Tag Archives: 2014-15

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.

Attleboro School Store

Selective items sold at the school store (Photo submitted)

Selective items sold at the school store
(Photo submitted)

By: Evelyn Mendez

Attleboro High School (AHS) has a school store located in the B1 cafeteria. It was open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during all four lunches and closed for the school year on June 16.

Popular merchandise are sweaters, which are sold for $25, T-shirts for $10, sweatpants for $20, flip flops for $20, and hats for $15.

Students enjoy expressing their “Blue Pride” by wearing the clothing from the school store. Since the store is only open two days a week, less than 10 items are sold each week, unless there is a special occasion like a rally or Spirit Week.

AHS junior Cassandra Barber said, “I like it because it has a lot of items; I bought a sweater and long sleeve shirt from there. It is a good way for students to have easy access to display their blue pride.”

AHS Council member and AHS parent Mrs. Lori Scales takes charge of who will be at the cash register and the inventory. There are about seven people, including students, who work as volunteers.

They include students: E’la Hall-Kelleher is a cashier, Anastasia Hooten is a cashier, counts the money beforehand, vacuums the store, and stocks the shelves, Elizabeth Antone counts the money at the store, is a cashier and greets the people who enter the store, and Joe Scales is a greeter, does inventory, vacuums the store, and during Spirit Week advertises the items sold at the store.

Paraprofessional Ms. Jackie DaSilva overlooks the store making sure products are in their place and teaches the students how to use the cash register.

One volunteer, Ms. Susan Akell said, “If you forget a notebook, pencil or a school supply, the store provides it.” She added that there is a good variety of items sold.

The school store opens on days like parent teacher conferences to show visitors what the school provides. There are different vendors for different items sold.

AHS freshman Nataly Ortiz said, “I love the fact that the school store will have what a student needs at a reasonable price.” She added that the quality of the products is good.

 The store helps advertise the Alumni Club, sports, Special Olympics, and the music and art departments by selling T-shirts, bracelets, flip flops, and pins. School supplies like pencils, pens, notebooks, note cards, highlighters, poster boards, and tri-fold poster boards are sold, mostly for under $5.

AHS senior Stepheny Mendez said, “I always buy a new sweater every year and switch off colors blue and gray.” Mendez loves the idea of the different designs and colors.

The store takes into consideration that students forget things. They sell shorts, deodorant, hair spray, hair ties, and other necessities for emergencies.

AHS sophomore Kleidy Espinoza said, “I have never been inside the store but have heard great things about the stuff sold there. I am thinking of checking it out myself.”

AHS sophomore Emma Legere said, “Although I’ve never been there, my friends say that it is a really good place to get your AHS needs.”

Some students might not even know about the school store, so should check out the great products sold there next Sept. when it reopens.

Police Brutality

Protestor holds up sign in Baltimore during Ferguson protest (Screenshot by/ Grace Harvey

Protestor holds up sign in Baltimore during Ferguson protest
(Screenshot by/ Grace Harvey)

By: Grace Harvey

 

Over the past two years, police brutality has been a major topic in the news with constant reports of police officers brutally beating or even killing “innocent” civilians. The main question brought up by the media about police brutality is if police brutality has increased or if technology has just captured it and showed it more.

One hundred and eighty Attleboro High School (AHS) students filled out a poll on this question.

The results were close: 55 percent of students said that yes, police brutality has increased, but 45 percent of students said that no, police brutality hasn’t increased – technology is just capturing it more.

Ninety-six males, 81 females and three non-binary students filled out the poll. Including 85 freshman, 46 sophomores and 49 juniors. Of the females, 58 percent answered yes to police brutality, 52 percent of the males said yes, and 67 percent of non-binary students also answered yes.

Out of all the students who answered yes, 51 percent were freshmen, 22 percent were sophomores and 27 percent were juniors. Of all the students who answered no, 43 percent were freshmen, 30 percent were sophomores, and 27 percent were juniors.

The collected data from the poll shows that AHS students are varied in their beliefs that police brutality has increased in the past few years. Even answers quoted online from criminal justice professors and FBI agents had mixed answers.

