Category Archives: Editorials

Schools pressure students into tougher classes

Multicolored Microsoft Excel spreadsheets detailing every class available at the high school circulated the halls. These schedules found them- selves crushed at the bottom of backpacks, scattered around school like the lingering dead leaves in fall, and the schedules found themselves being pulled out during class periods to be compared with other schedules. While this time is filled with the excitement that comes with planning for the next school year, this exhilarating haze is causing very smart students to make very unintelligent decisions.

A frequent topic of conversa- tion between underclassmen and future seniors is scheduling, and as they compare their plans for next year, it almost turns into a competition for who is taking more AP or honors classes. It feels good to put a check mark in a box for an AP or honors class and have a teacher from that respective subject initial it, but this is a seriously dangerous game. Seeing an upper-level class on a sheet of paper is deceiving.

When the title of an AP or honors course is typed out in 10 pt. font squished together with the rest of the school’s curricu- lum, it seems doable; however, some students fail to understand the depth that those 10pt. font words have. Students fail to evaluate not only the difficulty of the class and how multiple AP and honors classes’ work- loads will interact with each other but also the emotional and physical toll these classes take on a person. The emotional/ physical stress should be one factor students consider.

Students should be honest with themselves about their abilities, not over schedule themselves and learn to leave room for college applications, after-school activities, social events and other unplanned events.

The fact that students are scheduling too many honors and AP classes may be attributed
to the appeal that these higher level classes have to colleges and universities. With rising competition among students
for acceptance into colleges, an excessive number of higher-lev- el classes almost seems neces- sary for students to get into the college or university of their dreams.

This looming pressure placed on students to take many honors and AP classes not only can be blamed on colleges but also the high school. Many high school personnel encourages students to take high level classes but often times cross the line and harass students to add more stress to their daily lives.

At times, when these classes become too much for the wrong students, many take way to the ever-growing problem of cheating. From copying simple homework sheets to peering over another’s shoulder, all sorts of cheating are wrong. Someone who does not actual- ly do any work but scribbling down someone else’s work may receive a good grade or an even better grade than someone in the class who truly working their hardest. It becomes ridiculous when all of this pressure piles up on a student and forces them to take credit for something they never did.

Honors and AP classes are for a select group of students who are able to balance the hard work and effort with the rest
of their life. It may be difficult for us to decide if we are “good enough” for this sort of class, but the whole idea that regular classes are supposedly frowned upon should not persuade those to take a class that they might not actually be able to balance or handle.

Twitter creates instant news forum

It can be hard to keep up on spirit weeks, news and sporting events, and students need some type of reminder to inform them on school activities. Twitter is the answer.

Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass. With over 284 million active users and million tweets per day. In 2013, Twitter was one of the most visited websites and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet.”

Twitter is an online social networking service that allows users to send and read 140-character messages called “tweets.” Social networking already consumes 40% of students’ day.

Using Twitter as a reminder is very resourceful. Students will never forget important dates or activities because they will be reminded every time they scroll on Twitter.

“Twitter can help spread messages around school easier, like school spirit and news. Twitter is the most effective to school especially with teachers who have them because twitter can spread information easily,” senior Katie Doubell said.

Twitter can also help students express themselves and get advice from others on how to react.

“Students are able to express how they feel, and others tend to be more understanding because they get to see a different view of others peoples’ lives,” senior Jalen Hooks said.

With Snow days, two-hour delays, tests, pop quizzes, etc., Twitter can keep students informed and up to date. High school clubs and groups like Student Council, The Stohion, book club, student section and many others use Twitter to inform the student population of the high school of all important dates and ways to get involved with the school.

School sports like track and field, girls and boys’ basketball, lacrosse, soccer, etc, also use Twitter to remind athletes of practices or time-schedule changes. They also remind students to come out and support the hard-working athletes and to cheer them on at games.

Doubell said, “Twitter reminders are always helpful for students who have trouble remembering sporting events and school spirit.”

Student stress levels rise during finals week

As students battle their stress on a normal day, they realize that their stress becomes multiplied during midterms.

Often times the reason of this stress is due to lack of preparation or the insufficiency of teaching of the material in the first place. They automatically feel as if they will fail their exams and quickly begin to panic.

“It all depends on how you look at it,” sophomore Maya Conn said. “I think some teachers have prepared us well, but some have not. Of course no one knows exactly what it is on the test, but I do think teachers could prepare us more by reviewing rather than making us just do [notes] or do book work.”

