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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Guest Blogger- Student Activism

Guest Blogger:

This blog post has a very special guest author. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he wrote this intro. Jason Kalver.

Hello, everyone reading this. I am Jason Kalver. I live in Morris Township and am a freshman in Vet. I have a story to tell you.

On the second day of school, when I got on the Morristown bus to go home, the bus driver said, “girls in the front, boys in the back”. I was perturbed. Why hasn't someone done something about this rule? It was then that I realized that I was someone. I resolved to change this rule. Asking several other kids, I found that other buses did not have this rule. Bus drivers rotated, though, so information from the drivers was spread out. While looking through busing laws to find where this idea was from, Mr. Quaglio asked if it was constitutional. It was. I checked the U.S. and New Jersey Constitutions. He told me to contact Mr. Menadier. I sent Menadier an email saying “I'm on the Morristown bus, on which there is a rule that girls sit in front and boys sit in back. The bus driver claims it is a rule from the county, however a perusal of Morris County law finds no such rule. Could you investigate?” We went to the bus driver, who said there was no such rule.

Some days later, I asked the bus driver the source, and was shown a rule list from the Denville Board of Education saying, in all caps, “GIRLS IN FRONT, BOYS IN BACK”. I contacted a New Jersey senator to propose a bill prohibiting gender segregation on public school buses. I got no responses.

In mid-October, Mr. Menadier told the bus driver that the rule had been revoked, due to my having broached the subject and brought the rule into focus. We could finally sit wherever we wanted(except in the driver’s seat).

In psychology, there is something called the bystander effect. If there is an emergency, like a fire, do not say “someone call 911”. Ask a specific person to call 911 or call 911 yourself. Otherwise, everyone will wait for someone else to do it as the fire consumes the building. The same thing applies here. You are a specific person, so you should do the thing that should be done. Don’t be a bystander.


Your Task:

Jason's letter to the NJ Senator led to a phone call from the Senator to the school- long story short, his actions led to change. Think of some local issue that you could address with the goal of leading to change. Explain what that issue is and what you can do. Please read the other comments to make sure that your points are original. If your action leads to change, you can be the next guest blogger (it fufils all the social media components for that marking period.) Get moving!

134 comments:

  1. Just like Jason, a local issue I feel like I need to address is that there is not enough buses from my sending district on the way home from school. My hometown of East Hanover only provides one bus for 15-20 students, and it is a mini bus! Also for some reason, our bus is responsible for going to Morris Hills High School to pick up more students. It takes about 20 minutes to just drive up to Morris Hills, and our bus has to do this everyday. With that said, our bus then picks up more students, so the bus becomes really packed. Therefore, I feel like I need to change the problem of the number of buses. There should be one mini bus that picks up the MCST students, and there should be another bus that only goes up to Morris Hills and picks up those students. This will assist every student, because our time on the bus would cut in half. Everyday, I spend about 80 minutes on the bus, and I would really like this to change. Since I want this to change, I can first call up the transportation center of my home district, East Hanover. I would tell them my problem. After that, I feel like I could go to the mayor of my town and tell him the issue, so the town could vote for the bus. Next, I would send an email to Mr. Menadier explaining the issue and telling him that I contacted my home school to get my town another bus. To sum it up, a problem I need to address is the fact that there is not enough buses for East Hanover. I would really love to get home at 3:30 instead of 4:30!

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    1. That is a long time to be on the bus! An extra hour every day is like spending an entire week a year unneccesarily on a bus! I would be frustrated as well.

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    2. I am also on this bus! I completely agree with Jade. I don't understand why we have to go to Morris Hills High School, which is an extra 20 minutes out of our way. I, too, spend about 80 minutes on the bus (65 if I'm lucky), and would love to get home an hour or so earlier. I would take these same actions as Jade, and while talking to my town's bussing system, I would ask if there could be a different bus that travels to the Morris Hills area. I would glady help Jade if need be to get another bus to drive the students from my town home at a normal time.

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    3. I don't have this problem on my bus however, I completely understand your frustration! I have to take a bus from Tech to my home district's high school. This takes about an hour. Then I take another bus from my home high school to one of the few pre-selected bus drop off areas in my town. Then, I have to walk home, sometimes in the rain, snow, and cold. By the time I walk through my front door, it's close to 5:00. This is a completely inefficient method and it uses up the time that I would usually need to do homework!

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    4. I also agree with Jade. I understand that schools can want to spend less on transportation, and more on high tech or newer equipment, however as a student, I believe that transportation is one of the top priorities. If they provided another bus for Morris Hills, students could spend more time on homework, extracurricular activities, or even sleeping. With more sleep, students could do better in school and not always be tired.

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    5. Well there seems to be significant agreement. So what can you do about it if you want to create change the way that Jason did?

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    6. I understand why you are frustrated about this problem. My bus ride is also 80-90 minutes long. The problem for me is, I live only ten minutes away from school, yet I spend more than an hour on the bus to and from school every single day. Bussing seems to be a common problem for many students. I think you guys should definitely get your own bus. After all, it is your school. We shouldn't have to wait so long just to go to school in the morning and to go back home in the afternoon.

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    7. I also agree with Jade. I spend a lot of time on the bus that can be easily taken off. I spend about 2 hours on the bus each day without traffic. Busing seems to be common problem that hopefully can be addressed.

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  2. Just like Jason, Jade, and Keirsten, I have a local issue that I feel should be addressed. I live about an hour away from school and because of this, on half days, all of the students from my town get a bus at 11:30 back to our home highschool so that we can take another bus back home. On the recent half day that we had, a few people missed the bus back to our district and had to get picked up. This was all due to miscommunication between transportation and Tech. Our bus driver told us that she would be here at 11:30 so that we would make it back on time. However, many teachers did not believe this message and would not let the students outside. Also, all students were notified that there would be no bus back to Roxbury(our sending district) and that we would have to take the 12:00 bus like the rest of the school and would have to get picked up from Roxbury high school. Many students believed this and as I said earlier, they missed the bus which actually did come at 11:30. Because of this miscommunication, many families had to suffer. I propose that there should be a more efficient communication system between transportation, the school, and the students. This way, everyone would always know what was happening and wouldn't miss the bus again due to someone else's fault.

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  3. I would like to bring up an issue concerning buses as well. To get to school, I must take a bus to get to my home district school, with kids going to Randolph. Then, from there, the tech kids wait around 5-15 minutes for another bus to pick us up from there. It usually takes an hour to get to school, the most took us an hour and 20 minutes. This stands an issue because a regular car ride straight to Tech would take about 20 minutes, as opposed to an hour. I understand that picking up other kids is a duty, however it would be so much easier if there was just one bus, instead of two. This way, kids get more time to do homework, relax, or even get an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Additionally, I had a recent conversation with Scott, involving a discussion about how the bus drivers take roundabouts and take a very long time to drop/pick us up. For example, his bus passes his stop multiple times, however since he is the only one who gets off at that stop, the bus driver felt the need to drop off the stops with more kids. This is reasonable since it would benefit more kids, but for others who live right there, it would be more efficient if the driver would just take a few seconds to drop off the kids.

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  4. To build on the topic of buses, I live in Rockaway Township in which there is no after-school bus that has stops there. Parents are not always available to pick me up making it hard for the myself and other students hailing from my area. The only way I could take the bus if it I wanted to walk six miles to my house. Something I could do is get in contact with the Morris Hills Region's transportation and ask for proper busing.

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  5. One local problem that I am seeing right now concerns my brother. He is in middle school, and his math teacher is currently on maternity leave. Because of this, the school has someone subbing in for the absent teacher. But my brother is complaining about how this substitute does not teach properly, and does not know how to do math. All the other students in the class think the same. In class, when she is reviewing homework, she gets more answers wrong than the students themselves. My brother and his peers are finding it a little difficult to do math because the sub is not teaching them properly. Something I could do to fix this problem for my brother is to contact the school's principal and/or vice principal and talk to them about this specific substitute. I could also contact the other students' parents, and we can all talk to the substitute together. Doing either of these things would make it aware to the substitute to try harder to teach the children, and maybe put in more effort to learn the math better.

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    1. I can totally relate. In 6th grade, I faced the same exact situation in math class. Many students in our class felt the same way yet nothing was done and it remained like that until our teacher returned. Now I look back and wish I could've done something about it because I still remember how hard it was to understand in that class.

