SAUSD students and parents, as well as teachers and administrators are in an uproar over an ill-advised cost-cutting measure adapted by the SAUSD, apparently on the sly.
As of this year, SAUSD schools are not stocking extra “class sets” of textbooks in the classrooms. Instead students are now required to carry their textbooks to and from school everyday without the opportunity of leaving them in lockers nor in the classroom. The total weight of carrying some of these textbooks can exceed 25 pounds. These books can contain over 400 pages each and the health issues related to students carrying these textbooks are immense.
“Over 92% of children in the United States carry backpacks that are typically loaded with 10% to 22% of their body weight,” write the researchers. “Thirty-seven percent of children aged 11 to 14 years report back pain, the majority of whom attribute the pain to wearing a school backpack,” according to WebMD.
Moreover, not having class sets takes away from the teacher’s ability to teach in the classroom as many students may forget to bring their textbooks or simply refuse because of the great inconvenience. Many students walk to school and simply carrying this weight is irresponsible, impractical and irrational. Students are going to school to learn not to see who can gain the most strength by the end of the school year from carrying the textbooks.
Aside from the health issues regarding carrying these books back and forth, and taking away from teachers instructional abilities, the wear and tear from carrying these books has been dramatically increased.
I am told that some of the SAUSD Trustees had no idea that this new policy had been put in place. Roman Reyna, in particular, is most upset. There is an SAUSD School Board meeting coming up next week. A group of parents, students and educators plans to address the SAUSD School Board. They have even launched a Facebook page, that you can see by clicking here.