Some teachers will even try to give their students study guides days before the actual test to study from until the actual exam.

“I think I prepared my biology classes by providing a study guide to help focus their study time, but ultimately it is up to my students to actually prepare for the test,” biology teacher Cathy Howard said.

Students completely forget their grade is entirely on them and not on the teacher.

“I feel my students are prepared completely,” history teacher Lisa Heilmeier said. “My biggest concern is that students do not do their part because teachers give all the information needed, but often students do not review the material and because of that, do not know how to apply what they have learned.”

Students also tend to forget they have seen all of the material presented to them on the exam or use the material they learn continuously throughout the course.

Examples of continuous use would be in English or foreign language courses.

In English, the use of literary devices is vital to analyzing literature. Once the students learn the terms, it is their job to apply the devices to the work they do.

Due to the use of the terms being so repetitive, students must simply relax and realize they have seen the words before and the definition is somewhere in their brain.

Other subjects like Spanish constantly use everything the students learn throughout every single Spanish class they will ever take.

“The best thing about Spanish is that it is not a one-and-done subject,” Spanish teacher Dana Kester said. “[Students] do not learn a topic, word, or grammar structure and then never see it again; we keep using it everyday. So my objective when having my classes review for midterms is to remind the students of those topics, vocabulary words, or grammar structures they already know.”

Most teachers do not forget to prepare their students for a big exam. They understand exams are a big deal to their students and will work to help them.

“My teachers work really hard at making sure we thoroughly understand the class materials,” junior Nick Rinaldi said.

Students just need to relax and focus on studying ahead of time rather than waiting until the day before their exams.

“To relax after studying or after an exam I just eat Doritos and watch That 70’s Show,” Conn said.

They should also start taking more responsibility for their actions leading up to exams rather than blaming their problems on the teachers.

Teachers are there to help their students remember the material and are working hard to do so.

Kester said, “[Reviewing] is just a matter of reminding the students that they already know how to do this and are totally capable of it.”

Police brutality questioned by many

When the TV is turned on and the flat black of the glass screen bursts into colors and depth. But, all news programs seem to be reporting the same story, a black child was killed by a white police officer and now the african american community is calling the the indictment of said officer. These events of alleged police brutality have defined this millenium as the age of miscommunication, the decade of falsehood and the manipulation of the public millenium.

Recent deaths by the hands of police officers in the United States have sparked controversy about police officers racially profiling perpetrators and intentionally killing them because of their race.

These events have turned into a complete frenzy for not only the media but especially  for celebrities and social media users. Celebrities have used their status to spread their opinions , whether those opinions be educated or uneducated. Social media users have condensed their opinions into 140-word tweets and long-captioned videos on facebook. Unfortunately, while social media allows people to post whatever they want, people are posting false information and is creating more information and outrage.

The true information lies only in the hands of court officials and yet the media is tapping into the frenzy to extrude an emotional response  like one would tap into a tree to extrude maple syrup. Media makes their money on reactions like the ones going on in the United States and media is greedy and will do anything to make money. Thusly causing the media to spread false information to receive a greater emotional reaction. Media is portraying things worse than they actually are.

Many social media users have brought up the point that this serious problem about police brutality is not about race, it is not about right and wrong, it is about what the public does now. Violently protesting is not what should be done. Profiling all police officers as “bad cops” is not the answer. The violent tendencies of this nation, which have ultimately been revealed in the wake of this scandal, are not justifiable even when lives have been lost.

Everyone in this country has ten amendments just from them laying down their rights as citizens of the United States.

The first amendment of the United States Constitution reads as follows; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably assemble: and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

But these rights stop when acts become criminal.

Contrary to popular belief there is a federal government of the United States  that is doing all it can to protect this country from going down in flames. There is a government that this trying to right its “wrong”.

Teenagers are not the rulers of this country. Opinions on twitter are not going to be made into law, someones tweets are not going to get magically transformed into a bill and get voted on in Congress. So teenagers need to stop making generalizations and making these sad shootings about them. Teenagers need to stop tweeting about this situation only to get a certain number of favorites and retweets. Be constructive with opinions and try to seek change in a rational and realistic way.

This situation is about what the country does now and unfortunately peoples are making the “now” pretty bleak.