The Rangeview Raider Review https://rangeviewnews.org The Student News Site of Rangeview High School Wed, 04 Mar 2020 22:05:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Girls basketball falls to Valor Christian 73-40 https://rangeviewnews.org/22193/sports/girls-basketball-falls-to-valor-christian-73-40/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22193/sports/girls-basketball-falls-to-valor-christian-73-40/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2020 21:17:55 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22193
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Opinion: If we’re not going to keep guns out of the hands of citizens, we need to keep our students educated https://rangeviewnews.org/22186/opinion-editorials/opinion-if-were-not-going-to-keep-guns-out-of-the-hands-of-citizens-we-need-to-keep-our-students-educated/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22186/opinion-editorials/opinion-if-were-not-going-to-keep-guns-out-of-the-hands-of-citizens-we-need-to-keep-our-students-educated/#respond Wed, 04 Mar 2020 20:58:38 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22186 November 2nd, 2018 6:00AM:

It was a gloomy day. We had already had two secure perimeters that week. Many students didn’t show up to school on Halloween because of a rumor that spread throughout the school of someone bringing a gun. I had to be at the airport at 12 in the afternoon that day for a soccer trip; let me go to school I told myself, I’ll have less homework. That was the worst decision that I could’ve made.

I go to school to learn, to get good grades, to prepare myself for my future. I go to school to make friends, to grow as a person, and to find my passions in life. I don’t go to school to be scared, to be worried, or to be anxious.

In our society, I don’t have a choice.

Since the devastating Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, there have been 2,384 mass shootings in America. While efforts such as March For Our Lives and other gun control movements are in order, America is in a place where guns are allowed in the hands of citizens. If this is going to be the case, we need to keep our kids safe.

A more detailed picture of Rangeview’s lockdown procedures (Bowman).

November 2nd 11:25 AM:

I was in the auditorium for leadership and the doors surrounding the room were unlocked. We had just finished discussing homecoming. I recall getting a paper saying that my ride was here to pick me up; it was time for me to go to the airport for my flight.

November 2nd 11:33 AM:

I was picking up my belongings, ready to exit the auditorium doors until I heard a shaky voice come over the intercom. It was former Principal Fay, his voice was raspy. All I remember is hearing the words “red” and “lockdown” made my heart drop.

After last year’s incident in November at Rangeview High School (RHS), a lot of questions were raised. Why did students feel unprepared? Why did it go down in the records as practice? Why is no one doing anything to fix these problems?

Last updated in 2018, APS emergency procedures guidebook requires 10 fire drills per year but only 2 lockdown drills. While it’s important for students to be prepared in the case of a fire, there hasn’t been a deadly school fire in the United States since 1958. This is due to the revamping of exits, doors, fire alarms, and sprinklers. In the past, we were able to alter our procedures for the safety of teens, so why aren’t we doing that now?

A fire alarm in one of the English classes in the new wing. Sophomore Ciara Andrew believes, “We have fire drills frequently, yet we hear about school shootings everyday, and it’s been a while since we’ve had a lockdown drill” (Bowman).

“It makes no sense to have at least one fire drill per month to teach me how to walk out of a door,”  said RHS Sophomore Ciara Andrew. “While we hear about school shootings much more on the news and it’s a larger problem, we barely have any lockdown drills.”

Not only should we have more lockdown drills, they should happen at least once in each class, as Andrew expressed, “We should have them all throughout the day so I know where to go in each classroom.”

November 2nd, 2018 11:38 AM

I texted a group-chat with my close friends, “I love you all, thank you for being the best thing that has ever happened to me.” I was crammed into a small room. Although the lights were off, the room was illuminated by people’s phones, texting their loved ones and friends in other parts of the building. I texted my mom and my sister, worried about whether they would answer because their flight for Utah would be leaving at any moment.

November 2nd, 2018 sometime in the late morning

I heard the doorknob of the room we were stuck in rattle. I turned to a friend that I’ve known for nine years now and whispered “get down.”

While occasionally practicing lockdowns, Rangeview practices other means of safety. For example, every morning we are required to show our ID to the teacher or administrator who is checking IDs for the morning.

However, it is a district wide rule for students to have IDs on at all times. When asked about this, sophomore Cece Miena stated, “I put it [her ID] in my backpack, or somewhere close to me, but I really don’t wear it.” 

Not just Miena, but most other students at Rangeview don’t wear their IDs at all times. With all due respect, how is wearing an ID going to help keep us safe? Studies show that the majority of those who might bring a weapon to school are students or former students.

While ID checks will prevent strangers from entering the building, it’s not enough to keep us safe. We need to add on additional safety procedures such as metal detectors, more lockdown drills, and informational nights to answer the questions of students and their parents.

A student’s ID sits on her desk while she does her work. Most students at Rangeview keep their IDs in their bags or near them, but many can get away without even bringing them to school (Bowman).

November 2nd, quite sometime after the lockdown started:

“Are you ok?” my phone buzzed as it got a message. By now, the tears had finally dried up and the student with the threat had been located. Regardless, the fear was still real and the memories would be one’s that were stuck in my mind forever.

November 2nd, the end of the lockdown:

We were released by class. I walked to the parking lot of King Soopers to be greeted by my aunt. She cried as she held me for a few minutes. That was fear no one should ever go through, regardless of how real the situation might be. 

Of any developed country, the United States has the weakest gun laws. While there are people protesting these laws, it doesn’t seem that there will be a change anytime soon. Thus, it’s important for there to be a change to the safety procedures not just in the APS district, but around the country.

RHS Junior Thien Ngyen says, “With tornado drills, fire drills, etc, I feel like we have all of those down, but what I’m truly worried about is the gun one…we are so ill-prepared that a death could possibly occur if a threat such as that were to happen.”

It’s not just a small population, but a large group of students here at Rangeview that feel unsafe. As a district, we need to do better.

To Principal Grosz, let’s work on listening to the voices of the students. Let’s start to have more lockdown drills, and make sure that teachers are pinpointing what to do in the case of an actual emergency. At the beginning of the year, we should have a forum in which students, staff, and family can express their concerns and ask questions. As the principal, you should not only listen to the ideas of the students, but implement them.

To Superintendent Rico Munn, I urge you to review the Aurora Public Schools safety procedures. With the ongoing threat of an intruder entering a school, we should practice more than two lockdown drills per year. As students we don’t feel safe, and we also feel as if our concerns aren’t being heard.

To America, let’s get guns out of the hands of our citizens. Let’s open up our eyes and realize that the future of America is being killed as we continue to have petty arguments over the safety of our kids. It’s simple: if we’re not going to keep guns out of the hands of citizens, we need to keep our kids educated.

To the students, we need to realize that we are the change. We need to start to advocate for better safety procedures, we need to be taught to protect ourselves. We are the young ones, and our way is forward. We need to fight for our lives and the generations that are to come after us. We must realize: we are the change.

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Honoring Black History Month https://rangeviewnews.org/22178/video/honoring-black-history-month/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22178/video/honoring-black-history-month/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2020 04:58:02 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22178

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Girl Rising https://rangeviewnews.org/22172/news/rangeview-news/girl-rising/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22172/news/rangeview-news/girl-rising/#respond Mon, 02 Mar 2020 20:11:32 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22172 Trigger Warning: Mentions of mental illness, eating disorders, sexual assault/rape, and other descriptive tones. 

For the eighth year in a row, the female freshmen — alongside other students who have gone in the past — have traveled to Girl Rising, an event with the purpose of helping females feel empowered, confident, and that they are not alone in this chaotic world. 

During the experience, the room watches two films; the original Girl Rising shows clips from girls around the world who made a place for themselves, as well as Miss Representation, a film about social media portrayal and how women are doing based off of it. Alongside this, short advertisements for confidence are played; they prove to be beneficial. 

Around 260 freshmen go every year to tackle the issues of an everyday female teenager: self-image, body issues, and more importantly, confidence and empowerment. They look at the details of teenagers with mental Illness, education, poverty, and more sickening statistics to open eyes to what women truly go through. Around 50+ more people go as well, being student facilitators, staff, and other guest speakers and people some students won’t forget. 

Teacher Samantha Westerdale, commonly known in the Social Students department for her relatable teaching and hobbies, is a main facilitator for the event. Westerdale has been passionate about female empowerment even before the event and has helped it grow each year. 

“I feel that women and those who identify as female are not fully treated equally or equitably in today’s society as males. While it has improved, we can be more. To do this, we need to overcome the biases and prejudices which perpetuate sexist beliefs, and that means supporting one another as well as having allies,” Westerdale stated. 

During the event, freshmen do more than just watching films. They make goals throughout and take notes about how the film correlates to real life. The girls also speak with the facilitator at their table about some scary statistics that a lot of girls find relatable. 

About 65% of American women and girls have an eating disorder. 

Women make up 51% of the population and only 17% of Congress. 

Cosmetic surgery in youth under the age of 18 has tripled in a decade. 

One in six women are survivors of rape or attempted rape.  

In a single year, an estimated 150 million girls were victims of sexual violence. 

There are 34 million female adolescents out of school globally. 

Think about those statistics. Girls at Rangeview have had their eyes opened to how this affects them; how the commonality of these things among people who identify as female is uncanny. 

Westerdale giving a small speech on the power of women and her own struggles. (Alexis Drummond)

Anonymous stated, “Growing up, I wasn’t happy with my body. I constantly couldn’t stand the sight of it and ended up getting an eating disorder. Now that I look at how many people feel the same. I feel like I can get stronger, even though I’m still insecure today.”

While Girl Rising pertains to around the globe, Miss Representation goes for the United States; ads by Always (#LikeAGirl) aims at the state and it hits home for a lot of females at Rangeview. More importantly, female students have to look at how they will see themselves in the future, how they can grow from this experience. Even some student facilitators felt different after the event, even though they’ve already experienced it before. 

“I met some really interesting people and was honored to hear their stories and experiences,” freshman Briana Davidson said as she spoke about her experience. “I felt 10 times more secure knowing that people have similar struggles to mine.”

Even though the experience seemed boring and useless for some females, others found it to be alike to a therapy session: females supporting females. 

“Us females are really hard on each other,” Davidson commented. “I think I will always remember that day and the amazing people I met.”

Some groups went further to talk about sensitive topics and how it has affected them and their view on life. Freshman Aliyah Hidalgo voiced her opinions on this. 

“There were comforting people around me; it’s like I could be open about things, especially sensitive topics like sexual assault,” she stated. 

To add even more diversity to the event, some transgender persons spoke up as well.

“Being invited to something that made me feel female was really something I appreciated,” Anonymous said. “It felt empowering to be a woman in a room full of other women. It felt like home; I had a community there to support me.”

In addition, a couple felt like they could leave a piece of advice for future freshmen and for youth girls in general.

Freshman girls talk about struggles women have in day to day life: especially self-image issues.

“If a situation seems off, it’s not just you. You’re not being dramatic. You have people there to help you.” Hidalgo spoke. 

“We are constantly trashing each other to make ourselves feel better when we should have each other’s backs,” Davidson said. 

Even junior Ajahnae Norman, a facilitator, spoke up. “We need to support each other more often and open up about the topics that are normally shunned in social settings. Girl Rising really made me feel closer to my peers and I was glad I could make an impact.”

As cheesy as it was when you and your classmates went, it’s nice to think about the impact it had right after. The empowerment vibes, the strength among people you didn’t know until now, complete strangers building the staircase to freedom and strength. 

It didn’t matter whether the statistics applied to you or not, or if you knew the people sitting next to you. What mattered was the common motif of the friendships, the issues faced by normal girls and girls elsewhere that face poverty, lack of education, or that have been restrained from their full potential. 

Through the uncanny similarity of self-image issues to the extent of eating disorders, the violation of body whether it be by you or another person, lack of education, mental health, and family issues: strength is the glue that keeps the 51% of women in America and throughout the world together. 

Stay strong. You are not alone. If you keep your head held high and realize that you are worth much more than you know as a woman, you will make it so, so far. 

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Rangeview’s take on Black History Month https://rangeviewnews.org/22165/news/rangeviews-take-on-black-history-month/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22165/news/rangeviews-take-on-black-history-month/#respond Fri, 28 Feb 2020 04:29:47 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22165 Black History Month is a month of celebration of African American history, activism, and excellence. In 1926 the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored a National Negro History week, choosing the second week in February to coincide with the birthdays of Fredrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. In the following decades–specifically the 1960’s– the civil rights movement and the growth of black awareness Negro History Week became Black History Month on college campuses and eventually across the United States.

Rangeview High School is known for its strength in numbers and diversity. So as this significant month approaches, African American celebration has arrived. Here at Rangeview, students need to understand and feel as though their history is important. In our society, African Americans are often targeted, put down, and not appreciated for their efforts today as well as back then. 

“I think our kids are proud of who they are individually,” says Rangeview administrator DeLisha Boyd, “ they push to make sure they are in all of the spaces we have here at Rangeview High School by being involved in sports, theater, art–being involved here shows the representation of our students.”

At Rangeview there are several nuances to black culture and the black community. For example, the club for Black/African American Students also known as BAASA. Our sports also consist of the talents of commendable African Americans, like the boys and girls basketball teams. Our demographic as a whole is just an example of our diversity, as Rangeview’s student body consists of 20% African American students.

Sophomore Ola Folarin commented, “I feel like the black culture is very looked upon and loved at Rangeview. But also I feel like it’s taken disrespectfully in some ways, she continues, “like with the way people think Africans are/act and the way they talk about our culture, the misuse of the N-word but overall I get it’s not entirely negative.”

Rangeview students join together in the school store and hang out during their off period. (Salmata Soulemane)

Although our school may be so diverse, many have noticed the lack of spirit in Black History Month around the school. There are not many posters, decorations, or black awareness around the school. Some have voiced their opinions about the lack of respect for the month and its importance.

Senior Ibrahim Sanogo said, “I haven’t really seen the culture–like this is important right? but like you don’t see it in classes or see teachers talk about it.”

 Some students have also taken matters into their own hands, for example, BAASA has implemented sharing interesting/meaningful facts about African American people in history in the announcements. 

Folarin said, “Once a week this month, I dress in my cultural clothing and I plan on doing it even after black history month is over. I wear my natural hair every day to promote beauty with natural hair and I made a video project on black excellence.”

However, it is fair to say that more should be done in future years. There should be more, “I think it [Black History Month] is a good reminder of who we are as a nation and our background, good and bad,” says Sanogo.

In this day and age, ethnic groups suffer oppression and separation regardless of the struggles in the past. Sadly, such issues impact the youth and slowly take away the value of being different. It takes students like Ola Folarin to keep the importance alive to “stay woke”. 

Boyd says, “I really feel that if we as a society were as united as everyone wants us to be then we wouldn’t need a black history month, black history would be represented well in our history classes.” 

As time goes on and as the world changes, sometimes it changes for the better and sometimes for the worse. History specifically black history, seems to be suppressed and not fully taught and realized by the world, Boyd mentions, “…because of systemic racism then, and now in the present, this idea of black history is pushed underneath the surface.  Schools don’t necessarily teach as in-depth the history of African American history in the US.”

Black History Month, like any important holiday, comes with its ups and downs. It takes the strength of people and knowledge to take on this time and make the most of what its purpose is. It is safe to say that Rangeview’s black community has taken into their own hands what they want to see as far as black excellence. Regardless of black history and its negative aspects, it is still honorable to acknowledge all the battles that have been overcome and what the future holds.

“We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history.  What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.” 

– Carter Woodson

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Black History Month: The Mandela Effect https://rangeviewnews.org/22159/news/black-history-month-the-mandela-effect/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22159/news/black-history-month-the-mandela-effect/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2020 21:12:11 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22159 As Black History Month is coming to an end, a person worth noting is Nelson Mandela. Not only was he South Africa’s first democratically elected president, but he was also a political leader, fighting for freedom and peace. In 1961, Mandela’s acts led to his accusation  of treason while attending a raid along with other men and women of color. A year later, he escaped South Africa with a different name to gain support for the armed struggle in other parts of Africa and England. In 1964, he was transferred to a prison Robben Island for the second time and was imprisoned until 1982. It was during his imprisonment that people thought he had died behind bars. Among those people, was Fiona Broome who coined the term “Mandela Effect”, which “refers to apparently real memories that don’t match the documented history in this reality.” 

The Mandela Effect is seen in today’s pop culture through a variety of movies, games, and food. A common example is the spelling for the children’s show, The Berenstain Bears.People questioned whether it was spelled, Berenstein Bears or Berenstain Bears. While some remember the show written as Berenstein, the correct spelling has an “a” in the last syllable. These differences in memory have made people like Broome, question whether there is an alternate reality where memories clash.

When asked if she thought the Mandela effect was true, Junior, Samantha Fuentes stated, “I do think it’s true because groups of people remember [events or people] a certain way. I also think the media influences [those memories] to an extent.”

Some students, on the other hand, aren’t as convinced. “I didn’t know what it was at first but now that I do, I don’t believe it, it seems too surreal to me that there are alternate realities. We just all have shared memories. ” said Junior Berenice Leal. The concept of having two realities seems impossible to some students like Leal, since they can’t grasp the concept of the Mandela effect.

Most students know about this phenomenon through the media; people recall memory and if there is controversy over that memory it’s shared and spread around as the Mandela effect.

The Monopoly man and his monocle

The family board game Monopoly features the monopoly man in its logo. Contrary to popular belief he never had a monocle on his left eye.

“He actually never had a monocle?!? What… that’s weird,” said Samantha Fuentes. (Steemit)

The Evil Queen and her mirror

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie, many can remember the Evil Queen saying “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” However, if you watch the scene again, she says, “Magic, Mirror on the wall…”. 

Double Stuf Oreo or Double Stuff Oreo? 

The packaging purposely removes one “f” from the word “Stuff” to make the package for the extra creamy cookie unique.

(goodhousekeeping.com)

We are the Champions Ending

In the famous “We Are the Champions” tune from Queen, listeners can recall Freddie Mercury singing out, “of the world!” at the end of the song. Surprisingly he never sang this part and it was made up in listeners’ heads. 

Whether you believe this theory or not, there’s no denying that our differences in memories can affect the future. Many people were convinced that Mandela died in prison and some probably still do. If our memories continue to differ from each other, we can create confusion and controversy over events that did or did not happen. In the meantime, we can continue to find examples of the Mandela effect throughout our everyday lives. 

 

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Opinion: Asian Americans are politically inconspicuous https://rangeviewnews.org/22152/opinion-editorials/opinion-asian-americans-are-politically-inconspicuous/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22152/opinion-editorials/opinion-asian-americans-are-politically-inconspicuous/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2020 20:32:26 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22152 As a 17 year-old citizen of the United States of America, I’ll be able to vote for a presidential candidate who I believe would be a good candidate for the country since I’ll turn 18 by the time the general election comes around on November 3. 

In this day in age, adolescents rarely participate in politics. Teens, including myself, usually aren’t politically inclined for 4 reasons: lack of encouragement, lack of knowledge, barriers, and no interest.

The reason that stands out the most to me is teens are not interested in politics. Most of the time, we have the mindset that we don’t believe our vote would do anything to change our society or we don’t like the candidates who are running for president; however, another reason why I’m not actively into politics is because of my ethnicity. 

Hasan Minhaj, a popular and influential figure in our century, hosts a show called, “Patriot Act,” where he “explores the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity” with a comedic effect. As I scrolled through my YouTube feed, it recommended a clip from the show called, “Don’t Ignore the Asian Vote in 2020.”  Through facts and reliability, The video really opened my eyes on how inactive Asian Americans are in politics.  

Only 49% of Asian Americans who were eligible to vote voted in the last election. That explains why we almost always have the lowest voter turnout of any racial group

Shown by the chart, the Asian Americans eligible to vote over the years has gradually decreased and has the lowest voter turnout compared to other minority groups. That is the result of the lack of encouragement from politicians to get into government and politics (Pew Research).

“Due to the turnout of voters a few years ago, I’m disappointed that only 49% of Asian Americans have the lowest voter turnout,” said Kathy Truong, a college student at CCA. “Every vote counts when it comes to presidential elections, primaries, and etc.”

In the past, Asian people faced tons of immigration laws; for example, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prevented Chinese workers from entering the country. Later on, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1924 which prevented nearly every immigrant originating from Asia because back then, Americans thought the only Asian ethnicity was Chinese people. After Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan, more than 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were placed in internment camps. 

These acts demonstrated the racism they faced, and exclusion from American life; that changed in the 1960s when Congress passed the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, allowing multitudes of immigrants to immigrate to the United States. Initially, there were only 900,000 Asian Americans and after the law got passed, we now have about 19 million Asian Americans and that number will only continue to increase in the future. 

Despite our huge population, politicians don’t usually reach out to Asian Americans, meaning Asian Americans never want to turn out in the first place if politicians aren’t engaging with them. Even the only Asian American candidate running in the presidential election, Andrew Yang, got ignored by the press, only receiving less than seven minutes of airtime at the debates and being omitted from MSNBC’s graphics 12+ times. Within the video, Andrew Yang made a valid point with Hasan Minhaj on why Asian Americans aren’t politically engaged: Asian parents and their lack of emphasis on politics: since presidential candidates aren’t reaching out to my parents, that means my parents don’t have a focus on politics; consequently, children of immigrants’ main goal is to succeed in school and be able to make money. Politics doesn’t necessarily belong to that goal. 

“I received a ballot earlier this week and I just feel weird voting because my parents have never normalized it,” said Truong.

When Andrew Yang made that point, I related to that so much as a fellow Asian American; my parents just wanted me to focus on doing well in school to start off my path toward a successful future.

Even though politics isn’t a focal point in the Asian American community, I feel like we should participate more – because if we do, we will be a political force that can’t be stopped. 

Why should Asian Americans partake in politics, you may ask?

We should aim to improve representation because it will showcase that the government doesn’t only consist of old, white men. We need to represent the diversity the country has — give “a voice to the voiceless.” We had that in Andrew Yang. 

Former Democractic presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, gave a thumbs up at a primary debate in Los Angeles. People like Andrew Yang should take the chance to represent their ethnic groups in politics and government because we need different perspectives and a better portrayal of our country (Washington Post).

Personally, I was going to vote for him because not only of his bold choice to potentially be the first Asian American president, but his humble and kind personality along with his data-driven policies that really gave me hope in the political world. After all, he said himself that he didn’t run for president because he wanted to; he did because it was necessary. 

Unfortunately, he dropped out of the presidential race due to his poor showing and numbers in the New Hampshire primary.

Despite dropping out, Yang still wants to help change the future of the American economy. Yang said that “if I can solve these problems as someone’s vice president, a member of an administration, we just need to start solving these problems for the next generation, and I’m happy to do my part. I’m also happy to do my part to campaign for the nominee and beat Donald Trump in the fall.” 

Even if he’s not in the race anymore, he encouraged me to participate and I will continue to support him in the future when 2024 comes around. 

Also, who we vote for president is the person that’s going to lead this country. As one of the largest and fastest growing populations, the Asian American community has a lot of political power that could be used. In ways we could increase political participation, politicians should be prioritizing their time to outreach to Asian Americans along with eliminating language barriers because we should feel like we belong in the voting process. 

We will be a political force to be reckoned with in the future. We can’t hide within the shadows anymore. It’s our time to vote for someone who we believe in. 

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WEEKLY WRAP https://rangeviewnews.org/22150/video/weekly-wrap/weekly-wrap-18/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22150/video/weekly-wrap/weekly-wrap-18/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:17:02 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22150 https://rangeviewnews.org/22150/video/weekly-wrap/weekly-wrap-18/feed/ 0 Weekly Wrap https://rangeviewnews.org/22147/uncategorized/weekly-wrap-17/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22147/uncategorized/weekly-wrap-17/#respond Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:04:51 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22147

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Replace High School Athletes’ Drug Tests With Education https://rangeviewnews.org/22142/sports/replace-high-school-athletes-drug-tests-with-education/ https://rangeviewnews.org/22142/sports/replace-high-school-athletes-drug-tests-with-education/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2020 21:43:38 +0000 https://rangeviewnews.org/?p=22142 Imagine for a second that you’re in a sport, and you get caught by a teacher, coach, or even law enforcement, for using drugs like marijuana, alcohol, or maybe even performance enhancers.  Sure, you may get in some trouble, or maybe a fine, but nothing more than that… right? 

Well, if your name is Nick Hanna, you may have thought the same.  A high school senior at the time, Hanna was caught with a vaping device that had nothing more than residue that tested positive by law enforcement for marijuana in the state of Virginia. The charge?  Possession of drugs. The consequence? Suspension, which soon resulted in him having to transfer schools, along with colleges denying him, making his future uncertain (Washington Post).

In our society today, and for a long time before us, people of authoritative power seem to jump much too quickly to harsh punishment in response to relatively minor offenses. We see it all the time – for example, in 2016, a 75-year-old disabled veteran was sentenced to prison for the rest of his life for growing and distributing marijuana (VOX). Countless more in the United States are unjustly sentenced for long periods of time for possession. The unruly nature of drug offense punishments is more than evident.

