Amos Alonzo Stagg High School 1621 Brookside Rd. Stockton, CA 95207
Vol. 61 No. 8
NOT FOR SALE
Young people get excited about voting DonavinCollins
Presentation offers disturbing facts about human trafficking OleediaHarris & BriannaRodriguez
EARS RUSHED DOWN ANGEL Ortega’s face as thoughts of her younger cousin raced to her mind. As Suzanne Schultz, who presented on campus on the evening of May 10, mentioned Stockton’s Backpage, the junior started to remember how close this topic hit home. Ortega’s cousin, like many sex workers, was posted in her undergarments, advertised like an item on Craigslist. Instead of getting her nails done and shopping at the mall like a typical 14 yearold girl, the girl was was one of the many adolescents pulled into the world of human trafficking. Ortega’s cousin is not alone. There are about 15,000 human trafficking victims in the United States and 25 million in the world. With such massive numbers, human trafficking has grown into a multibillion dollar business. Stockton’s Backpage was one of the main sources that allowed human trafficking to become prominent in the community. “Even though Backpage was recently ceased by the F.B.I. there are so many more websites that can be used to list them up to sell them,” Schultz said. As chair of the education and outreach work group for Women’s Center Youth & Family Services for San Joaquin County, Schultz takes pride in leading a group of professionals she works with for several disciplines to
ART BY SERINASIENG
raise awareness in the community. “I’ve been a public servant working with victims of crime for 33 years.” She has been specifically helping victims of domestic violence and human trafficking for 15 years. Her passion stems from her natural empathy. “It breaks my heart to see people go through stuff like this,” Schultz said. “Knowing that I can help victims turn their life around from getting back their education and self-esteem to making sure they know their value as a human being motivates me everyday.” Junior Jennifer Lopez was one of the many students shocked about the information presented. “I didn’t know that it was happening to people in Stockton. It’s an eye-opener.” During the presentation the story of “Lisa” was told. The story contained graphic and educational lessons of what she endured after becoming a victim of human trafficking for over 20 years. Lisa and her younger sister lived with an absent mother. Once the word got around that
she was home alone for weeks at a time a predator saw an opportunity. Little did Lisa know that at the age of 9 she would be one of the 15,000 targets. Over the course of 20 years in the industry she would perform 146,000 sexual acts. Manipulation plays a significant role in human trafficking. Many of the victims don’t voluntarily choose to be “in the life” or to “walk the blade.” Once approached at a young age adolescents are more likely to become persuaded. Before a pimp actually makes a victim perform sexual acts on paying customers, they exploit their victim’s weak spots. By finding their vulnerable state, they are able to take control of the impressionable. Human trafficking involves three stages: recruitment, persuasion and the favor. Recruitment is when sex traffickers are targeted. These “tricks” are picked based off what the client craves, including various nationalities. Next is persuasion, the stage when one’s pimp showers their victim with what they desire. Finally comes the favor. This is when the sex
Kenyon Pierce Junior
WorkNet is a fresh work start. It’ll prepare you for later years and getting into better programs.”
Sarah Johnson Junior
There’s a possibility you won’t get a job since there are so many kids trying to apply.”
trafficker has built a trusting relationship with their manipulator. After being asked to perform sexual acts as a “favor,” the victim is then placed into the industry and stuck between the fear of escaping with nowhere to go and the fear of staying and selling their soul. “Is Your Soul For Sale?” is the title and main message from the presentation. When these human trafficking victims are sold to perform these degrading acts against their will it mentally and physically breaks them down. But there is still hope. Many programs offer help. Safe Place is a national youth outreach prevention program that is connected with major corporations like San Joaquin Regional Transit District and McDonald’s. Those who feel they need help may board any RTD or walk into any McDonald’s and notify a worker for help. They may also text the word “safe” and their current street, name, and state to: 69866 to get to a safe place. If you are or know of a victim, the resources are out there and it is never too late to reach out and get help.
From guns that kill innocent citizens to a president who takes his problems to Twitter, voting can make a difference. A single vote has the power to regulate guns or remove a president. This leaves the fate of the country in the hands of the citizens. Even though all citizens over the age of 18 have the chance to vote, the older demographic tends to turn out the most. As a result, not everyone is represented in the democracy the United States stands for. That may change, though, as over 100,000 teens have already pre-registered to vote in California alone. As one of the students who have pre-registered, junior Isabel Pich is ready to make a change in her community. “We’re approaching that age when we can have our voices heard politically.” Pich, like others in her generation, will be sure to vote in the next presidential election. Sickened of the direction the country is leading to, young people like Jared Semaña, politics major at UC Santa Cruz, have decided to take an approach through Central Valley Freedom Summer Project. This project deals with making sure the youth has their voices heard politically. “Often young people’s voices are often not heard in electoral politics and policy making.” Together, Semaña and other young adults have been going around the Central Valley of California to pre-register teens. “Pre-registering students shows political candidates that we are an important force in the community that is growing and they need to make policies that represent us.” Since the growing of that so-called force, there is bound to be a change in the way people are represented from the government. U.S. History teacher Tara Hayes had her own students pre-registered to vote when a former student of hers and Semaña, who are both involved in the project, contacted her. “If enough teens actually showed up and voted, it can make an impact and change the way some of our institutions work,” Hayes said. Delighted to participate, she and her students were interested in what the project had to offer. Like others, Hayes wants to see teens back up what they talk about on social media. “A lot of teens seem to get politically motivated on social media, but voting is a way of taking that action from the internet and actually applying it to real life.” Before actually pre-registering the students to vote, Semaña gave a presentation on the basics of voting and why it’s important. When Hayes’ class was listening to his presentation, Pich was one of the most eager students. “We’re still young. We don’t really know a lot about voting so the presentation really helped.” Like the thousands of teens who have pre registered, Pich plans to put her voting right to use. “Now that I have a chance to vote, I see the opportunities I have to make a change in my community.” Students who would like to get involved in Semaña’s journey to inform the youth about voting through the Central Valley Freedom Summer Project may contact him at email@example.com.
Enacted in 2016, the law gives teens the opportunity to sign up to vote before eligible
Over 100,000 California teenagers have pre-registered to vote for the 2018 midterms
California (100,111) / San Joaquin Co. (1,586): 38.3% (38,363) / 34.8% (552) Democratic 10.1% (10,082) / 9.8% (156) Republican 43.1% (43,148) / 45.4% (720) No Party SOURCE: ALEX PADILLA, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE
GRAPHIC BY DONAVINCOLLINS & OLEEDIAHARRIS
WorkNet loses funding, costing summer jobs KrystenaMeza & BriannaRodriguez
Over the years, WorkNet has provided thousands of young people in San Joaquin County summer employment, but this year that’s not the case. While the program has given low-income youth opportunities for work experience over the past 35 years, this year the Summer Youth Employment and Training Program has made major budget cuts resulting in limited spots. In previous years, hundreds of students would participate in the program, now only 30 students from across the whole county can receive a job. Julie Yescas, Work Experience Coordinator, explains the benefits that students gain from being a part of the program. “This ongoing program has provided thousands of young people in our com-
munity with the opportunity to earn a paycheck while learning lifelong skills and providing services to their community.” The summer program offers varying kinds of jobs. For junior Sarah Johnson she got to work with kids. “I managed kids during the day. I made sure they had stuff to eat and activities to do.” Not only has WorkNet provided work experience for low-income youth, but their website has also provided helpful tips and lessons to the public on a vast array of helpful subjects. The Teen WorkNet job seeking website has a numerous amount of resources for those who need them. The website provides directions and tips on how to write a resume, and what one needs to know to prepare for an interview.
