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Francisco Liquido

Don’t whine:
Try to make
a difference

Classrooms bereft of computers, security guards absent from campuses, insufficiently trained teachers. We hear and read about the problems of our public-education system every day. I have noticed, however, that my ears hear and my eyes read far more about problems than possible solutions.

Whenever I do hear about a proposed solution, the source is usually a teenager who is tired of the blasts against the system in which he is a cog, and doesn't want to add another tirade to the drone of complaints.

After noticing a schools' lack of computers, the proactive teenager asks, "Why not spend more money on computers?" or, "Why not ask the business community for donations?"

When he feels physically insecure at the one institution built for the sake of his mental betterment, he asks, "Why not hire more security guards?" or, "Why not provide better, mandatory training for them?"

And when he realizes that his social studies teacher actually received her training in Spanish, he asks, "Why not let her teach Spanish instead?"

Teenagers who -- like myself -- are tired of complaints and instead wish to offer solutions, should consider the Hawaii Secondary Student Conference.

IN 1970, then-Gov. John Burns signed a law giving the student conference constitutional recognition. The statute created the conference to "enable students in our secondary schools to identify, discuss and arrive at recommended solutions to major youth problems ... that require the attention and joint action by the students, the Department of Education, and the Legislature."

Through the conference's history, many delegate-initiated bills have become state law. Consider, for example, Article X, Section 2, which allows a student member to sit on the Board of Education. Many such bills have been passed through the efforts of the Student Conference and the Legislature.

If you are interested in becoming a delegate to this student body -- which last year comprised nearly 200 students -- speak to your student activities coordinator or call Lana Mito, 733-9141, ext. 321. If you want to make an impact, rather than add to the din of complaints, here is your chance. As our motto states: "Dream it, do it, achieve it!

Francisco Heftel Liquido is a senior at Punahou.

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