Students who take English three honors want to make a change for Meridian. After reading “Civil Disobedience,” an essay written by a famous transcendentalist named Henry David Thoreau, the students in Christy Wherley’s third-hour class decided it was time for them to make a change of their own, for their peers and school.
“We’ve got 12 students in the third hour and 14 students in the fourth hour,” said Christy Wherley. “We collaborate during class time and students also have individual assignments that they’re required to fulfill.”
Christy Wherley’s third-hour wants students to have the choice to take final exams with certain requirements that they will determine. Wherley’s students interviewed different teachers, students and others to collect research.
Hallie Gates, a third-hour student in Wherley’s class, gets very stressed about finals. Gates helps people with their exams and sees the stress other students go through when the exams approach.
“There’s some people who work really hard and still don’t get a good grade on their final, and they’re A or B students. And they deserve to keep that grade, rather than flunking the final and bringing their final grade down,” said Gates.
Audrey Wise studies for exams quite a bit. This is her first year where she won’t play a winter sport, but when she did play, she was very stressed about exams and could not find the time to study. Wise is concerned about the students who play sports finding time to study for exams.
“I feel like in the future, it will relieve stress from future students and I think it will motivate a lot more students to push themselves to get better grades and to meet the requirements,” said Wise.
Lyric Greenwood, another one of Wherley’s third-hour students, believes this change will benefit students because it will reduce stress, allow students to get more sleep, or even stop crying.
“During semester exams I feel very stressed out, and I feel like when I’m stressed out, the worse I do on exams,” said Greenwood. “So, having the option to not take exams is very nice and comforting for me. Because I’ve realized I don’t have to be stressed all the time.”
In Wherley’s fourth-hour class, students want to implement mental health days for students. Wherley’s students read an article about other schools who allow their students to have mental health days and her students agreed it’s something Meridian should do, too. The students in her fourth hour’s main focus was centered around research to support their beliefs.
This topic hit home for Robert Le Cates. Le Cates has had friends and people he knows who have struggled with mental illness and the effects of it, which includes death.
This topic also hit home for another one of Wherley’s students, Zoey Hayes, but Hayes’ experiences mental health issues herself.
“I’ve struggled with mental health a lot through my entire life,” said Hayes. “It’s affected me a lot so I thought it was time to represent the people that aren’t heard enough because I know that if I knew there were people there for me, and if I had somebody I could talk to that I knew was going through the same thing, then it would have meant a lot to me.”
Hayes believes there needs to be more representation of mental health in Meridian. Students would have a better attitude and mentality towards school if mental health days were incorporated.
Chloe Moyer, another one of Wherley’s students that mental health has affected, believes if she had an intervention earlier, she probably wouldn’t have ended up “as bad as I am now.”
“Mental illness doesn’t just affect you, it affects the people around you,” said Moyer. “I think people need to realize that, and need to raise awareness.”