RAVEN REPORT SEQUOIA HIGH SCHOOL NEWSMAGAZINE VOLUME XVI, NO. 4 // MAY 2022
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
Table of Contents
A note from our senior editors
Media mania Rise, fall, rise again of the Warriors Duolingo’s flame fuels fun and fluency Childhood movie morals are never forgotten Disney dreams to memories Body image issues
14 Perspectives from Sequoia’s freshmen Being the only Samoan in Sequoia 16 Neurodiverse have superpowers too 17 18
Aiding the unhoused in the SUHSD Senior spotlights 22 24 25 26 29 30 34 38 39 42
21 Navigating life after high school
Throughout our years of high school, we’ve participated in dozens of different ways to be a part of Sequoia’s community: tennis, yearbook club, journalism, shadow hosts, tech crew - the list goes on. When we, Greta and Madeline, randomly chose journalism on the class elective form, we had no idea we would become the ones leading and creating changes in the Raven Report’s culture and tradition for the next curious eigth-graders who won’t know which elective to choose. It has been immensely gratifying to continue the production nights and copy editing sessions, working with new friends and old classmates to build the culture that we hope continues past our own time at Sequoia. Creating this culture and legacy at Sequoia comes from voicing your opinions. Our journalism team had the opportunity to learn how to do this from professionals in the field at the JEA/NSPA 2022 Journalism Conference in Los Ángeles this past April. We not only got a crash course in how to write about breaking news or color theory, but also in how to work with a team and create work that we can be proud of. Being a part of the Raven Report has taught us to vocalize our thoughts and share them with our friends, classmates and teachers. Printing and web posting funded by
Learning how to put these thoughts in motion with our words or artwork is a lesson that we plan to use in college and beyond whether we pursue journalism or not. While there’s plenty of activities that we didn’t stick with or didn’t get the chance to try out, the extracurriculars we stayed with shaped our high school experiences. Being a part of a sports team not only gave us friendships and new skill sets, but also another avenue to create culture and leave a legacy at Sequoia. We built team traditions in the form of barbeque potato chips and chants, late night production nights and pizza, and other areas of Sequoia did the same. As we get ready to graduate, we can say that we were a part of Sequoia in many ways. Our classmates get to say the same, whether they’re from Band, AVID, football, the Health Careers Academy, Dance, ASB, Model UN, soccer, robotics, French, or any other community at Sequoia. Whatever grade you’re in, finding a way to be a part of Sequoia is vital to creating a rewarding high school experience. Feel free to ask yourself: how do you say you’re a part of Sequoia? Sincerely,
The Raven Report is a Sequoia High School student publication produced in the journalism class through the efforts and decisions of the staff and the publication’s editors and adviser. The Raven Report is a public forum for students, staff, parents and community members. The Raven Report strives to provide Sequoia High School with informative, engaging and relevant news. The staff will exercise integrity and adaptability while promoting justice and transparency through professional reporting about the school, the community and the world.
The Raven Report staff welcomes signed letters to the editor so that readers might share in the opportunities of the scholastic free press in open forum. The written views of students, parents or community members must be responsible, in good taste and free from libel, slander or obscenity. Letters may be edited for grammar or content if necessary; furthermore, editors will not guarantee that letters will be published. 1201 Brewster Ave. Redwood City, CA 94062 www.ravenreport.org email@example.com
Bathroom vandalism flushes away school spirit
Greta Reich and Madeline Carpinelli
The growth of community
Inclusivity, intersectionality, and a reflection of feminist history
Teachers are people too
Escaping Sequoia’s campus Sports recap
Student-athletes dive into their future
Illustration by Hope Callaghan
Raven Report // 21-22 EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Madeline Carpinelli Hope Callaghan FEATURE EDITOR Greta Reich OPINION EDITOR Vivian Krevor COPY EDITOR Abigail Aguayo
SPORTS EDITOR Oscar Nolf MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Zoraya King STAFF REPORTERS Amara Bakshi Maricela Cruz Aislinn Daly Colleen Diether
Zoe Dufner Ethan Fletcher Stan Hamelin Ariana Hernandez Haylee Huynh Nabil Irshad Ruth Lax Pofa Lealamanua Mateo Mangolini
David Ramirez David Raymond Ben Schwartz Angela Soria Lucie Tenenbaum Daisy Torres Arroyo Zachary Tyson Brenden Velez Sela Vi
Allison Wang Tyler Zarganis ADVISOR Diana Nguyen
RAVEN REPORT | MAY 2022
M ed i a M ani a
Student’s and staff’s multifaceted relationship with social media and how it has grown over its lifetime. BY GRETA REICH Feature Editor In today’s world of unprecedented times and uncalled for opinions, social media is there for us at every turn. Whether or not we want it there is still up for debate, but it cannot be denied that media has shaped the last decade of our lives and our futures.
Authorial Note: As someone who uses social media every day, I started off writing this article as a chance to show others some aspects of social media that I don’t think get enough attention. Social media has the ability to raise often muffled voices or to bring together communities from across the globe who share a certain passion. I think social media gets a bad reputation for its negative aspects, and not enough credit for its positive aspects. However, as I interviewed other students and teachers about the topic,
many of their opinions did not align with my ideas, so this article will showcase both sides of the argument. I hope that as you read you also stumble across a new idea or opinion that informs your own thoughts on social media.
Community: One of the biggest draws of social media, and a huge part of why it exists at all, is the community it can create and maintain. Facebook (now known as Meta) - which arguably acted as a catalyst for many other widespread social media platforms - gets its name from an actual physical Facebook that many colleges passed out to freshmen so they could learn about their new classmates; essentially, it was a way to find new friends in a new community. Ben Canning, physics and Digital Arts Academy (DAA) teacher, as well as a student at Stanford when Facebook first came out said, “We had a physical Facebook, which is where the name came from, which is literally a book of all the freshmen in your class. So you go to Stanford and you want to know who’s in your class, you can see what dorm they’re in and just a picture of them and that’s it…Like just a way to kind of [allow] people [to] connect.” The origins of social media as a concept is community - the want and need to find people like yourself. And while social media has changed in countless ways since 2004, this idea of community and connection is still central to it. Especially during the pandemic induced quarantine, social media served as a medium for this connection. “Being so isolated from face to face contact, the only way that we had to connect was through screens-- that was such a lifeline when we were locked in our houses for weeks and months, and sometimes years,” IB English teacher Emily DeVoe said. “But the way that social media use has changed and grown over the last two years - I don’t know whether it has amplified the pandemic stuff or the pandemic stuff has amplified it, but they have had an amplifying effect on each
other.” The ability to find and stay connected to those outside of your daily realm of life is one of the reasons that social media was able to grow into what it has become today, even before the pandemic. The community one can find online does not have to be a community they know in the real world. Social media can connect people through a shared interest in a band or a specific group that you identify with. You can find others like yourself on subReddits and discord chats and Tumblr threads - it creates an amazing accessibility to find friends. These intangible spaces are vital for youth who don’t feel accepted or respected by those around them. “If you’re in a marginalized community, and you don’t know anyone else who’s in your community, whatever that community might be, and all of a sudden now you’re able to connect to somebody [through social media] - that’s huge and a net positive,” Canning said.
Activism: The connections formed through social media can be used not only in personal lives, but in politics too. Social media has long been used to spread information and political messages - from the Arab Spring in the early 2010’s, the 2017 #MeToo movement, the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, and most recently, the war in Ukraine. The Arab Spring used Facebook as a way to organize an uprising against the government; #MeToo gave victims of sexual assult a safe place on Instagram to share their stories and take a stance; the BLM movement began after the video of George Floyd’s murder went viral and flocked to social media to protest because COVID-19 limited in-person protests. Now, hackers and social media activists are using their technological skills to bypass the Russian government’s censorship. An article from March 4, 2022 in the MIT Technology Review by Chris Stokel-Walker said that “more than 1,300 ads mentioning ‘Ukraine’ are currently running on Facebook and Instagram targeting users based in Russia.” Both platforms have since been banned in Russia. The ability for social media to be used as a platform for social activism was not necessarily the primary intention of Zuckerberg or Spiegel or Dorsey, but as many things on social media do, it has expanded far beyond the creators intent. Those communities that formed through shared interests or identity have
grown big enough to make change. For example, in 2020, the BTS fandom (aka the BTS ARMY) raised $2 million dollars in under 24 hours to support the Black Lives Matter movement. They also “took over white supremacist hashtags on Instagram and Twitter” and “even successfully sabotaged a Trump rally in Tulsa by reserving hundreds of tickets for seats that they never intended to use,” said Lucy Blakiston on Shit You Should Care About, a popular social media account popular for giving updates on everything pop culture and politics. The account itself is an example of how social media is used to both form communities and inform the public about pressing issues. “But then there’s the thing of fatigue,” said Pablo Aguilera, Ethnic Studies, Economics, and AVID teacher. Despite this ability of social media to be a platform for good, it wants to move fast and quick. Trends and fads are born to be forgotten within weeks, going just as quickly as they came and causing a rapid decrease in attention spans. Combine this with a constant bombardment of information telling you about war and death and it becomes very easy to be mentally drained and feel this fatigue. “So I think that like two years ago, it was like everyone was on Black Lives Matter, and then it kind of just faded away. Right? But [...] those causes [are still important], I mean, look what’s happening right now in Ukraine, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, Ukraine, Ukraine.’ I mean, similar things are happening in other Middle Eastern countries, but we never actually care mainly because we have white European countries [to think about],” Aguilera said. “So everything’s still controlled by the system. Does it outweigh it at times? It could. There’s some good that comes out of it, but I just don’t know if [the good is always] there.”
Mental Health: This fatigue can come in many forms, not just from drowning in activism. The most common critique of social media is that it gives unrealistic expectations of what someone else’s life is like, and therefore what your life should be like. Especially as students and humans who are still maturing, we might feel an extra pressure to be on social media constantly. “Since [I started] teaching, the rise of cell phones and the ever connectedness
has increased tremendously and the levels of distraction by students have increased tremendously,” Canning said. He added, “Some of that is also the rise of the kind of addictive nature of the apps […] As soon as we started carrying around phones where we can get the notifications […] we’ve just seen an increase in usage for students, family and friends, etc.” When you’ve been on social media for so long, or at least had it around you for most of your life, it can become a center of your life without you meaning to. “I sometimes feel a little dependent on it, which is an issue,” freshman Ethan Politzer said. “Tik Tok is so addictive and it’s like scrolling on a slot machine. Like that’s basically what it’s doing. I feel like we all know how addictive it is. And I don’t think that stops us. Because either you’re in the loop or you’re not.” The draw of social media is not a new concept though. Fitting in or being a part of a larger group has always been a want, throughout generations. “You’re always trying to do what is the sticking thing. It’s always been like that. I mean, even before cell phones and computers and social media, we would all be drawn to do these cool things…So I think [social media is] what it is now,” Aguilera said. “Every single generation almost has a different thing, right? So for me, when I first started teaching, everyone was on Facebook and the draw was there. And I remember when Instagram came and it was like, the next five years [everyone was on that]. And then it became Snapchat and then it became Tik Tok… it’s constantly evolving, but the pattern remains the same, where you feel like you’re left out if you’re not using it.” Some people actively avoid this cycle of distraction, refraining from even downloading social media apps. Junior Ciara Carroll, who has never had any social media accounts, said
that one of the things that deters her is “social media’s effect on body image.” She added, “I am someone who’s self conscious about my body image. So I can always kind of empathize with people that suffer from that. I feel like social media can really affect the way [you see yourself] because it is something that kind of just makes you really conscious of your self image and stuff like that.”
2,910 million monthly users on Facebook
1,478 million monthly users on Instagram
436 million monthly users on Twitter
Information from Statista The idea that social media is solely a good thing or solely a bad thing is simply inaccurate. “Like all technologies and tools, it’s all about how you engage and use it,” Canning said. “It’s all about dosage, or moderation. I think the deck is stacked against us when it comes to many apps, games included, with respect to tech. They have people who are trained psychologists figuring out how to increase engagement, so it’s not even a fair fight as an individual going up against teams of people trying to get you to engage more [...] Being mindful of that as we engage and participate in things [...] do it with moderation and to take breaks. So, to summarize, I’d say tech and social media can be great. [But] everything in moderation.”
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
Rise, fall, rise again of the Warriors
BY ABIGAIL AGUAYO Copy Editor
The 2014-15 Golden State Warriors captured the hearts of many across the Bay Area and the NBA. Over the next five years the number of those hearts began to reduce and increase as they went on one of the most memorable and dynastic runs ever seen in NBA history. Those five years resulted in three championships, five straight finals appearances, a 73-9 record (best record in NBA history) and arguably the greatest team. A lot of fan bases surrounded the Dubs and their success, and yeah we’re not going to talk about that 2015-16 season. A team led by Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were merely unstoppable. Their success had no signs of slowing down. Heading into the 2018-19 season, a lot of that success remained the same; they dominated and continued to do so by imposing fear into the rest of the NBA. They made it to the NBA finals for a fifth straight year as they were looking for the first three peat in franchise history. Their opponent, the surging Toronto Raptors, led by Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry were the only thing stopping them. All was normal until game five of the NBA finals. Down 3-1 in the series, the Warriors desperately needed a win which they got but at a significant cost. The win resulted in a catastrophic injury to their two time finals MVP, Kevin Durant. Durant ruptured his achilles which costed him to not play in the next season. It was both a brutal physical and emotional blow to the defending champs. The following game, game six, one of the most beloved and loyal players in franchise history, Klay Thompson, tore his ACL. Without two of the four most valuable players, it was going to be difficult for Steph Curry and Draymond Green to carry the team all the way to the finish line. Sadly they were unable to do so and lost the 2018-19 season championship. “At first it was very sad and very heartbreaking actually… I just thought that next season we would need more time to become a contender for the championship,” said junior Leimana Makasina. Leading into the 2020-21 season the Warriors did not have Thompson and
KevinDurant got traded to the Brooklyn Nets. All the Warriors had were Steph Curry and Draymond Green and a lot of question marks. It only got worse as Curry broke his hand, sidelining him for three months. This was a difficult season, as there wasn’t much to be excited for. The team finished the season having a record of 15-50, an NBA worst. The following year started out with gut wrenching news. The Warriors found out that Thompson suffered another catastrophic injury-- he tore his achilles just weeks before the season. The season was an eventful up and down year that resulted in a memorable Stephen Curry campaign but ultimately a disappointing finish. They failed to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year. Although the team w a s n’t at their best, they needed t h o s e seasons to help them get to where they are today. Fast forward to this current NBA season where the Warriors have bounced back. Today they are one of the best teams in the NBA with a record of 53-29, good for third in their conference. While being at their lowest in the previous two seasons, this provided an opportunity for new players to arise and contribute while becoming valuable pieces to the team. These players helped create a new identity that helped set the foundation of success this current team is having. These players include: Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Gary Payton II. This new and exciting supporting cast to add to the greatness of Stephen Curry, Klay Thomspon, and Draymond Green was what the Warriors did not have three seasons ago, the season they lost in the NBA finals. In all the unfortunate events the Warriors dealt with over that two year span lay hidden fortunes and gems. They were able to give a lot of playing time to young players, one of those young players being Jordan Poole. Poole, an ascending talent provides a young charming
charismatic presence that fans feed off of, not to mention his rapid development positioning him in a key and vital role for this team in only his third year. A terrible record also allowed them to have high draft picks which they kept rather than trading. One of those picks turned into rookie Jonathan Kuminga, who is as athletic as any current NBA player at the age of 19. Kuminga provides unmatchable athleticism and explosiveness, something the Warriors haven’t had in a while. Alongside him is Andrew Wiggins who was brought in via trade in that dreadful 2019-2020 season. Wiggins has tapped into that potential that made him a #1 pick in the 2014 draft, appearing in his first all-star game and being one of the best two way wings in the game. Bringing incredible defense to the team is nothing new when you have players like Draymond Green and Klay Thompson but add to that list, Gary Payton II. A fan favorite, has the ability to score in unbelievable ways to add onto his stout defense, but most importantly he was a diamond in the rough. GPII was in and out of the league a majority of his career until he found a home in the Bay last season and hasn’t looked back. And of course we have the returning three of Steph Curry, Klay Thomspon and Draymond
They’re bringing a lot of energy so it’s demoralizing to another team when you’re that physical and that loud…’’ Rocco Loskutoff, freshman
Green bringing the same amazing game to court as usual. The future and present are in as good of hands dubnation could hope for. The team is in new but familiar territory as they make their way into the playoffs with the third spot in the leader board of the NBA. All we can do is hope for the same hardworking, determined team that has been playing all season and hope for the Warriors to take home a fourth NBA Championship to the Bay Area.
