By Eugene Barnes
Contrary to popular opinion, Columbus didn't discover America. The truth is Columbus actually landed in South America and didn’t discover it.
In 1934 the president at the time Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Columbus Day as a federal holiday and would be celebrated on October 12. In 1971 Columbus Day was changed to the second Monday of October. In October of 2021 President Joe Biden signed the first presidential proclamation to officially change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. The changes caused a lot of controversy within the country.
I talked to Mr. Bethmann, a teacher at an East High School who comes from a Native background and got his opinion on the change. Here's what he had to say: “I think generally most Native people feel good about the change, at least the people in my circle.” I also asked Mr. Bethmann how he thinks this change should affect the way our kids should be taught about the subject and he said, “For me, and for my parents probably, teachers only taught the benefits of this encounter and not the consequences. What's more important though, I think, is that the idea of Columbus Day by itself completely diminishes modern day Native American people. Teachers should include their voices and perspectives.”
The change from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day is a change that can better our country and better the knowledge within our country, and allow people within the indigenous community share information that would give most people in America a better perspective on how we perceive the history in our country.
Bathroom Doors: Privacy or Safety?
By Quentin Gordon-Smith
Last year was hectic and unsafe in the bathrooms. Kids would smoke, skip class, and fight. When you walked into the school you could smell the aroma of the smoke and as the day went on kids would pile up in one bathroom to skip class and fight. This issue led to security guards being less flexible because they had to contain the bathroom and prevent kids from smoking, skipping class, and fighting. This went on all year and the school was viewed as violent. Parents would talk down about East and point out all the fights and drama that goes on in school and would send their children to different schools.
I am now in my senior year of high school and when I came to school and saw the bathroom doors were off. It surprised me. My thoughts and many other students’ thoughts were about our privacy. I noticed that many people stop and talk to people in the bathroom and few focus on going to class. They look into the bathroom doors, so that is a reason why privacy is an issue. Also in the boys bathroom you can see someone using the bathroom through the sink mirrors.
As school proceeded the principal got a lot of complaints about it from kids, mostly about privacy. Mrs. Blocker commented on these concerns and said, “Fighting, smoking, and skipping was the reason for taking the bathroom doors off. Security has more flexibility, they can move around and help with other problems instead of guarding the bathroom. Fights have decreased.”
Staff agree with the decision; they think it's making a huge impact on the school. Mrs. Blocker says she would feel safer if she was a student. She feels that kids are more exposed for just hanging out. Privacy really isn’t an issue because you can’t see someone using the bathroom. The only way to get the bathroom doors back on is to provide evidence that it will be positive. Also after I showed her that people can see through the sink mirrors she said, “I’m going to change that.”
When she explained this to me it changed my perspective because she stated valid points and all she is trying to do is make school better and safer for everyone. I agree with her. I feel like taking the bathroom doors off has cut down on fights, smoking, and kids from skipping class. I speak from observation. So should the bathroom doors be off? Yes, and they should stay off because privacy isn’t a problem and it’s making the school a safer environment for everyone.
By Mossimo Perry
We as upperclassmen should thoroughly understand the importance of good hygiene and cleanliness especially as the young adults we are. But I do know and understand that these products can be hard to get at times or you simply forgot. In this article I am going to shed light on where one can acquire hygiene products quite easily and also give a few tips on how to stay fresh all day.
After doing a little research on the East High campus I found out we have a room with hygiene products as well as clothing if necessary. The room is called the Community Resource Center and is located next to the cafeteria. According to Ms. Gibbons, who runs the Community Resource Center, they even have groceries available if you need them!
Students in need of hygiene products can get a pass to go see the Community Resource Center. The thrift store is also open on Thursdays 11am - 1pm. We as teenagers can be pretty smelly at times, so you should prepare yourself by applying the appropriate hygiene products even if you don't plan on being physically active. Personally, I will always have a clean face towel and an extra stick of deodorant in my bag at all times throughout the year. Also you should consider taking a shower right after you wake up, it has many benefits such as waking you up in the mornings. Remember, if you’re ever caught in a smelly bind, Community Resource Center is available if you ever need it!
Information Disconnection and Solution
By Jeovanne Finch-Negron
Are you getting the information you need to be successful as a senior? Many seniors are clueless to what is actually happening with events that are meant to help us. The senior class has been deprived of receiving that needed information. Even though there are efforts to get this information out to the seniors, many seniors feel that communication is less than effective when it comes to sending the emails, robo-calls, social media pages, and the morning announcements that don't happen anymore.
Counselor Ms. Burnell said that getting the word out to the seniors has also been difficult for them as well. This has been a problem for a while now. A possible solution is an application called Band App that can work better than the emails, robo-calls, and the social media pages that are being used. There will be the questions of when prom is, when are the cap and gowns due or when is graduation but who is going to know when that is? The things we most definitely can´t find out just through word of mouth. Senior class should be able to know when our sports teams are playing so we can come together and show that support.
