In the 21st century people use clothes as a representation of who they are. In school we are restricted on what we wear. School dress code was brought upon so that what the students were wearing would not distract another student based on what they are wearing, which is understandable. But it seems that the school dress code has become controversial.
As a teenage girl school dress code has tremendously affected me because I have to make sure what I’m wearing is appropriate to wear to school, I have, on several occasions, chosen an outfit, verified my outfit with my mother and gone to school just to be told I was showing an inch of midriff and my shoulders were not covered. Lizzy Martinez, a high school student at Braden River High School in Orlando, Florida got a sunburn on her back and her bra was causing her pain. She decided not to wear a bra and wore a large shirt so as not to draw attention to her chest. She later was called out of class to meet with her Dean and Principal who, after making her explain why she did not have a bra on, explained that her nipples were showing and were distracting to the boys. She was then told to put an undershirt on. After she complied, she was then told to put bandaids on her nipples. Martinez said, “No one said a thing to me until I got to the Dean’s office.”
Girls are told to dress appropriately in order not to “distract” their students but why shouldn’t the students be told to control themselves? In school, students are told they’re “being trained for the real world.” In the real world people are wearing WHATEVER they want and there is no dress code in the real world, so why shouldn’t the students be taught how to control themselves and get rid of the dress code?
If schools are preparing their students for the real world, than we shouldn’t have school dress codes because like I stated in my last paragraph, the real world has no dress code. An unnamed writer at the Times Colonist says, “Part of an education is learning what is appropriate and what is not as you make your way in the world, and that includes how to dress. There is still a place for dress codes in schools. But those codes should be fair, sensible and as gender-neutral as possible, which has not always been the case.” I agree with this statement. Part of an education is learning what is appropriate and what is not but I don’t agree that it means we should keep the dress code. Like I said before we should teach the students what is appropriate behavior when you see someone wearing clothes that are showing more than they should rather than just telling students to change because the boys cannot focus or pay attention. I don’t think I have ever distracted a student in class. I have time and time again been dress coded for silly reasons, such as spaghetti strap tank tops which only show as much as shoulder.
All in all, dress codes should not be imposed but taken away and students should be taught how to act, rather than making a girl change for expressing herself. And I only say “her” because it is very rare that you hear a boy be told what he’s wearing is not appropriate for the time being, other than being told to take their hats off in class. High school students are figuring out who they are in life and their clothing choice is a representation of that. By telling a female student to change her outfit is like asking her to stop expressing herself -and that’s not fair for female students.
Reporter: Nessa Osso
Animals have been enduring years of pain and suffering for the tastebuds of humans. People could argue that eating meat is part of the food “chain” but if so why does the process have to be so brutal? There is scientific evidence that shows that animal products cause health issues in humans and cause diseases. There are also very harmful environmental issues that are being magnified by “factory” farming and rainforest deforestation from smaller farms. If you do not care much for the welfare of the animals you must care for your health and the planet.
I was vegan for almost two years and my energy and weight was the best it had ever been. A vegan diet consists of only plants and completely cutting out meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and honey. This was difficult to adapt to, but once it became a habit it became easier. I found the right replacements for what I ate before, new recipes, and started to actually look at what I was putting into my body. My doctor told me that my blood pressure had decreased. I felt better physically and mentally after about a month. I recently gave up on the diet and went back to eating meat and other animal products. My reason for coming to a halt on this journey was my busy schedule. I would have to pack every meal or eat when I was out which was difficult because most food available had some sort or animal product. After going back I have gained weight, have less energy, and cholesterol levels have increased. I understand both the meat eater’s side and the vegan/vegetarian side.
The factory farming industry is ruthless on the treatment of their animals. Their goal as a business is to make as much money as possible. This results in cruel practices like animals remaining conscious when they’re dunked into scalding-hot water for the defeathering and hair removal tanks or while their bodies are being skinned or cut apart in order to speed up the production line. In, “A Change of Heart about Animals,” by Jeremy Rifkin, studies show that the animals living is compact cages,” crave affection and are easily depressed if isolated or denied playtime with each other.” Not only do these animals have strong emotions but they also are very smart. Jeremy Rifkin also showed research for a Gorilla named Koko. Koko, “was taught sign language and has mastered more than 1,000, signs and understands several thousand English words,” which shows that animals are more similar to us than we thought.
Animals should be given better treatment by humans because they have similar emotions to us. Would you treat your pet the same way countless animals are treated in the industry? Would you lock them in cages all day, feed them hormones, hurt them in order for them to do what you want, or eat them? These are questions to ask yourself because the only difference is we have a relationship with our pets. We desensitize ourselves and don’t usually think about the backstory of the food on our plate. If we are going to breed animals for our own agenda shouldn’t they be given a better life before they are slaughtered. The killing of the animal should be the worst the creature had to endure but it isn’t. These animals seem to be seen as property rather than creatures that we share the planet with. Yes, animals are not humans but they should still be treated with more respect.
