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. 

The Iowa caucus

By Jillian Armstrong

Most people have heard about the Iowa caucus, and even it’s results this year. Most people, however, don’t know why the caucuses are so important and the influence it has.

The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican parties in the state of Iowa. The Iowa caucus is regarded as an important indicator of a candidate’s likely success and it usually is the first among the nomination contests. 

You may be wondering why the Iowa caucuses are important and why they are in Iowa in the first place. Iowa is tiny, atypical to the rest of the United States, and provides about only 1% of the nation’s delegates. However, this doesn’t stop the state from being the first indicator of whether a presidential candidate’s support is holding up. The timing of the Iowa caucus provides candidates time to adjust their messages, which gives the state a large amount of power in elections. The Iowa caucuses give the media a tangible measure of candidates’ relative strength.

The Iowa caucuses’ importance can be seen in past electoral races. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, for example, the Iowa caucuses in 2000 played an important role in the ascendance of the Democratic nominee, Al Gore. It did the same thing for the election’s ultimate winner, George W. Bush. In 2008, former President Barack Obama took lead in the Iowa caucuses. This forged a path for his nomination and victory over his rivals. 

The Iowa caucuses are run differently from other primary elections. In primary elections, in other states, registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots. In Iowa, people gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates.

The caucuses were run differently this year, a decision that may have backfired. Instead of local meetings, it was decided that an app would be used to make the experience “easier.” The apps showed irregularities and votes began to have to be counted manually. This led to a significant delay in determining the results. 

According to CNN, the eventual results of the Iowa caucuses showed Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders as front runners in the Presidential race, both carrying about 21% of the votes. Elizabeth Warren was not far behind in the race with about 18% of the votes. So, as the Presidential race continues, these three candidates should be paid close attention!

Sex trafficking nationally

 

Minnesota is such a quiet place no one would think something like sex trafficking would be going on. It is known for teens to do risky things in the bathroom at malls and movies in Minnesota. But no one really knows if they’re forced to interact in these sexual encounters. There was a total of 28 victims forced into human sex trafficking last year during the “Final Four” in March of 2019, also sex trafficking is huge during the Super Bowl, which Minnesota hosted not that long ago. 

All 28 of those victims were rescued, including one minor, and there was a total of 58 men and women that were arrested for these crimes.

But this isn’t only happening in Minnesota, it’s a worldwide problem. Over 20.9 million are victims of human trafficking globally. This is occurring everyday and is ruining little girls and women’s lives. 

The average age of when a sex trafficking victim is first sold is 13years old. The ages go up to as high as 30 years old. One pimp of who was a sex trafficker, but ultimately was caught said, “The goal is to get the girls as dependent as possible. Mentally you’ve gotta burn into their brains you’re the only one…You’re god. Once you’ve got that down and they’re ready to work…Then you instal the fear…The wrath of god. If they mess up, there’s a price to pay, and they know it’s a heavy price.”

Most everyone knows about sex trafficking from what they see and hear in movies and the news but no one has ever sat down to actually listen to the victims instead of interviewing them to get famous off their stories.

So, as we conducted research, we went around to the students of Highland Park Senior High School and asked their opinions on the topic. We interviewed multiple students but only a few of these students’ opinions really stood out. The same two questions were asked: “How do you feel about human sex trafficking?” and “What are your emotions towards the victims that go through sex trafficking?”. 

Jerry Flores a sophomore attending Highland Park Senior High said, “Well sex trafficking is a controversial topic and isn’t well thought out or more of the less thought of. I feel that there should be more laws about how to compensate these families when going through these type of experiences.” 

Brianna Avalos said, “It has messed up young girls’ lives because they don’t experience things that everybody else does because of it.” She also said. “It makes me feel bad because they have to go through it everyday and they don’t have a normal lifestyle that a normal person would have.”

Another Highland Park student said, “The authorities need to do a better job regulating it.”

We then asked our parents about sex trafficking and here’s what they had to say:

“It’s horrible and they need to have a specific force team for just sex trafficking.”

“I feel that this kind of thing happens almost everyday and for these young girls to go through something like that it’s really really sad. I feel that the police should do more to stop the creeps and pedophiles who use these young girls for their bodies.”