Through discussion, a solution has risen up to this challenge that disconnects us due to communication. The solution is simple but connects in a way where we can access that information quickly without any hassle, just by accessing your phone. There´s the Band App that will allow the senior class and the upcoming seniors to access all the information that the counselors put up on the page. This will allow you to see posts for upcoming events in a way that is accessible to all. This is the solution that we need.
Building a Family Group
By Olivia Marcano
Do you enjoy attending Family Group? Ever thought of ways to make it better? This week I surveyed a number of peers and interviewed some Family Group Carents including my own and what I found was interesting. My research uncovered a large sum of senior scholars who found their Family Group boring and unengaging to say the least. Scholars reported lack of enthusiasm or connectedness and friendship with their Family Group peers, which is understandable given we may have people we’d rather be spending time with outside of family group. Therefore, this makes our time in Family Group less enjoyable for everyone including our carents since friendship and open conversations can’t be forced. So I interrogated my peers, asking what they suggest could make our Family Group more fun? I ascertained a range of requests from cooking, eating and enjoying movies together to having excursions as a family. Ah. And of course, phones.
Since a substantial portion of our senior student body would obviously rather be replying to their group chat or watching tiktoks, here we’ll re-visit our 4-year long debate about having our phones in class to make our Family Group more enjoyable. I’ve heard a lot of opinions, If’s, and’s, or but’s about permitting phones in class however, Mrs. Gallagher’s response has to be the most thoughtful and aware.
In light of my article topic, I decided to interview our very own Family Group coach Mrs. Gallagher and after being asked her thoughts on student phones in Family Group, her reply was, “If carents would allow phones I wouldn’t mind,” she continues, “But if everyone was on their phones, we wouldn’t be able to bond as a Family Group.”
Mrs. Gallagher went on to inform me about the role her Family Group played in a moment of hardship for her. She recounted how they noticed her troubles without her mentioning. A trait only a close-knit group can achieve over years. A Family Group. She emphasized how they rallied around her, allowing her to be vulnerable in this moment. A moment that would've never happened if everyone was buried in their phones. I am a strong advocate for phones in school, but this made me think. What about you?
Cohorts and Student Communication
By Kani McNeil
There is a disconnect among the student body of East High, and it is more than just teachers or students.
“I can tell you that people do not pay attention to announcements as closely as would be beneficial, nor do all kids attend Town Halls,” says Mrs. Blocker, head principal of East High. However, I believe that it is more than just a matter of a multitude of scholars not attending their 30-minute “school family time.” Why is this information solely based on one's attendance where situations such as sickness or family emergency are the possibility, especially considering the assortment of viruses that have occurred in the last two years? Mrs. Blocker offered some administrative perspective on the situation.
In this interview, I came to the understanding that when it comes to bridging the cohorts and the faculty there’s only been small stones placed. Blocker reaffirmed that students are also accountable for the lack of communication when it comes to events at East High, saying, “Much information flows through Family Group also, but some kids do not attend this daily.” And on most fronts, I completely agree with her sentiments. Scholars should be where they are supposed to be in order to have a chance to gain knowledge about the school that they love. However, I believe that the information solely based on being there is an incomplete practice. Let me ask: If information is based on showing up to school and having only a chance to learn something, what happens to the people who can’t show up? Unforeseen circumstances are a part of everyone's life; nobody is certain of the future. To this, she replied, “I can tell you that people do not read e-mails as closely as would be beneficial.” Though the use of email for a scholar should be common, I assure you that it is not. With the multitude of emails acquired from multiple teachers and classes, as well as important information potentially getting lost in the spam pile, this practice of information spreading is not without its flaws. In order to help eliminate such flaws I suggest a social media page that is accessible to all that want it, that way the information can be obtained as easily as a click of a button.
Blocker also wanted to know what the student body is thinking around this topic. She asked, “What type of activities do Cohorts want?”; “How do scholars feel we could better communicate?” and “How do we get more scholars involved in decision-making?” With these questions she articulated how out of touch the students and faculty truly are. We want information and ways to bond but we as young adults need to communicate specifically what it is we want.
With disconnect, you may be discouraged. However, Blocker has hope for us yet, saying, “The great thing about East is we have the ability to make changes whenever we see something is not working and we have the power to try new things.” The head principal isn’t opposed to hearing from her student body either saying, “I encourage scholars to become a part of Governance Council or Light House Team or Student Government or clubs to have their voice heard.” Even more, she offered to have a more hands-on approach, saying “There are also Principal Scholar Roundtables this year, with one coming up next week for scholars to share their thoughts and ideas with me as the principal.”
With this, we can see that the miscommunication between the staff and students of East high school is from both sides; so I’d like to encourage all my fellow scholars to advocate for themselves in order to bring the change we see fit.
