The Wrangler https://ylhsthewrangler.com The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School Fri, 08 Nov 2019 20:54:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 The World’s Longest Flight from New York to Sydney https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19545/news/the-worlds-longest-flight-from-new-york-to-sydney/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19545/news/the-worlds-longest-flight-from-new-york-to-sydney/#respond Fri, 08 Nov 2019 20:54:00 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19545 When asked what it would be like on the world’s longest flight, many people would probably have the same response as Analise Hopper (9), who explains, “it would be extremely boring and tiring to sit in one spot for such a long time, so I would have to binge watch movies for the entire flight.” Passengers aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner probably felt the same way, with the exception of being monitored for the entire flight.

Qantas Airways launched this flight from New York on Friday October 18, which touched down in Sydney on Sunday, October 20. This flight was not only the longest flight in history, but it was also a non-stop test by the University of Sydney to reduce fatigue and jet lag when traveling long distances. According to Time Magazines, the demand for jet lag therapy has increased by six percent each year, and with the test results from this flight, it may be possible to keep long-distance travelers from becoming jet lagged. 

The flight took exactly 19 hours and 16 minutes to get from New York to Sydney. Forty passengers sitting in business class were monitored during the flight, along with four pilots who took turns sleeping. Scientists from the University of Sydney tracked the brain waves of the passengers and crew to observe changes in brain activity during the flight. The moment the passengers boarded the plane, they were told to adjust to Sydney’s time, which is 15 hours ahead of New York. Their internal body clocks changed, but with the help of the monitored activities, passengers were able to have an easier time adapting to the new time zone.

According to NBC News, passenger Tom Costello recalls how passengers were given spicy foods to keep them from dozing off and were occasionally told to do different exercises. All of the passengers performed these exercises together, whether it be stretching or dancing to the “Macarena.” However, if a passenger happened to be sleeping when it was time for an exercise, crew members would allow the passenger to do what they were most comfortable with.

In addition to adjusting to food that the passengers ate, the temperatures and cabin lighting were also regulated throughout the flight to fit the passenger activity. The cabin was colder and brighter when passengers were awake and warmer and darker when passengers were sleeping.

After fighting to stay awake for several hours, passengers were finally told to rest for the remainder of the flight. When the aircraft landed in Sydney, passengers left feeling better than they would have without the onboard activities. With knowledge from this flight and help from the University of Sydney,  passenger health when traveling long distances is better understood and can thus be remedied. Jet lag could still be a problem for frequent travelers, but ways to avoid this is clearer, thanks to this 19 hour flight.

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Hydro Flasks: Environmental Sustainability in a Materialistic Culture https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19526/opinions/hydro-flasks-environmental-sustainability-in-a-materialistic-culture/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19526/opinions/hydro-flasks-environmental-sustainability-in-a-materialistic-culture/#respond Thu, 31 Oct 2019 04:52:10 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19526 Reduce plastic! Recycle! Save the turtles! These lovely sentiments have taken the forefront of modern American values. Especially with younger generations, finding a way to live a life that is sustainable has become an important aspect of one’s identity. To achieve this goal, reusable water bottles, specifically Hydro Flasks, have risen in popularity. These luxury bottles are the symbol of environmental consciousness in the modern era. Yet the poster child for the eco-friendly movement has become intertwined with a materialistic and elitist culture. 

The rising prevalence of reusable water bottles is a great indicator of America’s growing emphasis on environmental sustainability. It is incredible that so many young people are seen with a thermos in hand as opposed to a one-use plastic bottle. But similar to the path of many trends in the United States, the reusable container movement is becoming plagued by American’s inherent desire to flaunt wealth and assert the disparities between economic classes.  

Hydro Flask has emerged as one of the most prominent brands associated with being eco-friendly. The company is known for bottles that are stainless steel and packed with undeniably good insulation. The thermoses have gained popularity thanks to social media apps such as VSCO and Instagram. With a variety of unique colors and sizes coupled with their unique logo, HydroFlasks have become a central focus of many photos, memes, and must-haves. 

While they offer a range of qualities that make them highly desirable products, they also run for sky high prices. One of the most popular sizes, the 32 ounce wide mouth bottle, costs approximately $40, a price that many individuals are unable to afford. 

