A Henry M. Gunn High School sophomore and former teacher are pushing for improvements in Gunn’s school climate through their campaign, Save the 2008.
The campaign’s main goals or “six steps” include downsizing classes, monitoring the amount of time spent on homework, keeping course loads under control, reducing the number of grade reports sent home, ending Gunn’s cheating culture and prohibiting cell phone usage during school hours.
Sophomore Martha Cabot and English teacher Marc Vincenti teamed up after Cabot posted a Youtube video calling for change to Gunn’s stressful academic culture.
“Marc saw it [the video], and he reached out to me,” Cabot said. “We had mutual feelings about what we could do. And from there we started the campaign.”
As of now, the campaign has not yet affected school policies.
“I feel that the school board isn’t doing much,” Cabot said. “I know things take time, but we’d like to see … someone take action.”
The campaign is not just up against the board. As Cabot puts it, there is “lots of eye-rolling” from her fellow Gunn students, but Cabot agrees with the opposition that Gunn is not at fault.
“We’re in no way trying to hurt Gunn or blame Gunn, because there’s no need for blame at all,” Cabot said. “We just want to see change, which is not happening right now. I’m proud to be able to say I’m doing something, or trying to implement some kind of change.”
Cabot has already received suggestions from other students that include implementing a homeroom system in addition to a block schedule. Her past experience in a school that implemented a homeroom system gives her confidence that it would better connect the community.
“You’d grow up with the same students and teacher, who’d mentor you throughout all four years of school,” Cabot said.