Archive for the ‘Editorials’ Category

By Alissa Baker
Cougar News Blog

     You may have heard about this subject from your friends, the internet, or maybe you even have it yourself. Although there are many articles discussing teen depression, I feel like they are missing a few key features. I want to give people an insight into what depression feels like, what it is, and what it can do to an emotional teen.
     You know that feeling you get when you’re sad? Well, that’s what depression is, except you have it for a longer period of time. Many would describe it as a gloomy, mean, or frightening monster hanging on your back, or like a grey cloud always hanging over your head. The most disturbing and realistic description of it is it’s like you fall down this deep, dark hole, and a huge rock is crushing your leg. You try to yell out for help, only realising that nobody can hear you and you are probably going to die there alone without anyone ever noticing.
     When someone has depression, it is usually caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which may have been caused by genetics, early childhood trauma, or the brain’s biology. It is also documented that depression could be passed down by genetics. This mental disorder is not easily fixed; it has to slowly progress over time, and some people never escape it.
     Some states of depression only last a couple weeks, then it is all clear. Every now and then it can come back even harder than the first time. States of major depression, also known as manic depression, can be linked to anxiety, where you have stress and panic attacks. It is also linked to bipolar disorder, where the person can spend a period of time energetic and happy, but ending up burning themselves out and feeling majorly depressed afterwards with no signs of the sudden change. This can lead to abuse, self-harming, and suicide.
     Many people with depression try to make themselves feel better by going into the grey zone, which is a mental state where you can’t feel any emotions, including sadness, and happiness. It’s like if you walked up into your head and came back down but you forgot all you emotions.
     Depression mixed with an emotional teen can get very dire. Many adults may brush it off and say it’s just their hormones and that they should get over it because some people have it worse than them. But depression is a serious thing and negative comments they get from people on the subject can create a storm inside their heart. If they try to bottle the pain and rage up, they will soon explode.
     People may get depression mixed up with being “emo.” Although some may have depression, but others may just be trying to act “depressed” to get attention or show that they are different.
     If you have depression or someone you know of has depression, I recommend you or your friend talk to a therapist or doctor to help you find the best treatment. Having depression is nothing to be ashamed of and making the decision to get help can be the most difficult step in getting help.

Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Alissa Baker. It is the fourth in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.

By Angelica Jimenez
Cougar News Blog

      I have lost three of my friends this year to suicide.
      My friends were always happy from my point of view they were always smiling they were outgoing they were alway smiling and laughing and making everyone happy but I had not idea what was going on with them. It breaks my heart because I didn’t notice they were upset about anything. I just wish they hadn’t have taken their lives like they did, but know I know they are in a better place.
     Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
      The reasons teens commit suicide is because they are bullied or they are struggling with school or changes in their lives. People should know that words do hurt and can have serious unintended consequences.
     Kids shouldn’t bully in general; it’s rude, it’s not nice, it is life threatening to many people that actually get hurt from it. Teens commit suicide because they feel like they aren’t loved by anyone and they think they have no one to talk to about their problems. It’s not funny to bully and pick on other student – it is a serious matter.
     I wish nobody had to go through this pain, but if you have thoughts of suicide, please reach out to a school counselor, teacher, parent, or a friend. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for help.

Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Angelica Jimenez. It is the fourth in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.

By Bronte Pappas
Cougar News Blog

     What is an eating disorder? An eating disorder is an array of different types of abnormal eating habits. It is a mental and physical disorder that affects many people’s lives.
     Eating disorders are health issues that can cause people to either lose a lot of weight, or gain too much weight. There are many different types of eating disorders, and many people imagine a person who has one to be very skinny and not eat, however there are three commonly seen types of eating disorders that can affect anybody.
     The three major types of eating disorders are bulimia, anorexia, and binge-eating disorder. Bulimia is typically when someone will eat a large amount of food or binge and then force themselves to vomit. Anorexia is a disorder in which a person chooses to not eat most commonly in fear of getting fat or wishing to be skinny. Binge-eating disorder is when someone eats a lot of food in a short period of time. However, eating disorders are more of a psychological disorder.
     “Quite often eating disorders have a lot more to do with control than being ‘skinny,’ said Meaghan Davis, dean of students. “People who feel they do not have control over other aspects of their lives, unfortunately, try to control their eating to compensate for their feelings of helplessness.”
     Many people deal with eating disorders every day. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men have an eating disorder of some kind. Eating disorders can be life threatening and destroy people’s lives some even as young as 13.
     “My eating disorder started when I got old enough to eat regular food,” said an eighth-grade student who struggles with an eating disorder. “When I was about 5 or 6 my mom realized that I was eating more than I had to. I would tell my mom I was full but I would want more food. I couldn’t stop eating.”
     Often people’s eating disorder ends up affecting them in other ways, too.
     “I had been bullied for being skinny my whole life so I would also eat more than I had to. I have a high metabolism so I don’t gain much weight from what I eat so it was hard,” the same eighth grader said.
     These are disorders that take control of people’s lives, it is something that affects people physically and mentally, causing them to struggle with their everyday lives, and there are some people who do not understand that this is a disorder.      Bullying about weight can cause a person to develop an eating disorder. It is not something you are just able to move on from, it is much harder than people see. We need to be respectful of people that have these problems.

Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Bronte Pappas. It is the third in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.

     I find it most preposterous that it’s 2016 and yet we’re still having arguments about whether someone should have their human rights or not.
     I could go on for ages about how this could be a step backward for all oppressed groups, but this opinion piece is going to zero in on the women of the world. Women as we know make up 49.6 percent of the human population, and yet in some people’s eyes we’re seen as the lesser sex. A hundred years ago, we were treated more like property rather than human beings. In some places, we had a curfew, and if we were molested, our offender just had to pay our father some silver and then marry us. We have been perceived as sexual objects for as long as we can remember, especially now in our modern culture and media. Not to mention some of Donald Trump’s alarming statements about women that he simply dismissed as “locker room talk.”
     If there’s anything I like most about my generation, it’s the many barriers that we’re breaking. We’re working to normalise the LGBTQ+ community, and gender norms are slowly being left behind. However, the ideology of gender norms and gender stereotypes is still an ongoing thing, even if it’s been diluted. Parents who believe in gender conformity are enforcing gender norms on their children from a young age. Young boys are expected to play outside and with toy trucks, while girls are taught to be pretty and play with dolls or other pink sparkly objects.
     When I was younger, gender norms weren’t really forced on me at all. I played in the mud and dirt with my brother, and I loved the thrill of running around outside and getting scraped up when I took a fall on my wobbly toddler legs. I was a tomboy kid, with minimal pressure to “act like a lady.” I’m not too different today, though I do still find some enjoyment in “feminine” things like fruity soaps and lotion.
     One of my biggest pet peeves yet is the over-sexualization of women in the media, especially in advertising. Countless times I’ve seen commercials where a woman is displayed almost more as a decoration than a human being capable of independent thought and actions for the sake of selling a product. And women are viewed sexually in society in general; many a day a woman will be walking down the street minding her own business, when she gets cat-called by someone on the side of the road, and it’s often a rather suggestive comment that makes her uncomfortable. Then there’s the victim-blaming. If a woman is assaulted, people will often ask what she was wearing when it happened. Some will even say that she was “asking for it.” I yearn for the day that women are seen as human beings rather than objects that are there to please others. As a modern society, we’ve made progress, but we’re not there yet.
     Women do make up almost half of the human population, so there shouldn’t be any reason that we shouldn’t have our human rights. After all, we’re humans too. And I’m talking about all women. Women of color, women in the LGBTQ+ community, and women of all faiths. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter who or what we are, male or female, because all that matters is that we’re here to do good for the world.

Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Savannah Barr. It is the second in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.

