Monthly Archives: June 2015

Final Artwork

By: Jade Ford

Expression comes in many forms, whether its dance, singing or exercising. For many students at Attleboro High School (AHS) their expression is in the form of art. The following are examples of the last trimester’s works of art.

 

IMG_6385Sophomore Alexandra Pierce

“There were plants set out on the table and we got to choose which one to draw and I chose all of them because nature is beautiful.”

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Sophomore Misty Harlow

“There will be ones that will eat the fish, and there will be ones that will save the fish.”

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Sophomore Justin Torres

“Basically the skeleton’s soul is leaving its body and all its memories and feelings go into the ground and grow into a tree. The tree is representing its new life basically.”

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Sophomore Zoe Boldt

“I chose elephants because they’re my favorite animal and I love them so I decided to make a little baby elephant and a mother elephant.”

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Sophomore Jada Fisher

“We had to pick specific plants and draw them individually and then transfer them over to a larger paper and group them all together. We painted it and obviously I had to include some greens, and I did. However, I added some colors that don’t seem natural to plants because too much green is far too boring. For the background I did a sunrise with soft blues and pinks. I think my art reflects who I am and I’m really proud of it.”

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Women against Feminism

By: Grace Harvey

 In America feminist movements are becoming more centered on “smaller” rights. Women have already achieved the right to vote, there are laws against rape, and laws for equal pay are slowly developing. In countries like India, Egypt and much of the Middle East, the women are still struggling to just be acknowledged as people.

Blog sites, especially Tumblr, discuss multiple angles of feminism. If someone were to type “feminism” into the search bar, the first blog that comes up on Tumblr is “Women Against Feminism,” a blog dedicated completely to pictures of women holding up signs that say why they do not need feminism. Many of these signs repeat the same basic idea that the women are strong enough to stand up for themselves and that feminists just want to be given more rights than men.

Posts on that blog show an obvious trend; the majority of the women are white females, and just about every single one of them is American.

While these women may feel empowered by proudly stating that “they don’t need feminism,” they are being selfish. They are thinking about themselves only, and completely ignoring the women out of America that still are blamed for being raped.

Saying that you are a woman and that you are “against feminism” is saying that as a woman, she feels as if she has no need to be equal to men. Though America seems like less of a patriarchy nowadays, the average woman still only makes 76 cents to the average male dollar.

There was a video released on YouTube by an Indian female YouTuber, where she went around to many men asking them if they would marry a girl who was raped; all but two men said that no, they would not marry a girl who was raped.

“No, absolutely not,” one man said, continuing, “she is impure; my son must marry a girl who is pure. He is pure, so she must be too.”

Rape in India is still seen as a woman’s fault, and there are no laws currently in place to try and change that.

In the Middle East, women are barely even seen as human. They are forced into arranged marriages at a young age to men who can be over twice their age, and then are expected to bear children and stay at home at all times. Women cannot vote, apply for jobs and are not treated even remotely equal to men.

There are also still rights that American women have not received, and women of color are struggling for not only women’s rights, but with racism in America. Feminism is the idea that women are people too and should be equal to men, not higher.

So these women holding up signs smugly telling the world that feminism is a hate group to bring women higher than men are selfish. They may have all the rights in their privileged first world country that makes them comfortable, but there are still women being sold into sex slavery, mutilated and raped constantly in countries that aren’t so lucky as America.

Women should be grateful for the freedom women have in first world countries, but that does not make it okay to say that the feminist fight is done and no longer needed. Just because some American women feel they received all that they wanted, does not mean that the rest of the world did.

The feminist movement will not stop until women everywhere have the same basic human rights, and the fight definitely will not be halted by privileged white women holding up posters claiming that they don’t “need feminism.” They might not feel as if they do, but the women in India, the women in Egypt, and the women in Africa who are raped and killed every day just because of their gender, they do; they need feminism.

Students Against Standardized Testing

By: Samantha Lamar

Students all over the country take different forms of standardized testing to measure the content they’ve learned in school. In Mass., students take the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), as it has been around for 20 years. Students as young as third grade begin to take MCAS and it follows them all the way up through their sophomore year of high school.

Standardized testing should be taken out of schools all over the country because all it does is stress students out more. They work all year to maintain good grades in difficult courses and in some cases, many students fail. Standardized tests just add weight to the sky already atop students’ shoulders.

Teachers teach according to what students will be tested on, not what they really should know. In English courses, students constantly write essays and open responses to prepare them for the sheer amount of writing they will have to complete for MCAS.