Art by Abigail Aguayo
Duolingo’s flame fuels fun and fluency
BY AMARA BAKSHI Staff Reporter
Some Sequoia students make up a handful of the 120 million users who turn to Duolingo, a language learning app that specializes in giving beginners a foundation to build off of. While students find it fun and rewarding, teachers say the app gives students a foundation to build off of, but doesn’t help beyond that. Students can utilize this app by setting small, achievable goals each day to become more comfortable with a new language over time. The app is an alternative way of teaching that may not be in person, but still adds a oneon-one feel. “I think learning a new language is always cool and fun, and this app is engaging, immersive and interesting.” Italian Duolingo learner Emma Chiavegato said. Since Duolingo provides a base for learning a language, many learners look to travel and practice for use of their newly acquired set of skills. “The app allows you to learn from the comfort of your home or on the go, and can also be changed around your schedule, making it approachable and easy.” Chiavegato said. The gamification of language learning, or the application of typical elements in game playing, draws people to the app itself and makes it so popular that it brings in 8.2 million daily users worldwide. Developers made the app a competition to have more users spend a larger amount of time playing. “I think the way that they made it a competition is really nice because there’s an [incentive] to play. It’s also really smart for them to have more users, but also it makes it
really fun to do more Duolingo and try to be on top of the leaderboards,” Spanish Duolingo learner Sasha Efimchik said. There are many pros to counteract the cons in language learning apps, specifically on its “reversed learning.” This is where you can change the language translator back and forth through languages, to have a greater understanding of the construction of sentences. Once you are familiar with a specific language, you can modify the
settings and courses from learning [English] to [language], or [language] to [English]. This provides a new approach to learning that may be more beneficial for practice. “I like to try out some new languages, but the main one I do is Spanish from English, and then the next one that I do is Spanish from Russian because it helps with both of those languages,” Efimchik said. Most exercises in Duolingo may feel like language learning, but are an example of indirect learning. Indirect learning is a student-centered approach to learning where
students observe, and then draw conclusions from data. It’s a study of passive knowledge rather than a new skill. Two examples of this way of teaching are translation exercises, and matching or fill in the blank exercises. Many in-person language classes may still have a lot of indirect learning, but Duolingo’s curriculum is solely based on this style of teaching. Humans retain a new language by being exposed to a lot of context-rich skills in real life, and because of this, we can learn our first language. Because Duolingo provides less of a hands-on experience, some learners think the app may not be as effective. According to the Duolingo help center, they say, “At Duolingo, we’re developing our courses to get you to a level called B2, at which you can get a job in the language you’re studying,” dancing around whether their app is enough to make someone become fluent in a language. Some people argue that Duolingo can’t help you fully learn a new language. “[Duolingo] gives you pieces like a puzzle when learning a language, but it doesn’t actually help you put it together,” French teacher Karina Chin said. Although the gap may not make students fluent, it still provides a lot of fun, and satisfaction towards a goal. “I enjoy the levels given, the basics [of the language] and the feature that lets you track your progress. The different questions allow you to learn new things about the language in many ways, rather than speaking, listening, and repeating things a [teacher] might say, or answering simple multiple choice questions,” Chiavegato said.
RAVEN REPORT | SPORTS | MAY 2022 RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
Art by Aislinn Daly 7
Childhood movie morals are never forgotten BY LUCIE TENENBAUM Staff Reporter
Many movies people watch as young children have profound messages behind them, yet the messages aren’t necessarily retained in your brain. But as you grow older and go back to the nostalgic shows, you realize that the imaginary worlds you grew up with have a deep meaning behind them. I remember when I was six years old, and my family and I were driving up to Tahoe; I watched “Coraline” for the first time. I was so scared that I couldn’t finish watching the movie. I then watched it a few years later, and I thought the message behind the movie was to obey your parents. Last year when “Coraline” was really popular, I watched it a third time. Only then did I realize that the message was to be grateful for what you have because you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. The film industry prides itself on helping children grow up in the best way possible. They create entertainment to help kids learn the rights and wrongs of life by creating fictional characters to convey their message. Disney and Pixar, well-known production companies that many have grown up with and loved, help kids take these messages and apply them to their daily lives.
According to Kyle Munkittrick in his article “The Hidden Messages in Pixar’s Films,” they are known to have two types of human portrayal in their movies: Human as the Villain and Human as a Partner. Some shows that reflect Pixar’s “human as the villain” idea are “Toy Story”, “Incredibles”, and “Finding Nemo.” The movie portrays Sid from “Toy Story”, Syndrome from the “Incredibles”, and Darla from “Nemo” as villains towards the main characters, although all of them are human. The main characters in “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo” are not human, yet the villains are. This helps convey how humans treat animals and the environment for their personal gain and without care for what might be the outcome. “The Incredibles” explores the angle that we as humans are our own enemies if we don’t come together and fight against a common cause or evil. Pixar’s movies include “Monsters Inc.” with Sully and Mike befriending Boo, “Ratatouille “with Remy and Linguini, and “Up” with Russell and Carl befriending Dug. Munkittrick expressed that Pixar films present non-human main characters and human side characters being ostracized. Which leads to them meeting and breaking away from the stereotypical idea of those of the same norm. Such as when Remy pursues his dreams after being separated from his family, in which he meets Linguini, an aspiring chef, and they form a strong friendship. Showing that humans and animals can coexist and help each other, even though it might not be the norm. Unveiling the idea that people shouldn’t let their pre-judgments and differences affect their
ability to make connections with them. Pixar’s main idea throughout all their films is that non-humans are also conscious beings. One of the most popular and essential movies people should watch is “Wall-E”. It was one of the movies that my parents would put on whenever my brother or I was sick. They loved the movie because of the message behind it, the world is very precious, and if we take it for granted, it will be lost. This movie has really resonated with me since global warming has become apparent in today’s world and has helped me think about what humans can do to save the planet’s future. “Wall-E” teaches us the importance of friendship through non-human-like relationships; the main character is Wall-E, who teams up with Eve, another robot, to fight and save the Earth’s intoxication and human extinction. Illumination Entertainment has created well-renowned films such as “Despicable Me”, “The Grinch”, “The Lorax”, and “The Secret Life of Pets”. “I think that the Lorax’s [message] made me, in a way, respect nature a lot more with the cutting down of trees,” said Sophomore Zoé Stansell. “The Lorax’s” message is to protect the planet and all the living creatures it has to help preserve the environment for us and future generations of people. Critics have commented that Illumination doesn’t fully encapsulate “The Lorax”; due to casting and artistic issues. Kali Tuttle on Movie Babble shared how the company didn’t fully use Dr.Seuss’ well-known art style. Additionally, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift were cast just to associate popular names with the movie. While two of the main characters, Ted and Audrey, are played by Efron and Swift, none of the Animated Musical features many songs sung by either famous singers. Due to putting emphasis on wanting to bring in the most profit possible, many have noticed that they’ve seemed to stray from prioritizing giving kids meaningful messages. They try to use the smallest budget to bring in the most significant amount of return.
Art courtesy of Amra Brook
“[Technology with animation has created] a more globalized approach to animated things that are often directed towards kids. I feel like, at this point, there are things that are made by artists and creators from other countries that my kids see. Which isn’t necessarily my experience from my childhood,” said Digital Arts Academy Coordinator Victoria Mitchell. “[There’s] more diversity in terms of where [movies] are made, perspectives, and [the industry] can make a movie about something that’s happening right now or relatively recently, as opposed to these longer timelines to get projects made.” Companies such as Disney and Illumination have taken advantage of the modernization of shows and movies. They have created entertainment with different messages which touch on different cultures and customs. Some well-known Disney movies are Coco, Raya the Last Dragon, Encanto, and Turning Red. Raya the Last Dragon, representing South Asian culture, features the idea that we don’t have to isolate ourselves; we can live in peace and harmony with those different from us.
RAVEN REPORT | ARTS & ENTERTAINENT | MAY 2022
Disney: dreams to memories
BY HOPE CALLAGHAN Co -Editor-in-Chief
Serving as the bridge between many childhoods, Disney Channel television shows and those produced by similar companies continue to connect children from different generations, time zones and paths of life. As a kid, I found comfort and courage in the characters in shows in this genre. Socially paralyzed by shyness, bullying and extreme phobias, my life was reduced to a routine, a structured guarantee that I could attend elementary school without facing my fears in their most excruciating and seemingly life threatening form. Watching characters like Liv, Jessie and other powerful
and capable women who reflected my cheerful but thoughtful personality, I felt less alone. I was inspired by Jessie’s (“Jessie”) thoughtfulness and loyalty and Maya’s (“Girl Meets World”) wit and spunk. I watched Liv and Maddie (“Liv and Maddie”) in awe of their vibrant high school experience and funky lifestyles that I could only dream of. Rewatching several of these shows recently, now similar in age to many of the main characters as a junior in high school, I compare the life I have created for myself versus the one I pictured myself living as I was eagerly absorbing this media starting at age 10. I know now that life presents many more challenges than arguments with siblings or fighting to become a member of the homecoming court and that
the blissful ignorance of my childhood and dreams of the future was strengthened by lack of representation for real, human issues, issues like physical or mental illness, grief and much more; the ugly and heartbreaking things that make us human. Starting their career in the early 1920s, the Disney company took flight over the next several decades, eventually establishing the Disney Channel in the 1980’s. The premium television cable channel acted as the safe and accessible residence for movies and tv shows, new and old. By the early 2000’s, it’s now iconic format of live action sitcoms including “Hannah Montana,” “Jessie,” “Lab Rats,” “Lizzie Mcguire” and many more left an effect on Millennials and Gen Z alike. Similar companies such as Nickelodeon produced nearly identical content, leaving the genre full of entertainment designed to be inspiring and education for kids. If there is something that the last two decades have taught anyone, from average consumers to impersonal corporate companies, it is that no one is safe from the critical lens of the internet as well as the ever changing moral standard for digital media. The responsibility placed on the shoulders of entertainment providers such as Disney is heavy, as they possess the unique opportunity to teach pre-teens and teens how to treat each other with respect, be a kind and caring person and that our differences are not flaws. Instead, many live action Disney Channel sitcoms are prone to insensitive jokes, misinformation or the spreading of harmful stereotypes and lack of representation and true diversity. This includes but is not limited to the portrayal of anyone not white, skinny or conventionally attractive being restricted to a side character and the disrespectful and mocking undertone of the neurodivergent or disabled characters. This is seen clearly in examples like the character Willow from “Liv and Maddie”, a heavy-set latina woman who serves as the likable but irrational and spontaneous best friend to one of the main characters. Played by Jessica Marie Garcia, Willow’s problems and opinions are portrayed as less important and her character’s experiences are centered around stereotypes of her race and body type. Farkle Minkus, played by Corey Fogelmanis in “Girl Meets World,” explains to his friends in one episode that he
is undergoing autism testing. Their collective reaction of horror and disapproval immediately reveals the unity against autism and excuses the insensitivity, invasiveness and judgment people with autism face when the show aired and continues to today. Embedded in the heart of the shows, the insensitiveness expands upon the idea that those who are different deserve to be the butt of the joke. It gives Disney Channel viewers a blueprint, a reason and an excuse to use whatever privilege that is available to bring others down. I wanted so badly to be able to exist in a carefree but interesting and hard working environment like the characters in the shows I watched. I did anything and everything I could think of to make myself more likable, beautiful and strong just like the successful and wellrounded women I watched every afternoon. Unlearning the stereotypes and treatment of disadvantaged groups that I had been shown in the content I consumed took years. It was a hard realization that the idols I looked up to did not deserve the pedestal that I had placed them on.
Although I sometimes miss the innocence of my adoration of Disney Channel personalities, I am more proud of the growth of our society. The progress that has been made in detacthing from harfmul mindsets and stereotypes, moving away from the goal of being identical in size shape and mind of our idols and closer to loving ourselves unconditionally.
