By Josh Resnek
The Everett School Committee voted Monday night to back a state legislation giving the right to vote to student representatives serving on city and town school committees in Massachusetts.
The state senate and house of representatives are presently studying the measure and
will likely be voting on such a change that would revolutionize the position of school representatives.
Presently, school representatives, that is, high school students serving side by side on school committees all over the state do not have the right to vote.
”I love the idea. I’m in favor of it,” said Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
“Having a voice is great but having a vote is better,” he added.
School Committee Chair Mike Mangan said he liked the idea but could not yet vote for such a measure.
“I have questions. I don’t know enough about this. No one around us is doing this. So far, Berkshire officials are in support it. I’m not opposed but I believe we need more discussion,” he said.
Riley Avalar, an Everett High School senior serving as the student representative until June, has won accolades for her performance as a school committee member without the right to vote.
The Everett school committee consensus among the membership is that Avalar has set a high bar for those who will follow her. At least four public speakers who spoke during the public participation portion of the meeting strongly favored the measure as well.
Her performance has attracted the interest of the school committee in allowing student representatives the right to vote. Avalar has shown a propensity to speak out on important issues, to register her beliefs as well as those of her fellow Everett High School students.
She has gained the respect of the present membership of the school committee.
She has been articulate, effective and professional. The resolution passed 7-2.
The rest is now up to the state legislature.