Testing also interrupts the daily learning routine of students. When it’s time for students to take the MCAS, they sit in the same room for up to three hours to take the test. Their other classes are shortened and sometimes even eliminated from their schedule.

Many students feel that the tests are oppressive and unfair. The tests don’t correctly test the knowledge students have acquired in school. All they test is a student’s ability to sit and answer multiple choice questions and how well a structured essay can be written.

Content learned cannot be tested by simply sitting in a room and selecting one of four answers. Even if a student guesses, they have a 25 percent chance of being correct on multiple choice questions. Some students are better at deducting and making educated guesses than others, which gives them an advantage.

Some students also suffer from test anxiety, which causes them to panic and not do well on formal tests. They could be an A student in the classroom, but when MCAS rolls around they receive a “Needs Improvement” score.

Standardized testing should be removed from schools because it’s not an accurate measurement of what a student knows or how well a teacher teaches. It forces teachers to go over structured material and spend months of classroom time preparing students for the test.

Students are already worried about grades and have many other stressors in their daily lives. Standardized tests just add to the mix, putting unnecessary pressure on both students and teachers to do well.

There are other ways of testing the knowledge of students and how well a teacher is teaching such as observing the classroom. They can also look at students’ grades in the classroom to measure how well they’re doing in a more comfortable and diverse environment.

Standardized testing is wrong and oppressive. It takes the fun out of coming to school and learning new things. It forces students to memorize content and strategies to play the cards in their favor. It doesn’t actually test important skills other than memorization and the ability to follow instructions.

Testing is not a measure of worth. Many students who do well in the classroom setting freeze up and forget everything when it’s time to take a test. To bring the fun in learning and education back into public schools, standardized testing has to go.

Where Does the Money go in Attleboro Public Schools?

By: Sarah Deyo

Every year the Attleboro School Committee presents the mayor of Attleboro with the amount of money they believe the school needs. Last year, Attleboro Public Schools were very fortunate to receive money from both the city and other organizations that gave/donated money.

 With the money received instead of using it to make sure that the schools had the technology and materials needed to teach classes appropriately, the city decided to build a new stadium outside Attleboro High School (AHS). Even though the stadium is great, the city needs to be thinking about their schools and not how great the new stadium makes the city as a whole look.

Inside of most of the schools, air conditioners do not work and when maintenance eventually gets around to fixing them the school year is already over. Forcing teachers and students to have to use fans to stay cool is a distraction to teachers and students because of the noise they make. With the money received, maybe the academic priorities of the school system should be the focus.

School within a School (SWS) has been a program at AHS to help students who need extra help/guidance to complete high school. The program was a grant for three years and this year the grant is ending. When the school committee requested more money to make sure AHS could keep the program, the budget was cut by the mayor, making the funding for a program like SWS not possible, but we again we had the money to build a new stadium.

The technology at the public schools is out of date and needs to be updated. Many teachers in the high school level rely on smart phone technology to access the internet in class. Not only are the computers out dated, but the classrooms in the high school are mostly chalkboards, and if a class has a whiteboard it is just screwed in over a chalkboard. Overheads are the old fashion type, which only works if a work sheet is laminated.

The school doesn’t need to be at the top of the charts with technology, but it needs to update what we have. Instead of older overheads maybe the school could buy Elmos or something that displays color. Maybe the school could install quicker Wi-Fi so students can use their phones in class. Maybe the schools could even update their air conditioners so they actually work when they’re needed.

The city of Attleboro needs to look at where the money is going and understand that not only the schools benefit, but the students do also. It is time that Attleboro School children have up-to-date technology and it is time that the students receive the education they need to succeed.

ASVAB

 

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ASVAB exam logo

By: Noman Khan

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a test given by the U.S military to observe a person’s strength in four different subjects: arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and mathematics knowledge. The scores received determine whether the person is able to enlist in the military.  

            The ASVAB was introduced in 1968 and is now given at over 1,400 locations nationwide and has had over 40 million examinees, according to the ASVAB site. Attleboro High School (AHS) administrates the ASVAB twice a year, once in Dec. and once in March. About 25–30 students take the test each time.

            “Students feel more comfortable taking the test in their high school environment,” said AHS Guidance Director Mrs. Julie Little.

            “The ASVAB was pretty simple for me. The most difficult part of the ASVAB test for me was all the tech questions,” said Marine Jordes Castro.

