The following are excerpts of letters to the editor written by students in Michele Guiol’s freshman language arts class at Derby High School:
How would you feel if you couldn’t marry the person you were in love with? Why do gay people have fewer rights than straight people? Why is America depriving the rights of its own citizens if America is the “land of the free”? It’s none of your business whom someone loves and wants to marry.
People judge others by what they look like or whom they like. But everyone has their own personality no matter what color they are or what gender they like. Discrimination will not do anything except make people afraid to be who they really are. Discrimination makes people hide their true feelings. It needs to stop.
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Kansas is one of many states that has not legalized marijuana. I think that if we did, it would not be as bad as people think. Marijuana is not a gateway drug. It is a good moneymaker for states.
I understand that Michelle Obama is trying her best to make school food healthier, but I do not think it is healthy at all. And the portion sizes are the worst part. I leave school hungry, and when I get home I end up doubling up on snacks. Students need better lunches.
Derby High School should have open lunches, because most people do not like what Michelle Obama has done to the school lunches. They taste like fake food. I think if people had the opportunity to leave for 25 to 35 minutes for lunch every day, we would actually eat something we like.
We need more security in Derby High School. I know metal detectors are very expensive, but that could be the difference between life and death.
JROTC isn’t given as much respect as it deserves by some students. Many of these students have never been in JROTC. One of the complaints is about having to wear a uniform once a week, but they make it sound like it’s the whole week, and I don’t think they understand why we do it. We wear a uniform once a week because it teaches us unity and helps some kids have a feeling of belonging in a group.
Depression is a real thing that teenagers and children go through. Adults do not seem to understand – just because we have a roof over our heads, we get food whenever we want, and our lives are not like the lives of children in Africa, that doesn’t mean we cannot be depressed.
It isn’t fair that students have homework. We are at school for eight hours, and each class is one hour and 24 minutes. Teachers still think that we need homework after they have been teaching us for more than an hour. I know that they give us homework so they know that we have learned the material they have taught us. But they give us too much work for the little free time teenagers have.
Athletes should get a day off of school the day after a game. The games usually take place late during the day and end late at night. Most athletes come to school exhausted. I know that if they miss school the day after a game, they will miss a lot of work, but they can make up the work. They should at least get the morning part of school off, so they are well-rested.
Technology is taking over the schools, but it is having more of a negative effect. We all have laptops now, but many students have games on instead of the lessons they should be doing. I don’t think the technology is much help compared with pen and paper.
Teens should be treated like adults instead of kids. I know that some teens are troublemakers and act like kids. But people should treat us like adults. Teens should be able to leave class when they want and be able to sit where they want. We should be able to eat what we want and use our phones when we want. We should be allowed to leave for lunch and come back after.
Children should be raised to be more respectful. There are seniors at my high school who act like a bunch of children. If high schoolers were more respectful, elders in the community would like teenagers more.