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BottomLINE Staff vs seniors
Monday, May 21, will be the staff vs seniors softball game. It will take place after school at 12:00 p.m. at the softball field. Tuesday, May 22, will be the seniors vs staff basketball game at 12:00 p.m. in the big gym.
Check out the center of the newspaper for the annual Stagg Line senior edition. Read about the different experiences our seniors have been through over last four years.
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Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
the Stagg Line
hen am I ever going to actually use this? This question asked by students has been asked for years — and for good reason. Students often sit in class trying to wrap their heads around complex fraction problems, significant dates in history, and a multitude of scientific equations, a large amount of which will never be applied in their future. So why don’t they learn “useful” information? Let’s start with this. More than one-third of working Americans have nothing saved for retirement, according to MM.net, and the average American household has over $15,000 in credit card debt. Personal finance classes should be a required class to take in high school. It’s important to know how to handle one’s money, especially nowadays when unemployment rates are quite low. Teaching personal finance should be an essential class, seeing as it is a skill that almost everyone will utilize in their life. Not learning about taxes seems to be the concern of most high school students nowadays, and it’s no wonder why. Adults often have to pay people to do their taxes; what if, instead of having to pay for someone to do it because you don’t know how to, you can just do it yourself with confidence? Taxes are guaranteed to be part of everyone’s life, the Pythagorean theorem is not. Another important thing to know is sexual education. Sexual education is taught at school, but in a whitewashed way; subjects such as consent should be covered, and more in-depth lessons about how to be safe during sex should also be taught. Sex is going to be a part of most people’s lives as they get older believe it or not, and they deserve to be as prepared as possible. It’s understandable why basic subjects like English, math, and science are taught — they’re essential skills that will be more than likely applied later on in life when people go on and get a job. Even so, on top of learning these subjects, schools should be able to
Biased teaching is problematic concept of them. Students might be intrigued by what their teachers have to say about these raging social issues, and what their beliefs are. In my English class, we were having a socratic seminar and the main issue that was brought up was our president. Of course, the majority of students don’t necessarily follow up on politics. We blankly stared, waiting for Mrs. Villegas to spark the conversation. Once she brought up valid points about our president, she immediately stopped herself. She then began to explain how she’s not allowed to share her political views with us. This was the right thing to do. Even though she is an educated role model, she understood the impact she has on her students. Choosing to keep her
School dress codes mostly target females
N Shannon Bradberry beliefs to herself and giving her students the freedom to develop their own position is something that should be implemented in all classrooms. I personally don’t think teaching with bias is a good idea. Being pulled to one side of a belief doesn’t let us branch out on our own and know what we truly favor in a situation. High school students are old enough to make their own opinion about different things. However, they are still likely to change that view based on somebody else — especially a teacher.
PHOTO BY SOLOMONJUAREZ
Sophomore Mathew Brock focuses on English teacher Bonnie Villegas as she talks about the play “Twelfth Night.” Villegas is evaluating the main character’s morals and personas.
STAGG LINE Staff & Policies STAGG LINE
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School 1621 Brookside Rd. Stockton, CA 95207 The Stagg Line is a member of the National Scholastic Press Association, whose awards include the following: ff All-American: 22 times ff Hall of Fame ff First Place, Best of Show: 6 times ff National Newspaper Pacemaker: 7 times Stagg Line journalists over the years have won many awards and scholarships, including California Journalist of the Year, National Story of the Year and National Photo of the Year.
offer other skills that will teach skills that will definitely be used in one’s life. Students shouldn’t have to sit and wonder if they will ever apply what they learn. Additionally, adults shouldn’t have to sit and wonder how much easier their life would be if they had learned about personal financing, taxes or any other essential life skill in high school. Schools should, in addition to the basic academic subjects, offer more life skills.
The Stagg Line newspaper is published monthly and distributed free to students and staff members. Our website staggonline.net is updated regularly with online exclusives. The Stagg Line is a long-standing open forum for free student expression. That means, student editors and reporters make content and style decisions with the adviser offering guidance. The staff editorial, which appears at the top of this page, reflects the opinion of the entire staff and therefore is not signed. A personal column is signed and reflects the writer’s point of view. Readers are welcome to submit letters for publication regarding any story published or any school issue. We will make every effort to publish any letter that is not libelous, obscene or inflammatory. Letters longer than 250 words may be edited for length. Letters may be given to any staff member, delivered to A8 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
o spaghetti straps, no finger length shorts and skirts, make sure that your shirt covers your belly button. The list goes on and on. This is school dress code. School dress codes are something that have been put in our minds since we were in Kindergarten and our only choice thus far has been to accept it. However, as I have gotten older I noticed that the dress code is primarily oriented towards female fashion. According to Stockton Unified, Manteca Unified, and Lodi Unified School Districts 78 percent of the dress code stipulations specifically targets female fashion, and only 22 percent male. Most often females in schools are told that they can’t wear tops that show their shoulders or wear shorts that are shorter than the length of her finger tips because it can be “distracting.” This concept has been exaggerated into the dreaded threat that “it distracts boys,” which is something that can make women feel sexualized. The dress code is the start of the stigma that girls are asking to be looked at, talked to, or judged a specific way just because of how they are dressed The dress code should not be based off what we as women can’t wear because it can be “distracting to boys.” When looking in stores it is nearly impossible to find clothes that fit the dress code. It is so frustrating to look at all the cute shorts and not being able to get them because they do not quite reach the tips of your fingers or seeing shirts that are cute, but you can not wear because they have spaghetti straps or expose your midriff. How is it that a simple strap of my bra is “too sexy.” The answer is it’s not. Girls should not have to wonder if their bra strap is showing. Education should be the main focus. I am also aware that males sagging can be looked at sexually as well, but the way it is dealt with is very different. Boys are not told that the sagging of his pants can “be distracting to girls” they are just told that they don’t want to see their underwear. It states in School Board Policy No. 5132 “Students’ clothing must not present a distraction which would interfere with the educational process.” Why are my clothes a distraction? It EDITORS MariaCastillo&KevinGutierrez editors-in-chief / features
Destiny Allen shouldn’t be our responsibility to dress ourselves so “boys aren’t distracted.” The dress code should stop suggesting that it is female clothing that is the only reason of “the distraction.”
