Archive for the ‘Current Events and Issues’ Category

James Armstrong
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyon has changed its hours to have longer days because they changed to four day weeks. This has affected the students and staff both positively and negatively.
     Not only do students have to wake up earlier and stay later, but even more so for the teachers. Some teachers’ sleeping schedules have even changed due to the time change.
     “With the earlier start time you have less time to get things ready for the day and less time to really think about what you are going to discuss during the day,” said eighth grade social studies teacher David McQuilkin.
     Starting earlier has not affected everyone either negatively or at all. Science teacher Regan Roach said she’s always been an early riser so the 6:50 a.m. start time is no problem for her..
     “Since I have always gotten up at 3 a.m. to go to the gym, it really hasn’t negatively affected my sleep cycle. If anything, the longer days just help me sleep better,” said she said.
     Many students and staff use their extra day off to catch up on sleep and or work around the house.
     “I use Fridays to catch up on sleep, do homework, and do chores,” said eighth grader Nicholas Moorhead.
     The longer days have affected how some students and staff interact with their family. They don’t have as much time to spend with families and friends.
     “I have to wake my children up earlier and put them to bed earlier due to the new schedule. I don’t get to spend as much time with my family as I’d like since I spend about two more hours per day at work. I do enjoy having Friday’s off to spend with family,” said seventh-grade science teacher Wendy McQuilkin.
     AJUSD is reviewing all aspects to the new schedule and conducting surveys of parents, students, and teachers to see if adjustments are needed for the 2015-16 school year.



By Jaden Erschen
Cougar News Blog

     Students district wide have been receiving dangerous e-mails titled “Crucial Document” from spammers attempting to get students to click on the attachments or links within the e-mails. Most of the time there is a red banner across the top of the email that alerts the user that they are using a common method that is used to steal personal information.
     The e-mails include links that try to send the student to a website that steals his/her information. As a result of these e-mails going around campus students are advised to ask teachers about the e-mail to see if it’s safe to open or not.
     “There are many different types of dangerous e-mails that can go undetected: phishing scams, unsolicited advertisements, and email spoofing to name a few,” said Jon Castelhano, AJUSD’s director of technology.
     The best way for students to avoid losing their information is to not click on the e-mail at all. When they click on the e-mail it could put them at risk to lose their information.The best thing to do is delete it.
     “Banks, large companies, and teachers will never ask you for your username and password through an email. If they do it’s a scam. If you receive a dangerous e-mail the best thing to do is delete it,” said Castelhano.
     Mr. Castelhano said students should never click on attachments in an e-mail unless they’re positive that the person who sent it isn’t a spammer.
     “I’ve received Google documents and links in three different e-mails of people trying to steal my information,” said eighth grader Dominique Maldonado.

By Wyatt Hutchinson
Cougar News Blog

     While Cactus Canyon doesn’t require students to wear uniforms, it does have a dress code. While violations are not a huge issue for CCJH, some students, especially when the weather is warm, what is considered to be inappropriate clothing.
     For boys, this usually means wearing sagging pants or shirts with inappropriate visuals. For girls, it often means wearing shorts that are too short or shirts that don’t cover the midriff.
     Principal Courtney Castelhano said the dress code rules exist to keep students and staff in appropriate clothing that does not distract from learning.
     “These rules also prepare students for the work world in the future, and there does tend to be more dress code issues when it is hot outside due to shorts and tank tops,” she said.
     Even though there are some violations, most students feel a dress code is a better option than uniforms and that it is a privilege, not a right, to have a choice in what they wear to school.
     “I think the dress code is fair and I have never been dress coded,” says eighth grader Seth Peterson.
     “While I think that if we had uniforms, choosing what to wear would never be a problem, I also cherish individuality,” said eighth-grade teacher Regan Roach. “I would prefer a dress code over uniforms. This allows students (and staff) to have some decision-making powers.”

