Dare 2 Be Real

Dare 2 Be Real (D2BR) is a student-led anti-racist leadership organization. Dare 2 Be Real focuses on preventing racism in Saint Paul Public Schools. According to the SPPS website, the purpose of D2BR is to:

  • Identify and affirm students who are especially effective at navigating culturally or racially diverse settings and foster the growth of interracial allies
  • Develop and support a team of intercultural/interracial student leaders who will seek to eliminate systemic, cultural, and individual racism in their school and community
  • Empower young people as racial equity leaders with opportunities to facilitate discussion and engage in collaborative inquiry and cross-cultural learning experiences
  • Help students develop and understand their individual and collective racial identity

The program includes a wide variety of students who have the same motives. These leaders work on the relationships between staff and the students.

Participants have the choice to figure out how they want to help. The group is open to any and all ideas to solve in-school problems. Dare 2 Be Real is led by Ms. McGraw. D2BR at Highland is planned to start next school year. They want to make sure everyone of any race is able to take part in this program. Highland wants to build a strong team of leaders who want to help better the school environment. Join Dare 2 Be Real to help develop Highland into a safe, positive environment.

Flint, Michigan water

April 25th, 2018, will mark the fourth year of the Flint, Michigan water crisis. Imagine coming up on four years of unclean, unhealthy, lead water that has killed about 15 civilians. Flint has had to deal with this long history of unclean water caused by “insufficient” funds. Researchers have discovered traces of lead in many children, and recently called for a state of emergency after all this time. This is a great issue, that hasn’t been urgently handled, that’s impacting many civilians.

How did this start? This tragedy began in 2011 when the city announced a new pipeline would be built. They turned to the Flint River as their source, instead Lake Huron, when they attempted to cut city costs. Flint is known as a poverty city. Even though this was supposed to be a temporary deal, this transition lasted to April 2014. The lawmakers did their best to hide the fact they were providing a toxic resource. In May 2014, residents began to notice this ill-tasting, smelly water in their homes.

After about a year, reports leak about the lead levels in the Flint homes. Lead consumption can affect the lungs, heart, kidneys, and nerves. Lead affects newborns, children, and adults in different ways. Being born prematurely, weight loss, and difficulties with memory or concentration are just a few symptoms.

Ever since 2014, lead levels have continued to rise for these Flint citizens.

After about two years, lead levels began to get better. The city sent bottled water, and filters, to schools and homes to provide them secure water.

This disaster left over 100,000 residents exposed to lead in their water. It continues to leave these residents exposed to lead.

With this information, what can we do? Aside from providing filtered water, like the government, there’s nothing we can do. Filtered water and filter systems are the only way for Flint residents to live a healthy lifestyle. Donating to projects that are funding their cause is another way to support the cause of the Flint water crisis

For more information, please visit:

Whats the deal with these iPads?

IPads were introduced to Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) in 2015. It was a new way for students to be interactive with their work. The iPads bring education to life with hands-on work. Students have specific access to apps such as Dictionary, Calculator, Schoology, and Campus Portal. While some apps are allowed in SPPS, others aren’t. Although we were given an iPad, some restrictions applied. The App Store, Messages, FaceTime, and more, are not allowed. With this information, it had us thinking: Why aren’t students rewarded with the App Store if they are maintaining their grades?

With this question, we took the time to talk to Mr. Peterson. He is the iPad coordinator here at Highland. He takes care of all the Troubleshooting problems and has helpful hints with not only iPads but anything technology. We talked to Mr. Peterson to get as much information as we could on the iPad. Here are a few of the highlights:

Why don’t we have the App Store?

  • It is because not all apps are school appropriate. The district has a filter where they manage which apps we have access to.

Why do other schools have their App Store?

