There have been many mass shootings in the U.S. for consecutive months and they are seemingly becoming harder to prevent. When it comes to general mass shootings in the U.S., there are deaths of 4 or more people not, including the shooter. For example, the shooting at the First Baptist Church. The First Bapist Church shooting fatally killed 27 people and wounded 20 others in Sutherland Spring, Texas. The shooter was named Devin Patrick Kelly who was prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition due to a domestic violence conviction in a court-martial while in the United States Air Force. About 33,000 people are fatally shot in the U.S. each year and about two thirds of these deaths are suicides. Another third of these deaths are homicides, which have been steadily declining for decades. In 2015, around 13,286 people were killed in the U.S. by firearms in non-suicide related deaths. In 1993, that rate was at 18,253. In most of the years in between, part of a decades-long trend of declining gun violence, mass shooting victims accounted for less than one-tenth of a percent of shooting victims.
The worst mass shootings in which you can argue are school shootings. Rampage school shootings are a type of school shooting where no single or specific individual is targeted by the shooter. Although school shootings occur worldwide, the United States has been the scene of the vast majority of the attacks that have to do with the school being targeted, especially since the late 20th century. Most school shooters have a motive that we usually never find out because they usually take their own life.
Another horrible mass shooting target is concerts or overall “big events”. In the terrorist mind, he wants to target events which hold many people at a time, he wants as many people dead as possible. The number of public mass shootings have increased substantially, although there has been an approximately 50% decrease in firearm homicides in the nation overall since 1993. Not all mass shootings like these can result in many deaths because of the quickness of emergency and possibly even stopping a shooter from doing what he is about to do.
Mass shootings are a terrible, tragic event in this world. So many innocent people are dying because someone can’t control their actions or more often than not, because people are careless with their words. We as a country have to stop giving people motives and stop these horrific events happening year after year.
Every year at Brien McMahon High School, we spend a day exploring different activities and enjoy relaxation time in different classes. This is called, “Climate Day”. Climate Day is a bullying awareness day, where we do fun things until it is time to be dismissed. It takes place on a certain day in mid- October, and many of the students in the school enjoy it. Activities usually vary from relaxation, sports, music, food making, etc. The main idea for Climate Day is for kids to experience a day of fun. In other words, get a break from all of our school work.
Climate Day was designed to be a bully free day and to make kids feel good. A week before climate day, students pick the activities they wish to attend in their house (homeroom period). The day of Climate Day, each grade has an assembly for about half an hour, until the activities begin. Our activities are chosen by students from McMahon, or teachers. Each year, we try to change up the activities so that students don’t get bored by the same things.
McMahon has began to become very strict during Climate Day since kids started to take advantage. Kids often take climate day as a chance to leave school, which is never okay. Any students caught leaving school grounds usually receive a consequence which varies from a 3 hour detention to an In School Suspension. I agree that Climate Day may seem like a free day off, but I recommend coming to school and enjoying yourself. Climate Day is really a good entertainment to BMHS students, that shouldn’t be taken advantage of. It’s best to have a climate day and enjoy it, rather than not have one at all.
Climate Day is personally my favorite day every school year because it’s something that the kids in McMahon need. Being a teenager in high school is hard, and very stressful. We’re loaded with homework, tests, projects, etc and it all can become very overwhelming, or massive. Although one day in the whole school year may not seem like much, climate day is really a day that can have a positive effect on the students of BMHS. I feel like climate day would be better if we had one, at least once a month, rather than one day of October every year.
I believe that this day should be taken more seriously. When do you ever hear a day of high school students having fun ? Exactly ! Climate Day has always been special to me since I came to McMahon. It makes me feel like even though school can be very hard, there’s days where everything will be fine. My peers have stated the same thing. Climate Day is a day meant to bring everyone closer, and for everyone to meet individuals in the school , they wouldn’t usually speak to. All the different activities and all the different teachers and students you’ll encounter is thrilling. Climate Day is a tradition that every school should have in order for kids to feel better about going to school everyday.