ART BY KEVINGUTIERREZ&CARLOSDAVALOS
veryone has opinions. Good or bad, right or wrong, they’re everywhere. But for five days out of the week, at least during school hours, teachers are encouraged to keep their opinion to themselves. It’s a bizarre concept because teachers are believed to have all the right answers and guide us in the right direction. So why can’t they discuss certain topics with us? Some people will argue that teachers sharing their opinions can affect the beliefs children were taught to believe and reshape their perspective. Others think it can benefit them and teach students “the right way to think.” But what exactly is the right way to think? Topics such as politics and religion are so controversial that we only get to grasp the broad
ART BY JAKEMARCELINO
Classes should teach life skills W
BriannaRodriguez news OleediaHarris opinion DonavinCollins entertainment NikoRosete sports AidanDanforth web CarlosDavalos photo SerinaSieng graphics DonBott adviser
Current and older issue PDFs are available at issuu.com/staggline
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
the Stagg Line
Why Kendrick deserves Pulitzer Prize
Health matters most
ART BY SERINASIENG
ince 1996, the body positivity movement has made its mark in history. Different body types, mainly the big and the small, have been pushed to be normalized and accepted among society. The movement’s intention is to empower women of all shapes and sizes, no matter their weight. One of the staples of the movement is to essentially promote and romanticize different body shapes and sizes, especially people who are overweight, who would otherwise be discouraged or ridiculed. While I’m all for reducing people’s insecurities, and instead loving themselves, I can’t help but notice how this movement, in the name of helping people “accept themselves,”is causing them to ignore their health. Self-empowerment is great, ignoring your health is not. Tessa Holiday, a size 22 model and founder of the #effyourbeautystandards campaign is one of the many known faces of the body positivity movement. Holiday once tweeted, “If you want someone to preach health
Angel Vasquez over self-love, I’m not your girl.” This woman perfectly demonstrates what is wrong with this movement — it’s unfortunate that she’s a public figure, because she’s spreading around these ideals to the many who look up to her. Another problem with the body positivity movement is that it only celebrates certain body types. By this, I mean that usually those who are overweight will be celebrated, but only if they have a “curvy” body, meaning a
thin waist with big thighs and bust; additionally, those who tend to be on the smaller spectrum are completely disregarded, i.e., their problems are dismissed because they are perceived to not go through the same struggles that overweight people do. On top of mostly celebrating larger body types and ignoring skinny ones, they also rarely acknowledge bodies that are disabled, disproportionate, or are just different looking. I can’t name a single instance where I have seen someone in a wheelchair, or on crutches, or have a disability in any way on social media being made to feel better about themselves through the body positivity movement. Not including those with these body types allows them to be disregarded and looked at in a negative light. One thing I have noticed, though, and I’m glad it has begun to become more prominent, is the encouragement of self love for different races and skin tones. Two years ago it seemed as if this movement only applied to white women. Now, I see a lot of posts
about people starting to love and feel comfortable with their skin tone, eye shape, nose shape, hair type, and the many other features from different ethnicities. The movement should not only be for women. Men are conditioned to think that they are unattractive if they’re not tall or built. And for some reason, it’s socially acceptable to criticize men for being short, whereas if it were to be encouraged to make fun of women’s weight, there would be an uproar. Men feel discouraged about themselves too, and these problems don’t only pertain to women. The body positivity movement has pure intentions but poor understanding and interpretation by many. Yes, love of self should always be encouraged. Yes, people should be allowed to feel confident and beautiful in their skin, no matter how big, small, tall or short they are. Love of self is not a good thing when it when it ignores health. If one claims to love their body, they should take care of it and strive to be as healthy as they can be.
ver since he won on April 18, many on social media have been debating whether or not Kendrick Lamar deserved to win the Pulitzer Prize for music for his album “DAMN.” The artist is the not only the first rapper to claim this accolade, but also the first winner who wasn’t a jazz or or classical musician. The overall concept of this album is very relevant in today’s society and the execution was even better. The question should not be “Why did he win?” It should be “Why shouldn’t he have won?” Never before have I listened to an album that almost feels like its own form of poetic journalism. While he may not be writing for any news outlets, he reports his experiences and he speaks from a perspective unlike any other. With this album, Lamar is able to document the reality of the country that we live in. Numerous tweets and online posts have been made that attempt to explain why Lamar didn’t deserve this award. One of the most common statement I have stumbled across is that he should have won the Pulitzer Prize for literature rather than for music since he is “more of a poet than a musician.” Yes, he is a lyricist and a great poet. When you think about it, though, rap is essentially poetry and for that matter, all lyrical music is lyrical poetry. Being able to convey a strong message while also having to worry about the basic principles of rap is a skill that very few mainstream rappers possess. Most can’t even follow just one of those principles to begin with. It would be foolish not to regard Lamar as a musician given his clear grasp of rhythm, timing, and phrasing. The intricacy of his verses is second to none and it is obvious that he cannot be compared to other modern rappers. There is a reason why he is compared to hip-hop icons such as Tupac Shakur and A Tribe Called Quest. You cannot ignore the strength of the political messages embedded within the lyrics of this album and his execution in doing so is amazing. Throughout “DAMN.,” Lamar explains the politics behind the life of an African-American citizen to live in contemporary America among all of the discrimination they must face while also conveying his political
With this album, Lamar is able to document the reality of the country that we live in.” views. In his 11th track, “XXX”, Lamar demonstrates his poetic eloquence in this verse where he talks about President Trump’s election and describes a deteriorating America. “The great American flag/ Is wrapped and dragged with explosives/ Compulsive disorder, sons and daughters/ Barricaded blocks and borders/ Look what you taught us!” This verse is about America as it is being taken over by a man who many don’t believe should be president, Donald Trump. This is incredibly powerful and I think that a lot of people can relate to feeling as though our country was going to fall apart once Trump was elected. Like I said before, no other rapper can speak about a controversial topic such as this and make it sound as smooth as Lamar does. The Pulitzer Prize website itself says that the prize is intended to “honor excellence in journalism and the arts”. Since that is the case, why did Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” not deserve to win the Pulitzer Prize?
Are conspiracy theories real or fake?
attorney in Syracuse, New York. Also, she’s an adjunct professor at Syracuse University College of Law. In search of Francis R. Dick Scobee, we found Richard Scobee, the chief executive officer of Cows in Trees, a marketing and advertising company in Chicago, Illinois. When in search of Judith A. Resnik, she appears as a professor of law at Yale Law School. Hard to believe? Take a moment to look it up, analyze the photo comparisons of these people to the original members. Take a moment to think about it before you think this is too far fetched. The other two astronauts found to be alive according to theorists are Ellison S. Onizuka and Ronald McNair, though nothing cannot be found to prove that; some believe, myself included that the so brothers of these individuals are the actual astronauts that died back in 1986. Onizuka has a brother named Claude that many claim he’s an identical twin. Just like McNair, he has a brother named Carl and looks almost identical to Ronald. People used the “they’re identical twins” card to justify their closeness in appearance. Many tend to associate the word “conspiracy theory” with internet memes or simply jokes. And I’m tired of that. People should recognize these theories instead of dismissing it. We should be open-minded to these conspiracies. It’s ignorant to ignore what you don’t know.
ART BY LESLIECORONADO
he crowds were watching, thrilled, on edge. This was NASA’s “greatest triumph.” Apr. 28, 1986, began with glory, but within 73 seconds, that glory turned into a tragedy. As the space shuttle Challenger ascended to the sky, it exploded, taking the lives of seven of the crew members aboard. The nation watched in despair, remembering them as heroes. Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. “Dick” Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist all lost their lives. The day of the Challenger’s catastrophic launch impacted many around the globe. It’s a day that is reflected upon. I do my own reflecting too. I question my beliefs, I question my mind. As I count the last days of my high school career, I realize the many changes in myself. I’ve grown to be curious. Curious about the world we all live in. Curious, I came across numerous conspiracies theories on the internet. With the suggestion of my boyfriend my interest in such theories began to expand and wonder as I saw more. I fell into a deep hole on the internet.I discovered something that appeared obscure to me. I’ve come to believe that the death of those in the Challenger was a hoax. In search of Mike J. Smith, it seemed that he’s an emeritus professor from University of Wisconsin-Madison. In search of Sharon Christa McAuliffe, now using only her first name, we found an
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
the Stagg Line
Seniors enjoy first Grad Nite in years
We were able to celebrate and and have fun with friends that we’ve known for four years as well as make memories with them that will last forever.”