  • Private schools might be breaking the law about the iPads. They have different rules. It could also be they are managed differently. The way that we manage the apps means that we have to consider all ages in our choices about which apps in are in our self-service.
  • There are some apps they could have for specific ages, but also have to be aware of middle schoolers.
  • Self-service is the only service that does the job of maintaining, but it doesn’t do everything, it’s not able to give “age appropriate apps” (feature request).
  • Some apps are connected to some federal laws, and we get a federally mandated price for our Internet, so part of the fear is that we could lose our education radar for our Internet if we got caught giving apps that kids aren’t supposed to have. Strict guidelines.

With group projects, and people living far, why don’t you think they should have Skype and FaceTime, in your opinion?

  • I think the district should do whatever it can to get video conferencing enabled for students to use or Skype.
  • They have been reviewing Skype to make sure that it wouldn’t be too much on the system, so they have been running tests on them, and they haven’t been going well on there. They keep saying that they will (Enable Skype) but end up failing. It’s an ongoing project that they need to rush and enable the app.

While talking to Mr. Peterson, he mentioned CIPA, COPPA, and FERPA. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) governs the filtering of Internet access, acceptable use, and digital citizenship education. The Children’s Online Privacy & Protection Act (COPPA) governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information collected from children under age 13. While the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records.

These three laws work hand and hand to ensure Internet safety across our district. The App Store was removed when the district learned they were violating CIPA, COPPA and FERPA laws. The solution is to shut down the App Store.

For more information about these laws, please visit: https://www.spps.org/cms/lib/MN01910242/Centricity/Domain/11270/OverviewofCIPACOPPAandFERPA12.2015.pdf

Overall, while many students don’t enjoy their iPads, it’s a helpful resource. These iPads, as Mr. Peterson puts it, are to help personalize learning and transform learning for each student.

There are complications when it comes to having a reward.

There are district laws that prevent us from having our the App Store on our iPads. While our App Store dreams are crushed, there is still the possibility of having Messages, FaceTime or Skype, all helpful tools for group projects.

As we continue to use the iPads, the District will continue to find the best way to operate and execute it properly.

Grammys review

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 28: Recording artist Bruno Mars, winner of the Record of the Year award for ’24K Magic,’ Album Of The Year award for ’24K Magic,’ Song of the Year award for ‘That’s What I Like,’ Best R&B Performance award for ‘That’s What I Like,’ and Best R&B Album album for ’24K Magic,’ poses in the press room during the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for NARAS)

On Sunday, January 28th, the 60th Grammy Awards occurred. This award show is to honor the biggest artists of 2016. According to the Grammys official website, in order for an artist to be nominated, they have to release their album between October 1, 2016, and September 30,2017. Besides the show itself, Grammy nominations are always anticipated. It’s exciting to see which artist will represent each category.

This year, the show was hosted, for the second year in a row, by James Corden, the host of the Late Late Show with James Corden. His experience with music includes roles in musicals such as Trolls and Into The Woods, and a continuous segment on his show, Carpool Karaoke. The show included great segments of Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke on a train in New York, a skit of various celebrities auditioning for the audiobook of Donald Trump, and he even included his parent in the fun. Overall though, even though he was a great host, the night was all about the music.

Because the Grammys is all about music, the performances were not lacking. Sam Smith, U2, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, and Kesha were just a few of the performers. Billboard created a list deciding who had the best performance of the night, and amongst the twenty artists, the top three performances of the night were:

3. Kesha, “Praying”

2. Bruno Mars & Cardi B, “Finesse” (Remix)

1. Kendrick Lamar feat. U2 & Dave Chappelle, “Medley”

To view the complete list, click the link:

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/grammys/8096816/grammys-2018-every-performance-ranked

When it came to the awards, some artists were more successful than others. The most nominated artist of the night included Jay-Z with 8 nominations, Bruno Mars with 7, and Kendrick Lamar with 6.  Even though he had the most nominations, Jay-Z walked home empty-handed. Bruno had the best night, winning all 7 awards he was nominated for, including Album of the Year (“24K Magic”) and Song of the year (“That’s what I Like”). Kendrick won five out of the six awards he was nominated for.

