By Molly Merson
Social Media Editor
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world,” are the words of famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman. With feminism and equality petitioning on the rise, it's no surprise to find that the $20 bill is now adapting to accommodate equality.
Harriet Tubman is a famous African-American leader in history. She escaped Southern slavery and led hundreds of other African Americans to freedom through the Underground Railroad. This consisted of a network of safehouses and hidden paths to help African American slaves escape to free states.
Tubman left the South in hopes of becoming an abolitionist and fighting against slavery and segregation in Maryland. She is one of the most famous civil rights activists due to her role in the operation of the Underground Railroad.
When asked about the topic, students’ opinions divided greatly.
By The Leonid Editorial Board
With the 2016 presidential election to begin on November 8, both Democrats and Republicans are fiercely battling for their party’s nomination in the primary elections. The political race is all over the news, constantly dominating every aspect of social media, social interaction, and pop culture.
With so much controversial information flying around, many of us are left wondering, “Where do I stand? Who should I vote for?” If you can’t decide who to support, you are certainly not alone. With all of the quirks and disparities between candidates, we’re seeing a whole new wave of division both between and within parties. For many people, it boils down to the best of the worst.
By Taylor Bosley
This past December, Sony was set to release “The Interview,” a “comedy” surrounding the assassination of North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco. After a group who calls themselves “The Guardians of Peace” threatened the movie theaters that intended to play the movie, many theaters pulled the movie and it could only be found online and in select theaters. Many Americans viewed the pulling of the movie due to the threats a violation of the First Amendment and cried out the infamous phrase “freedom of speech.”
The attention surrounding “The Interview” has no ties to freedom of speech, it ‘s an issue of human decency, or rather a lack there-of.
Early in the movie there is a scene where Rogen and Franco are driving through the city and ask about the “speculated” starvation of the North Korean people. They are pointed to a “grocery store” and then an overweight boy to dismiss the allegations. An overweight kid eating candy is hilarious, right? Maybe it would be if it was not found by the United Nations that one fourth of children in North Korea suffer from chronic malnutrition. That means 25% of all kids living there do not receive enough food to grow properly, which often leads to stunted growth.
Besides the staggering 25% malnutrition rate, the UN also found that two thirds of all North Koreans are unaware if they will even have a “next meal.” To make a movie that centers jokes surrounding an issue like starvation will desensitize viewers to the actual hardships the North Korean people face each and every day.
When there is a land of people ruled by a power hungry leader who dictates almost all aspects of life, including the haircuts of the citizens, there is not much room for laughter. While Kim Jong Un does not deserve any support, the people he rules over do. To make a mockery of the struggles they face is indecent.
The use of satire, as “The Interview” is said to use, is an important aspect of media. Although when that “satire” desensitizes others to the starvation and complete dictatorship a land faces, not much good can come from it.
By Claire Krackow
Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy in the December 2014 movie, “American Sniper” (based on a true story) saved countless lives on the battlefield and turned him into a legend.
After returning home to his wife and kids after four tours, Kyle discovers that he can not leave the war behind.
Chris Kyle, who was nothing more than a cowboy from Texas, found out that maybe his life needed something more, something where he could express his talent and help America in the fight against terrorism. Kyle joined the Seals to become a sniper, a person who operates alone or in a team to maintain close visual contact with the enemy and engages from concealed positions. Kyle’s biggest struggle wasn’t with his missions, but it was with the relationship he had with others because of the reality of the war. Eventually, he develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the obstacles he faced with being involved in the war. This causes him to struggle with being a husband and father to his family back in the States and although he is home, he cannot leave the war behind as it haunts him everyday.
This film does more than portray the horrors of war, it focuses on the horrors that come after; the post war suffering when those who served have come home. In this film, Kyle was not killed by an Iraqi, but by a U.S. veteran whom Kyle was trying to help heal, long after he had returned from the battlefield. Allegedly, this veteran had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
This film raises awareness of the effects on veterans after they return home that more people should be aware of. Not only are they hurting physically, but they are hurting mentally as well. These obstacles can change a man’s life forever, the friends that they lose and the horror that they witness will live in their mind forever.