RAVEN REPORT | OPINION 2022 SECTION | MAY 2022
Body image issues
Nothing is more mentally draining than look in one mirror and see something and 10 hating the way you look. It can be hard to love minutes later look in the same mirror and see yourself in a world where people do not love something completely different. you back. In other words, body image issues When having an unhealthy relationship have been becoming a serious problem for all with your body, it, in a way, is brainwashing people, especially in you to think that today’s society where you can never “thin” is considered dress the way prettier. People, you truly want including myself, to dress because feel that we need to only “thin people” You can feel so worthless hide our bodies, eat can dress that way. and lost and invisible and certain ways, wear Whenever you a certain type of decide to dress in disgusting for absolutely no clothing for our body clothes you want, reason at all. types and sometimes you end up being feel pressured that disappointed and Katie Dohn, sophmore we need to have “the disgusted with perfect body” in order yourself because to fit in. you hate the way Students at Sequoia you look in it. Sure deal with many different mental illnesses that enough, you end up proving yourself right that all relate to body image issues. Some might only people within the beauty standard can be eating disorders, unhealthy relationships dress that certain way. “Sometimes I try to go out like in some new clothes I don’t usually go out in but then it bothers me all day and I just am not in the mood anymore to be out with people,” Dohn said. It’s no secret that students compare themselves to others on a daily basis; it’s part of being a teenager in high school. Comparing yourself to others and the feeling it gives you is like having the feeling that you let yourself down. Having that feeling at school makes it 10 times harder to get through your day because all you want to do is just be invisible and not even show a single piece of skin. with your body or body dysmorphia. Body To help our Dysmorphia is a common disorder that makes day out when you unable to stop thinking about a certain we feel very insecure, flaw in your body or make you see a different, some people often have a certain p i e c e not so good perspective of yourself compared of clothing that helps them feel less insecure. to other people. I know for me it’s a nice oversized sweater. “At the age of 12 in 7th grade…I guess For others it could be leggings, sweatpants, people dressed in different clothes than I did zip-up sweaters, etc. I know for me, I always and were a lot skinnier and just looked like enjoy watching some of my favorite shows and something I didn’t,” a Kate Dohn, a pseudonym having some snacks. for a sophomore, said. “It doesn’t fix my insecurities but it just Having an unhealthy relationship with makes me worry less about how I look. I my body can affect lots of things in everyday always wear this black sweater so I guess it life. It makes me want to be excluded from lets me be less bothered for the rest of the day certain events because I don’t want to go because I’m covered and can’t see any of my through hating myself for the whole day; I body,” Dohn said. try to avoid that feeling as much as I possibly Big platforms on social media that are body can. It affects my mood when I’m out because positivity accounts or just celebrities often I’m thinking about my appearance and how saying that “you are beautiful no matter what.” I look. I can never really go out and have a To many people, that means nothing because good time because all I’m thinking about they know how they truly feel and how they is how I look– and not in a good way. I can truly feel is far from beautiful. Others take it as
BY ABIGAIL AGUAYO Copy Editor
Art by Abigail Aguayo
a nice thing and it helps a lot of people. I see it as a way of no comfort. Of course celebrities are going to say that, what else are they gonna say? That you’re ugly? Almost all the famous celebrities that promote those mindsets are the very pretty, tiny, beautiful or handsome, fit people. How could we believe that mindset when those are the people telling it? “It doesn’t really take effect because I know I don’t feel that way… and some influencers just have the ‘perfect body’ and sometimes I think that they say it just for fame because they know they are really pretty but at the same time I know some people do have genuine hearts,” Dohn said. Body image issues can really have an impact on your life. It makes you mentally exhausted, tired, makes you feel that you’re nothing, draining and tiring. Don’t say that we’re being ridiculous or that we look fine because nothing will ever change that person’s mind, we know how we truly feel.
No matter what you do or how much you change your life your lifestyle, your never going to be happy. Katie Dohn, sophmore
RAVEN REPORT | OPINION | MAY 2022
from Sequoia’s freshmen
From, “I don’t know what to write about!” to, “Can I write about how boys in elementary school couldn’t use the pink headphones?” – was the typical process of students while they worked on their Perspectives project for Ethnic Studies. Perspectives is a running series by the local radio station KQED that publishes audience submissions that speak to Northern California issues. In Ethnic Studies- teachers wanted students to record a Perspectives piece with the caveat it had touch upon terms we learned in class: gender scripts, masculinity and feminism. These are only a handful of Perspectives freshmen in Ethnic Studies wrote; to listen to them read by the author, please visit our website, ravenreport.org.
Meenal Bahl Today wasn’t like any other day in seventh grade; today was Diwali, my favorite Indian festival of the year! Excited, I wore my mostliked, red salwar kameez with intricate, golden embroidery that casted sparkly reflections everywhere. As the school day progressed, I received several compliments on my outfit. Then came drama class, the most awaited class as our teacher would be introducing the new play. Surprisingly, instead of holding auditions, my teacher held her tiny postit note and called off the names of my classmates and their preassigned roles, and I felt nothing but dread. When she revealed that I was cast as the princess, shock and d i s ap p o i nt m e nt overpowered my senses. I approached my teacher, holding in my vexation, and politely inquired why she had chosen this character for me. I was certainly not reassured by her immediate light chuckle, nor when she explained,
When she revealed that I was cast as the princess, shock and disappointment overpowered my senses. Meenal Bahl, freshman
“Oh! I figured you’d want to be the princess since you’re a girl wearing a beautiful Indian dress.” I immediately realized that my teacher preassigned our roles based on our appearance, how she perceived us and unintentionally, also based on our gender scripts. That’s why I was cast as a princess and my male friend as a strong soldier. Once I reached home, carrying an unsettling feeling, I quickly drafted an email requesting my drama teacher to hold auditions for the play so that everyone could have a fair shot at their desired role. To my delight, she responded in the morning agreeing with my request and I auditioned the same day. After a few hours of constant switching between biting my nails out of nervousness or walking confidently, the audition results arrived. I got the lead and proved that I could be more than a princess. This experience made me realize that people shouldn’t judge others and make assumptions about their personality based on physical characteristics or personality traits they associate with someone’s gender or gender expression. Just because I am a girl and express femininity doesn’t automatically mean that I always want to be the princess. Similar to how I took initiative, I invite you to do the same. Next time someone judges you, politely resist and emphasize who you truly are. With a perspective, I’m Meenal Bahl.
Koi Yu When I first entered the school, I felt as if I needed to leave behind who I was before so I could feel more confident. It took a couple of weeks for me to muster up the courage to make an appointment with my counselor and describe the issue with my name and gender. As I waited in the office, I felt a lot of anxiety being there, but also relieved that I thought I would be able to change. I was feeling okay when I sat down in front of my counselor until I was presented the options of how I could change myself. The counselor also provides a form for your parents to fill out if you want to change completely. The parent part of the form requires a signature to show the parent understands that their child prefers a change in how they are referred to, to be more comfortable. This baffled me because I really felt the need to throw away who I was before. In my case, I was so desperate to be myself, I had to tell my parents first so that I could be myself. When I sat down I was nervous because I was just introduced to this and I was eager to hear about what I have to do to present myself freshly but I didn’t expect them to give me a form for my parents to fill. The options you had on the form were limited to two. The first option was that the school would change your name but couldn’t use it for some things. But what if you wanted the second option where it feels more comfortable and many things are changed, but you had to tell your parents?
Why should trans students need approval from their parents who aren’t in control of their social identity? Koi Yu, freshman
Why should there be parental consent to this? Why should trans students need approval from their parents who aren’t in control of their social identity? This form
defeats the purpose of being trans and it feels as if the school disregards that some students have unsupportive parents. To what extent do students have to go to feel comfortable? Trans students can’t even go to the bathroom most of the time when they need to go either. The gender neutral bathrooms at this school provide comfortable places for students to go to but doesn’t actually reach the purpose because the gender neutral ones are almost always locked. The school can support the community by listening to the students who are vocal about not wanting to tell their parents about the form and how using gender binary bathrooms aren’t to their comfortability level yet so they need the gender neutral ones. Sometimes schools should actually take students’ views on what the school should do about these issues, otherwise it won’t create the safe space that they aim to have which is why schools should take action in how they treat transgender and nonbinary kids. The bathrooms should be permanently unlocked while the forms should have an optional parent signature or none at all. School should take a look at these issues and support the trans community even further! With a perspective, I’m Koi Yu.
and be open at school but at home, I had to act like I was straight. The other things she said were, “don’t sit like that, you’re not a guy” and, “you need to find yourself a man who loves god.” “Go to church so you don’t fall into the habits of the outside,” but those “habits” wouldn’t be accepted in church either. I do not feel accepted by my own mother and she tells me it’s not right. I would love to follow God but not if you’re telling me that I won’t go to heaven if I am bisexual. It just makes me feel like I’m disappointing her for not only liking guys.
Anonymous “I don’t have anything against them, I just don’t think it’s right,” my mom said while we discussed God and right and wrongs. In the kitchen, she scrolled through her online bible on her phone showing me other stories in the bible. “When you marry a man he needs to be Christian,” my mom said, while in my mind I thought something different. The only thing running through my mind was, “What if it wasn’t a man, what would you think of me? What would you say? Would you try to pray the bisexual out of me?” She just sat there while I felt that I wasn’t meeting her expectations. In front of her, I couldn’t talk to her about a girl I had a crush on or that I was dating someone other than a guy. I could be myself
Living in a household that doesn’t support you affects you mentally and physically and makes you scared to come out of the closet. You can’t be yourself if you know they will ask, “Are you gay?” and you have to say, “No, I would never be gay that’s a sin.” You can’t change your style or go to Pride. Confronting homophobia is hard when you don’t know the outcome so we need to educate them especially if it involves religion and show them that it isn’t a sin to be gay. We need to find people that will support you or be there when telling them and advocate for these things. With a perspective.
Nathaniel Corona A couple of years ago, I went to Mexico to visit my family and while I was there, if a boy ever cried for whatever reason, families would always say, “se hombre,” or “be a man”. If a boy ever was being bothered by anyone and it seemed like they were gonna cry, families would sing, “quiere llorar,” (He wants to cry.) three times. If they did start to cry, people would start to laugh while the male parents would go up to the kid and say, “no llores, se hombre,” or, “don’t cry, be a man.” This is very common in Mexico because families think this is a good way to get the boys ready for life. These aren’t the only moments where a boy isn’t allowed to cry. This has happened at least once to anyone who lives in a Mexican household or has gone to visit a Mexican family. I remember once at a birthday party, I was already frustrated because my cousins kept being annoying, taking things that didn’t belong to them, so when it was time to cut the cake, I remember someone pushing me in the cake and that just pissed me off. But as a child, I couldn’t do anything and while holding back tears because of how mad I was, people saw I wanted to cry, but they didn’t know the reason behind it so instead they all started to sing “quiere llorar” - “he wants to cry.” This just makes you want to cry because they are doing this to bother you/embarrass you in front of the whole family, so it makes you feel horrible to the point where you’ll start crying and sometimes it can be traumatizing. I personally don’t think this is a good method to make boys more “masculine” or prepare them for life because things like these cause a lot of childhood trauma and it is definitely not a good thing since the kids will probably lose trust or hate the person who did this to them. I don’t think anywhere in the future I would do this, but I know a lot of people will continue doing this because they still think this is a good method to prepare the kids for life. With a perspective, I’m Nathaniel Corona.
Art by Meenal Bahl and Koi Yu. Compiled by Madeline Carpinelli.
RAVEN REPORT | OPINION | MAY 2022
The neurodiverse have
Being the only Samoan at Sequoia BY POFA LEALAMANUA Staff Reporter It feels like I’m the only full 100 percent Samoan in Sequoia. Sure, there are Asian Pacific Islander people at Sequoia, but the ones I have met were mixed with another race. It’s not bad to be mixed, I am related to people who are mixed. My auntie married someone who was Mexican and my third auntie married a white man. You might ask, “Do I count as Samoan?” My answer is yeah and what I mean by that is if you have Samoan blood running in your veins you count, but it’s kind of weird, they aren’t related to me. At Menlo-Atherton there are a lot of full blooded* Samoans there, and in middle school I went to school with someone who was full blooded like me. *Some people might know what full blooded is, but it is the same way to interpret someone whose both parents are the same race. It is a word I have used my whole life that I heard my sister say and got passed down to me, so now I say it. Poly stands for Polynesian it’s just a short term for saying “No, I’m Poly instead of saying I’m Polynesian.” Polynesian is talking about Tongan, Samoans, Fijian, and Hawaiian people from the Pacific area. Between American Samoa and Tonga, they are not very far from each other, but they are differentsized countries. American Samoa is made up of little islands which my mom is from and the main island – Samoa. My dad is from the main island. I used to think that I was American Samoan, so I asked my mom if this was right and she told me that I was just Samoan. Many times many people keep mixing me with Tongan people or they keep saying that we are the same. I feel annoyed but I don’t really tell them; I just correct them and say
what I am – Samoan. Tongan and Samoan are different cultures. My dad said that Tongans are bigger than Samoans. Tongans would disagree with that. That is what my dad said, and I’m just going with what my dad said. Samoans have phrases like “Go feed the pig”. When my family and I go to restaurants and see polynesian families, we usually talk about them. My mom would say “They must be Tongan.” It’s easy for us to figure out if someone is Tongan or Samoan. Sometimes we could be wrong. We pass by them, and they say hello in their language and we’ll figure that out. Currently, most of my family is in California. I live in East Palo Alto; I have an auntie who lives in Pacifica; another auntie and a couple others who live in Double Rock. Another time I visited my mom’s side of the family and met cousins I never knew I had but my sisters knew who they were in Louisiana. Half of my family or who I am related to don’t even live in Samoa anymore. Although I might go to see my mom’s side again later on in the year probably after I graduate from Sequoia. When it comes to hanging out with family, we make food, eat and listen to music. My family listens to rap/hip hop or just Samoan music or reggae. We catch up on the normal stuff, talking about what we are going to do the next time we hang out or the next holiday. At the big gatherings we order big portions of food, sometimes there might be a giant roasted pig–one massive pig we slice and pass around. Everyone Samoan is different, they do their own thing, so families may celebrate another way. We eat all together; the grown ups eat first then the kids then we do a dance that we practiced before the big meet up. I’m also part of the dance, moving my body, clapping my hands and flowing to the music. During the practices you get shocked and yes
BY COLLEEN DIETHER Staff Reporter it included me that would only happen if we messed up they keep doing it until you got it right. It is not only the guys who just dance, the girls dance too. When we are dancing, the whole crowd, close to a hundred family members of multiple generations, starts to go wild. The audience gets up and throws money and puts money in the clothes the dancers are wearing. One time my sister did a solo dance and they gave her a lot of money and went crazy when she did the dance. They went crazy before she danced and they threw money before she even started. I am still currently learning about the Samoan culture. One way I learn is going to gatherings I have with my family, and mainly learning from them. You don’t have to be Samoan to know the Samoan culture. There are TikTok accounts you can follow such as the one from Viavia Tiumlu Jr. He teaches how to do the fire knife dance step by step and shows off his skills and tells where you can watch him. Also he does other things besides the fire knife dance like how his daily life is and his family talks about language.
