Canfield teen runs for state board of education
She's 18-years-old, just old enough to vote. Now, the girl who walked the hallways of Canfield High a few months ago is asking the people of Ohio to vote for her.
She's 18-years-old, just old enough to vote.
Now, the girl who walked the hallways of Canfield High a few months ago is asking the people of Ohio to vote for her.
"I'm actually a candidate for the state school board," said Melissa Dahman.
Dahman is the youngest candidate for the Ohio State Board of Education, launching her campaign while studying as a freshman at Walsh University.
"It's one of the voices we don't have at the state level is the students. It affects them the most because it is their education. So I'm hoping I can be their voice at the state school board," said Dahman.
She was asked to run for the position this summer. A move she considered after she says, she struggled to get the attention of the Canfield superintendent and school board following the Parkland shooting.
"I felt like we were kind of hushed and almost didn't want to deal with it at the time just because there were a lot of other parents coming through with complaints as well. So I just want to be that voice at the state school board," said Dahman.
The teen says a group of students instead took their concerns to state senators, crafting a House Bill and Senate Bill 314, which requires schools to hire a school psychologist and intervention specialist. The bill is sponsored by State Senator Joe Schiavoni.
Dahman says she knows her age has a stigma to it.
"My age may deter them from thinking I have a lot of experience with the state school board, and that's true. But that's why I'm going to be able to listen to my elders at that level and get knowledge from their experience, what they have seen. Then I want to bring my perspective as a student that they don't understand," said Dahman.
Canfield Schools would not comment on whether or not they listened to students following the Parkland shooting.
Dahman is running against John Hagan and Kathleen Purdy for the seat.