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In My Opinion: Fear of new president fueled by media

BY LETICIA ANTONINI

PRINT FEATURES EDITOR

As I scroll through the home page of the New York Times, I can’t help but think that the United States is rooting against itself. No one has ever gone to war hoping to lose, yet, that is what many Americans are doing regarding Donald Trump’s presidency.

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In My Opinion: Society fails to respect teachers

BY GILLIAN D’ONOFRIO

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT COPY EDITOR

Most people have one teacher who has impacted their life in such an extreme way that they will never forget them. It is rare to find someone who cannot name at least one teacher who went the extra mile to help them, brought excitement into lesson plans or simply was always there if anyone needed to talk about anything. Teachers spend more time with students than most parents do, and undoubtedly make an impact in this time spent with the kids.

It is my senior year in high school and with college just around the corner the biggest question I seem to be getting is “what do you want to study?” When I say that I want to be a teacher, the response I receive is not as pleasant as it should be. I get bombarded with doubts: “they get paid nearly nothing,” “the school board treats them poorly,” “are you going to be able to tolerate the kids” and most upsettingly “why don’t you study something with math or science?” Receiving an education is the single most important factor in living a successful life, and although it is deserved, teachers do not receive the respect that should come with the vitality of education.

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Editorial: False advertisement creates problems for Chipotle

Just this year, Chorizo, a pork sausage, was added to Chipotle’s menu to help them get back on their feet after an E-coli outbreak set them back after being successful for years. After complaints that the chorizo did not have a flavorful taste, there has been yet another problem after an addition was added to their menu. According to My News LA, three Californians, in three separate locations, reported that Chipotle was misleading customers by not putting the correct calorie count on the stores menus. It was reportedly misleading to a customer because he felt excessively full after what was supposed to be 300 calories. The three Californians are now proceeding to sue Chipotle for being dishonest with customers by misrepresenting the nutritional value of the chain restaurants food products.

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Flash of Brilliance: Should college applications require an essay?

NO

College applications are already stressful enough, and having to write an essay creates another obstacle in our senior year. Most students are taking rigorous AP courses by senior year and need as much time as they can get to excel in these courses. However, since most colleges require students to submit an essay, it creates a weight over our shoulders. Seniors have to balance writing a great essay (or multiple essays) to guarantee their acceptance with maintaining good grades. With other barriers such as clubs and sports, there simply is no time. Although it is a way for colleges to see what kind of person the student is, what they won’t see is the part where the student has someone else write their essay and cheat the system. Whether a student has a family member or pays someone to write it, it’s not fair to those who actually put effort into their work. Also, for someone who is applying to a major that doesn’t involve any writing, such as engineering or pre-med, they shouldn’t be writing an essay since they are most likely mathematically or scientifically inclined. Their grades, extracurricular activities, and test scores should be enough to prove that the student is qualified to attend said college.

-Wanda Mora

YES

Every year, many colleges require students to write an essay as part of the application process. Although many people applying to schools don’t understand the point in writing an essay, it is just as important as submitting transcripts and test scores. A college may be able to see what you have accomplished by looking at a résumé, but it doesn’t really show what type of person you are. When someone in the admissions office at a school is reading a student’s essay, it gives that person a small inside scoop on the student’s life and what the student might be like. Seniors may write about something that seriously impacted their life. Whether it is good or bad, it made them who they are today. No, the essay may not have anything to do with a senior’s intended major, but writing an essay can also help give the student an extra little push that might be needed to be admitted into their dream school. Instead of seniors being so negative about the fact that they have to write an essay to get a higher education, they need to see that it can actually benefit them. Someone may seem perfect on paper, but that doesn’t mean that they will fit in with the type of people at that specific school. Test scores are not a reflection of a students’ personality and are not able to display a persons beliefs, character, or experiences that helped mold their self identity. Due to this lack of representation, writing an essay should be mandatory.

-Saige Fisher

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Editorial: Social status should not determine treatment in the legal system

Shailene Woodley, environmental activist and award-winning actress starring in productions such as “Divergent” and “The Fault in our Stars,” was arrested as a result of trespassing and protesting the construction of an oil pipeline. Woodley described her treatment by the authorities as unfair due to the fact that some other protesters were allowed to leave the scene with no consequences following them. Woodley characterized the protest as “peaceful,” however, authorities refuted it saying it was actually a considered a “riot.”

The protest was originally orchestrated to act as a peaceful objection to the North Dakota Access pipeline. The sheriffs that arrived on the scene, however, viewed this in a completely different fashion. According to sheriffs on the scene, the protesters were seen as individuals encouraging others to break the law and stir up commotion.

Woodley’s arrest, followed by a court hearing, was viewed as one-sided, as her role in society may have affected her treatment and punishment.

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In My Opinion: Kaepernick brings light to racism

BY DREW SISKIND

SPORTS EDITOR

In the past two months, one of the nation’s biggest headlines has been San Francisco 49ers’ backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who, in protest of racial injustice, has not stood for the National Anthem before games.

Kaepernick, along with fellow NFL players who have joined his movement, has received every response imaginable for his continued action, ranging from praise to hateful condemnation.

But the hatred has overshadowed the support.

According to ESPN, a poll by E-Poll Marketing Research recently named Kaepernick the NFL’s most disliked player. The social justice activist beat out alleged rapist Jameis Winston by a margin of 7 percent. The top five was rounded out by Ndamukong Suh, who has been fined multiple times for dangerously violent play; Tom Brady, an accused cheater; and Ben Roethlisberger, another accused rapist.

