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Letter to the Editor: Paper should respect vets

Dear Editor,

Today I opened the December 2016 issue of the Tornado Times. As a Vietnam Veteran, with several combat tours, I was completely taken aback and saddened by the Opinion Page comments “Heroes fall while JROTC profits.” The writer completely missed the focus of the Fallen Heroes Ceremony.

Each of the flags honored a volunteer who made the ultimate sacrifice of laying down his life to protect our republic in a very dangerous corner of the world. Each flag represented a Gold Star Family that now has an empty seat at the dinner table.

The cost of purchasing flags, cost of printing photos, costs associated with maintaining the Tomb of the Unknowns and the cost of incentives and recognition for the effort of volunteers was absorbed by the generous donation of patriots who willingly supported the effort of JROTC cadets by purchasing a flag.

When I returned from Vietnam, citizens were spitting at soldiers, we were advised not to wear uniforms in public, Hollywood’s elite were actively supporting our enemy, a future U.S. senator was throwing his service ribbons over the White House fence, and the Veterans Administration started abandoning our veterans.

We can not let this happen again. We must never forget that good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night because highly trained, brave men and women stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Robert Martin

Posted: Jan. 23

Put better food in vending machines

Dear editor,

I would like to bring to light an issue that I believe the student body would agree with: the vending machines.

Despite the federal government’s, the state of Florida’s and Broward County’s frivolous attempts to have us eat healthy, as many teenagers around the world, we will do and eat what we want. And if there is nothing in the vending machines that we like, then we simply won’t eat it.

I’m not saying that they should stuff the vending machines with Twinkies, but diet items are not that great either. Not only has diet soda been proven to be nutritionally the same as regular soda (zero nutritional value F.Y.I.), with more sugar, but it has also been proven to lead to more calorie consumption and to stimulate you to eat more (The Huffington Post, What You Should Really Choose Between Diet And Regular Soda). Moderation is better than too much or none at all.

Vending machines are a big part of the money that flows through schools, and why shouldn’t we take advantage of that? We should try to generate as much money for our beloved school as we can. If the vending machines won’t change, we will end up doing what our moms do at the movies: bring a big bag and fill it with our favorite snacks and drinks to fulfill our needs.

So, I believe that we should try to re-explore our food options in vending machines. We should first have a school survey to see what everyone really would like to have. Next, we should analyze the results to have a combination of a few healthy foods we like with a few foods we just like, have some variety.

If we follow this path, I believe that everyone would benefit from an old principle called compromising.

Thank you for your consideration.

Kassie O.

Posted: May 24


School schedule too demanding

Dear editor,

As students of Pompano Beach High School, we have many burdens of homework and grades that can keep us up at night because our school has an extensive workload and it begins extremely early in the morning.

I believe that students would rather have school start later and end later than have to wake up early in the morning. We also have so many homework assignments that it is near impossible to get a good night’s sleep.

Teachers need to understand that students have many other classes, and a large quantity of homework from each. This could be overwhelming.

To mend this problem, our school should begin later and teachers should cut down on the amount of homework they assign.

Alexandria Barrett

Posted: May 24


Teachers should follow testing schedule

Dear Tornado Times Editor,

I want to discuss an issue that has been overlooked this year and that has not been followed as promised to the students of PBHS. This issue is about the testing schedule for each class.

The promise was that certain classes would have tests only on a certain day of the week depending on the class. For example, English tests are only to be taken by students on Monday and Tuesday while Math tests were only to be assigned for Wednesday and Thursday.

I believe that the school should start enforcing the testing days’ schedule rule for each class more strictly than before because it creates a less stressful time for students who have to take multiple tests in one day and also because it allows students to be focused on one topic each day to study.

This would not be such an issue if teachers assigned tests on varying days, but for the majority of teachers, they believe that taking tests on Thursday or the following Monday is the best idea.Somehow they all plan their tests on those two days as if they talk to each other and discuss how to put a mountain of study work on their students and expect them to be prepared for all the tests with no problems whatsoever. It has been proven that having a lot of work leads to more stress than having less amount work.

Having to study for multiple assignments that will be due on the same day leads to even more stress than having work the same amount over a long period of time.
Stress is proven to affect your mood by making you anxious, restless, less motivated, angry and irritable.

The toll of stress is a problem on its own; now imagine having to take multiple tests with these symptoms. This will not only have obvious negative results on the test scores and on the individual experiencing the stress, but it will also lead to more stress because you are worrying about how you “bombed” that test or almost puked after question three.

Students who take multiple tests on a single day versus students who take multiple tests over a period of time score lower than those who have the time to study on one or two topics and focus on them rather than rush studying many topics so they can go to sleep before 4:00 am to wake up at 6:30 a.m. to go back to school.