In a 2014 online Breitbart online article about police brutality, Professor Maria Haberfeld from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in N.Y. said, “There is no escalation in the use of deadly force. What we are seeing is a proliferation of cell phones and cameras.”

According to a 2014 FBI report in Reuters, violence from civilians in America is actually in decline, while violence from the police force is rising. In the span of one year in America, the report stated there were over 400 felony suspects of police killing civilians, but it is estimated that it was closer to 1,700 killings, just not all were reported.

One of the most suggested reasons in many articles for this “so called” increase in police brutality, is the 9/11 effect; the theory that since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, police have been less hesitant to use harsh force against people.

AHS resource officer Patrolman Joseph Daday said that police brutality has not increased, but that the media has just covered it more since 9/11.

“I think after 9/11 there was a greater respect for a short period afterwards for police officers due to their heroism but I don’t think brutality has increased,” Daday said, adding, “You see it more because of the media covering it more, police have always had to use force; civilians are just now more disrespectful toward us.”

A 2010 police brutality interview of Brigitt Keller, the head of the National Police Accountability Project, a non-profit organization founded by the National Lawyers Guild and is dedicated to the end of police abuse of authority stated, “There has been a clear escalation of violence by police, particularly since 9/11 the willingness of police to use very harsh measures against people has definitely increased.”

By law, citizens receive a harsher charge for harming a police officer than a police officer does for killing an innocent civilian. Many of the police brutality cases shown across the media depict civilians as completely harmless and killed for no apparent reason.

“The many instances of deadly police violence captured on video give a visceral reality to these statistics,” says Keller, adding, “They show police beating and sometimes needlessly shooting citizens, even those with their hands up or armed only with a knife or stick while standing too far from responding officers to pose a threat.”

Protests against the increase in police violence are happening all over America and across the globe, including Europe, but problems arise when the protesters become violent and thus making it difficult for them to be taken seriously.

Awolnation Review

Awolnation performing at Richmond during their Run tour (Screenshot by/ Grace Harvey)

Awolnation performing at Richmond during their Run tour
(Screenshot by/ Grace Harvey)

By: Grace Harvey

Awolnation is an American indietronic rock band formed by Aaron Bruno in 2010. The current members are Bruno (vocals), Kenny Carkeet (keyboard), Drew Stewart (lead guitar), Isaac Carpenter (drums), and Marc Walloch (bass guitar).

The band’s first EP, Back From Earth, was released onto iTunes in 2010 and their first studio album Megalithic Symphony into 2011. Megalithic Symphony featured Awolnation’s most notable hit, “Sail.”

“Sail” was voted number five on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, number four on the Billboard Rock Songs chart, and has been certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Their most recent album Run consists of 14 songs, three of which are singles: “I Am,” “Windows” and “Hollow Moon” also called “Bad Wolf.” The common themes of the majority of the songs are love, though it is more prominent in some songs than others. The band is currently touring for this album, which started on March 28 in British Columbia and will end on Sept. 27 in Las Vegas.

 Tickets for the store are still able to be bought on the Awolnation website, though some concerts are already sold out. Prices range from $60 to over $300; fans can even purchase an exclusive meet and greet with the band.

Run is sold on iTunes, in stores, and on the official website, on CD, electronic download, or vinyl. Price ranges from $8 to $18. Merchandise can also be bought from their website, including shirts and hoodies that range from $20 to $40.

A few of the songs on this album are “Fat Face,” “Windows,” “Jailbreak,” and “Holy Roller.” The total length of the album is 55:20 minutes and songs range from two to five minutes each.

In an online interview by radio.com of Bruno, he talks about the creating of Run.

“I just wanted to give something to listeners that was very sincere, and sort of create an escape for people,” he said, adding, “I think I accomplished that with the new record … This is truly a music lover’s album; it’s about the whole thing from start to end.”

The songs in Run are very carefully put together and ordered; Bruno designed the songs so that the last ten or so seconds of each song was the introduction to the next, in order to make the listening experience as smooth as possible.

The album altogether deserves a four and a half out of five stars for song composition and sound quality, but a half star off due to the overall length of the album; 55 minutes is short for an album, another song or two could have been added to make it a complete hour.