By Margaux Rentzel
It was a crisp day in early September and the students at Red Lion were starting to get settled into their routines for the new school year.
The school was filled with dim rooms and lit up computer screens at each student’s desk. Fewer teachers handed out papers, and more teachers told kids that their assignment was on google classroom.
There was less pencil to paper action, but more fingers to the keyboard keys, and eyes to a computer screen.
Students began to find out that supposedly, there was less paper this year than there was last year. Thus began the name, “the paper shortage”.
“I have heard many of my teachers complain about the shortage of paper and having to go online,” sophomore Randy Fizer said.
Red Lion High School principal Mr. Shue confirms that the paper budget was cut by, “About 40%” from last year to this year.”
“We were told at the end of last year,” chemistry teacher Mr. Blanteno said. “That the paper budget would be cut by about 40%.”
The question remained why the paper budget was cut in the first place.
“When you take a look at priorities then sometimes you have to make tough choices,” Shue said. “As far as where money gets allocated and where it doesn’t and what I have to do is take a look at what’s best for our programs.”
The school has to give money to programs that need it and the paper budget this year was not one of those needs.
Students and teachers are forced to conform to less paper.
“We started out at the beginning of the year to only a few assignments being online,” Fizer said. “And now it is evolving to everything being online.”
“It has forced me to find other resources for my students,” Blanteno said. “So some of the things that I would have done using paper, I choose not to and I use a digital platform instead.”
Administrators, teachers, and students have understandings of how the budget cut of paper is affecting the school.
“The way I understand it is, when students need to print they go to the library,” said Shue.
“I can still do the same things that I was doing before,” Blanteno said. “But what I have really now done is put the need for paper on the students. It has also saved me a lot of time.”
“Many subjects aren’t good to use computers for, like math,” sophomore Tyler Keener said. “And it is much easier to use paper for.”
Whether this is permanent or temporary is still up for debate.
“Let’s take the year and let’s assess,” Shue said.
When push comes to shove the reducement of paper takes some getting used to but can be accomplished.
“You can make a decision in September and people are highly critical of it,” Shue said. “But by the time May rolls around, the people that were highly critical of it in September, in May say that was a really good idea.”