Students make fun of others money, not okay

Kitarrah Mangra-Dutcher, Staff Writer

There were four students at the beginning of the year who got me thinking about how much of a “rich kid” school Johnston really is. Out of these four students, one had  yet to receive their iPad and the teacher asked why. It turns out it was because the family had not yet paid the iPad deposit of $50.

Around this specific community, $50 does not seem to phase a lot of students, at least from my viewpoint. Yet to that student, $50 probably paid for other school supplies like notebooks and pencils, or it went to pay the family’s mortgage, the bill that your parents have to pay in order for you to have a roof over your head at night.

The teacher and student left the room to go talk to the people at iPad HQ to see what could be done. As soon as they left the room these other three students began making fun of him because he could not afford the fee. At the time, I did not say anything even though it made me feel awful because the only reason I could afford the fee was because my mom had just gotten paid that week.

I wish I would have said something then because now there has been at least one other instance where a student was being made fun of because of they amount of money their family had. Since I can’t go back in time, I’m saying something now.

If families can not afford certain things such as their iPad deposit, they have the option to set up payment plans or other possible ways to pay. Administration can help families sort out these problems if they need help.

Some of the adults in the building are not necessarily aware of when kids make fun of others for not being able to afford  lot of things. “I have not witnessed personally anything here at Johnston dealing with economic status and those things between students. Does it exist? Yes. We have students that are economically challenged,” guidance counselor Curt Larkin said.

Many students also go out of town for spring breaks, some even taking the week before or after spring break off in order to go on these trips. Most of the time I imagine that these students do not necessarily have an option when it comes to things on a trip such as where they go or when they leave. Though students are still capable of controlling how much they talk about the trips during school.

“When kids say they go to like Cancun for spring break and then other kids are sitting there and didn’t go anywhere  I don’t know how they feel, but I’m sure that probably could, potentially bother some kids,” assistant principal Randy Klein said.

Students need to realize that not everyone has the money to necessarily buy whatever they want, whenever they want it. Not everyone is capable of going on vacations every year, or having the newest clothes.

“We also have to make it understandable that it’s okay to not do that (take weeks off to go on trips), that doesn’t have to be a definition of success,” Larkin said.

It is okay for students to stay home over holiday breaks and to not have the newest jeans. Most people have to work for what they want in the real world. Sometimes bills have to be payed first, so for some people, those new jeans and that trip to California will just have to wait.