To summarize, I believe that teachers should follow this testing day schedule to allow students to better prepare themselves for the tests and ensure that they understand the concept and avoid dealing with stress and its negative effects.

Mattheus C. Santos

Posted: May 24


School should rely less on technology

Dear editor,

I’d like to bring light on a flaw of our school system. Our school’s high reliance on technology could make it hard in some situations to do work.

If a student had a power outage and therefore couldn’t access Edmodo, mail or online sources, then the student would be at a disadvantage. The student may not even be able to contact their teachers about their situation.

More disadvantaging possibilities would result from lacking a powered modern phone. Some of my classes, including Mrs. Rodriguez’s English class and Mrs. Stephenson’s biology class, will have students use their phones to access online content.

Also, if a student’s printer fails to work, it would be bad for the student. They might have to rewrite their work if they can’t find a printer.

Overall, our school needs to distance itself more from technology to make sure that technological disadvantages don’t factor into students’ work.

Stephen C.

Posted: May 24


Students: Overdosed on school work

Dear Editor,

High school is a very busy and stressful time for teenagers. They are trying to figure out life, discover who they are and enjoy their life as a teenager. Now imagine all of this on top of the demand of school, sports or extracurricular activities.

Many nights we come home with piles and piles of homework and it’s not the only thing we have to complete in the four hours we have at home.

The major problem with school is studying for tests. There have been days when students complain about having five or even up to six tests in one school day.

In order to really understand the material and memorize the topics, studying can take up to an hour for each class. This adds up to a total of five or six hours of just studying, on top of any other homework that students may have.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 57 percent of children between six and 17 years of age participate in at least one after ­school extracurricular activity. Many students may not even be able to get home until 7:00 at night or later.

The administration has tried to approach the problem by creating a schedule to prevent students from becoming overwhelmed . However, very few teachers follow the schedule, instead pushing most of the tests back to the end of the week.
This causes stress and overall has a negative impact on the student’s well being and school career.

­Maddie Russo

Posted: May 24


More sleep means better health

Dear editor,

As a Pompano Beach High School student, I am no stranger to waking up early.
Since some students have to take the bus, forced to get up at 4:00 or 4:30 a.m. Waking up this early can be incredibly detrimental both long and short term, especially for teens.

Studies show that teenagers do not produce the sleep hormone melatonin until later hours of the night, making it nearly impossible for us to fall asleep before 10 p.m. Teenagers’ bodies do not stop producing this hormone until around 8 a.m., meaning doing any tasks before that hour feels like sleepwalking.
This can cause students to not perform well in class, or even to skip school in order to get more sleep.

You may ask how do we solve this issue? Well the solution is simple. For a study done in Kentucky, schools pushed their school start from 7:30 to 8:40 a.m. It was found that these schools’ attendance immediately went up, as well as their students’ scores on standardized tests.

This also made it easier for working parents to pick up their kids from school, since the students also got out later.

I think it is time we start taking initiative to improve the well-being of students, and improving their sleeping patterns is an important step in doing so.

Isabella Carles

Posted: May 24


Respect LGBTQ

Dear editor,

Ever since gay marriage was legalized on Friday, June 26, 2015, members of the LGBTQ+ community have been more open about sexual orientation and gender identification. There are many people that are happy and excited about gay marriage being legalized, and there are just as many people that are opposed to it. This is sad but true and I don’t really think we can do much about it. We cannot change everyone’s opinion.

There will always be homophobic and transphobic people in the world. But, just because you don’t agree with someone’s identification does not give anyone the right to disrespect them. I strongly believe that teachers and staff should be required to call transgender, agender and genderfluid students by the pronouns they request. If there is a student that was born as a boy, and now identifies as a girl, they deserve to be referred to as a she and vice versa. Agender and gender neutral students should be referred to with a unisex term (they, them).

I believe, at the beginning of the year when teachers are talking roll for the first time, students should be asked how they identify and that information should be put on file so other teachers and staff members can refer to them properly.

Students should also be able to go into the office, or to a teacher they trust and have taken a liking to, and change their gender pronouns whenever they choose. This is important because many (not all) LGBTQ+ students are still figuring themselves out or getting comfortable with being out (no longer closeted) and that’s perfectly okay. As an agender student, I am misgendered every day. I am referred to as a she because of my appearance and reproductive organs. That is not how I identify. I’ve grown used to it and I’m too afraid to correct people because of how they might respond. That’s sad. Nobody should be afraid to ask to be referred to by the pronouns they are comfortable with. If this school is a “safe zone” for LGBTQ+ students, we need to start acting like it.

Emma Ty

Posted: May 24

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