It is a running debate if meat should be consumed by humans. Early humans ate meat in order to evolve because of the high amount of protein and energy. At the time hunting was needed in order to survive their difficult situation. In the article, “Why Meat, Fish, and Dairy Harm”, it states that meat is the cause of heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, breast cancer, and obesity. The reason for all these causes is the cholesterol, saturated fat, and hormones meat contains. Not only is meat unhealthy, but our bodies have a hard time digesting it and chewing it. Our intestines are not long enough for meat to pass through easily and out teeth are not able to cut through hard flesh. That is why tools have always been used by humans to kill animals. Our teeth and systems are more similar to monkeys and apes which consist of plants. If a person is worried about their protein consumption or their amount of B-12 intake, there are many other resources. Beans, nuts, and most vegetables carry both of these nutrients.
The space needed for livestock results in many trees needing to be cut down and emissions from the factories. A huge portion of the amazon being cut down was for cattle grazing. Along with deforestation the amount of water needed for one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons of water, not including the copious amounts of feed. The amount of food used to feed livestock could be going to starving children in third world countries. A vegetarian diet helps reduce the chance of a heart attack, can increase your lifespan up to 6 to 9 years longer, and helps consume less hormones and carbon monoxide.
You don’t have to stop eating meat, cold turkey. A good thing to do would be to consume less meat as much as possible and to vote with your dollar. Without the consumer the companies would not be able to survive. Try to consume less and to vote with your dollar. If we ignore the problem, the welfare of animals and the planet will keep going South.
Contributing Writer: Mia Komarnicki
I enjoy burgers. I have to have a glass of milk with my cookies. I, whether I approve of it or not, put money into the factory farming industry. The factory farming industry makes it possible for Americans to have easy access to meat that is cheap enough for most people to afford. However, the way the farming industry treats its animals is deplorable and should be changed. These animals need more space, good diets, and better treatment overall. We would all feel better if we knew the meat we were eating was not a product of suffering.
People tend to have a disconnection between what’s on their plates and the animals it comes from. It’s easy to say that animals don’t experience pain the same way humans do, but that may not be true. For example, according to the article “Do Cattle Feel Pain the Same Way We Do?” by Nigel Caulkett, “When a pain stimulus is administered to an animal (for example, you pinch the claw on the hind leg of a calf), it activates pain and pressure receptors in the tissue.” Many animals are in constant pain because of growth hormones and bad diets. The hormones make the animals so large that their legs can’t support their weight. Their improper diets lead to stomach issues that cause them horrible discomfort. Knowing this information, we might need to take a look at animal suffering from a different perspective.
Aside from feeling pain, animals can suffer mentally from the factory farm life. In the article “A Change of Heart About Animals”, the writer, Rifkin, talks about how studies on pigs “have found that they crave affection and are easily depressed if isolated or denied playtime with each other. The lack of mental and physical stimuli can result in deterioration of health.” Farm animals are more intelligent than some people may understand. Just like us, they need mental stimulation. There is no mental stimulation if an animal is trapped in a cage so small that it can’t even stand up.
We should be changing this process a little at a time. An example of a small, yet significant, change is Proposition 12 in California. This proposition would mean that “there would be new minimum requirements on farmers to provide more space for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal”. This change, while it may not be enough, is a step in the right direction when it comes to treating farm animals ethically.
Some critics of these measures to improve the lives of farm animals like to say that “animals aren’t humans”. Duh. We all know this. But I think that we are given a position of superiority over animals. However, with this power comes a responsibility to treat these animals ethically. We know that animals have the neurological “equipment” to react to pain, but we currently can’t be sure that they feel it. Braithwaite, the writer of “Hooked on a Myth”, thinks that “we should adopt a precautionary ethical approach and assume that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, fish suffer.” Just like fish, farm animals react to pain.
But what about the potential cost of ethical meat and dairy farming? Well, there could potentially be an increase in the cost of meat and eggs if the factory farming industry implements practices that would improve the lives of its animals. There may also be a decrease in tax revenue that California receives from its eggs. My question would be: how can you put a price on suffering? Is it moral for us to let these animals suffer so we can have a cheaper omelette? I would say no.