By Skyler Wolfe
Cougar News Blog

     Statistics show that 5-9 percent of teens identify as gay, lesbian, or uncertain. Seventy-eight percent of these students are teased or bullied about being gay. While teens have become more open-minded, bullying about students’ sexuality is still a problem.
     There are people at CCJH that identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc. who are or have been bullied and are scared to talk openly about their sexuality. Teens become isolated and face a large amount harassment and violence. An eighth grade student who identifies as lesbian, talked about her experience about dealing with her sexuality.
     “I tried dating the other gender but I could not go through with it because it did not feel right. People who identify as a different sexuality or a different gender should be treated the same ,” she said. “Because we are all the same we do the same things the only thing that is different is that we identify differently.”
     Students have long been being treated differently for their sexuality. This problem may be caused because the person who is victimising them may be because they do not understand why the person is like that and cannot change their sexuality. Bullying and harassment has become such a big problem in students’ mental health that it can cause anxiety, depression, relationship problems, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.
     “As many as 93 percent of students hear derogatory words about sexual orientation at least once in awhile, with more than half of teens surveyed hearing such words every day at school and in the community,” said Jane Riese in her article “Youth Who Are Bullied Based upon Perceptions
About Their Sexual Orientation.”
     Twenty-two percent of students skip school for safety concerns and are three times more likely to drop out of school. Teens bullied about their sexual orientation are three times more likely to commit suicide and 30 percent are having suicidal thoughts. In 2003, a study was done and showed that 12 percent of gay students 12-18-years-old have had hate related words toward them, 1 percent of those words have been about their sexuality.
     A study done in the 1970 concluded that being gay was no longer considered a disorder and that one’s sexuality is not a choice and cannot be changed. Even though this study was done, being gay was still looked down upon. Even though this generation has become more understanding and gay people have more privileges, OK okay to make fun of me for it, I just let it go. It’s my life not theirs, they can’t tell me what’s right and wrong with me,” said another eighth grader who identifies as bisexual.
     Someone’s sexuality does not determine who they are as a person. Teens are struggling to deal with their sexuality and they are being bullied and harassed in school and their community, which are places they should feel safe. Students who are gay are struggling in their everyday lives and should not be judged on their personal preference, especially since they are so young. Teens being bullied about their sexual orientation is more of a problem than it should be.

Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Skyler Wolfe. It is the first in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.

U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings opened this year at a cost of $1.1 billion, half of which was covered by taxpayers. Cougar News Blog writers think there are better uses for that money. (Photo used under Creative Commons from darb02/Wikimedia Commons.)

U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings opened this year at a cost of $1.1 billion, half of which was covered by taxpayers. Cougar News Blog writers think there are better uses for that money. (Photo used under Creative Commons from darb02/Wikimedia Commons.)

     Since the mid ‘90s there has been a problem in almost every state – stadiums that have been paid for by the taxpayers. The new Vikings stadium in Minnesota cost the state a great sum of $1.1 billion. About half of this money comes from state taxes.
     Not only is this injustice being displayed with the Viking Stadium, but with stadiums from all
around the world. The Yankee Stadium costed $1.5 billion to build while taxpayers paid 208.6 million dollars for the garages and parks. More than 40 Major League Baseball and NFL stadiums have been built with taxpayer money in the last 25 years. This money is being used for something miniscule as a stadium and the question is why?
     Why are people spending millions and billions of dollars on a stadium? So they don’t lose their teams. Owners convince the public by basically blackmailing the teams and people of that state with the threat that the team will no longer represent that state.Taxpayers pay millions of dollars to these stadiums with little to no beneficial for them. Taxpayers are forced into paying and have little to no say in how their money can be used. All this money being spent on stadiums could be put towards things more important.
     “A lot of New Yorkers wanted a new Yankee or Mets stadium. At the end of the day, that was what was driving the city’s decision to do this,” said Ronnie Lowenstein, the director of the New York City Independent Budget Office.
     There are 795 million starving people in the world, and nearly half of the world’s population lives on a paycheck of $2.50 a day. Schools are having to lower education values or fire teachers. We could help these people great deal if we just spend took a small sum from the huge amount we spend on sports stadiums.
     We can still have stadiums, but instead of spending a billion dollars on them, we can spend a fraction of that price. With this we can create a better world, we can create less poverty. We can stop people from starving, and we can help people who need it support their families.
     We are being wasteful. We are spending money on something such as football, when the world falls apart around us. We need to spend less on sports stadiums and put the money toward problems in the U.S. that really matter.

This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog editorial team of Bronte Pappas, Skyler Wolfe, and Megan Ash.

