Students take control of county government, for one day
Dozens of high school students from Henrico County got a firsthand look at the county’s general government and public schools administrations earlier this month when they shadowed elected and appointed officials for the 55th annual Student Government Day.
Student Government Day, held March 1, matched 93 students from nine high schools with such leaders as members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board, county manager, superintendent of schools, department directors and judges. The students, most of whom are seniors, spent the day learning the responsibilities of various departments and gaining insight into how local government works with and on behalf of the public in a democracy.
“It is the very best government on the face of the Earth,” County Manager Virgil R. Hazelett told the students. “It does work because of the people we elect. We may not always agree, but it does work.”
Student Government Day started Wednesday at Hermitage High School with a ceremony in which many of the students took the oath for their respective positions. All of the students reported to work early Thursday and spent the day asking questions and interacting with various officials. Students also had opportunities to tour the county jail and register to vote.
For students who worked at the Henrico Government Center on East Parham Road, the day culminated with a student-run meeting of the board of supervisors, which included rigorous questioning and debate over such issues as regulations on the discharge of air-powered guns, a contract for renovation and expansion of Fire Station 13 and a stream restoration project near Skipwith Elementary School.
Student Government Day is sponsored by the Kiwanis clubs of North Richmond, Tuckahoe and Greater Richmond.
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