May 14, 2012
Teenagers stay up late. Many students are not getting enough sleep, causing them to have trouble focusing in class, or even falling asleep. Not getting enough sleep can become a problem for students- especially for those who have other after school activities, such as sports, clubs, or jobs.
“Teenagers’ sleep needs vary from person to person, but most need eight-and-a-half to nine hours of sleep each night,” said school psychologist David Updike. However, more than 90 percent of teens in a recent study by the Journal of School Health reported sleeping less than the recommended nine hours a night.
“I get about five or six hours of sleep max and it’s definitely not enough for me,” said freshman Josh McKinney. “I get angry when I don’t get sleep, everyone just makes me mad,” McKinney said.
Sleep deprivation can cause many other mental effects as well; They’re usually overlooked, because you can actually see and feel the physical effects “Lack of sleep can even increase a person’s chance of developing depression or another mood disorder,” said Updike.
Besides the fact that there are many negative mental effects, there are also physical effects, such as general tiredness, trouble focusing, etc. “It’s hard for me to function without sleep,” said sophomore Alex Holloway.
“If they get less than [eight-and-a-half to nine hours of sleep], their attention at school is worse and it’s harder to remember information learned in classes,” said Updike.
Sleeping during class happens to many students throughout the day. It may seem harmless at the time, but in the long run it could result in problems with retaining the information you are learning. “I fall asleep in class a lot,” said Holloway, “my grades have gone down a little.”
More problems can be caused by sleep deprivation than many probably thought. Staying up late on the computer or watching television might sound like good idea at the time, but one needs to remember all of the effects-physical and mental- that sleep deprivation can cause. It’s probably not worth all of the negative effects. “It’s harder for today’s teens to get the sleep they need because cell phones and other tech devices make it easy to contact each other any time of the day or night. So, the recommendation is to get to bed at a reasonable hour and to turn off the ringer on mobile devices,” Updike said.
March 23, 2012
Popularity: You always see it in the movies, but is it present in high school? Whenever you see a movie about high school, there are always the jocks and ‘popular’ girls, the nerds, etc. However, that’s just the movies, not real life. Most students at Sequim High agree that it does exist, to some extent.
“It exists. It’s definitely not as big of an issue as in the movies, but it’s always there,” said Josh McKinney, a freshman. In movies, there’s always see the social pyramid. There’s the jocks and ‘preps’ at the top of the pyramid and at the bottom are the nerds, or geeks.
“I see hicks, preps, jocks, stoners, and metal heads. Then everyone else just blends in with everybody,” said Peter LaJambe, a junior. SHS has some unique cliques, which usually don’t appear in movies. There are individuals who come together because of their similar interest in BMX riding, horseback riding, and many more, all in which are not usually featured in movies. However, it is the same in a few ways. There are the preppy girls and jocks, a few different students say.
“I guess popular at SHS means you’re the most well-known,” said Jake Lewis, a sophomore.
Some students however, say they are not affected by popularity at school much. “I’ve gone through high school having friends who don’t really care about cliques,” said Tyler Jennings, a senior. That is not usually what is seen in the movies, though. Most of the time there is the most popular people at school constantly putting down others and just being rude. Here at SHS however, it does not seem to be to that point. Or is it?
“I feel like I am [affected by popularity] because almost everything in school revolves around popularity. It’s always a contest. If you’re not in that clique you’re too socially unacceptable and are forced to be more isolated,” said Sabrina Cook, a sophomore. Some students like Cook see things differently. Cook feels as though there is the definite pyramid mentioned before, that is seen in the movies.
It seems it really depends on how you look at things that determine whether or not popularity is as big of a deal as is seen in movies. Popularity seems to be defined by the individual, and their views on the subject. There are certainly groups that spend time together but it is often because they have similar interests, or hobbies. When they come together to create problems for other groups is when it becomes a problem.
March 22, 2012
Overlooked and left in the shadows, the Sequim High School Equestrian Team feels as if they have been left in the dust. The competitive horseback riding that the team participates in is not considered a sport at Sequim High School. Many of the people around the school believe that it is.
