Isabelle Sauter 0

Change AUSD homework policies for next year!

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  • AUSD school teachers and staff need to have proper training for if/ when a student has a stress-induced mental breakdown
  • AUSD school teachers who don’t teach AP classes should not give more than 15 minutes of homework a night (it adds up!)
  • AP and honors classes should have priority in a student’s schedule over non-advanced classes and the teachers of these non-advanced classes should respect that priority.
  • Teachers and staff should actively and consistently inform their students of all mental health resources that are available to them.
  • Students should feel comfortable approaching staff members if they feel stressed out or anxious.
  • “I was having a hard time completing all of my homework for all my classes and just needed another day” should be a valid excuse for a late assignment.
  • Students should not be given homework over any of the breaks so they have time to fully recharge. This includes three day weekends.

Dear AUSD,

In the AUSD school district, there have been two suicides within a 13-month period of each other. Two of your students took their own lives. Let’s talk about that.

The days and weeks following both of these suicides, we were given breathing exercises to help deal with stress. The posters I saw hung up on the walls talking about mental health blamed us for the way we felt. “Get some more sleep,” they said.

Over and over again I hear from my teachers and coaches, “You have to help yourself.” “You need to be making time for yourself.” “You need to find resources to deal with your anxiety.” “You should tell me if something is wrong.” As if the reason for our stress is entirely our fault. As if the reason those two students took their lives was their fault.

I don’t see my school taking any responsibility for its students’ mental health. I have been in high school for two years, going on three. Here are some things I’ve noticed:

1) I have not once been approached by a teacher or staff member asking if I was okay or if there was anything they could do to help me.

2) I have not once been asked for feedback about the amount of stress I was feeling or the amount of homework I have in a given class.

3) I have not once been told by a teacher that it was okay to prioritize a different class.

4) I have not once been explicitly told where to seek help if I felt like I needed it.

5) I have not once been recognized by any of the adults in my life for how hard I work in class.

6) I have contemplated harming myself because of the amount of stress I was under.

7) I have been told by multiple different friends and peers that they have considered harming themselves because of the amount of stress they were under.

8) I have cried in class because of the stress I was under and been ignored by a teacher.

Our mental health matters! We deserve to have a say in our own lives! Sign this petition to help me change homework policies for all AUSD schools. LET'S MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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