It is not easy being a student in school these days. The reasons are many and complex at times because students probably wonder: "Why all the commotion? Teachers tell us to study, and parents tell us to behave and to do our best."

Both parents and teachers really care and want students to excel. Believe it or not, it's all for a good purpose that we utilize our years in school productively.

Why is an education important? Education is the roadmap to a life of choices. It helps students grow in many ways. An education is not only about learning to read, write, mathematics, social studies and science. It is about the socialization of young people.

Schools are where you meet schoolmates that will become your friends for life. These are the persons that will someday replace the teachers and parents. These are the people that you will share ideas with, agree and disagree with, and hopefully someday share in the building of a better community.

In order to assume the responsibilities, you must prepare. Education is a process of applying what you learn in the classroom. It is a process that teaches you to be leaders. How can you do these things if you fail to build a foundation or an infrastructure?

The foundation is the development of your mind. How can you build when you have failed to learn the basic lessons of life such as educational concepts, responsibility, basic values of respect for self and respect for others? Additionally, there are concepts of learning to agree and disagree on issues with others and yet maintain your integrity.

That is an interesting word, isn't it? All it means is to do the right thing. Friends we have don't necessarily do the right thing, so set higher standards for yourself.

We ask you to be respectful to teachers, to fellow students, to parents, and campus leaders. We ask you to take care of your bodies - stay free of bad habits that are harmful habits that destroy your lives, your family's lives, and most importantly, your future. We as adults, of course, should lead by example. I realize that we often disappoint you, because we do not practice what we preach.

I urge you to use this as a learning experience - turn a negative into a positive. Do not learn from those that expound ideas of negativism. Learn to discern from right and wrong. Learn from those that are optimistic. Believe me there are many persons like these in our communities.

These are the builders of our schools, our cities and our futures. It is so easy to be discouraged about things that occur daily. Negative things are constantly bombarding us, but I urge you to look beyond the horizon.

What is all the commotion about? It is you, the students in our schools and communities. The commotion is about all of us working together to build better lives for you. I hope we do not fail you, because we need each other.

Roberto Garcia is the superintendent for the Robstown Independent School District. Readers may contact him via telephone at 767-6600, ext. 2223.