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  6. One issue within my town is a “Welcome to Randolph” sign. When you drive up to the sign, it can be hard to spot at first because it is hidden behind an uncared-for bush. But if you can see past the leaves, you would read RANDOLPH in big gold letters. The real issue is the two plaques below that. The first plaque says “2001 N.J. Little League Champs” and the second states “2007 N.J. Little League Champs”. There is still a lot of space below the boards, leaving room for more achievements. This makes one feel as if Randolph cannot find any other achievements to be proud of. It is already embarrassing enough that we had nothing exciting from the year 2001 to the year 2007, but it is even more depressing that nothing has happened since 2007, considering it is almost 2017. (Randolph does not even hold the greatest number of wins in the Little League of N.J. Toms River has won 3 times since 2001, the most recent being 2014) When contacted, the town said they did not know who owned the sign. The truth is that I am not very concerned about the sign itself, yet I am more worried over what the sign represents. It is a demonstration of how Randolph does not know who owns what, and it also shows the lack of excitement and achievements reached in this town.
    - Arianna Gehan B3

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    1. I thought that the issue in your community was really different and not something people would pay enough attention to. I also think that you made an important observation that Randolph does not show its pride or achievements on something as simple as a sign. Not having a proper sign that has updates on the town's achievements can even show that the people are disconnected and not enthusiastic about the activities that take place.

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    2. I wonder if the township has a monthly meeting that you could attend?

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  7. In my town, I think they should add speed bumbs to residential areas. This is because in these areas, cars tend to speed. This is very dangerous because many children are outside playing in these areas. The speedbumbs will make it so the cars have to slow down, preventing injury or possible death.
    -Brian s 5A

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    1. I agree, I feel speed bumps would be a great addition. However, I feel it would also be beneficial to add "Children at Play" signs so that drivers understand their surroundings.
      -Anthony Romanushko 3B

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    2. I disagree. According to various studies, (http://realtytimes.com/agentnews/agentadvice1/item/14460-20030428_speedbump), speed bumps are not effective traffic calming. Speed bumps work by making the road poor quality so everyone has to drive slowly or face serious damage to the car (sometimes even if they go slowly). They are also a major risk if ambulances ever travel on the road, because ambulances need to go quickly and also have injured passengers. Speed bumps are not a good idea.

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  8. A community issue that I can address within my neighborhood is installing more lamp posts and fixing the broken ones. At night or when it is dark, it is difficult to see what is ahead of you even with the help of headlights. Headlights on a car can only help you see so far, therefore a lamp post can provide extra lighting to contribute to safer driving conditions. Furthermore, some people in my neighborhood park their cars at a turn of a road, even though they are not supposed to, and it can be difficult to notice them in the dark, which can cause serious accidents. This problem should be addressed soon especially because the days are getting shorter and night is falling quicker. Also, teenagers including my brother are starting to drive or have already started to drive, and they need a very safe environment to drive in because they do not have as much experience as an adult. Apart from making driving safer, having light in the neighborhood gives a sense of comfort to residents knowing that they can see what is going on outside of their house. I can help solve this problem by contacting the Municipal Office of Parsippany and stating the problem to them. From there, I can take initiative to raise awareness of this problem throughout the neighborhood so that I have people who will support the idea of creating a safer environment for everybody.

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    1. Uttara, I completely agree with you. I know you are on the other side of Parsippany, but it seems like this is a town problem. Around this time in the year especially, the temperature get extremely low and fog starts to form in the streets. Lack of lamp posts introduces a hazardous road and could lead to accidents. Personally, I love playing outside with my friends when I return from school. However, by the time I am all done with my homework, it seems to dark to even step outside. I understand that this may be a problem because of Mother Nature, but our town can simply install more lamp posts so that we can combat these short days. To make an easy fix to this issue, one could contact the Municipal Office, like you said. Parsipanny should have these lamp posts be more endurable then the older ones, and have electricians periodically come by and replace any broken ones, so we can show the world the beauty of our town!

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  9. Some local issues in my town, Dover, include the traffic build up, and the recent increase of car accidents. To elaborate, I live on a relatively busy street where turning left or right can lead to two highways. Therefore, as rush hour kicks in, or people are trying to get to school in the morning, the amount of cars on the road drastically increases. Specifically, a never ending line of cars who want to turn left start to pile up, and about five cars scramble to turn when the light changes from yellow to red, some even passing on red from the desperation of waiting longer. Personally, sitting through traffic can get someone quickly agitated, and lead to rash decisions. For instance, just this morning as I arrived at my local high school waiting for the bus, I received a call from my brother. He had informed me that there was a car accident at the corner of our street in which one car passed the light on red, resulting in the destruction of both cars. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the cars were severely damaged as pieces were spread throughout the street. Thus, this led to the closing of the street, causing more traffic as cars needed to take a detour to go to their destination. Consequently, I propose that my town should install a light in each of the traffic lights that will include a signal for people wishing to turn left to not only avoid the traffic, but to cause less accidents, save lives, and money. For this to take effect, I would have to discuss these issues with the mayor, as putting in this light will help the community as a whole. This would be an interesting suggestion to bring up with the mayor, as his decisions are influenced by what can result in the greatest good of the town. Nicole Pulido 5B

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    1. I understand the struggle of the immense traffic build up. As a citizen on Rockaway Borough, which is extremely close to Dover, I often go into Dover and it is crazy how bad the traffic is there. No one stops for anybody which causes many accidents. Not as much, but in Rockaway Borough there is also bad traffic on some streets. There are several intersections that have 3 streets meeting with no light to guide the traffic. They fixed 1 and put a stop light there. But, one that is really bad is the intersection of Wall St and Main St. In Rockaway, the problem would be easily fixed with a stop light. But, in Dover it is much different. The problem with their traffic has always been there. It must be really frustrating experiencing that everyday!

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  10. I face a similar problem to the people who have responded so far. I've gone on the bus all through elementary school until now and it has been convenient and easy. As everyone knows, students attending Tech come from all over Morris County and there are many buses that are assigned to each town. I come from Parsippany and despite there being two buses, my bus, one of those, have stops that take 30 minutes just to drive to and from. The recent problem I faced was that my stop was the first one and the last one. Despite living 10 minutes away from the school, it takes over 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the school. I could get exactly one more hour of sleep by not going on the bus however, sometimes I must go on the bus and it can be extremely tiring. Before, the bus route included driving past our street to other stops and then reaching ours 40 minutes after. To resolve this, me and a couple other people near our street called the bus transportation and requested them to change the bus route that way we could be dropped off when we pass our street. This is much more reasonable and convenient.

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    1. I also changed my bus route and stop for my Parsippany bus. My old stop was at the local elementary school, and most of the students who lived near me reported to that stop. The stop was a few blocks away from me, so my mom had to drive me there. However, when the bus drove to the elementary school in the morning, it would pass right in front of my house. Many times, I would find myself chasing the bus. All of this ended when I changed my bus stop and route so that the bus would stop in front of my house. Since then, the two other students who used to report to the elementary school stop have changed their bus routes and the elementary school is not a stop anymore.

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    2. I changed my bus stop twice for my Parsippany bus. The stop assigned to me was for my old elementary school, and it was really not working because I missed the bus on the second day. My mom had to drop me off first and then my older sister. Next, I switched bus stops to a friend's house(she lived pretty close) but this also didn't work out because I stood outside in the freezing cold at around 7:15 in the morning and it inconvenienced myself even more. So finally, my mom requested them to change my bus stop to my local high school's stop, and I have never missed the bus since. I hope that other students with bus issues can also voice their opinions to change the things to get what they need.

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  11. An important issue in our community would be the MCST school building. Sometimes, it feels to me that there are too many students as opposed to building space at MCST. Also, since our classes are all in different buildings, it is difficult to switch between some classes during times of inclement weather- snow, for example. Our school lacks proper athletic facilities for our sports teams too. Finally, our school is currently split up between numerous locations. For example, MSE is in Rockaway. These issues would be resolved if MCST moved to a new campus. I have heard that MSCT has tried in the past to move campuses. However, it was deemed too expensive to take down the existing building at the location and to then make a new one, and the idea was canceled. A possible solution would be to move to an existing building that is large enough to accommodate all of MCST’s full time students.

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    1. I do not feel that we need to do something so drastic like switching canpuses. Maybe they can just allow more passing time between classes? I think that would be easier than changing the location of the entire school.

