The Nov. 26 Metro article "Advanced Calculators a Plus for Students, but Price Is High" correctly focused on a new problem in our schools. However, it failed to mention a serious related problem.

I have two children in high school in Rockville, and two other children who recently finished high school. Parents are told that they must purchase expensive calculators (more than $100 each) for their children.

We have had two of these calculators stolen. My children's friends and their parents report similar experiences. Backpacks are stolen to obtain the calculator or to sell it.

We have created a system in which there are the "have" and the "have-not" children. Putting a $100-plus calculator into a backpack or locker is like advertising that there is a $100 bill inside. It encourages theft and distrust between students. Students who have been victimized are afraid to tell their parents of the loss and may do without the calculator or feel justified in victimizing someone else.

If the Montgomery County schools want children to have this calculator, they should fund the system to supply them. Further, they should assume the risk if they are lost, stolen or broken. Why should parents assume this risk and be forced to purchase multiple calculators each year?

JEFFREY KOSTBAR

Rockville