Juana and her three daughters face digital divide on a daily basis, showing the world the ugliest side of poverty
The Internet makes everything easier, and students finish most of their assignments thanks to advanced technology. However, not every kid gets a chance to finish their homework online.
Having access to a computer and an excellent wifi connection is of utmost importance. What about the kids whose parents can’t afford that?
An analysis from July 2020 reveals that 16.9 million American children can’t use high-speed internet in their homes. About 7.3 million children don’t have a computer.
“Digital divide” has become quite a problem in the past decade. Students from wealthy families enjoy more benefits than their less fortunate classmates.
Have you seen the photo of two girls sitting outside a Taco Bell? The connection? These kids are using Taco Bell’s wifi to finish their assignments.
Taco Bell Wifi
The photo was taken in Salinas City, California. It shows the girls sitting on the pavement outside a Taco Bell. This photo is the only proof authorities need to understand that some kids face too many disadvantages.
California Senate President Kevin de Leon took to Twitter to share the photo and the caption says it all.
“Two students sit outside a Taco Bell to use Wi-Fi so they can ‘go to school’ online,” he wrote. “This is California, home to Silicon Valley…but where the digital divide is as deep as ever. Where 40% of all Latinos don’t have internet access. This generation deserves better.”
Amy Ish, president of the Salinas City Elementary School District’s board of education took notice of the photo. According to Ish, the “digital divide” sure exists. She said, “We are grateful the state is making technology a priority and look forward to receiving these hotspots in our district.”
2 of our children trying to get WiFi for their classes outside a Taco Bell in East Salinas! We must do better & solve this digital divide once &for all for all California students
— Luis Alejo (@SupervisorAlejo) August 26, 2020
The Digital Divide
The digital divide is an issue and it affects students of every group. It doesn’t make a difference between students. Kids from low-income families have to live with it every day and night.
Do you know that one in three Black, Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native families don’t have access to high-speed internet at home? One in three households who earn less than $50,000 per year doesn’t have any reliable internet. Two in five rural families have the same problem.
A short-term solution won’t help. These kids need a computer and a strong internet connection.
Olga Khazan made a statement regarding the Digital Divide.
“Experts and former Federal Communications Commission officials describe a federal government that has neglected to treat broadband as a public utility, instead of relying on the largely self-regulated internet industry to provide service wherever it wanted, for the price of its choosing,” Khazan explained in a report for The Athletic.
The US government doesn’t see the internet as something every kid should have. The consequences of this problem are already here.
The best support
Jackie Lopez, a local, found the girls’ mom and offered her help. The girls were sharing their room with their mom and another sister. There was no room for a proper desk or anything like that.
The girls’ mom, Juana, is a migrant worker. She was almost kicked out of her rented room. So Lopez started a GoFundMe page to gather enough money for the family. They have raised thousands of dollars for Juana and her girls. An accountant will help the family manage their money.
“All children deserve a happy place to live and because of their dedication, these little girls deserve a safe space to learn,” Lopez explained. “We appreciate every single one of you for helping to make that happen.”
Children deserve a happy childhood and hopefully, every kid in this world will wake up with a smile on their faces.
The July analysis ends with a statement.
Here’s part of it:
“There are many unanswered questions about the 2020–2021 school year, yet one thing is certain: many students will receive their education online. Therefore, students without high-speed home internet will be severely disadvantaged. The gap between students who are ‘logged in’ and ‘logged out’ could set back a generation of American students.
Thankfully, this is a solvable problem. By appropriating $6.8 billion in the next COVID-19 legislative package, Congress can provide the nation’s students with the tools they need and deserve to receive an excellent education.”