Here at Sequim High School, the equestrian team, and the events that they partake in are not considered sports activities. The team is not able to earn a letter. Since the team is referred to as a club, they are not able to earn these benefits that come along with sports. They still work as a unit and support each other, just as any other sports team would.
Jared Hollen, a junior, said about the team, “Yeah, it takes a good amount of skill to do that.”
Matisen Anders, a sophomore that is currently a member of the equestrian team, believes that most don’t consider it a sport since all they do is ride horses. She believes that horseback riding actually does take a lot of skill, concentration, and work in order to be good at it. They put in as many hours as any other sports team, if not more. “You are not only trying out yourself, but your partner as well,” said Anders.
Anders also acknowledges that the team could do a lot more in order to promote their team and their success. This last season, they did more to publicize than usual. They put up posters for the first time, and plan to work harder next time in getting the word out, Anders added.
Many ideas were floating around the hallways about what the school could do in order to improve the amount of attention that the equestrian team gets. Hollen offered to do a segment on the GNN. Ciara Westhoven, a sophomore, suggested that the team be featured in assemblies and the announcements just like all the other sports.
Since the equestrian team is not counted as a sport here at Sequim High School, they tend to get put to the side and go unnoticed. Although they do not advertise, many people think they should still be recognized for their accomplishments. While the equestrian team is not officially recognized by the school, they have still made an impact on the student body.
March 7, 2012
Here at Sequim High School there are many hardworking and talented students. The school has a reputation for producing successful individuals. With two extremes on the academic scale that most students land on, either doing well naturally or not caring, those that fall in between often get overlooked. These are students who put in effort towards success but can’t seem to rise above a C average.
“I just want to get it over with! I graduate in three months and I want to pursue topics in college I’m interested in and can actually use. Not geometry,” said senior Tyler Jennings.
With many motivators at home as well as in the class room, individual help is often what divides success from failure. Although desires of pursuing future long term goals along with things like graduation just around the bend for seniors, students are also faced with other incentives.
“My dad takes away privileges when I slack off in school plus my car insurance rates go up when I get bad grades,” said senior Tyler Jennings.
In a school with some noticeably gifted kids, students who must simply work harder to maintain the minimum are often overshadowed by their peers’ accomplishments. In high school, there are many different levels of achievement and every student learns at their own pace.
“A lot of students are visual learners. It may be beneficial to the students to provide more oral presentations, the use of story boards, and the school’s speech recognition software. More teacher-to-student help as opposed to teacher-to-class help and creating individual student activities,” said Mr. Brown, Specially Designed Instruction English teacher at Sequim High School.
According to the Immediate Press Release www.whitehouse.gov, as of March 10, 2009, every school day, about 7,000 students decide to drop out of school – a total of 1.2 million students each year – and only about 70% of entering high school freshman graduate every year. Without a high school diploma, young people are less likely to succeed in the workforce. Each year, our nation loses $319 billion in potential earnings associated with the dropout crisis.
“Kids don’t seem to realize the value of education anymore. With the technology increasing, the attitude of the students that, ‘computers can do the work, so why bother trying?’, has also increased,” said Mr. Brown, SDI English teacher at SHS.
Although it is inevitable that all students may face academic challenges, some more severe than others, not all is lost. With time, effort, and investment along with the support of a team of dedicated teachers, students can succeed.
“The students in my classes that become successful academically have no one to thank but themselves. Every student that I teach is capable of being on the honor role,” said Mrs. McAleer, Study Skills teacher/IEP Case Manager.
March 2, 2012
They’re new, they’re in the way, they’re the babies of the school and we all love to hate them. Freshmen are the target of much loathing, especially from upperclassmen who always put the blame on the little guy.
”They’re just too outgoing and think that they’re all-important. Some think they can push us around or mess with us, but they haven’t realized that they can’t, yet, it’s just not the way it works,” said Frank Carr, a senior. There are many reasons for the intense focus on the newcomers of Sequim High, including a seeming immature air about them.
“[Freshmen are annoying] because they still think it’s middle school, and bring all of their middle school immaturity into the high school,” said Sarah Spray, also a senior.