It was such an awesome trip. I’m ready to sign up for next year.”
KathrynByers, Vice Principal
Being with your friends in Disneyland is a great experience everyone should get to go through.”
RoxanneAyala-Grande, senior StephanieMatsumoto &SaraAbdeltawab
For seven years, Stagg’s senior class has been unable to step foot onto the “happiest place on earth” to celebrate one of the proudest achievements of their last four years. However, the Class of 2018 has put an end to that streak by being the first in many years to gather enough seniors to approve a trip to Disneyland for Grad Nite. While the trip ended up successful, there were doubts by teachers and students alike in the beginning. “After watching the last few years go down the way they did, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t any doubt in me about this trip following through,” Associated Student Body adviser Ryan Berg said. In the time he has been in charge of ASB this is the first Grad Nite trip that Berg has actually seen happen. Issues ranging from apathy to money is what caused many to fail. As each senior class started repeating the pattern of the last when it came time to put together the senior trip, advisors started to lose hope. “I think there had been a bit of a school spirit issue over the last few years,” Berg said. “And I think this year we really see a segment of the Stagg population that is trying to change that and pulling off a trip like this helps.” When the list began to fill after more students paid for their trip,
Berg was excited to see that seniors would really have the “Grad Nite” experience. Berg believes that it took a class effort for an event like it to have been pulled off. Angeliah Smith, a senior, said what she enjoyed the most from the trip was being carefree with her friends and walking through Disneyland at night while all the lights were starting to come on. She also enjoyed taking pictures with all the characters she got to see. “It feels great to know we’re the first class in seven years to be able to go to Disneyland,” senior Angeliah Smith said. “I don’t regret a single moment from it.” Senior Jordan Santos said that being the first class to go to Grad Nite shows that he and his peers are fully committed to making senior year one to remember. “It’s one of those things that you won’t forget,” Santos said. “The Grad Nite dance with my friends and all the other seniors from different schools was a blast.” A memory he will hold onto forever is when all they the dance floor and showed off all their dance moves against other seniors. “After seeing posts all over social media of the trip and hearing stories about it I do think more kids will want to have the same experience,” Berg said. “Future senior classes will have a major ‘want’
to make their own memories.” For senior Abby Thao, the Grad Nite trip was more about making memories rather than being the first class to go. Thao said being able to spend day and night with friends that she’s made within her four years of high school filled her with a lot of joy. “This celebratory was a great way to put an end to our senior year,” Thao said.
Check out staggonline.net — Santos enjoys Grad Nite
NATIONAL BIKE MONTH Omstead Biking helps teens stay active, improve health named to “ Hall of Fame MariaCastillo
Improving the environment, saving money, and better health are all benefits that come with biking. May is the National Bike Month and it serves to acknowledge and celebrate the positive factors of biking. Sophomore Rin Le rides his bike to stay in shape for badminton. He said, “It helps me for my sport, but I also figured that if I was staying after school for practice I might as well ride my bike so I wouldn’t have to bother my parents.” Biking for him means that he has the freedom of going wherever he wants — to a store, the park, or an adventure. One day when Le was in elementary school, he noticed a trail that he had always overlooked. Filled with curiosity, he followed the trail and he discovered a little farm. “I enjoyed that moment very much because I remember feeling like I could explore different areas of the city,” he said.
Bonnie Villegas, English teacher, and her husband place a rack on the back of their car, load their bikes, and head to the beach every so often. Villegas said, “We like to be healthy and stay active. Biking by the beach helps us do that while we also get to enjoy the beautiful sight.” They have biked at Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara, and many other places. “Biking allows you to get fresh air and it’s also something fun to do with your family and friends.”
Sebastian Keopadubsy, a junior, has been biking for about three years. He said, “I didn’t want to pay for my permit test and I wasn’t in a rush for it, so I just decided to bike.” Keopadubsy rides a fixed-gear bicycle, or also known as a fixie, with single speed gear. The bike one should ride depends on what they want to use it for. “If someone is looking to get a bike, they should just get whatever makes them feel the most comfortable. Mine isn’t too high end, but it’s enough to keep me going,” he said. Bikes can be set for high speed, cruising, or whatever one prefers. For freshman Emily Castles, she prefers to set her bike sets on high speed. “I don’t like going slow,” she said, “I enjoy feeling the breeze and being out in nature.” Castles still remembers when she took the training wheels off of her first bike. She said, “My dad had gotten me a bike, and after three days I got the hang of it.” She enjoyed riding her bike
If someone is looking to get a bike, they should just get whatever makes them feel the most comfortable. Mine isn’t too high end, but it’s enough to keep me going.” Sebastian Keopadubsy junior
around the neighborhood, but one day she came across BMX tricks. Castles said, “I saw my brother doing tricks and I was fascinated. I immediately looked at videos and started teaching myself.” Getting the tricks down took a lot of hard work, patience, and it came with lots of injuries. “When you actually get the trick right, it helps you feel more confident… well at least it does for me.” PHOTO BY SERINASIENG
Junior Sebastian Keopadubsy rides his fixie bike every day to school.
Absolutely shocked, senior Timothy Omstead received the Defensive Lineman Hall of Fame Award last month. “This was so unexpected, I never saw this coming,’’ he said. Omstead would have never imagined this award after having injured his knee before his first game this season. This caused him to be helped off the field and into rehabilitation. “Rehabilitation is a tough task to overcome, but my mind was focused on getting back on the field.’’ Growing up he was a big child, so his mother wanted him to be participate in a sport. He was given an ultimatum to choose football or baseball. “I chose football, because I could not see myself becoming a baseball player.” After joining a football team at 6 years old, he never thought he would have played for so long. When Omstead started playing football his senior year, he was 5’11 and 220 lbs. People began to say he was “too small”and his physique was not considered “ideal” for a defensive lineman. “My mother told me that I had to run and do something if I wanted to get better,” he said. After hearing this from his mother he became motivated. Omstead spent about three hours
TIMOTHY OMSTEAD, SENIOR
a day on the field, it was his second home. Giving up and wanting to quit is common in athletes, but pushing forward from that point is what makes them better. “Playing football for coach Norton forces you to be mentally tough,’’ he said. Being perseverant helped him succeed even when he felt he could not fight, keep fighting because your hard work will pay off. When it comes to advice for younger athletes he said, “Focus on your grades and the sport you play. Maintaining a balance between the two is very important.” He does not plan on playing football in the future. Teammate Nate Bones said, “Tim is a beast. You don’t have to worry, Tim will be there to make the play.”