RAVEN REPORT | OPINION | MAY 2022
“Back in sixth grade, because of my learning disability, I failed every single class. But this year, I have all A’s and I have above a 3.0 GPA because I embraced it,” junior Nikita Pitre said. The neurodiverse population often gets the reputation for being “lazy” or “dumb.” Many students who are neurodiverse even begin to believe it before they get diagnosed. Once diagnosed, they face a lot of confusion about getting the accommodations they need in order to succeed. But often unrecognized is the strengths the neurodiverse have that is because of their differences. “This is the first year I can actually shine through because I know what’s wrong with me now. It can help me understand how I learned things and process things,” Pitre said. One accommodation that many neurodiverse students receive is the 504 plan. According to the Sequoia Union High School
District, a 504 plan is developed for students with a physical or mental impairment that sustainably limit life activities, including learning, to receive services designed to meet their needs adequately. This can cover a variety of different mental and physical disabilities, such as ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, ect. Getting a 504 plan can open the conversation for students and can help them become more self aware. “I find that a lot of folks that I work with are actually much more self aware I think, than folks who aren’t neurodiverse. It’s willing to have this self awareness, this understanding of, yeah, that’s not my strength, but that is my strength. And to be able to use it to progress is pretty awesome,” Intervention counselor Michelle Cristerna said. Neurodiverse students are resilient though, and face their challenges head on. Stereotypically, people focus solely on neurodiverse students’ struggles, but there are many ways that they flourish as well. Often their creativity is described as “thinking outside the box.” “Honestly, the way my brain works, it processes things differently. So I can have different outcomes and I can interpret things differently. Usually people never think about what I think and they’re like ‘oh, that’s something new’.” Pitre said. Seeing students embrace who they are really impresses Cristerna.
RAVEN REPORT | OPINION | MAY 2022
“Their fire isn’t squelched by the fact that the rest of the world hasn’t gotten on board, hasn’t recognized their genius. It’s like, no, I’m still here and out of the box over here,” Cristerna said. Passion can be a great motivator for success in a class, even if the teaching style isn’t as effective. Many students have found that when their interests align with the topic they are learning in class, they are more engaged and likely to do well. Oftentimes, they can even excel in those classes, while they may still struggle in others. “I find things that I’m passionate about easier. For example, history, or certain parts of science. Whereas, I like English, but I don’t always enjoy what we’re talking about, and so I’m just sitting there staring at a computer screen.” junior Sabrina Solon said. But not being passionate about something doesn’t mean neurodiverse students give up. Many utilize their accommodations in order to more effectively complete their work. Some students require an extension on assignments, others need to be seated closer to the front of the classroom, along with many more that are specific to each individual. These accommodations have proven beneficial for students as they are given the freedom to work in their own way. “I think about a student who has some pretty significant symptoms of dyslexia. Who doesn’t let that stop their writing. They’ll get all of their writing out. At first it might look like a different language, but then you can come in and do spell check. The creativity of the essay is mind blowing,” Cristerna said. Art by Colleen Diether
Building bridges, aiding the unhoused in the SUHSD
The California housing crisis has its grip even upon the families of the SUHSD
BY OSCAR NOLF AND MATEO MANGOLINI Sports Editor and Staff Reporter “We live in probably one of the richest counties in the world, and yet, we struggle every day with trying to find cheaper housing,” Robert Moltzen, Associate Program Director at Life Moves said. Life moves is a nonprofit organization with branches across the Bay Area, dedicated to aiding those in need in regards to housing and unemployment. Located across a bridge straddling the 101, behind an abundance of construction and industrial equipment, one would be perplexed as to how such a valuable resource is so hidden from the public view. Perhaps no issue is as dually age-old yet relevant as the issue of housing. Such an issue, has only further reared its head in recent years, even in our very own Sequoia Union High School District. An overview of the housing problem of Redwood City: As of 2019, 27 percent of the houseless population in the United States resides within California, primarily in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. In San Francisco alone, a recent count of the city’s unhoused population estimates the population at 18,000, a 225 percent increase since the last count in 2019.
66 families in the Sequoia Union High School District met the criteria to be in transition, which means that the student’s and their family’s housing situation is unsecure. It is crucial to remember that houselessness is a stigmatized topic, therefore the reported number of families in transition is most likely higher as some families have shame in being in transition. While it’s easy to ignore or overlook the houseless population, elements of Sequoia High School hope to aid those less fortunate members of our community.
her staff are dedicated to the aid of families in need. In conjunction with non-profit and state-run groups such as Housing is Key and Live in Peace, the Parent Center hopes to preserve educational opportunity through rent-assistance and internet hotspot programs. “When the pandemic hit, many families lost their jobs, so they didn’t have enough money to pay rent,” Macias said. “We created a team of 25 to 30 volunteers to help families create applications to apply for homeless aid.” That team of volunteers is especially important for their ability The Parent Center’s We live in probably one of to translate government role in aiding housing application documents the richest counties in the into Spanish for various insecure students: world, and yet, we strugAn often overlooked families at Sequoia High segment of the unhoused School. The documents gle every day with trying and housing insecure are written in English and to find cheaper housing. population are those are required to be filled who are still required to out in order to receive Robert Moltzen, Associate Program attend regular schooling. rent-assistance. As a high Director at Life Moves For students who lack school with a sizable the permanent, secure ESL demographic, it is residence required for learning, acquiring imperative that Sequoia makes the assistance resources such as reliable internet can be a that the government provides accessible to all daily challenge. This is where Sequoia High regardless of English proficiency. School’s Parent Center enters the picture, run Macias’ department also deals with the by Elvira Macias. issue of internet connectivity for housing and Tucked into the lower level of Sequoia’s rent-insecure students. Providing free wifi main building and adorned with various hotspot devices, either through AT&T or tapestries and carpets on the walls, Macias and T-Mobile, students are able to continue their
studies in spite of the massively inequitable situation they find themselves in. It should be noted that, despite this help, internet issues continue to persist, especially in the North Fair Oaks area of Redwood City. The District’s role in aiding housing insecure students:
“[LifeMoves] will set up a plan; if you have a job, you’re not going to pay rent here for six months, we’re going to help you save enough money, we’re going to help you with your finances,’” Calderon said. “If you don’t have a job, we’ll help you find the job. We work with the families to stabilize their current situation.”
While the Parent Center’s duties in aiding The challenges that ESL and housing insecure students and families undocumented students face while being unhoused: primarily works through California in community operated particular has had resources and programs, Diversity, equity, integrity, to grapple with the the SUHSD has a and inclusion: Those are reality of ongoing wealth of government the things that we need in waves of migration and district operated our community to solve the from Central and programs to help. South America. “The most important problem of homelessness. When children and thing is connecting the teens are stopped families with resources, Robert Moltzen and detained at even before they get the border, it is not to the school site,” Student Welfare and Attendance Coordinator, Alvaro Calderon uncommon for the government to place said. “By the time they get to the school site, them in the care of a distant relative or we want to make sure that we do a handoff to friend, whose abode may not be the most somebody at the site, so that [they] understand welcoming to these new arrivals. “The way it looks is that a minor what the student’s needs are.” Calderon specifically stressed the holistic will [...] come over to the US, they’ll nature of aiding housing insecure students and be detained at the border, transported families. In particular, he noted the varying to a detention center, and then they factors that can influence a person’s housing get released, not to parents, but to a status, and the need to attack all of them at caregiver,” Calderon said. “A lot of the times they stay with the caregiver for once in order to provide the most aid. three, four months, and then they feel “There’s a lot of shelters that provide like it’s time to move somewhere else or support to families in transition,” Calderon they’re no longer welcome in the house said. I’ll make the referral directly to the for whatever reason, and they have to organization, and then I’ll reach out to the find another relative or somebody else to family, and when they have a space available move in with.” (like an apartment), they’ll bring the family in Additionally, due to the pressure to for a determined period of time.” support their families in their country of Of particular importance to Calderon and origin, many of these newcomers to the the district is ensuring a sustainable living US are forced to make difficult choices situation. Chief among Calderon’s priorities between prioritizing school or a paying (besides securing housing) is ensuring some job. This, combined with food insecurity form of stable job for families in-transition. and instability at home, can create a
LifeMoves’ Redwood City Shelter
cocktail of issues that hamper a student’s ability to learn and thrive in a school environment. “We can do the enrollment, we can sign them up for free and reduced lunch, we can provide all the resources [...] necessary. But the students’ main focus, for the most part, is really, ‘I need to find a job, so that I can help support my family in my country,’ and they know they understand that they are obliged to enroll in school,” Calderon said. While there are various immediate solutions by different organizations to help those who are (or are in danger of being) without housing, Calderon recognize the importance to look at this problem not as one to be solved by single actors, or by institutions far removed from our involvement, but rather the struggles of the unhoused as a challenge to our community as a whole.
“Diversity, equity and integrity, and inclusion: Those are the things that we need in our community to solve the problem of homelessness,” Moltzen said. “Homelessness is not an individual problem, it is a community problem. And the only way that we can come together is if all the entities of our community come together and advocate for low income housing, advocate for job placements, advocate for students not dropping out of high school,” Moltzen said. “It’s just about being helpful and helping find that shelter,” Filise Maafu, a security guard at Sequoia High School, said. “If you’re able to do it, give out a hand”. For those who would like to help, consider donating to or volunteering at any number of houseless aid organizations, whether international or in the Bay Area. During our research, we found a Redwood City-based organization, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which would eagerly accept any aid given.
Anti-unhoused architecture designed to make sleeping on them uncomfortable, widely seen in large cities. Photos by Mateo Mangolini.
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
Dance Show 2022 Spotlight
Senior spotlights BY MADELINE CARPINELLI Co-Editor-in-Chief
Describe your plans for the next four years. After graduating, I’m going to go to culinary school. The school I chose was the Culinary Institute of America. I chose the location in Napa […] because it’s closer. I’m going to be majoring in baking and pastry arts, which you get an associate’s degree in for two years at the Napa location, but if you want the bachelor’s degree for it, you have to do the two years in Hyde Park in New York. I might transfer there. How did you choose this path? Why? Were you considering any other postgraduation p l a n s ?
hed by “Expensive” choreograp Juilia Ehrlich
“Fire” c horeogr aphed b B., Jime y Domen na C., Ch ica iara G., Kelly R.K Daniela yra S. an M ., d Taylor W.
Photos courtesy of Kate Eterovich.
How did you choose this path? Why? Were you considering any other post-graduation plans? Coaches like to see training accompanied by some kind of
“Delilah ’s Daydr eam” choreog raphed by Sarah Hans
RAVEN REPORT | ARTS SECTION & ENTERTAINENT | MAY 2022 | MAY 2022
Do you have any advice to underclassmen who aren’t sure which path to take after graduating? For me, it was something that I have done all my life, and that’s why I want to pursue it. I [am] so comfortable in it and that made me confident since I’ve been doing it for so long.
Kate Eterovich Describe your plans for the next four years. Next year, [I plan on] training and trying the recruiting process again for rowing. [I’ll be studying] french and business in September to January in Grenoble, France. Hopefully, [my next] four years [will be] a t a competitive school after that. If I’m lucky, January admission might be an option at UC Berkeley; right now that’s still my plan.
ed by “Diamonds” choregraph Gigi Torres
All through high school I wanted to do the regular route, which is [to] look for a UC [and] do [the] IB Diploma. I was thinking about how all the UCs have so many major options and I really couldn’t decide on one thing, so I just thought about what I [have] loved doing all my life. Something that my mom, grandma and aunt had all taught me and gave me lessons and advice on [was] just baking, so I wanted to do that. [The admission process] was actually pretty simple because it [was rolling] admissions all the way until July.
academic engagement. I get to do both and travel because of a connection at my current club. Our program director knows the coach there. I didn’t really have any other plans. The option to travel came up pretty recently but I knew I was going to take an extra year. Do you have any advice to underclassmen who aren’t sure which path to take after graduating? Keep in mind that your long term goals are going to change throughout high school and there’s a l w a y s more than one way forward.
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
Photo courtesy of Will Jett
Navigating life after highschool BY VIVIAN KREVOR Opinion Editor You should figure it all out now. You don’t know what to do with your life? What do you mean you don’t know what to do with your life? Many high school students feel burdened with the expectation that they should know what they want to do after graduation. High schoolers have the agency to decide their career and life path. Some may feel trapped by what is–
or what feels like– a lack of options. neighborhood struggling financially. His I sought out interviews from Sequoia’s upbringing didn’t academically prepare him community to collect comforting or relatable for highschool. perspectives on life after high school. The first “I had low expectations of myself [in person that I decided to interview was Ethnic highschool]...Those four years I became like Studies teacher Carlos Navarrete. ‘school isn’t for me,’” said Navarrete. Navarrete went to Ravenswood School Navarrete, unsure of attending college and District for elementary and middle school in what to do following graduation, enlisted in East Palo Alto. He shared that the military. He during his time as a eventually went “Education is for [everyone]. student, his school to community was ranked as one It’s the one thing that, it seems college and of the 15 lowest cliche, but it’s the one thing that worked at the a c h i e v i n g cannot be taken away from you... Juvenile Hall in s t a t e w i d e , Education is the way to get out of Santa Clara for o f f e r e d whatever situation [someone] may six years, where insufficient find themselves in.” he realized he education, loves working and served a with kids and Carlos Navarrete, Ethnic Studies wanted to be a teacher teacher. “I love working here and I get rejuvenated every time I get a laugh at a kid about something silly that they [say] or do… I like all the energy and it makes the job not a job,” Navarrete said. Listening to his story, I respected Navarrete for breaking the confines of feeling incapable of making certain life and career decisions. A kid that wasn’t confident in his academic ability became a teacher. He took over a decade to find and pursue a job that he now loves. I find this comforting because Artwork by it’s a reminder that predispositions, Hope Callaghan whatever they may be or how strong they are, can be adjusted. Additionally, it’s completely okay to take time in discovering what to pursue. After I talked to Navarrette I wanted to find the perspective of
College and Career Counselor Teresa Ignaitis, elementary school teacher or businesswoman. who wanted to be a pilot as a highschooler. I like how her perspective can resonate with “I see students with pressure like ‘I’m those that are having, or have had, a difficult gonna apply to the [top] schools, I have to be time in highschool. Despite not having a perfect,’ students that have straight A’s, do all particularly enjoyable experience, she also kinds of activities. There’s just the stress for described how quickly it felt that highschool them to apply to [Ivy League and top] schools,” passed. Ignaitis said. “Other students are like, ‘Yo, like, take a different path,’ they’re not worried about getting into the 50 schools that are really hard to get into.” I’ve heard both ends of the student spectrum that Ignaitis described in a way where no one is portrayed positively. Students that aren’t academically focused are ‘lazy.’ Students that are very focused on academics and getting straight A’s in difficult classes are focused on the wrong things, not living a true life. I respect all students on this range of attitudes towards school. After talking to Ignaitis, I talked to several students from Mrs. Schimeck’s graduating AVID class. “At the beginning of the year [my parents] were like ‘Do you know what to do? Do you know what to do?’ They kept on saying ‘If you don’t know what to do it is gonna cost you more money’…I know they’re trying to do it out of the goodness of their hearts, but it does put even more pressure on other students and me,” senior Sergio Salazar said. Salazar is considering majoring in bioengineering, and likes the idea of creating things. The thought of investing a very considerable amount of money into a career path can be scary. While not trying to disregard the very real weight of financial circumstances and potentially difficult decisions can bring, I hope that students hearing the experiences of others, like Navarette’s, offers reassurance. Graduation “I’m gonna gain the offers many exciting new opportunities individuality that I have been and challenges to begging for. I’m gonna have navigate. my own dorm. I’m gonna have “It was [hard] to make friends my own schedule. If I want to or find that do something, I’m gonna do group…every year it.” something always happened,” senior Sheila Chavez, senior Ashlin Macias said. “I didn’t really like my experience with highschool as much as most people do.[My friend] made me realize that it was kind of a good thing. Because when you step into the real world, being used to something is not really going to help you a lot, because a lot of things are gonna happen and you’re gonna have to let go of a lot of things.” Macias is considering becoming an
RAVEN REPORT | OPINION | MAY 2022
Bathroom vandalism flushes away school spirit By Nabil Irshad Staff Reporter
Everyday students enter unknown territory–the bathroom, a place filled with graffiti and missing soap dispensers. Legend has it that there have been failed attempts at stealing sink faucets and toilets. A-Wing and Breezeway bathrooms are arguably the most frequently vandalized ones with daily traffic. “[Vandalism is ] one of the biggest issues that we have to deal with in the administration at the school. Yeah, so it’s really troubling,” Assistant Vice Principal (AVP) Gary Gooch said. “Almost every day someone does something to the bathroom that really makes it not a nice space to be in to go to the bathroom.” Students may not know that any kind of vandalism on school property brings consequences whether it is throwing wet toilet paper or destroying the reflective metal mirrors– that aren’t even glass. “There’s a kind of a continuum of consequence, depending on the severity of the vandalism,” Gooch said. Even positive messages in the women’s bathroom is still a form of damage to school property. “I don’t think [positive messages] should be put on the walls in such a permanent way. And I think there are definitely alternatives to writing straight onto the bathroom walls,” junior Samantha Wang said. “Posters or sticky notes that depict the same positive messages would be beneficial.”
