The Paly Voice

‘Save the 2,008’ to push school board tonight

Takaaki Sagawa, Author

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Members of a campaign organized by a Gunn High School student and former teacher will again bring their movement for a less stressful academic environment at tonight’s School Board meeting’s open forum session at 6:30 p.m. at the Palo Alto Unified School District office.

The campaign, ‘Save the 2,008’, was created by Gunn sophomore Martha Cabot and former teacher Marc Vicenti in reaction to the suicide of a Gunn student last year. It aims to engage the community with its six goals to decrease academic stress at Gunn, which includes assigning a less rigorous workload, having smaller class sizes and prohibiting cell phone use on campus.

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 12.52.55 AM

Save the 2,008 campaign website describes its six proposals for a less stressful academic environment. The campaign was launched last November and has participated in multiple open forums since its founding. Screenshot by Takaaki Sagawa.

Vicenti hopes the open forum will allow the campaign to gain the attention of both PAUSD and the community.

“I wish to make the campaign proposals visible, interesting and compelling to the district and Gunn leadership,” Vicenti said. “We want to engage and energize the community so that many voices will be raised in favor of our six proposals.”

Supt. Max McGee anticipates supporters of the campaign as well as those opposed to the campaign to voice their opinions during the forum.

“I expect that we will hear from people that support some of the components of Mark’s campaign,” McGee said. “I also expect we will hear from others who do not agree with some of his ideas and think that preventing suicide is a far more complex problem with solutions that go well beyond school.”

Board member Heidi Emberling appreciates the campaign’s efforts to offer input as a part of the community.

“The board is always happy to hear from the public regarding issues of importance to our school community,” Emberling said.  “We all need to work together as a community to continually improve our district for the benefit of all our students.”

The issues addressed by the campaign are ones that not only concern Gunn, but also Palo Alto High School, according to board member Terry Godfrey.

“I think the team’s goal to create ‘a school that is rich with trust, deliberation, zest, meaning and personal connection’ really hits home for students and families,” Godfrey said. “I have two students at Paly, and much of what the team wants to address is similar to what my family sees at Paly.”

The campaign has attended previous board meetings, first participating in the open forum session on Nov. 18. It was created after Cabot’s reaction video, which called for a less stressful environment at Gunn, according to Vicenti.

 

 

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