Alejandra Donaire Daza
Switching schools was a very difficult decision to make in my life. I would be so worried about who would be in my classes as well as who my teachers would be. . I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to take the big step in life to have new change,it was one of my biggest fears.
Brien McMahon made a big impact in my life in a positive way. I used to go to Norwalk High school my freshman year and sophomore year. It was an alright school but I wasn’t really happy there. I was so scared to transfer to McMahon, but when I did it was the best decision ever.
When I transferred in the middle of September, I felt comfortable with my new teachers and the few new friends I made. Everyone was very welcoming and kind to me which felt great to start off freshly! I got lost around the school, and I wasn’t used to the big numbers on the doors and the way the classes were organized. Everything was totally different and I wasn’t the only person who felt the same way.
I had the pleasure to interview my friend, Steven Zeleya, who transferred to McMahon when he was a freshman. He went to Norwalk High for half the year then switched schools. It was a big change for him, he didn’t expect to have moved that year. He was nervous about making new friends and getting to know his teachers because he was so used to his current school. Ever since he transferred he has gotten a better experience in school and has made lots of friends during his past two years of High school. His brother graduated at McMahon and he also transferred the same year as Steven . They both went through lots of changes and it was very difficult to make friends since they both came into McMahon shy and not knowing anyone. Everyone made them feel welcomed and ever since his transfer he doesn’t regret coming to Brien McMahon.
The students of Brien McMahon High School want a lot of activities from their class officers. This consists of things such as dances, lower prices for activities, and much more for this upcoming year. Many students are willing to participate, and help their class in achieving what they want. Many classes want different things such as, the seniors and juniors would like cheaper yearbook, and prom tickets. The sophomores would like more dances, bake sales and social events to hang out with friends. While the freshmen would also like more dances with different trending themes, and bake sales.
Many students want less expensive items such as prom tickets and yearbooks, which requires them to raise more money. Spreading the word to other people and making it well known for them to be talking about it with others, would help with having lots of participants. If we have many people participating more money would be raised, and the peoples wishes would be achieved. To help these activities to happen, the students would need to participate and attend most of these events to raise money.
Roja Yousuf is the sophomore class president for the year 2022; “We will do our very best to do what our class wants us to do. We would go to many lengths in order to do this, and in order to have our classmates voices heard, in consideration of their needs and wants”. The class officers are working hard to make events fun, and also get opinions from the students.
The students in each class want to achieve their wishes and have fun before graduating. A quote from Adamarys Benites a student in the class of 2021 stated; “I want to have fun before I graduate from my junior year and I would like to have games after school where people can join if they want to. An example would be like, having a volleyball game and anyone can join”. Many students do not want to leave high school without having fun and being stressed from all the homework given.
Brien McMahon is one of the most diverse high schools. Every person at McMahon has a different hobby. Some hobbies are cool and interesting and some not so much.
In McMahon, a lot of cheerleaders have cool hobbies that relate to art. Fashanti N. Lee, one of the cheerleaders at McMahon, paints and draws on her own time but she takes it to the next level. According to Fashanti, she likes to design graduation caps and sell them to seniors which not a lot of people do. She also loves photography and is good at it. Photography is a hobby she shares with some of her cheerleading friends such as Rosie and Josie Marshall. Fashanti also said a hobby she would be interested in would be taking care of animals such as grooming them or helping those that are injured.
Malaury B. Aime, a junior at McMahon. Aime stated, “I like to help out at animal shelters on the weekends. Other than that I’m really into photography. I don’t think any of my hobbies are unique or strange but I’d say the coolest one is volunteering at an animal shelter and I honestly wish I could adopt one.” Aime also stated that a hobby she would be interested in taking is painting.