          Different branches of the military require different set of scores. The Coast Guard requires a minimal score of 45, the Navy requires a minimal score of 35, the Air Force requires a minimal score of 36, and the U.S Army and Marine Corp require a minimal score of 31.

            Applicants may take practice tests to study for the ASVAB.

After passing the ASVAB and deciding a branch of the military, he/she will then go through a military “boot” camp and training. Basic training could run anywhere from 7 to 12 weeks in any branch of the military.

“Overall Boot camp was an awful experience but very rewarding,” said Castro.

            Scoring high on the ASVAB is very important. Examinees must really study and try hard to pass the test, because the placement might determine their future.

 

 

Hijab Attack

Fawzi, Romaisa and Rachel By: Rachel Oliveira

Fawzi, Romaisa and Rachel
By: Rachel Oliveira

By: Rachel Oliveira

April 17, 2015 Romaisa Khan invited two of her friends, Fawzia Nur and me, to celebrate her 18 birthday in Boston, Mass. After a long day of a Boston adventure, Romaisa and Fawzia dropped me off at South Station so I could take the commuter rail back to Attleboro.

We went to the bathroom before my train arrived, and there were a few women in there, particularly one Asian woman. When Fawzia Nur, Romaisa Khan and I walked in the bathroom, the Asian woman swung her umbrella, just missing Nur, but Nur thought nothing of it; it seemed like an accident.

When we walked closer to the sink, which was where she was, she started yelling loud comments; at this point we just thought she was crazy. Khan went to fix her hijab in the mirror, which coincidentally was near the women’s purse and that’s when this lady grabbed her purse in such a manner that it hit Khan.

She yelled, “Get away from me!” to which Khan answered, “Who me?” Then the woman said, “Yeah you! I know what your people do!”

At this point, Khan, Nur, and I were laughing because we were just so baffled by the situation. It was obvious that English was not her first language, which made things even more perplexing.

She left the bathroom, but then when she heard us laughing, she came back in, called us assholes and also threatened to call the police, to which Khan responded, “For what?” She then left the bathroom and the other woman in the bathroom just looked at us in awe, like “What just happened?” It was quite the experience.

Romaisa shared her initial thoughts with us: “Is this lady serious? It is crazy how ignorance has no language. It transgressed from white people to all people that night. I had never encountered hate for the hijab until this moment and it was just surprising especially because Boston has a very large population of hijabis.

“I was at a loss of words. I wasn’t sure how to process it properly and all I could think about was how crazy this lady seemed to me. But then, thinking back, it’s crazy that there are hundreds of thousands of people like her in this world.

“I was just an 18 year-old celebrating her birthday in Boston, but to be attacked and belittled by some lady who only defined me by what was on my head, really made me pity the future of this world. This lady did not know my name or that I was a born citizen and that, just like her, I condemn the terrorists just as much, if not more, as the next sane person,

“I brushed it off, but it frightened me to think that if this lady was capable of verbal abuse to someone much, much younger than her, then how does she treat others who are hijabis? Or people who beards, or wear religious garments?”

Thankfully this was Romaisa’s first and hopefully last time that she will be attacked for wearing her hijab. “I’m very blessed that I haven’t come across hatred for the hijab until that moment at the train station,” said Khan.

To Khan and many other Muslim women, the hijab symbolizes strength and faith in God.   “It symbolizes freedom and integrity because, now, rather than being defined for the way I look, people are more focused on my personality and intellect. Wearing the hijab felt as if I became a new person, someone who was better in all aspects,” she said.

According to www.telegraph.co.uk, Muslim girls face many different issues when it comes to wearing the hijab in public. “Since the terrorist attacks on New York City that brought down the Twin Towers, it seems life has not been the same for Muslims that live in the western world. Suddenly there was a spotlight shown on Islam when most non-Muslims had barely given it a second thought before,” Ava Vidal wrote in the Telegraph, an English online newspaper.

Romaisa’s message to all Muslim women who wear a hijab is, “There’s so much I want to say to young girls and women wearing the hijab, but I’ll start with saying that the only judgment that should matter is Allah’s, especially because this life is really only temporary. Do not let the hijab dictate where you are going in life but instead use it as a way to show people who you truly are and what you are capable of.

“If you ever face discrimination, especially in America, you have every right to fight for equality. I find myself getting angry at bigots often but I think another piece of advice would be to educate and not attack people. The anger is not unwarranted but it’s more beneficial to spread love and awareness than to give into stereotypes of being hostile and impulsive.”