For the full list of the winners in every category, click the link:

https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/2018-grammy-awards-complete-winners-list

Overall, the Grammys was a great show this year. Everything, down to the visuals, was amazing. From Kesha being joined by various artists, to U2 performing on a moving platform on the New York Upper Bay, the 2018 Grammys weren’t one to miss.

IB Dance review

Highland Park Senior High has an IB dance program that goes in depth into different types of dances. DP dance is a way for students to come together and learn different types of movements, genres of dance, and the background behind them. This year, DP dance consisted of 35 dancers performing duets, trios, small groups ( 4-5 people), and large groups (35 dancers). Instead of nine dances, there were eight due to a missing member. Each dance was different from each other.

Charlotte Landreau is the DP Diploma coordinator and teaches TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and Dance. She introduced the show by encouraging students to participate in the arts at Highland, and to try new things this semester. She was supportive of the dancers and what they were able to produce.

On January 18, the DP Dance kids put on a spectacular show. While all the performances were strong, we have some opinions on the show. We saw that the dancers didn’t have much support from the crowd. Every dancer was strong and did their best, but the audience was lacking in positive reactions. The dancers were brave enough to put themselves out there, but the crowd didn’t reciprocate the energy. While everyone did great, we saw that Fiona (11) stole the show. She is a strong and memorable dancer who will continue to show her talent.

We would like to give props to all the performers because it is hard to dance in front of your peers. We know the feeling of working hard to produce something that means a lot to you, and presenting it. If you would like the chance to branch out and try something new, an art class next semester may be right for you.

Save your Internet

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is what gives us the freedom to browse the Internet. It’s what prevents big phone and cable companies from controlling what we access and browse. Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) give us the platforms to post what we want. They provide the freedom and platforms for our speech. Net Neutrality prevents the ISP’s from controlling how fast or slow our Internet access is. It gives everyone on the Internet an equal experience.

What’s happening to Net Neutrality?

There has been concern that we could lose our Net Neutrality. Soon, the FCC (Federal Communications Commision) will vote to determine the status of Net Neutrality. Since 2015, the FCC has tried their hardest to change the rule of Net Neutrality. If things were to change, that means ISP’s would have control over what we do. Not only could they speed up or slow down our Internet access, but they could determine what is posted. The loss of Net Neutrality means potentially paying for the sites we want to access. It would be like subscribing to a magazine, making daily tasks harder.

Who will be affected?

Without knowing, everyone is affected. Whether you’re trying to roam the Internet or you’re trying to check out a business, it can be harder to access their content. Losing the ability to share online will make it harder for certain events. This means that groups such as Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ will have a hard time planning their events. Anyone who depends on the Internet to receive or put out information will have a hard time.

How can this change be prevented?

If you have social media, you’ve probably seen the petitions going around. You may be wondering “How does a lousy petition help?” The FCC doesn’t think many people understand Net Neutrality. These signatures bring it to their attention that we care about our Internet. Now, will this prevent Net Neutrality from changing? Possibly. Many have taken the opportunity to call the FCC and tell them what it means to lose their Net neutrality. Taking action by simply signing a petition can possibly stop us from losing our Internet freedom. 

To help prevent Net Neutrality, visit the petition below:

https://www.change.org/p/save-net-neutrality-netneutrality?recruiter=763323166&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uABIRswAAAAAAWh88MyGOFL82OTJhYzVlMg%3D%3D

For more information about Net Neutrality, please visit:

https://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now
or
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2017/11/26/when-the-fcc-kills-net-neutrality-heres-what-your-internet-will-look-like/#216b23e44c68

Racism

How do you define racism?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that racism is:

“A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

While Dictionary.com says:

“A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.”

Or simply,

“Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.”

