At Sherwood, like schools everywhere, students face harassment or bullying. However, there is ambiguity about what qualifies as an environment of tolerance and how to promote and, when necessary, enforce it. Even the difference between harassment and bullying is not obvious, despite their definitions.
In September alone, six gay teens took their own lives due to bullying. In the most publicized incident, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old boy jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York on September 22 due to humiliation caused by his peers at Rutgers University. Gay teens are four times more likely to commit suicide compared to heterosexual teens and 9 out of 10 gay teens have experienced bullying at school, according to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to teen suicide prevention. More than one-third of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) kids have attempted suicide.
The United States is the richest country in the world, and yet, compared to the 26 developed countries in the world, ranks last in mathematics and fourth to last in reading. David Guggenheim’s documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” shines a light on why many of America’s public school systems produce such disappointing results.
This year, the Obama administration launched “Race to the Top,” a program designed to spark education reform and effective teaching practices by awarding states who make significant improvements in their education systems with a federal grant. Around the nation, teaching quality and student preparation have become a major concern as schools face increasing scrutiny.
Born and raised as a child in Ethiopia, Mengistu plans to head back to his native country after he has become a fully licensed doctor. “There are a lot of problems with the health structure and a lot of doctors are coming to the U.S., leaving a lot of people behind,” Mengistu explained. “The government system is corrupt, and I just wanted my own chance to help the people.”
Outside of school, organizations such as Young Life, B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCYS), United Synagauge Youth (USY) and Muslim Community Center (MCC) Youth Organization pave the way for teens to get involved with their religion. These programs allow students to connect with their spirituality while alsohanging out with friends.
At school, Bell is often seen sporting casual jeans and a t-shirt or even her Medical Careers hospital scrubs; however, for a photo shoot Bell revels in the excitement that is the “glamification” process. “My favorite part is the enjoyment you are rewarded with,” she explained. “Getting dolled up, putting on some new, up-and-coming couture, and finally working with the photographer to create an image is so exciting.”
“Brovember” could only be desrcibed by an original bro as “a time where everyone who’s a bro just gets together and we just sit around and be bros. There’s no arguing, there’s so fighting, no mentioning of girls or anything. It’s just hang out, have a good time, do things that bros do. It’s some good, old fashion male bonding.”