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Flash of Brilliance: Should junior privilege exist?

NO

Juniors should not be allowed to have junior privilege. In the past, the privilege of leaving early was specifically for seniors, which was something to look forward to and work toward. Allowing juniors to have the same option takes away the feeling of reward and seniority. It is not fair that the juniors now get to have this privilege a year early, considering that all the seniors had to wait. Although some juniors say that they need this period off of school because they have a heavy work load and need the time to do their homework, all of the previous seniors had to go through the same workload as them, without having the option to leave early. Juniors could have the new study hall period to work on homework and catch up on work that seniors didn’t have in previous years, so leaving is not necessary. The seniors use their privilege to go to work, and to complete their college applications and essays, which requires more out of school time. Senior privilege motivates students to do well in their classes, complete their credits and maintain a reasonable grade point average throughout their last year, which is why the privilege of having one less in class period should be reserved for seniors.

-Katrina Woiski

YES

Juniors should be allowed to have junior privilege. Junior year is considered to be the most stressful; students are overloaded with homework, tests, and are constantly studying. In addition to schoolwork, the majority of juniors are also juggling jobs, clubs, sports, and other extra curricular activities. Juniors have a lot on their plate and allowing them to not have a study hall and spend those extra 90 minutes outside of the classroom is reasonable. Being able to leave school or come in late gives students the opportunity to get tasks done that they wouldn’t be able to do in a classroom. Junior year is also the year of college admission tests and being able to have more time outside of school could allow more time for tutors and preparation for these weekend tests. Even if students don’t always have something that needs to be worked on outside of the classroom, they can use that time to just catch up on sleep and relax. Considering the amount of stress that high school students are faced with, especially juniors, they deserve a break every now and then.

– Ellie Sachs

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Editorial: 9/11 has lost significance in comparison to modern terrorism

Sept. 11, 2016 was a day similar to many others in the 15 years since the horrific terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers. A day involving Americans coming together to mourn the loss of our citizens to terrorism. Although Sept. 11 used to be a sorrowful holiday to feel grief for all those who suffered 15 years ago, this day of remembrance simply does not mean as much to Americans anymore.

Terrorism has become a more and more threatening affair around the world. On Sept. 11, 2001, the hijacked airplanes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City marked the beginning of an era of unrest in the U.S. and around the world regarding terrorism. According to Uri Friedman from The Atlantic, reports of terrorist attacks from extremist groups such as I.S.I.S. and Al Qaeda are becoming more and more common around the globe. It seems that at least once a month there is news of another awful attack shaking the foundations of our nation. In the past year, France has been hit with two terrible terrorist attacks including the suicide bombings and hostage shootings in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, as well as an attack in Nice on July 14, 2016, where a truck driver ran over innocent people who were celebrating Bastille Day. It is hard for us as Americans to feel as much pain on Sept. 11 when remembering the attacks that happened 15 years ago, because similarly awful terrorist attacks are occurring in the present.

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Flash of Brilliance: Should students have the choice to waiver into advanced classes?

YES

With a population of 4,600, it is unlikely that a teacher would be able to make an accurate recommendation for each student. It should be the student’s decision to make, considering he/she should know what he/she can and cannot handle. The teacher can’t make a prediction on how the student will do based on one school year, because classes, work ethic and effort varies from year to year. Also, test scores often do not show an exact representation of a student’s intelligence. Scores do not show how hard-working he/she is; therefore making an assumption that a student cannot handle an advanced class based only on test scores is flawed. If the student has an interest in the class, the grade they may receive may be better. It is not fair for the teacher to judge the student solely based on their previous academic history. At the end of the day, it should be the student’s decision, in conjunction with his/her parents. Advanced classes weigh more than regular classes, so every student should be given the opportunity to strive for the higher credit, if her/she so chooses. Although a teacher’s input should be respected, the final decision should come down to whether the student believes he or she should be in a particular class.

-Sophie Schifter

NO

To take an advanced class the teacher of that certain subject area must sign off; this is important because a teacher knows more about the rigor of that certain class than the student. Allowing students to override a recommendation of a teacher is absurd because a student does not know if he/she can handle a class, which is why teacher recommendations are vital. When signing into a difficult class, students have to have a prerequisite of that material in order to succeed. For example, if a student fails Pre-Calculus they should not go into AP Calculus. Teachers watch their students succeed or fail throughout the year, leading them to have a more qualified opinion of a student’s capabilities. Although a student signing into a class they do not belong in does not harm teachers, they do not want to see their students struggle in a class they cannot handle. Doing well in a regular class versus failing an AP class is not only better when applying for colleges, but also boosts the student’s confidence and mental health. Even if students believe that the decision to waive into a more difficult class is up to their parents, a teacher’s recommendation should be mandatory in order to truly evaluate the student’s for coming success or failure in a class.

-Jessica Russo

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From My Perspective: Coaching ‘Hotshots’ creates lifelong memories

BY CAITY BURDASH

Being a coach for the Special Olympics was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but I should probably start my story from the beginning.

I became a competitive cheerleader for Florida Triple threat and Top Gun All-stars, when I was 10-years-old. I fell in love with cheer at a young age, and my passion for it grew each year I continued. I have attended about 100 competitions and almost every one had a special needs team present. I loved watching those teams go out on stage; the entire crowd would be on their feet cheering for them. Watching this occur, time after time, would never fail to put a genuine smile on my face. This is what made me want to become a cheer buddy: I wanted to help make dreams come true. Therefore, in 2014, I decided to join the special needs cheer program at Five Star Athletics.

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