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The Issue With White Paper In Classrooms

Reading has always been a very essential tool to use in the classroom. Some English teachers even assign a 15 minute reading period at the start of the class. However, some students are bothered by light. During class, the lights are on when reading, writing, and during instruction. Of course, it's essential to have working lights in the classroom but teachers mainly use white paper and it’s bothersome to students who have a sensitivity to light.

Students, such as myself, are extremely sensitive to bright lights and bright colors. Having to read on white paper is difficult and doesn’t allow us to be fully focused on the assignment. Even being forced to have a bright screen on school laptops damages our eyes. I say forced because there was this one incident where students had to take the iReady test. I, along with other students, were told to have our screens on maximum brightness in order for the teacher to see if we had any open tabs during the assessment. That is understandable, but the students that preferred to have their brightness on low could have been moved closer to the teacher. taking these assessments is valuable but what hurts the students from getting an accurate score could be the brightness of the material itself.

Now one might say “why don’t those students wear sunglasses in class?” Well, it would be considered disrespectful as it is a classroom environment. Besides, there may be students that are not fortunate enough to buy sunglasses. Some students with glasses also have a tint in their glasses. The tint allows students to not be so stunned by the sun once they’re outside. However, the tint is only activated once in the sun. There is no way it could be used within a classroom environment. This also does not account for the fact that there are students who don’t need glasses but have a sensitivity to light.

Students are sensitive to light and it is a real problem within schools. It makes it difficult for us to focus properly in class and if we do ask to have the lights off during reading, the response back is usually “reading in the dark harms your eyesight” but reading on pure white paper doesn't?

My main question is: would it harm the school budget if instead of purchasing pure white paper, we get an off-white paper?



Julieta Santana
Julieta Santana
Mar 04, 2022

I agree with your opinion because I understand how uncomfortable it can be for our eyes to use white paper.


Luis Salazar
Luis Salazar
Dec 17, 2020

To answer your main question, yes it would be more expensive to buy overcolored paper unless it is recycled, but the reason white paper is the best and most efficient is because of all the ways you can use it. With off-white non-recycled it has the same uses but more expensive especially in bulk and the school would also waste more money by buying two separate papers. Overall though I really enjoyed your article and brought an issue to my mind that I never thought of before.

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