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    2. I agree that moving campuses is too big of a plan. I too find it hard to travel to the different buildings in the rain and freezing cold. Allowing more time to pass between are classes could be helpful, but not necessarily needed because we already have 4 minutes for passing time.
      -phoebe yung 2A

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    3. I agree that MCST does need a campus change, but this decision would be too detrimental. Uprooting the home of MCST would change the whole society and how the system works here. If we move anywhere outside of Denville, then buses would have to reroute their destinations and disrupt the students' and even staff's commute to school. Furthermore, incoming freshmen and future students to MCST would want to come here, but if we move, they would maybe not look into it because it could be farther than where their sending district is located. One example of this is the Environmental science academy located in Jefferson. My friend, Jaylene was accepted into the academy, but had to decline because the trip was too far from our home district of Boonton. Although MCST does need a bigger campus to accomodate our needs, uprooting and changing completely, would just be too much.
      - LJ Pasion 5B

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    4. Personally, I do not feel that MCST needs a campus change. I understand that the fact that new academies must be put in other schools and it is not fair for those schools to have to take them. However, moving campus would create many issues that are not very easy to resolve. One of them is money. When moving a whole school and all of its students to a new campus, it will cost a lot of money to buy a campus which can accommodate about 3 more academies. These extra students will require larger classrooms and much bigger classes. For me, I feel that learning within a smaller group is much easier as it allows focus to individual skills. Also, this can take a lot of time. If done in the middle of the year, students will not have a school to go to as all the old school equipment will be taken out of the current campus and be transferred to the new one. Even if it is done over the summer, it may not be finished within the given time.

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    5. I agree, I do not think that MCST needs a campus change. The campus of the school already causes problems, and moving it would cause even more problems. We already have the rooms for all of the various academies, and finding another place with a veterinary room and a culinary room nearby is more than likely going to be nearly impossible, as we are very lucky to be located in the location we are in right now. A safe place such as Denville with the needed specifications of the current MCST will be a very difficult task, present all of the transporting issues and academy conflicts.

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    6. I don't think MCST needs a new campus. There is no problem with the campus and the academies in there and I think all the other off campus academies are there for a reason. Switching campuses might cause more transportation problems. I never have any problems with getting to my classes on time either.

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  12. Unlike many commentators above, I walk to school due to the close proximity between the campus and my house. However, along the daily route I take, I often spot litters scattered along the sidewalk. There are plastic bags with variations of logos, Gatorade bottles, and glass Snapple bottles out on plain view. This is not only concerning on a community level, but on a national level. Although citizens are now aware of the correlation of littering and its negative impact, there are no action being done in regards to the trash on the street. One may wonder,'why?', but the litters all comes down to the lack of garbage cans on the street. There is not one trashcan in site, therefore it made nature an enticing place to dump everything out. After all, nobody wants to keep trash in their bag all day (especially edgy teens). Therefore, I propose MCST and Denville Township to put more trashcans out on the street in order to keep the planet clean and healthy for future generations.

    -Weina Xiao, 2A

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    1. Your so lucky. My bus ride is anoint and hour here and AND hour and a half back. It's horrible. I wish I could just simply walk there and back. Don't take it for granted.

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  14. A local problem that I have in my town, Rockaway Borough, has to do with the public education system there. I spent 9 years in their school system and I have always known it as messy and unreliable, especially when I got to 8th grade. Rockaway Borough only has 1 public elementary school and 1 public middle school. In the 7th grade we received two new teachers. One was my science teacher, who did not prepare me for high school at all. Her classroom was always a mess, she would yell at the students for things they never did, and she would teach us the same things over and over again. No matter how much parents complained about how their children were not learning in her class, nothing ever changed. On the other hand the second new teacher was the best teacher I have ever had in all my years of learning. To start, when I was in 7th grade, she taught the 8th grade class 2 years of US History because our past US History teachers failed to teach them. I learned the most I have ever learned in a class from her, while she kept it interesting. Getting back to the point, at the end of the year the school district decided to let go of 7 teachers, one of them being my US History teacher. My science teacher was not let go. For months, teachers at my old middle school have been protesting outside the school in the mornings because of how corrupt the system is. Of course, a student would not know exactly why. Although, I had a very close relationship with my 7th grade English teacher and he told me many of the problems going on. When the word of teachers getting fired spread across the school, more that 50 students, including myself, went to a board meeting and talked on behalf of our US History teacher. It took over two hours for the students and parents to finish speaking. Even teachers spoke and sometimes yelled because of how frustrated they were. Eventually, during the summer, we found out that they offered my US History teacher her old job back. It is the thing I am most proud of. But, the problem still stands. How can the citizens of Rockaway Borough fix their public education system? For one, the district needs to apologize to the teachers because they work so hard to teach their students to the best of their ability. Then they need to face their issues directly. It is known that Rockaway Borough may not be able to fix all of their problems because it is such a small town with such little money. Hopefully, within the years to come, they can gradually fix everything that the teachers are so angry about.

    -Kyara Segura, 3B

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    1. Sounds like a frustrating and complicated problem. yet well done for attending the board meeting and making a positive impact!

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    2. I would also like to say that I attended this board meeting as well and spoke on behalf of this teacher. Having a younger sister in this school system, it is only getting worse. Due to the teachers working under no contract, they refused to hold a back to school night. I find this really frustrating because especially since many new teachers were added to the school, parents have no way of meeting the teachers and getting to know the way they teach.

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    3. I agree with you Kyara. It is not fair that an amazing teacher such as your U.S. History teacher was let go and your Science teacher was allowed to stay. If the school really needed to cut teachers they should gone about it in another way. They should choose which teachers deserve to stay based on the quality of their teaching and the results they get. A good way to determine this would be by hearing how the students feel because they are the only ones who truly know how each teacher is in the classroom. School administrators should let students voice their opinions by letting them rate their teachers and share if they think they are teaching effectively or not. Of course it would be important that students having facts to back up their claims. By doing this we would be on our way to having a truly effective school system.

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  15. A local problem in my community is the lack of sidewalks on the roads. When I was in elementary school, I either rode my bike or walked home. I had to walk along one of the busiest roads in our small town: the Newark Pompton Turnpike. The sidewalk not only ends at a certain point (which thank god I did not have to walk on the edge of the street), yet to this day, the sidewalk that exists has cracks and bumps all over it. With cars speeding trying to get through traffic, it continuously began unsafer to ride or walk. One slip or trip upon cracked gravel on a busy road can lead to an unnecessary accident. I hope that one day the school board can fund enough money to fix this problem. In fact, a simple food sale could help raise enough money to make these changes. Even further, I would want to push and raise enough money to continue the sidewalks throughout the entire road.
    As they say in my town, "safety comes first!"

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  16. I can name a local problem right in our school, Morris county school of TECHNOLOGY! Now you think wow we are a school of technology so we might being doing a lot on it, like doing homework, class work, and even test taking, and we do. But, do they just assume we have our own devices for everything? Some people don't have a lap top, tablet or phone to do everything, and yes there are chrome book carts in school, but when we go home some of us have nothing to use to complete our homework. My hometown school parsippany Troy hills high school, which is a regular high school, everyone in the school is given a free iPad for the four years of high school. Now to solve this problem the school can either purchase them with their money or we as a school can all donate enough money to make it possible.

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    1. This is a very real problem for many students. Do you think there is something we could do to remedy this?

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  17. I local problem I would like to address is in my home school swim team. We need more kick boards and another bus for swim practice and the sports administrator refuses to allow us money to go get these things. He thinks that swimming is not as important as the basketball team. So he thinks about the basketball team's needs before the swim teams. It is not fair because without specific training tools for swimming we cannot improve. Also another kid asked to join the team once the season had already started and the administrator would not allow it simply because there is not enough room on the one bus and he refuses to allow us to have two buses. To resolve this problem I am planning on reaching out the sports administrator to explain how important it is that we need these kick boards and that this other student gets to be involved in the team with two buses. I will have my coach stand by my side along with other swimmers on the team to fix this problem.

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    1. As a coach, I've faced similar problems! It's a shame if athletes can not participate simply because of bus space and I had to write an e-mail about that concern before. I also know that some sports feel "second-class" to some of the more traditionally popular sports. I think reaching out to the sports administrator is a great first step. I'm interested to know how it goes!