By Kathy G.
Cougar News Blog

Jonathan Stroud, author of fantasy books, came to Cactus Canyon on April 3, and talked to 30 students about his books, career, and answered any questions the students had.
For students to be able to participate, there was a drawing for the aspiring readers in the millionaires and half-millionaires club. Students could also get invited by purchasing a signed copy of his most recent book.
One of the things the students enjoyed the most was the storyboard Stroud showed them. A storyboard is something an author usually makes to identify the main events that will happen in the story before he or she starts writing. It help the author keep track of ideas during writing process and why he or she chooses the characters to be the way they were and if the meaning of parts of the plot.
“He began by telling a little about himself and his history. As he began discussing his book he employed not only a slide show presentation, but with the audience’s participation and their suggestions he sketched out a visual storyboard,” librarian Jennifer Cameron said.
Stroud’s newest book is about three children that are part of a psychic agency that fights ghosts in London.
“He proceed with the help of a volunteer to demonstrate the equipment that ghost hunters would likely find necessary in pursuit of their quarry,” Cameron said. “He concluded his presentation with a question and answer session about not only his newest book ‘The Screaming Staircase’ but happily fielded questions about his many other books.”
Students thought his presentation was laid out very well and ended up loving it and learning a lot.
“The outcome was a good one, one I will probably never forget (since) he was the first author I ever met,” said eighth grader Kayla Mix. “I learned many things that I didn’t before and it was a great experience I was happy to be apart of.”

By Alysa Rippee
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon is drawing in a new resource to help enhance the learning experience in the classrooms. A way where multiple students can use the wall as a lesson. With this technology, writing on the wall is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
CCJH has just given a home to a new use of technology that will be used in multiple classes to help students enjoy learning. Thanks to fundraising efforts by the Cactus Canyon PTO, SMART Tech projectors have been put into the science and language art classrooms around the school. Seventh grade teacher Candice Wyatt was one of the first teachers to try out the SMART projectors before they began putting them into other classrooms at CCJH.
The SMART projectors allow teachers to project images on any flat surface and use the interactive pen to write on the surface. The high definition projector also has speakers and a microphone for listening to videos or doing voice recordings.
“I’m excited about having the new technology. Hopefully my students will help me find new and fun ways to learn science using the SMART projector,” eighth grade teacher Candice Wyatt said.
So far, the only challenges with the projectors include the teachers having to use and figuring out how to integrate them into the students’ learning.
“My challenge is having enough time to learn the new programs and implementing them into my classroom,” Wyatt said.
Eighth grader Jessica Sigler explained how it is entertaining to watch the teachers try to figure out how to use the SMART projectors.
“The adjustment to having SMART (projectors) in classrooms is going to be hard for the teachers,” she said. “This is new technology to them and trying to teach and learn at the same time must be challenging.”
The projectors were funded by the Parent Teacher Organization. Wyatt said that the SMART projectors will provide more student centered work that helps student be more comfortable with sharing their work with the class.
“SMART projectors are less expensive than SMART Boards but just as interactive,” eighth grade teacher Tammy Howard said. “They are an excellent way of integrating technology into curriculum and are a great way to engage students.”
Some students have expressed that they have previously worked with SMART boards, another technology by SMART Tech company. For most, this is their first time experiencing the technology.
“It’s very interactive which is fun and will have more kids paying attention,” eighth grader Evan Quiroz said, “It’s good because I’m a visual learner; it keeps me focused.”

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By Kathy G.
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon had two art contest this quarter. One was from the daughters of the American Revolution which involves history and the other one was a peace poster contest.
Usually when students do art projects they are learning how to do something new but with these two art contests CCJH students were able to use their own ideas to present for the contest.
The peace poster contest was put on by the Lions Club. It was called “Our World Our Future” and was for students ages 11, 12 or 13. CCJH had its own contest to see who would advance to the the Lions Club’s international competition. Eighth grader Sidnee Major got first place, so she gets to go to the international. Serena Waasdorp got second, Rosalyn Arriola got third, and Jack Reynolds got fourth. A lot of the students enjoyed participating and most of the students learned something, whether it was being able to stop and think about how the world is with peace or think of their own ideas on how they can make the world even better.
“I just got the happiness of making my parents proud,” said Waasdorp.
Paige Reesor thought being involved in a contest with kids from all over the globe would help with their courage and being confident with showing their art work.
“I wanted my students to be involved in an international contest,” said art teacher Paige Reesor. “It gives students self-esteem to do something great.”
The DAR contest was tied in with history. Students made drawings about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The DAR is a national volunteer women’s service organization for descendants of those who fought in the Revolutionary War. There were many drawings in the contest, and a just as many different ideas and interpretations.
“I drew a bear with bare arms that had bare arms written on them with hair, he also had a slingshot in his pocket,” said first-place winner Brandi Brooks. “I wanted to get out of the cliche human with bare arms so I did a bear with bare arms.”
Winners from the DAR contest were Brandi Brooks, first place; Cameron Krueger, second place; Shayne Scoffin, third place.

