Editor's note: The following letters were among those submitted by teacher Sara Merritt's sixth-grade class at American Indian Public Charter School II in Oakland. To see the rest of the letters, go to www.insidebayarea.com/opinion.
Should do away with all weapons
Weapons scare me a lot.
Weapons should be banned because they are too dangerous. For example, many months ago, near my home, someone was shot. Other people have suffered pain from weapons. Weapons are too risky to use. I suggest having no weapons.
Weapons are bad and painful. You should get rid of all of your lethal weapons.
High gas prices are significant worry
I think gas prices should be cheaper because gas prices are about $4. When my mom was young she only had to pay about $1.50 for gas. You should at least give us discounts. Gas prices are ridiculous.
My mom drives me to school every day and pumps gas every week. And when there is traffic we pump gas twice a week.
If you keep this price up you should at least give us coupons and discounts.
If gas keeps on rising we might just start taking BART. Gas is crazy. Today I was sitting in the car for two hours. Now we have to pump gas tonight.
High-achieving schools should be rewarded
Higher-achieving schools are not receiving enough money from the federal government. I believe that the government should turn more attention and funds toward good education.
The government should provide additional funding to schools with higher academically achieving students. The taxes it receives are not being distributed enough to good schools. The U.S. has the best education worldwide and the government should be supporting this.
An example of a high-achieving school with low spending on students is AIPCS II. From 2001-05, the school spent less than half as much as surrounding schools even though it has a higher Academic Performance Index.
Higher-achieving schools such as AIPCS II deserve more government funds. The government should hear this and take action now.
Must be kinder to our planet
Everyday, I see trash on the streets when I go to school. I think we should respect the Earth more by getting people to pick up the trash.
I ride in a car to Oakland and I see cars clogged up in the freeway. It creates pollution and it is unhealthy to the environment. We shouldn't be using gas that much because it is nonrenewable. We should plant more trees and plants because we need air to survive, including animals. Without a clean environment, our planet would be a disaster.
Last, we should be cleaning the waste in Lake Merritt. It is making the birds and fishes sick. Also, the oceans should be waste-free because we eat fish that are captured there. It is unhealthy to humans and animals. So, we should respect the Earth more.