Yes, Hydro Flasks are admittedly a well-made product, leading to higher prices. But the pressure to carry one is singling out those who are unable to make this hefty purchase. These designer bottles are contributing to a culture that emphasizes materialistic wealth. Some act as if the Hydro Flask is the only appropriate method in which to live a life more sustainably, creating a false feeling of obligation to invest in one of these multi-colored thermoses. 

Many work to be as environmentally-conscious as possible, yet eco-friendliness has become buried by flawed values of wealth and status. 

But protecting the earth is a responsibility shared by society in its entirety. Every contribution matters, every bottle saved makes a difference. Because of this, the environmental movement should stop placing such a large emphasis on the Hydro Flask in particular. Holding one of these designer bottles is causing an artificial sense of superiority, causing a well-meaning brand to become a toxic reminder of economic disparity. 

Regardless of the bottle brand one carries, an individual is still contributing to the environmental movement. The Hydro Flask should not be a method in which to flash one’s wealth, instead it should be the vehicle in which a person can act with consideration for the environment. It is of the upmost importance to help cleanse the eco-friendly movement of society’s materialistic culture. Jayden Hawley (12) is one of many who acknowledge that “reusable water bottles should have less to do with the status they bring, and more to do with the turtles they save.”

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“Radical Vegan Agenda” of California https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19471/news/radical-vegan-agenda-of-california/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19471/news/radical-vegan-agenda-of-california/#respond Wed, 30 Oct 2019 14:10:46 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19471 On October 11, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed bill AB44 into law; it will go into effect on January 1, 2023. This bill makes California the first American state to ban the sale, manufacturing, or donating of new animal fur products. 

According to CNN, this excludes “fur [from] taxidermy,… leather, cowhide, and shearling.” The ban also does not apply to fur acquired through legal hunting licenses, or fur with religious, cultural, or ethical purposes. 

The fur ban is one of multiple laws made with the intent to prevent animal cruelty. Governor Newsom also signed bans on certain circus animals, the hunting of bobcats, and the slaughter of horses. 

The New York Times reports that similar bans” have been “introduced in New York, Hawaii, and New Jersey.” 

States and localities are being pushed to make such laws in response to the growing efforts of animal welfare activists, such as the Humane Society and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman stated that “PETA is proud to have worked with compassionate legislators to push these lifesaving laws forward…” This passion for animal rights is shared with YLHS student Bella Saucedo (9) who explains that, “[she] thinks it’s a good ban because then you don’t kill innocent animals for their fur.”

This bill’s existence can be credited to the shrinking prominence of fur in the fashion industry. Fur makes up a small percentage of revenue in local California shops, due to a “waning interest” in fur, as noted by Decades store owner Cameron Silver. The anti-fur sentiment of consumers reflects the initial intent of the author of the bill, Laura Friedman. Friedman posted on Twitter soon after the law was signed, saying that “California has no place for the inhumane and unsustainable treatment of animals.”

However, this ban does not incite enthusiasm in everyone. As one would expect, most opposition to the fur ban is from national industries generating over $300 million in California alone. Teli Spyropoulos, president of one of the largest fur retailers, argued with Friedman over the bill. He highlighted a major economic problem with the bill, which “would result in hundreds of jobs lost within the state” and a “ripple effect across the country… not only affect[ing] the individuals, but their families as well.”

Others may view the ban as a slippery slope towards state consumer regulation: a Fur Information Council spokesperson labeled the ban a “radical vegan agenda,” where fur is the “first step to other bans on what we wear and eat.” 

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Panera Bread: The Truth Behind the Macaroni and Cheese https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19481/news/panera-bread-the-truth-behind-the-macaroni-and-cheese/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19481/news/panera-bread-the-truth-behind-the-macaroni-and-cheese/#respond Wed, 30 Oct 2019 14:09:11 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19481 All around the world food brings people together. Through its great conversation starters and amazing flavors, different dishes spark wonderful encounters. Each country is known for its different items. America is known for the hot dog, Italy is known for spaghetti, but did you know Macaroni and Cheese originated from England? It seems as though Americans have adopted Mac n’ Cheese as its own. Restaurant chains around the nation have put their own spin on the English meal such as Chick fil A, Corner Bakery, and a fan favorite, Panera Bread. 

Panera has created a name for itself when it comes to their delicious creamy Mac n’ Cheese, so when a video showing how the scrumptious food is really made went viral on the popular app TikTok, many were devastated.

