We expect that going back to school will always be the same old story. But this year, one thing that catches a student’s eye is the addition of the new desks and tables. In previous years, most classrooms would have the standard metal desks with chairs and book racks (on the bottom) attached to them. The new desks are sturdy wooden two student tables that have hooks on the side for backpacks to hang over them. In the past years, students would leave their backpacks on the floor, making it dangerous for students and teachers as they may accidentally trip and fall when walking around the isles. The new chairs are unattached from the desks, making it easier to move around, especially for handicapped people. The chairs are comfortable, black or gray, sled-base chairs that have rubber glides on the bottom so that students won’t fall and hurt themselves. The glides are also meant to prevent the chairs from scratching the floor. Many students believe that incorporating new furniture was unnecessary, however, these chairs were a need for the school’s safety.
The new classroom furniture is the result of a survey that the school took two years ago, determining the needs of the school. According to Principal Keipp, the school was in need of a safer environment. Thus, the new addition of desks and chairs, as well as the current fundraising for new auditorium chairs. One issue that our former desks had were that they weren’t too reliable for earthquakes. The space under the desks were too small for some kids, which is an obvious hazard. Another issue was that some of the former desks were wobbly, causing kids to fall over or feel uncomfortable with their seating. In addition, some kids would complain that their back hurt from the former metal chairs. One senior interviewed expressed that some of the previous desks felt like sitting in a “baby seat.” Now that the desks and seats are seperate, it is much easier for them to maneuver around. Furthermore, some students, particularly with long hair, would get their hair strands caught up in the screws of the metal chairs. Imagine losing bits of your hair to a chair? Fear not! The new chairs don’t have metal screws anymore to murder your precious locks.
Many students dislike the new chairs, mostly because of the glides. Again, the glides are there to protect the floor from any scratches, along with preventing the students from falling off their seats. One sophomore, Alexander Horowitz, expresses his thoughts on the chairs: “The rubber on the bottom of the chairs makes it impossible to move back.” He even claims, “I’ve seen people almost fall over from scooting back too hard,” which contradicts the purpose of the glides in the first place. The good news is, the glides are becoming less sticky (to the floor) the more we use them each day, making them more adjustable.
A lot of students students are satisfied with the new tables. Some people may feel otherwise, but the new desks are sturdy, spacious underneath, attractive, and have hooks for hanging backpacks. The only issue that students seem to face with these tables is that they are forced to sit with other students, which is a personal preference that some people may or may not share. “I think having a table per student is way better because of personal space,” sophomore Brandon Ramirez says. On the other hand, sharing a desk can encourage students to interact and help each other out.
In total, the school has purchased 20 desks and 40 chairs for each of the 54 classrooms, adding up to $476,033.03. Each classroom has received 18 standard sized tables and 2 ADA (Americans with Disabilities) compliant tables. One standard sized desk costs $222.38, one ADA desk costs $254.23, and each chair cost $105.36. Furthermore, the infamous glides individually cost a simple $1.10. A lot of students expressed that spending almost half a million dollars on new furniture is a waste of money. What students don’t know is that the district received grant money for a safer environment at our school. To sum it all up, the school didn’t have to pay for any of it; it was all grant funded.
Overall, the new desks were a necessity for more safety. In the big picture, there were many problems that students experienced with the previous seats compared to what they have with the new ones. One feature that students dislike about the new additions were the glides, but the school had good intentions, and the glides are becoming more adjustable anyway. Many students don’t believe that the purchase was necessary, but most students don’t know the reason why the previous desks were replaced. Nonetheless, the former desks were outdated, damaged, and unsafe, it was about time the school replaced them.