First, the high school speech and debate teams only use one busfor approximately 10 tournaments throughout the school year. The athletic teams, for example, use one bus for each school for each individual sports team several times during the course of just one season.
Second, through fund-raisers we pay for our own "equipment." This may not be uniforms or balls, but instead includes things such as books and league dues, which are just as crucial for competition. Parents and students provide most of the remaining support needed for the team to function; the only thing we ask the county for is transportation to and from tournaments.
The lack of county-provided transportation greatly complicates matters since students may only drive themselves -- provided that they have their parents' permission. In addition, many of the upperclassmen cannot drive, meaning car pools must be set up with parents driving. Some parents feel uncomfortable because of the liability involved, especially when driving to tournaments at schools a great distance away.
I understand that athletic teams have suffered cuts throughout the year, but they certainly have not been cut to the bare bone. Cuts should be made, but perhaps in a more equitable fashion. The message currently being sent places athletics above academics when really they should be on a par.
(Rachel Kulansky is vice-president of the Centennial High speech and debate teams.)