Recently, former Panera Bread employee Brianna Ramirez took to her TikTok to show how the infamous white cheddar Mac n’ Cheese is truly made. What she did not expect was 6.5 million views and attention from national news channels such as Fox. In her post, Ramirez recorded herself taking the prepackaged white cheddar Macaroni shells and placing it into hot water, and then preparing the meal in a bowl. The mass media was in complete shock by this method. 

Although it might be common for restaurant chains to heat up food, all of the comments on the post were people filled with resentment. Common Panera customer Kaitlyn Kame (11) was in total awe after viewing the Tik Tok, explaining that she “really thought the Mac n’ Cheese was from scratch.”

Only a few days after the post was uploaded, Ramirez took to her Twitter account to announce that she had been fired from the company. As she went on to explain her video, which many describe as “exposing” Panera, did not put the chain in the best light. Although Panera has decided not to come out with a statement on the matter, The Washington Post claims a spokesperson from the company did defend their preparation process. Many may find the heating of plastic dangerous, but the spokesperson claimed that the reasoning behind their method is to avoid the use of any preservatives. 

As for the future of Panera, not much has changed since the scandal. Most people seem to think that their food is too good to pass up. An overwhelming amount of comments on the TikTok come to the same consensus: “I am still going to eat it.” Although one user considered the American bakery-cafe chain to sell, “glorified hospital food” it appears that most will continue to purchase the white cheddar pipette rigate pasta.

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Needles or Nausea: The Modern Anti-Vaccine Movement https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19461/news/needles-or-nausea-the-modern-anti-vaccine-movement/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19461/news/needles-or-nausea-the-modern-anti-vaccine-movement/#respond Tue, 29 Oct 2019 14:43:43 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19461 In 1796, Edward Jenner injected a 13-year-old boy with cowpox, a mild version of smallpox, which the boy later grew immunity to. Jenner’s raw methods of inoculation, or vaccination, were later improved upon by subsequent generations of scientists into the modern needles and “shots” we get today injected into our arms when we walk in at the clinic during flu season. 

 

So what exactly is vaccination? Vaccination is the same thing as inoculation, and it is essentially the administration of a vaccine, which contains a weakened microorganism or virus, into the body to help the immune system develop protection against a disease. Vaccines have come a long way since its crude roots from Jenner, and has helped squeeze previously rampant diseases like polio and smallpox out of communities. Bohan Bai (12) says that “[she thinks] vaccines are extremely effective since [she has] been getting vaccines such as the flu and HPV vaccine.” Bohan, who routinely gets vaccinated, says that “[she has] never caught the flu after receiving a flu vaccine.” 

 

At this point, it was made clear the benefits of vaccines, and so the United States government passed laws mandating that children must receive a certain set of vaccinations before they could enter school. This was done in an effort to protect children who might have been unable to receive certain vaccines by providing them a disease-free environment of vaccinated individuals, a method known as “herd immunity.” 

 

These new vaccines saw widespread use throughout developed and developing countries but as of recent, there has been a new group of people within the United States pushing to reform against the extensive usage of inoculation, leading to a surge in disease outbreak incidents.

 

However, despite the visible health advantages of mandatory vaccinations within society, a rising group has began to protest against the government on required vaccinations. Known as the “anti-vaxxers” in for their anti-vaccination policy, members of this “anti-vax” community often cite false studies linking vaccines to autism and hailing essential oil products as the new medical breakthrough.

 

However, this denial of science can be dangerous. For example, measles, which had been declared eradicated in 2000, had over 1,000 cases reported in the US by early June this year. The outbreak was most common within a cluster of anti-vaxx communities, who refused to be vaccinated or vaccinate their children. Many, in fact, attempted to combat this streak of illness with essential oils, either proving ineffectual or exacerbating the issue. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence and experiments against the anti-vaccine movement, new anti-vaxx groups have sprung up all over social media and throughout the nation in a push to denounce and eliminate the usage of vaccines. 

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Bird Brain: How Studying Birds’ Brains Have Led to Many New Discoveries https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19395/news/bird-brain-how-studying-birds-brains-have-led-to-many-new-discoveries/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19395/news/bird-brain-how-studying-birds-brains-have-led-to-many-new-discoveries/#respond Tue, 29 Oct 2019 14:36:28 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19395 People may have heard of the saying “bird brain” before, and the negative connotation associated with it. However, in a recent study involving their neurological patterns, birds may actually be useful to understanding the different functions of our brain. To test this, scientists are implanting false memories into their brains to see how they learn different sounds. 

