Food Deserts in Rochester
By C’Morra Cuffie
Food deserts are urban areas where people don't have access to fresh and healthy foods. There are corner stores that only provide junk food and certain high priced fruits, but there aren't any nearby grocery stores. Food deserts happen when grocery stores shut down, and put grocery stores further from urban centers, and put them in areas where people have cars. The article What Are Food Deserts? says, “Access to transportation: For example, two neighbors might each live in a food desert. But while one neighbor has a car, the other relies on public transportation. The neighbor who is able to drive will likely have more options when it comes to groceries than the other person.”
Food deserts also may be due to having a low income. The article, Food deserts: Definition, effects and solutions states, “The USDA identified around 6,500 food deserts between 2000 and 2006. Experts estimate that around 23.5 million people in the U.S. live in low-income areas.” According to Rochester city councilman Dr. Gruber, “there are no gaps, they are motivated by their income. It doesn't fall on one person only, class lines by the profit they have. The poorer you are the more likely you are to be unhealthy.” If a single parent only has $20 to spend, their first instinct is to go to a fast food place such as McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, and other fast food. Only because they don't have enough money and they don't have a nearby grocery store to stretch out the $20, so they do what they have to do to feed their children, healthily or not. Dr. Gruber said one way to improve these food deserts is for the city food policy council is a group of people in the community to figure out how to help invest in new entrepreneurs at the public market so they can have more than one day a week to build their business.
This is an important issue to explore because the health of our communities relies on access to fresh, healthy food options.
Mental Health Concerns on the Rise
By Lex Cornell
Recently the US has noticed an increase in mental health issues and disorders, especially after the covid-19 pandemic, many youth and children are dealing with more than one mental health problem without receiving treatment, According to the CDC’s data and statistics, “ADHD, anxiety problems, behavior problems, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children. Estimates forever having a diagnosis among children aged 3-17 years, in 2016-19, are ADHD 9.8% (approximately 6.0 million), Anxiety 9.4% (approximately 5.8 million), Behavior problems 8.9% (approximately 5.5 million), and Depression 4.4% (approximately 2.7 million).” 1 out of every 3 children and youth from this study is left untreated, many suffering alone and unable to get help. This leaves people wondering who is going to be able to support these children when they get out of school and take on the world themselves, and how we as community can support and help our younger generation of leaders.
In 2017 a mental health survey, in Rochester, N.Y. (13WHAM) - found that “results released in the Monroe County Youth Risk Behavior Survey show a number of teens and young adults considered committing suicide in the last year Among the findings in that survey, 14% say they considered killing themselves, while 7% reported attempting suicide.” In East High School we are seeing some of the effects of what untreated mental illness can do to our schools and communities, students are being more aggressive and violent with the staff and other peers in school. This, in turn, leads to more students developing mental illness, which can increase suicide rates. The leading cause is how the community and schools are correlated between the violence in the community and lack of support in school settings for students with undiagnosed untreated mental illness or mental disorders. We as a community should care about this issue because these students are going to go out into the community, and they could be in a situation that could be harmful to others and themselves.
Are All Sports Created Equal?
By Dayshaun Clark
As an athlete who has personally been affected by this I will tell you that having less spending than other sports because in the city it's not really a popular sport makes it seem like they don't care and don’t treat everyone equally. Watching football, basketball and track get new things every year, camera men, live record games, free merch, while some other sports like lacrosse, golf, tennis, bowling, swimming, wrestling have to stick with the same equipment for multiple years, limited games being record, expensive merch because of the low budget that was given will definitely have some people asking questions.
They can say that other sports aren't as popular and don’t bring in as much money to school as to why they aren't given as much .A way we can bring more attention to different sports are the morning announcements! They do it with other sports already so why not? Let's make sure that at least every home game is a live record for players so they can get exposure, up to date equipment and most importantly support from the school! This year was the first year I've seen lacrosse with new jerseys and more live games so that's a big step already because last year I was barely able to get any highlights because there wasn't enough in the lacrosse budget to do so. Unequal funding affects players and coaches in many different ways.
By Ryan Barnard-Amico
Senioritis is a recurring topic that usually affects a majority of students getting ready to graduate at the end of the academic school year and have lost their motivation to complete assignments. This issue could occur anywhere and can happen to anyone but mainly happens to seniors, hence the name. Lack of motivation can be very harmful if not corrected; if a student is not willing to complete school assignments that can affect their skills in a work environment. The purpose of this paper is to warn students and parents to watch out for it and get educated on the ways to either prevent it or help someone who is already experiencing it. According to a recent study, done by Omniscient, 78 percent of high school students experience senioritis all over the world. That's a lot of students being affected by this and more to follow.
