Opinion: Plastic chairs are a waste of school money

Paige Esterly, Author

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Palo Alto High School’s new plastic chairs spend sixth period sitting out on the quad. They were purchased by the administration with possible help from ASB.

Walking out of math this morning, I was greeted by the usual sunshine, seagulls and the sounds of chip bags being popped open and Tupperware being unlidded that are characteristic to the Quad of Palo Alto High School. Oh, and plastic chairs. Lots and lots of green and white plastic chairs.

You would think the administration would have learned from last time. Although last year’s blue plastic chairs may have seemed like a good idea at first, they promptly proved otherwise. Within weeks a majority the chairs were either broken, stolen or made unusable by a combination of student graffiti and the seagull poop that rains relentlessly down upon the Quad. What a waste of money.

But who can blame them for trying? Everyone can agree that Paly would benefit from more seating, as many students are tired of using their backpacks as makeshift beanbags, and understandably so. It just turned out that plastic chairs are not quite right to remedy this situation.

Junior Savannah Moss agrees that, although the thought behind the chairs is a good one, they are likely to break and become unusable, making them a waste of school money.

“In California we have great weather almost everyday, so it’s nice to have the option to sit on the quads,” Moss said. “But, I do wish we could get more sturdy chairs. It’s a bummer that we had to throw the blue ones away.”

This new batch of chairs was purchased by our friends up in the Tower Building.

“How much did they cost?” pondered Principal Phil Winston. “I don’t know, probably $1,000? It [the money] came from a discretionary account. The plan is to work with ASB [Associated Student Body], and if they have money left over at the end of the year then they’ll either pick up the cost or we’ll split it.”

Okay, Mr. Winston. $1,000 is not actually that much money, but it does seem a bit frivolous to spend it on plastic chairs, does it not? Instead of spending that money on new school supplies, guest speakers, the prom venue, or supplies for next year’s Spirit Week, it has been spent on flimsy plastic chairs.

Winston, unlike myself, believes round two of the plastic lawn chairs will go over better than the first.

“They’re not going to get stolen or wrecked,” he said. “I’m hopeful. I’m an optimist.”

Alright, Mr. Winston, I really hope you are right about this one.