Students discuss relevant youth issues

Molly Oldham, Feature Editor, Co-Opinion Editor

Revere administrators selected nine high school students to participate in a local discussion panel and discussed a variety of important topics relevant to the welfare of the current youth.

“On the Table” is a student led discussion held in Akron which occurs the first week of October. Currently in its second year, this is a nine-member club with Billy D’Amico as field trip adviser and at risk student coordinator Bonnie Simonelli as the student coordinator. Participants are chosen by teacher recommendations with consideration in diversity of students.

On October 3, nine students traveled to Akron to discuss recent problems in our community, specifically in Summit County, and how our schools and students can fix them. Along with Revere, other participating schools include Akron Public Schools and Hudson. Around 200 students attended the event to discuss their opinions on each matter. The top five topics of conversation include economic issues and poverty, equity and social inclusion, drugs and addiction, education and youth development, and public safety and the judicial systems. Students sat evenly distributed among ten tables and each Revere student was separated.

D’Amico commented on the set up of the event and what his job was as field trip advisor.

“I was the field trip supervisor. At the On the Table discussion, I was a supervisor for my table. Tables were a random mixture of students and other community members from branches such as the Richfield and Tallmadge libraries,” D’Amico said.

Senior Stephanie Altier commented on why she believes it is important for juniors and seniors to take action and speak up on issues they believe can make a big impact on society.

“Revere is sort of in a bubble, and talking to people from different schools really opened our mind to other schools issues and seeing how fortunate we really are. We are not getting our arts programs cut because of budget issues,”  Altier said.

Both D’Amico and Simonelli believe this organization is beneficial for Revere and our community as a whole. Simonelli spoke on why she thinks it is important for students and community members to get involved.

“I think it is important because it’s getting students voices heard. Revere last year was one of the first schools to participate. It went from one school to a whole bunch of [them]. So I think it’s real important because we were on the ground level of building this,” Simonelli said.

On October 24, On the Table held a meeting in the cafeteria with both students and administration, including Associate Principal Doug Faris, Principal Phil King, and Superintendent Matthew Montgomery. Altier commented on the meeting and how impressed she was with the outcome.

“It brought a lot of things to mind. I was very impressed with how the administration listened to us. It in no way felt like they were humoring us and Mr. King actually took notes the whole time. Bullying at Revere is very indirect and in a way we are desensitized to sexist and racist comments, we hardly notice them. Louis brought up a good point that we need to treat these bullies with kindness,” Altier said.

The nine students who participated in this event include Stephanie Altier, Kurt Benedict, Kenzie Braun, Krissy DiCresce, Tara Ebert, Mikey Kahoe, Angelica Paulette-Samadi, Louis Soupan and Cheyanna Straight.