Students stay current with events

Oct 19, 2023

The most weighty of current events are on the minds of Wareham students. 

Gisella Priestley, student representative for the School Committee, highlighted the ways Wareham students have been staying civically engaged during a Thursday, Oct. 19 School Committee meeting. 

Key Club is conducting a drive in support of the Haitian students in Wareham, and has expanded the drive from clothing to toiletries and hygiene products, said Priestley. The Hatian students have arrived as members of the migrant families housed in Wareham lodging places.

School Committee member Apryl Rossi said that Matthew Stanton, civics teacher and JROTC instructor, is working to coordinate Key Club and Turning Point on the drive. 

Rossi said, "When Giselle mentioned at the last meeting that Key Club was looking to do a drive, I reached out to Colonel Stanton, because Turning Point has also been working on that, so that there wasn't a double up of issues."

Key Club organizes the drive, and brings the materials to Turning Point for distribution to the students in need, said Rossi. 

Students at the Wareham High School are also starting their college preparations. Around 20 juniors and seniors attended the All Cape College Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 18, said Priestley. 

"As well, there are opportunities for students to have their college essays read by English teachers during advisory this week," said Priestley. "There were official meetings for students who are going through the pressures of having to write a personal essay, and they got to work on that with their fellow peers and English teachers."

School Committee member Geoff Swett asked if the college essay has become a source of stress, referencing the Supreme Court's decision against race-based admissions policies. The court determined in its decision that schools could still consider students' backgrounds through the personal essays. 

"I think the importance of the personal essays has been increased," said Priestley. 

She added students are taking it both as an opportunity to write about what they're passionate about, but also a source of stress. 

Swett asked if students were receiving instruction on current events in their classes, including the tragedies in Israel and Palestine and the situation with the Speakership of the House. 

Priestley said Stanton has made current events a priority. An Israeli speaker has visited the class, at Stanton's invitation, and another Palestinian speaker may attend in the future. 

"For the students that I've talked to, it's constantly on their mind," said Priestley. "I think it's an eye-opening situation." 

The events regarding the Speaker of the U.S. House were less talked about, but classes have touched on it, she said.