Fresh out of the oven from the middle school, they spill into a melting pot of pure frustration for other classmates with their careless attitude towards work and teachers.
The new comers to the high school tend to raise their voice to get their thoughts out quickly, coming off disrespectful to some of their older classmates.
“[Freshmen are] like an arterial clot,” said Taylor Sams, a junior, describing the bottleneck effect on the traffic flow through the halls.
Along with clogging the halls, they pass half-thought jokes amongst themselves itching for attention, “Some tend to make everything about them and everything is a huge deal,” Carr said.
‘You were a freshmen once too’ is a comeback used when another classmate utters ‘freshmen’ as a derogatory term. Nothing is more annoying than that simple phrase because in the minds of upperclassmen they don’t think they were as bad as the current class of newcomers.
However, surprisingly enough, some upperclassmen have a different view of the freshmen. “I think the crushing despair of high school as a concept hasn’t had the time to fully hit them yet, so in a weird roundabout way, we’re jealous of them,” Sams said, “It’s less that they’re actually obnoxious and more that we’re bitter.”
This bitterness causes an epidemic of the annoying stereotype which isn’t always true but lumps all the baby freshmen into an immediate grouping. As with every stereotype, it’s built mostly of lies and the two percent that cause a bad image for the rest of the group. “They just have to learn the rules and such, everybody goes through that, and they’ll make sure it’s the same for everyone else,” Carr said.
December 5, 2010
It can take less than a minute to get suspended for ten days. At Sequim High, even a small fight can get a student slapped with a short term suspension.
This is not a change in policy, but a change in emphasis said Principal Shawn Langston.
According to the “Corrective Actions or Punishment” booklet handed out to students at the beginning of the year, “Fighting will be defined as a physical altercation.” Fights between two students are called “Mutual Combat”, according to Assistant Principal Randy Hill.
“When a fight occurs, we are in a reactionary state,” said Hill. Regardless of the severity of the fight, a short term suspension will be given to all individuals involved. This includes those who fought, those who watched, and those who caused the fight.
According to Assistant Principal Mark Willis, short term suspensions were handled differently last year. Before the 2009-10 school year, any student involved in a fight was given a ten day suspension. After a parent meeting, it would be reduced to five days. This year, no suspensions will be reduced.
This year after a second offense, a student is given a long term suspension. Long term suspensions last from 11 to 90 days. Since suspension days refer to school days only, not weekends, 11 days is more than two weeks of school missed. At that length, Students risk failing classes and hurt their chances to graduate.
A third offense can get a student expelled from the Sequim School District, and get them banned from any and all District property, including buses.
Junior Tyler Jennings is one student whose education hangs by a mere thread. Jennings has been in two fights so far this semester.
Jennings was involved in a mutual combat altercation on a school bus while still waiting in the Helen Haller Elementary parking lot. Jennings was given a 46 day suspension.
Jennings has not let his suspension get in the way of his high school plans, however. “I didn’t want to let this bring me down” Jennings said. He remained in contact with his teachers via email and, in his down time, he did homework and slept. He also prepared an appeal to shorten his suspension.
The appeal process consists of a letter written by the student to the Superintendent, Bill Bentley, asking for an Appeal Officer to hear their case. The appeal officer listens to the student’s story, and can recommend that either their suspension stay the same or be shortened.
Jennings followed the appeal process, and it paid off. After meeting with the appeal officer, his suspension was reduced to eleven days.
According to Principal Langston, the worst year for fighting at SHS while he has been principal was the 2009-2010 school year. Four students were emergency expelled after one fight because of its severity and for the students’ failure to follow commands from administration.
Langston described the fighting at SHS as “uncharacteristic.” As a result, administrators are trying to max out suspensions, in an attempt to cut the number of, or completely eliminate, fights.
“It sends a clearer message,” Hill said.
Langston says that in case of a fight, the best thing to do is to walk away, every single time. By fighting back, a favor is given to the aggressor. If a fight is one sided, it can be assault, and assault is an automatic long term suspension or expulsion, plus a referral to law enforcement.
“Stop fighting,” Langston said. “Just love each other.”