Activity 1 – How Connected Are CCJH Teachers?

By Ashley Mothershed
Cougar News Blog

Teachers and staff members at Cactus Canyon Junior High are not very connected, social media wise. Very few staff members use social media websites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, etc. I find this quite interesting considering the fact that teachers at our school use the internet to plan our lesson activities every day.
Most of the teachers at our school have Facebook, but do not use it. Only six CCJH teachers use Facebook more than once a day. Most of the 22 teachers who responded have a Facebook account, but only use it once a week or less.
Instagram is one of the newer social media websites that mostly teenage kids use. Most teachers at my school do not use Instagram, only seven do and use it less than once a week.
At Cactus Canyon, 13 of 22 teachers use Pinterest more than once a day. That is where they get all of their great ideas for activities in classes such as art, language arts, math, etc.
So in the end, all but two teachers and staff members at Cactus Canyon Junior High have social media accounts but do not use them very often. Only seven teachers at my school have heard of connected educators month, including my Journalism teacher Mr. Davis.

Activity 5 – Write a Post About Your Digital Footprint. Is It Positive or Negative?

By Anna Gray
Cougar News Blog

Recently, I have learned about how an individual’s digital dossier is created and I have decided that I wouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to share my personal dossier with my future grandchildren or my grandparents.
Sharing my dossier wouldn’t worry me because the most common thing I use the Internet for is to complete school assignments. Although I do have accounts on some social networking sites, I only have a few and I don’t use them every day. Other kids my age may feel totally different than me about sharing their dossier, but I think if you’re embarrassed to share what you’ve been doing on the Internet, then you shouldn’t be doing it.

Activity 6 – Is It Better to Have a Negative Digital Footprint Than None at All?

By Kayla Mix
Cougar News Blog

A digital footprint is the data trace or trail left by someone’s activity on a digital device. Digital footprints capture people’s activity in an electronic fashion, of memories and moments and are built from the interaction with TV, mobile phone, World Wide Web, Internet, mobile web and other digital devices and sensors.

A negative digital footprint consists of things that are on the Internet that you would not want to be there like a drunken photo, a silly comment or even logging on to an inappropriate website. Basically, whatever you would not want any of your friends, family etc. to see would be classed as a negative digital footprint. By having a negative footprint, it can even affect your chances of gaining a place into University because, if they searched your name and a drunken photo popped up, they would be more than likely swayed to not accept you.

It is good to have a negative footprint because, 1. At least you have knowledge to the web. If you have a negative digital footprint then you know alot of websites you can go on and it would be a little easier for you to use the web for problems you have. 2. You would have learned your lessons early in life. If you are a teenager then yes you would have messed up but at least you would have known what to do and what not to do. So you won’t make the same mistakes again. 3. If there is a criminal or a pervert that is doing bad actions on the web then the police can track them down and stop them from doing anymore bad demeanors.

It is good to have no digital footprint at all because: 1. Like I said before if you have a bad photo or comment or even a login to a bad website then that could jeopardize your future. 2. People could get the wrong idea about you. LIke if you want to be funny and look up something inappropriate people would think you are an awful person. 3. If you do something ill mannered and wrong then delete it you might think it is gone but really it is there you just can’t see it, and one day it can come back to get you. So it would be better to have nothing at all instead of something that could danger your future.

By Cori Gibson
Cougar News Blog

Your digital footprint is everything that you have ever searched, posted, bloged, etc. Everyone has one even if you don’t have access to the internet. When you’re born, all of your information goes into the computer and never goes away. How much you weigh, your health, name, date of birth, everything about you is in a file and no matter what you do, it will stay there forever.