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
the Stagg Line
from three different perspectives
JuliaRosete & DonavinCollins
It is a night full of elegance and everlasting memories for those that attend. For those who choose not to, possibly due to the financial burden it can sometimes be, it is a night no different from any other school dance. At the end of every year, the idea of prom begins to buzz as some start planning out the details of that night while watching those of their friends at other schools on social media. Whether it’s the promposal videos on Instagram or the constant tweets about trying to find the right dress, prom always finds a way to make its way onto social media. But not everyone feels the need to spend the time or money for a night that costs so much or that they may have already experienced. For some, it’s weeks or even months of preparation that leads to a few short hours of dancing with people that are complete strangers.
Senior Mario Andrade believes that while it would be fun to go, he has already gone through this experience before. “I already went to my old school’s prom,” he said. “I just don’t want to go through the process of getting a rental, and I don’t have anyone to go with.” The opinion of Andrade is shared by about one-third of other juniors and seniors, according to a survey conducted out of 75 juniors and seniors eligible to buy tickets. The survey’s results also showed that only 20 percent feel that going to prom is an absolute necessity while 47 percent feel that, while not necessary, it is an experience they want to have had. Those like junior Evelin Romero have a different opinion on the importance of prom night. She feels that no matter what grade someone is in, memories like these cannot be recreated. “Tomorrow isn’t promised,” she said. “You never know what’s going to happen so you might as well do it.”
ART BY SERINASIENG
Tomorrow is the big night for some, although others are opting out
While money can be an issue for some, Romero felt that everything that would come out of the experience would make prom worth every cent spent. “I realized it’s worth it, so it didn’t matter.” Junior Marissa Lopez just wants to experience a fun night with her friends, even if it was at times costly. “Knowing that a lot of my other classmates were going, it makes me more comfortable so it’s not just all seniors,” she said.
For Lopez, the cost of everything was initially a huge shock. “I went way different than I would have for my senior year,” she said. “I tried to save as much money as I can, but next year, I’m going all out.” Although not everyone shares the same opinions about prom, at the end of the day, it all depends on how a person wants to end their school year.
Workouts aid health Chavez tests his own abilities, in short, long term pushing himself off the edge StephanieJimenez
He takes a deep breath. He focuses. Sophomore Erick Chavez visualizes his body as he prepares to flip. His curiosity sparked on a trampoline in Guerrero, Mexico. “There was a park around my middle school that I went to,” Chavez said. “There, was a trampoline where I practiced mortals.” Mortals are back flips, front flips and side flips. The first ever trick he learned along his peers was “el gato” or also known as monkey vault. Chavez and his friends advanced as they practiced the tricks together. “We would watch a video and try to imitate it after without practice.” With the numerous injuries Chavez has suffered, he has learned the limits of his abilities. “Sometimes when I would try a jump of precision or longitude, I would hesitate in mid air, causing me to fall on my back,” he said. “I only perform the tricks I know I can do, I don’t risk getting injured.” Since he kept his injuries a secret from his parents, Chavez learned to treat his wounds. “I would ask for money and use it to buy bandages and other things from the pharmacy.” Chavez hopes in traveling the world in the future to further his parkour experience. “I want to visit Spain, and try doing parkour on top of houses.” “I want to discover other places around the world where I can do parkour.”
PHOTO BY SOLOMONJUAREZ
Erick Chavez performs a runing front flip off the walk way, over the railing, as he roles in the air with his momentem, he does one complete flip. He lands the flip successfully on his two feet with no injuries.
Sixth grade is a time when students become more aware about themselves. Senior J’ceyonna Desoto noticed that she was bigger than most of the students on the playground. Even at that young age she was insecure and wanted to make improvements not only to her image but also her lifestyle. Although she had terrible memories of being ridiculed in middle school, those memories only motivated her to become a better version of herself in high school. Confidence was her biggest goal during her time of self-reconstruction, yet she understood that building a healthier lifestyle for herself would take time and effort.Besides working out at the gym, Desoto continuously keeps up with a meal preparation that she recently committed to in February. “Every Sunday I prepare my food for the week ahead,” she said. “Each week is different. I try to switch things up so I don’t get any repeats.” For Desoto, most of her healthier lifestyle comes from
these meals. Although Desoto works out regularly at Stagg’s weight room, getting in shape can be accomplished at gyms or even at home. For senior Tedman Mondon, having continuous exercises that he does at home helped improve his health. “If I can’t make it to the gym, I have a list on my phone for workouts to do at my house,” he said. “I have alarm clocks and reminders to keep myself on track.” Mondon planes on bulking up and gaining muscle. “I was tired of being the skinny and scrawny friend,” he said. He struggles however to achieve this because of the light workout he does at home. Lucky for him, senior Nicholas Padilla accompains him with his heavy workouts. Padilla started helping Mondon work on his summer body five months ago. Mondon explains how he tried to accomplish this in the past but had a setback. “During my junior year I had a hernia so I wasn’t able to work out as much as I wanted to,” Mondon said. “Now there’s nothing holding me back from my goal.”
If I can’t make it to the gym, I have a list on my phone for workouts to do at my house. I have alarm clocks and reminders to keep myself on track.” TedmanMondon
ASB OFFICERS 2018-2019 Marissa Pimentel
“ We plan on advertising more to improve school events.”
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Mariele Jones
“I plan on talking to the students and hearing their ideas so I can make it happen. Actually see the activities that they want to do.”
SENIOR CLASS PRESIDENT Teniyah Washington
“My goal is to get the seniors more involved this year then past years.” JUNIOR CLASS PRESIDENT Clarissa Marquez
“I’m planning on fundraising a lot so that my senior class can enjoy their senior year and be a part of the exciting field trips.”
GRAPHIC BY SOLOMONJUAREZ
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
‘Infinity War’ exceeds expectations
DonavinCollins & StephanieMatsumoto
Ten years and 18 movies later, fans are left speechless with the performance of “Avengers: Infinity War.” Every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started with “Iron Man” in 2008, has led up to this point. For the past 10 years, almost everyone would wait for the post-credit scenes of Marvel movies, which would occasionally feature Thanos, the villain of “Avengers: Infinity War.” Like most superhero movies, this one follows the standard plotline of a villain trying to take over the world. However, Thanos is no ordinary villain, as he is stronger than any we’ve been introduced before in the Marvel Comics. Staying true to the comic books, Thanos is searching for the six infinity stones that have been seen throughout the MCU. If the stones were all to be placed in the infinity gauntlet, Thanos would have the ability to destroy the universe with the snap of his fingers. This leads to almost every single hero introduced in the MCU joining the fight against him, creating the biggest crossover movie in the franchise. At first, some fans were skeptical of the movie because of its large cast, unsure if the characters were going to connect in a way that made sense and have enough screen time to be more than just a cameo. Fortunately, there was no problem regarding the size of the cast. The characters would interact genuinely and with enough relevancy that allowed almost every member to have a moment to shine. Speaking of shining, one of the show stealers of the movie are the Children of Thanos, or as they’re known in the comics, the Black Order. In many cases, no one is interested in the villain’s henchmen because they’re lackeys, used to exemplify the main villain’s influence and power. However, the Black Order is very menacing, almost as much as Thanos. They weren’t just some one-and-done antagonists. Even from the trailers, fans were impressed by how intimidating they looked. The different fight scenes between them and the many heroes left audiences on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who will come out victorious. It seemed as if each member of the Black Order had something different to bring to the fight, such as Ebony Maw’s sorcery skills matching, if not exceeding the powers of Doctor Strange’s. Unfortunately for those who don’t keep up with the Marvel universe, you’ll need to watch some of the previous movies in order to fully understand “Avengers: Infinity War.” Each one makes sure to carry plotlines into the rest. Iron Man and Captain America not being on speaking terms, the Avengers breaking up, Asgard being destroyed, the film makes sure that these plotlines aren’t forgotten. “Avengers: Infinity War” clocks in to be the longest MCU movie at a runtime of two hours and 40 minutes. Even at that length, no minute was wasted to lazy writing to fill up screen time. At each minute, there was some sort of important mission, moving plotline, or enlightening characterization going on. “Avengers: Infinity War” is on track to be one of the biggest hits of the decade, breaking countless box office records. The writing and script of the movie is nearly flawless, able to maintain a balance between a serious and humorous tone. It was definitely worth the ten year wait and has left fans wanting more from the successful franchise.