Keep Our School Clean
By Mckenna French
Cleanliness is a big issue here at East High School, with garbage in the halls and classrooms, students have a difficult time focusing on their classwork and other school responsibilities. This affects both students and faculty because having a trashed learning environment makes it harder for teachers to keep the attention of their students to properly educate them resulting in students ending up with below average grades.
According to The Daily Campus, kids learn more effectively in a clean school. They state, “The importance of cleanliness in schools reaches beyond the way things look. It can be much more profound and have a real impact on the quality of the students' education.”
Dirty schools also promote the spread of germs and harmful bacteria that can affect the health of almost everyone around on a daily basis. A clean environment will mean fewer sick days of students and staff due to the lack of cleanliness in the school. Educational success is improved when the school is clean and keeps everyone healthy.
We can fix this issue by simply educating the students on the safety of a clean learning environment and how much better they’re learning experience can be if they just learn to clean up after themselves. Here at East, we need to be responsible for keeping our school clean so that we can have a clean and healthy environment for us to properly lean in.
Homophobia and Transphobia at East
By Aryana St. Marthe
I chose this topic because I´ve seen how students from the LGBTQ+ community in this school have been treated unfairly and I believe that things need to change. At East High School there are people getting discriminated against because of their sexuality and how they chose to identify themselves. Now that I’m growing up, I’m seeing it for myself that gay people are being treated more and more differently than everybody else. And now living with someone who is gay I don’t want people to judge him just because the way he lives his life. People should care about this issue because people in the LGBTQ+ community should always feel safe and not have to be judged just for living their life. This problem can be addressed by people trying to understand that gays are going to live the way they want and they are going to love whoever they want but at the same time (quote from Justice) ¨people choose to be hateful towards gays.¨
I asked two people in the LGBTQ+ community a series of questions about the amount of homophobia happening in school and how it is being openly gay in school. Junior Justice Nunnally-Webb, said that he sees homophobia all the time and he did say something about it because he believes it’s more of a respect thing. He said, ¨Being gay is a part of him and saying that it’s wrong is disrespecting him.” Senior Mckenna French, who identifies as pansexual, said she witnesses this as well and when she sees it she tries her best to speak up and say something for those getting harassed.
These students also talked about how homophobia and harassment affects them. The junior responded saying he doesn’t think about it until it happens. He said he's more curious about it because, he asks, “Why does someone care so much about how another person lives their life?” The pansexual senior said it affects her because she feels targeted for her sexuality. She states, “I have been told that I should only like boys because I am a girl and that’s ‘how girls are supposed to be,’” she said.
Walking around school I hear all the time guys using gay as an insult so I asked Mckenna and Justice why they think saying someone or something is gay. Justice said because it has a negative aspect to it, they're not saying it as a good thing. Mckenna said, “I don't believe people should use any sexuality as an insult because it isn't anything to be ashamed of. I think that people should be more mindful of the things they say when it comes to the sexuality of others.”
Homophobia is something that can change but it will have to take more time because there are many reasons why people are homophobic. I think a way I can address the problem is by just trying to make people understand that they can't control how people love and that it isn't their business. In my opinion homophobes will end up changing one day but it still come back to arrogance and how they see things and trying to change that is going to take some time.
The Impact of Addiction
By Gregory Tucker
Whether it be to alcohol, marijuana or cocaine [based substances], addiction is an issue that is prevalent within the Rochester community. However, addiction to opioids is one that often ends in fatality. According to WHEC, a news station in Rochester, NY, 649 people from the Rochester area suffered a drug overdose, and 130 of them died in 2021. It is safe to say that the lives of many more could be in danger due to harmful substances.
Many know a relative or friend who has an addiction to at least one of the mentioned substances; they act differently when influenced by or in need of their preferred substance; they no longer seem to be the person they were prior to their addiction; they do things they wouldn’t normally do, oftentimes putting themselves in danger. This may cause confusion, stress and anger in the loved ones of the affected. However, it is important that we understand that addiction is more than someone making bad choices.
For those who don’t share a direct relationship with someone who struggles with addiction, you may think that the problem is a distant one or that it could never be you, but addiction looms a lot closer than you might think. Furthermore, many teens, including those of East High, are at risk of developing an addiction. East High social worker Andrew Goodman says, “The age in which people are experimenting with cannabis and cannabis products will indeed lead to issues down the road.” Cannabis has been the most common recreational drug of choice for American teens since the 60s and still is the most popular drug of choice. However as times change, so does the drug. Attitudes toward cannabis are changing; there are devices that make THC more accessible; people are constantly inventing new methods of consumption. Can this lead to addiction to other substances in their adulthoods? Are East High teens at risk?