Digital footprints can be good for some people but bad for others. If you are the type of person that usually only uses the computer for school work and games, your footprint should be positive. However, if you are the type of person who has searched things that you would be ashamed to show your parents or legal guardian, then you have a negative footprint.

Some say that that having a negative digital footprint is better than having no footprint at all. Other however, may disagree. Though everyone has a footprint whether they like it or not, some people think that if there was no print in the first place, their life would be better. If you have a print and it turns out to be negative, it could influence your chances of getting into a good college university. No college would take someone with a negative print because it would make them look bad. Also, another reason that you don’t want a print is because if you did something years earlier and you thought that it had gone away, it could come back in the future and you could be judged because of what you did in the past. That could really damage your chances of a good and happy life.

Now what about having a negative footprint instead of no print at all? If you have a negative footprint and you do something worth regretting, you may feel guilty and want people to be able to find you so you can take responsibility for your actions. Another reason to have a negative print is so you can learn from your mistakes. Usually when you do something wrong you get punished and never do it again. The punishments of a negative print can be more severe than you could ever imagine depending on the action.

Your digital print is like what you see on the television when the miniature devil and angel are on the person’s shoulder telling them what’s wrong or right. The devil is standing there saying, “Search it! Do it! It will go away eventually and no one will ever see it!” Then you turn your head and see the angel and they’re saying, “No! Don’t listen to him! He will only cause you trouble in the long-run!” The angel is right in this case and usually in every other case too. You just need to find the power to do what you know is good and your print will never cause you pain.

By Cassidy Hoxeng
Cougar News Blog

A negative footprint and having no footprint at all are very different things. There are many different reasons why both of them are good and bad.

No Footprint

Having no footprint at all is good thing because you don’t have a negative footprint. Even though a negative footprint is good it can also be bad. A negative footprint can be awful because if you looked something up you weren’t supposed to, you can get in trouble, especially if you’re a teenager or a kid. Another thing about having a negative footprint, is if there is a crime and they come to you as suspect, they could check your footprint and see what you’ve looked up. Next, having no digital footprint is a great thing because if you have no digital footprint, nobody will know what you’ve looked up. So, if you’ve looked up something you don’t want anybody to know about, it’s hidden. Thirdly, it’s important to have privacy. It would be nice to not have somebody watching everything you do online. People should trust what people do online and respect their privacy.

Negative Footprint

Having a negative footprint is also a good thing too. First, if there is a crime and somebody is a suspect, they could figure out who did it, and the crime would be solved. Secondly, you have experience with the web. You know how to use the web and how to get to places around the web. Lastly, you could learn a lesson about what you looked up. If you are younger and you look something up that’s inappropriate or on a website you’re not supposed to be on, your parents or guardian could see it and teach you that it’s not good to do that or you’re not supposed to look that up. Having a negative digital footprint can not only be a good thing, but it could also teach you a lesson.

Activity 7 – Create a Presentation About Digital Safety

Activity 8 – What Are the Most Important Parts of Being a Good Digital Citizen?

By Holly Stillman
Cougar News Blog

1. Digital Responsibility
When using the internet people, including children, need to take responsibility of what they do online and take care of their personal information. There are people out there that target people like you and me and use your information against you. Always be careful what information you upload to your profile and make sure your not being too specific.

2. Digital Health & Wellness
Spending too much time online can make your body and health plummet. You can also become addicted to being on your computer, phone, or any electronics which can take time away from more urgent things such as school, work, family, friends, and/or relationships. Statistics show that 12% of internet users often use the internet longer than intended use.

3. Digital Respect
Teens often take advantage of social networks and abuse the freedoms of a social network. They use it to harass others, post inappropriate things, etc. When you’re online you should always respect yourself and others right’s to use the internet freely.

4. Digital Commerce
Nowadays people can shop online and buy just about anything their heart desires. But there are also downsides to the easy access to buying stuff online. Others use the internet to gamble on online games such as poker, illegally download music, videos, or pornography. If you are caught with any of the following you could end up in jail for several years. .

5. Digital Security
To keep yourself secure and ensure that nobody tries to hack your account and steal your identity you should never share your password with anyone and keep your password in a protected space so no one else can see it. Also don’t give out your address or anything else that can help someone easily track you down and find you in an instance.

