With clubs like JSA, PHS Democrats, and PHS Republicans, there’s no shortage of political opinions or advocacy groups at the high school. However, with so much focus on the importance of national politics and issues, students at PHS sometimes forget about the importance of local elections. While we may discuss our opinions about the new 12-minute break, whether the school should expand, and what we think the best way to mitigate our stress is, we often fail to get invested in elections that could have an effect on these issues. With three spots open on the Princeton Board of Education and six candidates running, it’s time we get involved and make sure our parents are knowledgeable about who they are voting for, as it will play a large part in shaping future changes at PHS.
Although each candidate varies in what they believe are the most important issues in this election, they all agree that the overcrowding of schools and continued racial biases and inequities are major problems that need to be addressed. Thus, when candidates have the same stances on issues, one of the best ways to judge them is on the detail of their solutions. The more concrete a stance a candidate takes, the more they demonstrate their readiness to tackle the issue if elected, and their willingness to stand up for real, tangible policy rather than an empty blanket of rhetoric. Take, for instance, the issue of expanding PPS schools. Some candidates support current board of education proposals, like building a new school for fifth and sixth graders. Others support vaguer methods to go about solving the problem and endorse abstract methods that any candidate or resident of Princeton would agree with. Until a candidate supports a plan specific enough to be divisive, they are only repeating generalities that will not lead to the action that Princeton needs.
This is only one of many issues that the candidates are discussing, but this method applies to all debated issues. We fully encourage all students and parents to read more in depth about the candidates on their websites, in Tower News and Features’ coverage of the campaign, and in the Planet Princeton candidate interview transcripts. Students need to remember that whoever gets elected to these three seats will have the deciding power to affect their daily lives. These are going to be the people that have the deciding power to add the twelve minute break to actual break, to make our school less crowded, and most importantly, to make it more inclusive. When our parents go to vote — and they should definitely go — they need to go just as informed as if they were voting for state or even federal officials.