A fundamental pillar of Salem's education has always been learning to assume responsibility. The School Government (the so-called Schülermitverantwortung - SMV) was already a main focus of the school's founder and today it is also taken very seriously, particularly at the Middle and Upper School. The pupils learn how to assume responsibility appropriate for their age, not only for themselves but also for the entire school community of the teaching staff and pupils. The office-holders play an important role here; they take on different functions within the school community at Salem and through their commitment they make an active contribution towards structuring boarding-school life.
Learning how to assume responsibility also includes learning about democracy. Through the elections of the various different office-holders, each Salem pupil learns how to act in a democratic way. The highest organs of the three school levels are the Parliament (Upper School) and the Council (Middle School). Here, all the important decisions are made that directly concern the pupils. These processes are documented in the constitutions of the three school levels, in just the same way as the tasks and competencies of the highest offices, such as the School Speaker and the Helper.
The benefit gained from the School Government varies. Each individual pupil discovers his/her own potential, learns new skills and gains experience for a lifetime. And the entire community also benefits from it. A feeling of team spirit develops as well as an awareness of the problems and opportunities as a consequence of living together. The characteristic culture of the School Government at Salem is unique and something special.