Lucceza St. Denis, another junior at McMahon stated that some of her hobbies are playing tennis, making art, and writing songs as well as poetry. Denis said, “My strangest hobby would most likely be painting modern abstract portraits on clothes because I get my best ideas from nightmares I have. I am also very interested in music and would like to learn to play the acoustic guitar. A close friend of mine is an amazing singer and songwriter who loves to record her music. One of her songs is actually on Spotify right now. She is very talented and works hard on her talent every day which allows her to improve on different techniques and and not lose motivation. She tells me that she wants to pursue a music career and her hardest struggle is with procrastination when songwriting. I do not know anyone with a painting hobby like mine but I would love to meet some so that we can inspire each other’s work.”
Imagine walking into the front doors of Brien McMahon and seeing two armed guards covering the doors. They’re serious and focused. Would you feel safe or intimidated? Ask yourself, would coming to school everyday and seeing armed forces throughout the school actually benefit your safety and the Brien McMahon community, or make you feel unsafe?
Twenty years ago, two students from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado opened fire, injuring and killing twelve of their fellow classmates and teachers before turning the guns on themselves. During the time of the Columbine shooting, police were not trained to go directly into the gunfire, but to wait for the SWAT team to arrive, unfortunately, giving the shooter more time to continue firing at students. Since the violent shooting, schools have upgraded their plan for active shooters.
Today, we practice the “Run, Hide, Fight” method. Run-- if you’re able to run away from the violence, do it. If you’re unable to run from the shooter, hide. If the shooter approaches your classroom, fight. We’re told to do things that will distract the shooter and slow them down like throwing books. Since the events of Columbine, law enforcement has been trained to go directly to the noise of gunfire. Classrooms doors are now able to be locked from the inside and students have been taught how to barricade them.
Since the Columbine shooting, ABC News has reported eleven mass school shootings. In Newtown, Connecticut, twenty children and six teachers were shot and killed by twenty-year-old Adam Lanza. Considered to be the deadliest school shooting in the U.S., the Virginia Tech shooting took thirty-two lives (CNN). Victims involved in each of the massacres followed the “Run, Hide, and Fight” plan. Do you think it was enough? If there were armed guards, would the deaths of multiple children, teenagers, and teachers have been prevented?
I interviewed Jessica Jean-Pierre, a senior at Brien McMahon about her opinions and thoughts on armed security in school communities. Pierre (‘20) says she thinks armed security is a good idea. “I would feel a lot safer since they are there to help if there are any threats that might come among us,” she shared.
Stationing armed guards at schools has both pros and cons. For instance, armed guards patrolling the school would decrease the chances of violent incidents and massacres, lessen bullying, and increase observation on students. However, armed guards at school do offer the risk of potential violence; if a guard does not receive a thorough background check, it could result in violent incidents. Additionally, students may fear the armed guards instead of feeling protected.
While stationing armed guards at school communities offers many safety precautions, it also offers safety concerns. Regardless, no one should be afraid of coming to school, nor uncomfortable. School should not feel like a prison, but a place of learning and making life-lasting memories.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a usual visitor of PrideTime's blog, which is exactly why you should continue reading this article. Since their invention, newspapers and magazines have been a way of educating the public on current events. Here at McMahon, this responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the students.
Since its start in 2014, the PrideTime Magazine has published countless articles pertaining to the interests of the McMahon community. All articles, ranging from sports and school events, to makeup and social media trends, are both written and edited by students through a system of reporters and editors. The program, however, isn’t orchestrated by students alone.
English teacher Mr. Carroll has been administering the magazine from its start. In his time, Carroll has spoken about giving more control to the students. He says he aims to change the program to be more student-oriented; both by the students and for the students.
Though he’s not suggesting the program being completely student run, Carroll says he wants the program to be more student-based. In the final quarter of the school year, he’s has put his ideas into action, placing a new responsibility upon the students by instituting a new classroom dynamic, where editors, who switch off every class, take control from the minute the bell rings until the final minute of class.
