We Need Healthy Snacks Provided for Classes

Students who miss breakfast are starving by third period

By Simon Huang

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that has this issue of being in class starving. It might be that breakfast or lunch isn’t enough or that we just happen to skip a meal in order to get something done. Maybe we sometimes just simply forget to eat.

Skyline should provide some snacks in class. I think this would help me as a student who sometimes, but not often, comes to school late, which leads to skipping breakfast in order to get to class. I know that students aren’t supposed to eat in class, but if students are responsible in not making a mess it would be fine. Going to class hungry can really hinder a student from focusing in class or being able to learn.

I notice that some students bring some junk food in class or even sell some on campus. This made me think how nice it would be for classes to provide some snacks to students. I wouldn’t eat any of the snacks the students sell because it’s mostly junk food. The school’s breakfast can only do so much for me because around 3-4th period I get hungry.

I remember last year we had fruits delivered to classes. I wonder what happened to those and why they stopped coming. I remembered that it had apples and oranges which were really good.

The only class I know that serves snacks is Ms. Rahmaan’s class.  In her class she always keeps a box full of snacks for her students. As one of her students, I definitely think that the snacks have helped me a lot.

Ms. Rahmaan, a history teacher, gets her snacks from the FRESH (Food Retail Expansion to Support Health) program, which she hosts on a daily basis.

“Students come in. Grab a bite to eat. Get up and put trash in the trash can and I don’t ever have to cleanup,” said Ms. Rahmaan.

It’s really impressive for her classroom to be as clean as it is without her having to pick up a single thing. Ms. Rahmaan has been providing snacks for the past four months because she wants to be able to help the students learn more, think more, be comfortable, and eat healthy.

It’s very important that schools take students’ needs to consideration when it comes to healthily eating. They should also promote healthy eating habits for students. Students need to be more responsible with their diet instead of eating too much junk foods. Overall, having snacks in class would just be a huge benefit for students.    

Should Students Be Allowed to Sell Snacks

Rules are there for safety, but not everybody follows them

By Noah Mitchell

OUSD has a strict policy about selling snacks on campus for many reasons, yet anytime I’m seen with a duffel bag they are 100% guaranteed to ask,“You sellin’?”

Usually students tend to sell hot chips, juices, even donuts for a dollar or two daily and rake in a ton of cash by the end of the school week. Buying tons of low-cost snacks at places like Walmart and Costco and selling them for a dollar provides a stable business to continue to slowly gain revenue after using some of that money to buy more inventory.

So, should this be allowed?

Personally, I buy snacks all the time from anyone who just so happens to walk by advertising, whether it’s from students or leadership. I even remember a teacher in my previous years who used to sell to students on the daily.

Some teachers and staff are pretty lax about it and will turn a blind eye or simply tell you to put it away.

“This teaches students to be entrepreneurs and manage their own businesses because a lot of the skills it takes to do it here will apply later in their careers. Right now we’re selling World’s Finest Chocolate as a fundraiser for next year’s prom. Ironically, we are not allowed to sell them on campus,” Junior Cymone Winters commented.

A junior and snackseller who wished to remain anonymous, believes enforcement of the ban is hypocritical.

“I’ve been busted before and understand OUSDs ‘healthy eating initiative’ where the school is labeled responsible for all of the unhealthy things students consume, but most stuff we sell you see in the student store and the snack bar anyway.”

Another student chimed in, adding, “I was selling down by PE and got caught by the PE teacher at the time. He pulled me aside and explained to me why he was taking all my snacks; I swear the staff ate them all or sold them because what else would they do with them.”

It seems like there’s only two groups of people who are ‘permitted’ to sell anything on campus; anyone approved by Leadership and the Student Store. There are exceptions to this rule, however; every year the Seniors are allowed to fundraise for their prom by selling food.  

A common go-to concern of many admin is that ‘all the food that is circulating is just junk,’ and they are not necessarily wrong.

Students sell anything from Hot Chips and Cup of Noodles to Honey Buns and Ice Cream. The reality of the situation is, that’s what sells.

The only reason I see no problem with it is because most of the stuff sold on campus is junk food anyway. Not even good junk, I mean have you seen the Lay’s air they sell in bags in the snack bar?

Alumni twins Mikayla and Miarra Franklin, who are freshman at Western Oregon University. had this to say about their experiences back in the day:

“We sold brownies, cupcakes, candy, among other stuff to help fundraise for cross-country, prom, and grad night. Some of the admin knew that my twin and I were selling to the SSOs and them in the office, but not all of them were cool with it. I feel like it’s fair for seniors to sell food because their activities are really expensive. It is not fair that only seniors can get approval to sell food on campus because other students need cash in order to pay for bills, food, or other home expenses. You never know what kids are going through.”

