Category Archives: Forum

Black cat epidemic illustrates society’s bias against dark felines

By Ky Haney

Art by Mia Boutelle

With the sound of squeaking shoes, most of the cats perk up, eyes falling on the new visitor. Some cats sit back down, some lick their fur, while others press up against the bars, wanting the human attention. The small, yipping meows of kittens compels potential owners to come closer. With one quick gaze over the cages, anybody could see something odd. Black cats greatly outnumber the others in the room.

Over the years, black cats have been known to be one of the lowest to get adopted. According to Peta2.com, “Black Cats Overlooked in Shelters,” 71 percent of cats in U.S shelters are euthanized and the majority are black.  The more serious focus should be on what happens to black cats after adoption.

Now comes the most wonderful time of the year. Animal shelters are not supposed to allow black cats or kittens to be adopted from the shelter during Halloween. These black cats will often be taken to surrogate owners until this holiday passes. Why? The reasoning could either be “innocent” or downright devilish.

Older kids adore going to Halloween parties and with parties come costumes. According to Emily Saul at the New York Post, teenagers have been known to go to animal shelters and adopt a black cat to match with their sparkling wicked witch outfit. After Halloween passes, these teenagers try to bring the cats back to the shelter like a tattered library book. This could mean that a lot of people who adopt black cats are only adopting them for a limited amount of time.

Not only does this hurt the shelter’s business, but it destroys a cat’s trust. Once a cat is adopted, the cat believes that they are finally free from the other cats. A cat also gets extreme anxiety from so many people at once in a loud, bright place. Bringing them back will make a cat less likely to trust another owner, but this could be fixed by educating someone on how it could damage the cat.

Animal shelters need to keep black cats away from rituals that would lead to harm. Cults will adopt black cats to slaughter around the season. This is supposed to show some kind of way of “getting rid of bad luck,” but the murder of any kind of animal for absolutely no reason is ethically corrupt.

Some people say that the black cat epidemic is over. This epidemic is only over whenever the adopted cats are not being treated like objects.

Column: Need to keep DACA going is crucial for immigrants, our nation

Art by Tori Roberts

By Christy Avery

Every year, thousands of children are brought to the United States with undocumented parents. Unable to support themselves or control their circumstances, they run the risk of being deported back to their country because of their parents. Former President Barack Obama implemented a solution: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A policy that gives children who come to the U.S. under the age of 16 with illegal parents a chance to get relief from deportation, this valuable system is crucial to so many in this nation. But with President Donald Trump now in office, it could spell the end of the program.     

Instead of building walls, Trump needs to keep this policy in place and give help to those who need it most.

One advantage of DACA is that children do not age out of the program. This means that he or she could potentially reap the benefits for the rest of his or her life as long as they do not commit a crime or pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Mila Koumpilova, reporter from the Star Tribune in Minnesota, stated that “A national survey of DACA recipients last year found that almost 60 percent obtained a new job, about half opened their first bank account, and 57 percent got a new driver’s license.”

Another benefit DACA brings is the protection from unlawful presence penalties. Normally, immigrants begin accumulating unlawful presence– presence without being admitted or parole– once they turn 18.

However, with DACA in place, the risk is lower– there is no accumulation of unlawful presence, and people with it are considered in authorized stay. This is true for the deferred action period as well, so the renewal process does not do any harm.

Of course, no policy is perfect. DACA has a couple of glaring problems– one being that even though people under it are considered lawfully present in the U.S., they have no nonimmigrant or immigrant status. This runs the risk of one being wrongfully denied employment or other benefits.

However, if this were to change, DACA would be even better for the recipients. DACA currently safeguards nearly 790,000 people, according to the Pew Research Center.

A possible solution for this is to carve a bigger path to permanent residence for those who wish to remain in the U.S. For example, ensuring that those who are eligible receive or try to receive green cards or visas in their lifetime.

By throwing away DACA, the Trump Administration is throwing away thousands of hard-working, much-needed individuals who could help the country and themselves if they were to receive it. Innocent people should not be punished or barred from reaping the benefits that come with such an affluent and advanced country.

In 2010, it was measured that approximately 40 million people living in the United States were foreign-born. Is it even possible to imagine a country without them? That number will only keep increasing no matter the sanctions against it. Our country should be a place where those who deserve to be here are here, where everyone is given an equal chance.

As Jane Novak at CNBC said, “If executed properly…Washington leadership could come to a deal that shows proper compassion, boosts security, and makes economic sense.”