Racism has always been a hot topic, but it is just as important today than in past years. With the recent activities in politics, minorities have experienced heavy waves of racism. There’s a wide range of examples of this starting with the ban on immigrants coming into the country, building a wall on the Mexico and U.S border, and the standoff that happened between Minorities/People of Color and Neo-Nazis. Everyone can confirm that racism has risen due to the presidency of Donald Trump.

When racism occurs, there will always be people who want to state their opinions, but we want you to ask yourself this: When does your opinion on a topic become racism? When can one say something racist without getting the heat of the flame? This isn’t only applicable to our community, but also our school. We personally want to talk about our students and racism.

At Highland Park Senior High, we have experienced racism. We have overheard comments based on our race and have wondered if others have experienced the same. With this being our Senior year, we wanted to check in on our Seniors. We wanted to see if they felt safe throughout their high school careers. We wrote out a poll that asked them the following questions:

  • What race are you?
  • Have you experienced racism at school?
  • Do you feel safe at school?
  • Do you feel you were treated differently because of your race? Explain your answer.
  • Do you feel you were treated lesser by your peers because of your skin color?
  • Has anyone expressed racist ideologies in school? If yes, what was said?
  • Has anyone made you feel uncomfortable when it came to the topic of racial issues? What was said?

Survey says…

With the results, this is what we can conclude. According to the surveys, we interviewed 14 Asians, 12 Hispanics/Mexicans/Latinos, 26 Caucasians/White and 34 African Americans for a total of 86 students.

We are going to focus on the results of the most important questions asked. So let’s start with the big question, “Have you experienced racism at school.” A total of 34 students said they have experienced racism. Many of these answers were from our minority students. When asked if their race plays a part of them being treated differently, 36 students answered yes.

There was one Caucasian student who addressed their white privilege which was surprising to us. Not a lot of Caucasians are open to addressing that they have white privilege.

When we asked the students what racist ideologies were being said, we got a variety of answers. “Police brutality victims deserve it,” “immigrants should not be let into the country,” and “the end of DACA would be great,” are just a few things that were said.

Our most important question is do these students feel safe. 13 students said they felt unsafe at school. Even though it’s not a big number, it still means something.

What can be said?

With all of these results, we didn’t know what type of conclusion we wanted. We made this article to determine what four years at Highland looked like, racism-wise. We did this for us to personally get a feel about the school and racism.

From many of the surveys, when there was a problem, it mentioned the same person/problem. That leads us to wonder “Why is it that the same thing is causing others to feel unsafe and discriminated no matter their race.”

Another thing that we were able to determine was that everyone believes they will be safer by avoiding the situation. No one wants to state what’s specifically on their mind. We personally can’t blame them.

It’s as if there is an elephant in the room that if addressed will remove the feeling of “comfort” in school. This is an elephant that lived in our class for four years. For our senior year, it’s hard to determine if the elephant will be camping in the said room until we graduate, or if it will go packing.

Boat Dance

It’s here again the annual Boat Dance at HPSH!

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image taken from River Rides

The Boat Dance is a dance that is put on by our student council. This dance takes place on a big luxury boat on Harriet Island. The dance is like a regular dance but it’s on the Padelford Packet Boat. It has been the most popular dance among all of the students here. This dance is where students go to socialize and have fun as a way to celebrate the end of the school year.

The students attending the Boat Dance will meet at Harriet Island located Downtown Saint Paul for boarding. After all the hard work we students have been through, this is a time where we can be stress free, have a  good time, and meet new people.

We took the time to talk to Ms. Hedwall, one of the leaders of student council, and here are a few of her comments:

What is the reasoning behind Boat Dance?

It’s a way to celebrate the end of the school year.

Who exactly is in charge of putting Boat Dance together?

All of student council.

Why should someone go to Boat Dance?

The weather is going to be amazing this week. There is going to be a DJ and karaoke. It’s on a big paddle boat and by the time we get back downtown, the view is amazing.

What makes Boat Dance, Boat Dance?

