Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's actually 500 letters!

By Moneth G. Deposa
Variety News Staff Writes:

NEARLY 300 letters written by students of public schools were hand-delivered to the Legislature yesterday.
Bree Reynolds, science teacher at Hopwood Junior High School, personally brought the letters yesterday.
“These letters were written by my students from seventh and eight grades. I initiated this move as I want to teach these kids not only how bills become laws…what I’ve been trying to instill in them is that they have a voice too. The whole point is participatory democracy like in the States,” she told Variety.
Reynolds taught for many years in the U.S. where she said was “very active” in trying to get public education supported and funded.
“We shouldn’t just sit back and wait for the legislators to make a decision because they were elected to represent them. I want these kids to learn that they have the right to participate. Lawmakers are not there for them to worship but to provide what they need,” she said.
Besides the letters, students also called on their friends and used Internet access to spread the news.
“They also used their My Space accounts and e-mails to send the word out…they’re communicating with other students in different schools,” the teacher said.
Reynolds said though they are aware of the financial situation of the government, there are “alternative ways to find new revenue” which should be considered by the Legislature.
She recommends the passage of a new tax measure.
“The bottom-line is, schools in the U.S. are paid through taxes. We pay property tax, sales tax, other taxes…and this money goes to the schools and mostly come from the local government and not federal government…but here they keep waiting for the federal government to get that money. I want them to pass a tax like a sin tax of $1 for cigarettes and $1 for every six-pack of beer sold in the CNMI,” she said, adding that the people and the community should “pitch in a little.”
According to 8th grader Madisa Onni, she wants the Legislature “to know my desire to finish my schooling so that I can go to college…and that will never come true if schools will not be provided enough and support and funding.”
Mylene Balisalisa, also an 8th grade from Hopwood, said: “We can be better persons and citizens of the commonwealth if proper education is provided to us…in that way we can help our ailing government to recover. They need to help us.”

1 comment:

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