Another obvious problem is the school ‘losing money’ to students who sell more diverse options for less all over campus. That is a very real issue. Or it was a very real issue due to tons of kids bringing lunch from home or buying snacks from students coupled to the fact that lunch is now free for Skyline students.

My final verdict: Although, the district brings up all kinds of reasons for why students distributing snacks on it’s campuses should be outlawed, students should be allowed to sell food on campus because the reality of the situation is that they don’t enforce the rules enough to make a difference, anyway.

Crazy Titan Drivers

Rules are there for safety, but nobody follows them

By Gisell Hernandez Noyola and Rejanea Rhone

At Skyline High School, every student must have a valid driver’s license and valid car insurance in case of any emergency. Every student driver and staff must buy a parking pass, students are to be parked at the bottom parking lot while teachers are left to park at the top parking lot.

Although there aren’t as many car accidents, all students are asked to drive safely and cautiously at all times. Even though in reality, most teenagers drive extremely fast outside of school. At times many teenagers don’t realize the dangers they put themselves and others when it comes to driving.

In some cases some students prefer to speed up a bit more than others and drive in extreme conditions. “Some students are safe some are speedy,” says Rodney Kirkpatrick, describing how he sees students driving skills. This is not only dangerous to them, but other students and other people. Although every student is encouraged to drive safely, there are others who follow their own rules

“Depends of what type of mood I’m in, Saturday/Sunday Funday we don’t stop, we drive recklessly,” says Hector Galan, a senior.

More than 32,000 people die every year in car accidents. Only 7 percent of those were teen drivers, however they accounted for 11 percent (about $10 billion) total cost of motor vehicle injuries.

Skyline student drivers are to drive safely coming up to school and leaving school. When asked about their driving habits, many students chose to remain anonymous because of their reckless driving.

“When I participate in sideshows, sh*t be wild,” a senior said.

Many teens participate in events called sideshows because of the style of the driving and to show off their driving skills.

When it comes to “swinging it” or “doing donuts,” many students would be graded with an A+ when it comes to stuff like this.

The majority of students at Skyline have not been in accidents thankfully, but they should be encouraged to always drive safely and follow the rules of the road.

 

Too Many Green Academy Trips

Imbalance in opportunities

By Tanim Woodruff

Pathways: Most everyone in Skyline is a part of one. No matter if you are in Visual Performing Arts, Green, Computer Science, or Education we all look forward to one thing: the field trips.

Some of us go for the learning experience in an effort to gain more information in possible careers. Some of us go because it’s an escape from the mundane classes and pure boredom. Whatever your reason, it’s something we all look forward to; but have you noticed some pathways go on way more field trips than others?

We all have our biases, saying one is better or one goes on too many field trips. Though through the years, one has always stuck; Green Academy goes on way too many field trips.CYMK jellyfish Gr Acad ft

Why is it that they go on so many field trips? Many of us are quick to say, “They have so much funding.” Which is likely true, due to California prioritising the creation of academies it leads to bonuses to certain academies, specifically Green, Computer and Education.

Whatever the reason, they seem to have an unfair amount of resources for field trips. Though there is more to it than funding; they also have the most support from faculty and staff.

Since Green is such a large academy they have plenty of teachers to get trips approved and serve as chaperones on their way to a fun “learning adventure.”

All this culminates in what is seen as an unfair advantage to green students. With the trouble that Education and Computer go through to get their field trips, and the lack of any for the “Liberal Arts” non-pathway, the high criticisms doesn’t seem like bashing but honest emotions about the academy from the outside.  

If the same amount of time, energy, and money was provided all academies than this problem would fall away very fast.

 

Letters To The Editors

Help with Supplies

Dear Titan Times,

I’m writing this letter to inform you about both a problem and a good thing at Skyline.

First, the school needs to provide more school  supplies. I see many students that are poor, or the parents do not have enough money to buy their kids proper supplies. The government should give the schools more money for this, because it is  very needed.

Also, there’s 90 percent of students that waste supplies. There should be rule for students that do not care about school to not waste supplies.

Finally, I want write this letter to appreciate Skyline’s teachers and other staff members for their support on getting students on track this year.

I really got a lot of help from my teachers and campus leaders this year — much better than the last three years that I have been here. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Maricela Lorenzo

 

Paint It Red

Dear Titan Times,

I would like to draw your attention to a problem at Skyline: The schools colors are red and white yet the whole entire campus is a dull green color.

If anything, the color emulates how the teachers and students feel about coming to school.

I believe that if we paint all the structures and lockers red, the school overall will have more pride.

It would bring a more lively look and remind everyone why we’re here everyday.

Sincerely,

Mecca Boutte

 

Lets Make Winter Break Longer

Two weeks is not enough is really recharge

By Viviana Gonzalez

If they’re making summer shorter anyway, why not make winter break longer?

