A fee to stay

A fee to stay

Hannah Goodman, Staff Reporter

Students must pay to use the after-school activity bus this fall due to financial issues the school district faces.  Students can pay $2 for a one-day pass or they can purchase a yearlong pass for $50.

Paying for the busses have created inconveniences as some students find it difficult to participate in after-school activities because of the new policy and its cost.

“The bus passes are the reason it is hard for me to go to student council meetings,” said sophomore Shelby Ridling.

Some students and staff even worry that the fee will deter people from participating in sports and clubs.

“By making them pay, the people who want to play sports, it’s going to make them not want to stay after,” said junior Kyle Clare.

Activities director Mr. Smith said that the Ferguson-Florissant school district has tried to stay away from the policy for as long as possible, but with the district’s financial issues, there was no other option.

“If it were up to me, I’d pay it all off and no kid would have to pay for anything, but we don’t live in that world unfortunately,” Mr. Smith said.

While it is understandable why there is a fee for the activity busses, there is also some controversy regarding who has to pay to ride.  If a student takes an activity bus after his or her sports practice, club, or tutoring, they must pay the fee. However, if a student stays after school because of a detention, they are not charged for a pass.

“I think the fact that the people who actually want to stay after and be a part of the school have to pay, but the people who got in trouble and are in detention don’t, it’s like we’re being punished for doing school activities,” said sophomore Lauren Everett.

The reason students with detention do not have to pay is because when a student is issued a detention, it is mandatory for them to attend, they do not have a choice in the matter, and the school is required to provide the students transportation to and from mandatory events.

While it may not seem fair to students and staff, they understand why the rule is the way it is.

“I don’t like the bus passes,” said Ms. Meer, who is one of the homecoming committee sponsors.  “We want to encourage kids to be a part of this school, but I understand why we have to let the kids in detention ride for free. When you put that next to good kids who want to stay here, it makes the policy look even worse though.”

Science teacher Ms. Trafford says it’s unfortunate that students who want to do good and aren’t in trouble have to pay for bus passes.

“But at the same time we can’t force kids in detention to buy passes,” she said.