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  18. I am a Rockaway Borough resident and attended the Rockaway Borough school district from K-8. The middle school runs from 4th-8th grade. That is a very big gap in age, which leads to a lot more bullying. When I was in 4th-6th grade, bullying at my school was a very big problem. The biggest problem with bullying was when I was in 5th grade. I had experienced a harassment issue that led to police investigation, all while I was in 5th grade. This could have been prevented if we had a school system that took discipline more seriously. Another example is that last year, the girls in my class had reported a bullying issue during class. That problem was never resolved and the bullying continued. The whole school system was a mess between teachers not having contracts and things like that, but when the students come to school feeling unsafe about bullying, that is a very big problem. I feel as if they do not take the bullying seriously. My younger sister is at the middle school I attended now and the same problem is happening to her. She reports bullying and nothing is being done. Something needs to change.
    Samantha Hagenbush A2

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    1. Oh no! That seems like a very stressful situation for you and you sister. I hope that people can find a way to address this so your sister can go to school in peace. I also hope that you find the environment at our school to be one that is much better!

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  19. Marissa Biundo B3
    I am from East Hanover and we do not just have a problem with the afternoon bus, there is also a problem with the morning bus. Every morning, the bus is supposed to show up at our home district high school at 7:20 am and then leave at 7:27 am and head for another school. However, most days he arrives at 7:22 am and then leaves at 7:25. On the day we came back from break, I was a little late. My brother, who drives me to my home district school where he also attends, drove up to the bus. Then, the bus started pullig out. So, my brother sped up behind him and began flashing his lights and honking. Despite this, the bus driver kept going and left me behind. I was able to get to Tech, but this is still unacceptable. The bus driver needs to be a bit more competent when driving. My mom has called the bus company to complain, but no changes have been made. I aim to call them again and ask for a better busing system for the Tech students.

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    1. I know exactly how that feels. In 6th grade, I was attending a club and they made an announcement while my friend and I were there that it was cancelled. We both frantically grabbed our stuff and ran to the buses. I made it to the back of my bus, and it started to pull away so I hit the bus to try and get someone's attention but no one said anything to stop the bus. It was so frustrating and I will never forget it.

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  20. Personally, I am an athlete who plays an abundant amount of sports. During the fall, I played for the Morris Tech soccer team. For practices and games we would always have to take a bus. Each time we used the bus, the freshmen were forced to sit in the front, then the sophmores and juniors in the middle, and then the seniors at the end. I understand this is a "senority," for the seniors to sit in the back, but it does not make sense for them to only allow one frehsman to sit with them. If one freshman gets to sit in the back, the others should be able to as well. Splitting up the grades like this does not allow the different aged players to bond well. Instead, it keeps everyone seperate. From experience, I would always sit in the front, and I would never be able to talk to anyone besides freshmen. Now, it isn't bad to talk to my fellow classmates, but I never really got to know the older students better. Mixing the different grade levels would help everyone interact more, and it would definitely increase the bond between each player.

    As a freshman, I might not be able to solve this problem all the way. The most I could do is talk to the coaches and upperclassmen to see if we can mix the players around. When I get older and am still on the sports teams, I can have more authority. Therefore, I can personally talk to the students younger than me to get to know them more. Additionally, when I learn some new information about someone, I can share it with another upperclassman (unless it is personal). Then the upperclassman might become fascinated by the interests of the lowerclassman. As a result, they may talk more and bond better.

    Instead of helping the whole team at once, I can help a few people bond at a time. In the end, all teammates will be able to talk to each other and bond together.
    Lexi Robinson, B5

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  21. I would also like to bring up the issue of buses. I live in Denville, but my house is not close enough for me to walk back home. At times I need to stay late after school for mandatory theater practices but find myself waiting longer than I should in the cafeteria. I think that I can talk to my district's busing service and if possible have a same late bus as students from the Rockaway Township.
    -Phoebe Yung, 2A

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    1. This must be a big deal because I asked for original ideas, but many of you insist on writing about busing! When you speak with the busing service, please let us know the response.

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  22. Personally i found this article very interesting. Although i don't have any busing problems myself it is cool how Jason fixed his. I thought the whole bystander effect was very interesting. Its true that if no one else does something about a problem people are inclined to do nothing as well.
    I then related this to the Holocaust. Many people just stood around and watched the horrors of this event take place and decided that someone else would do something about it, not them. And then there were those that said, I am that someone, and changed history. History is all about those people who decide to not be another bystander. All in all i found this blog very thought provoking and a very great story.

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  23. I would like to write another comment about buses. I live in Parsippany, which is the closet district to MCST, which is why MCST follows Parsippany schedule for days off and things like that. I am very fortunate because I live five minutes away from the school. You would think that my bus ride should be short, which it is , but I get picked up on my bus at about 7, which is ridiculous. My bus has 2 or 3 more close stops after me, and school starts at 8. I am at school early by 30 minutes or more everyday. People from the other side of town get picked up way after me,and make it to school on time. I realize that getting picked up at 7 is dream to a lot of people that live 45 minutes, but if I did not take my bus in the morning, I would have an another 50 minutes to get ready. I realize it is better than being late, but it is ridiculous considering everything I said. All in all, I should be getting picked up at a more reasonable time.

    -Laura Wald A2

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  24. Like Jason's town, Dover my sending district also has bus issues. Dover is only 2 square miles so I can see why we have no bussing. Yes there is bussing for kids who go to Morris Tech but we get picked up from the high school. Dover does have bussing for special needs in which case they get picked up on their street. My home like others is on the South side of town while the high school is on the north. I have no problem walking the 40 minute walk every day if the way to school didn't cross route 46. I've walked home multiple times before but waiting for the light to change which doesn't happen so quickly and in the cold is just not something anyone would do.

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  25. a problem we are facing today is that kids are not exposed to real fresh food. although some places are changing it so that school lunches are well balanced i feel not enough schools and areas are taking action .in result kids are learning the unhealthy eating habbits that are being promoted by the community. a way to lessen the issue is that schools can serve for fresh and balanced meals like not serving so much sugar and not considering ketcup as a vegetable because in reality its just more sugar. also th community can enforce healthier eating choices.

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  26. All over Morris County there are families in need. On the other hand, there are many families who have money, yet they choose to spend on luxuries such as coffees and junk food. A coffee at Starbucks is approximately three to five dollars depending on type and size. Myself and others, guilty of this action could focus my money on helping the families of Morris County that are in need instead of on a Caramel Macchiato. There are families that struggle to afford books and backpacks for themselves and their children’s day to lives school careers. If we ran a collection drive at Morris County School of Technology, collecting extra change and cash that may have been put towards something unnecessary, from students and teachers who have something to offer, together, we could raise enough money to supply these families in need with necessities to make life more comfortable. The citizens of Morris County must unite as one to support each other in times of need, we must be there for our friends, colleagues, and acquaintances when they need us most. Julia Maier 3A

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    1. You may be on to something, suppose you asked people to give up one coffee a week and donate to this...

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  27. One local issue that we need to address in Boonton is what the school district spends its money on. For many that don't know, Boonton is about 2 square miles and it's a tiny town. Our high school is interlocked with Lincoln Park (our sister town that doesn't have a high school) and residents in Boonton. The problem is that boonton was nominated as Morris County's best turf field. Since then, they've given more money to the athletic department instead of the art department or even the band department. As an athlete, I know that although the money is going towards us, it doesn't seem like it, but when I look at our art/music departments, there's so much less than what the athletic department has. We have multiple sports but we don't even have a marching band or heavily equipped art department. Even the drama department is lacking in funding and attention. I believe art is an important aspect of Boonton's roots but also something that students all around should be exposed to and have the materials. A lack of funding for an important part of a students' education is not an excuse. If I could, I'd speak to the administrators and even the board of ed at Boonton and speak to them about why the money is going where it's going. I'd team up with fellow art enthusiasts and raise money and show the people in charge that this is what we want and that it's important. A small population should equal a small voice.

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    1. Schools definitely need to become better with budgets. Randolph also spent a ton of money on a high ropes course and it is never used because it is not safe. But last year at the end of the year there "wasn't enough money to buy paper" so students and staff were encouraged to save paper.

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    2. I completely agree with you LJ. Parsippany has this same exact issue. Sports are so important to the school that they completely neglect the arts. Not only is the music program neglected, but the art program as well. Parsippany Hills High School has an amazing marching band and choir. However, when someone says Parsippany Hills High School, the first thing that comes to mind is their football team. Every student should have an opportunity to do what they want. If a student loves singing, they should have a good facility at school that allows them to.

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  29. One local issue I would like to address is for my hometown field hockey team. MCST gets out at 2:56 and the buses leave a little later. My field hockey team practice starts at 3:00 when my hometown school gets out. This is a problem because I miss out most of the practice. I feel like the practices should be a little later so it could fit into the student's schedule for the people that go to MCST.

