Headmaster vetoes Legislature’s homework bill


Jeremy Margolis and Kendall McGowan

By Jeremy Margolis

Headmaster Deborah Holman vetoed a bill last week that would have created seven homework-free weekends per year.

Holman wrote, in an email to Legislature, that she vetoed the bill because she felt the “need to reflect on and analyze the issue more broadly and according to a thoughtful study plan that includes students, faculty and parents.” She wrote that the bill “sparked a super wake-up call” about the need to reflect on homework, stress and mental health.

The bill would have made the weekends before interim progress reports and report cards are issued homework-free.

Legislature approved the bill by a 19-2 vote on Dec. 18. The students present voted unanimously for it.

Junior Ethan Kahn, who co-authored the bill with three others in student council, said Legislature began talking about the problems surrounding stress and homework last spring.

“There’s a lot of stress that comes with homework and it has a habit of taking over students’ lives,” Kahn said.

It is hard to change the amount of homework on a nightly basis, Kahn said, so this policy would have been an alternate solution.

Newton South High School has had a similar policy since 2012.

The Sagamore will have ongoing coverage as Legislature continues to work on the bill.

Kendall McGowan contributed reporting.

Jeremy Margolis can be contacted at [email protected].