It’s one of the biggest issues that we have to deal with in the administration at the school. Gary Gooch, AVP
Custodial staff agrees that a bathroom is not the ideal place to spread positivity. “No, not even positive graffiti should remain in bathrooms,” Cherry Stephens, head of janitorial services, said. Preventative measures are taken by the AVP and campus aide such as walking around . “One of the things we do is we have to lock the bathrooms and keep one main one because there’s only three guards. So we keep the nearest one where we can double check, go in and out and do a routine check,” campus aide Filise Maafu said. Bathrooms that are squeaky clean in the morning go through a transformation of mysterious doodles by the afternoon. “I believe that bathroom vandalism has really gotten out of hand. Especially with [...] graffiti on the walls and,[...] not picking after yourselves. It’s really gotten out of hand,” said junior Andrew Vacher Ella.
Art By Aislinn Daly
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2020
The growth of community Highlighting the long withstanding connection between English Language Development students and Sequoia’s Associated Student Body. freshman ELD student Jason Villanueva said.
ELD students also shared about their backgrounds during these presentations, and bonds were strengthened even further English Language Development (ELD) between the two communities with this new students and Associated Student Body (ASB) level of familiarity. students have developed a relationship “I really liked just learning about where within the Sequoia they came from,” community that has sophomore and been in existence ASB officer Tessa for almost a decade, Folan said. “There What was really fun about Friday yet rarely heard were a lot of great was that we practiced our English about on campus. places, some from Spanning over and did an activity with the reading, Guatemala, some the past 12 years, but we also got to go outside. from Mexico, and a collaborative they shared places p a r t n e r s h i p Jason Villanueva, freshman ELD student that were special between the two to them in those communities has areas.” existed in some capacity, but as of late, bonds Others enjoyed the casual setting of the have been more concrete and continue to activities, finding it a comfortable space to get thrive. to know each other. “A system has existed for a long time. “It was a good way to interact with them Where we’re at now is a product of years of [...] in a normal way and we were able to have just tweaking and honing and stuff like that. conversations. It was just a chill environment So the program kind of reshapes every year,” that we could hang out in and be friends,” Student Activities Director Corey Uhalde said. sophomore and ASB officer Claire Dulsky said. The activities are “set up [...] so that students Initially, the planning of these events this have the language to express themselves and year was facilitated by the English as a Second feel confident,” ELD and English teacher Stacy Language (ESL) Outreach Committee, which Wenzel said. is a sub-group of ASB. But collaboration with ELD students and ASB officers recently ELD students has been incorporated in the came together for an activity based around planning aspect of these events as well. the topic of having fun without spending “[ASB] planned [the first] one and then we a lot of money on Friday, April 15. Students kind of just showed it to the [students]. But for rotated and shared slideshow presentations the second one [we] wanted it to be more of regarding the topic, and then went outside and a collaboration in planning the actual events participated in field games like spikeball and instead of us planning and then just inviting soccer. them,” Alicia Sigala, senior and Chair of the “I liked learning about all the different ESL Committee, said. activities that people were showing like “We introduced games that we knew to American football and surfing that were fun them, and they thought of some games that to hear about and try,” freshman ELD student they like, and they showed us that. One of Osman Cruz said. them was Lotería, which is pretty much just The activity was also an opportunity for like bingo, and they’d also mentioned doing students to practice their English and speaking cartas, just like playing cards and stuff,” Sigala skills. continued. “So we went up there, we talked “What was really fun about Friday was that with them. We had a whiteboard, and we wrote we practiced our English and did an activity down our ideas, their ideas and ultimately with the reading, but we also got to go outside,” just made a list of what we want to do in this BY HAYLEE HUYNH Staff Reporter
El crecimiento de la comunidad
activity together.” The longevity of this relationship and its development over the course of this academic year has allowed for bonds and connections to form between students outside of this allocated time. “I feel like [the ASB students] have really grown in their relationships with the students in Ms. Wenzel’s classes,” Uhalde said. “There’s a lot of informal high fives or fist bumps or ‘Oh, good to see you again,’ that kind of thing.” Casual greetings are extended into the day to day lives of students, creating friendship between the two Sequoia communities. “I have a friend in the class [and] it’s just like a friendly face that we get to see and every time we go hang out with them, I always say hi. And now I see her in the hall and I say hi to her,” Dulsky said. Along with the development of friendship, and for ELD students to practice their English, ASB also gets impactful input on how they function as a student establishment at Sequoia.
Destacando la conexión de larga data entre los estudiantes de Desarrollo del Idioma Inglés y el Cuerpo Estudiantil Asociado de Sequoia.
“We can put out a million surveys and we es un producto de años de [...] sólo ajustar can put out a million forms, you know, ‘What y afinar y cosas como esa. Así que el tipo de programa se reforma cada año”, dijo el Director do you want ASB to do? How can we help?’” de Actividades Estudiantiles Corey Uhalde. Sigala said. “But I think what really gets to Las actividades son “puestas en marcha different groups at Sequoia is honestly just [...] para que los estudiantes tengan el idioma collaborating with para expresarse y them, having us sentirse seguros”, dijo meet, being in a room la profesora de ELD y together and do[ing] an Inglés Stacy Wenzel. activity together.” Lo que fue realmente divertido Los estudiantes de Los estudiantes del viernes fue que practicamos ELD y los oficiales de de Desarrollo del nuestro inglés e hicimos una ASB recientemente se Idioma Inglés (ELD) reunieron para una y los estudiantes del actividad con la lectura, pero actividad basada en Cuerpo Estudiantil también pudimos salir. el tema de divertirse Asociado (ASB) han sin gastar mucho desarrollado una Jason Villanueva, estudiante del 9mo dinero el viernes relación dentro de la grado y de ELD 15 de abril. Los comunidad Sequoia estudiantes rotaron y que ha estado en existencia por casi una década, pero rara vez compartieron presentaciones con respecto al tema, y luego fueron afuera y participaron en oído hablar en el campus. Durante los últimos 12 años, la colaboración juegos de campo como el spikeball y el fútbol. “Me gustó aprender sobre todas las entre las dos comunidades ha existido en cierta capacidad, pero últimamente, han sido diferentes actividades que la gente estaba mostrando como el fútbol americano y el surf más concretos y continúan prosperando. “Un sistema ha existido durante mucho que eran divertidos de escuchar y probar”, dijo tiempo. Donde estamos en este momento Osman Cruz, estudiante del 9no grado y de
ACTIVITIES ON APRIL 15, 2022.
All photos by Stacy Wenzel.
SCAN | SE ESCANA
Students playing “Uno” together. | Los estudiantes jugando “Uno” juntos.
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
A pair of students presenting to each other. | Un par de estudiantes que se presentan entre sí. ELD. La actividad también fue una oportunidad para que los estudiantes practicaran sus habilidades de inglés y habla. “Lo que fue realmente divertido del viernes fue que practicamos nuestro inglés e hicimos una actividad con la lectura, pero también pudimos salir”, dijo Jason Villanueva,
estudiante del 9no grado y de ELD. Los estudiantes de ELD también compartieron sobre sus experiencias durante estas presentaciones, y los lazos se fortalecieron aún más entre las dos comunidades con este nuevo nivel de familiaridad. “Realmente me gustó saber de dónde vinieron”, dijo Tessa Folan, funcionaria de la ASB y estudiante del 10mo grado. “Había muchos lugares estupendos, otros de Guatemala, algunos de México, y compartían lugares que eran especiales para ellos en esas zonas”. Otros disfrutaron del ambiente informal de las actividades, encontrándolo un espacio cómodo para conocerse. “Fue una buena manera de interactuar con ellos de forma normal y pudimos mantener conversaciones. Era sólo un ambiente comfortable en el que podíamos pasar el rato y ser amigos”, dijo Claire Dulsky, funcionaria de la ASB y estudiante del 10mo grado. Inicialmente, la planificación de estos eventos de este año fue facilitada por el Comité de Inglés como Segunda Lengua (ESL), que es un subgrupo de ASB. Pero la colaboración con los estudiantes de ELD también ha sido incorporada en el aspecto de planificación de estos eventos. “[ASB] planeó [el primero] y luego lo mostramos a los [estudiantes]. Pero para el segundo [nosotros] queríamos que fuera más una colaboración en la planificación de los eventos en vez de que planeáramos y luego simplemente invitarlos”, dijo Alicia Sigala, estudiante del 12vo grado y presidenta del Comité de ESL. “Introducimos juegos que sabíamos, y pensaron en algunos juegos que les gustaban, y nos lo mostraron. Uno de ellos era Lotería,
que es casi como el bingo, y también habían mencionado hacer cartas, como jugar cartas y cosas”, continuó Sigala. “Así que nos juntamos y hablamos con ellos. Teníamos una pizarra, y escribimos nuestras ideas, sus ideas y, hicimos una lista de lo que queremos hacer juntos en esta actividad”. La longevidad de esta relación y su desarrollo a lo largo de este año académico ha permitido que se formen vínculos y conexiones entre los estudiantes fuera de este tiempo asignado. “Me parece que [los estudiantes de ASB] han crecido realmente en sus relaciones con los estudiantes en las clases de la Sra. Wenzel”, dijo Uhalde. “Hay un montón de choque de manos informales o golpes en el puño o “Oh, bueno verte de nuevo”, ese tipo de cosas”. Los saludos casuales se extienden en la vida diaria de los estudiantes, creando amistad entre las dos comunidades Sequoia. “Tengo un amigo en la clase [y] es como una cara amistosa que llegamos a ver y cada vez que vamos a pasar el rato con ellos, siempre digo Hola. Y ahora la veo en el pasillo y le digo hola”, dijo Dulsky. Junto con el desarrollo de la amistad y para que los estudiantes de ELD practiquen su inglés, los estudiantes del ASB también reciben información impactante sobre cómo funcionan como el establecimiento estudiantil en Sequoia. “Podemos presentar un millón de encuestas y podemos presentar un millón de formularios, sabe, “¿Qué desea que haga ASB? ¿Cómo podemos ayudar?” Dijo Sigala. “Pero creo que lo que realmente llega a los diferentes grupos en Sequoia es simplemente colaborar con ellos, reunirnos, estar en una habitación juntos y hacer una actividad juntos”.
ASB tries to rein back Club David influence BY ZOE DUFNER Staff Reporter Club David has successfully occupied the student cheering section of Sequoia sports games since 2015, but over time, administration has become increasingly concerned about the inclusivity and merit of the unofficial club. Now, the Associated Student Body’s (ASB’s) Purple Reign fights for the student section, working to spread a message of inclusivity and school spirit. The club was started by a group of enthusiastic students, mainly boys basketball players, who often cheered for Sequoia during football and basketball games. Named after an inside joke, the group has always been fairly informal in terms of membership and structure. “From what I’ve heard, a group of basketball players went on this trip a long time ago, and they were in a sandwich shop when this guy named David fell asleep, they were trying to get him a sandwich so they kept saying ‘Club for David,’” junior Finn Moody said. “I think [Club David] started as just the name of the student section, something that was around for a while and wasn’t meant to be exclusive.” Initially, ASB had little concern over the
club. Consisting of students who had already run most of the cheering section at the time, ASB had not seen it as much of an issue. “I like enthusiasm. I never had any particular affinity for the name; I’m not really in on the inside joke, so to me, it wasn’t appealing at all,” ASB director Cameron Uhalde said. “I was sort of coming at it from the perspective of, ‘Hey these students in the student section, they’re enthusiastic, this is the way they want to brand themselves and I don’t see it as particularly dangerous, so whatever, do what you guys want to do.’” As time went on however, the contrasting values of Club David and ASB became gradually more apparent. Since Club David isn’t an official club at Sequoia, being managed entirely by students with no supervision, no one other than the members can decide who is allowed in. “It has become clearer and clearer that exclusivity is kind of baked into the whole concept of Club David. The fact that it’s an inside joke and pretty much a certain demographic of students that end up there all the time has fueled this environment where not everyone feels like they belong, are accepted or a part of it,” Uhalde said. Aside from its presumable exclusivity,
the spirit of Club David’s Instagram posts have also been a cause for concern from the perspective of ASB and administration. The account mostly posts about games and spirit days created by the club (usually in place of those made by ASB), but includes various posts calling out players of opposing football teams by name. “Some of [the Club David Instagram posts] are highly inappropriate. They are offensive,” athletic director Melissa Schmidt said. “With high school athletics, part of competing is learning to respect the people you’re competing against.” However, some students aligned with Club David consider everything to be in good fun and harmless. When asked about the meaning behind certain hashtags often used in the captions of Club David Instagram posts however, such as “#pourdameat” and “#mehtah,” members declined to comment or claimed to not know the meaning. “I think the posts are just trash talk between schools and people just messing around,” Moody said. “I think it’s all fun and games, you’re just messing with people and they’re doing it back.”