Its on a boat! The whole thing is fun on itself. The more people there are, the more fun. People have a good time hanging out. There are many different options to do on the boat.

Ticket prices has been set at $20 dollars, and the last day to retrieve your ticket is Thursday, May 18th. There will be food provided, music, and smiles. My fellow writers and I recommend to attend the dance having an open mind, and a positive attitude.

 

Jamba Juice frenzy

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image taken from the “Mothers of Multiples” website

It’s finally here Highland!

On Thursday, April 14th, we had workers from Jamba Juice come to our school and sell a few of their popular drinks: Mango, Strawberry, and Mixed Berry. Jamba Juice sold their smoothies during first lunch. This is the first time this year that Highland has had any type of promotion from an actual food company.

After sitting down in the lunch room, we noticed that a lot of students had enjoyed the fact that there was an exciting addition to their normal everyday lunch routine. The smoothies were almost as popular as the school’s Italian Dunkers. Most of the students that we saw had a liking to both Mixed Berry and Mango.

Before I (Angel) decided to buy myself a Jamba Juice I asked a fellow student, who was working the booth, to see if it was worth buying it and he said, “It’s really what your tastebuds like.”

When talking to students, there was a mix of emotions. Some liked it while others did not. While some thought it was flavorless and tastes like powder, others thought it was fruity and good.

Even though the drinks were great, there were two problems that arose during this test run. First, they ran out of drinks during first lunch, meaning that second lunch didn’t get a chance to try these drinks. Second, students were informed that Highland would only be selling Jamba Juice here once a month, instead of every week as originally announced.

Even with the glitches, everyone is looking forward to the next time Jamba Juice makes their return and hopes they don’t run out!

 

Benstock gone wrong

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photo courtesy of HPSH Yearbook

Did you hear about what happened at Benstock?

On March 11, Highland Park held its annual talent show Benstock. The show consists of dancing, singing and performances. The event is held in our auditorium. This year, it began at 7:00 P.M. and lasted until past 9:00 P.M.

Some of the performers included Tahji, Maeve and Roland (who performed together), Claudia, Malik and many more. Many performers that night had sung or rapped a song while a few others performed with their bands. The band, The Father, and the collective of Charlie, Alex, Thomas, Evan, and Fernanda were both bands who had performed a mix of rock and metal songs.

The most memorable performance of the night was from Francisco, Zach, and Nathan. When the trio first came on stage, they began performing “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. Then before they could say a word, the music cut off and started a different beat. They then started to recruit a crowd to be at the front of the stage. Once they had a crowd, they began to freestyle. Due to them swearing in the song, they were shut down. The performers were later taken to the principal’s office to discuss repercussions.

The performers had uploaded a video on Youtube, but they then took it down a day later. The video included multiple view points from the performance and it ended with a voicemail left by our principal, Dr. Tucker. Due to this change in the performance, many expect some rules and guidelines for next years Benstock.

Just like most people in the audience, I enjoyed the performance. In the moment, I was not aware that they were swearing. Their rapping was one of the best experiences at Highland. Everyone in the audience seemed to like this performance. I even asked a few of my friends for their opinion on this situation. Here are a few of their comments:

Nick:  Hilarious. The video on YouTube was good! I hope it happens again, I enjoyed it a lot.

Sauldki: I enjoyed it very much. I felt the school was taking away their rights to perform.

Annalise: It was fine. We are all in high school, we are all old enough. The staff over reacted.

Charlie: I was prepared and disappointed because they stopped it. I can see why the parents find it disturbing. It’s a good way to go out as a senior.

Molly: It was stupid because they are seniors. They should be able to do what they want for their last year.

These are just half of the people I asked. Just like I mentioned before, many students enjoyed the performance. It was in fact, in my opinion, stupid to suspend the seniors for five days. It is no different from original rappers who swear in their music.

To conclude, I do think some of the reactions and consequences were unnecessary. Only because it is no different from what we hear in the hallways. It was a simple crowd pleaser.