 

Although this may seem impossible at first, further explanation about how the process works will justify any doubts. The test was done on zebra finches, a species native to North America. “Zebra finches normally learn their song by memorizing the song of their father. After this, they then slowly learn to copy it” (NewScientist). Since their vocal development is similar to humans, they are the perfect animals to use.

 

The goal of this experiment was to see if they could get the birds to sing a specific tone without ever hearing it before. In order for them to do this, they used optogenics, which is a process where light is used to manipulate and alter the neurons and cells in a tissue, determining when a neuron begins working (Live Science). This can help scientists better comprehend how brain pathways retain certain information, therefore using it to help humans with autism or disorders affecting vocalism (Newsweek). 

 

Megan Chou (9) agrees and states that “by studying the behavior of animals under certain conditions, such as putting new memories into their brains can help us learn how we could do the same to help people with disorders.”

 

Since the genes inserted in the birds were capable of being controlled by light, scientists were able to shine light on certain areas of the brain. When the lights are flickering in a certain pattern replicating the note lengths of each song, the brain would register the information as it would a father singing. For example, a shorter note would have a shorter flash of light, and a longer note would have a longer flash of light. This is called note duration.  

 

Based off of this experiment, scientists learned how an area of the brain called HVC helps the bird learn the songs. This is why it is imperative that it doesn’t get interrupted, as it could cause problems in remembering certain parts of the song. The area called NIf, which activates at the beginning and end of the song, helps code this information, and signals this information to the HVC. They were also able to conclude that there is indeed an area in the brain called the behavioral-memory-goals, which aids in the process of helping a human learn a sound. 

 

It is truly amazing to see where science is nowadays. From testing different animals to observe the correlation between a certain sound and how it is processed, this is only the beginning of many other discoveries that scientists are yet to make. So the next time the saying “bird brain” is used, think about how they have contributed to us.

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Revenue over Rights https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19427/news/revenue-over-rights/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19427/news/revenue-over-rights/#respond Fri, 25 Oct 2019 21:35:19 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19427 Riots broke out in Hong Kong in March of this year and, 204 days later, protests are still continuing throughout the region. The initial source of the protesters’ anger was indignation towards the Hong Kong extradition bill pushed by Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, in March 2019 his bill titled the “Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation Amendment” allowed China to arrest voices of political dissent in Hong Kong, which many believed to violate the human rights of the people.

However over the course of the past few months, the rallying cry of the protests has shifted towards something much greater– a call for independence and democracy. Everyone from students as young as 16 years old have taken to the streets to raise their objections towards the oppression of the Chinese government, with estimates ranging to nearly 2 million attendees at a Free Hong Kong rally. 

Although the goals of the protesters vary, as they have chosen to unify under democracy than a single leader, five demands have emerged from Hong Kong: a withdrawal of the extradition bill, a resignation from Carrie Lam, an inquiry into the acts of police brutality, a pardoning of those arrested, and more freedoms within their democracy.

Violence, however, has become common, as police have started unbridled attacks upon the protestors. These include using live ammo as well as facial recognition software to track down the demonstrators. In return, the protestors have taken to using masks as a symbol against persecution and writing goodbye notes for their families, knowing that the likelihood of them returning grows slimmer every day.

Yet, despite these human rights crimes, corporations within America have turned a blind eye. On October 4, 2019, Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted an image supporting Hong Kong alongside the caption “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” In a blizzard of controversy soon following, the Chinese government suspended its ties with the NBA and threatened to ban the league’s programming within the country, and the NBA sided with its Chinese market over the freedom of speech of its employees. However, the NBA isn’t the only corporation that has submitted to the will of China. Activision Blizzard, became the focus of backlash after it punished Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai, the winner of Blizzard’s ESports Hearthstone League after he rallied for the democracy of Hong Kong in a post-game interview.

People from all over the world have called out the corporations for their financial greed, even going as far as a bipartisan letter supported by people across the political spectrum from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Marco Rubio condemning Blizzard for their actions. Lauren Schatzman (12) when asked for her opinion on the matter said “That’s disappointing, but it shows what fear and money and power can do.”

In the end, as people continue to fight for their basic rights democracy halfway around the world, the decision made by the companies regarding revenue over rights is clear, but it is up to the public to hold corporations accountable for their choices.

