Racial prejudice must be overcome
Mother to Son, a poem by Langston Hughes, is a symbol of the struggle by blacks in America.
From being taken as slaves from their native homes in Africa, to modern times, the lives of many black people have been filled with hardship and despair. Hughes shows how a lot of them manage to rise above inequality and social injustice.
The mother in the poem tells her son that although racial tension and hostility is a barrier to him achieving his dreams, he must keep on climbing up the stairs, just as she has done, to rise above the issues facing him.
The mother understands that for the rest of his life he will have to keep on climbing because there will always be racial prejudice - but with determination, he can achieve his goals.
Winnie Wong Tsz-shan, STFA Tam Pak Yu College
Abuse of power over room booking
I am vice-chairman of a club that booked a room at a school to hold a competition. Everything was fine during practice rounds, but just before the competition was to be held, we were told that the room was no longer available.
I later found out that the principal had invited a university to organise an exhibition in the room we had booked.
It seems that the principal abused his power. We booked the room officially, and he ignored our booking and did not discuss the matter with us. The teacher in charge of room allocations also has a responsibility to inform the principal about bookings.
We expect better communication between students, teachers and the principal.
Howard Chung Yuan-hee
Fight to protect our traditional culture
One of the biggest cultural differences between Hong Kong and the mainland is the use of traditional and simplified Chinese.
With an increasing number of mainlanders visiting Hong Kong, many shops use simplified Chinese to advertise their goods. However, this is an unhealthy trend and it has irritated many Hongkongers who want to protect their culture.
If simplified Chinese becomes more popular in our city, the true meaning of many Chinese characters will be lost. For example, the characters for 'love' in traditional Chinese also contain the word 'heart', but this is missing in simplified Chinese.
All of us should act now and unite to fight for the protection of our treasured traditional Chinese.
Yan Yi, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School
Don't ignore your grandparents
When was the last time you visited your grandparents? How often do you talk to them? These questions came into my mind after I watched the film A Simple Life. It is about a helper who serves a family for 60 years.
The master only realises her value when she suffers a stroke.
I think today's teenagers neglect their grandparents.
They and our parents looked after us when we were small so we should be grateful. Many students work hard on their studies, but it should not be an excuse to ignore their grandparents.
Cherish your grandparents before it is too late; otherwise, you will be remorseful for the rest of your life.
Ian Langley, Sha Tin Tsung Tsin Secondary School
Cherish the love of your parents
We as teenagers need to understand our parents in order to judge them. Your parents have a big responsibility to care for you and ensure that you are healthy and safe.
They may tell you to study and stop you going out late at night, and may appear strict, but they have your welfare at heart.
We must respect their love and realise what they do for us.
No matter how hard I study, my parents will still complain, but I take it as a test to fulfil their expectations of me.
Keep in mind that the bond between you and your parents when you are a teenager is the strongest in your entire life. Later on in your life when they are not there, you will miss them.
Sometimes parents may be annoying but everything they do is for your own good.
Rajinder Pal, Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo)