News & Politics
"In a subtle way, you can shake the world."
― Mohandas Ghandi
― Mohandas Ghandi
Op-Ed: Dear society, we’re not just kids. Sincerely, the future adults of this country.
by Jocelyn Sung '18
These past few weeks have truly been something extraordinary. You see all these different students from schools across the country uniting under a shared cause. You see them transformed into student activists overnight. You see them fighting against the older opposition without basic high school diplomas or fancy college degrees.
It’s genuinely awe-inspiring. A staggering amount of people has always thought of teenagers as these rebellious, hormonal individuals. We’re too young to make important decisions. We’re too unruly to be considered proper members of society. It’s stereotypical. It’s condescending. And frankly? It’s getting old.
Haven’t these student activists proved nothing? Haven’t the innocents who have been unnecessarily slaughtered in these horrifying shootings proved nothing? Why is it that some of the adults of this society—and unfortunately, some of our own peers—keep telling us teenagers to sit down and be quiet? Why are our voices not being taken seriously? There are so many questions and so few answers.
I wanted to be a part of something that mattered. I wanted to do my part in attempting to make a difference. So I did. Or I tried to.
A majority of my classmates think of me as the quiet girl in class. I won’t argue with them. I contribute when I’m called on, but I stay silent otherwise. I do my best on my schoolwork in the hopes that I’ll be able to do my best later on in life. But despite my shy tendencies, I decided gun control was something I wanted—no, needed-- to advocate for. It’s too important for me to just stand back like I usually do.
In a letter I addressed to Principal Romero, I asked for his permission for GHS students to participate in the nationwide protest on March 14th. I wrote this:
“Mr. Romero, we understand that it is ultimately up to the district to decide if they will allow GMCS to participate in this protest or not. We are asking for your permission, and if you are willing to give it, we ask that you help bring our cause up to them. You might have a larger impact from your position as principal of Gallup High.
“We are not simply high school students as of now; we are young adults, respectfully asking to do our part in making a difference in this nation. Please, assist us.”
A week later, and I still hadn’t heard back from Romero. I was walking to my seventh hour after being released from NMSBA testing on Tuesday when I passed him in the hallway. I stopped him and asked what happened to my request, but he looked like he didn’t know what I was talking about. He asked me when it would be, how we would be handling it, who would be participating, and so on. They were all questions I already addressed in my letter.
He nodded after I repeated the information. “Meet me in the office at 10am tomorrow,” he said. “We’ll decide what to do from there.”
I relayed the encounter to a group chat on Snapchat, which was composed of a few of my classmates. While they agreed that it was strange, they said they would meet me in the office a few minutes before ten.
The next morning, the day of the protest, I was waiting in my second hour class. I already asked my English teacher for permission to participate, and she gave me the green light. I was beginning to gather my things when a sudden noise startled me. The fire alarm had unexpectedly gone off.
Everyone in my class shared perplexed expressions. A moment later, a woman spoke through the school announcement system. She confirmed that this wasn’t a drill and asked us to proceed to the exits. People started flooding toward the doors.
For a few minutes, I actually believed that the alarm was a response to something serious. But standing on the sun-warmed asphalt of the track outside the school, I paid a bit more attention to my surroundings. I realized that it wasn’t, for the following reasons:
Across the lot, the students of Chief Manuelito were standing on their football field. If this was something related to our building, Chief was far away enough to where it wouldn’t affect them.
Students were playing football and blasting music on their phones. If this was a serious, life-or-death matter, wouldn’t the teachers be making sure everyone was accounted for? Wouldn’t they be chastising us for messing around?
A teacher was standing a yard or two away from me, so I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation she was having with her students; “Do you guys know why they’re doing this? It’s obviously to stop you guys from marching out.” As the seventeen minutes ticked by, this became more and more apparent. It couldn’t have been a coincidence.
The alarm went off three minutes before the protest began. Everyone started walking back into the building five minutes after it ended.
Later, I would find out that the entire school district went through the same alarm. Chief Manuelito, Central High, Miyamura, etc.
A teacher told me it was because they were investigating a supposed gas leak. If that’s what it was, why would every single school in the district pull the fire alarm at the same time? Would a gas leak at Gallup High really affect Miyamura, which is miles away?
My younger brother, who’s a student at Chief, said that his principal told him the fire alarm went off for the actual protest itself.
The story doesn’t add up. Let’s say I give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that the fire alarm was set off for the sake of the protest. I would still be deeply upset about it either way. That would mean it was most likely a planned event, and the fact that none of us were notified about it is infuriating. We spent those seventeen minutes fuming about it instead of protesting. It was subtly taking away our most fundamental right: using our voices to protest a problem we see in society.
I wish they had told us no. I wish they had threatened us with suspensions. I wish they had outright prevented us from participating. Because then? Then I still would have had a choice. My classmates would have had a choice. We could have stood up for what we believe is important, what we believe is right. Then, it wouldn’t have been so disrespectful to both us, and the hundreds of innocents who have died in mass shootings.
I understand why they might have chosen this route. Perhaps they were trying to allow us to protest without offending the beliefs of other students and faculty members. Perhaps they wanted to make sure no one completely ditched by using the protest as an excuse. There could be a lot of reasons, but what is absolutely infuriating was that they felt like they didn’t have to discuss it with us. Is it because an entire week wasn’t enough time to track us down in class? Or is it because in the eyes of this society, we will always be viewed as nothing more than a bunch of pesky kids?
The Giant Rift In Africa
by Christina Maldonado '19
East Africa is expected to have a piece of land break off from the continent, but that's not expected until ten million years from now. But today, there is an issue regarding the surrounding area of Kenya’s Rift Valley. According to Face2Face Africa, the heavy rains and seismic activity is causing a giant, tearing gap in Kenya's Rift Valley.
The large rearing in the ground appeared on March 19 with the crack measuring at about 50 feet wide and several miles in length; however, the crack is growing more, lengthwise.
The rift has been reported that it was created due to the fact that Africa stands on plate tectonics and the most unstable ground on the continent. Most of Africa is on the African plate while eastern Africa lies on the Somali Plate, and when these two meet, it is known as the Eastern African Rift, which stretches out to 1,800 miles.
Perez Diaz, a postdoctoral researcher at the Fault Dynamics Research Group at Royal Holloway, University of London mentioned that the two plates (commonly known as the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate) are beginning to split in two due to their tectonic plates.
However, the crack is not fully continuous, because it is filled with “bridges" of soil, there are no signs of clear escarpments, and the land on either side of the crack is flat. This evidence shows that the rift was caused by “sudden erosion”. Also, there has been no reports by the authorities in Kenya regarding earthquakes.
Africa will split at a rate of less than 1cm/year, but the cause is not from newly forming tectonic plates.
Sinclair Broadcasting System Forces Anchors To Read Their Script
by Christina Maldonado '19
The Sinclair Broadcasting Group has given the public a different outlook upon journalist. Last month, a variety of news stations across the United States had their anchors read identical speeches on air, which was constructed by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. Sinclair Broadcasting group is not as well known as Fox News’s News Corp. or CNN’s Turner Broadcasting System, but the company owns the largest amount of local television stations in the country. It has 193 stations with in 81 broadcast marketing that is stretched from coast or coast.
The speech also included a warning regarding fake news , promised to report fairly and accurately; the news stations also asked their viewers to visit their website and comment “if you believe our coverage is unfair.”
Many viewers may have noticed that reporters were reading the same script, but the video director of Deadspin, Timothy Burke was suspicious. Mr. Burke had read a report last month from CNN, and it included quotes from local station anchors who were “uncomfortable” with the speech. Burke tracked down the stations and discovered when each had aired, he referred it to as a “forced read.”
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published a copy of the speech last week, and reported that employees at a local news station at KOMO were “unhappy” about the script. On March 7th, CNN reported that the senior vice president of news Sinclair, Scott Livingston had read “almost the exact same speech” for a segment that went out a year ago.
The broadcast areas of Sinclair stations voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 19-point margin, according to an analysis of the company’s markets by The Washington Post’s Philip Bump. President Trump tweeted about Sinclair, “ Do funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”
#March For Our Lives
by Christina Maldonado '19
There were many students who gathered to support, and honor the people who lost their lives due to gun violence by expressing their support in a variety of ways- they used posters, wore certain colors, posted on social media, or wore hoodies that had a hashtag or slogan on it.
In New York, an abundance of marchers wore the official color for gun control violence advocacy group- the color orange- and they charged their way to Central Park.
In every American state, there were more than 800 posters planned, even in “gun-friendly” cities. There were small groups of gun supporters who also marched Saturday, the 24th of March. They too had signs, but they were not the one with #ENOUGH; however, one of the signs in Salt Lake city read: “What can we do to stop mass shootings? SHOOT BACK?”
The March For Our Lives were planned by a group of students who attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. These students have a mission statement and it is to :“demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.”
There were hundreds of thousands of marchers with their voices, signs, and etc to express their opinion, but The White House had only a statement to say about the event and the marchers. That statement was, “We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today.”
Seventeen year old Casey Sherman says, “After all this heartbreak, we have come back stronger than ever. Those 17 people did not die in vain. We will stop at nothing until we make real, lasting change.” Sherman is a student who attends Douglas high school, and one of the rally organizers in Parkland, Florida.
The Meaning of the Walkout
by Christina Maldonado '19
Only a month has passed from the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; the shooting concluded seventeen deaths of staff and students, which was caused by guns. Many students believed that they should never have to run for their lives again, so they decided that they could walk. Students across the nation came together; they left their school by the hundreds, and thousands at ten o’clock in the morning. New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, and Santa Ana are a few places that had students participate in the walkout. This walkout was created to show respect for the people who lost their lives from school shooting, and to express their opinions about gun violence.
Last week, the governor signed a bill last week that raised the minimum age for purchasing a firearm to the age of twenty-one. This was from the students of Stoneman Douglas High, and other schools that went to rally.
Some of the schools’ students were punished for leaving school, but others encouraged their student to participate in a walkout; if the school did not allow the walk out, they, the students were informed of the disciplinary consequences ahead of time. At many schools, there were teachers and parents who joined in on the walkout. The walkouts usually lasted seventeen minutes, one for each victim from the Parkland shooting.
In Colorado, Ms. Tyner stood with her thousands of students who had signs. One of the sign said, “This is our future,” and other students release balloons of the color red, white and blue. Students across the nation showed their movement on social media by posting on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media, so people can see how important it is to them, and how many people are there to support the movement.
In other places, Wednesday was just another day in the week, and classes went on. Some people have little interest for the lives of other people, the act of protesting, but as you see the news, you can see that the walkout was meaningful to a large amount of people.
Lassa Fever: The Disease With No Vaccine
by Christina Maldonado '19
There have been an overstretched of health workers. A number of these workers have been infected and died. Lassa fever is also called “viral haemorrhagic fever;” it can affect the organs, which can damage the blood vessels of the body. It is difficult to treat Lassa fever.
The ones infected with Lassa fever will sometimes experience zero symptoms. Some of the people will experience symptoms that are minor. The experienced symptoms consist of a fever, a headache, and general weakness. The Nigerian outbreak has gone through more than 20% of fatality; normally, Lassa fever has a fatality rate of about one per cent.
Lassa is an intense illness. About 90 people are thought to have died from the Lassa fever, but the numbers could be much higher since there are no vaccines. Women have an 80% of losing their own life, or losing the life of their child when they contact the disease late in their pregnancy.
Most people catch Lassa from coming in contact with anything contaminated with rat urine, blood or saliva, and faces; these contacts happen from either drinking, eating, or handling anything contaminated. It can also be passed from person to person. This transaction is through body fluids. The most at risk are healthcare workers, and people taking care of sick relatives.
Nigeria has a strong public health system, because they’re used to dealing with these types of epidemics. The World Health Organization is working with Nigerian authorities, and the UK government has deployed a team of experts from its Public Health Rapid Support Team.
Cape Town's Crisis is Averted, For Now
by Jocelyn Sung '18
This problem was brought on by an ongoing drought. Without rainfall resupplying the aquifer that lays under Cape Town, water reserves have reached a catastrophic low. Authorities presiding over the town have been ordering residents to only use a specific amount of water: 13.2 gallons for each person each day.
At first, it was somewhat tolerable, if not a nuisance. While it was nothing compared to the 80 to 100 gallons the average American uses on a daily basis, Cape Town residents did what they had to in order to push back Day Zero as far as they could. Their efforts haven’t been for nothing, thankfully. Officials claim that Cape Town is safe; for 2018 at least.
However, after the amount of time these regulations have been in effect, Cape Town has truly been feeling the strain. When washing their hands, residents have to abandon traditional water and soap for hand sanitizer. To prevent using their precious rations, they have to use plastic dishes instead of regular ones. It’s shockingly unhygienic; some individuals choose to reuse their own dirty bathwater, unable to even have the luxury of a hot shower.
This doesn’t even consider the amount of time they have to spend regulating their own water usage. People have to stand in queues in order to be supplied their ration for the day, lugging large containers with them. Once they get home, household chores become considerably harder. What could have been done in a few minutes before might require an hour now.
The people of Cape Town are hoping that the drought takes mercy on them eventually; if it doesn’t, what lies ahead for these people could be irreparable consequences.
by Christina Maldonado '19
The Siberian weather system has continued to bring chaos with the large amount of freezing conditions. The roads have been closed, and hundreds of flights were forced to be canceled, because of blizzards and heavy snowfall. Europe has been experiencing these harsh weather conditions, and can be felt from as far as the south of the Mediterranean. There have been rising numbers of deaths; the deaths rose up to about 55 due to the weather conditions. The World Health Organization gave a warning about this current weather condition; the migrants and the homeless will be hit the hardest by this “big storm.”
“These most at risk of cold-related illness include elderly people, children, and people who have chronic diseases or physical or mental limitations,” was said by the World Health Organization.
Weather conditions have been given different names according to its location. In the United Kingdom, it's refereed as “the Beast from the East.” The Dutch refer the weather as “Siberian bear.” The “Snow cannon” is what the Swedes call the weather system.
The “balmy” beaches of the French Riviera has experienced snow. The heaviest snowfall in decades is supposed to be in Ireland; Storm Emma moves toward the South.
Thursday morning, the airport in the Swiss city of Geneva was forced to shut down. About 2,000 drivers in France complained about being stuck on a motorway near the city of Montpelier for as long as 24 hours.
AFP news reports that there has been 7 people reported dead since Sunday on Slovakia, and the Czech Republic has had 6 more deaths in recent days. Lithuania had 5 deaths reported, and 4 in France. Serbia, Italy, Slovenia, and Romania each had 2 deaths. One death in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
America’s Ugly Ducklings (Satirical Op-Ed)
by Jocelyn Sung '18
A beautiful dusk begins to fall over the forest, and the arrival of the moon brings a symphony of sounds. Crickets chirp with excitement from a ditch of tall grass while owls hoot with anticipation from the leafy treetops above; even an army of ants pause their never-ending work to watch as a flurry of white bodies proceed down a well-beaten path.
This is a monthly occurrence. The swans, ever so graceful, glide through the forest on swift, clementine-colored feet. They carefully poise their elegant necks in such a stiff manner that their beaks are pointed upwards in the cool air. It’s almost as if accidentally glancing at the sickening sight of their inferiors will simply be too much to bear. One look and their pureness will be tainted.
The other animals of the forest, such as the hardworking squirrels, can’t be bothered to gape at the parade like the crickets, the owls, the ants. Frost is quickly approaching, and the forest had not been kind to them this year. As they always have been, nuts and other delicacies were extremely scarce for them.
Perhaps this year, they think, we will be forced to gnaw on sticks to appease the rumbling of our stomachs. But what do such pessimistic thoughts do? Nothing. So the squirrels work. But secretly, they all understand that no matter how much they struggle, overcome, and struggle some more, their efforts are never enough.
The forest animals immediately notice that this particular procession is quite curious. Rolling behind the ever-so pompous flock of swans is what appears to be a hoard of tumbling, dirtied feathers. The bystanders gawk, murmured questions racing through the air as they wonder what they are doing here.
Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that these are not merely soiled balls of muddy plumes, but rather a cluster of clumsy ducklings. In fact, these are the ducklings, the rather atrocious descendants of the majestic swans. They stumble behind their parents on unsteady feet, often tripping and falling over each other as they eagerly rush ahead. Their eyes gleam with wonder, their necks crane at unbelievable angles to take in as many of the forest’s beauties as they can, but something immediately sets the ducklings on edge.
The forest animals glare at them with absolute disgust. The wolves bare their razor-like teeth in their direction, and the rainbow-scaled fish splash them as they waddle by a pond. The ducklings are completely surprised by this unwarranted hatred, so they tame their excitement as best as they can, following their parents in an abashed silence for the rest of the way. Their feet are still too large for their small bodies, though. Occasionally, one duckling stumbles forward, and the unlucky individual has to deal with the ugly snickers that echo after him or her.
“What are they doing here?” a cub asks his mama bear, tree sap stuck to his chocolate-colored fur.
The mama bear rolls her eyes, hurrying her child along. “Absolute simplicity on the swans’ behalf,” she huffs. “I’m sure they thought bringing the ducklings along to experience how the council functions would be a good idea, but all those ugly brats will do is cause a ruckus.”
By the time the procession arrives at their destination, they have completely forgotten about everything. No longer do their webbed feet complain of the soreness that came with the journey, and by now, they have completely forgotten about the maliciousness of the forest animals. They are back to gawking, to squeaking with delight and running around in dizzying circles as they take in the new sights.
A deep pit has been carefully dug into the soft ground of the earth. An oval in the exact center is filled to the brim with clear, crisp spring water. Brilliant leaves in all shades of bright yellow, warm orange, and flaming red drift along the rippling surface, a quiet reminder that autumn is truly coming to an end. It reminds the ducklings of how crucial this gathering is to the forest. Here, their parents will be making decisions critical to all of the animals’ survival.
The ducklings settle to the side, feathers ruffled with anticipation. They wait with their breaths held, almost as if they’re afraid that one misplaced exhale will disrupt the beauty of it all.
Their parents, however, surprised the ducklings even more. Instead of arranging themselves in an orderly fashion as the ducklings were expecting, the swans group into two. Both halves spend a good hour simply glaring at each other, honking threateningly before ruffling their own feathers in agitation. The ducklings share perplexed looks, but they return to silently observing. There must be a method to this madness, they reassure themselves. They will do something eventually.
And the swans do, but by the time they finally seat themselves around the oval pond, night has completely fallen. The ducklings huddle together, shivering against the bitter chill as the moon breathes ice on their muddy feathers. A few of them feel their eyelids drooping, as they have never stayed up this late before. Nonetheless! They must stay up! Who knows when will be the next time they will receive such an opportunity like this? This may be the last time they see how the council functions before they become the swans.
Yet, the swans are not discussing matters that pertain to the overall good of the forest. One swan with a nasally squawk voices his approval when another with a particularly strange arrangement of feathers on top of his head honks loudly. “Animals complaining about the humans coming into the forests with chainsaws, threatening to cut down our trees?” the strange one screeches. “I say we take those chainsaws and threaten to cut down their houses! That will make them leave us alone!”
One portion of the swans cheer with agreement; the other, however, look as if they want to slam their beaks into the soft dirt of the pit. “Sir, we don’t see how this would be a good idea,” one swan begins. “We believe that we should....”
The squabbling goes on for hours. It seems that whenever the swans are finally about to reach a solution, one swan has to put forth another topic of discussion that completely unravels all of their previous plans. When the face of the morning sun tentatively peeks out from over the peaks of the violet mountains in the distance, one duckling has had enough.
“Leader Feathered Rump,” she chirps, standing unevenly on her clumsy feet. “I do believe that a simple solution to all of your problems is a compromise. Why can you not give both sides something they want? Why do you keep insisting on a plan that only benefits your party of swans? If you allow the humans a portion of the trees in exchange for a promise that they will replant them afterwards, wouldn’t that make everyone happy? You could also ask for a bit of extra food to ensure the squirrels do not go hungry this winter.”
The duckling takes a deep breath, satisfied with herself. She presented the most logical solution to the swans’ problem, one that helps both the humans and the forest. Surely they can all go home now! Her own nest sounds so enticing right now…
She’s about to drift off to sleep, standing right there, when a sharp laugh jerks her awake. Her eyes widen to see who’s laughing. She’s shocked when she sees it’s no one other than Leader Feathered Rump himself! She flinches away a bit.
“How adorable!” Rump cackles. “A true politician right there! What’s your name, Miss?”
The once-brave duckling shrinks back even more. “Lilac,” she whispers, on the verge of tears.
Rump crows to the rising sun. “Little Lilac! Do you really believe you can propose a solution that will actually work to a council of experienced professionals? Of course not!” He turns to the swans seated behind him. “Can anyone please remind Little Lilac what she is?”
“An ugly duckling!” someone offers from the very back. Lilac feels more tears spring to her eyes, but she refuses to shed them. She will not.
Rump moves his wings together in a clapping motion, even though his feathers muffle any sound they make. “Correct! Now, Little Lilac, we’re all aware of the fact that you would love nothing more than to be cuddled in your nest at home. I would like to be as well. Now, please let the swans settle this, and be patient, little ugly duckling!”
So Leader Feathered Rump turns back to his fellow swans, and once more, the bickering continues with a full force. Lilac retreats to the other ugly ducklings, sobbing to herself as she does so.
This op-ed was originally going to be about some of the outrageous demands schools make of students regarding dress code, but I decided that this particular topic was much more necessary, given recent events.
Survivors of the Parkland school shooting in Florida have been trying to make a difference in America, if you haven’t heard yet. They have been fighting for gun reform by trying to ensure that it will be more difficult for individuals with mental illnesses or histories of violence to purchase guns. So far, some adults have claimed these student-activists are paid actors. Others have claimed that their grief has been taken advantage of by left-wing political groups.
I want to remind you, as a member of Generation Z, you can make a difference in this society. Adults will try to tell you that you are, and I quote, a “kid.” I will tell you that the “hippies” of the 1900’s managed to end unnecessary killing from the Vietnam War. I will tell you that the some of the same adults telling you that you are a “kid” look at black children as dangerous criminals, but claim the Parkland shooter is simply a troubled individual.
I want to remind you, millennials and baby boomers, to encourage your younger siblings. I understand there are some discrepancies between our generations. I realize it is more difficult for you to understand why we do some of the things we do because you grew up in a different era. But shouldn’t we stand together? Why do we constantly divide ourselves because we do not understand one another? Do you support unnecessary killing? So why are some of you looking at Generation Z standing up for life, and ridiculing them for it? Don’t ridicule them. Encourage them, help them.
When you turn eighteen, Generation Z, I encourage you to vote. Millennials, baby boomers, I encourage you to vote. I encourage you to empower people who will actually work to make a difference in this nation, to fight for black lives, to fight for gun reform, or whatever you believe in. If you do not agree with something, speak up about it (in a respectful manner, of course). Generation Z, do not let these chains of being “just a kid” hinder you from making a difference, from making history. Millennials, baby boomers, do not let these discrepancies in time hinder you from supporting your younger siblings in their fight for change.
Gun Laws and Gun Safety Courses
Christina Maldonado '19
Should you have to take a gun safety class before purchasing a firearm? Some Americans think that it will reduce gun violence and many others believe that they should not have to take a course to purchase or own a firearm. Each state in the United States have their own laws when it comes to firearm purchasing or owning.
The state of Iowa, Maryland, and North Carolina require a permit before purchasing a gun. Michigan requires a license to carry the firearm and it is valid for thirty days. Nebraska needs a handgun certificate from a buyer. New York needs a license to purchase or possess a handgun. Rhode Island requires a pistol/revolver safety certificate issued by the state.
There are certain conditions that are involved for obtaining a license and they are :
There are many deaths caused by firearms. 4.4 of every 100,000 residents of New York died from gun related causes. Rhode Island and Massachusetts had a lower rate than New York Massachusetts was the lowest with 3.4 gun related dea5hs for every 100,00 residents. Alaska has the highest gun death rate with 23.3 for every 100,000 people dying from a gun related cause in the year of 2016. In 2016, New York State reported 900 gun related deaths. This was the 17th highest number in the country. Texas was in a higher position with 3, 353 deaths due to a firearm.
The NRA Training website can help interested gun buyers to take a gun safety class online or find a NRA education course near their area. More information about the course can be found on their website.
School Shooting in Parkland Florida
Christina Maldonado '19
There was a school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, February 15th. This school shooting caused seventeen deaths. Many young survivors are expressing their views against gun violence. The shooting was ranked in the top ten deadliest gun rampages in the country; three of the shootings just happened in the previous four months.
Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, said, ”The violence has to stop. We cannot lose another child in this country to violence in a school.” He promised to meet with the lawyers of the state in search for solutions involving gun control and mental illness.
Nicolas Cruz is a nineteen year old shooter. Cruz is charged with seventeen counts of premeditated murder. The gunman entered the compound, which consisted of three thousand students. The shooter began to shoot at 2:19 pm and made his way down the halls, then to the different floors of the school building. Twelve deaths occurred inside the school building; two other deaths happened outside the building, and one death on the street. Two other deaths happened in the hospital and fourteen people were injured.
The interrogators from the Brown County sheriff’s office got a statement from Cruz about when the shooting started, and apparently “he began shooting students he saw in the in the hallways and on school grounds.” Cruz ran out of the building when he saw an opening, but before he left the building, he left his bag and rifle, so he could look like the rest of the students - running out to protect themselves from the shooter- and find his way far from the school. Cruz then went to a Walmart to purchase a drink from Subway, and made his way to McDonald’s. Cruz was finally arrested at 3:41 pm.
Abuse: Cocaine and Opiates
by Sydney Teran '18 and Sage Addington '18
Ambush! contacted the Gallup Police Station, the Gallup Indian Medical Center, and Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services to ask how many cases of cocaine and opiate abuse they have witnessed, and how many of those cases were minors. Only one person got back to Ambush! Journalists. Philip Hart, Chief of Police, referred our questions to Narcotics Commander Lt. Padavich. Hart said he appreciated the newspaper’s interest “as it affects our entire nation.” Padavich has yet to comment.
Like any drug, there are risks that come with taking it. A 2011 report from the Drug Abuse Warning Network showed nearly 1.3 million emergency visits were from misuse or abuse of drugs. 40% related to the use of cocaine. What can happen if taken? Some short-term effects are dilated pupils, increased body temperature, as well as high heart and blood pressure. Some psychological effects include, as some users reported, irritability, paranoia, anxiety (attacks), and hallucinations. Each individual may have a different experience with the drug, resulting in effects not being the exact same. Although the long-term effects might match up. A continuation can lead to strokes, convulsions, cardiac arrhythmias, and the worst case scenario: death. Cocaine can also cause inflammation in the heart muscle and other difficulties from the strain cocaine puts on the heart. Seizures and brain bleeds are also high risks. Risks can affect everyday activities leading up to losing one’s job, close ones, and even bankruptcy.
Cocaine is known to be one of the most addictive drugs; next to nicotine, heroin, alcohol, and caffeine. Now I know what you’re thinking, caffeine? How is that as bad as the others. Well according to the Drug War Facts (DWF) caffeine is ranked a 2, second to last for dependence. Dependence meaning the difficulty to quit. The last ranked a 1 for dependence was marijuana. How much does it take to get addicted to cocaine? The answer is simple, tolerance can occur after a couple doses. It doesn’t have to be a lot and can want you craving more which then is the start to the addiction.
For this article, GHS Ambush! talked to a teen cocaine and opiate abuser. To protect the identity of the interviewee, they have been given a code name: Andy. All other names in this interview have also been changed. The interview was conducted by Sage Addington.
To some, it might sound like Andy did not seem to take the interview seriously, but I know my friend better than that. Andy covers his emotions with laughter and smiles, but my friend can have a dark head. When I first confronted him to ask for an interview, Andy immediately exclaimed, “F*ck, yeah! Interview me! I’m perfect, my dad is seriously about to send me to rehab for coke.” I found out after the interview a friend of Andy’s told his dad.
With permission, I started off with my first question, “How old were you the first time you tried cocaine?” Andy thought for a moment before saying, “Eighth grade, so like, thirteen.” We had met in the eighth grade and were good friends. Andy would come over to my house, and we’d walk everywhere around Gallup. Now I’m not too sure we were really that close. A little taken back I asked, “How were you able to obtain cocaine?” “My friend Liz and I would steal it from her mom,” Andy began to laugh, “Her coke was really sh*t.” When asked how Andy currently obtains cocaine, he simply said he “steals it” or picks up people so they can buy it.
I was sure I already knew the answer, but inquired, “Do you ever mix substances?” “All the time,” Andy scoffed. “What kind?” “I usually smoke weed, drink a little, and sometimes take a pill.” “What kind of pills?” I was writing down Andy’s replies when a small period of silence was created. “I don’t know,” Andy admitted, a thoughtful look on his face. “You don’t kn--” Andy cut me off, “It's like Xanax and something.” I didn’t push that question much further, “Do you abuse at school?” “I don’t go to school,” Andy cackled. I laughed a little at the remark, “Okay, how about when you went to school?” Andy dropped out of high school last year. He tells me he just hated going to school, but his father said that “kids weren’t too nice to him.” “Um, yeah,” Andy grinned widely and took out his phone. A minute later, Cardi B was blasting from the bluetooth.
“Do you think doing drugs is morally wrong?” I asked over the music. ”Good people don’t do drugs. I do drugs,” Andy shrugged, laughing, but avoiding eye contact. “You’re not a bad person,” I impulsively said, but it wasn’t entirely true, so I added on, “To me at least.” Andy’s always been a mischievous kid… Stealing his mom’s cigarettes at age nine and asking adults to buy us booze with the baby fat still in his cheeks. A couple of my friends have told me that Andy has stolen from them or lied to them on a constant basis, but I never got that kind of disrespect. Andy has always kept it straight with me and I feel like I can count on him, but lately the “friends” he hangs out with have me worried. Whenever they come over for a brief it they talk about their drug cocktails and brag about their lack of memory the next morning. Andy tells me he hates them, but they always have weed and something else, so he hangs out with them. Since hanging out with this crowd, Andy’s been stealing more often.
“If you think doing drugs is bad, then why do you do them?” “Because I’m addicted,” Andy said a bit seriously. “A f*cking crack fein,” he added, making sniffling noises. We laughed quietly at the sniffling, but I could tell we both knew the moment was serious. “Seriously though,” I began, “Why did you first try it?” “Because it looks cool,” Andy didn’t hesitate with his answer. “I’m not buying that,” I said, skeptical. “I just wanted to try it,” Andy replied. “You just wanted to try it?” I questioned. “I thought it would be a good high, like in the movies.”
“So is it worth it?” I asked my final question. “No,” Andy shook his head, “It’s not. It’s so f*cking expensive and it doesn’t do sh*t. Like, honestly, I wish I could spend my money on something else.”
There are other methods of intake that come with their own set of consequences. Smoking cocaine can cause lung problems, bronchitis, or chronic cough. Ingesting, another form of intake can reduce blood flow. One everyone might have heard is snorting. Not only can it damage sinuses and the nasal cavity, that can result in nosebleeds, loss of smell, and swallowing problems. Injecting too can lead to scarring, skin lesions, collapsed veins, and risk of being infected with diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
Cocaine might be a good “high” for awhile but is the end game worth it all? If you are having difficulty quitting, or know someone who might need help here are a list of people or sites you can contact.
Confusion Over the Emergency Alerts; What’s Happening?
Jocelyn Sung ‘18
Remember the mass panic that ensued when a false emergency alert notification warning people about an “incoming ballistic missile” was received by thousands of Hawaiians in January? You might have seen a few of the jarring videos over social media. There were people with tears welling up in their eyes as they wished their loved ones well, no matter what happened to them. There were adults helping kids no older than ten into sewage drains, hoping that doing so would protect them from a threat—unbeknownst to them at the time—that never existed.
This false alarm was later said to be the result of a human error. Over Twitter, Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, tweeted that he was meeting with “top officials of the State Department of Defense and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency… to prevent it from happening again.”
While there haven’t been any more false alarms from Hawaii, people became a bit concerned on Tuesday after they heard that there was a tsunami alert.
This information wasn’t spread through the Wireless Emergency Alert like the Hawaii ballistic missile warning was; the National Weather Service claims that the message was only a test, “intended only to go to state warning points and certain other government agencies.” News and weather services noticed the test message, and they posted it to both their apps and social media.
People thought that this was a serious message and began calling the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), asking if there was a tsunami warning. The National Weather Service and other news channels began telling their followers over social media that this alert was simply a test message, and that there was never a tsunami threat for New England.
Some are wondering if this confusion is somehow related to the Hawaii missile alert, considering that the two events aren’t too far apart in time. Either way, it’s always better to be safer than sorry. If an immediate threat is posed to your safety, don’t think twice; seek immediate shelter.
Taiwan's Current Earthquake
Christina Maldonado '19
A powerful earthquake hit the east coast of Hualien Taiwan with a magnitude of 6.4 quake. This happened at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday. The earthquake was centered 14 miles northeast of the coastal city of Hualien. All of Taiwan could feel the shaking, but the most disastrous place that was Hualien, because there were walls collapsing and it left buildings at an “alarming” position.
Officials reported 62 people missing and 9 deaths. Most of the missing people were believed to be trapper in the 12 story Yun Men Tsui Ti Building. There had been an estimated amount of 196 people rescued from that building.
Hualien residents are used to earthquakes, but despite that, the region is well known for its beauty.
The people I interviewed did not experience a high magnitude earthquake, but I found their stories interesting and exciting. Everyone who has not experienced an earthquake probably could picture what the scene looks like, but I think these interviews will give a better picture of what it is. I interviewed Jocelyn Sung about her experience.
Maldonado: At what age did you experience the earthquake and where did it take place?
Sung: The most recent one I can remember happened when I was about twelve or thirteen in Menifee, California.
Maldonado: Could you describe the earthquake and tell whether it was intense or not?
Sung: A few people I've met think living in California is experiencing intense earthquakes more often than not, but I've actually slept through a majority of them because they're so tiny. (They happen at night more, or at least that's what I've experienced). This one was a bit stronger than others, which is why I woke up. I could see the picture frames trembling on the walls.
Maldonado: Do you recall the first thing you did and why you did so?
Sung: In all honesty, I was still trying to wake up. I remember sitting there and telling myself that it would probably be smart to crawl under the table, since that's what my teachers always reminded us to do in case of an earthquake. Before I could shake off the sleep enough to do so, it already ended
Maldonado: Have you encountered earthquakes before or after that one you've mentioned?