Many people say that summer break is too long. You start to forget the things you learned at school, don’t interact with as many people, and after a while you start to get bored. So what if they made summer a little shorter, and instead made winter break a little longer?

It makes sense; extend winter break to three weeks, which is a longer amount of time to recharge yourself after a stressful semester, and shorten summer break to eight weeks instead of nine.

Two weeks of winter break is just barely enough. Most students get assigned tons of homework, which can take up a lot of time. And a lot of people travel and see family over the holidays.

Because of this, students don’t get very much time to relax or have fun, which is really important after a whole semester of school work. If students don’t take breaks from school work they can become stressed out and unmotivated, which can affect their grades in the next semester.

Not only that, but after summer break, people usually have trouble coming back and remembering what they learned from the last school year. A shorter summer, combined with a longer winter would make students less likely to forget things over their breaks. This could help students improve their academic performance.

Although losing time in the summer doesn’t sound like the best idea, I think it would be worth the trade off if it means having a longer winter break. Summer feels long enough anyway, so if you had one less week it wouldn’t be a huge difference. The positive benefits of a longer winter break are worth considering this change in the future.

Cell Phones in Classroom

And what teachers have to say about it

By Donovan Nutting

Most schools have cracked down on a strict phone policy in recent years, finding more and more creative ways to keep those tiny little devices out of our hands and in our pockets. Every student has experienced it one way or another. Those times when even doing as little as having it sit on your desk can be enough to drive teachers absolutely nuts.

However dramatic it is, teachers dislike phones; but for fair reason. With the insurgence of social media platforms that have appeared over the past decade, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with friends. When the phone comes out, it’s almost always to Snap a friend or keep a streak rather than to look up something actually insightful.

With how easily distracted students can get via their phones, we leave ourselves with no grounds to argue the potential benefits they can have if they are allowed in class.

The current phone policy in classes is inhibiting in many ways, especially with how far and beyond teachers go with enforcing them. No matter the reason, be it to check a notification, do some quick math, or even to handle an emergency, most teachers hiss at the very sight of phones being pulled from pockets.

The perception of phones being absolutely bad has been engraved in teachers brains, it seems, as no excuse can prevent one from sternly requesting that you hand it over to them for the rest of the period, an unnecessary punishment that honestly does no good for either party. There are some however, that do realize the potential that cellphones have.

“Cell phones are a tool, that when used properly, can provide so much.” These are the words of Mr. Johnson, an 11th grade history teacher with a notoriously strict phone policy. When asked about the prospect of cell phone usage in the classroom, he had surprisingly good things to say.

They can be used for calculating math, using the dictionary, or even looking up quick facts that can make learning class content easier for everyone. However, the lack of “deep critical analysis” and easy distractions that they provide is just too big of an issue to be solved with any other solution than to keep them stored away.

Mr. Johnson even feels as strongly towards the policy that he encourages Skyline take up methods used by San Leandro schools, and have phones actually collected and stored away by the school to be returned to students at the end of the day.

Phones have the potential to be hugely beneficial for us, and as long as we can be responsible with them, there should be no limitation on academic phone usage.

 

Inspiration for Teacher-Student Relations

Ms. Litwin admits mistakes, allows students to be themselves

By Kayshawn Goodwin

Everyday when I walk around campus, I usually keep my headphones in and ignore everyone around me. But one day, I heard a number of students complain about a few of the teachers I’ve had in the past. It hurt at first because I had a mutual relationship with said teachers, but then I began to think about how many mistakes those teachers made when I was in their classes.

So I interviewed a teacher I’ve had in the past. Though she has made mistakes before, she always managed to fix them in any way possible.

Ms. Litwin has been a teacher in OUSD for seven years and has taught at Skyline for five. She grew up in Lafayette with her parents, her older brother and her older sister, making her the baby of the family. For such a bright person, she did not have it easy as a child. The roof of her house leaked occasionally and her family didn’t get along.

But out of the harsh childhood, Litwin came out as an optimistic human being. “What doesn’t kill you, make you stronger,” she likes to say.

She graduated from continuation school, majoring in “visual arts” and now lives in San Leandro, happily married with her musician husband and her 5-year old son.

I’ve always marveled how organized she was and how well she got along with her students. So I asked her what her secret is.

“Students are adolescents,” she said. “Teachers forget that.”

What she meant by that, I think,  was that teachers were once like us, but have forgotten that it isn’t easy to change. They don’t know what to say or do. They’re not sure how to handle it.

By her words, I believe that she reminds her students that it is alright to make mistakes. For example, whenever she makes a mistake, the next day she’ll fix it and apologize for the mistake, taking responsibility for her action.

Ms. Litwin is a wonderful teacher and a great inspiration to myself and others. I only hope that she could inspire her fellow staff to be just like her.