    Another problem I would like to address is that the buses for the games for field hockey also leave around 3:10. When there is an away game I have to find someone to drive me. This is hard for my parents because they would have to leave work early to pick me up. For home games I take the bus home, but I am still late for the game.

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    1. Athletics really are a struggle for those attending our school. I've had many talented runners unable to compete in track because of this.

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  30. I personally have had no busing problems. However, after reading this blog it has come to my attention that many others have. I found it very interesting how Jason took a stand and made a change for himself, and others in his town. This article made me realize that other people in different towns deal with similar problems. It is fascinating how one person can make a change for the whole community.

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  31. One issue that happens in my town is bullying education. People don't understand that isolating and talking behind each others back are forms of bullying. I have a friend from Randolph who is talked behind her back all the time. She sits alone at lunch because people don't let her sit with them. Individuality is not present there. I was bullied there because whenever I tried to dress differently, I was made fun of and outcasted. At Randolph, if you don't dress or act like everyone else, you are not considered cool. It's a huge problem.

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    1. How do you think you could try to solve this problem?

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  32. An issue the small town of Netcong is is that the busy Route 183 is unsafe for pedestrians. Some days I can wait 5-10 minutes waiting for the road to be clear, but still I sprint across it because the blind turn on the other side of the road could lead to an accident. Netcong is quite tiny and this road cuts right through my side of town. On a semi-regular basis I see kids after school running across that road without an adult, and kids speeding down my hill on a bike and without a care just zooming across they road. For 3:00-3:30 there is a crossing guard, but some kids stay after until 4:00 and I just don't think that is safe. I believe that a crossing guard should be there from 3-4:15 so that kids can cross safely, and that the speed limit should be decreased because I believe that area is still considered a school zone. Around a week ago, a 17 year old kid from Sussex Tech was crossing a road near my house (not that specific one) and got hit by a car while he was in the crosswalk crossing the street. He died on impact it was said. I want this issue to be fixed so that this doesn't occur at this street.

    Victoria Attardi 2A

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  33. Parsippany Hills High School has an amazing athletics system. As a result, sports are very important to this school and other things are ignored. The arts are considered unimportant. As a person who loves singing and painting, I do not think it is correct to ignore the arts. In 2015, the Parsippany Troy-Hills School District decided to cut the funds for art and music programs. Many parents, teachers, and students went out to the board meeting and spoke about how much the arts impacted their lives. Even though the board decided that the funds would remain the same,till this day, the arts are not appreciated. This is not only prevalent at Parsippany Hills, but it is seen in schools all around the country. For example, if there is a football game, everyone from the school will go to support. However, if there is a choir concert, there is a limited number of people that go. Sports should no longer be considered superior to the arts, instead, they should be equal.To solve this issue, students who love the arts should speak up. Furthermore, schools should show more appreciation towards the arts they have. I believe that sports are important, but the arts are just as important.

    Shriya Ahuja B5



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    1. I agree 100% with you, Shriya. Music should not be overruled by sports. I want to say that it's peer pressure from others. Many people like to just hop on the bandwagon these days, and if that cart contains someone whose popular and "cool", many are going to follow right along. I have a passion for music, arts, and poetry, and many of the students even here don't take my interests seriously. The ideals of our generation is slowly changing, just a bit, by speaking out about our concerns. In addition, we should advocate for more schools to push for more art clubs, literature clubs, music clubs, ect. Corporations that give scholarships should also pay mind to (all forms of) artistic students.

      Alexandra Huynh 3B

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  34. Being from Lincoln Park and living there since about 5 years old, living there for about 10 years, many things have caught my eye in terms of issues in my home community. Now Lincoln Park is a a fairly small town, only about 7 square miles, so issues and news spreads quite fast and issues resolve quickly. However, to this day, there are still issues that have been addressed, but nothing was done about them. One of these was the funding of town sports. In Lincoln Park, there is basketball, football, baseball, and soccer programs all funded by our PAL, and a lot of money has been spent on them. Our basket ball court for example has been a huge expense, and a lot of money was put into the football program, far beyond all of the other sports. With this soccer, which I play, and baseball have been sort of tossed away and not looked at. In the past few years, our football team has not been too hot. In most years they cannot even get enough players, yet so much money is put into lights, and a huge commentator box. Despite all the funding, the field is in shambles, and all it is at this point is mud. The soccer and baseball fields are no different, perhaps even better than the football field. This issue, however, is due to the town simply put, not caring for the fields and not funding them. Countless times, our complex which has about 3 worn down soccer fields has been used as grounds for tournaments which bring many teams from all across Morris County, and they are left disappointed at the state of the fields. Which is why instead of putting all funding in one sport, it should be evenly distributed to all sports.

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    1. I agree Rron, those sports fields seem like a tumor to Lincoln Park. It seems as though Soccer is a far more popular sport in Lincoln park than Football. As a result, it might be a better idea to divert football funds to the soccer funds since so many come to participate in tournaments.
      ~Anthony Romanushko

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  36. One local problem that students face at our school, MCST, is lack of iPads. iPads can really benefit the student in numerous ways, especially in a school where technology is surrounded by us everywhere. Not only do iPads promote collaboration, paperless innovation, and a cheap alternative to laptop carts, but they fit perfectly with a student in our generations lifestyle. These iPads can also help students in school, and out of school. The board that makes our schools decisions needs to understand that some people can not financially afford an iPad to do their homework, while teachers seamlessly assign work on the internet. I come from Parsippany, and observed from my friends who got iPads that it only benefits their studies. For example, apps like iMessage and FaceTime are disabled on the iPads so they aren't used towards the wrong purposes. They also come built in with some paid apps like Notability and AntNotes, which help students keep track of their notes. A solution to this problem is that the towns board of education should eliminate the costs of the chrome books and supply every student in the school with an iPad. An alternative to this idea is to have the students themselves form committees or clubs, and try to raise money by doing fundraisers.

    Aditya Parikh B5

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    1. I completely agree with you Aditya. Technology is changing, and we need to take note of that. The computers that we use in class are not as easy to use or enjoyable as having an iPad. It provides a new modern way to study. This advance in our schools technology can help create a more enjoyable learning environment for students at MCST.

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    2. I agree. IPads are not just for fun but a necessity. Many students do not have computers or even mobile phones. I feel that teachers assume that everyone has some device when the reality is that some students lack electronics. Implementing iPads will certainly help students and the school as well. Technology is advancing day by day and it is important for students to know how to use the technology. The iPads will also target the problem of students not having a laptop or computer at home. If the school distributes iPads then the school can make sure that every student has access to the materials to do hw. If the school purchases iPads for every student then they can be reused to benefit learning.

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    3. I disagree, the majority of students already have smartphones that have the same functionality that iPads have. In addition it would be substantially more expensive to provide $1000 tablets to every student when the majority of classrooms already have computers and laptop carts. The school's chromebooks are not expensive, at retail they range from $200-$300 however when schools buy in bulk their price is substantially lower. Students that do not have a computer at home can simply stay after school and do any homework that requires computers. Mobile versions of important resources such as google docs are significantly inferior to their desktop rivals offering limited functionality and a complicated user interface.

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    4. I have to agree with Nikolai on this one. From personal experience, most students at PHHS, where they are all provided with iPads, do not use them effectively. I feel, as Nikolai said, iPads would be costly and ineffective om relation to chromebooks and smart phones.
      ~Anthony Romanushko 3A

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  38. One issue I would like to speak about is the fact that our school, MCST does not have the best equipment for gym. Also, it is missing an actualy field for sports such as soccer and football, which are played by many people. Having a field has a huge advantage, as there is no need to go elsewhere for practices and meets. During physical education class, the terrain for playing outdoor sports is rather small and not the most comfortable. Also, there if often a lmited amount of space that students can use in the gym. The fitness center isn't bad, however it can be improved by adding more space, and more equipment that people are most likely to use. I feel this may get people more encouraged to participate in physical activities, which are necesary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I don't believe in being graded for phys. ed either.

    One other issue I would like to address is the busing. I live in Denville, so I live rather very close to the school, yet the bus picks me up rather earlier than other kids, and I have to sit there for approximately 30-35 minutes to get to school, when it's not far away at all. Also, the suspension on my bus isn't at all great; my bus usually goes through a narrower route, and its usually very bumpy and makes my breakfast want to come out - not a peaceful 30 minutes of my life. If only the buses had better suspension, it would make the lives of many somewhat pleasant.

