LA County Board of Education makes history by swearing in two student board members

Eric Resendiz Image
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
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The Los Angeles County Board of Education this month swore in two student board members for the first time in its history.

EL SERENO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles County Board of Education this month swore in two student board members for the first time in its history.

Sixteen-year-old Jimena Mendez made history by being one of two students to hold a seat. Mendez is a sophomore at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts.

"I am excited because I get to advocate for my school and for the students at my school," Mendez said. "And I am excited to have a student voice on the school district's board."

According to the board, the second student's name is Skylen, who is a senior at an alternative education school. Both student members will attend board meetings, make motions and express their opinion by voting on an item that can impact close to 2 million students in the county.

"I think that's wonderful. It is only fitting because LACHSA is full of outspoken students," said Rashat Toprak, a senior at L.A. County High School of the Arts.

Board officials said the students' vote will go on record, but it will not be counted to determine whether an item passes. However, it will be a way for them to express where they stand on the record for any given item.

"I think it is vital in a couple of different ways. First of all, we get to hear from students directly when they are on board," said James Cross, president of the board.

The student board members were selected by student representatives and will serve a one-year term. Mendez said she hopes to present motions that will strengthen school safety on campus. One example is adding a life-saving tool in schools under the County's Office of Education.

"Add the Narcan. And I want to enforce that and add it because I know there's been a lot people who have had tragedies with drugs," Mendez said. "So that's just one example of more safety in school."

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