As a member of PrideTime, I’ve seen it in action myself. Editors take control of the 90 minute period, from start to finish, taking on full responsibility for answering questions and guiding fellow editors and reporters in their daily tasks. Instead of asking Carroll questions, we ask the editor in charge for the day; instead of asking Carroll for advice on a new direction for our articles, we ask our leading classmate.
This opportunity has effectively constructed a bridge between editors and reporters; during the school year, we reporters usually turn to Mr. Carroll and our group editors. Now, we must reach out to different students for guidance and advice.
PrideTime reporter and social media manager Victoria McCaffrey (‘19) offered her input on the matter: “I think that it’s good to give students a voice and leadership role in the classroom, but it’s also more difficult to communicate with Carroll.”
Editor Kristina Casubolo (‘19) had similar thoughts about the new change, which she renders to be beneficial in skill building: “I’ve learned about what it’s like to step into teachers shoes for a period; how to be a better leader and keep the attention of the class, or at least, try to.”
In general, Casubolo agreed on the newspaper being primarily run by the students, but says there’s a limit. “As long as there’s boundaries within student power, I think it’s fine. However, I don’t think Carroll should be completely off limits; if someone needs him, he should be available.”
Considering that the PrideTime Magazine is the official newspaper of Brien McMahon, it makes complete sense to have it mainly run by students. Students should be able to take up the responsibilities of organizing the program, and for the past five years, students have. In doing so, we’ve proven ourselves an able group, ready to adapt to whatever changes Carroll has in mind for the program. What will these changes be exactly and what will they entail? Stick around and we’ll find out together.
Inside the halls of Brien McMahon High School roam over 1,663 students. Of these students, about 300 of them are members of the Center for Global Studies. CGS is an interdistrict magnet school inside of McMahon that focuses on teaching the languages, culture, history, and literature of China, Japan, and the Middle East. Students can choose to focus on the Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic language and eventually travel on overseas study tours.
Whether you’re an incoming or current student, or even a parent at McMahon, you may wonder students have chosen to attend CGS, why they've chosen the cultures they did, and what they can say about the program. To answer these questions, read on-- learn what a student from each language has to say about the school and their experience.
Victoria Papadopoulos (‘21) chose to immerse herself into the Japanese culture. After taking the language in middle school, she chose to stick with it. Papadopoulos says what made her join was the information session she attended:
“Alumni shared how the challenges of learning a completely new language and traveling with your classmates, with a host family, or hosting a family in the US, was one of the best experiences they ever had,” she said.
Papadopoulos (‘21) says she she hopes to gain more knowledge of the world that surrounds her through her involvement in the program.
“I hope to meet new people that are completely different than myself; understand and observe different viewpoints on life and politics. Overall, know how to effectively communicate with people who speak the same language, or not, and build great relationships with them,” she said.
Her favorite thing, though, is growing through the program; learning, observing and traveling. She went on to explain CGS’ influence on her as a person. “Being a part of CGS has changed my perspective in the world. It opened my eyes to how global issues connect to our politics and issues today,” Papadopoulos remarked.
Chris Gong (‘20) takes Chinese part in due because of his heritage. He says he expected to develop a better understanding of the culture, “I’ve always wanted to learn my own language, because, growing up, my family mainly spoke English to me. CGS gave me the opportunity to get back to my roots and explore my native culture,” he said.
One of Gong’s (‘20) favorite things about CGS is the exposure to all kinds of people from all over the world, and, in his own words: “you can’t forget about the potlucks.”
Malaury Bien-Aime is a sophomore studying the Chinese language as well, and credits her involvement to wanting to step out of her comfort zone. She hopes to use Chinese a future career, as it's “said to be the most spoken language.”
Bien-Aime ('21) says CGS helped her meet new people and diversify her views of the world. “I’ve become more aware of the reason why certain cultures do what they do; it’s shifted my perspective. There are so many different ways of living outside of the American ways--you have to keep an open mind,” she said.
