Sep 17, 2020 2:39 PM

City starting youth commission

Posted Sep 17, 2020 2:39 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The City is starting a Hutchinson Youth Commission.

Hutchinson High School student Kian Williams spoke to the City Council Tuesday about the program.

"We have a proposed charter," Williams said. "It would be nine students approved by, I believe, the City Manager through an application process. We can make sure we have some dedicated people working to identify these issues."

Applications for the commission went out on March 13, just in time for school to go remote for the remainder of the year.

"This isn't an isolated issue in the city of Hutch," Williams said. "This is just something that the nation as a whole and probably across the world, where youth are not listened to and are not taken seriously when they want to discuss issues facing our community. If they complain about any issues, they are told to shut up and sit down and wait their turn, because they don't have the life experience. That's not necessarily true."

Glenna Burden, social studies teacher at Hutch High, was approached last February by Datjeda Moore, city human relations director, and Steve Garza, councilman, to start a youth commission.

"There are plenty of youth in our community that have wonderful ideas and that have solutions to issues that are affecting them. That's something that we need to take a look at and that's something that we need to prioritize. That's exactly what this council would do. This youth council would make sure that these youth have a safe platform to air their concerns, to complain about issues facing them, as well as start discussing solutions."

The youth commission is open to students who attend a senior high school in the county and live in the city of Hutchinson boundaries.