Activity 9 – Create a Comic About Internet Safety

Internet Safety

The Internet

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By Holly Stillman
Cougar News Blog

On Oct. 11, BMX stunt riders grinded their way into Cactus Canyon during the half day lunch period and performed for staff and students.
The BMX Stunt Masters ‘shredded’ up the ramps with stunts and tricks, while also informing students about bicycle safety in a matter of 45 minutes.
Students were in awe as they watched bikers do gravity-defying tricks like backflips, leaping over each other’s heads, and many other crazy stunts that made the crowd go wild.
“I think the backflip was the best part because nobody knew if he could do it,” said seventh-grader Kaileah Goucher.
“I enjoyed the show very much; it amazed me a lot,” said eighth-grader Janelle Digos.
John Parker, the founder of Stunt Masters, has been touring schools all over the country and delivering their message to students that young people can be active, have fun, and still be safe since 1999. Parker has competed in the X-Games 11 times, winning four medals. He also walked away victoriously from the MTV Sports and Music Festival twice, and won multiple ASA World Tour events.
“I love my job. I’ve been riding bikes professionally for over 15 years,” said Parker. “Having a job that came from a hobby and sport that I’m passionate about is bliss.”
This was Stunt Masters second year visiting Cactus Canyon and most likely not their last time visiting.
“Our group and I would be happy to visit Cactus Canyon again,” said Parker. “The students were very appreciative and seemed to take away some valuable inspiration. I was happy to meet a few BMXers in the crowd.”
The students really got a kick out of the show and hope for an opportunity to watch them perform again.
“I would absolutely love it if the riders came back, they are so amazing and they
seem like they always have fun doing what they do,” said eighth grader Alissa Mahon.
Assistant Principal Joyce Gingrich hopes students enjoyed the show and were inspired by the BMX bikers that nothing is impossible and with enough hard work they could accomplish anything.
“The parts I saw were great,” said Mrs. Gingrich, who helped organize the event. “I hope they were able to see how much hard work it takes to do something well,” said Gingrich.

The staff of the Cougar News Blog is participating in this year’s Blog Action Day. Each year bloggers from around the world post about issues like the environment, poverty, and climate change. This year’s issue is human rights. In the Journalism classroom there is a poster that describes how to be a global citizen and includes things like respecting diversity, fighting against social injustice, and volunteering in the community. The class used these as a guide to show how to improve human rights around the world. Students were given almost no direction for this assignment, so what you read is entirely the ideas from the minds of 13- or 14-year-old eighth graders. For more information, visit

Respect Diversity and Values

By Mario Duran
Cougar News Blog

Have you ever tried to cook something on your stove without plugging it in? Have you ever tried to teach a little kid how to be a marathon runner before the little guy can even walk? Have you ever tried to eat the ice cream cone before the actual ice cream? Well you probably shouldn’t, because it’s very difficult and probably won’t work at all and the ice cream will fall on your pants.
If you try to get rid of bullying or rape culture or racism there’s a very high chance you’re trying it on a grown person who is already a bully or a rapist or a bigot. If you want your baby to grow up to be a great speaker, you should probably teach him how to talk first. So, it should make sense to teach rapists to not want to rape in the first place. Kind of like sending your grandma a Thank You card before she even sends you money (unless it’s about last year’s money, in which case you are kind of mean and need to appreciate your grandma a little more).
If someone grows up not knowing that it’s not okay to be mean, to respect the word no, to hate people for no reason, then they will never know that it’s not okay. If we teach people to be good in the first place, we won’t have to worry about them being bad when they’re old and (probably) stubborn.
Billy just met a gay couple. He asks his mom “hey how come they are both guys?” Then, the mom says “because they are evil and worship Satan. Don’t ever talk to them.” How do you think little Billy will grow up? He will grow up being homophobic.
Bobby just met a gay couple. He asks his mom “hey how come they are both girls?” Then, the mom says “because they both love each other very much.” How do you think little Bobby will grow up? He will grow up accepting gay culture.
Sometimes hate leads from rejection in a certain religion. Billy’s mom might be very religious and doesn’t like gay people because in her set of rules it says that being gay is bad. It’s not okay to be mean to someone because of this either. While their beliefs might be silly to some people, they are very serious to them. And while Billy’s mom follows those beliefs rigorously, Bobby’s mom, who shares these same beliefs, isn’t as serious about them. You can’t dismiss everyone because of a shared trait.
Sunzida lives with her mom, dad, and brother. They are a caring family and love each other very much. Sometimes Sunzida gets dirty looks when she walks on the street. Sunzida is a muslim girl, and she wears a hijab. Ever since September 11th, Muslim people have been deemed evil terrorists. Sunzida has never done anything bad, but nonetheless, people don’t like her. She is discriminated against like the gay couples Billy and Bobby met.