Sung: Yeah. I know I’ve experienced other earthquakes that I just slept through, but they all blend into each other after a while. Luckily, I haven’t had the misfortune to find myself in one of a large enough magnitude to cause some serious damage.
I also interviewed Zyla Layugan about her first time experiencing an earthquake.
Maldonado: At what age did you experience your first earthquake and where you aware of it?
Layugan: I experienced an earthquake when I was ten years old and living in the Philippines. I was aware that a volcano was erupting near, but I did not think that t would reach where I lived, because it was far.
Maldonado: Could you describe your reaction to the earthquake?
Layugan: I was astonished. My brother and I had to run to my mom, but I wasn’t scared.
Maldonado: Did you experience any more earthquakes after, and if so, was your reaction the same ?
Layugan: I have not experienced more than that one
Maldonado: How intense was the earthquake?
Layugan: It was not intense. However, the glasses in the cabinet was shaking and we could hear them moving.
The interviews were interesting, because I did not know these people had experienced an earthquake. If you know someone with an earthquake story, then you should ask about their experience.
*This article is a retraction, though no information was changed. The article was accidentally posted without being titled as an Op-Ed
by Christina Maldonado '19
Just Be Inc was the beginning steps of the #MeToo Movement. Tarana Burke was a youth worker who worked with children of color. Burke heard many stories about broken homes, and abusive or neglectful parents. During this time, Burke met Heaven.
Heaven was a girl who left Burke speechless. The young girl would follow Ms. Burke around, so she could beg her to listen to what she was going through. Burke sat down to listen about Heaven's ‘stepdaddy’ or her mother's boyfriend. Heaven talked about the horrible and monstrous things that were being done to her body, but this talk lasted less than five minutes. Burke had to stop the young girl from talking because Burke couldn't take it. The girl had to be directed to a different female counselor who could ‘help her better.’
“... I watched her walk away from me as she tried to recapture her secrets and tuck them back into their hiding places. I watched her put her mask back on and go back into the world like she was all alone and I couldn't bring myself to whisper… me too.” -Tarana Burke, the founder of Just Be Inc.
The #MeToo Movement is supposed to help others feel like they are not alone. Sexual harassment can happen anywhere. It is important to understand when it's happening and to know that it is safe to speak out about it.There are terrible things that happen to those who try to speak out. There may be threats, name calling, or other relationship issues.Threats are not taken lightly, because the abusers want to push the victims back into silence, and that is not what the #MeToo Movement is about. This movement is supposed to help victims express their voice. These incidents of sexual harassment and abuse are real problems happening in the world, yet not everyone is seeing what is happening.
The work place is one of the most common places where sexual harassment can occur. When there is an issue at work, there should be people who can help handle the situation and this help can be found in the Human Resource (HR) Department. This department is in the work environment to help with hiring, training, employe interaction, etc. I was able to get a document from a restaurant and see how sexual harassment is something that they're aware of and they do not tolerate it.
Jolene is a supervisor for the restaurant Cheii’s Restaurant. She stated that the employees should be well aware of how their behavior should be, because their employee handbook has a section that covers Sexual Harassment in the section under Human Resources Policies and Procedures.
Supervisor Jolene was able to provide a copy of the sexual harassment section found in the employees’ handbook. The document reads
2. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to actions such as:
There may be workplaces who do not handle these types of situations or acknowledges these incidents. Some employees may not feel like enough can happen so it might come to reporting a lawsuit.
Bruce Johnson from Davis Wright Tremaine talks about the impact of the #MeToo Movement. The victims of sexual harassment and sexual abuse have “drawn an outpouring” of testimonies from the #MeToo Movement. A variety of lawyers say they’ve seen a “spike of defamation” when it comes to the recent years of lawsuits. More than a half dozen of women called Johnson in the past two months, because they were being threatened for telling their story. If you want more information when it comes to lawsuits, visit American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) website.
Sexual harassment is something that should be taken seriously and people should understand the true meaning of #MeToo and what it represents.
World Wide Flu
by Christina Maldonado '19
The flu season is spreading worldwide. The CDC estimates that the flu has resulted between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses. 12,000 to 56,000 deaths have been reported each year in the United States since the year 2006.
The federal health officials say that the flu rates have been intense since 2006, because of the swine flu pandemic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 34 million Americans got the flu during the year of 2014 to 2015. 710,000 of these Americans were hospitalized. 56,000 Americans died from the flu of that year. During a telephone news conference, the director of the C.D.C’s influence division, Dr. Daniels B Jernigan said, “We'll be expecting something around those numbers.”
The deaths of seven children was reported to the C.D.C this week. This seasons total of deaths is now at 37. There was 148 pediatric deaths in the year of 2014 to 2015. The agency encourages Americans to get their flu shots, because some doctors and pharmacies may vary in amount of supplies.
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms a person feels when having the flu is:
•Not everyone with the flu will have a fever or feverish/chills
Most people recover from the flu in several days to less than two days. The body takes about two weeks to create a full immune response. Clinicians recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.