Education, much like the majority of the things the American public deals with in life, is governed through politics. Every punishment, rule, policy, and state requirement is voted on or decided upon by some group on some level. If a person or group of people wanted to challenge these issues for whatever reason, they must first understand who is responsible for what and how those things are to be taken care of.
The hierarchy of state education system is inherently similar of the hierarchy of the government as a whole. Though they aren’t called the same things, the way it is built is the similar. The executive branch, or in this case, the school board committee, is a group of individuals, elected to their position by the people, who have the sole power to make the final judgment on the policies that govern the school district.
The legislative branch, or school district administration in this situation, takes those broader policies and turns them into laws and rules that govern the schools in the district. Finally, the individual school administration, acting as a sort of judicial branch, only has the power to enforce and interpret those laws and rules to make sure they are in compliance with both the broader policies of the school board and the purpose and meaning for the school district administration and its goals.
The school administration has a right to omit or adjust certain parts of rules for their own needs (such as dress code or class scheduling), but are restricted by those rules already set forth by the school district administration as to how widely the rule can be interpreted.
So how does one start to change or amend the rules and policies that have been set forth by this institution? It starts with knowing what it is that needs to change. If one wants to change the enforcement of dress code, then he/she would organize with fellow parents and other concerned school employees, and speak to the administration.
To improve the quality of the resources and materials available to the students in the school, organize with the school administration and try to get an audience with the school district. If the district needs more funding to support the arts or other enrichment-type curriculum that could benefit the growth of its local students, then organize with the concerned parents and administration in the area and ask for an audience with the school board.
For more information on the specific policies and rules in the Dekalb County School System, its governing school board committee, and the individuals who govern it. Take a look at the Dekalb County School System’s website. The links on the site can lead to the district’s mission and goals, information on the code of conduct for the district, and even previously recorded school board meetings.
There is also a link for the Board of Education that will take you to the site that informs you of past meetings, upcoming scheduled meetings, and information on the school board and its policies. These policies are public knowledge and the meetings are open forum, but keep in mind there are rules to follow for speaking at these events. Please check the policies for those rules.