Aubri Ancona (‘21) studies Arabic through CGS and says that the language just seemed very “unique and cool” to her. She says that being apart of the school changed her perspective on many things. For instance, her involvement shifted her career aspirations for the future, “It made me rethink what I wanted to do in life, and I’m considering wanting to become a translator or working with foreign affairs,” she shared.
As for study tours, Ancona is a huge fan. Recently, she went to the Middle East for a study tour in Qatar and Morocco, “We studied Arabic, lived with host families, and did so many things that students my age can’t say they did,” she revealed.
The biggest impact CGS has had on Ancona, she claims, is the shift of perspective she’s experienced since her admission. She says, “CGS has 100% changed my perspective of the world. I never appreciated how different we all are in the world until I got to CGS.”
All in all, the benefits of being involved in CGS are many in number: whether it be the thrill of learning a new language, culture, enjoying study tours, or diversifying your friend group, the Center for Global Studies has it all.
Impressed by Abubo’s piece and curious as to how she had been one chosen from many suitable artists with profound works that I have seen propped up in art classrooms, I asked the Department Chair for Visual Arts, Mrs. Ritz Swain, what the selection process for art shows entail.
Swain told me that the students are selected for the district-wide art show for their work ethic, grade and how deserving they are for being recognized.
However, “the Brien McMahon High School art show, because we have more slots available, is really more about showing off the different levels of our students and really showing off creativity and talent. Like, work can be really creative, but not that skillful, and then some work is really skilled, but not that creative. So this show sort of shows you all of the aspects of art,” Swain explained.
On May 30th, from 5-7pm, the Brien McMahon High School art show will be taking place. Mrs. Ritz Swain says of the upcoming show, “I think it’s a good place to go to be inspired and a really great way to just be a part of the community.”
Not only that, students who wish to take an art class but are unsure of which class is right for them can see the work from photography, drawing, and more and choose accordingly.
In agreement with Swain, Abubo says, “When I went to this last art show, I saw a lot of really good art and I’m sure the next art show will have a lot more, too.”
Is it just me or did we all leave our toxic relationships in 2019? Yanderli Amarante (‘19) sure did. If you also did, I’m proud of you because it takes a lot to leave something and someone that you’ve known and been with for so long. It takes a few times leaving before realizing that that type of relationship isn’t what you deserve. Nearly 1.5 million students nationwide experience physical, emotional, and verbal abuse from a dating partner. Self-worth is something that everyone should have but doesn't. Yanderli Amarante found her worth during her last year of high school.
Q: Have you ever been in a toxic relationship?
A: Yes. The relationship was very toxic and draining. But I was in love and stayed longer than I should’ve.
Q: What is a toxic person to you?
A: Someone that blames you for every little thing. Everything would be your fault even if it wasn’t.
Q: When was the toxic relationship?
A: We started off as best friends for two years, then started dating for another two and a half years.
Q: Why did the relationship end?
A: It ended because we argued every day. Everyday it was something new. It got to the point where I didn’t want to argue anymore. It hurt me and I didn’t want to hurt anymore. He also did things behind my back, and I was not going to deal with that so I left.
Q: What does your self-worth mean to you?
A: At first I didn’t know what self worth was because I kept going back and believing him when he would tell me that he was the only guy that would like me and my body. It got to the point where I said I think I deserve more and decided to love myself. My self worth means a lot. Nowadays people are treating girls like they’re nothing, but in reality without us, boys would be lost
Q: Do you think boys are intimidated by your worth?
A: Boys don’t know girls worth until they tell them and show them. You have to let boys know your expectations and what you’re not going to deal with. Let them know that you’re not going to put up with the things you’ve done in the past.
Q: Could you ever do a toxic relationship again?
A: Never. I know better now. Toxic relationships drain you. It takes away your glow and your happiness. I need to maintain my happiness because i’ve been unhappy for so long.
Q:How do you want your next relationship to be different?
A: Obviously couples argue. But I don’t want to argue 24/7. That is not healthy. I want us to understand each other and communicate more because communication is key.