The Digital Divide


By Ella Tackett

Imagine being five minutes late to online class, and your internet just isn’t working. This is a stressful situation for anyone, but unfortunately a chronic one for many students at San Marcos High School. Unfortunately, now that we are back to learning in person, this problem is not at the center of attention anymore. But many students still lack reliable access to the internet at home, which impedes their ability to do homework.

“It sucks when my internet goes out because I can’t get any schoolwork done,” said freshman Alex Gonzalez. Not having online access is just an added, unnecessary burden on an already stressful time in a student’s life. Kids may have to go elsewhere to find WiFi, or their work just doesn’t get done. “Doing homework is really important to my education because I’m trying to succeed in all my classes,”Gonzalez said.

Even just having spotty internet can be challenging, especially when there are a lot of people trying to use the same network at the same time. This can make homework that should take minutes, instead take hours, leading to less time for other activities. “I can’t imagine not having internet at home,” said freshman Christina Grandinetti. “It would be really stressful.”

While the school has made efforts to help with after-school tutoring workshops, Knight Zone for homework help, and even having opportunities for mobile hotspots, there are still kids without access. The problem needs far more awareness because many people are not familiar with the struggles that some students go through. Many teachers are oblivious to the challenges their own students face.

There are many people here at SMHS that want to help out those in need. The Giving Tree in the student union this past December had the goal of helping out the families that have less over the holidays. Similarly, there are a lot of programs aimed at assisting those who lack the resources to do homework efficiently at their houses. Everybody in our community wants to help; people just need to know the problem exists.

The digital divide is an issue that affects many students in our own community, and it is vital that awareness is spread about this pressing concern. Being conscious that not everybody has the same opportunities is the only way to be inclusive at school, and it is so important that we are mindful of others and their situations.