Archive for the ‘Student Issues’ Category

Math teacher Tina Jada created a poster with positive messages to help brighten students’ day.

By Mercy Brink
Cougar News Blog

     Many students have seen and wondered about the poster in the 300 building. The poster says “Take What You Need” and was meant to inspire and spread positivity.
     Tina Jada hung the poster up on Feb. 13 to help encourage the students. The poster has multiple sticky notes with inspirational sayings written on them like “Inhale Confidence” and “Broken Crayons Can Still Color.” Some of them have little quotes as well. This helps to encourage students to get through the long school days.
     Mrs. Jada hopes the poster will help to brighten up the days of the students and staff.
     “I was really tired of seeing so much negativity around so I decided to try and create something positive,” Mrs. Jada said.
     Students who have taken sticky notes have said that it has cheered up their days.
     “Usually when I take a sticky note, it’s because I’m in a bad mood,” said eighth grader, SeAnna Brennan. “After I take the sticky notes, I always feel better because it feels like someone actually cares, or I look at it and I feel better.”
     Mrs. Jada saw the idea of the poster and variations of it on Pinterest. She was also inspired by the thankful tree that Lisa Smith put up in the building earlier this year, and said that she liked seeing what people were thankful for.
     She says that once all of the sticky notes are gone, she might put up more or she might even let students make their own.

Decorating a poster with positive comments about themselves, Kallie Mastin, Paige Labadie, and Seleste Roman-Garcia, 7, color with green markers in Mrs. McQuilkin’s “classy ladies” enrichment class.

By Daisy Gonzales
Cougar News Blog

     Wendy McQuilkin, the science teacher for seventh grade, has brought back an enrichment class for girls that teaches them how to overcome their struggles and learn about themselves.
     Due to the new reteach and enrich schedule, the “classy ladies” course is now six-weeks. During the class, Mrs. McQuilkin wants girls to learn how to become better friends, daughters, and students.
     “I know that girls this age have self-esteem issues and might feel weird about all sorts of situations,” McQuilkin said. “I wanted to help my students become more confident, have fun, and spread love around them.”
     Confidence is not a trait that is easy to acquire for many young girls. They often think they need to look or act a certain way based on what they see on TV, magazines, or social media. Sometimes girls get sidetracked by these “expectations” instead of focusing on their real self and doing what they love.
     “Today in the world, many girls would compare themselves to models, actresses, and other famous women that don’t look like us. Us girls need to accept the fact that we are all unique,” eighth grader Maria Alamillo said. “The class itself has helped me in a way where I learned to be myself and not compare myself to others.”
     One of the main standards of learning is sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings. McQuilkin said she feels honored when students share their feelings with her and feel open to ask anything they want.
     “I enjoyed how she let the girls talk about their issues and let out our feelings,” Alamillo said. “I feel stressed about something we could talk about it in the class.”

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.