Circus ban

All around the world, circuses travel and entertain people everywhere they go. Performers do flips, tricks, and balance on the craziest things. Something almost every circus uses is animals, which are often loved by children. 

Despite bringing huge success to the circus, people are arguing for animals to be taken out of circuses for multiple reasons.

Circus animals have the right to be protected and treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. Circuses often ignore that, and a couple examples of this are: using trailers that have splintering wood, and having sharp, protruding metal pieces near animals’ cages.

When it comes to taming the animals, trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks and other painful tools to force animals to perform. Tigers naturally fear fire, but they are still forced to jump through fire hoops in some circuses and have been burned multiple times. 

Other than physically being abused, animals are also mentally abused. During the off-season, animals used in circuses are sometimes put in small traveling crates. The confinement has harmful psychological effects on them that are often indicated by unnatural behavior such as repeated swaying, and pacing. 

Virtually 96% of a circus animal’s life is spent in chains or cages. 11 months a year they travel over long distances in box cars with no climate control; sleeping, eating, and defecating in the same cage until they die.

Not only does this hurt animals though, it also hurts people. Since 1990, there have been more than 123 documented attacks on humans by captive large cats in the United States, 13 of which resulted in fatal injuries.

As animals everywhere get abused, the senate in Colorado is passing Senate Bill 125, called the Traveling Exotic Animal Safety Protection Act. “Circus animals often have quite difficult lives, and this bill aims to prevent exotic animals from being used in such a way here in our state,” Rachel Zenzinger, a Colorado state senator said.

Colorado is putting up a bill to ensure animals are being fairly treated. Circus animals are often abused and mistreated until the day they die. As time goes on, it only puts more animals in danger. Circuses should be discontinued if they continue to hurt animals.

States accepting the CROWN Act

In many places in the world, like America, Black women and men often face hair discrimination. On several occasions, they are denied work and opportunity because of their hairstyles and/or hair textures. Due to this, not only adults are facing mistreatment, but also children of African Descent. 

In a single week, three states around the United States introduced or advanced bills that would ban hair discrimination. Those three states are: Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington. All three states have a 3%+ population of African Americans and are becoming more open minded.

Colorado passed the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN, Act and their senate introduced the new bill the next day. Minnesota is considering the bill and was introduced to the bill earlier in the week. Washington state passed a bill that would prohibit employers and schools from discriminating against people over hairstyles and textures including: afros, braids, locks and twists.

At school, many people experience hair discrimination, like Texas student DeAndre Arnold. He was told that he was unable to walk at his own graduation if he didn’t cut his dreadlocks. His school only allows short dreadlocks and because his are long, they violated the school dress code. As of January 24, 2020, Arnold had to face suspension.

The superintendent claims it to be legal, in which is it, but it’s not right. If Texas were to also pass the CROWN Act then teens and others of African Descent, like DeAndre Arnold, don’t have to go through this hair discrimination.

It’s not just Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington though. Other states like, California, New York, and New Jersey, were the first three states to pass the CROWN Act. As other states start to roll in and start accepting others, the CROWN Act is starting to thrive each and every day giving others the rights they deserve. 

Yoga for the young

Yoga is a physical activity that calms the body and the mind. Many people use it for different reasons like flexibility building, strength building, and anxiety reduction. Studies have shown that yoga is a great stress reliever. In 2012 a survey went out to a group of people that practiced yoga and 86% of the surveys said it helped reduce stress. 

Young people from ages as young as 5, all the way up to 18, in America, are required to go to school. As each year goes by it gets more and more stressful with classes getting harder and stricter. High schoolers are constantly complaining about stress and the workload piling up each day. Balancing home life, sports, clubs, programs, and homework is certainly hard on students. If young people started to take yoga how would the stress and anxiety levels decrease? 

In the article, “Yoga for the Young” by India Currents, a high school student started doing yoga at age 5. It taught her discipline, focus, and she lives almost stress and anxiety free as she breathes in and out calmly. It is stated that because she’s calmer and knows discipline, it helps her with getting good grades.

Many believe that yoga is only done by adults, but it can also have a great impact on teens and children if they learn to focus on focusing on their inhales and exhales. According to WebMD, studies show that yoga can work certain areas that will help students, and those areas are involved in thinking clearly, decision-making, memory enhancing, and regulating emotions. 

Schools don’t have many classes teaching yoga but at Highland Park Senior High, Kathleen Kramer teaches a class called Stress Management. In class they practice mindfulness, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, improving flexibility, and improving strength.

Ms. Kramer has seen many changes in her emotional, mental, and physical state before and after she started teaching the class. As a teacher, Ms. Kramer has seen improvements in her behavior at work saying, “I feel more calm after leaving this class. When I go to move on to teach my next class I feel that I am able to handle curveballs that are thrown at me daily.”

Many of her students also started seeing changes in themselves like Conor Gregg Escalante. Conor enjoys having this class in the middle of the day because it allows him to reset and regain his energy for the rest of the day. He has seen himself become more open minded after taking this class, improving his focus and engagement in class, and he’s been more open and flexible in his relationships.

From both the teacher and student perspective, there was great improvement in many areas. Yoga is a highly recommended activity that is proved to increase strength, flexibility, and decrease stress and anxiety. If youth all around the world were to practice this activity, it would impact them positively.