We are taught, and believe, that public school is meant to be a free and equal opportunity to provide students with the necessities to be successful in society, yet something as simple as school supplies makes this teaching incorrect.
As the eldest of five children and an 11th-grade student, I know the yearly drill of back-to-school shopping. The costs that I witnessed at the checkout of these shopping trips have gone to unbelievable amounts in the past couple of years.
School supplies are becoming way too expensive. When I go to the store and get the main items from the required list for each of my classes, the cost — just for myself — averages $50 to $60. For my situation, multiply that price by five, because that’s how much my mom has to pay to provide each of her kids with classroom necessities. This does not include new backpacks, shoes or clothes for the school year.
According to an article by Johnlock.org, the estimated cost for complete back-to-school shopping for a high-schooler is about $941 to $1,354. Hawaii, where I live, has an average monthly salary of $2,620. That means families with more than one child, which is many here, pay more than what they earn in a month in less than a week on school shopping.
Most of my classmates can only afford the actual school supplies, not the new shoes or clothes for the year. How can we call school an equal opportunity when to just simply participate in school costs minimum $50 for only the main things on our school requirements lists?
The costs for school supplies is unreasonable, and a change has to be made. A possible solution to these unreasonable expenses is that schools be provided with the main necessities to participate in a class such as pencils, composition books, and binders.
This takes the burden off teachers and families, giving them more money to spend on the extra necessities for school that they may need. I no longer want to walk into class and have other students ask me to borrow school supplies I know they won’t return.
Let’s as a group find a way to make school a more equal and free opportunity for all the students who attend them.
Get it right
Mark Hanson, the self-proclaimed “Sandalwood Man,” has a problem getting his facts straight, and the Tribune-Herald apparently publishes anything a misinformed person like Hanson says.
In a Feb. 1 article, “Pigs out of control on Maunakea,” reporter Michael Brestovansky states current Department of Land and Natural Resources rules limit a Maunakea Game Management Area hunter to harvesting only one pig per season.
A simple check of HAR Title 13, Chapter 123, “Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting,” would indicate a Maunakea hunter can take a pig each and every day of the season.
I attended a recent Game Management Advisory Commission meeting where the Sandalwood Man made several equally baseless comments. Reporting this stuff as fact is what gives meaning to the term “fake news.”
Pigs have been in Hawaii for 1,500 years. What’s needed is a rational plan to manage them as a valued game resource, not pick and choose legislation on specific aspects thereof.