Dorchester Teen Seeks Boston School Committee Seat – NBC Boston

A Dorchester teenager is trying to get a seat on the Boston Public School board, but the recent high school graduate says he’d rather be elected than appointed through the city’s current system.

Ashawn Dabney-Small announced her decision on social media over the weekend and received support from a number of teachers and lawmakers. The 19-year-old was born and raised in Dorchester and graduated from English High School in 2020. He believes he would be an asset to the committee as he has just experienced the issues they are discussing, and unlike the representative of the students, he would have the right to vote.

“I think there are a lot of issues to deal with, especially when it comes to racism and policing in schools,” Dabney-Small said.

Dabney-Small is no stranger to advocacy. He often speaks at marches and support campaigns. He also tried to stand in the municipal elections.

“The love for my city has always been to serve, to defend and to stand up for what is right,” Dabney-Small said.

The only problem is that there is no election, because Boston school board members are still appointed by the mayor.

“Boston is the only completely unelected school board in Massachusetts,” said Krista Magnuson, spokeswoman for Elect the Boston School Committee.

Magnuson and others are trying to get the committee elected rather than appointed. They helped push a ballot question about it, which Boston voters overwhelmingly backed in November, but because it was nonbinding, it doesn’t trigger any immediate action.

“It’s hard to say what the ultimate timeline will be because we don’t know how long the individual stages will take,” Magnuson said.

A spokeswoman for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said her stance has not changed on the issue. She supports a hybrid committee, where some of the members would be elected and others would be appointed.

For now, those interested, like Dabney-Small, have nothing to do but write into the nominating panel and hope for the best.

“Do I believe people are too young to do anything? No. I think if you have the motivation, the charisma and the passion to do it, someone is going to see you,” said Dabney-Small.

The first of many hearings on whether or not to elect the school council will take place next month.