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
Inclusivity, intersectionality, and a reflection of feminist history
The Young Feminist Club carries on long-lived ideas of inclusivity and intersectionality BY ALLISON WANG Staff Reporter
Graphics by Allison Wang, courtesy of Sarah Hansen
Content warning: mention of sexual assault Feminists young and old have been trying to equate opportunities for women in the world since 1848, the beginning of the feminist movement as we know it today. As the years have gone by, the message has shifted; however, the core ideas pushing movements are still majorly existent. Sequoia’s Young Feminist Club is no different, introducing new inclusive and educational initiatives on campus this school year. Alongside general development, the club makes efforts to grow the diversity of the club and invite more students of color to participate. The club, which was founded nine years ago, is made up of five to nine regular members, of which five to six are white, two to three are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), two to three are male, and over five members identify as LGBTQ+. Demographics-wise, the club mainly has middle and lowermiddle-class students but has a purpose to serve and support the entire school community regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or
sexuality. Additionally, the club philosophy hopes to further develop intersectional feminism. “That’s where you bring in rights, not just the female rights but human rights. We see feminism as a human right, so [that me ans ] also looking at women o f color
A brief history of modern feminism
class women. Those celebrated as pioneers of the feminist movement actively excluded addressing issues of race and oppression faced by Black women. Despite the efforts of women of color like Sojourner Truth and Maria Stewart in the first wave of feminism, the movement established itself as one solely for the benefit of white women. When the 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870, even though it protected the voting rights of people of all races, the same right did not extend to women. The 15th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of
The inclusivity issues the Young Feminist Club at Sequoia is tackling, while not identical, reflect larger issues of inclusion in the feminist movement. From the first wave of feminism beginning in the late 19th century, people of color have always been disproportionately excluded. The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, regarded as the birthplace of feminism, was monumental in bringing change and championing voting rights for women. However, the advocacy movement led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucrecia Mott and Susan B. Anthony only brought benefits to white, middle and upper-
and the challenges they have versus [those] of a white woman,” Mozelle da Costa Pinto, club advisor and art teacher, said. The importance of practicing intersectional feminism goes well beyond what happens within club meetings, as it promotes diversity in the school community as well as the
world. that all voices are represented,” da Costa Pinto definitely being more inclusive with everyone “I think intersectional feminism is really said. […] They could present this to the school [as], the only way to go. We can’t address women’s Last year through COVID-19, the club this is our feminist club. We are diverse, we issues without also suffered and as a advocate for change in the way that we think addressing the issues result, there was less about our rights. In general, if we saw more of race and sexuality diversity in the club inclusiveness of different ethnicities, genders, and all the different simply because of the it would encourage people to join in,” Noemi things that come We can’t address women’s issues lack of members. Leon, sophomore and non-club member said. into play,” Becca “The goal is When there are more people of color without also addressing the issues Rosenberg, junior always to have a participating, it also helps to portray the club of race and sexuality and all the and club member, diverse community, as open to all. different things that come into play. said. and I have enjoyed “I was scared of joining [the club] because I Recognizing watching our YFC didn’t see as much diversity in the group. And i n t e r s e c t i o n a l i t y Becca Rosenberg, junior and Young family grow this year although they want to advocate for it, it’s not as it pertains to Feminist Club member and approach pre- really seen in there. Because there’s very few feminism is critical in pandemic numbers people of different color,” Leon said. “I don’t addressing any issue again, as we continue want it to feel like we’re not welcome [joining] that affects people, especially ones Sequoia to build the club back up I am excited to see the club. And that’s what’s really stopping me students face. The club is working towards all of the new perspectives that we will gain,” from joining, just that fear of being rejected amplifying varied voices within the club. Sarah Hansen, junior and club president, said. because of my color, or my race.” The diverse student voices and input Though the club has grown steadily over The club currently does not specifically provide more perspectives on a complex, the past year to reach nine members, the target underrepresented backgrounds in multifaceted issue. Sequoia has always been a representation of BIPOC members is still a recruiting new members. As such, some community that encompasses many different work in progress and a long-term goal. students feel as if the club is unnaproachable identities, so fully representing that in all clubs “In general, I’d because they do not is critical. love to see the club’s see people of the “Feminism really just means the equality active membership same race or ethnicity of genders, and genders plural. So there are grow and with as them. many genders - we have students who identify that growth note [T]here needs to be a more concerted “I think that’s a with several different ones. And they’re all that there is a solid step that I want to effort to invite more students of color welcome to join the club because really at the balance of all groups take, maybe join it to into the group and to encourage end of the day, what we need is representation,” being engaged and so that I could make Rosenberg said. represented within those students to take a leadership it more diverse and Though members emphasize that the club the YFC,” da Costa role. encourage others is open to all, they have encountered issues Pinto said. who are like me to with retention of students of color over the As the club Mozelle da Costa Pinto, club advisor join the club as well years, an area of growth for the club. becomes more so that they’re not as “One of the intentions was to see more established on scared that there’s not students of color, be part of the club. There’s campus and general membership grows, as many people of color,” Leon, who is Latina a little bit more of that this year than there has the club hopes the member demographics and part of the Latino Student Union, said. been in recent years. But that’s a place where diversify, which would strengthen the club’s While unintentionally so, the majority I would still like to see us grow. Because the message of inclusivity and intersectionality. white demographic of the club members may initial intention of [the club] is to make sure “Something that they need to improve in is turn away students of color who do not feel as
race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” At the same time, white suffragists began pushing for voting rights for white women, excluding Black, Native American, and Asian women. With the exclusion of women of color, the suffragists were able to present voting rights for white women as an extension of white supremacy. The 19th Amendment ratified in 1920 was an immense step for equal voting rights for women. The 19th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” However, the amendment still did not guarantee all women access to polls and opened voting up almost
solely for white, economically advantaged women. African American women were faced with intimidation tactics against them to turn them away from accessing polls, even though it was within the law that they could vote. “In the case of the 19th Amendment, even as it’s ratified in August of 1920, all Americans are aware that many African-American women will remain disenfranchised. The 19th Amendment did not eliminate the state laws that operated to keep Black Americans from the polls via poll taxes and literacy tests—nor did the 19th Amendment address violence or lynching,” Martha S. Jones, historian and author, said in an interview with TIME in 2020.
Development of the second wave of feminism beginning in 1963 brought into perspective the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and other issues of equality, which highlighted the lack of opportunities for people of color and other minority groups. The Second Wave focused on equality, fighting systemic sexism, and allowing women to have reproductive rights over their bodies. As the feminist movement developed, women of color and Black women found themselves again ostracised from the mainstream platforms powering the movement. “Black women wanted to fight not just for the right to contraception and abortions but also to stop the forced sterilization of
people of color and people with disabilities, which was not a priority for the mainstream women’s movement. In response, some Black feminists decamped from feminism to create Black Feminism. Fran Beal co-founded the Black Women’s Alliance and then the Third World Women’s Alliance (TWWA). TWWA developed an analysis that incorporated race, class, gender, and an international perspective,” Constance Grady, a reporter for Vox, said. The TWWA was one of the first organizations that advocated for an intersectional approach to fighting women’s oppression, arguing that women of color faced race, gender, and class oppression together. The term “intersectionality” was first coined
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
if the members and club as a whole would be by Girls Learn International (GLI) and the able to understand the struggles of historically feminist magazine Ms. Magazine. Both GLI underrepresented groups. and Ms. Magazine were instrumental in “For [my friends], some of them are founding the club, and the club is also a local immigrants and their parents are [too] so GLI chapter. they’ve gone through “We try to find a lot of rejection from issues that transcend white people and demographics they’re [feel like], ‘We and improve don’t want to join the climate the club because we Our biggest and most well known [ a n d ] feel like if we join, it’s project are pink boxes, to promote culture us not resisting the menstrual equity throughout of the racism that they’re school, they’re pink shoe boxes with inflicting on us and menstrual products that are free for we’re just giving in any student. and we’re joining the club,’” Leon said. Sarah Hansen, club president The club’s executive board and members plans to discuss implementation strategies school. [...] Having for recruiting and retaining more club more diverse members and BIPOC students in the spring. perspectives in the club Additionally, they want to focus on supporting can increase our awareness more students of color to become active of different issues that we may members and hold leadership positions, not be aware of, or that affect driving for more profound change in areas of specific communities on diversity. campus,” da Costa Pinto said. “[T]here needs to be a more concerted “We are continually learning effort to invite more students of color into through GLI and Ms. about the group and to encourage those students the current global crisis and to take a leadership role early on so that they struggles for women and take ownership and feel actively engaged with gender equality and often the decisions and direction in which the club that helps direct our focus chooses to focus its energies,” da Costa Pinto at Sequoia.” said. Despite the areas of To tackle issues that affect underrepresented growth pertaining to populations with the constraint of less diverse the representation in voices in the club, members continually strive the Young Feminist Club, to educate themselves with content provided they are still mindful to be
inclusive and accessible whose purpose is to educate and support. “Each year builds upon the last and through that depth of work and stability the club has been able to build and implement (as well as educate) the school with successful and positive projects that improve Sequoia’s culture and directly help the entire student body,” da Costa Pinto said. In March, the club was recognized by the Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) Board of Trustees for “exceptional leadership, advocating efforts, and outstanding hard work to educate the Sequoia High School community.” Their efforts at school range from funding infographics to providing menstrual products for all. An ongoing club project, Pink Boxes, promotes menstrual equity, which is the affordability and accessibility of menstrual products for all demographics on campus During distance learning, the club handed out menstrual products in pre-made care packages with school lunches that the district provided for all students. Now that students are back on campus, a pink shoe box containing menstrual products can be spotted in every classroom. The boxes are part of a larger Pink
Box project, implemented across schools in reforming the sexual assault reporting on the SUHSD and the wider Bay Area Peninsula campus to keep all students safe. There are through GLI. currently guidelines and a policy for reporting “We have to have menstrual products free sexual assault incidents to an adult and staff and available on campus because Sequoia is member at school; however, much of the student a Title 1 school, we have a certain amount of body is unaware of the reporting process or students below the issues surrounding poverty line,” Hansen sexual harassment. said. “Right now, we’re In October working on printing of 2021, Gavin I was scared of joining [the club] infographics that Newsom, governor because I didn’t see as much diversity will help students of California, signed know how to report in the group. And although they a bill requiring all sexual assault. [...] want to advocate for it, it’s not really California public we hope that it schools and colleges seen in there because there’s very makes students feel to stock restroom few people of [a] different color. more comfortable facilities with free reporting incidents menstrual products Noemi Leon, sophomore and non-club and make the process (NPR). Though the member a little bit easier school is required because when you to provide them, the have a traumatic menstrual product dispensers are maintained experience, it’s sometimes hard to go directly poorly and frequently empty. The YFC hopes to an adult,” Rosenberg said. that with the Pink Boxes, students are able The sexual assault infographics not only to access high-quality menstrual products destigmatize an important issue and reform without taking any time out of their school day crucial guidelines for keeping everybody safe trying to find them. at school, but also introduces policies towards The assumption that only women a higher level of student equality. menstruate is something the club is hoping “[W]hat we’re trying to do is make it so to reform by distributing Pink Boxes and that everyone’s on an even playing field with opening dialogue about the stigmatized topic. these sexual assault infographics. Hopefully, it “By using more gender-neutral terms like will help students feel like no matter their race, ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women,’ their gender identity, their sexuality, they can that way we can not assume. By not saying still feel like they can report abuse,” Rosenberg things like ‘feminine products’ and by saying said. ‘menstrual products’ instead, that makes To expand the club’s message to those it more gender-neutral,” Adam Trinklein, who are unable to come to club meetings, sophomore and club member, said. informative newsletters were created. In Members are also introducing new February, the first monthly newsletter for the initiatives throughout this year, such as club was released.
“A new initiative for this year is to create this monthly newsletter because we feel like we’d be able to reach more people on campus […] And so last month, we created our very first newsletter which went out to the whole school, and we plan to keep doing them every month for the rest of the school year,” Hansen said. The February newsletter released during Black History Month spotlighted many famous Black historical figures and their contributions to fields of social and civil justice. “Our February newsletter was all focused on Black women who have been instrumental in social change or feminism or science or literature, any of those different types of subjects, and I think it’s really important that we just recognize that just because we’re a feminist club doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate Black history,” Rosenberg said. The club has also released its March newsletter about various ways to celebrate Women’s History Month and a recommended reading list. Additionally, the QR code below directs you to the club’s Linktree and club webstite in both English and Spanish.
Photo courtesy of Fordham University
in the 1980s by gender and critical race theory scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how different forms of oppression intersect. Intersectionality was a key component of the third wave of feminism, beginning in the 1990s. Gender theorist Judith Butler was also heavily influential in the third wave and argued that gender and sex are separate and that gender is performative. The ideas of Crenshaw along with Butler became the foundation for the fight for trans rights as another aspect of intersectional feminism. While intersectionality has been integrated into mainstream feminist movements for decades, there are still instances of modern feminism failing to recognize its importance. As a prominent example, the immensely successful feminist book Lean In by Sheryl
Sandberg published in 2013 fails to account for the ways race and social status play into the gender discrimination experienced in the workplace. The book rode to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year, becoming highly influential as a guide to achieving workplace success and climbing the corporate ladder as a woman. She advised women to “lean in” to achieve gender equality at work, asserting themselves the same way as their male counterparts to close the ambition gap between men and women. A considerable amount of the criticism came from how Sandberg was speaking from a place of immense privilege, as an extremely wealthy white woman with a successful career and stable family. “‘Lean In’ was well-intentioned and opened
up the conversation, but, you cannot effectively talk about leaning in for Black or brown women without discussing the role that race plays and the barriers to even enter the room for a seat at the table,” Minda Harts, author and CEO of a career development platform for women of color, said. Sandberg focused on actionable advice women should take to achieve success, disregarding the immense barriers that women of color and other populations face. “It almost seems as if Sandberg sees women’s lack of perseverance as more the problem than systemic inequality. Sandberg effectively uses her race and class power and privilege to promote a narrow definition of feminism that obscures and undermines visionary feminist concerns,” bell hooks,
author and social activist, said. Concerns about Sandberg’s work closely reflect the idea of “white feminism” which often solely focuses on the struggles of white women and fails to address the underlying causes of what makes rights for people of color more difficult to obtain. “White feminism works on the assumption that all women are equally oppressed,” said Kenyan-Canadian Truphena Matunda. “The power structure within white feminism puts the concerns of Western white women before any other group [...] often leaving issues concerning women of colour out of the conversation completely.”
