Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 |
Share this story
• Ban plastic bags now
Did you know that the North Shore of Kaua‘i has the highest drop out rate in the state? Did you know that there is no junior high nor a high school on the North Shore? Did you know that an opportunity has presented itself that could reverse this trend?
A recent survey shows that the North Shore has the highest dropout rate in the state. One of the main contributing factors to this educational state of emergency is the extremely long bus ride to the nearest public junior high and high schools. Imagine having to add an additional three hours to your six-hour long school day.
This said, let me describe a typical day for a North Shore public junior high or public high school student. At 5 a.m. you’re rudely awakened by an obnoxious alarm clock. You then stumble out of bed and into the shower, brush your hair and teeth, and get dressed. While gathering all your things for the day you are lucky if you can make enough time to eat a quick breakfast or to throw something into your mouth before running out the door.
By 6 a.m. the rickety, rusty, weather-beaten school bus arrives. After all of the barely awake students take their seats, the doors shut and the bus sputters away. Thus begins the 1.5-hour long journey to our beloved learning institutions.
After a long and tiring six hours at school you must re-board the bus for yet another 1.5-hour bus ride back home. As the bus pulls away from school you shuffle through your backpack in an attempt to grab and do some homework.
Unfortunately, the zoo-like setting makes any kind of academic endeavor nearly impossible. Finally, the bus arrives in Hanalei, opens its doors and allows the exhausted students to stumble out. But, for the Ha‘ena-bound student, your day is not quite over.
To take you from Hanalei to Ha‘ena you must board a smaller version of the rickety contraption that chauffeured you to and from school that day. By 3:45 the North Shore junior high or high school student’s school day is finally over. Now, keep in mind, this doesn’t include the hours spent doing homework each night. Could you imagine doing this every school day for six years or until you graduate or drop out?
Luckily, a new public charter school has recently decided to open on the North Shore. Hawai‘i Technology Academy will open its doors to junior high and high school students for the upcoming 2009-2010 school year. The arrival of HTA will benefit us students in more ways than one: it will give us teens another very needed option to consider instead of dropping out, and it will help us to acquire the necessary skills for success in whatever we choose to do.
One way we can help HTA to succeed is by supporting an increase in public bus services throughout the North Shore. How does anyone on this island who doesn’t have a driver’s license and thus, no car, get from place to place on this island?
I’ll tell you — by hitchhiking, by relying on others (usually our parents), by biking or by riding the public bus. Currently, the public bus route doesn’t extend beyond Hanalei and has limited stops.
From Ha‘ena all the way to Moloa’a, students attending HTA will need to find a way to transport themselves to and from school-based activities. Most of our parents don’t have the time to chauffeur us from activity to activity because they’re already busy working one, possibly two or more jobs.
Now is the time to get our county officials working together to increase public transportation services. Together we can make a difference in the lives of Kaua‘i’s youth.
The youth of our county holds the key to our island’s future and HTA will help provide us students and our community with brighter ones. School not only provides us with an opportunity to further our academic endeavors such as the pursuit of higher education, it also provides us teens with the necessary life skills that we will need in order to succeed in life.
By meeting the educational needs of the North Shore junior high and high school students, our community can begin to rebuild and reclaim the true sense of the word — “common-unity.”
Kailani DeVille, Wainiha eighth-grader
Ban plastic bags now
Thanks to Kaua‘i County Councilmembers Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara for working on legislation to ban the sale of plastic bags on Kaua‘i. It’s been a long time coming.
I don’t agree that an “incentivizing” plan would work as the mayor suggests because 15 cents is worthless in today’s economy where nothing is under $5. I think it’s a half-hearted idea that will have an insipid result.
I say ban them and replace them with biodegradable bags, and how about this year instead of 2011?
Let’s stand behind our convictions because anything is possible. If we can imagine it we can create it.
Anita Cook, Koloa
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.