the Stagg Line
Cinco De Mayo Fiesta
Stockton community comes together to celebrate Mexican heritage traditions
Cinco de Mayo: A day when thousands take to the streets, donning festive attire and Mexican-inspired embroidery. Mariachi bands play their hearts out as dancers move to the rhythm of the beat. Cultural food is served by vendors, including the likes of beef carnitas and salsa cruda. On May 6, El Concilio hosted its annual family festival at Weber Point Events Center in honor of the holiday. Several students were in attendance, including junior Marissa Pimentel.Pimentel, who had the opportunity to ride on a float during the parade, enjoyed getting to be a part of a celebration of Mexican culture. “I hadn’t gone before,” she said. “Seeing everybody involved in the event was pretty nice.” Sophomore Clarissa Marquez took part in a baile, which is a gathering where participants dance to ethnic music. “The baile was meant to represent Cinco de Mayo and our traditions,” she said. “There was a great turnout. A lot of people came and they got to experience what it’s like in Mexico.” Growing up, Marquez heard stories from her grandmother about her time in her native country. She often spoke of how different life was there compared to the United States and shared fond childhood memories. “When she was in Mexico, she would always like to watch the women dancing and see their dresses,” Marquez said of her
PHOTO BY STEPHANIEJIMENEZ
On Center street, the annual Cinco de Mayo parade began the celebration with numerous traditional dances from Mexico. Dances from Sinaloa, Michoacan and others entertained all. grandmother. Though both Pimentel and Marquez appreciate the recognition of their heritage, they agree that some people may use Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to party, ignorant of the history of Mexican independence. “My family and I never celebrated Cinco de Mayo,” Pimentel said. “September 16 is when we got our freedom and that’s what
Check out staggonline.net Saucedo’s view on Cinco de Mayo
my parents always tell me.” She believes it is important for people to educate themselves about the Mexican War of Independence and know their history. Spanish teacher Raquel Prado has similar sentiments. “I don’t see Cinco de Mayo the way people see it here in the United States,” she said. “It’s seen as an excuse to go out with friends. That aspect can be good because it brings people together, but the history is not as focused on.” Prado also feels the holiday has become far too commercialized and companies attempt to capitalize on it. “It’s a big day for them to advertise alcohol,” she said in reference to those companies. Prado, who was born and raised in Mexico, notes that the majority of the people where she is from don’t participate in festivities on Cinco de Mayo.
Although junior Jaime Saucedo knows Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexico’s Independence Day, he, like Prado, appreciates its power to bring families together. “When I was younger, we’d celebrate by going to my father’s house and barbecuing,” Saucedo said. He holds these memories near and dear to his heart and acknowledges that it is a special time for those of Mexican descent. However, he realizes there are people who are unaware of how Mexico gained its freedom. “I feel like they should be a bit more informed,” Saucedo said. “It shouldn’t just be an excuse to go out and do something.” He also thinks that it would be good to celebrate the day Mexico won its independence on the proper date: Sept. 16. “It’d be an opportunity to spend time with family while acknowledging history.”
Uber and Lyft services become a part of daily life MonzerrathMartinez
For De’Bohray Harris, a sophomore, it was either walk to school or call an Uber. Walking to school, being more difficult, meant she had to wake up and leave earlier. Calling an Uber, which is more convenient, almost meant having a personal driver. “I didn’t want to walk to school because that would’ve been a long walk, so I ended up buying an Uber gift card and just using Uber.” Harris, like a number of students, doesn’t always have a guaranteed ride to school. She encountered that situation when her mom’s car had a malfunction. “That took about two months to fix.” During those months, she had to find a way of transportation. Luckily for her, around that time there was the rise in popularity of Uber and Lyft. This situation allowed for Harris to be introduced to the driving services. For two months, Ubers and Lyfts were her main sources of transportation. During that time, she grew to favor one of the companies over the other. “I’ve used Lyft, but I just thought Uber was better because it’s cheaper.” That seems to be the popular opinion, as another student shares the same view. Carlizia Monroy, a junior, only uses Uber because her credit card is already attached to the service, so there’s no need to make a switch. Throughout Monroy’s two years of using Uber, she has enjoyed almost every ride. Likewise, Harris has enjoyed almost every ride except when, for a brief moment, she thought she was being kidnapped. “One time my Uber driver rode me the long way around and I thought he was kidnapping me but I was perfectly fine. He just thought it was another way to get to the school.” This event led Harris to wonder whether safety precautions are
I thought he was kidnapping me but I was perfectly fine.”
The long awaited movie executed an interesting plot with a large cast of characters in a way only Marvel could.
ART BY SERINASIENG
necessary when riding with Uber and Lyft. Even with the good experiences, Monroy also takes safety precautions. “I would screenshot my Uber driver’s profile and license plate to send to my mom just in case anything did happen,” Harris said. Similarly, Monroy calls her mom when she arrives at a destination and when she departs. However, many of these worries tend to settle when the passengers meet the driver. “They’re nice, most of them ask how your day has been and offer refreshments,” said Harris. While utilizing the service, Monroy also has had the delight of having an amiable driver. “She stopped and bought me Starbucks,” Monroy said. Living at a time when Uber and Lyft have increased in popularity has been beneficial to both Monroy and Harris. “Without Uber and Lyft, I wouldn’t be able to get my education,” Harris said. “I’ve never had a bad experience with either service.”
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
the Stagg Line
Boys tennis goes undefeated, defends their SJAA League title BriannaRodriguez
EN WINS, NO LOSSES, BACKto-back league titles, and another successful season. This is how the boys varsity tennis team ended their 2018 spring season. While the team was ecstatic ending with an undefeated record, it was expected. “Losing last years’ seniors kind of made us nervous going into the season,” senior Brandon Alonso-Ramos, captain of the team said. “We still expected to win league, we just weren’t sure if we were going to go undefeated again.” Having a lot of returning players made the team very confident in their playing abilities come game-time. Over the summer many players dedicated their time to the sport and focused on improving all aspects of the game. From working on their backhands, drop shots, and mental toughness, the boys started to shape themselves into serious contenders within the SJAA league. Knowing seasons will eventually come to an end, tennis head coach Shannon Markley is constantly recruiting. “I’m always trying to build for the next year,” she said. “We’re always trying to recruit underclassmen so as we lose seniors, we have kids that are ready to step up.” Having spots to fill at the beginning of the season, a number of senior football and basketball players joined the team. “They are already very athletic, they picked up the sport fast,” Markley said. “We had three of them step into double spots right
Check out staggonline.net — Alonso explains the team’s key to success
PHOTO BY KEVINGUTIERREZ
Head coach Shannon Markley gives a motivational speech to the boy’s tennis team before their matches against Bear Creek. The boys defeated Bear Creek 6-3 which capped off an undefeated league season. off the bat.” While there are people on the team who have been playing for most of their lives, some started to play this year for fun. First year doubles player senior Nate Bones expresses his joy for the new sport. “I loved it. It’s so different from any other sport I’ve played, I was able to actually enjoy playing and going to practice.” Being an athlete Bones was able to pick up tennis quickly. Having experience in football, he has trained his body to be agile and have quick footwork,
You have to balance the pressure with being competitive, that’s the key to winning.”
