News — 17 December 2008

By Norbert F.

Managing Editor

Driving is a big part of everyday life. We drive to school, work and to special events.
That’s why Oakland High has had a Driver Education program since the 1950s for students who want to learn the rules of the road to get their pink slips so that they can obtain their learner’s permit.

But students wanted to discuss 2 issues about Driver Ed. One was that they wanted the age limit to be lowered, and the other was that they wanted Driver Ed to be a core class.
The issue of lowering the age limit is that there will be two problems with that change. Currently, students must be fifteen and one-half years old to begin the class.
“If the students start early”, said Mr. Ben Visnick, Driver Ed teacher, ”they have to hold [the pink slip] for at least 6 months.”
Also, if Driver Ed classes accept all age students, then it will take up more space.
“We used to have two Driving Ed teachers with Mr. Hagan, which means we can teach more students,” said Mr. Visnick.
But since we only have one Driver Ed teacher now, it would be impossible to teach more students.
When I asked Mr. Visnick about the idea of making Driver Ed a core class, he was split in the decision.
If it were made into a core class “it should be contained with another class like Health or Geography,” because it would be impossible to stretch Driver Ed to fill a semester, said Mr. Visnick.
But he argues that it would also be bad because if some students “don’t want to drive, then we don’t want to force them into driving.”
“It’s a privilege to have Driving Ed class,” said Chris S, freshman. “It’s OK to have it as an Elective class. It won’t interfere with the core classes.”
Well, whatever the students think is fair, Driver Ed is a good learning experience that everyone should take. If you’re under the age limit, then don’t hesitate. For those who are eligible to sign up for it, then what are you waiting for? Ask your counselor and sign up today!

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