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Free School Supplies Should Evoke Appreciation, Not Protest

Staff Editorial


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Buying school supplies- a yearly hassle that costs families hundreds of dollars. Binders, pencils and markers must be checked off supply lists, and for elementary schoolers, bags of tissues, GermX, and paper towels must be hauled into the classroom every year.

These expenses are burdensome on families in Clark County, especially those with multiple school-age children.

When the Clark County Board of Education agreed to provide school supplies for all students in the district, this was great news for families. At least, that should have been the response.

Supt. Christie hatched the idea to provide school supplies cost-free once he realized that families were spending over $100 per student in some cases.

“My goal was to stop parents from having to buy things that I think the school should provide, like tissues and GermX,” said Christie.

The plan ran fairly smoothly in the elementary and middle schools, because each student has fewer teachers and supplies overall. The misunderstanding occurred at the high school level.

“It worked great at the elementary and middle school levels, because the supplies there are pretty much the same for every student,” said Christie. “What we failed to take into consideration was diversity of needs in the classrooms at the high school.”

Every teacher turned in a list of needs for their classes, but every class needed very specific items. In addition, the teachers included supply lists on their syllabi, so parents thought they needed to buy those items.

The miscommunication caused frustration across the county, because parents were buying school supplies for their children anyway. Once they realized that the supplies would be provided, they felt slighted.

“I think we are on top of it now,” said Christie. “We will be better at it next year.”

Parents across Clark County expressed their misguided and unfounded frustration on social media by spreading lies and insults.

The administration has owned up to the communication breakdown, and has handled the onslaught of hate the best they could. We need to show Central Office some slack.

The school spent thousands of dollars on spiral notebooks, binders, pencils, and any general school supply that they thought students would need, and everyone needs to appreciate that.

As Mr. Christie said, “In public education, the school should supply basic needs like that.” He makes a good point.

The Board of Education did not have to spend all of those funds on materials for every student in the district, but they did, just to save parents from the time consuming and wallet-emptying task.

The fact that specific class needs within the high school were unintentionally overlooked is forgivable, especially when every single student already gets lunch for free this year.

Any attempt to provide school supplies was noble on the part of the district, so start being grateful.

It’s time that this county stops the complaining and starts showing some gratitude.

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The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School
Free School Supplies Should Evoke Appreciation, Not Protest