The Truth Behind Book Fines and Class Fees

Cindy Tabares, Reporter

Remember that Romeo and Juliet book you forgot to turn in? Or that math textbook you never found? Or that art class you never paid for? You had better start saving or looking for those items because without them you are going to have a hard time walking across that stage in May.

For some West High students fees are the last priority. Students have grades to worry about or passing high school qualifications or getting all your credits done before that time comes to walk across the stage. For 75% of students, paying fees can be a real struggle. Some families just cannot pay the money right away and put it off for some time, but little do they know the day comes faster than what they expected and they still can’t pay it off.

Miss Goldie Russell, the financial secretary at West High School, says, “fees are a little complicated towards the end.”

Not receiving a diploma was a consequence students at West High dread. She also said, “there can be other consequences, like not going to prom or senior fun day.” We students are very lucky that our school offers waivers. What are waivers used you ask? Waivers are for kids that get low income and need the school to pay for them. You must first qualify for one depending on how much money your family gets. If you do not want a waiver you can come to an agreement with Ms. Goldie and work it off. Waivers are offered in all schools to help parents.

According to Ms. Goldie, “only two seniors did not graduate last year, but you want to make sure you are not one of those two.” She also states that she is tired of getting parents complaints saying they do not notify their kids on time, but in reality teachers let their students know if they are missing a book or have not yet paid for their elective. Also passes are sent out to students to let them know what they are missing.

Books and classes are different prices. Books are $25 dollars and classes $40 dollars. Teachers are usually the ones that let you know about the prices. How do they know you ask? Most teachers keep records in their books so if you lost one of them they will for sure know so you shouldn’t deny or argue with them because there really is no point. Teachers pretty much have the power.

Senior Brent Sugabo states that he wasn’t aware of any of any of these consequences. He thinks it is a little harsh not getting a diploma as well as getting senior day or prom taken away; he suggests an alternative punishment such as having detention, Tuesday school, or have a different way to resolve the payment.

Brent was actually one of the students that had a fine this year, a Spanish book. Brent was one of the lucky few because unlike many students he decided to go talk to his teacher to make sure she for sure recorded that Brent lost his book because he remembers tuning it in with his other friends. Turns out he was right and the teacher was the one who made the mistake.

Alexandra Santos says as a parent I did not know kids had fees at school. She is not too worried about it though, because she says, “I’ll pay whatever to see my child succeed. I won’t let this little bump get in the way.”

Although she wasn’t all that worried she does think that schools should email parents informing them about their kids fees. The one thing she has a big problem with is the consequence. She doesn’t think it’s necessary to take away their diploma, take Senior Fun Day or prom. She wouldn’t want her child to miss these things. She says that during their high school days there were no fees at all. “Those were the golden days, high school has definitely changed throughout the years,” she states.