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Report of the LEGISLATIVE YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL Public Forums. A Report to the 123 rd Legislature First Regular Session January 15, 2007. Last Year’s Amendments to LYAC Statutes. Public Law 2005 Chapter 616, §A-3 Required that, in 2006, 2 public forums be:

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Report of the legislative youth advisory council public forums

Report of the LEGISLATIVE YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL Public Forums

A Report to the 123rd Legislature

First Regular Session

January 15, 2007


Last year s amendments to lyac statutes
Last Year’s Amendments to LYAC Statutes

  • Public Law 2005 Chapter 616, §A-3

  • Required that, in 2006, 2 public forums be:

    • Held for the “purpose of soliciting input, suggestions and ideas for enhanced civic education” in Maine secondary schools

    • Held in high schools “north and south of Augusta”

    • Summarized in a report to the Legislative Council (transmitted and accepted January 25, 2007).

  • Forums were authorized as one-time events and were not funded for subsequent years


Policy issues identified
Policy Issues Identified

  • Enforcing School Alcohol and Drug Policies

  • Youth Civic Engagement

  • Bullying and Harassment

  • School Nutrition

  • School Safety

  • Suicide Prevention


Planning process
Planning Process

  • LYAC staff worked with the Department of Education and the host school administrators to develop:

    • Program agenda/timeline

    • Participation rules/guidelines

    • Registration process/materials

  • Host school student teams worked with LYAC youth members to:

    • Facilitate policy discussions

  • Participation goal of 100 youth at each forum


Forum 1 northern region
Forum 1: Northern Region

  • Held November 2, 2006

  • Hosted by Ellsworth High School (EHS)

  • Total participants = 63

    • Including 46 high school students from 6 high schools in the region

  • Process

    • 14 EHS students and 3 LYAC youth members partnered to facilitate 4 policy discussion groups

    • Each participant chose 1 discussion group

    • Groups reported back to forum at closing session


Forum 2 southern regional
Forum 2: Southern Regional

  • Held November 14, 2006

  • Hosted by Kennebunk High School (KHS)

  • Total Participants = 109

    • Including 83 students from 11 high schools and community-based youth programs in the region

  • Process

    • 9 KHS Students and 7 LYAC youth members partnered to facilitate 4 separate policy discussion groups

    • Participants had the opportunity to choose 2 of 4 optional policy discussion groups

    • Peer-to-peer emphasis - adults could participate upon invitation

    • Groups reported back to forum in closing session


Lyac member survey
LYAC Member Survey

  • Designed to:

    • Gauge member response to ideas, opinions and perspectives of participants

    • Determine how LYAC would collectively prioritize policy issues

    • Obtain feedback regarding the outcome and planning process

  • Response rate = 87%

    • 14 completed surveys of the 16 people who were Council members at that time.


Survey results
Survey Results

  • “Potential Solutions” = statements that reflect opinions, perspective and values of Maine’s youth

  • Total of 48 potential solutions, across 6 different policy areas were offered by forum participants

  • 94% of the policy solutions were supported by a majority (>50%) of member respondents.


Key findings policy priorities
Key Findings: Policy Priorities

  • 1 = Highest Priority; 6 = Lowest Priority


Key findings unanimous support
Key Findings: Unanimous Support

  • Ensure consistency across individuals regardless of extracurricular involvement in the punishment for violating school drug and alcohol policy.

  • Include in the definition of bullying the use of the web (i.e. myspace.com) as a means of bullying.

  • Direct state and local governments to develop more civic engagement opportunities for youth.

  • Improve communication between government, schools and students regarding civic education and engagement opportunities.

  • Raise awareness about health food choices, eating disorders and lifestyle choices through school and community.


What s next
What’s Next?

  • One avenue……

    • Use Potential Solutions with Unanimous Support to define scope of policy issues

    • Advise the legislature

      • Proposing new legislative solution

      • Providing input on existing legislation

  • Consider other policy issues of importance?


Questions comments thoughts

Questions, Comments, Thoughts?

Brenna Byrne

Legislative Researcher

Office of Policy and Legal Analysis

Phone: 287-1760

Email: brenna.byrne@legislature.maine.gov