Meet Vivek Majmudar: SMOB Candidate, Mental Health Advocate

 

By: Ellie Cowen, Wootton High School


          Sophomore and Student Member of the Board (SMOB) candidate Vivek Majumdar does not shy
away from tough issues, making mental health, ADA compliance and updates to the curriculum
the center of his platform.
          Raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Majumdar moved to Montgomery County for middle school
where he attended Robert Frost. About his time in the South, Majumdar recalls how he was
often the only Indian person and how he had to work with people with different ideas and
backgrounds from him.
          Majumdar said he first learned about the SMOB position in middle school. After meeting
2019-2020 SMOB Nate Tinbite during his campaign, Majumdar was inspired to get more
involved in local politics, later joining Montgomery County Regional Student Government
(MCRSGA) his sophomore year. “I realized SMOB was a way for me to make an impact,”
Majumdar said.
          Majumdar said he wants to join the Board to keep the promises that previous SMOBs didn't
keep. On the Board, he will be able to fight for the students' voice, which he believes has not
been fairly represented by previous SMOBs. “I'm running because I truly believe I have some
unique ideas and a unique platform that no other SMOB has had before,” Majumdar said.
Majumdar’s platform has three main ideas. First, he said he believes that mental health should
be the top priority for the county. “When the mental health of a student is in a good place, that
pushes them to be better students,” Majumdar said.
          Specifically, Majumdar said mental health issues should be a valid, lawful excuse to miss
school, like physical injuries. “The last thing on a student's mind if they're having a [mental
health crisis] should be ‘How am I going to tell my attendance office I wasn't in school’,” he said.
Second, Majumdar wants every school in the county to comply with the Americans with
Disability Act (ADA), the law signed in 2008 outlawing discrimiantion against individuals with
disabilities and ensuring all public buildings are accessible. Currently, not a single MCPS school
is completely ADA compliant. “That denies the disabled student in MCPS their basic right to a
free public education,” Majumdar said.
          Majumdar said Wootton has 181 items in need of immediate attention to make it accessible to
students with disabilities. “I plan on prioritizing those items across the board and getting funding
for those items to be fixed immediately,” Majumdar said.
          Last, Majumdar has taken the time to review the curriculum to identify areas in need of updates.
He said the current curriculum is outdated in many areas, including topics of mental health,
LGBTQ+ issues, relationships and consent. “My campaign team and I have come up with a

couple initiatives we believe will help close that gap and make students feel more represented
and safe in the classroom,” Majumdar said.
Majumdar also plans to include more racially diverse teachers into the workforce, so students
feel more comfortable and represented in their school community. “Teachers should represent,
at least to a certain extent, the population that they teach,” Majumdar said.
In terms of experience, Majumdar is Director of Student Communications for local mental health
nonprofit, Adolescent Self Injury Foundation, where he has been able to see firsthand where
students are struggling. He is also a member of MCR’s mental health task force and student
government.
To learn more about Majumdar’s platform, as well as meet the other SMOB candidates, attend
The WHS Activists’ SMOB Forum on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. More information can be
found on their instagram page, @whsactivists.

Lynne Harris

-MONTGOMERY COUNTY 

BOARD OF EDUCATION -

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