    I figure that donations, and a large fundraiser could really help satisfy the needs of many people. If everyone contributed, it would actually help the school out a lot - the students can choose where they would like to invest the money for the benefit for themselves and others around them.

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    1. I think that small fundraisers by sports teams that use the gym like chocolate selling could greatly help get better equipment for the gym.

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  39. One of the biggest problems in my town would be cars driving through bus's bus stops. When kids are getting out of their parents cars or crossing the street some cars just don't stop. I've seen many kids walk across the street and almost be hit by a car, I've even been one of those kids before. The street that the bus picks us up on is one of the main streets in our town, and during the time we get picked up many adults are going to work. I would like to get the bus stop put on a different street. One way to do this would be to call my home town school (which controls the buses) and ask them if it would be possible to change the bus stop and have it closer to my high school. This would make everyone much safer.

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    1. I totally agree with your point! It's ridiculous because I've been having that same problem since elementary with my busses. At most, all the bus driver can do is honk, and there really isn't a punishment for driving pass an unloading school bus. Instead of that small, thin bar that extends from the bus at every stop, there should be another solution. Maybe the bus should have a little camera that takes a picture of each passing license plate and send a fee/bill to their house for disregarding a student's safety.

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  40. To begin, my entry is nothing alike what everyone else is talking about. I'm actually quite lucky that my bus drops and picks me up at my door and I'm usually home by 3:30. This is of a different and a (quite) sensitive topic.

    It starts with my cousin's friends. They're only a year older then us, and they're a bunch of loud and amazing guys that I spend my time with outside of school. At first, they don't seem sensitive, nor do they seem like they really take the world seriously. Over the months, I've come to see that guys get hurt too, that they have feelings and they have insecurities. Much more then I do apparently. Yes, of course, before I knew them I did know that everyone had feelings and everyone had insecurities. But it surprised me how sometimes the way they spoke to and about themselves -- seeing someone other then yourself do it feeds an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach.

    The issue that I strive to change here is everyone's insecurities. It may seem very cliché and overused, but many teens our age are really struggling with finding the good in themselves. Hearing it about it from others, as I have experienced, doesn't really carry the subject across when compared to actually meeting someone and seeing them, from the heart, hate themselves. You hear about this every time in the news or you'll read stories about it, but it really hits close to home when there were these guys, who I look up to as brothers and they laugh regardless, talk about themselves like they're the worst human being alive. I've genuinely cried for them, because it physically hurts me to see such happy people hide so much behind their smiles.

    How do I change this? I won't pretend to know what's going on or how they feel, because I don't. I can't slip my feet into their shoes no matter how hard I try, and sending little compliments their way during their day doesn't really seem to help because they don't seem receptive of it. But simply being there, being a person with honestly and realism and reassurance is enough. Having an open eye to any indication that something is wrong, that they're acting different, and then asking if they're okay. Give them a chance to let it out, and not take it out on theirselves. Reason with them to show that it's not always their fault.

    Among this topic also comes a great deal of regret. My younger and only sister, was recently diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar disorder. I'm not sure how the science of it works, but lately I've been blaming myself for not being there for her before. She's only ten years of age, and she grew up forced to keep her mouth shut about her problems. I had my head and heart thrown too deep into school and other people that I didn't realize that she was breaking. She'd keep it bottled up, and then one day she'd just snap. I should've reassured her; shouldn't have left her alone to take care of everything by herself.

    In short, everyone has insecurities. And because so much of this has been shoved in my face in the last year, I can't imagine what more of it that I'll see in the future. So from now, I want to change the way people view themselves, and impact as many people as possible by keeping outstretched arm at all time. It may be none of my business and I have my own life to worry about AND there is no way I'll impact the world from this, but to a person who needs the help, to a person I can and will help - I won't change the world, but I'll certainly change their world. And that's all that matters.

    -Alexandra Huynh 3B

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  41. To piggyback off of Jason’s story, I think a problem in society not just locally, but internationally, is gender equality. Women do just as much as men and even more too! This is a serious topic that must be changed within our world. To showcase this, it has been statistically proven that women are payed less than men working at the same job. Women and transgender people, as an example, have come so far in earning their rights in society. There have been riots, movements, and role models, that stepped up and helped to lead people down the path of righteousness. So why are they not considered equal? Why are they denied the same rights as “men”? If males were real men, everything would be equal and compromises would have been made throughout history. Personally at MCST, I have heard people misgender others, and not use the correct pronouns. We work with all of these people in school and on a professional level, and I just can’t wrap my head around why people won’t accept or understand the change coming with our generation. In order to help this cause, I can advocate against these issues and help teach people the right way to deal with things. Part of life is adapting to change and I would love to be a role model for others to follow.
    -Aaron Carr A3

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  42. Adding on to what Jason said, I have an issue with the bus system after school ends. I have come to find some instances where it took me a very long time to find my bus to return to my hometown. I would like to know where my bus is as soon as I step out the door. That way, I don't have to play hide and seek with my bus. I have homework and other things to do, so it's not very convenient. For example, I was searching for my bus for almost ten minutes, until I finally caught it at the last minute just before it departed. I see this more as an annoyance rather than an issue, but it would speed up the process, and get students home so they have more time to do homework or spend time with friends and family. With this in mind, I propose that we could make the town names more visible to the students that are exiting the school. That way, students would be able to get on their busses and go home as quickly as possible.
    -Massimo Garcia 3B

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    1. I agree that there should be some kind of sign or writing that signifies what late bus you are getting on to. This would make it a lot easier for students to get home faster. It would also ensure that no one misses the late buses.

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  43. Adding to the group of people with a bus issue, I too experience problems going to and from school. Parsippany has four buses, and I was placed at a bus stop further away from my house while there is another bus that goes closer to my house from Parsippany that also goes to MCST. The other bus would be much easier for me to go on, as it also would reach my house later. My current stop is five minutes from my house, which is not too much, but the other bus would be able to pick me up at my house. I tried contacting the Parsippany Transportation Board in the first few days of school, but they said there was nothing they could do, as the routes were already set. It isn't too bid of an issue, but it would make my ride to school much easier.
    -Suneet A5

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  44. In addition to all the bus issues, I would like to note the issue of my bus not coming on time. Most times it is 20 mins late and I feel that it is hard to stand out in this particular weather. On one instance my bus did not come at all and everyone had to take a ride to school. The problem of buses not coming on time stand out as problem for every student. To combat this current issue, I would email bus transportation, explaining about the issue and the proposition of a time change. I would also notify Mr.Menadier of the change.

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    1. I agree with you, this is a very very serious issue. My sister had a similar problem. My parents had to drop me off to school, and so she was waiting at the bus stop because the bus was supposed to come in 2 minutes, however the bus never ended up coming. We were lucky because our neighbors were able to stop her off, but this is a very serious issue for all kids who need the bus as a means of transportation.

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    2. I agree with you, this is a very very serious issue. My sister had a similar problem. My parents had to drop me off to school, and so she was waiting at the bus stop because the bus was supposed to come in 2 minutes, however the bus never ended up coming. We were lucky because our neighbors were able to stop her off, but this is a very serious issue for all kids who need the bus as a means of transportation.

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  45. One issue I feel that not many people address is that stress is very apparent in our school. I know people who have cried, and have had metal breakdowns because of stress. I m not commenting on the amount of schoolwork, or homework. I just wanted to explain that stress is very apparent. People disregard stress because "everyone has stress", or "it's normal", but what if it didn't have to be normal. Maybe we can implement a require study hall period, which many people I know have suggested. There are many ways that this school can help students become less stressed. Who knows, maybe less stress will improve grades, and the atmosphere in our school.

    Angelina
    A5

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  46. I think that there is a lingering issue at MCST. Under no means would I ever want to go to a different school, but a common issue stands. Our school has no football team. Most high schools offer football as an extracurricular sport, but our school has no team. Sure, you can return to your hometown and play football there, but that takes away from school pride. Another issue that coinsides with the football team controversy is that we do not have a field to play on. Our gym classes take us outside into the front of the school's lawn, which is inconvenient as well as unsafe. What if a ball accidentally flies across the road and it is a busy day? Our beloved teachers will have to risk their lives to get a soccer ball. A fix to this could be a field nearby, but not adjacent to the school. This means that there would be a tiny walk to get to the field, but it would be far safer and would allow for a football team.