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Various Scholarship Opportunities and Ways to Earn Them https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19455/features/various-scholarship-opportunities-and-ways-to-earn-them/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19455/features/various-scholarship-opportunities-and-ways-to-earn-them/#respond Fri, 25 Oct 2019 01:54:49 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19455 When applying for a college, students also acknowledge the tuition of their school of choice. To avoid student debts from high tuition, many students do their best to find scholarships to reduce the cost of their education. There are many scholarship opportunities that students know about, such as academic scholarships, but there are also a few that not many people know about, such as first-generation students.

 

One of the most commonly known scholarships for students is for academic achievement. Many of these scholarships can be obtained by high GPAs and grades. An example of this is the National Merit Scholarship Program, where students who perform well on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) will be selected as Semifinalists, and then must meet additional academic standards in order to be considered as a Finalist and receive the $2,500 scholarship.

 

Another commonly known scholarship is for sports. Student-athletes who excel in a certain sport can receive this scholarship by first selecting a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division to apply for and then following the NCAA scholarship requirements. According to the NCAA, athletes must maintain a 2.3 GPA throughout their high school years in addition to the athletic requirements. Depending on the sport, the average scholarship is worth $8,700, and some sports even offer full-ride scholarships.

 

A less well-known scholarship opportunity is for first-generation students or students from underrepresented groups. This includes students from low-income backgrounds and minority groups. The Gates Scholarship is an example of this, in which students with the listed ethnicities are eligible to apply for the award. As stated in the Gates Scholarship eligibility requirements, students must plan to obtain a degree at a four-year college and also demonstrate leadership, academic, and personal success throughout their high school years. Annually, 300 students are selected to receive funding for their college tuition, books, and other attendance costs. Similar scholarships include the Questbridge Scholarship, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

 

In addition to all the nationwide scholarships, there are also many scholarships that are available to the local area. These opportunities are limited to residents of a certain area, which means less students are applying, and a greater chance of receiving the award. A scholarship program local to Southern California is the Edison Scholarship Program. The program is aimed towards students who wish to pursue careers in technology and engineering. According to the Edison Scholarship Program, 30 students are awarded $40,000 every year to help pursue their careers.

 

All of the scholarships that were mentioned are just some of the scholarships students can earn. Of course there are many more opportunities that students can find based on their unique interests. Ameerah Hirji (10) explains that “if students do know about the different scholarship opportunities, they will go forward and try to earn them. But, if they do not know about them, they might not try as hard both inside and outside of school.” It is never too early or too late to start applying for scholarships, and one can start today just by making an effort to strive academically.

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How the Modern E-Boy is Challenging Gender Stereotypes https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19440/opinions/how-the-modern-e-boy-is-challenging-gender-stereotypes/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19440/opinions/how-the-modern-e-boy-is-challenging-gender-stereotypes/#respond Thu, 24 Oct 2019 03:46:46 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19440 Since the beginning of civilization, gender norms have persisted as a leading component of modern culture. The male and female have often been forced to conform to the roles society has assigned them. In order to maintain the patriarchy that has long existed in the world, men have been expected to uphold certain “masculine” characteristics. The concept of machismo has often been associated with assertiveness, power, independence, and athleticism. If a man was to fall short of the expectations society has set for him, he would be shamed and disparaged. 

Yet with the progressiveness of the era in which we live, these views regarding gender and stereotypes have evolved. Female empowerment has taken center stage and the world has begun breaking down barriers and removing labels. Although, despite these changes, men continue to feel the pressure of asserting dominance and masculinity. To counter this backwards and ignorant mentality, an entire youth subculture has emerged. The modern E-boy is challenging gender stereotypes and influencing the way society approaches sex and identity. 

Many of these E-boys sport the haircut that is reminiscent of a young Leonardo Dicaprio or Devon Sawa. Their hair is long and split down the center. Others, like Jacob Viveros (12), may “identify an E-boy by their painted nails or their striped long-sleeved shirts worn beneath a black band tee.” And, of course, don’t forget the chains. Chains around their necks. Chains in their pockets. Chains on their keys. 

Growing one’s hair out and painting one’s nails has often been labeled a feminine activity, yet the modern E-boy defies this stereotype with his fashion and choices. Their confidence to show off multi-colored hair and jewelry is a stark contrast to the traditional views of what masculinity is. 

