I must take exception to your editorial “You should probably get used to this,” in the In Our Opinion column, in the July 1, 2010 edition of the Leader/Observer.
The editorial discussed elimination of subway lines and restoration of Metro Cards to students. It averred that the Metro cards are essential to students for economic reasons.
Granted, there are students from families of moderate means and most of them are not earning big salaries. But to suggest that these children come from families that “can barely afford to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads” is an assumption that does not stand when one looks at all the circumstances.
Stand outside a high school or college . Just about every student has a cell phone, smart phone, Ipod and portable CD player. We adults who are earning salaries know that cell phones are neither inexpensive and monthly call plans are not cheap. Add the extra features such as text messages and internet access, and they become quite costly.
In simple terms, no poor family would provide a child such a device. Also, the fact that many of these children have siblings with the same privileges, and you can hardly call them poor.
As far as food on the table, look at the obesity rate and the number of overweight students. Loading up on junk food, cheeseburgers, snacks and sugar-filled soft drinks, it doesn't appear that these students are coming from families that are having trouble putting food on the table.
Although the editorial didn't mention it, if these children are seriously looking to get themselves out of poverty, become educated and rise to a higher economic status, their attention would be on books, work and study. I work near a community college and am riding home on the train when many are also on their way home.
Those who aren't on their cell phones or texting seem to be more interested in basketball, sports, rap music and “American Idol.” These hardly seem to me like students from deprived backgrounds or really interested in education.
Maybe having them pay for Metro Cards would teach them the value of money and saving.