8th Graders Can Not Be Silenced....We Deserve 8th Grade Activities and Early Release

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We, the 8th grade class of Discovery Middle School are requesting that our voices be heard.  Since sixth grade, we have been looking forward to our "senior year" of middle school.  This year symbolizes a rite of passage for us before we transition into high school.  The norm here for the past two years at Discovery Middle School has been that every 8th grade class has the opportunity to celebrate their hard work and efforts with an end-of-year field trip as well as a promotion ceremony.  With this being our 8th grade year we were highly anticipating our end-of-year events as other classes have celebrated in the past.  Much to our surprise, we were hit with the news on Monday, May 14 that our trip to Typhoon Texas was denied by Principal Martin, and there would possibly be no promotion ceremony.  The entire class was devastated.  All of our hard work with nothing to show for it? Doesn't seem fair at all.  A few select students were chosen to represent the 8th grade class and speak with Mr. Martin directly regarding his decision.  Our meeting with Mr. Martin was short, and fell on deaf on ears.  All of our suggestions or counterarguments were met with opposition and brushed off.  According to Principal Martin, the reason for his denial was because the district said the trip was  "not educational and not within the city limits." We were absolutely floored by his comments, considering the previous 8th grade class visited Typhoon Texas last year, and the class before that one visited Kemah.  Both trips, "out of district."  To add insult to injury, he couldn't confirm if we would be having a promotion ceremony and said, "he needed to talk with the district" and "he was working on it." We proposed if we could have a trip inside the city limits and he changed the subject.  This year has been filled with many ups and downs, from losing a Principal, to witnessing a student being seriously injured due to gang violence, but we managed to push through in spite of these events.  We, the 8th grade class don't ask for much and have worked hard throughout the year. We are asking you all to reconsider your decision to not allow us to attend an 8th grade end-of-the-year field trip.  Money is not an issue as we have been planning since January. We've worked hard and we feel we should be able to play hard. 

Additionally, the middle school students were stunned to find out that we would not be getting out early during the week of finals.  Many of us have siblings who attend Empowerment High School and having two different dismissals will greatly inconvenience us, our siblings and parents.  Having to pick up one child at 1:15 and then swing back around at 3:35 to pick up the others doesn't make much sense and will cost people time and money.  We strongly believe the schedule that has been implemented in the past with everyone receiving early release should be maintained.

What we've learned from famous leaders such as Barack Obama and even the students from Parkland High School is that if we want to see change, we have to be the change and let our voices be heard. We're talking.  We hope you hear us.

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