North Star Take: AP Exemptions


(Illustration by Heeral Patel)

By On Behalf of the Editorial Staff

Finals are nearly here. Review guides, final grade calculations and study groups. A panic is rising in the student body because they have a billion finals to take and exemptions left unused. AP students think about how life would be easier if they too could exempt their finals.

That was last year. This year, though, things are different. This year, AP students can breathe easy knowing that finals have been exempted after hard-earned As. Why? Because FHN students used their voices.

People often wonder if their individual voices or votes are worth anything. It’s a valid concern to have. How can my single opinion matter among an entire nation of people? A community? A school? A single voice can matter, though, because when they join collectively, small voices create an enormous yell.

Proof that a student’s voice matters lies right here in this school. By expressing to our teachers and principals our desire for a fair exemption system, we brought about awareness to an inequality in the district that might have gone unnoticed otherwise. Students took to social media, calling upon their peers to ask why we don’t have the same privileges as the other FHSD high schools, which were already able to exempt AP finals like any other class. Students wanted the same advantages as their peers in other schools and even other classes within FHN. Just because a class is advanced doesn’t mean we should pile more stress on ourselves during an already stressful season if we don’t have to for other classes. Emailing our principals like they are state representatives, expressing concerns, hoping for change. That’s how we make a difference in the school, in the workplace or in the community.

This shows that we have the power to create change in this school, so we should do it more often. Our voices are powerful things, though, so we must bear in mind that we must use them responsibly: not by ranting on Twitter that something is unfair, but by expressing our concerns maturely to teachers and administrators. What could be better about FHN? Teenagers are concerned about a lot of things: our homework load, how early school starts, how finals are worth 20 percent of our semester grades. Instead of complaining and whining about these issues, why don’t we do something about them? Our voices mattered when we rallied for the ability to exempt AP finals, so these cases, or any others for that matter, shouldn’t be any different.

Don’t let this one instance make us complacent. Our influence doesn’t end here with final exemptions. We’re the students of FHN. This is our school and our high school experience. Let’s make it the best it can be by taking the reigns of our own education and lives, and instilling change wherever reasonable and necessary. If not for us, then for future students. Don’t let your voice go unheard. Use it now.