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.

 

 

 

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

~5372327Have you heard the hype about the new movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice? Well we can’t stop talking about it.

Based off of trailers, the new movie is about Batman (Ben Affleck) going head-to-head in combat with Superman (Henry Cavill). To learn more about the movie, here are the links to a few of the trailers:

 

https://youtu.be/0WWzgGyAH6Y

https://youtu.be/NhWg7AQLI_8

https://youtu.be/fis-9Zqu2Ro

~5426436Based on the premise of the movie, let me ask you a question, who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman? Each have strengths and weaknesses that would both help and hurt them in this fight. Here is a list of their strengths and weaknesses:

Batman

Strengths – Weapon master, skilled in martial arts, high level of human strength and intelligence.

Weakness – Batman has no known weakness with the exception that he is mortal and can die.

Superman

Strengths – X-ray vision, super strength, heat vision, super speed, and he can fly

Weakness – Kryptonite is Superman’s biggest weakness.

Now that you know about each superhero, Who do you think would win in a head-to-head fight, Batman or Superman? We asked a few of our Highland students and teachers who they think would win.  There results were:

Batman won with 51 votes while Superman received 31.

So, we know whose side Highland Park is on, however, if you want to see who really wins go see the movie which is 2 hours and 31 minutes long, rated PG – 13, and comes out on March 25.

A personal what?

imageI have a question, who actually took time to do their personal project?

After asking 10 different sophomores, 8 out of 10 said that they had.

The IB MYP Personal Project is a project completed by sophomores at Highland Park Senior High. It is an opportunity to express a personal interest as well as the development of a student’s writing and thinking skill. The project consists of three parts: journals, a paper, and the product. The paper is typically due in the middle of February and the final product is presented in a showcase around spring. The full completion of the project overall takes a year.

The project is first introduced to students at the end of their freshmen year. This gives them the chance to explain and decide what they actually want to do for their project. Then later at the beginning of sophomore year, students are assigned an adviser who will help them and lead them through their project. Each adviser is assigned about five students. This gives them (the advisers) a better chance to actually sit down one-to-one with each student to keep them on track. Each student gets the chance to meet with their adviser three times before actually completing and turning in their project.

Now that you know about the project, let’s ask a few of our HPSH sophomores about it. I asked 10 students (the same 10 from the beginning of the article) the following question: Do you think you were provided with enough help? Here are some of their answers:

Danasaja: “No I didn’t {Receive help}. I had to ask other students.”

Mohan: “Little help on the journals, but I did fine on the final paper.”

Sydney: “There was not  enough structure, but yes, enough help was provided.”

Even though there wasn’t a lot of positive feedback, the project does help us prepare for being independent for our adult lives. The project can become time consuming when we have other homework to focus on.

After taking a poll from the same 10 students, 6 out of 10 were proud of their final products. Even thought it wasn’t favored, many were proud of their final product.

 

 

 

 

Small Animals

Looking for a class to fill your empty schedule? Well look no further!

Small Animals is a class where students get to learn about the history of domesticated animals. Students learn the material by watching videos, working on group projects, and by participating in interactive activities. You learn the knowledge of what to do when buying or taking care of a pet. The class touches on the topics of reptiles and amphibians, pocket pets (i.e. hamsters), and common household pets.

As someone who took the class, I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to pursue a career in the veterinary field, or anyone who wants to gain more knowledge on pets.

Still not convinced? I asked a few students to share their opinion about the class along with any new information gained, they said:

Serene: “It’s a really nice class. You learn a lot and Ms. Wedger is a very nice person.”

Betty: “It helped me prepare for the expenses of taking care of it (A house pet). If you’re not planning on raising a pet, do not take the class.”

IMG_0011 copyThe class is taught by Hannah Wedger, also known as Ms. Wedger, and is located in room  3206. Ms. Wedger also teaches Floral Design and Fish & Wildlife Management. She is also the leader of our Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Taking this class for one semester will will earn you both of your Tech credits.