Who is the New Oakland Being Built For

More rich fold want to live here, driving up rents for the rest of us 

By Andy Franco 

I live, breathe, and eat in Oakland, but over the years rent has become so out of hand because of the tech boom that I’m not sure what is going to happen. (And yes, I know it’s been like this since the turn of the century, but it is now completely ludicrous.)

More and more people who are looking for work and want a high-paying job in the tech industry come to the Bay Area because that’s where it’s at. All the jobs are here. In Oakland alone, we have Pandora and other smaller companies, while Uber is expanding to our downtown, but it doesn’t matter if you work in SF or Fremont, living in Oakland is cool now for young techies, and their checks don’t bounce.

More pay equals more money to be made for real estate agencies and landlords, who are turning out their current tenants in greater numbers — never mind if they told you when you’re first moving into your new home that they will never raise the rent on you

It’s the technological era. They’re enjoying it all while every working-class Oakland native is suffering for them. I know what you are thinking: “Why not just keep the rent low for the working class?” It’s smart in theory but doesn’t work in reality when businessmen own most of the rentals, not the government. We must understand the reason why rent is so expensive in Oakland now is the fact that landlords want to have newer and richer people to live in their homes so they can charge more. Simple economics.

I went to an Oakland Commons meeting earlier in the school year and one speaker said the only way to solve the housing problem in Oakland is to build more houses. The idea is that the rich can move into houses more to their liking, which causes them to move out, and regular people to move back into the cheaper houses, basically filtering everyone out. There are some new big housing developments happening, like the one down by the estuary, but more new rich people might arrive to take them.

I’d like to learn some other ways we can combat the current housing crisis, and maybe buy us some time to prepare for the next one.

Change Threatens Kittens

By Tanim Woodruff

For many of us here at Skyline, the Internet is an integral part of our lives. It’s how we get our news, catch up, and talk with our friends, and send weird pictures of dog faces plastered over our real faces in order. make each other laugh. Soon, though, you’ll likely have to pay for access to websites you enjoy freely now, and have to wait 15 minutes for a video to buffer unless you pay even more for “faster” streaming. If this sounds bad, now it gets worse, because everyone’s “favorite” president Donald Trump is to blame, along with giant telecommunications companies like Comcast, AT&T and Time Warner

So what does this have to do with your access to large amounts of cat videos at a moment’s notice? Well, the problem is the elimination, on December 14, of government commitments to protect a concept called “net neutrality,” which basically means that all those who access the web have equal opportunity to use it. The members of the Federal Communications Commission, which is part of the U.S. government but also supposed to be somewhat independent from it, voted 3-2 to allow “internet service providers” like Comcast to start “blocking and throttling traffic and offering paid fast lanes,” according to TheVerge.com.

“The only real rule is that they have to publicly state that they’re going to do it.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai just happens to be an former associate general counsel for Verizon, one of the companies wanting to end net neutrality so it can charge more money for the access you currently enjoy.

The FCC regulates all radio, television and other communications technologies, including the Internet. The five members are appointed by presidents, but a maximum of three can be from the same political party; the current president appoints the chairman of the commission.

Usually Americans only think about the FCC when they censor something, like the “7 dirty words” you can’t say on terrestrial radio airwaves. (For more ways of knowing what they censor, just watch the Family Guy episode PeteTV, where Peter sings a whole showtoon on them.)

Now, because of three FCC commissioners, the whole country may soon have to pay extra fees on your internet bill just to access sites like Youtube, Netflix, and other sites too adult to state here. Many parents won’t pay the extra fee for you, so you will lose access to those sites.

They will also slow down your upload and download speeds if you have their “general” package, but for an extra charge, say $15, you can get access to their better “faster” internet.

In some other countries, a lack of net neutrality means that consumers are forced to pay fees for each thing on the web you want to see, including even particular news or entertainment websites.

The argument against net neutrality is crazy. They say we can trust companies, and the “free market,” to protect consumers, and that they only want to prevent “overbearing” government regulations. They also say that the internet is worse now, because it is impossible for “competitive” selling of access to it.

However, what is left aside is that the customers, for the most part, don’t have many choices — the biggest companies have a chokehold on how you access the  web through mobile or cable.

All these arguments all just say, “WE WANT MORE MONEY SO WE ARE GOING TO DESTROY THE INTERNET TO GET IT.” We must stop this from happening, so there are a few things we can do:

1. Call (888) 225-5322; this is the phone number of the complaint services of the FCC — if we call complaining and asking them to stop this madness, it might work.

2. If we do lose net neutrality we need to protest, just like after the election. Look up local protests online and join.

Maybe if enough fight back we might get to keep the internet the lovely home of cat videos and dank memes, safe and free to access when you need it.