By Kayla Cruz ’20
Students 4 Change started a petition to “abolish bathroom escorts, reduce homework, and for the students to be able to express themselves more.” The petition spread like wildfire across the Noble schools, where the students began to sign the petition. As of now, on Change.org, the petition has at least 4,735 signatures, and it is close to reaching the goal of 5,000 signatures.
The students at Mansueto High School started this petition. Diego Garcia, a junior at Mansueto High School and one of the founders of Students 4 Change, stated that him and his classmates presented the petition during the board meeting right after “they started speaking about Noble’s accomplishments.” On the Students 4 Change petition, it states that the bathroom escorts are “dehumanizing” and “unnecessary.” Additionally, the group also demanded that Noble reduces the amount of homework given to students. This is due to the fact that students “are showing early symptoms of sleep deprivation,” which leads to students turning in “work of low quality.” To their final request, the group also demands Noble to allow students to “express themselves” more. This is due to the fact that the group believes that “freedom of expression is heavily restricted,” and that there are no opportunities for students to “distinguish themselves from the crowd.”
Although the petition was made by students at Mansueto, some students at Pritzker have participated in signing the petition. Lizette Benavides, a junior, has signed the petition. She signed the petition because she believes that the group has “opened the door for a long, overdue conversation about certain freedoms students should have during school hours.”
While some students sympathize with the group’s efforts, other students regret signing the petition. Vanessa Valdez, a junior, regrets signing it because she “completely disagrees with the way they handled the situation.” The “situation” Valdez is referring to is Students 4 Change’s claim that they are the reason why Michael Milkie stepped down as CEO. Garcia believes that him and the group “made the final push” and “put all sorts of pressure” to get Milkie to step down.
After the group made the accusations about being the reason why Milkie stepped down, some students quickly came to Milkie’s defense by making a Facebook page called “Students 4 Milkie.”
Although Students 4 Change is advocating for better school conditions for Noble students, some students do not like the way the group has handled certain situations. Hence, some students regret signing the petition and do not support the group anymore.