According to the U.N.-backed International Labor Organization (ILO) globally, it is estimated that up to 40 million people today are affected by this industry. In 2019 alone, per the Institute for Sport and Social Justice’s “Shut Out Trafficking” program, there were 2,907 individuals arrested, suspected or charged with human trafficking activities in the United States. More than 400 people over 18 years of age were rescued from being trafficked and nearly 115 children under age 18 were freed. There were 83 new laws passed and 483 community-based initiatives to fight human trafficking.

There are plenty of groups and organizations working and helping the police in different states to stop this crime from happening. So, if you, or anyone, are in need of help please don’t hesitate to call the National Trafficking Hotline at: 1-888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to Polaris Project’s BeFree Textline at 233733. And please take the information provided to you and spread the word; it’ll help a lot of kids and women. 

Women in the U.S. military

When it comes to serving one’s country, it took a lot to get women to where they are today. Throughout the years, women have been fighting to move up the ranks in the military. It took a long time, but finally, women can now enroll and serve their country in any rank or position. 

Women have always held a role in the United States military, however for the majority of the time, the roles never involved combat. These women who wanted to serve were confined to jobs as washwoman, cooks, medical caregivers/nurses, seamstresses, and laudresses in the 18th and 19th century. These military roles were mainly taken part during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

Once World War l came around, women still were mainly just nurses. However, the women not already working medical positions were to enlist in the armed forces. During this time, most still served in a voluntary area. A select few ended up being hired by different branches of the military for work and aide in clerical positions. 35,000 women and counting served in the army during WW I. 

During WW ll, women were once again recruited for the army. This time not only to be a nurse, or work in a clerical position, but to be hired as a weather forecaster, telephone operator, or linguists.

As time went went on, some faced a lot of hardships while being a part of the army. Congress decided to allow women to legitimately enlist in the Army of the United States. Because of the Women’s Army Corps, in 1943, women could attain a military rank and serve overseas. 

Women served valiantly in WW ll. They were mocked, sexually harassed, and stigmatized. Through all that, they served bravely and some received medals and citations of their contributions. However, every woman who served was not considered a veteran or given benefits.

A few years later because of sexism in the military, in 1948, President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law. This meant letting women serve as full and permanent members in all branches of the U.S. military. However, women were still restricted. This act limited the number of women who could serve. This left only 2% to be women in the military. At this point, it would take years to get women to where they needed to be equally. 

Slowly but surely, Women’s roles did expand from where they were. By the time it was 1970, women in the military could rise to command roles in non-combat units. Along with this, women and men began to train together.

In the year of 2013, women finally achieved full status in the U.S. military. They could now serve in combat roles. However, this did raise a new global question; should women be required to register for the draft? 

Santa Clarita school shooting

On November 14th, there was a school shooting that occurred in Southern California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, in the city of Santa Clarita. The school shooting occurred at Saugus High School and the suspect pulled out a gun from his bag and started shooting at students in the outside courtyard at around 7:40 A.M. right before classes began that morning.

The perpetrator was a 16-year-old, who was named shortly after the shooting, Nathaniel Berhow. Berhow shot 5 of his classmates and ended up killing 2 out of the 5 classmates he had shot, and wounded the other 3 before shooting himself. The shooting only lasted 16 seconds. The other 3 wounded students, whom were in critical condition were transported to nearby hospitals.

The shooter, Nathaniel Berhow, was transported to a nearby hospital as well but he was in grave condition. A day after the shooting, he was pronounced dead.

The LA sheriff, that was on scene, said that Berhow shot himself right after he began shooting the others, and that he doesn’t know what the motive was.

The Los Angeles Police Department and authorities went to Nathaniel Berhow’s home to see if there were any problems at home but there was none. It was Berhow’s 16th birthday and 2 of the other victims, that lost their lives, were were 14 and 16 years old.

The Los Angeles Police Department said that he used a .45 caliber pistol and there weren’t any bullets left. They also said that he wrote on his Instagram bio saying “Saugus have fun at school tomorrow.” It was taken down immediately after reports from students and others on Instagram that had seen it.

A 15-year-old sophomore at Saugus High School said that she kept running because she didn’t want to get hurt.