The SUHSD website provides mental health resources for both staff and students from San Mateo County. https://tinyurl.com/ SUHSDwellness A dream to teach, a passion for learning, an ambition to inspire. These shared motives for public school teachers are what began their careers in education. However, the preconceived notions of teaching do not reflect the reality of the profession. Many educators are required to take on more than what they should be responsible for, and the culmination of all these factors in comparison to the respect and pay they receive
have worsened teachers’ experiences in the classroom, the dysfunctionality of the public education system has always posed these challenges. “What needs to be discussed [about the education field] is how COVID and distance learning were not so much the straw that broke the camel’s back, but instead the bus that just ran the camel over. Then went into reverse and ran it over again,” Robert Moaveni, math and Theory of Knowledge teacher said. The sudden change in the teaching environment demanded all educators to adapt quickly, often leaving them discouraged and fatigued from the strenuous workload. “It was relentless. I don’t think I’ve ever
“I feel really respected by my students and I feel like our relationships and connections have been well developed in that way where they know I’m a full human being that has their own needs.” Talia Cain, English and Drama teacher worked so hard, including my first year teaching. And still, we all felt like we’re not doing a good enough job. So having thrown that much energy into it, and that much thought, even if it didn’t seem like there was a lot of thought, [...] it just feels weird,” Allison Hyde, Modern European History and Bilingual Resource teacher, said.
Effects of online learning in the classroom The transition from fully remote to fully in-person teaching was chaotic and unclear
“I understand the feeling when young people feel that they’re not valued, but it hurts to think about that, especially when it’s about students that I know very personally.” Karina Chin, English Language Development and French teacher
Teachers are people too Recognizing the humanity of our educators in and out of the classroom.
HAYLEE HUYNH Staff Reporter ZORAYA KING Multimedia Editor Art by Zoraya King
is often disproportionate. This leaves most educators with the decision to sacrifice their own wellbeing, resulting in feelings of burnout and the loss of love for their jobs. A poll taken in January of 2022 by the The National Education Association (NEA) gave perspective into the hardships that educators face since the start of the pandemic. The poll finds that 90 percent of its members report feelings of burnout, 86 percent have seen educators leave the profession and 80 percent of currently employed educators are required to take on more work due to unfilled positions. Though the impacts of the pandemic
commitment to their education. “Just one year out of the traditional school practice has led to a noticeable drop in students’ academic stamina. I’m worried about what kind of expectations students are holding themselves to. I’m worried about what I can do as a teacher to guide students to make their own healthy expectations that help them grow into self-motivated adults,” Moaveni said. Gauging student readiness for academic content was especially difficult for new-coming educators during online learning, though they found community in their coworkers and support from fellow staff. “It was sort of a relief to know that everyone was experiencing something for the first time.
for most educators, leaving them with different perspectives and levels of learning they believed their students could handle. “I wouldn’t say that there was a very clear plan for landing. I feel like we kind of just hit the ground running. For me, personally, I spent [...] lots and lots of time on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and community building, doing mindfulness and breathing [exercises] with the kids,” Hyde said. Along with teacher burnout from the return to in-person learning, students are also experiencing a lack of motivation from this change, worrying teachers with the lack of
Typically, first-year teachers tend to struggle because there’s a lot of pressure to learn how to manage everything really really quickly and catch up with all the other teachers who seem to do everything with ease. [Though], last year we were all experiencing new terrain and navigating new challenges and obstacles together, so I was able to learn to [...] let a lot of things go,” Talia Cain, an English and Drama teacher said.
Carrying the emotional baggage of students Educators have also had to carry students’ emotional trauma, both from their personal life before the pandemic and the added stress and after effects. The empathy teachers feel for their students can become quite harmful and “almost like holding up a mirror,” Karina Chin, English Language Development and French teacher, said. “I understand the feeling when young people feel that they’re not valued, but it hurts to think about that, especially when it’s about students that I know very personally.” Because of this personal connection, educators often have an unexpected responsibility for carrying students’ emotional burdens. With this, trauma shared between student and teacher often spills into the personal lives of educators. “Do I go home and ruminate about the stuff that I know my kids are going through? Yes. Yes, I dream about it. I cry about it. I couldn’t even begin to tell you some of the stories. And they’re showing up and coming to class, they’re so resilient, for the most part. How, I don’t know,” Hyde said.
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022
Creating boundaries between students has proven to be a developing yet difficult skill for educators to maintain, placing them in an abnormal situation when regarding the student-teacher relationship. “There’s definitely like–and I think there should be rightfully– a wall between you and your students because there is a level of professionalism in the classroom that we present. It’s kind of a weird spot to be,” Cameron Green, a pseudonym for an anonymous Sequoia teacher, said. “I don’t know of any other careers where you’re both super close to students in some ways and super separated from them in other ways.” A mutual understanding of these boundaries in this relationship re-establishes empathy towards both parties, generating respect for each person’s emotional availability. “I feel really respected by my students and I feel like our relationships and connections have been well developed in that way where they know I’m a full human being that has their own needs [...] they try not to overwhelm me at times and always check in [before confiding in me],” Cain said.
Support from Administration In previous years at the start of the pandemic, Sequoia administration encouraged and supported teachers through daily emails and online resources for them to use. They gave guidance to staff for how to connect with students and maintain the Sequoia community, even through screens and masks.
“Our district has prioritized the safety and well-being of our students and staff, so we continue to be committed to making our in-person learning experience safe and necessary,” Darnise Williams, SUHSD Superintendent, said. “We offer a variety of mental health services to our students and staff. Care Solace and Atlas Mental Health are two programs that Sequoia students and staff have direct access to with their Sequoia email that allow for a personalized approach to mental health care. Our website also features County resources available to all.” Resources emailed to staff can either be helpful and an easy way to give support to them or become background noise for teachers. Oftentimes, the latter is true. “I would not be surprised if someone pointed out the support and resources for teachers and I completely missed them because they’re buried somewhere deep in the recesses of my email inbox or I’ve simply been too busy to take a moment to look for them,” Moaveni said. Instead of easing the stress teachers are carrying, the pressure to focus on their mental health creates irony when they are already too busy and focused on their workload. “Another point of concern regarding support and resources for teachers is the availability and accessibility of such things,” Moaveni said. “It does teachers little good to have resources provided when we are scheduled to teach or to prepare for our next classes. As I’ve stated before, teachers are being asked to shoulder the burden of supporting students’ mental health, but nothing has been
“Do I go home and ruminate about the stuff that I know my kids are going through? Yes. Yes, I dream about it. I cry about it. I couldn’t even begin to tell you some of the stories. And they’re showing up and coming to class, they’re so resilient for the most part. How, I don’t know.” Allison Hyde, Modern European History and Bilingual Resource teacher “Our principals are very supportive– I mean, throughout COVID– we got daily emails every morning,” Hyde said. “[Our principal, Sean Priest,] would encourage us not to be so hard on ourselves. He would encourage us to have a lot of grace and patience with students and understand [what] students are going through with this in their own mental health and being in isolation. So it was always good to have that as a reminder. Nothing is normal. Take a deep breath. It’s okay to do less.” Similarly, The Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) also provides online, personalized resources for teachers to better their mental health.
taken off our plates to ease our workload.” Another resource that had both benefits and drawbacks took form in support teams. Created specifically for each department as well as racial minorities on campus, educators are given a space to collaborate academically and cultivate community with staff. “I was on a team where we all shared the work of creating curriculum, adapting to the new circumstances, and creating resources for students––sharing strategies. They’ve always just been kind of an open channel [of] communication when I did have questions,” Cain said. Unfortunately, making time for attending
Atlas Mental Health
SUHSD takes into account the perspectives of both students and staff in the district and strives to provide support for mental health while returning to a familiar state after COVID. “On-going feedback and a discipline of performance improvement make us better and create opportunities for continued growth for the benefit of our current and future students, teachers, and families,” Williams said.
Shouldering more than expected
Atlas Mental Health is a program that is free to all SUHSD staff and students through your school email. https://www.atlasmh.com/
these team meetings has proven difficult with staff ’s already overwhelming work schedules. “This year, [there are] what they call racial affinity groups, so if you want to, you’re allowed to join a group of people of your same race to just be and to discuss, like, ‘what are the things that I’m feeling as a Chinese American–as an Asian person–here at Sequoia and how is that different?’ Then they [...] cross compare.” Chin said. “Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make any of the meetings because they usually meet at lunch and my lunches are too busy.” The SUHSD also offers training on SEL for educators to take, suggesting skills on how to handle student emotions and implementing open communication in the classroom. Though, like the racial affinity groups, scheduling these meetings into their calendars can be tricky and often inaccessible. “The district provides many opportunities for training. So every once in a while [students] have the day off and teachers are doing professional development. I’ve taken a number of trainings, several training [sessions] through the district,” Hyde said. “But again, this is kind of all voluntary. So I might have done these things, but other teachers might not have. The [training] I did after school was from 4-6:30 p.m., three Wednesdays in a row. Some people can’t do that. I would say I feel supported, but it’s probably unevenly implemented depending on who can do it.” With all of this constructive criticism, The
There’s an overwhelming consensus in the education community that being a teacher goes beyond the assumption of what the job entails socially, similar to the “‘tip of the iceberg’ analogy,” Moaveni said. Educators are qualified to teach their areas of focus to students through countless degrees and trainings. “However, [they] are not trained or compensated to be therapists, psychiatrists, counselors, caretakers, Chromebook technicians, tech consultants, 24/7 service providers, [...] or any of the other things that a lack of resources, low staffing, and societal expectations have foisted upon [them],” Moaveni expressed. “I became a teacher because I do want to help kids, but the generosity and kind nature of those who pursue becoming teachers has been exploited to an excessive amount.” These roles educators fulfill were intensified even more during the pandemic, forcing them to compartmentalize and distance themselves from their feelings in order to maintain a sense of positivity in the classroom. “With the rise [...] of students suffering
the profession that is often taken advantage of. “You have several teachers here that have master’s degrees, and a postgraduate degree is worth a lot just about everywhere, except for in education. Teachers are highly educated and not well paid. It’s just maddening to see that there’s just this real disconnect in
wanted to be teachers. Seeing them process the decision to leave the profession has been emotional,” Cain said. Finding solutions to the teacher mental health crisis and structural issues within the education system is a challenge near impossible to solve. In spite of this, by creating open and
“How many teachers can afford to live on the same street as their school is located? Probably zero. And that’s saying something, a teacher should be able to afford a house on the same street that the school is on, and that’s not realistic.” Cameron Green, pseudonym for a teacher understanding of what we do here and the pressures that are put on us to perform,” Green said. Additionally, educators’ salary is not relative to their job location; with housing in the Bay Area being exponentially higher than in other parts of California, this extreme disparity is even more prominent with educators locally. “How many teachers can afford to live on the same street as their school is located? Probably zero. And that’s saying something, a teacher should be able to afford a house on the same street that the school is on, and that’s not realistic,” Green said.
constructive communication with Sequoia administration, SUHSD, and our community, we can look for ways to better support our staff and ease the burdens that are imposed upon educators. “We have had student panels where students are able to speak freely about their experiences at the school. Teachers attend these panels or watch the recordings because we are interested in the student voice and constantly seek ways to improve the schooling experience,” Moaveni said. “I would be curious to see the interest in a similar panel but for teachers so that students can hear our side of the schooling experience.”
Love, leaving, learning
Though it has proven its difficulties, many teachers continue to commit to the profession simply because of their fundamental love of
“As I’ve stated before, teachers are being asked to shoulder the burden of supporting students’ mental health, but nothing has been taken off our plates to ease our workload.” Robert Moaveni, math and Theory of Knowledge teacher from mental health issues, we are the frontline in recognizing that and seeing that. There’s so much that’s asked of teachers and, you know, not only to do all these things and fulfill all these roles, but also to do it enthusiastically and with a smile,” Green said. “You’ve got to be on every day. I described it as akin to a lot of performers, I’ve got to put on three shows today.”
Inequitable financial compensation The qualifications of educators for their jobs is disproportionate to the financial compensation they receive, another aspect of
teaching. “It’s no secret that teaching is a difficult and demanding profession, but I have enjoyed it over the years because I truly do enjoy getting to work with this age group. It is rewarding to help students learn how to be successful and how to appreciate their learning journey. Getting to actually work with [my students] is what keeps me going,” Moaveni said. However, some have fallen under this pressure and have decided to discontinue their work in the education field. “I think as someone who’s always wanted to be a teacher, it’s not a simple decision, but I am not going anywhere. I do know a lot of friends who are leaving, many of whom also always
Care Solace is a program that provides mental health resources. Log in with your school email to access the website for free. https://www.caresolace.org/
Escaping Sequoia campus
Sequoia sports 2021-22 recap Girls Water Polo
break in February of 2022, teachers started to talk about the issue that they have which isn’t being followed by students. Before MidAs I sat in the Administrators Vice Principal Winter break, Gary Gooch (Vice Principle) (AVP) office during sixth period, I was sitting sent an email to students reminding them not too far from their office and, since I had about the safety of having a close campus. In nothing to do because they took my phone, I the email, he said that the school created this was just listening to everyone that came in to policy as a safety measure and that it is there to talk about their drama. I overheard teachers protect us, this policy is also non negotiable. talking about a meeting where they were going The policy starts when you come into school to discuss the big issue of students leaving in the morning and is to be followed until their campus, soon after, the school sent an email last class. He also said that after the break, staff reminding us about and security will be the closed campus monitoring all exits policy that will be to ensure that the strictly followed policy is followed. As along with staff and I think it’s unfair [that teachers the policy is followed school security at but also many are not required to follow every exit. Now, if you students know this try to leave the school the policy] because we are all policy is enforced campus from any exit humans and sometimes we but they also feel you are asked if you the urge to get food need a break from school and have permission to outside of campus. leave as well as why all the stress that work causes. Since many you are leaving the students see that Freshman, Jeimy Veliz school campus. teachers are allowed Many school to leave campus it districts have a closed doesn’t set a great role model for students campus policy to protect their students from and many students feel encouraged to leave the dangers outside, but is that really the best campus. option? Many students will find secretive “I would want an open campus because ways to leave school campus without getting sometimes I’m hungry and I don’t like the caught along with making schools take more school lunch so I would feel more free and able serious action towards stopping the students to access the outside food,” freshman Jeimy from leaving school campus. Along with Veliz said. our school policy, other schools throughout Sequoia wasn’t always a closed campus, the school district also have the same closed I was recently informed that sequoia used to campus policy. Along with the other schools in the district, schools like Menlo Atherton also share this policy. I spoke to Nicholas Muys, the Administrative Vice Principle at Menlo atherton and his assistant Angel Vielma, they both informed me that Menlo has been a closed campus since 2004 and they created this policy to further the protection of students, logistics and traffic. To worsen the traffic situation in Menlo, their school’s parking lot is not built to accommodate a lot of traffic along with their 30 minute lunch break. With the traffic along with students who might try to leave, they won’t have enough time to make it to class in time along with the parking lot that makes it harder to enter the school campus. The closed campus at Menlo is to ensure the safety of the students from staying out of danger. Sequoia’s Policy is strictly a closed campus school, this rule wasn’t being followed in the beginning of school but after Mid-Winter
have an open campus. “My mother [said that] when she went to Sequoia, they were allowed off campus,” sophomore Angel Luna said. “It allows students to have more freedom and learn how to take responsibility. I was reading about this but it also allows students to support local businesses since we are close to Sequoia Station.” This rule at Sequoia was made for students to be safe during school hours. Many staff members believe that they are keeping the students safe by enforcing this rule. Students have found ways to leave campus even if there is security and staff members in every exit around the school to keep students from being irresponsible or getting violent, doing illegal activities or getting injured they have to constantly remind students. If students manage to get out of campus during lunch or passing periods, they are caught getting back into campus Security such as Matt a security at Sequoia. He makes sure that students don’t enter or leave in the front of the school and the punishment, detention, is usually assigned during lunch.
