Word of Beak: Students thankful for holiday vacation
By Michaela Biggs
For Tri-County Newspapers
The Willows High School varsity football team plays for the championship title in Hamilton City tonight. Good luck guys.
The rest of the students throughout the district can be thankful for a full week off for Thanksgiving; a week away from a school in dire need of funding and repair, which the community seems to refuse to provide for the youth of the town.
Students at the elementary school attend classes in portable classrooms that were meant to be temporary when they were first put in more than 30 years ago, with the most obvious differences over the decades being a heating and air conditioning systems and carpeting.
There are evident water spots on many ceiling tiles, as well as cracks in the walls, inadequate walls separating rooms, bug infestations, and substandard equipment in all schools within the district.
This is not due to a failed job on the part of the maintenance workers or other employees, but the lack of money to keep the schools updated.
Instead of using the money within the school to make the necessary improvements and modernizations to keep the students up with the advances of society, the money is used to pay for the very basic needs of a school to continue education. Books, paying the staff, cafeteria food and minor upkeep costs top this list.
Staff members have had to learn to cope with pay and other cuts that make their jobs that much more difficult. Many instructors at the high school travel to Willows in order to teach the students. These teachers travel from Orland, Chico and farther to be a part of WHS, not for the pay, but because they love what they do and want to do it in Willows.
Students are forced to work on computers that are slow and outdated, and with technology becoming such a key part of the world we live in today, this adds another complication for students, especially at the high school. There are many programs that the computers at the high school lack because the district cannot afford them.
Many students throughout the district are known in the community for volunteering with various organizations, benefiting the town. Students work with other clubs within Willows to help in any way possible.
For example, students involved in Interact work various functions to benefit the community, and the Honker provides free copies of a newspaper with information from the students to any and all interested in a copy. Yet when it comes to the community as a whole giving back to the future of the town, state, and country, Willows seems to be overly stingy.
This has caused many students to ask why the community does not want the school to prosper.
If there is any doubt that the school needs money, I invite you to tour the schools and look at the classrooms, the rooms where the actual education takes place. The areas where the community often comes, such as the football field, are kept in neat order thanks to donations for specific items. The bathrooms located on the north end of the football field are in need of some TLC, but must be left alone because of a lack in funding.
As you, the readers, enjoy Thanksgiving dinners and time with family and think of the things you are thankful for, remember that students within the Willows Unified School District can be thankful for a quality education in substandard facilities because of too little money being circulated through the schools and a community who does not take the time to find out for themselves what the school is really like behind the nice items they see on the outside.