Saugus high students Katie Thanaet and Tyler Wilson look over items left at a memorial in front of the school Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Students were allowed back on campus to collect their belongings left behind after the tragic shooting last Thursday. Classes will resume at the high school on December 2nd. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

A 17-year-old student said that when he initially heard the gunshots, he used his metal water bottle that he was carrying as a weapon. Students also were hiding under their desks crying in fear. He also said that the school taught them to put a book in front of your chest.

Another high school student said that she was in the courtyard when she heard what she thought was “balloons popping” and she immediately found out that it was not balloons popping and that it was gunshots and immediately started running.

After the shooting, all the other schools in the same area of Saugus High School heard what was occurring at the high school and immediately went on lockdown and officials told others to lock their doors to stay safe.

Parents of students that attend Saugus High School and schools nearby insisted that schools to do more to insure safety in schools and have active shooter drills.

Classes at Saugus High School won’t resume until December.

This past decade, in the US, school shootings have been very common. The second most deadly school shooting, behind the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, just occurred 6 years ago, at Sandy Hook Elementary school, killing 27 people. The deadliest high school shooting occurred just last year in 2018 in Parkland, Florida, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing 17 people.

This shooting makes it the 373rd mass shooting in the US in 2019 alone. 

ACT change

Each year, millions of high school students across the country will be in intense pressure to get a good score and do good on the ACT exam. The ACT exam is usually always mandatory to get into any college.

Luckily, for high school students, the ACT will be somewhat easier next year as students go through the college admissions process. Officials at ACT stated that starting next September, students who would want to improve their scores would be able to retake single sections of the five part test.

The ACT lasts around 3 hours and next September, instead of sitting for all of them again, if a student wants to retake it, they will not have to retake the whole five part test again and can choose which specific section they would want to improve on.

This new change could allow students to avoid doing worse on sections they had taken earlier.

A lot of colleges and universities have made test scores an optional part of applications, but still many students aspire to score highly on the ACT and SAT exams.

The five subsections on the ACT are: reading, math, science, English and writing, which is optional. All 5 are graded on a scale of 1 to 36.

As of right now, scores on the four required sections are averaged into a composite score. Also starting in September, students will get a new superscore that combines their highest scores on the subsections from each time they took the test.

Ed Colby, an ACT spokesman said, “They might think, ‘Why do I have to sit through and take all these tests again if I only need to improve my math score? We’re trying to save them time. We’re trying to save them money.”

Test experts said the changes would help many students improve their scores. This new ACT change will hopefully help students achieve a higher score on their ACT. 

Area 51 raid

People from all over the country walked, drove, and even flew to raid at a United States Air Force facility, within the testing and training range in Nevada, known as Area 51, on September 20, 2019.

The reason behind this raid started when a Facebook event page was created to raid Area 51 by Matty Roberts, on June 27, 2019. The reason for the raiding was to see if the phenomenon about extraterrestrial life is really real and potentially on earth.

Over 2 million people on Facebook responded to the event and said they would go and this started into widespread media attention and created memes.

There has been conspiracy theories since the 1950’s, about Area 51, capturing and holding many aliens within their facility. Many individuals have said to have seen UFOs within and around the radius of Area 51. All of these conspiracy theories led to the raid that happened.

10 days before the  official day of the raid, 2 Dutch tourists were caught and later arrested for trespassing. As a result of that, the two men were sentenced to a year in prison according to NPR.

The creator of the page on Facebook, Matty Roberts, stated that his page was entirely all just a joke and he was discouraging people that potentially were going to the raid.

The Lincoln County Sheriff Department thought that over 30,000 people would come to raid Area 51 on September 20th, but shockingly, only 150 people came despite over 2 million people saying on Facebook that they wanted to go, or were interested into doing so.

But throughout the weekend, there were smaller raids and festivals with over 6,000 people attending. Throughout the weekend, 5 arrests were made in connection to the raid.

Despite no one really seeing anything they expected and wanted to see, they can say this experience was all around worth it. 

4 ways to support Hurricane Dorian victims

As you all may know, Hurricane Dorian has severely affected the lives of those living in the Bahamas. You may be seeing it all over the news, and you may be wondering ”Is there anything I, a high school student in Minnesota, can do to help those in the Bahamas who have been struck by this tragedy?” Well, there are some ways you can help. Here are 4 ways you can support the victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2019/09/04/757426316/photos-show-hurricane-dorian-damage-in-the-bahamas

1. Donate Money

The first and most effective way to help is to donate money to a variety of organizations that help hurricane relief. Several organizations are already working in the Bahamas. A couple organizations include: The Red Cross and Global Giving.

