We don’t need what we won’t read



A shelf of biographies in the Grady media center.

Aneska Walrath, Social Media Editor

Textbooks have been distributed in schools in almost every classroom for years, but, do we really need them? They are a waste of money for the school and a waste of space for the students receiving them.

Missing textbooks interrupt the graduation process. Students who have misplaced their textbooks cannot graduate until they have returned the textbook or paid for it. A student could have straight A’s, be going off to an amazing college, and be really involved in clubs and extracurriculars, but then they are told they cannot graduate because of a missing textbook under their name. It is an antiquated system that should be updated to fit today’s ease of technology. Grady should want all of their students to graduate, and switching to online textbooks would be the simple solution.

Switching to online textbooks would save the school a tremendous amount of money that they could use to improve other parts of the school. Several classes at Grady give students textbooks that unfortunately never end up being used. If they are going to invest in textbooks, we should actually use them. I was given five textbooks last year, and I was only instructed to use one, though I had to lug them around all year.

Not having textbooks would improve the health of students, also. Back problems occur from backpacks filled with textbooks. They can arise from carrying around a heavy load, especially all the way up to the fourth floor. In a study by WebMD, 64% of 3,500 students they interviewed reported having back pain at some time from their backpacks, and two out of every five children said their backs hurt while wearing their backpacks. Of the students who reported back pain, 21% said their pain lasted more than six months, and 16% said they had missed school, gym class, or after-school sports because of the pain, and 17% said they had to go to a doctor because it was so bad. None of this would happen if we had online textbooks.

Textbooks also cause unnecessary harm to the environment. In one year, around 2 billion books are produced. It takes 32 million trees to get the paper for all those books, and textbooks are a huge factor. Most of them have at least 700 pages, so we could save hundreds of thousands of trees just by switching to online textbooks. Why destroy our dependable oxygen source when there is an easier and more proficient way to get the material out to students?

Transitioning to online textbooks would benefit staff and students, overall. Technology is the present and the future, and we should take advantage of it. We need to utilize the tools that technology gives us rather than wasting money, trees, and energy.


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