     College is one of the privileges that comes with living in a First World country, but unfortunately, that isn’t a possibility for many citizens. The price of college is something that needs to be changed right now. This isn’t acceptable to a country like the U.S. to charge so much that is needed for most jobs that won’t leave you working until you fall down.
     Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has a plan to make public colleges free for the average American. Sanders requires $75 billion annually to make this tuition plan successful, and he plans to impose a tax to cover that cost. He plans to add a tax at a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators. Stock trades would be taxed at .05 percent, bonds would be taxed at .1 percent, and financial derivatives, such as certain types of interest rates, taxed at .005 percent.
     Robert Pollin, an economist at the University of Massachusetts, believes that Sanders’ tax will be able to rake in $300 billion annually which is about 400 percent more than is needed. Although a Tax Policy Center critique says the plan will only raise $58 billion in the first year. The same critique also states that the reduction of trades would be quite severe and lead to a 62.9 percent reduction for bond trades, 85.1 percent reduction on stock trades, and a 82.2 percent reduction for derivatives. Mr. Pollin counters the statement by saying, “The TPC authors either ignore or misrepresent the main findings.”
     As it is now, public college in the US costs an average student about $9,400 for a full-year term. The cost with room and board increases an additional $2,500 per year. The current average cost for college student’s books and supplies is around $1,100 a year.
     Many working class families don’t have the money to send their child to college, which results in students taking out loans to pay for their college tuition. These student loans affect every student that decides to take out a loan. A survey was recently taken by American Student Assistance, a non-profit organization, to see how students are dealing with the constant threat of student loans. Out of all of the students that responded to ASA’s survey 75 percent said student loans had affected their ability to purchase a home and 63 percent said the debt had affected their decision to make larger purchases, such as a car.
     Our solution to the high cost of public college is to take several steps to lower the high tuition costs. If public colleges did a few things differently, it would be possible to decrease their tuition prices. By lowering the cost of supplies needed students could save at least part of the $1,100 average cost of books. Colleges could make digital copies of required textbooks, that cost much less than the average textbooks. although it may not eliminate the cost completely it would lower the price to a reasonable amount for the students.
     Another solution to high college prices would be to reduce the cost of student loans and their interest. Currently the interest rate on student loans range from 4.29 percent to 6.48 percent. Since most college students don’t have a high paying job directly out of high school they usually take more than 10 years to pay off. The interest rates make it even more difficult to pay off since they increase in price annually. As well as having the interest rates stack upon each other. Average college students leave college with about $30,000 worth of debt, which with interest would be $32,000 in the first year.
     While reducing prices in colleges would bring difficulties in both the school and in the outside world, it would allow more production as well as new technologies being invented. Which in the long run would be better for our civilization as a whole, in the short it would reduce jobs available but that is something not too difficult to remedy. It would lastly supply more jobs to teachers due to the fact that there will be more students.

This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog editorial team of James Armstrong, Damian Lopez, Jessica Martinez, and Michael Penge.

A student uses Kahoot on her phone during class. Members of a CNB editorial team argue that phones should during class more often.

A student uses Kahoot on her phone during class. Members of a CNB editorial team argue that phones should during class more often.

     Cell phones are very popular, but can they be used as an educational tool? Yes, phones have technically advanced applications and tools the students can use; they can also help conserve paper use. Although cell phones can be distracting, they can also be very useful. If schools select this concept, they could eventually create some type of surveillance to monitor students’ phones only when in the classroom. With the uprise of students acquiring cell phones, schools will be saving more money if they choose to swing with this idea; having cellular devices in school takes the place of buying textbooks and Chromebooks.
     There are some apps on cell phones can be a positive learning utensil to students, for example, StudyBlue, which helps students create flashcards and quizzes, or DropBox, which allows students to easily share documents.
     When it comes to school work, cell phones can be very effective . Cell phones, or smart phones, are very convenient devices. In the article, “Dial-A-Class” Elizabeth Green explains things cell phones can do that Chromebooks can’t. “The children used cell phones to test the air for carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and noise pollution.” With the help of some testing with probes and zipped bluetooth signals, they had managed to achieve an air tester. Smartphones can do a lot, they can keep you in touch with distant friends and family, and can even help you with your homework/classwork.
     Most students that are in school now were born with access to technology. Students are getting faster and have better access to information along with the technological growth. Most students use phones on a daily basis, whether it’s their parents or their own. Learning how to do everything with their cellular device would be very easy because they are already familiarized with hand held devices.
     Those opposed to cell phone use in class would say that children can get distracted by their phones and can be irresponsible when using them, but, whatever is in front of these students, they’re going to mess around. Whether it’s drawing inappropriate pictures in a textbook, or playing games on a chromebook, it happens. We don’t see phones in class, as more distracting than other learning tools. Not all students own phones and it wouldn’t be fair and equal to all students, but, schools can just use computers they already had for those students. Although they can be distracting, students are very familiar with their cellular devices, and some students may find it easier to just use their phone.
     Cell phones would be efficient and beneficial to have in the educational atmosphere. They save money for both the students and the school. They can also save time, and students wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting their books or items for class. Everything that they would need for class would already be in their pocket.
     Why should schools spend money on more computers when students already have everything they need in the palm of their hand?

This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog editorial team of Caitlyn McNear, Bailey Tower, Chelsey McCarthy, and Gracie Lentz.