 

Columns: Recent NFL protests spawn discussions from both sides

Art by Tori Roberts

By JD McKay

On Sept. 24 Steelers offensive tackle, Alejandro Villanueva, stood alone at the end of the team’s tunnel to pay his respects for the national anthem and our flag.

Villanueva graduated from West Point in 2010 and became an Army Ranger, serving 20 months overseas and winning the Bronze Star. Now, he is the starting left tackle and currently has the highest selling jersey in the NFL.

This shows what the American people support. They support Villanueva’s stance to stand for the national anthem by dropping $100 for an offensive lineman jersey. There are no other offensive linemen in the top 25. On the morning of Sept. 25, he apologized to his teammates at a press conference for not protesting with his team.

Lesean McCoy is the running back for the Buffalo Bills. On the afternoon of Sept. 24th, he took a very different approach to the national anthem. He ignored the playing of the national anthem and continued his pregame stretches, even though it was clearly not the right time to stretch. Fittingly, McCoy only had 21 rushing yards against the Broncos on Sunday and 48 receiving yards with zero touchdowns.

When I first saw Colin Kaepernick take a knee, it created a wave of emotion in me. My uncle was deployed to Iraq for a one-year tour, and both my grandparents and great uncle have served in other wars. I have seen the effects of war on other people as well. Many veterans suffer from a disease called post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD causes them to lose sleep and not want to look back on their time in combat for years because of their traumatic war experiences.

President Donald Trump has seen what these veterans can deal with and is trying to encourage Americans to support them. I agree with the main idea of Trump’s statement about the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, but calling NFL players “sons of bitches” is not right. The players have the right to do that, but protesting during the national anthem is not benefiting their cause. It is dividing the country. To really make a difference the players need to take more action.

NFL players could set up charities for families who lost family members to police officer shooting or use their influence to talk to the organizations privately that need to change. This change will take more time, more effort, and will get less media attention. Therefore, the NFL players are currently looking for the easiest way to protest and cause a social outcry, something they are doing successfully but not really making a change.

Since 1776, our country had lost 1,200,000 Americans defending our flag and the freedom it represents. Kneeling for for the national anthem is a slap to the face of the families who have lost loved ones in battle as they fought against terrorism, communism, fascism, and tyranny.

Our country stands for freedom and liberty, different from the threats we fought against. Last weekend we saw two opposite stances towards our country’s anthem, the complete disrespect shown by Lesean McCoy, and honor and respect shown by Alejandro Villanueva.

By Hannah Clere

I used to play soccer and stopped a few years ago because I realized I was terrible. However, I learned something important from that sport: when a player was injured, everyone on the field would kneel in order to show respect for the injured player until they were well enough to leave the field.

The recent National Football League (NFL) kneeling controversy has called many issues into question, one of those being disrespect to the United States of America. However, are the players not showing respect to an injured country? Just as I did in soccer, these football players do in their games to call attention to an injury they have seen.

It is undeniable that the U.S. has faced a lot of issues lately. The particular problem that is bringing the NFL players to their knees is police brutality. The events associated with this issue are not fair, but let us save that discussion for another day. For now, we will keep the focus on what the players are working to accomplish.

So now we get to the ultimate question: are these players being disrespectful?

The answer: no.

They are respecting the United States by kneeling in its time of trouble and injury. They kneel to honor their fallen country, which seems to be purest, most innocent intention a loyal citizen can have.

Now we must decide if the effort to push the movement against police brutality and race inequality was wrong. What would you do if nothing you had tried was working? What would you do if you wanted to be heard? What would you do if you did not agree with the direction in which the United States of America is going?

I would stand up for my beliefs. Not in a disrespectful way, however, which is what many are saying these players have done. Which brings up the meaning of disrespect.

Some people say that disrespect is quietly kneeling. Disrespect is when you boo during the national anthem at people exercising their rights as citizens.

Disagreeing with someone or something is not a good reason to be rude. It seems clear that the only thing the NFL players are guilty of is using their First Amendment rights, the rights fought for by our nation’s noble veterans, to get their point across to a system that has failed them.

I love the United States of America. Lately, I have not been able to agree with the brutal and tragic mistreatment of some of our country’s citizens. Because of this, I cannot disagree with the players kneeling. Just as I knelt in soccer, they have the right to kneel. Besides, absentmindedly falling in line is not fair to my country.