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    1. I agree we should have a football team also because the games provide a great socializing opportunity. especially for the freshman who do not know anyone yet.

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  47. Continuing with the transportation trend, one issue for Randolph Township members of MCST is that our bus does not have our towns name labeled across it. This causes an issue because sometimes it is difficult to find our bus when it isn't very obvious which one is ours. This causes me, and I'm sure others, to have a mini panic attack that I am going to miss the bus. Luckily, I end up finding it eventually. One course of action I can take is notifying the transportation system to have the physical bus changed, or at least a sign on the window that specifies the bus is for "randolph". This can help me, along with people from my town, get onto the bus quicker which can make the safety of all the buses leaving the school so much easier and efficient for all.

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  48. I live in the town of Bloomingdale and we share a bus with the town next to us, Butler. Everyday the bus comes at 7:15. This is when it is supposed to come. Some days though, the comes at 7:10. This causes an issue and makes people miss the bus. We have asked our driver multiple times to wait five minutes when she comes early like this but she only waits around for thirty seconds then leaves. Multiple people have missed the bus multiple times due to our drivers impatience. A course of action that can be taken is to speak to the bus system about the issue. If our driver won't wait and shows up early on random days we need to go to the system and report this.

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  50. Like most of you, I also had experienced bus issues. When I had to stay after school, getting home was a problem. I live in Parsippany, one of the large districts and in spite of being a large district, late buses dropped off students at only four distinct stops. The late bus passed by very close to my house, yet the driver did not drop me off the bus. That is because it was not one of the stops, instead the bus went further away from my house where it dropped me off at one of the four stop. As a result I had to walk for fifteen minutes from the stop to my house. While I had homework and other things to do, I reached home at around 6:30 on normal days. As well as, both of my parents are at work therefore I had to take the bus, there were no other options. A 30-40 minute ride, then a 15-20 minute walk was very infuriating. In order to overcome this difficulty, I contacted the bus transportation services where it was decided that the bus would stop to drop me off closer to my house. After all, the route was not to be changed. It was only an extra stop that the bus had to stop at.

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  51. I have never been in such a situation like this, and if I have I don't know if I would have done so much to change it (although I would definitely have loved it). I 100% agree with Jason that there was a gender segregation problem on that bus that needed to be solved. What is even the purpose for such and outrageous rule? What does this driver think that these kids DO on the bus? The answer: ride home to do homework, extra-curricular activities, and just have fun after school! It's not an outrage to return home, so why would anyone cause any trouble on a bus ride?
    Another thing I would like to point out is the effort that Jason had gone through to change such a ridiculous rule. He even emailed a US senator to pass a bill preventing gender segregation on buses! He did everything to make things right, and I guess my point here is, if everyone were to be like Jason in a situation like this, the world would be a much better place.

    Sean Fitzsimmons, 2A

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  52. I personally find that this is a great school but has a major problem. First of all, this school lacks a any type of field. There is no baseball, soccer, or football field which many other high schools have. This causes a large inconvenience to many sports players because they have to take a bus to and from every practice and home game. That will cause players to have less time to practice and less time to warm up for games. This causes players to get home later giving them less time for homework, which can be very stressful. Second of all, this school is quite small, causing a limited number of kids to come to this school. I have been told by some teachers that our school has been looking for a new campus which I personally think is a great idea. This will allow the school to have a field and accept more students to the school.

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  53. One problem that we have at our school is the lack of a proper sports field. Many people must travel to different fields for practice or "home" games. I'm sure that a proper sports field would improve phys ed and encourage more students to take up an after school sport such as soccer. Obviously our school does not have the proper property size to have a sports field, however i have seen schools that have a field on the roof of their schools. I'm not sure if this would be a great solution for us because we may not have the proper roof sizes on any of our buildings.

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  54. I totally agree with you. This is such a problem. People all around the school are complaining that they don't get home late because of crammed buses, and it needs to stop. A good solution to this would be to send an email/ a letter to your home school district asking them to send more buses. That way, they can send another bus to make the ride home less cramped, and another bus problem will be solved.

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    1. I apologise, this was meant to be a reply to Jade Ditta.

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  55. A5
    An local issue I would like to fix is the MCST late buses. The late bus at Mcst is pretty much useless for me. I have to sit on the bus for about 30 minutes until I get to my stop and the closest stop to my house is a 5 minute drive away. if I were to walk, it would take over an hour to get home and I would have to walk over highways. So pretty much there has to be someone that can drive me home if I were to take the late bus which pretty much defeats it's purpose. Now, my parents pick me up at school and I get home lot earlier. To fix this issue, the school should appoint more late buses and assign closer stops for the students.

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  56. An local issue I wish to adress would be my hometown bussing route. There is only one pickup and dropoff which is at the high school. Which is located at one corner of the town. Then you have everyone else who live across town on other borders and such(like me). I think they should have 3 stops at each of the 3 elementary schools which cover the magority of the town. -Hong Wang A2

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  57. My hometown does care about its students but it cares about some more then others. The sports teams have the newest uniforms a brand new gym and new equipment every year. Except with all the money going into sports there is almost none left for the music program. Almost all of the instruments are not working or totally broken. There are almost no instruments available for students who want to play one. Not only that but the marching band has not gotten new instruments in almost twenty years. The uniforms and instruments show that we are not a school that cares about the arts. I think that sports are not the only things that a school should focus on. A way to fix this would be to go to the superintendent or board of education and try to get this fixed. Hopefully one day soon it will be.

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  58. The MCST late bus has been an issue for me. I am dropped of in a completely different town twenty minutes from my house. It is not possible for me to even walk home. So my parents who both work full time have to take time out of their busy day to come and pick me up. It would be great if the later bus could at least drop me off in my home town. I understand that there are few Mount Arlington students but enough that all struggle with this problem. Any easy fix to this issue is to just create one bus stop in Mount Arlington. It would make the drive for walk much more convent for students and parents.

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  59. So many people in this world suffer from a mental illness, whether it's anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. On the internet, sometimes I see people joking around about these types of things. Why? I think the community should become more educated about these illnesses instead of just ignoring or making fun of such a topic. I would create a way to help students empathize with others who go through these mental illnesses and see how they react then. This doesn't just have to be in the school community, this could travel to places far and wide across the globe. This will help people who go through these mental illnesses understand that others are there for them if they need comfort and support.

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  60. A local issue in my neighborhood is that kids are left all alone on the streets without parental supervision. Yes, my neighborhood is very safe, but a lot of the kids do not understand how to be safe. For example, if a cat passes by while the kids are playing basketball, the kids will not move. Instead, they just stare at the car passing by. Additionally, some of the little kids play with chalk and make snow angels on the road, without parental supervision. A lot of these kids can get hurt severely, and certain precautions should be taken to make sure nothing happens.

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  61. As a student with hearing aids, there is always an issue of hearing aid batteries in school. There are numerous times where I have boughten a dead pack of batteries, meaning the batteries in the new pack don't work, and have had no backup. This is an issue because the school nurses are never supplied with an extra set and I have to call my parents to bring me some. This can be solved by school nurses having an extra set of batteries as a back up plan if something were to happen.

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    1. That does sound like something worthy of a back-up plan!! I wonder if you can bring in a set for the nurse to hold onto? Let me know if you can develop a plan for this!!

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  62. A local issue in my neighborhood is that there is a blind student who goes to our school, but there are no signs or anything notifying people to be careful. As we get onto the bus everyday in the dark there is always a chance that they will not be able to see him and he gets hit by an ongoing car. There are simple ways our town can resolve this problem, but the simplest solution being to put up signs saying to drive slower that there is a blind person in the area.

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    1. That might be worth a call to town hall or attending a town meeting for. Have you spoken with the family to see if they have brought this to the town's attention?

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  63. A local problem for my neighborhood is the lack of bike paths. During the summer, I and many of my friends struggle to go on a bike ride without walking our bikes down the main road cars do not care much about pedestrians and bikers, as they already made the large turn. The easiest fix for this would be either painting a small lane or building a sidewalk on the side of the road. This would lessen the fear for my friends and I about getting hit by a car.

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  64. A problem in my neighborhood is raccoons. Raccoons are nasty creatures that ruin trash and spread disease. As residents of our neighborhood, our builders should supply us with help.