By Charkendra K. Harris
Can you have it all? According to popular opinion the answer is no. Having it all refers to finding a solid balance between your personal and professional life, but is this something someone can actually achieve?
They call it work-life balance, but it is a very stressful thing to achieve when you are a student with many demands on your time. Students who go to school full time and work part time are tired. That doesn't even take into consideration students that play sports, are in a relationship, and have other commitments outside of school.
According to East High School student, “Sophia,” who holds down a part time job at the retail store 5 Below, she said, “I wake up more tired because I have to take time out of my sleep to take care of homework that I didn't have time to complete after school because of work.” According to Statista.com, in 2021, there are only 17.6% of high school students who have a part time job. That statistic is dropping from the previous year 2020 which said 19.2% of high school students had a part time job. The decrease in the trend could be due to the stress and pressure a job puts on students. It is not just about the job, it is about keeping up with your homework and home life as well.
A football player at East who works after practice talked about how difficult it is to get work done. If he completes the homework it's not until around 1 am until he is finished. He states, “Sometimes teachers are cool and work with students who work. Some of the teachers really don't care that you have commitments after school, they expect the work to be done on time.”
Students at East are proving that it is possible to balance school and work but it's not easy. Most teenagers are struggling to keep up their grades while keeping up with their jobs, sports, and other commitments, but it’s not stopping them from trying to have it all.
By Graftonieshe Bowers
There are a lot of controversial opinions as to whether or not East High students have enough time to get ready after their P.E classes. Some say that they have plenty of time, and others say that they need more time.
P.E coach Mrs. Vann said, “Kids do not need more time to get ready. There are some kids who come to class late, and if they do come to class on time they sit and talk in the locker room with their friends. ” She went on to say that, “there are a lot of kids that don’t even change for gym, so ten minutes is more than enough time to get ready.”
Some scholars say that it depends on which period you have gym class. One of my friends told me that she had an easier time getting dressed last year rather than this year because she had a 5th period gym class. Now she has a 3rd period gym class and she has to rush and get changed quickly so she can get a spot in the long lunch line.
I can see both sides of this topic. I agree with Mrs. Vann because I see firsthand what she is talking about. Some kids who come into the locker room and sit and socialize rather than getting dressed, and when they do get dressed it is literally at the last minute. I understand that some people take longer than others to get dressed but it doesn't take more than ten minutes.
The Trouble with Homework
By Terreil Colon
Homework, now as we know it, is a set of tasks assigned to students by their teacher. Homework to some teens is seen as a waste of time, or as an excuse for teachers to give homework because they can't finish a lesson in class.
As far as homework goes, it hasn't changed much over the past few decades. Almost every day, children are sent home with about an hour's worth of homework, primarily practicing what they learned in class.
According to the GoodRx Health website at the beginning of 2022, there are multiple reasons why homework should be banned and why it isn't beneficial to students and their means of achievement. “Too much homework in the higher grades can lead to worsening grades and increased mental and physical issues,” said a parent in the GoodRx article, saying furthermore how their child stresses over homework and has no time to themselves.
WHAT IS MY TAKE ON HOMEWORK?
I personally think homework is the reason that children have the inability or lack of motivation to complete their assignments and often leads to problems between them and their parents. Additionally, most kids play sports and some also have jobs, making it even more difficult to manage the time between getting home and doing homework.
I believe that homework just further separates students. Those who have parents home who understand the work, or can afford a tutor will do so. Families already struggling financially tend not to have parents home to help and cannot afford tutors. This, in my own opinion, justifies the means of homework and why it is a negative and draining effect on kids and their life. If you would like to read more about this side of the issue, go to (https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/is-homework-a-waste-of-time-teachers-weigh-in/2022/04).
Culinary Arts Program at East
By Isaiah Braden
Culinary is a class where you want to have fun but also learn basic skills. In my experience while being in this course I have acquired many skills, ones that I would have never taken the time to learn on my own. Compared to my kitchen experience in the real world, the chefs try to make the environment feel just like a real workplace to prepare students for the real world. The curriculum is written based on industry standards such as kitchen managers and kitchen staff from many different restaurants. This means what is being taught is what people are looking for in a person to take on a job.
During the second year of taking this course you will take Culinary 1. If you pass the course you can earn 5 college credits to MCC. The Culinary arts program at East is a 4 year program. This course is offered within our CTE (Career & Technical Education) pathways. The Kitchen is located in room E-108, and Chef Marwan and Chef Erik are the teachers for this pathway.
The CTE Pathways at East offers a chance for students to find a career or even jobs. The program is designed to prepare kids for a job in reality. In the Culinary pathway you are taught not only how to cook but how to approach someone in a professional manner as if they were working in a restaurant. You learn the history and background of many different cultural foods and much more.