All of that being said, what can we do? Well, we can vote for regulations, like those in Proposition 12, to give these animals a better life. We can also buy more cage free and grass fed products. There may be a small increase in the cost, but it’s a small price to pay for the outcome. Also, these products taste better because the animals are eating what they are meant to eat, not just things that fatten them up. As my father likes to say, “happy cows make great burgers.” If we ignore this issue, animals will continue to suffer at our cruel hands. As a society, we have two choices when it comes to animals: we can exploit them because we have power over them, or we can give them the basic things they need for a happy life.
Contributing Writer: Saoirse Mulrooney
The recent escalation in gun control laws in California and around the United States due to the increase in mass shootings and firearm related incidents are not the way to reduce gun violence. Just like drugs, the war on guns in the United States is a high focal point in our society and among our politics. Anti-NRA and gun activist groups constantly slam the NRA and other groups over many ridiculous and untrue allegations. The problem is not those licensed and trained gun owners. It is the irresponsible and inexperienced individuals that cause a threat to society when they have these weapons in their hands.
I care about gun rights and control of firearms as well as the prevention of the misuse of them across the United states and this world. Californians have also seen the highest increase among gun laws nationally. There is no coincidence in this either, being a Democratic state and all. The increase in gun laws is not the answer because the reality of it is that gun ownership is protected by the constitution, woven into the fabric of our country and is not going away. With proper training comes proper care and usage of whatever it is. Guns are no different. When you put a weapon with the capacity to kill an entire classroom of students into the hands of an untrained individual, not much good is bound to come of it. The Country and the constitution were founded on the right to bear arms. It is what led to the American Revolution and the founding of our country.
If the United States government can completely alter the constitutions 2nd amendment, like it's aiming at, what's to stop them from going for the rest of our constitution? We are giving our governments too much control in their abilities to regulate and oversee our lives. Personal defence is essential in many instances and often times saves lives. If we took the ability away for civilians to arm themselves, many more regulations would follow shortly and with increasing control over us. Firearms are an essential method of defense and many people would be put in harm's way without an authoritative figure that has the ability and knowledge of how to wield one properly. Gun safety classes and proper evaluations should be done for those wishing to own or carry a firearm.
Many people wonder how gun control wouldn't help, seeing that many areas across the United States are having an all time high in gun violence rates. They argue that guns are meant to kill people, it's obvious they are a problem in the United States. However, they are often times uninformed and mistaken about what they are going around saying. Those that commit gun violence are most often times always inexperienced and untrained with the weapon they are handling. Extensive background checks and also psychological tests should be done before the purchase of a firearm is allowed. It is already much more difficult for a normal person to be able to exercise their 2nd amendment. No matter the regulation or laws the government implements to regulate firearms, like any other outlawed commodity, there will always be those that find ways to get them and make them available to others.
Contributing Writer: Gabriel Lindsey
You can ask any teenager if they have any kind of social media, and the answer you will most likely get is, “yes.” Most parents will not think twice when their child asks them for permission to make a social media account. Although, in some cases, children would not even bother asking their parents for permission. I myself, at almost eighteen years of age, can say I have experienced this. I have three different social media accounts and not once did I ask my mom for permission. I spend most of my time on social media and I know for a fact I am not the only one.
Social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. An average amount of sleep a teenager should get is about nine hours, yet the average only gets seven hours of sleep. Teenagers are only getting that amount of sleep because they get so anxious to see what new feed is on their social media account.
Some of these teens post things their parents would not allow and they think that by just pressing, “delete,” the content is gone forever. There will be girls almost with no clothing on, boys throwing up gang signs, videos of them at parties doing drugs, you name it. Content like this will most likely trigger your child’s brain to think that; that’s how they should act, look, or they might even sense the need to try drugs.
People can argue that social media helps you communicate with those far away from home. That they will be able to see what you post and keep up to date with what you’re doing. What they do not know, is that teenagers do not use social media wisely and spend way too much time on it.
According to the article, Our Great Public Health Crisis, about ten years ago, the average patient at a doctors office would be because of the; flu, cold, fever, or anything along lines of that. Now we have teens going in for suicide attempts, depression, anxiety, cutting, etc. The worst part of all this is , that social media is causing this and making your child feel sick. Another thing that goes on social media is the way one treats another in a negative way and it’s referred as cyber bullying. Even though those with disabilities feel that they are normal like everyone else, they can still get bullied on social media because some teenagers have no filter and will just say something without thinking twice.
Something has to be done about this and we have to act now. These teenagers are showing higher levels of social pressure than ever before. Parents need to take action and limit their children to social media and keep up with what they are watching and posting. Not doing little things like this could really cost a life of a teenager and that’s not worth it.
Contributing Writer: Yamileth Bello
Growing up without a father is undeniably one of the most incessant social issues facing America. Father absence is an issue that has raised concerns about the way children are being raised and the behavioral effects it can induce. Whether it is caused by a divorce, constant work occupancy, or death, more and more children are being affected by this matter and it cannot continue to be disregarded.