By Cassidy Hoxeng
Cougar News Blog

Everyone is different in their own ways, whether you’re blonde or brunette, or a boy or girl. Judging people has been a big problem lately. People judge just on the color of your skin or the color of your hair or even the clothes you wear. Just because someone is different than you, doesn’t mean you should mistreat them. People should respect each others differences. If everyone was the same it would be boring. Would you want someone to be exactly like you?
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. People have value. Individuals have many different lives, they may be having issues with their family, school or relationships, but you don’t know any of that and by making them upset, you’re making them feel worse. They think they are losing their value to life or even the situation they’re in.
What people are really doing is bullying. Even if you don’t know that person and you just see them on the streets and call them “fat,” that is bullying. Think about how they feel. How would you feel if someone called you a name or made fun of you? Many people end their life because of bullying.
People need to respect people because just because you’re different doesn’t mean you’re useless, it means you’re unique.

Be Aware of the Wider World and Your Role in It

By Kayla Mix
Cougar News Blog

Though the Earth is not the largest of all the planets, it is still very big. It is home to over 7 billion people and is constantly growing.
Though the world is so big, many people often forget to think about other people and their feelings. People think that the world revolves around them. That causes them to think of no one but themselves and they soon become trapped in their own little worlds where everything goes their way. However, as those people are in their own little happy place, the rest of the world is thinking about what is real. They know that they can’t have everything they want because that’s not how things work and those people are correct. The real truth is that the world doesn’t really work that way. You can never get what you want unless you work toward it.
Many individuals are judged by their appearance, whether it’s their ethnicity, beliefs, culture, or religions. Just because people believe different things than you do it does not mean that they have to be mistreated, but many times they are and that is not fair because we are all equal and we should all be treated as such. As soon as people realize that then the world will become a much better place for everyone in it and people will be happy.
America has more independence than other countries and sometimes we take that for granted. We should appreciate all the freedom that we have because many people out there don’t have the same luxuries that we do. Some people have been working their whole lives and don’t even come close to having half of the things that they deserve.

Learn How the World Works Economically, Culturally, Socially, Politically, Socially, and Environmentally

By Anna Gray
Cougar News Blog

How long have you lived in this world? Do you know exactly how it works, because there are many different parts that make up how the world runs today. For example there is how the world runs economically, socially, and politically. Most people have believe that all humans should have equal rights and the same opportunities, but that is not how our world is today.
Economically, most people believe that money equals power. If it does, shouldn’t all people be offered the same opportunities to have good paying jobs? That does not always happen though. Some people are not offered the same jobs as others because employers can be prejudiced or racist against people beliefs or characteristics.
Socially there are a few things that could be improved to give humans the same rights. For example, men are still making more money than a woman for the same amount of work. In 2009, full-time working women were earning 19 percent less money than a full-time working man. People are also still being discriminated against because of their race or sexual orientation and are not being offered the same opportunities.
Politically there is issues with governments. Some governments around the world give citizens very little human rights. There are dictators that force people to believe in certain religions, give them no rights to speak or vote. The world needs to help each other and unite to give humans equal rights.