giving him an edge over other newcomers to the sport. “I just had to learn the fundamentals.” Being that it was a new year Markley noticed that a lot of
Freshman steps up to the plate
their personalities were different but they all had one thing in common: a desire to win. Aware of the team’s success last year, the boys had confidence in them-
Sophomores smash expectations on varsity StephanieMatsumoto
Athletic skill is gained through practice and dedication. From the beginning of their freshman year, student athletes try their best to improve at the sport they play and get better as a team or as an individual. And yet by their senior year, some never make it to that point. However, underclassmen are able to sometimes come in and steal the spotlight. Gabriel Suchil, a sophomore, had only first picked up a badminton racket his freshman year and quickly rose to the No. 2 junior varsity doubles spot. When the boys lost their whole varsity team last year, it was clear that the next season would call for a drastic change. Many of the boys would be thrown in, with their only experience being junior varsity or exhibition play. This year, Suchil played in the No. 2 varsity single spot, gladly taking on the responsi-
AidanDanforth She looks at the bat and lines her knuckles up to the handle. She spent days of practice making sure her elbows won’t drop. As the thoughts of striking out creep into her mind, she lets go of the bat and twirls it. Before she overestimates the situation, she recollects the constant hours of hitting practice and concentrates her thinking to pitcher. Only a freshman, Athina Basilio now plays for the varsity softball team. Her skills and enthusiasm have made her the ideal player for the adjustment. “I played a year of travel ball, and I hoped to learn something new from high school,” she said. Playing leftfield, Basilio is capable of helping the offense as well as defense. She joined the varsity team halfway through the season. Having her moved up wasn’t about providing the team with an all star but building her confidence. Keri Limpin, assistant junior varsity softball coach, witnessed how Basilio’s thinking could improve. “We needed to keep up her confidence,” Limpin said. Basilio has the skills to play at a varsity level. With some adjustments, her performance has improved the team. “They fixed my hitting and my fundamental defense,” she said. She has been practicing her hitting techniques through the season, and because of this she is now able to hit doubles more often. “The coach would tell me that I would drop my hands a lot,” she said. Besides making home runs, Basilio has created a new treat for the opposing team. “I’m the loudest. My communication on the field helps with the plays and distractions.” Her shouts help the infielders become aware of each other. The shouts have helped the offense become more mentally dominant over the pitcher. “I psych out the pitcher because the pitcher is more likely to throw balls because of my chants,” she said.
selves that they can achieve the same feats and built off that confidence. As a whole the boys plays well together. Every player has a different role on the team and fulfills their responsibilities. From top to bottom, everyone contributes different strengths to the team. “Every player we have is good in their spot. Other teams will have two or three amazing players like Bear Creek who went undefeated,” Alonso said. “But overall as a team we were winning more.”
Leadership was a key component in the team’s philosophy this season. “We have lots of leaders on our team this year,” Markley said. “I think that’s one of the main reason why we had such a strong team as everyone took ownership of what was going on.” While leadership is a vital part of building a championship team, so is motivation. The team’s biggest motivational player was junior Diego Contreras. Getting the boys pumped before game time, leading cheers, and being a non selfish teammate, Contreras played an important role on this year’s team. Fulfilling everyone’s expectations, the tennis team is extremely proud of their accomplishments. As for next year, Markley has the utmost confidence in her team. “I believe we still have a chance for first place again to be honest. I think we’ll be fine.”
PHOTO BY CARLOSDAVALOS
Basilio reads the coach’s signs with two runners on base against McNair. Stagg lost the game by 20 runs. Besides the constant shouts from the leftfield, she is always chanting with the team from the dugout. “Most of the chants that we learned came from previous players from previous years,” she said. Basilio’s chants surpass all other noises coming from the audience. Ben Atad, varsity coach, is pleased to see the freshman able to prosper both in games and during practice. “She has a great attitude and work ethic,” he said. A motivated freshman who was nervous about the change has taken the lessons of confidence and improvements to heart. “Sometimes I would have mental breakdowns, like I knew I could do better,” she said. “I would mess up on a play and just get frustrated by it.” Still, Atad has confidence about her promotion. “With her experience she will carry it out,” he said. With the season being close to its end, her skills from the JV team have carried over to help the varsity team.
PHOTO BY ALBERTOVALENCIA
In an intense matchup against rival school Chavez, Suchil focuses on hitting the birdie in hopes of scoring a point against his opponent.
bility. Though he says he was lazy last year, he has worked harder to improve, staying the longest after practices. “I’ve learned that badminton is all about speed, strategy, accuracy and dedication because every game you want to try your best,” Suchil said. “You always have to have a strong mentality no matter how experienced your opponents are.” Using the knowledge he has gained, Suchil is confident that he will do better in future years by improving his game strategy and speed. He hopes to become a team leader and grow with his fellow singles players, who also are sophomores and freshmen. “The varsity No. 1 player and I are sometimes neck to neck and we both have our bad days but we’ll just have to see how it goes next year.” Badminton coach Chinh Huynh believes that the team is on the right track but can be better with more dedication. However, at the same time he understands the pressure of playing varsity compared to junior varsity. Huynh says that while games may not be as competitive, junior varsity is important because it’s where players get the experience and can learn. If the team is to be better for next year, Huynh wants to see more of the underclassmen players improve to keep up with the competition. While the varsity boys team is mostly made up of first or second year players, the varsity girls team is made up of more upperclassmen. Kassidy Chhoung Sun is one of the only sophomores to be playing on the girls varsity team. Though she was nervous with big crowds at first, her parents support helped her overcome that fear and motivated her to keep going. “I’ve started to love the sport and coach says that if you want to play the sport you gotta love it,” Chhoung Sun said. Despite losing a few of their singles players, Chhoung Sun has faith that the rest of the girls will fill in those spots, specifically her current partner Kimberly Som, a junior. She wants to keep the others motivated and be one of the top players by the time she’s a senior. “I think I have a lot of time to improve and I always ask coach to work with me,” Chhoung Sun said. “By my senior year I want to be really good so I can help the team.”
