It was a rough start for the 2012 school year as the school struggled from budget cuts and other problems from within and from the district.
In September, several things that Hollywood High normally supplies seemed to be dwindling, namely planners, picture day photographers, and toilet paper. Planners every year have been distributed to students. This year however, students will have to find another way to remember homework as planners will not be provided to them.
Students also faced a picture day with a shortage of photographers. In the years past, the school has always provided for at least four photographers for students. This year, only two photographers were provided, leading to long lines and an overcrowding of students outside the large gym in hot weather. Instead of receiving ID cards on the spot, as promised, student had to wait a week.
Perhaps the most bizarre incident was the disappearance of toilet paper in student restrooms during the second week of September that left students stranded in restroom stalls.
“I think it’s a funding problem that starts not at the school, but at the state and national level,” said social studies teacher and United Teachers Los Angeles chapter chair Michael Ulmer.
Plant manager Frank Muniz said that the budget cuts had some involvement in the fiasco, but it was the management to be scrutinized.
After a few days, a $1,000 shipment of toilet paper arrived during the same week the crisis began and with $3,500 in toilet paper coming the week after that. Muniz advises students to use hand driers when drying wet hands instead of using toilet paper. “Please use the supplies properly; don’t make a mess,” said Muniz.
While looking around the school during the first week, I saw students lined up all around the main building because they did not get the classes that they need to graduate. It seems ridiculous that students were in the hallways when they should be in class just because their class schedules were wrong.
One student was programmed into two different classes during the same period. He attended the correct class, but he kept getting automated calls at home saying he wasn’t attending the other class. This went on for weeks and his parents couldn’t understand why the school was unable to correct the situation.
And to top everything off, there was a period of time last month when there was no toilet paper in the bathrooms. By the time sixth period came, the toilet paper was gone and there was barely any soap left at all. I had to wait until I got home, otherwise I might have gotten stuck in the bathroom. Or, as one of my classmates said, “Once I knew there wasn’t any toilet paper, I didn’t have to go anymore.” Holding it all day cannot be healthy.
At least we know that some of these problems have been fixed, but others are still going on. We students apparently have to learn to deal with it.