While it is easy to mistake the rise of E-boys as a mere fashion trend, the culture that their brand has created is promoting progress and acceptance of varying identities and preferences. 

The movement took off with the help of social media sites such as Instagram and Tik-Tok. The fashion is one of the key aspects of an E-boy, but it is the complex characteristics that one must zero in on. 

The name, E-boy, is derived from the concept of an emo (emotional) individual, thus the brand is associated with more gentle and vulnerable traits. In contrast to the male stereotype of asserting dominance and disregarding others, many E-boys are vocal and honest about their sensitivity or if they desire a stronger romantic partner. They are also often covered by layers of clothing, rejecting the notion that men must show off their muscular physique. 

E-boys have adopted and celebrated traditionally female characteristics, integrating these aspects into their identities and thus blurring the lines between femininity and masculinity. 

With the rise of this subculture of trend setters and heartthrobs, it is easy to say that the world is proudly progressing and society’s perceptions and ideas are changing. 

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We Deserve More https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19420/opinions/we-deserve-more/ https://ylhsthewrangler.com/19420/opinions/we-deserve-more/#respond Wed, 23 Oct 2019 13:51:53 +0000 https://ylhsthewrangler.com/?p=19420 I sat silently in the darkness, my second period class laughing and talking as we awaited instructions. Bags were already packed, our second period teacher having informed us that a lockdown drill was to occur at the conclusion of class. Protocol had been ingrained into our minds from the annual drills we’ve practiced each year. Lock the doors. Turn off the lights. Hide. I knew exactly what to do, but I couldn’t help thinking about what I would do if an incident such as this actually occurred. 

Every drill I have practiced over my time in school has given me a clear understanding of what to do in case of emergency while in class, but what happens during passing period? Or break? Or lunch? 

On February 14, 2018, a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida. This event shook the nation, bringing awareness to the enormous issue that has dominated modern culture. In the past 18 years, more people have died in mass shootings than in the entire 20th century (Springer). 

As a high school student, the Parkland shooting was one of the most terrifying and impactful events to have occurred during my lifetime. School is the place where my peers and I expand our knowledge and pursue our education. It’s the place where we spend time with friends and play our sports.

It’s not the place where we should fear for our lives. It’s not the place where parents should send us to and worry that we will not return home. ”

I understand that I was born into a society in which the fear of mass shootings is unavoidable. Yet the educational institutes that my fellow students and I attend have an obligation to prepare us in the face of tragedy. 

Of course, schools take the precautions of practicing a lockdown drill each year, but quite frankly, it’s not enough. During the drill in October, our school practiced a lockdown in tandem with an earthquake drill. With the growing prevalence of school shootings, squashing a lockdown and natural disaster drill into a single practice is not only ineffective, but disrespectful. It feels that we do this to save class time and avoid disruption, but potential of a mass shooting is not an issue to take lightly. It’s not an issue to overlook. It is a prominent problem that has resulted in devastation across the nation and has corrupted America’s youth. It is a problem that deserves its own time and emphasis. 

I can’t criticize the lockdown protocol we run through, as I think that these drills have prepared us for how to act in the case of a school shooter while we’re in class. But the issue that worries me is that we are utterly unprepared for an assailant to enter the campus while we stand with our friends, eating lunch and making jokes. 

I feel lost as I walk through the quad during passing period. I wonder if the sound of a gunshot was to explode nearby, what should I do. I can only imagine the riot of crying teenagers as they struggle to find an escape. There’s no way of knowing where the shot came from. There’s no way of anticipating whether there’s more than one gunman. How does one decide whether to run for the hills or seek shelter in a classroom?

 I think about freshmen hiding beneath the table, or seniors stampeding over one another to reach their cars. Then I think about the students, frozen in time, unable to move in the face of such a petrifying threat. This fear and lack of assurance is a concern that many individuals share. Even a senior, such as Jacob Viveros (12), who’s run through his fair share of emergency drills, “has no idea how [he] should react” and “is afraid for the safety of clueless students running amuck.” 

I can’t say that saving time is more important than saving lives. ”

My confusion is absolutely terrifying. With a problem so severe, how could I feel so unprepared? As students, we need help and guidance for what to do in an attack so horrifying. We need drills that mimic genuine emergency and instruction on what to do if we aren’t in the familiarity of our classrooms. Our education system needs to do more to help protect us from one of the scariest issues of the 21st century. I can’t say that saving time is more important than saving lives. 

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