Many people referred Chris Kyle to a “bloodthirsty warmonger” but he was a smart warrior who fought hard for his country and for his fellow troops.This film brought many people to celebrate and believe in America again, but also to realize the sacrifices that our troops made and to appreciate them. There is much success in the film, “American Sniper” and much more to learn.
By Shalah Ponder
Black History Month, what does it mean, what does it symbolize? Even though our school does a good job at discussing black history in our history classes, celebrating Black History Month needs to be more visible and prominent to the attending students.
As a member of the African American minority here at Red Lion, Black History Month symbolizes that minorities have a chance to receive recognition. It symbolizes their heritage is worth being acknowledged and celebrated.
As a whole, our school should take pride in Black History Month because it shows students that our community and country has come a long way in how minorities are treated and respected, thanks to the Civil Rights Movement.
When asked how Red Lion celebrates black history month, social studies teacher Mr. Jay Vasellas, who has his Master degree in African American history, responded, “We don’t exactly have just one time to acknowledge black history month, we teach black history your freshman year to sort of set the foundation. And it is reinforced throughout your high school career. We also have elective classes students can take such as History of Modern America.”
So, the main thing is that students want to see a Black History month shown just as much excitement and school spirit as something as simple as the next upcoming basketball game. It helps the African American minority feel just as supported.
Recently, a few changes have been made to honor Black History Month. One is a segment on the morning announcements, spotlighting a prominent African American figure. Another idea is a lesson on Black History Month during PRIDE. Teaching a lesson is a good way to get the full attention of students and to make them aware of the subject.
Mr. Vasellas and many other teachers have been a big help in the recent changes that have been made. “What we are doing is both trying to honor Black History Month, but also incorporate it into the fabric of what we are teaching so that it’s not just for our black students but for ALL students.”
Several Red Lion students have their own ideas about how to increase awareness of black history month within the student body.
“Red Lion should recognize Black History Month and also acknowledge some of the Spanish holidays too--give the minority groups a chance to be noticed. Also it would be nice if we had a spirit week either during the first or the last month of February, to get the students and staff involved,” Junior Gloria Maldonado said.
“We should acknowledge someone historic or famous every day of the month and include trivia for the students, whoever gets the trivia right gets a pride ticket!” Junior Jessica Lewis said.
Other ways to increase awareness are posters of African American icons who have impacted the world in their fight for freedom and rights. There are so many African American historical figures that are worth knowing. These are just things that would help add more acknowledgment and recognition on an event that matters.
Black History Month should be a time of the year that everyone can get involved and everyone can get something out of it. This isn’t just important for the African American Community but for other people too, it’s a reminder that change can happen.
A girl in Winter Haven, FL (between Tampa and Orlando) committed suicide. Her name was Rebecca Sedwick and she was bullied to death. Bullied so much and so badly that she climbed to her death on a water tower and jumped.
Her story can teach us a lot about bullying and suicide. Rebecca was first verbally bullied until it later became what is known as cyber bullying.
Sedwick moved schools. Everything was going really well for her in the new school. Then her classmates at her other school found her online. Authorities have said Rebecca was “terrorized” by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts.
We can learn when enough is enough. The girls bullied her everyday. Calling her every name you can think of.
“They say things like, ‘you should die, you should drink bleach and die,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Two girls, ages 12 and 14 were arrested. They were both charged with felony aggravated stalking, police have said. Judd said investigators made the arrests after the 14 year old made incriminating comments on social media.
Someone shouldn’t feel so bad that they start cutting themselves because they are being called every name in the book. Someone shouldn’t feel so worthless and sad about himself or herself.
We should learn to not bully each other and be judging each other. We don’t know what goes on at home. Each and every one of us has a story. Some are worst, happy, sad or bad. We should know words do hurt.
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