Metro student petition sees gains for 4-day school week

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A student in Nashville started an online petition to reduce the school week to four days.

So far, more than 730 people have signed it.

“It’s exciting,” said Blessing Harvell, who is 11-years-old.

He wants a four day school week for Metro students like himself instead of five.

Mom Aireka Harvell said the idea came after the Labor Day weekend when he felt rested and refreshed for class.

“I asked my mom if I can make an auction and then she corrected me and then she said it was called a ‘petition,’” Blessing recalled.

His mother said her requirement was that he do his research first, so he did.

“It’ll help more people graduate. It’ll help other kids be less stressed in school,” he said.

Harvell said she did her own research, too, and supports her son’s efforts.

“We worked on the petition together. When we went to change dot org I let him type everything in and when it got to the point of who it should be addressed to he was like ‘who’s it supposed to go to?’” she recalled. “I saw it as an opportunity to teach my son how to use his voice.”

There are 25 other states with districts that at least tested four-day school weeks, including Kentucky.

More than 20 percent of school districts in 5 states adopted four-day weeks.

“They were able to raise teacher salaries, recruit more qualified teachers,” said Aireka Harvell.

The cons, however, include inequality for parents who cannot afford to pay for daycare, a lack of structure for students, and an impact on extracurricular activities.

“Even if Nashville doesn’t at this moment, just knowing that he had enough courage to say ‘hey I wanna tell Metro I think we have a four day school week’ and actually do it, I’m very proud of him for that,” Harvell said.

We checked with the State Department of Education, and they tell us there are no districts in Tennessee on a four-day school week.

Click here to learn more.  

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