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  65. Similar to the many bus transportation problems that have been mentioned, I also have a problem with my bus. There are not many people on my bus and I live only 15 minutes away from MCST, however it takes an hour for me to reach my bus stop everyday. On the way to the other stops, the bus passes my street, however the bus does not stop there, if it would, I would be able to get home 30 minutes earlier than I do now. I understand that there are rules the bus driver must follow, and for this reason many of the students on my bus have asked the driver to go another way in which my stop is one of the earlier ones. I think this would be a great solution because, this way I get home earlier and the people after me get home only 10 minutes later than usual.
    - Sanjana Shastri B3

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  67. I think that MCST needs to change its buildings. Like many high schools do , it seems logical to build all the buildings on top of each other rather than building them all spread out and causing a very ineffecient use of the space you do have. Due to this wi feel like we have limited facilites relative to competing high schools for example we have only one gym which can get very cramped especially in the winter at one point, my gym period had 4 classes I beleive trying to operate within the space, we dont have a proper area for outdoor gym and we play in the midst of trees, fallen leaves, and dirt especially in the fall. We have no onsite location for our sports teams which takes the focus off of sports in our school, not only do the teams have to go to another location to practice and play, but the student body cannot go to watch them. We don't have enough space to accommodate a football field despite being a high school while even many middle schools do better to provide such facilities. This impacts our school spirit as well. Furthermore, we don't have an auditorium in our school for events, open-houses, dances, and plays and for such events we often have to go to other locations as well. The hallways in the main building can get quite cramped as well in certain locations. Having multiple buildings also leads to students having to walk outside to their classes which can be unrealistic in poor weather conditions and also leads to students being late often. I also think having the library in building three also causes it to seem more distant rather being in the main building where most students are where it is much more easily accesible and would lead to it actually being used more. These problems with our school could be solved if we demolished the other small buildings and built them as a third and fourth floor. Although I understand that this is a big task i think it is worth it and is necessary for a high school to be able to provide for its students

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  68. I have an issue that happens every day. My bus is never on time. Every day the bus arrives 2-5 minutes before pick up time. Kids will complain here and there but nothing would change. Two days ago the bus arrived TEN MINUTES EARLY and half of the kids missed the bus. I had to run across three blocks to make it on time. A lot of kids complained and argued with the bus driver. The argument went on for many minutes. Now, today the bus driver was apparently angry with the kids so she arrived five minutes late and we arrived at school at 7:58. This is one issue that needs to be fixed on bus 901.

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  69. An issue which I believe in is the problem the time of when school ends. I am very involved in clubs at my hometown, however schools ends at 2:30p.m for them. That means that clubs start at 2:30, however school for me does not end at until 2:56 p.m. This causes me to leave school early almost every single day, and it does not allow me to get the quality of education that I need. Most of the time's I am missing a full 40 minutes of class time, and I do not think that it is fair for students not to get the education they deserve just so that they could make it the clubs back at their home schools. As an individual, who is hoping to make it on a varsity sports team next year at my hometown this would mean that I would be missing hours worth of education just to make it to practice on time. I believe that a solution to this would be to make school start earlier. This would mean that instead of starting at 8:00 a.m we could start at 7:30 a.m.

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  70. Hi this Liz from B3.

    I also have an issue wiht my bus that I would like to share. My bus ride in the morning is usually 30-40 minutes long. My bus drives students from Butler and Bloomingdale. We have to stops, one in Butler and one in Bloomingdale. The bus driver is supposed to leave the butler stop at 7:10 and leave the Bloomingdale stop at 7:20. She is usually at the Butler stop at 7:05 and lets the people that are at the stop get on and then leaves to go to the Bloomingdale stop. She gets at the Bloomingdale stop at 7:10 usually and we are on our way to school by 7:12 usually. She thinks that she is getting to each stop and leaving at the correct time because the clock on the bus is wrong even though we have told her several times the clock is incorrect. We have expressed to her several times that she gets to each stop way too early but, she doesn't care. Many people miss the bus on the daily because the time she gets there fluctuates constantly. She could get to the first stop anytime from 7:03 to 7:10. Earlier this week she was extremely early getting to the Butler stop at about 7:04 and to the Bloomingdale stop at 7: 08 (the time she is supposed to be getting the first stop not the second stop). Someone must have called the bus company to complain about how early she was because she got a call on her radio asking what time she left the Bloomingdale stop. she said she left at 7:16 even though she left at 7:11/12. The next day she decided to show up to each stop extremely late becuase we had complained about her being too early all the time. She got to the Bloomingdale stop at about 7:16 and we got to school at 7:58. We would be fine if she would just give us an exact time that she will be at each stop. If she told us that she would be at the Butler stop at 7:03 then we would all get there early enough to be on time.

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    1. As I am also from butler, I do not fully agree with this problem. You mentioned in your post that "she should give an exact time". You have to keep in mind that car rides cannot be perfectly timed as multiple factors play a role in how quickly you will arrive somewhere. On our paper for our bus schedule it specifically tells us to arrive at our bus stop 10 minutes prior to the time the bus is supposed to come. People who are late are late, it is not the bus drivers problem. However I do feel that she needs to wait at the stop a little longer, though I'm not sure she can do that because she will block the one way road. I understand that people are constantly being late, but wouldn't you think they'd see a pattern after almost 5 months? This problem can be solved with people coming earlier. Things happen, people are late, I understand that. But the bus driver cannot be completely blamed for this problem.

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  71. A local issue that is needed to be addressed in my hometown (Butler) is what their school uses it's money (or lack thereof) on. Butler is not known for being a very rich town, so money has to be used wisely in school. However, this is not what ends up happening. My sending district's high school is currently in debt, yet they continue to spend money on football. Football seems like a very important sport to my town, and most money goes towards helping the team. I do believe our money should be used for programs and sports, but it is almost always going towards football. I believe that the football team has had enough of their share and some other programs should receive more funding. Other sports and clubs need recognition. This is also proposterous because our football team is not even that good. Our best sport is softball, so I feel they should receive more credit. Programs like drama club and marching band should also receive more funding, not just typical sports. Many people have expressed this problem before and nothing has been done yet.

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  72. A large problem I have noticed is that in our school, the music program is practically non existent. While both the arts and the athletics have a large budget, the situation for music is much different. Mr. Lerose, the band teacher, is the only one who runs the program. This program includes chorus, jazz band, lab band, and many others. The budget is so low for the music program that the band is incapable of playing classical music pieces. In order to play those musical pieces, the band requires certain percussion instruments. Instruments such as the timpani and xylophone. My sending district school, Morris Hills, has four xylophones. In MCST, the instruments are lacking. Overall, the music program needs for funding in order to maintain creativity in students.

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  73. An issue that could be addressed with change would be the issue of buses constantly being late, leading to possible plans that one might have being delayed or canceled entirely. For me, this problem is the biggest when leaving school, as many times the bus will not be there, sometimes appearing thirty minutes late, and other times not even appearing at all. I believe that a letter could fix this issue, for writing to transportation might persuade them to coordinate their buses better.

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  74. Unlike most of the comments under this post my bus comes on time and I don't have a problem. My bus goes to Riverdale and Kinnelon. In Riverdale there are 4 stops with 1 kid at each so either you're there or you're not. In Kinnelon there are 2 stops with multiple kids at each and we always get there really early. We have to sit at stops for 10 minutes waiting for everyone to show up. I think that the Riverdale stops should be pushed 5 minutes later so we don't need to sit in a parked bus for so long in the morning. -Noelle Vacca

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  75. An issue that can be addressed and changed is bullying in school. If you are a bystander to somebody being made fun of or soomeone being mean to them, many times people tend to not say anything or wait for somebody else to say something. If you are scared or nervous to say something about the issue, there will most likely never be a good outcome. But much like Jason, if you stand up for what is right in a certain situation, you will get what you want.-carolyn roque

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  76. An issue that should be addressed is the inefficiencies of the busing system. Even though I live only 10 minutes from MCVTS, I must be at the bus stop by 6:30 to only get to school by ~7:40. This is an issue that, through some effort, could be solved by consolidating bus stops into less bus stops that are further away. This would have the benefit of a quicker route due to less stops and less distance traveled by the bus. The extra time needed to walk to these stops would more than be compensated by the reduced time it would take the bus to get to school. I believe a good start to instating this would to bring it up to the local transportation authority or to the school itself. - Anthony Romanushko

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  77. This closes out the comments for the marking period. I hope this blog was more than just a "vent sess". If you truly think your complaint needs to be addressed, take steps to fix it just as Jason did. Further, recognize that Jason saw his issue as one that concerned civil rights, not just something that was an ordinary obstacle.

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