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A $10 bus pass

I believe that bus passes should be $10. When I used to take the bus with my sisters to school, it was expensive. My parents paid $60 a month for my sisters and me to go to school. Reducing it to $10 would help many families save money.
—Olga Herrera, Hollywood HS

I pay $20 every month for my bus sticker and find it very expensive. Sometimes it’s hard for my parents to give me money to get it. My parents now give me $20 a month and don’t want to give me money just to go out with my friends. It would really be better if the price dropped by $10.
—Brenda Chavez, Hollywood HS

I read the article about the cheaper bus passes and think it would be a great idea. I pay $2.70 every school day simply because I don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a bus pass. Plus, I don’t even know where to purchase those $20 bus stickers. Having a $10 bus pass available in school would really benefit me and almost all of my friends.
—Isaac Ramirez, Hollywood HS

I left high school early

When my son is 16, he’ll take the California High School Proficiency Exam. More power to the student who’s academically capable of getting his diploma before the prescribed deadline at 16, rather than 18. In fact, I propose the qualifying age to be lowered to 14. I’m not kidding. Statistics reveal that the increase in home schoolers and charter schools produce students who perform far above grade level. The GED and CHSPE allow driven, competent kids to move into their future with momentum and vision. So much for the dummy delinquent stigma it once held.
Our society benefits when academic uniqueness is accommodated. Good luck to those who’ve chosen the road less traveled and thereby benefited from lessons that lead to true life learning.
—Naomi Russell, Culver City

I know going to high school really sucks, but I think there should not be tests that allow students to get out of school. Students need to go for all four years and learn all they can. By having this test, students will lose two years of education. This test is really wrong, and I vote no on it.
—Honeycell Medrano, Hollywood HS

Learning to deal with death

The article that really touched my heart was the one by Amiee Landman and her grandfather who died. When I read this story, I felt like crying, because my grandfather died before I even got a chance to meet him. As she says, both of our grandfathers are looking down on us and taking care of us. Although I never got the chance to meet him, I still have him in my heart.
—Laura Diaz, Hollywood HS

I found it difficult to deal with my grandfather’s tragic death. He was killed when a car ran him over. It was hard for me and my family to accept the fact that he was gone. I never had the chance to say goodbye one last time. I cried and cried like a baby when it happened. But eventually my family and I moved on, just like Amiee did. I guess you never know what you have until it’s gone.
—Patricia Castro, Hollywood HS

Being bullied

Reading the story about Carlos Overstreet brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to him in many ways. In junior high, school was really hard. Junior high is the time when you try to find yourself, and many kids make this period of time torture for you. No one has the right to make fun of anyone else. They are not perfect! I feel sorry for the people who bully others. They’re losers. They should get something for the meanness they bring to school.
—Susana Alvarez, USC MaST HS

This story got me thinking. I tease people and have never thought about the consequences that teasing can bring. This story has changed my way of thinking. I’ve tried to stop teasing a lot of people, and I thank you guys for writing these kind of stories.
—Johanan Gomez, USC MaST HS

It really takes guts to get up every day and go to school when you know people are going to pick on you and tease you. Carlos had the courage to get good grades while being tormented by classmates. He endured things that eighth graders shouldn’t have to and probably learned a life lesson. He never tried to be someone he wasn’t, and that’s why I respect him.
—Kathleen Jaffe, Hollywood HS

This article really caught my eye. It described everything that happened to me in sixth and seventh grades, but not as dramatic. I used to be bullied and still am on occasion. My respect goes out to all of those who are bullied.
—Eduardo Michel, Hollywood HS

The L.A. riots

Having just read the article by Prisco Serrano, I’m left dumbfounded by his conclusion that the rioters were simply taking a stand against the system in an effort to try and improve their lives. Was truck driver Reginald Denny the system when those rioters, like the punk with the bat whom Serrano admires a little, dragged him from his truck and beat him senseless? Were immigrant shopkeepers the system? How about working class families of all colors who watched their homes burn—were they the system?

He writes of the injustice of the Simi Valley jurors who did not convict the officers of brutality. I suppose they’re the system. I’ve got news for Mr. Serrano: Those jurors knew that coming back with a verdict of not guilty would put their lives in immediate danger. Everyone suspected a riot would ensue and the whole world was watching. To walk back into that courtroom and deliver an unpopular verdict that they believe to be the truth, even at the risk of their homes burning that very evening—that is bravery. That is facing the system.

The L.A. riots had nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with unbridled greed and unrestrained evil.
—David Chrenko, Ventura

Teachers don’t get respect, but do they deserve it?

I feel that nowadays everyone is worried about students disrespecting teachers. But teachers are not required to respect the students and that’s wrong. I have a teacher who takes away 10 points from our class grade each day we are absent. He says that good attendance is characteristic of respect and responsibility. But he has missed about 20 days out of our second semester for things like sports.
—Kimberly Calitto, USC MaST HS

Teachers deserve respect

Students these days do not really care about school and especially the teachers. I’m not saying that all the students are like that, but some are. Those students do that because there are teachers out there who don’t do anything to them if they do something bad. Then students continue to treat them badly. Teachers should get the respect they need. Not just from one person, but from everyone.
—Alejandro Cebrian, USC MaST HS