In high school, it is no different.

Coach Carhart, head track coach at Rangeview, says that “usually, drug use accompanies other issues… I try to get to the bottom of what’s going on first.  I feel like if you take a punitive approach, you’re just going to lose them.” This is why a more effective solution to adolescent drug use in sports is education instead of the more common initial punishment.  

“I think that if you understand why I’m telling you not to do drugs, and we can create meaning behind staying away from it… and giving you something to shoot for as opposed to something to avoid is much more effective (than punishment),” said Carhart.

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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there are three main problems with drug screening adolescents in high school.  One of these problems is the punishment that a student may endure due to a drug offense. Excluding the involvement of law enforcement, students can be subject to suspension or expulsion by the school after a failed drug test, which I believe is simply not the answer.  

There are some drugs that some take that are completely fine, like prescription drugs, that will show up on a drug screening.  Another problem that the AAP cites is the fact that there are prescription drugs that may show up on a drug test. This can easily be considered to be an invasion of privacy, as the drugs that some students take can expose a very private situation that they deal with on a day to day basis.  

The final major problem acknowledged by the AAP comes from a study done by the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  In 2012, the department took a lengthy nationwide survey which, all in all, gave a multitude of results in different categories of the life of a high school student.  But, there was one striking outcome that came from this survey, which was that out of all adolescents with a substance abuse problem, less than 10% get any help. 

Less than 10%.

It is staggering and quite embarrassing to know that there are thousands of high school students that have these problems and are being neglected the help they need, all while being unjustly punished immediately.  Why is it that the first reaction to a student participating in drug use is to punish them so harshly?  

“I don’t think it’s fair (to drug test student-athletes), but we should let them do their athletics, and they should be able to do what they want,” said varsity wrestler Junior Nicholas Chounlamaney, “if they get caught, it’s on them.”  

In high school, students are naturally exposed to more and more aspects of life, whether they be good or bad.  Within this parameter, high school students are constantly exposed to drugs and alcohol that obviously are not healthy for a developing body.  The most common intoxicants that students are introduced to are marijuana and alcohol through friends, parties, or in some cases, even parents.  

For athletes in high school, it is not uncommon to have an idol or someone to look up to.  Some will do whatever it takes to be just like the athlete or athletes they idolize. While more common in college and professional sports, it is estimated that around 10% of high school athletes admitted to using steroids at some point in their life (The Recovery Village).  

This small portion of high school athletes is putting themselves at extreme risk.  According to Dr. Edward V. Craig, a sports medicinal expert, the more serious effects of adolescent steroid use include the increased risk of depression, aggressive behavior, liver damage, suicidal behavior, and even heart attacks. (NBC).

In high school, teams usually play games anywhere from once to three times per week, with exceptions given to sports that only have one competition per week.  Former coach and current math teacher Mr. Siverson says that during this high concentration of competition, “your body simply doesn’t have enough time to recover” when taking PEDs, “so really, there’s no real point in taking them.”  Steroid use is uncommon, but the use of other intoxicants like alcohol and marijuana is much more common. About one-third of students reported having drunk alcohol and 21% of seniors smoking marijuana, in the last 30 days. (LiveScience and VeryWellMind).  Since then, marijuana has been legalized in multiple states, so one could assume that this number is higher now in 2020.

The effects of drugs, of course, is no mystery to the general population of teenagers, but a certain sense of apathy has led to the continued use of these harmful drugs.  Even though high school students and athletes know the effects, they use these intoxicants anyway. 

Math teacher Mrs. Wetzel said that even though kids may know some effects of what they’re choosing to do, “if it’s their first time getting caught, then I think we as educators need to… educate them as much as we can and say ‘here’s the risk, here’s what’s happening to you, and if you take these risks, this could happen to you.’”  Wetzel also said “at some point, some degree of punishment needs to happen” if a student keeps choosing to participate in drug use after continued education and support.

Much like our prison system, and even in our school system, we have seen time and time again that punishment right off the bat only sometimes works.  If students and athletes alike were properly educated about what they were choosing to do, a significant decrease in drug use would likely ensue. Will education and support over drug tests and punishment completely solve the problem?  Of course not. But, it certainly is a step in the right direction in stopping adolescent drug use both in athletics and in the classroom.

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