Voice Paper #2
The images that really caught my attention were jo’s and sdane’s images that compare meals between public schools and prisons. When I was in high school, I had heard a rumor, or what I thought to be a rumor, stating that the same company that distributed our school lunch was the same who distributed lunch to prisons. After all the readings we have been doing and seeing these images, I am appalled at the reality of these connections. The reason why these images hit so close to home is because these look exactly like the lunch I was receiving. I was eligible for free lunch but I honestly feel as if it was a waste of an opportunity that was given to me specifically, I barely went to lunch – in fact I can count the times I have gone into the cafeteria all four years of high school.
What makes me realize this connection even more is that not only do we receive inadequate and insufficient food, but we were not even allowed to go outside of the building to purchase better food. I remember my freshman year I was always afraid of sneaking out for lunch, so I would starve until I got home or until I got to my Upward Bound program. After my freshman year I realized that I had no other choice but to sneak out for lunch, I could not stand the long hours of hunger in class. Luckily, I had better food to look forward to afterschool, but there were many kids in my school that did not have that luck. School breakfast and lunch was probably one of the few meals they would receive daily, so they did not have another choice but to eat it – no matter how much they despised it.
These images also make me think of couldntthinkofanoriginalname’s comment in class about the Boston Public School (BPS) system having enough money in their budget to provide a lunch of far more quality, but they chose not to. Just the thought of this kind of food being given to schools on purpose is so inhumane to me. I use this as a reminder of how unsupportive the system is when it comes to making sure their students are healthy and prepared to make it through the day/school as best as possible. Now that I think about it, public schools will do anything they can to get around the standard requirements for a student to be in an overall good condition (mentally, emotionally, physically, etc..). For example, a requirement needed in order to graduate from a BPS is at least two semesters of P.E., my school only offered P.E. my freshman year, after that everyone was forced to take JROTC in order to fulfill the requirement. I do want to mention that I am not blaming the specific school for these little “adjustments”. BPS already lack resources and I think this was a method to save some money, which is why I think that looking at these issues more systematical is key – which we have been doing in class.
I think it is important to keep recognizing and treating this major issue as a systematic issue rather than the schools in specific. I think that is something that needs to be reiterated, that the schools for the most part are not at fault for the lack of resources; the ones who decide how to distribute the funding are the ones who should be “blamed”. I am trying to come up with some sort of “plan” or some sort of strategy that will help the situation, but I think everything is so idealistic. We live in a society where money is always the problem and those with money do not know how to distribute it accurately, I’d say. For example, back home the BPS system had a deficit of around $30 million, but the state spent roughly around $33 million to build a new police station right next to an older police station building, in a low-income community (in the are where I lived). I am aware that each department (education, law enforcement, etc.) has it’s own budget, but I still think funds as such should be distributed to those who are more in need.