to a global issue caused by overpopulation, gave students loads of choices to make along the way – which issue to tackle, what research tools to use and finally what kind of video to create.

full article available via Lakota Local School District

Finneytown High School Student Leaders Attend Leadership Conference at the University of Cincinnati

/ leadership, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Finneytown Local School District

Finneytown High School students continue to develop their leadership skills through conferences held at the University of Cincinnati. The leadership conference held several breakout sessions, and students connected with nonprofit leaders and other high school students to support a range of causes in our community.

Students lead Cincinnati Public Schools pedestrian safety vote

/ civics, Student Voice

via WCPO Cincinnati

J.T. and Madelyn co-chair the Youth Pedestrian Safety Task Force and were cheering a Vision Zero vote by the school board Monday night.

Both students responded to the issue of student pedestrian safety by becoming involved in bringing awareness to the problem. Thornton won a national contest with a public service announcement called “It’s Lit to Not Get Hit.” Sands Montessori sixth-grader Madelyn Gerker wrote a letter to Mayor John Cranley and City Council.

Last year, 13 students from Cincinnati Public Schools were hit walking to or from school.

full article available from WCPO

Ohio Youth Climate Strike to protest government inaction at Cincinnati City Hall

/ civics, Student Voice, SW Ohio

via Cincinnati Enquirer

Organizers of an Ohio Youth Climate Strike have promised to bring between 150 to 300 people Friday to Cincinnati City Hall to protest a lack of government action about global climate change.

Ohio Climate Strike participants will be protesting in support of a Green New Deal, and against government inaction, according to a news release from the group.

full article available from the Cincinnati Enquirer

What’s Lost When We Rush Kids Through Childhood

/ BigPicture, curriculum, Student Voice

via Edutopia

The author of The Importance of Being Little on the costs of our collective failure to see the world through the eyes of children.

“I sometimes ask teachers to get down on the floor of their classroom and just look around from the height of a 4-year-old, or try to put on a snowsuit with the motor abilities of a young child. It’s eye-opening to reflect on the many ways that adults inflict adult pacing, adult expectations, and adult schedules on young kids.

And for what reason?”

full article available from Edutopia

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