The Making of the Inly Middle School Constitution
By Jimmy H. (8th grade)
In the Inly Middle School we get the chance to govern ourselves by creating our own constitution. This document will guide us throughout the year and help us resolve problems.
We used a version of the writing process to create it. First we brainstormed a list of principles and morals that we wanted to guide our community. Then we then met in small groups to decide what our major principles were from the list we brainstormed. Then people who felt strongly about the constitution met in a small group to start to outline and write the constitution.
After a draft of the constitution was completed the small group then presented it to the class and they received feedback on it. They then passed it onto another group that finished up the edits and presented it again. After minor adjustments the constitution was ready for ratification. We then set some guidelines so that this would be a living document that we would go back to so we can resolve problems that appear.
On October 6 at visiting night we ratified our constitution (below) by reading and signing it. Photos below by Dean P. (7th grade).
Middle School Class Constitution
We, the students of Inly Middle School, have established the following principles and guidelines to govern us throughout the year. As a community made of individuals, we understand that each of our choices and actions affect the group. Therefore, we individually and collectively commit to working towards the following:
We choose to be open minded by continuing to be curious, good listeners and to hear people out so that we are assured to hear all ideas from every classmate. To ensure success for the entire group, we believe we have to participate and contribute in classes and group initiatives. To respect our peers and ourselves, we pledge to care for our environment, be reliable and hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We will model the behavior we want to see in others.
We expect independence and freedom, but are fully aware of the responsibilities that come with this. We will use our common sense and be mature in all situations necessary. We will learn to trust the process and have confidence in our teachers and peers. We understand that good fun is safe fun and we will take the feedback of our teachers and peers in establishing those boundaries. We will speak up when necessary, even if we are not comfortable doing so. We understand that self-respect and not being too hard on ourselves are the building blocks of a happy individual, and know that we have to be just as respectful to ourselves as we are to others.
If we fail as individuals to meet these standards, depending on the severity of the transgression, there will be consequences. For a minor offense – defined as one that disrupts or shows disrespect to, but does not risk the physical or mental safety of an individual or the group, a public apology will be made. If this behavior continues, a public apology and a meeting with teachers and parents will be conducted. For a more serious offense—defined as one that causes real or potential physical or mental harm to an individual or the group—there will be an immediate meeting with Donna and parents.
By signing our names in the space below, we are promising to abide by the standards and principles outlined in the constitution above. We understand that it is our duty as good classmates and students to do so, and accept the consequences of our actions if we do not. We will keep this document alive by keeping it in the front of our binders, amending it through discussion and vote if ever needed, and reminding ourselves about the commitments we willingly make in signing our names to this document.
We have agreed by unanimous vote to accept this document and hereby ratify and make it binding on this the 6th day of October in the year 2010.