 

Column: New club strives to promote tolerance among all students

Art by Savannah Schroering

By Ky Haney

A new community flourished under the guidance of students. Questions, answers, and undecided feelings lay behind the entry. As soon as a hand touches the door of the anatomy and IB biology teacher Amy Shaffer’s classroom, they are welcomed with large smiles.

This new club was called the Gay Straight Alliance. The new title, Gender and Sexuality Alliance, changed to be more inclusive. GSA is a club devoted to bring the LGBT community together with allies or people who do not quite understand what is going on in the community.

The motive for GSA is simple. One bolded word shows up before the rest. Awareness. “When he [her cousin] came out as a gay man, we kind of already knew. He was just giving us that confrontation. Watching him grow up and being around him my whole life, and seeing him kind of struggle that people won’t accept him, then saying it out loud was a really big step for him. So whenever I see other kids, I wonder if they have accepted themselves. My heart goes out to them, after watching him,” said Spanish teacher Lillian Conway.

The coming out story of her cousin made a lot of sense and plucked at my heartstrings. Whenever I came out to my parents, I simply stated “gay.” It made them more comfortable than having to explain pansexuality. Conway decided upon sponsoring the club to bring people to not only come together and be educated, but for a safe place for the children.

“It’s one of those things where you want so badly to just tell people it will be okay, but really sometimes, it is easier said than done,” said Conway.

GSA is not only for the LGBT community. Their goal is to make the outlook on the community to be in a more positive light, this including the straight community.

“I want my role to be whenever you are there, and you are coming across things, I can be the help. That’s why whenever I heard we are redoing it again this year, I said ‘count me in’.”

Much like Conway, many other kids believe awareness will improve the outlook. The alliance, obviously, is there for more than the improvement. It is to make kids feel safe. Many kids, like Conway’s cousin, are afraid to come out. In the club, they can finally be themselves knowing that the people in the room would not judge them.

The first meeting was on Friday, Aug. 25. The class started with the simple things, rules and introductions. Everybody was so incredibly sweet, large smiles pulled on everyone’s lips. We felt safe and knew nobody in the room would let the cat out the bag. This progressed into making friendships and watching short films that made us think differently. During the short film, each kid colored a poster. These posters are hanging around the school, so you have most likely seen them.

It stands with two hands, shaking in alliance. The hands are colored with pride flags, not only straight and gay hand holding, but many others. The posters show pride, but also togetherness. These posters were crafted with happy hands. The post I crafted was made with so much love, each color stroke hitting my heart. I felt warm and accepted just by the different flags holding hands. Art goes a long way to me, especially for the LGBT+ community.

As the last posters are hung and cars are coming around to pick up their kids, I could already can see what has happened. We have created life long friends, and caring space for their friends. We will see each other in the hallways and know that through the hate or disrespect, we had each other.

Just like Conway said, “Let’s normalize this community.”

Painting Parking Spots

By Christy Avery

Picture it. Between assignments, social interaction, early mornings, and trying to find a parking spot… imagine if one of those burdens was eliminated?

Oftentimes, finding somewhere to park your car is a huge headache and can potentially cause problems, such as the sacrifice of sleep time or a good spot. Student drivers can even be late to class. What if current and upcoming drivers had something to make their mornings much smoother here at FC?

Other schools, such as Carmel, have gotten in on the striking new trend that is drawing other high schoolers’ interest: providing individualized parking spaces that students can paint.

If they pay for a parking pass, students who have licenses would be granted their own spot, which they could also personalize as they like. Possibilities span from album covers and sports teams to movie and pop culture references. Imagine the memes, y’all.

Wouldn’t it be great to pull in every day and immediately park at your own parking spot– no fighting with other drivers or waiting ten years to find a space. Plus, it would look great, giving you a cheerful way to start the day off with, such as if you have a test. Life is hard.

Of course, there are potential complications, such as cost– at most schools, the average price is $100– but it would be well worth the sense of freedom, convenience, and personal expression. Students could save birthday money, Christmas money, or paychecks. The price is a one-time deal, but the parking spot lasts for a year (not to mention the legacy you might leave if you do it right).

Above all, the heart of the matter is freedom of expression (even if it is through a meme). It is a topic many of us here at FC feel very strongly about, especially considering the state of our world and society today. We all need our own places where we can thrive, grow, and learn about ourselves. Although an individualized parking space may only be a small caveat into that, anything and everything is important when it comes to self-expression and discovery. By implementing this opportunity, FC could grant us that.

We all need to paint our own picture.