Junior earns recognition in Washington for essay
October 19, 2014
Learning how a bill becomes law is taught in School House Rock and government classes alike, but seldom do high school students get to be a part of it, until this year when the Bill of Rights Institute started a civics renewal contest. Josh Boring, a junior IB student, entered the competition with a topic that directly affected his life as a public school student. Boring went to Washington D.C. to advocate for a bill that would require public schools to have registered nurses on campus.
“A couple of years ago, during budget cuts, Denton ISD was considering getting rid of school nurses,specifically registered nurse, and replace them with someone like a physician’s assistant who don’t have the same skill level and aren’t trained to do certain things,” Boring said. “So, I went and fought that and I managed to get it overturned and they kept registered nurses in all schools,” Boring said.
Boring changed the minds of the district board and thought he was done until IB coordinator, Beth Hughes, found a competition that would allow Boring to have his cause recognized at the national level.
“I found out about the opportunity through the Bill of Rights newsletter and the objectives are similar to the IB program’s Creativity Action Service hours so I wanted to know if anyone had a project going on that met those objectives,” Hughes said. “Josh was the only one that came forward.”
Boring filled out the application and wrote a few paragraphs about his project. After waiting for a response Hughes and Boring received the exciting news that he would be representing Texas in Washington D.C. on Constitution Day.
“I was excited,” Boring said. “I thought I did well on the paper I wrote, but I didn’t think I was going to win because I kind of just threw it out there, so it was shocking.”
Over the summer Hughes and Boring continued to work on his project, something Boring is very passionate about.
“I can relate to kids who have medical issues because I grew up with an allergy and spent a lot of time in a hospital and I understand their want to feel safe at school, it’s really about safety for students,” Boring said.
While doing the project Hughes also became impassioned.
“I have a son who is severely autistic so I’ve dealt with school nurses quite a bit in the past and I really didn’t understand what a great resource we had,” Hughes said. “School nursing is a specialty and they can do more than just send you home.”
After completing the presentation and creating a public service announcement, on September 17th Boring and Hughes were scheduled for a meeting with Congressman Burgess to present Boring’s project.
“We were supposed to meet with Michael Burgess at 5 PM but had to reschedule due to a voting, so Josh could get one on one time with Burgess instead of having an aid listen to his project,” Hughes said.
In the meeting Boring presented his project and was pleased with the congressman’s reception of his work.
“When I finally talked to the congressman he tried to pick apart my project,” Boring said, “Which makes sense because if he’s going to promote a bill he needs to make sure it’s credible, but I was glad he treated me like an adult instead of just some teenager.”
Now that Boring has proposed his idea, Burgess will write a bill to introduce to Congress.
“I know he is going to propose it as a bill but I don’t know when he’s going to propose it,” Boring said. “I won’t know the outcome of it for a long time so I’m kind of just laying in wait.”
I can relate to kids who have medical issues because I grew up with an allergy and spent a lot of time in a hospital and I understand their want to feel safe at school,”
— junior Josh Boring
There is no promise that the bill will become a law but with school district’s budgets getting cut all over the country the problem of whether or not to keep school nurses continues.
“Its an ongoing problem because RNs are a large part of school district’s budgets,” Boring said. “So if the bill doesn’t succeed at the federal level I might then take it to the state congress.”
Boring enjoyed his time in politics but plans to help people through medicine rather than legislation in the future.
“My experience was very enlightening and politics was fun but I definitely still want to be a surgeon when I’m older,” Boring said.