Why is this important? It could be affecting you, someone close to you, and even your own children. The absence of a father should be addressed to any couple thinking or preparing for parenthood. According to National Statistical Offices, ¨Nearly 320 million children worldwide are living in a single-parent household, mostly in mother-only families.” Each day more and more additions are made to these statistics. How would you feel if your child was added to this count? The American Institutes for Research reported that 90% of homeless and runaway youth are fatherless children. Parental love is irreplaceable to a child. Based on the U.S Dept. Health Census, “63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.” This indicates that fatherless children are at a higher risk for despondency and suicide. “Compared to children living with married biological parents, those who had a single-parent are more likely to face abuse and neglect,” as stated in Child's Bureau. This implies a possible effect on children being brought up by a single parent. Legal rights and obligations of parents state “Raising a child requires vast responsibilities, such as, protecting your child from harm, providing your child with food, clothing, and a place to live, financial support, safety, supervision and control, medical care, and an education.” As reported in How Women Who Grow Up without a Father are different, “Nearly 90% of women who lost their fathers reported finding emotional lifesavers in the forms of their friends, family members, coaches, therapists or stand-in father figures.” This reveals how fatherless daughters look to receive the self-assurance a father is supposed to give to themas a result of a fatherly absence.
Children are naive and can be greatly impacted at a young age. If you are not disposed for the responsibilities that come with being a GOOD parent to your child, then take suitable action! Some people may argue that the absence of a father is also the absence of disruption. In When Children Are Better Off Fatherless by Michelle Weldon, an assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University claims, “In the cases where the father is far from heroic – even abusive – his absence is also the absence of the chaos, anger, pain and disruption he would bring to his family.” Critic Michelle Weldon has a valid point about fathers having their deranged moments, but it is immoral to believe that the absence of a father can also be the absence of something perfunctory. The Fatherless Daughter Project was formed to help girls and women see that they no longer have to fall into the statistics of their stories, but that they can rise with a new awareness of their strength and follow their calling, turning their pain into power and their story into purpose (TFDP). Unless you want your daughter to turn to the Fatherless Daughter Project or your son to feel forsaken, be prudent.
Contributing Writer: Erika Lopez
Marijuana, also known as: weed, pot, the devil’s lettuce, and cannabis should not be legalized. As an athletic runner I don’t appreciate having to smell and inhale the substance when I’m out training at my local park. It's very hazardous for my lungs especially since I live a healthy, no smoking lifestyle. I know people that smoke this substance and I can tell that they do not benefit a single bit from it. They lose money, respect, and a life because they behave similarly to how alcoholics do when under the influence, which I also have personal experience with.
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse a governmental wesbite, it is stated that “When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory, and learning functions” which may affect the rest of their adult life. I,
as a high schooler, can verify that multiple students in my school smoke marijuana for recreational use. Walking outside the school after hours into the neighboring park, I always see teens in groups taking turns smoking.It has gotten to the point that I am not surprised or shocked because I’m used to seeing this. It’s nothing new to hear that a student is caught with drugs on campus because it happens all the time, even on the first week of school. The longer the students keep abusing the substance, the more and more poorly their decision making will become. It used to be hard to obtain the substance, but now that it's legalized its much easier to possess it.
According to the website Foundation For A Drug-Free World, in 2005, 242,200 emergency room visits had marijuana involved. This happened in a time where marijuana was not legalized so we can only imagine what the statistics will look like by the end of this year. The most common scenarios were of an individual/individuals under the influence (which clouds judgement) and did something that harmed them or others. A New York Times article called A Case Against Marijuana by David Leonhardt also states that “marijuana-related traffic deaths are up, as are marijuana-related hospitalizations and the number of newborns testing positive for it” in Colorado since its legalization in 2014. This relates to the other statistics on the number of emergency room visits caused by marijuana so we can determine that marijuana legalization is dangerous.
Many users of the substance started at a young age. If the substance were to be banned then there would not be high school students that are already deteriorating their health and misleading their lives before they reach adulthood. I have seen many cases where teens that smoke end up not doing well in life and possibly living on the streets. It breaks families apart, makes you lose your sanity and most of all it takes control of you as a whole.
Marijuana tends to increase crime because people usually obtain it illegally. If it were banned for good then there wouldn’t be as much crime rates. Making it legal only encourages for more crime to happen which will eventually get out of control of the government. Since it’s legal at the moment, there are numerous advertisements on TV, freeways, and online that want you to buy cannabis which will influence children into taking an interest and eventually trying it a