Fight Against Social Injustice

By Holly Stillman and Alysa Rippee
Cougar News Blog

Social Injustice is defined as a type of discrimination such as race, genocide, bullying and many more. There are many different forms of social injustice, one popular form of social injustice between young adults includes cyber bullying. Statistics show that 52 percent of teens have reported being cyber bullied and 33 percent have experienced being threatened online.
Injustice in social life has been around all through history to today. Some important people who fought against social injustice include Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and many more. In the current world social injustice includes race, sexual orientation, people with disabilities and economic values. Social injustice is about inequalities and unfairness among people that is taken advantage of by discriminators.
People need to act against social injustice when witnessing it. That applies to children and adults. Harassment and bullying are forms of social injustice that occur very often in public and online, whether it would be pushing someone against the lockers or jeering at a co-worker. Before you open your mouth, consider the content that’s about to come out.

Participate in and Contribute to Your Community

By Maranda Brousseau
Cougar News Blog

The United States has freedom overall. We are Global Citizens which means that we have certain responsibilities. For example, participating in and contribute to oour community. Participating in our community doesn’t always mean volunteering in a soup kitchen or at a animal shelter, but we can also support our government by voting or mailing a letter of suggestions. We could even go to a city council meeting or to a school meeting to share our ideas and show support. People also can participate in or volunteer for community events.
Another thing that many people do for community service is picking up trash on the side of the road or the highways. Some people buy food for the less fortunate instead of giving them money because they will know that their money will go to the right purpose. Community service is also a punishment for many people. But, either way they are helping out in the community and doing their part in the community. We have to contribute to our community somehow, right? People can think of some really creative ways to help out and participate in the community! As Global Citizens, we should be thankful for our rights and show our thankfulness by giving a helpful hand to the community by participating in the community.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions/Act in a Way That Makes the World a Better Place

By Kathy G.
Cougar News Blog

You might hear a quote saying, “Oh you can’t change the world.” But you shouldn’t listen. Always keep trying to make a positive difference. There’s 7 billion people in this world. If everyone in this world started doing even little things like smiling at each other, it would affect the world greatly.
People will criticize for a while but it will calm down soon. Plus people might start trying new things to make a difference and it will spread on and on. Each time they do something positive they will want to do more.
A lot of people think you need to be a billionaire or a world leader to make a difference, but really all you need is the positive you. Because being a good person is all about the small things. It’s about how you treat other people not how many people you have power over.
If you would like to start trying to make a difference but dont know how, here are a couple of ideas you might want to try.
Volunteering is a great way to start. It could be volunteering at thrift stores, shelters, or schools. Believe it or not, that’s usually how it starts. Someone will just go and help out; you don’t have to do anything big for people to start seeing the differences you are making.
Also, donating can help out like donating clothing or if you’re up for it just donating a little blood. There are a lot of people in this world that need clothing to keep covered and warm, and people with diseases, and in emergency services that need blood.
People don’t realize how amazingly easy it is. It’s just spreading some kindness. How easy is that? There are so many things you can do that are nice. For example, you can help an elderly across the street, or just being nice to them, and if you see bullying stick up for the person, it may take some courage but it will be worth it.
Once you are an adult this will be the big one, you can go to city council meetings, write letters to the congress and senators, check with government websites, and most newspapers have sections where you can voice your opinion.

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By Kayla Mix
Cougar News Blog

Bullying. It’s a big problem that happens worldwide. With this big problem at hand what are schools supposed to do? Not sit here and wait for things to change all by themselves. No, students and teachers alike must come together to put a stop to this problem, and that is exactly what Cactus Canyon Junior High is doing.
Cactus Canyon’s office staff and administrators have come up with a spirit week to raise awareness about the problem of bullying. The week will be Sept. 30-Oct. 4.
“Everyone deserves a safe, friendly environment to learn and work in,” said behavior coach Carol Dolle. “If we can stop bullying on our campus we will be providing that environment for our students.”
This week should be taken seriously because this is a very serious problem that all schools are dealing with. Many people who work in the office came together with the ideas for Spirit Week. Monday was Courteous Cougar Day, Tuesday is Super Hero Day, Wednesday is Put a lid on Bullying, which means students can wear hats all day long. Thursday is Black out Bullying Day, and Friday is Team Day so students wear jerseys from different sports teams.
An important lesson of spirit week is to treat everyone equally and that everyone is different and special in his or her own special way.
“Spirit week makes me feel more involved in school activities,” said Vanessa Silbar. “And like I fit in.”