Donating can vastly help support those who are struggling in the Bahamas, and are in need of materials.

Americares is a company that will also help based on what you give. This disaster relief organization is currently promoting a donation match and will match donations you give dollar for dollar.

2. Donate Clothes

Donating Clothes is definitely a great way to help provide citizens with proper, wearable clothes. You can donate clothes to the Bahamas Red Cross and they will see to it that they get in the hands of those who need it most.

3. Provide Supplies and Resources

If you’re short on money, or can’t give out any clothes, you can also give resources and supplies to organizations that help relief from Hurricane Dorian. Miami-Dade county is collecting supplies to help Hurricane survivors, and are accepting a wide variety of donations, including tents, cots, hygiene kits, purified water, portable generators and more.

4. Give Canned Food

Non-perishable food products are definitely needed in the Bahamas as a solution to feed those who have been driven out of their homes without resources, and are living in temporary spaces. You can donate canned goods to: World Central Kitchen.

Source: https://weather.com/news/news/2019-09-08-hurricane-dorian-bahamas-destruction-evacuations-aid

Every little donation helps, no matter where in the world you are. Together, we can support those less fortunate than us by giving whatever we can to help hurricane victims. No matter how little you give, it’s up to us to respond to the needs of Dorian victims.

The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a plan proposed by Democrats, that is aiming to curve climate change and address economic inequality. It is named after Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression, but with Green added on for the environmental part of the plan.

The Green New Deal has been gaining interest over the past few months, and on March 26, it was brought to a vote. The plan was shot down, but proponents of the plan are trying to pass parts of the plan as smaller bills. It has been estimated that we have 10 years left to fix carbon emissions or else there will be a catastrophic event.

Everybody knows what the Green New Deal is, but how does it actually work? The plan is to boost clean energy and infrastructure by offering incentives to those who will build the structures necessary for clean energy. This will hopefully make clean energy the first choice over non-renewable energy sources such as: coal, oil, and natural gas.

The plan also aims to tackle economic inequality by creating jobs for lower income people. These jobs would mostly be in construction, as all the new infrastructure needed for renewable energy will have to be built by someone. All the new building is supposed to stimulate the economy and help the environment.

The idea of a Green New Deal is not a new idea. It was first mentioned in columnist Thomas Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded in 2007. The idea was picked up by Obama in 2008, and by liberal groups in Britain, but in 2010, the Republicans won congress and the Tories (the conservative party in Britain) won Parliament, and the idea was lost.

The idea resurfaced in the 2016 election race when Jill Stein ran with her own idea of the Green New Deal and Bernie Sanders also had his own idea of the plan. Both of these candidates would eventually lose, but then in 2018, the Democrats regained the house and young, progressive, representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reintroduced the plan and gained support from many progressive representatives. The bill was eventually killed, but the fight is not over and many representatives are pushing for other plans like it.

Mueller Investigation

In the years of 2017-2019, Robert Mueller was doing a special counsel investigation against Russia. He was investigating their government to see if they had anything to do with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A source said, on May 17, 2017, the investigation extent included the allegations that were linked to Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential election.

In 2019, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) started to look into the special counsel, eight days before Trump fired James Comey, who was leading the FBI Russia investigation. The FBI had a feeling that Trump and Russia were linked. The FBI were investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.Following the dismissal of Comey, 130 democratic lawmakers, in congress, called for the appointment of a special counsel.

The investigation resulted in the finding of dozens of instances of foul play by Paul Manafort. They found federal crimes, and at least eight guilty pleas led to convictions, possibly leaving him to serve 7 years in jail.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, Mueller submitted his report to the FBI. The democrats fear that what they have read has already been made public in Trump’s favor.

The democrats demand that they see the full report made by Mueller. Attorney General William Barr said Mueller’s report cleared Trump of campaign tampering with Russia and criminal obstruction.

For more information, please visit:https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/03/29/politics/mueller-report-secrecy/index.html