RAVEN REPORT | FEATURE | MAY 2022 RAVEN REPORT | SPORTS | MAY 2022
BY DAISY TORRES Staff Reporter
BY DAVID RAYMOND Staff Reporter
Coed Cross Country Varsity- This year was strong for the boys
cross country team. Going into next year with a strong returning group of runners the team has set high goals. “We hope to make it to the state championship race next year,” junior Jackson Bae said. Cross country preparation is incredibly important. “If I run over the summer, going into cross country I’m going to be a lot better,” senior Ethan Mckillop said.
The JV cross country team has a strong class of runners looking to improve their times. “I just saw a lot of motivation throughout the team,” freshman Cameron Reynolds said. “We all got really close, and it shows even now in the track season,” freshman Louise Nolf said.
Varsity- The varsity team was composed of
many seniors this year. “We lost a lot of seniors this year,” freshman Hannah McDonald said. Overall the season was memorable, “(The season) was great, I had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends.”
The JV girls water polo team struggled this year. “We were really new to the game, we didn’t really understand it especially for our first game,” freshman Sydney McNeal said. The team did improve as the season progressed, “At the end of the season there was a lot of growth,” McNeal said.
Varsity- The varsity football team finished
their season 4-6. “Our record wasn’t that good, but we fought and that’s all that matters at the end of the day,” senior and captain Jaymason Howard said. “I just want to thank coach Poulos for everything he’s done for me in the past four years,” Howard continued.
Junior Varsity- The JV football team had
one of their best seasons in recent memory going 9-1 and winning the PAL ocean division. “We lost week 4,” sophomore quarterback Brode Mckenna said. “. . . after that we only gave up one touchdown for the rest of the season” In the end the successful season was a cumulative effort, “You can’t just have one good player . . . everyone has to contribute,” Mckenna said.
Girls Volleyball Varsity- “We had a rough start to the year,”
junior Ally Caldwell said. “Once we got into a grove our outcomes started to get better at the end of the season.” The team finished off the year 7-21. Art by Daisy J. Torres
Boys Water Polo The water polo had a slow start to the season. “(The team) got better over the course of the season,” junior Jack Van Wert said. With only one senior graduating from last year the team looks poised for a strong season next year. “We had a big junior and sophomore class . . . I think everyones coming back for next year,” Van Wert continued.
The JV volleyball team had a 3-10 record this season. “We started off not knowing each other so we had to grow as a team,” freshman Ebie Brockman said. “(At the start of the season) we kinda played for ourselves, but towards the end of the season, we really worked together towards one goal and we got some better results,” freshman Leia Severs said.
freshman volleyball team consisted of many players new to the sport. “We were really close as a team,” freshman Dani Pardini said. The team looks to bring a strong core of players to the jv team next year.
With a strong core of seniors this year they were able to win the Pal Ocean league. What really propelled the tennis team was the growth over the year, “We’ve had a lot of people who have greatly improved over the year.” senior and captain of the team Nora Wolley said.
Girls Golf “We won a lot of matches,” Freshman Elisa Flores said. “We fought through and we did pretty good,” junior Gianna Flores said. The team finished second in league play this season.
This year for the first time in program history Sequoia lacrosse has beat Carlmont in their annual season series to win the trophy. “This is a big win, it’s nice to have the trophy. It’s a big day for Sequoia lacrosse,” junior Eli Hass said.
this year, senior Declan Gibbons said, “(The season) was not where I wanted it to be.” The team finished the year at 6-17.
Varsity- The team started out strong in the
preseason before going 4-9 in league play. “The season ended up pretty successful. Not to sound negative, but surprisingly successful given the circumstances,” said senior MaryJane Hartman.
Varsity- The boys basketball team struggled
“We started out great, but the end of the season was a bit rough,” sophomore Jake Jones said. JV finished the season 6-10
The freshman basketball team had a very successful season. “Most of our games were substantial wins, but they got closer towards the end of the season,” freshman Dylan Karmin said. In a league deciding game between Sequoia and Hillsdale, Sequoia pulled out a 44-39 victory to win the PAL; they finished the season 14-1.
The JV basketball team looks to develop players to continue a culture of success on the girls basketball team. “We were able to increase our endurance and skills over the season,” freshman Jill Gladstone said. The team had a final record of 11-7.
The varsity girls soccer team had a solid core of senior players. “Almost half of our team where senior,” senior Jules Kuramoto said. The team finished 7-3-1 in league play. This put them second in the PAL Bay division just behind Woodside.
On paper the varsity swimming team has not been successful, this does not tell the whole story. “We don’t have enough people to fill up all the events which means we officially have lost a lot of meets,” sophomore Adam Trinklein said. “Of the events we did swim in we’ve done pretty well.”
The JV swim team has had a season of improvement. “Socially and actually physically (we’re) doing alot better,” freshman Samuel Da Encarnacao. “(Teammates) motivate you when you become friends with them,” Samuel continued.
a great regular season going 4-3-3 in league play. In the CCS playoffs the team stepped it up making it all the way to the CCS championship game. In the second round of the playoffs in a game against Seaside junior goalkeeper Juan “Titi” Oliveros saved four penalties to send the team to the next round. “It’s a lasting memory that everybody will remember for the rest of their lives,” senior Dylan Bardsley said when referring to the championship run.
Junior Varsity- The JV soccer team also
had a successful season going 7-1-2 in league play earning second place in the PAL Ocean division. The team won their first game of the season against a tough opponent in Sacred Heart. “We didn’t play great, but it gave us a good baseline for the season,” freshman Emma Chiageveto said.
The boys tennis team won most of their games to start the season. There is still a minor concern present though. “I think we could have done a little bit better… with a little more communication against teams like Woodside that we’re pretty evenly matched with,” junior Adam Fredrick said. One powerful victory for the team this season was against El Camino. “It was a good moment… I had a lot of good net play that match.”
The volleyball team started the season going 1-6 in preseason non-league play. “We’ve definitely improved a lot,” sophomore and captain Holden Kowitt said. “From here on out we’re looking to get some more wins under our belt.” Currently the team is 2-12 overall and 1-4 in league play.
The track teams have made leaps and bounds with many athletes setting new personal records this year. “We’re getting PRs every meet,” sophomore Rowan Henigee said. Overall the team is looking to continue improving individually and as a team. Even in such an individualized sport there is still a great sense of comradery. “People have switched events to benefit the team the most,” Jianna Pollock said. One athlete on the team is looking to raise the bar. “I’m looking to break the [pole vaulting school] record at some point this season,” sophomore Abby Geotz said.
season last year the team looks to continue a culture of success after many seniors graduating. “Almost all of our starting lineup (graduated) last year,” senior Dillon Geotz said. After starting the season 7-10-1 the team looks to have a successful end to the season. “They won’t expect what we have in the tank when we do come together.”
Badminton The Sequoia badminton team has gotten off to a solid start to the season going 5-5. “We’ve gotten better at playing together,” freshman Sophia-Lousie Webb said. The team looks to continue their improvement. “I’ve seen a lot of people really committed at practice,” freshman Alex Dils said.
“We had a mostly freshman team so we had a lot of building to do,” freshman and co Captain Hans Erickson said. “Once we brought it together the squad was playing really well.” The team finished 9-3-4 and won the PAL Ocean division championship.
The wrestling team sent four wrestlers to the CCS championships. “I really improved over the course of the season, going from JV to Varsity,” freshman Marco Baisch said. “I didn’t always win but that’s what made me better, especially at CCS.”
Varsity- Coming off of a CCS championship
Varsity-The varsity soccer team did not have
Girls Soccer Varsity-
Stunt team is looking forward to continuing a good start to the season. “We have very good team chemistry,” freshman Elia Gvili said. So far the team has had a number of strong wins including a 10-3 victory in their only home game of the season.
The varsity golf team is looking forward to heading into the PAL championship. “Players are improving …we’re getting to know each other, becoming a little bit more of a community,” sophomore Ethan Park said. “We’re looking forward to getting these wins and playing these nice courses.”
The varsity lacrosse team looks to continue a strong season. “It’s going really well,” senior Bridget Diether said. The team is composed of many people who started the sport in high school. “I’ve really loved learning a new sport, and getting to know people.”
The JV golf team is currently 2-0. “When we started the season many of us hadn’t played much golf,” freshman Max Chu said. “If I need some help… coach Jacob will help me figure it out, that coaching has really helped us improve.”
to win the PAL Bay division. “Our goal is to win league and then win CCS,” senior Talia Tohkiem said. The team has been dominant in their wins so far. “We beat [Woodside] eleven to zero and Ainsley Waddell threw a no-hitter.” JV softball team is currently 3-5. The team has many players new to the sport. “Everyone is learning new things,” freshman Jada Crockett said. An example of their improvement was in a 13-8 win against El Camino high school. “Everyone was tough, everyone hit.”
The JV baseball team got off to a rough start against some tough competition. “We’re off to a rough start, but we’re definitely trending up,” freshman Rocco Luskutoff said. The team has gone on a five game win streak to bring their record to 8-9.
Varsity-The softball team is 12-4 and looking
The JV team started the season with 3-5, despite having many players that are new to the sport of lacrosse. “All the freshmen are first time lacrosse players,” freshman Athena Ekstrom said.
Photos courtesy of: Kate Goldman, Cade Miller, Declan Gibbons, Parker Allen, Sequoia Boosters, Jules Kuramoto, Stan Hamelin, Ally Caldwell, Ruthie Lax and Zacharie Vidana.
RAVEN REPORT | SPORTS | MAY 2022
Student-athletes dive into their future BY RUTHIE LAX Staff Reporter Rowing. Diving. Football. Three students from the class of 2022 have committed to their futures in athletics. The majority of high school athletes don’t pursue their athletic careers further, however, eight to ten athletes from each high school follow their athletic careers side by side with their academics. 5-year rower Ellie Power will be attending Georgetown University in the fall. With a time-demanding schedule, balancing school and sports, enduring a worldwide pandemic, and rigorous IB courses, Power has stuck with rowing. Being a college athlete comes with tasks to balance, creating several obstacles for students. Powers’ experience on a club team she is more prepared and simulates the experiences you will be faced with. “The NCAA caps practice hours at 20 hours a week and right now I am usually practicing between 14 and 17 hours a week, most of which is before school,” Power said. Having a high level of commitment to Power is prepared her to be a successful student-athlete. “I know that this practice schedule has helped me develop good time management habits that I will utilize in college,” Power said. Malia Leung is another student at Sequoia
Photo courtesy of Mau Tuiaki
who is pursuing her athletic career in college. “I will be diving Division III for Tufts University in the fall. There were many aspects that drew me to Tufts, one being their focus on interdisciplinary learning as it grants me the chance to explore a broad range of interests through the numerous clubs and courses offered,” Leung said. Leung, like Power, has a clear passion and love for the sport she is pursuing and this passion drives these individuals to success. “I’ve been diving for 4 years, I wanted to be able to continue pursuing my passion in college whilst improving myself as an athlete and a student,” Leung said. The support athletes are given varies from team to team. High school teams in comparison to club teams in comparison to college teams, all can range. High school sports, while intense and competitive, lack the rigor of college sports and careers. The pressure and intensity placed on college athletes to perform to the highest ability while gaining their degrees can make it very stressful. Student-athletes find success from the support of their team and coach to ensure they balance their physical and mental health. “I know everyone on the team, including the coaches, are very supportive of one another
so I’m excited to take on college diving with them!” Leung said. Mau Tuiaki, a senior at Sequoia, football star, and active leader is pursuing his career in college, he is committed to the College of San Mateo. His family drew him there, as several cousins have played there and the team values each individual. This along with Tuiaki’s passion and love for football, like several other student-athletes at Sequoia, is a big motivator in the continuation of their careers, “I’ve been on and off but I’ve played a total of eight years. Being in love with the sport motivated me to continue this journey as a student-athlete,” Tuiaki said. The foundation of the recruiting process is communication. There are five main steps to the recruiting process, as stated on the NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) website. This website aidsthe recruiting process and helps coaches and athletes communicate. The first step is searching for colleges that interest you, the second step is communicating with coaches (NCSA). Talking with coaches, putting yourself in vulnerable positions, athletes gain attention. The fourth and fifth steps are creating highlight videos and attending Camps and showcases to get attention and eyes on you (NCSA).
Photo courtesy of Ellie Power
Coaches from high school and club teams also them down or added more when I figured out help communicate and put the athletes in the my preferences in major, location, size, etc.” world of recruiting. High school football is challenging, a “I received big pool of athletes, all competing to be the two offers and I best and be seen by didn’t talk to them scouts. Being an IB because, at the time, student at sequoia and I was unsure of pursuing several other I’ve been on and off but I’ve what I wanted to do extracurriculars Tuiaki played a total of eight years. in college,” Tuiaki has a competitive edge said. Playing club sports and Being in love with the sport However, Power having a wide range of motivated me to continue took a different experiences. this journey as a studentapproach because By taking this next her experiences step in his career, athlete. with rowing for Tuiaki is opening a club team was himself up to several Mau Tuiaki, senior intense. opportunities. His When Power strong ambitions and was asked what motivation for his her tactic for recruiting was she said, “When future are launching his career. starting the recruiting process, I cast my net “The type of training they [CSM team] do, really wide. I first emailed around 20 schools and their connections to programs at a higher and then as the year went on, I slowly narrowed level, as well as the past players who they’ve
coached and are now doing it big in the major leagues,” Tuiaki said. All of Sequoia’s seniors are going down different paths. Some move across the country to travel, continue school, or pursue athletic careers. Their time at Sequoia has prepared them in several ways to be successful in their lives and future careers. With the right support from teammates both on and off the field, Sequoia athletes will be sure to triumph throughout their athletic pursuits. “I am ready to face and overcome all obstacles including the pressure that comes with being a student-athlete,” Tuiaki said.
Use this link to start your recruiting process on NCSA
Photo courtesy of Malia Leung
RAVEN REPORT | SPORTS | MAY 2022
FOUR GUYS DEBATING ASPECTS OF SEQUOIA