Most school boards will have sections of their meetings for the public to express their views/concerns with how the school is being run. People who speak at the meetings are almost always parents or teachers. But it is our daily lives are affected the most by decisions made by school boards, so it is essential for us to voice our opinions.

Show up and tell your story.

Why is science education important to you?  Why should the school board defend your right to an education?  What does this mean for your future?   You are your own best advocate -- use your personal experience and hopes for the future to convince them.  School boards are there to make sure you get the education you need for the future.  Tell them what you need to make that happen.

Plan of Action

  1. Decide which board meeting you would like to speak in. Most school districts provide a calendar online with dates and times. If you can, it might be a good idea to attend at least one board meeting before you decide to speak. This allows you to become familiar with the environment and general course of the meetings.

  2. Decide if you want to speak in the allotted time for general comments or if you would like your own separate chance to speak.  It is recommended that you plan for the latter if you are discussing something already on the agenda. If you are discussing something not on the agenda, save your thoughts for the general comments time.

  3. Arrive early to make sure that you get a chance to speak.

  4. Write down your speech or even just an outline. It is important to have something that reminds you of all the topics you plan to discuss. Your speech should focus on one main point, but you may have other points or examples that back up your main argument.  Make sure you speak in your own words -- introduce yourself and tell them why they should listen to you.

  5. If you are discussing something on the agenda, most board meetings require you to fill out a speaker card at the beginning of the meeting. Be sure to write the specific agenda item on the card. If you are speaking during general comments, find a seat near the front.

  6. Take a deep breath, stand up, and speak your mind.  You’re going to do great!