Amos Alonzo Stagg High School
the Stagg Line
Why don’t we learn about...? Courses that emphasize life skills are lacking in our schools SaraAbdeltawab
Many students sit in their classes with questions such as “Why do we care about this?” “Why don’t we learn about that?” “When am I going to use this in life?” roaming around their head. Stagg used to have classes such as Driver’s Education and cooking, which helped students get ready for life beyond high school. Yet, a lot of those classes are no longer taught due to a number of reasons. Reasons being lack of teachers, cost or not enough time in the day. Some may ask, why not bring them back? “I think it’s very important to have real life classes,” Principal Andre Phillips said. “Even if it’s something as small as filling out paperwork, we should have it.” Phillips said that he was lucky enough to have learned how to do his taxes at a young age and he feels that that’s something that everyone should learn for life after high school. He went onto say that he’s encountered many students who have left high school and are confused as to how to fill out a check due to lack of exposure. “I wish we could have classes just geared towards life skills,” Phillips said. “Some may think we only have our ‘life skill’ classes towards those who need them, but I think everyone should take them.” When it comes to wanting to incorporate new classes for real-life situations such as Driver’s Education and taxes, the district must take into account a number of issues. Philips mentioned that even if there are kids willing to take the class the school and district have to have the money to pay for the class
as well as a teacher to teach. Phillips said that although these types courses are not available, there is a year long course called “career choices” for freshmen to take, but he said the class is more about making the right choices for your career path. According to Learning LiftOff, life skill-based education could improve the lives of students in many ways such as promoting “positive social norms that have an impact the adolescent’s health services, schools, and family.” It’s said to also improve critical thinking as well as improving individual decision making. For senior Shania Larkin life skill based education is something she feels should be apart of the A-G requirements. Larkin said that knowing Stagg is one of the many schools in the SUSD district that doesn’t offer life skill based courses makes her feel behind in things she should have learned sooner. She said if she had the chance to take these types of classes a lot would have changed for her, especially her junior year. “I believe we don’t need four years of English,” Larkin said. “Things like taxes are more essential for our future.” Larkin said that classes such as Driver’s Education would make students more knowledgeable about driving without having to pay to take lessons outside of school. She added that many people drive and many people do their taxes so why don’t students have a chance to get ahead and learn about these things in school. “It makes me feel like our students aren’t as im-
PHOTO BY SOLOMONJUAREZ
Junior Cameron DeVille prepares himself for his two hour behind the wheel driving session while his instructor goes over the paperwork required before the lesson can take place. portant as other districts,” junior Adara Chavez said. Chavez said that she wishes high school would teach her more about the important things in life rather than just the trivial things. She added that she believes everyone should take at least one life
skill class as an elective if not for an A-G requirement. “Having these types of programs and classes at school would help students who don’t have a stable family environment,” Chavez said. “It could give them the basic life skills to live off.”
Social media users Teenagers battle depression worry about privacy Talking to a professional can make a difference StephanieJimenez & HannahWorkman
A friend request on Facebook. A retweet on Twitter. A like on Instagram. The majority of Generation Z cannot remember a time when social media wasn’t prevalent in their lives. Although most teens have comfortably spent their recent years with a smartphone in hand, the concern regarding data privacy has heightened as of late. On April 10 and 11, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress. He was questioned about how Facebook uses their users’ personal data, which had been collected by the company and Cambridge Analytica over the course of four years. As this scandal has dominated the news, more and more teens are beginning to question the terms and services of their favorite platforms. “It’s concerning to me because I put all of my information on the apps that I use,” sophomore Maylene Echavarre said. “I’m worried that my contact information may leak out.” Echavarre’s parents, who used to engage in social media, stopped using such platforms after hearing of the scandal and now encourage her to do the same. “They’ve tried to convince me to deactivate my accounts,” Echavarre said. “I already got rid of Snapchat.” As apps continue to evolve, many other features are added to them. Snapchat, along other platforms, allow the user to activate their location, showing others on their friends list to see it as well. This was a concern for freshman Alyssa Bujen. “It’s unsafe to have your location on, that’s why I turned it off,” she said. Though it is an option to share one’s location, many dismiss or simply forget the app has access to that information. Senior Edwin Hidalgo believes companies like Facebook should do more to protect their users as they may be unaware of potential threats. “It can be easy to take advantage of the basic consumer,” he said. Although senior Christopher Beaty has similar worries about privacy, it doesn’t stop him from engaging in online activity. “It’s nothing new. It happens all the time,” he said, noting when Google was sued over privacy breaches in November 2017. “I don’t think it’s right, but there’s no way we’re going to escape it,” Beaty said. ART BY SERINASIENG
Trapped in the dark, searching for a light. Plagued by overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, it can be hard to find the motivation to live on to another day. Grappling with a mental illness such as depression can be a tremendous burden, especially when the pressures of school are added on top of that. “I remember having suicidal thoughts when I was in grade school,” junior Cierra Burdg said. “I didn’t know exactly what it meant, but I knew that I wanted to disappear.” Burdg struggled through her transition from elementary to high school. With the added pressures that come with the territory, she found it difficult to muster the energy to keep going. She finds that teens can be even more susceptible to depression. According to suicide.org, about 20 percent of all teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood. Many do not receive treatment, either due to the fear of judgment from peers or simply not knowing how to get help. “We’re all going through our own battles,” Burdg said. In order to improve her mental health, she has taken advantage of resources that are available to her, such as speaking with a therapist at Healthy Start. “I talk to her every week and she helps me out a lot,” Burdg said of her therapist. “Sometimes just talking to somebody about what’s going on inside of your head can make you feel better.”
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Although Burdg still struggles with depression, she believes she has developed coping mechanisms that alleviate the pain. “Some days are worse than others and I’m not always going to be able to use those exact coping methods, but I’m figuring it out,” Burdg said. Junior Giselle Gonzales is all too familiar with the consequences of depression. She finds that she loses interest in activities she once enjoyed and doesn’t have energy to complete simple tasks. At the age of 13, Gonzales began to experience the symptoms of depression. It wasn’t until this year, however, that she was diagnosed with the illness. She finds that people can be quick to judge, particularly her family.
“They don’t really believe I’m ill,” Gonzales said. “They think I’m just lazy.” Gonzales encourages others to make an effort to understand a friend or relative who is suffering from a mental illness. “Try to talk to them,” she said. “A conversation can help more than you think.” Therapist Holly Agundes frequently meets with students who are mentally ill. Her primary goal is to discover the core issue
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1 in every 5 teens
suffer from a serious mental illness Teen that does not suffer from a mental illness Teen that suffers from a mental illness
Symptoms Feeling numb or like nothing matters Eating/Sleeping too much or too little Having little to no energy Pulling away from friends or family members Thinking of harming yourself or others
Treatments Staying connected with friends and family Getting enough sleep everyday Staying positive GRAPHIC BY KEVINGUTIERREZ
Staying physically active
Getting help from a professional Helping others Source:MentalHealth.gov/LiveScience.com
affecting the student and work from there to understand how it impacts each factor of their life. “It all ties together,” Agundes said. “If a student comes to me and says they’re failing all of their classes, in my mind, it’s not because they’re lazy or stupid. To me, it says there’s something going on that’s inhibiting them from being present.” For students who may be hesitant to seek help as they are afraid of showing vulnerability, Agundes wants them to know they’re not alone. “A lot of the students who are referred to me come in and feel insecure. They think there’s something wrong with them because they’ve been sent to me, but the reality is I see kids all day, every day,” she said. “If they’re feeling down and they’re having a problem, it’s important they know they’re not the only one.” Agundes wishes for her office to be viewed as a safe place on campus where students can come and release any negative emotions they may be feeling. “If you’re having a bad day, come talk to me,” she said. “It’s important to get it out so you don’t resort to other vices.”
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