Spring 2021 Letters to the Editor

Although+%22the+Churchill+Observer%22+was+virtual+this+year%2C+students+shared+their+reactions+to+articles+by+writing+letters+to+the+authors.+

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Although “the Churchill Observer” was virtual this year, students shared their reactions to articles by writing letters to the authors.

By Observer Staff

During a year of virtual publications, connecting with the WCHS community has been hard.  However, “the Churchill Observer” is excited to share six “Letters to the Editor” from spring 2021. Below are WCHS student responses to a few articles written by the Observer Staff.

 

“Social media damages teens’ mental health” by Caitlin Murphy, March 3 2021

“I would agree with most, if not everything the author says. it definitely make sense that teens are more involved with social media now that they have so much free time. you can’t blame them for going on it because it gives them a sense of reality after being locked away for so long. Unfortunately, when you spend too much time on social media, you get carried away. Social media becomes and endless scroll and you get tied up in the new trends because they are getting attention, views and likes. The same way humans tend to hide in a crowd to blend in because it is too scary to stand out, we figure that it is easier to follow trends than to start them. It is very weird that most influencers don’t look like their internet personas as they heavily rely on photo editing. With all the extra time teens have found themselves with, they find more reasons to follow more influencers and more trends.” – Sam Margel, 12

 

“Returning to school poses a greater risk than reward” by Nur Yavuz, March 8 2021

“I agree that returning to school poses a greater risk and causes complications than it does fix problems. Most students still have not gotten vaccinated, and although teachers may have, that does not mean they do not carry the disease. This leads to risk of infection and another outbreak just as things have started to calm down in the area. Also, students have taken these past nine months of virtual learning to adjust to the new schedule. It is fair to assume that students have gotten used to seeking out help online with tests and assignments, changing sleep schedules and doing other things during class time. This switch to in-person learning as the quarter is coming to an end could be detrimental to some grades. Although administrators have good intentions — like letting seniors enjoy their last year, introducing freshmen to the high school experience and trying to bring back a schedule into students life — I feel as though it would cause more problems than fix them. I agree with the author of this article, it would be better to finish this year online then return to school next year to have an easier transition.”  – Juan Bajana, 12

 

“Childhood fame can leave a high toll on those who experience it” by Ava Freeman, March 16 2021

“I read “Childhood fame can leave a high toll on those who experience it” written by Ava Freeman. I agree with many things Freeman wrote such as how celebrities are deeply impacted by fame at a young age. The celebrities she listed like Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, and Lindsay Lohan all have exemplified the struggles that can come from childhood Fame. Like Freeman said, there needs to be a way to prevent some of the madness. She wrote this article very well, so I do not disagree with any of the points she made. I’m glad Ava wrote this article because it brings to light some of the struggles that childhood stars face and why people should give them less of a hard time. The only thing that I would add to this article is more in depth about Britney Spears conservatorship because I think Ava might have missed some of the most scary points of it. She could have given examples of how much of Britney’s daily life her father actually controls to show how severe it is. This would also show why it’s unfair she is still under the conservatorship. All in all, I think this was a very well written and informal article.” – Ava Pearlstein (12)

 

“Teachers share concerns about COVID-19 vaccine distribution” by Allison Fan, March 17 2021

“I read the article “Teachers share concerns about COVID-19 vaccine distribution” by Allison Fan. I wanted to react to this article because of the importance of teachers getting the vaccine. As teachers are prioritized in the line of the vaccines, they share the frustrations about how they are still unable to get vaccines. That saddens me to see other people getting vaccinated and teachers are still having issues. I agree that the teachers should be prioritized because they need to get back into school to teach kids while being protected. I am glad that the author shed light on this exact issue. It is important to address the teachers’ feelings while starting to get back into the classroom. Thank you for giving teacher’s a voice.” – Klio Paez, 12

 

“Recent Asian American hate highlights racism in WCHS community” by Sylvia Thomson, March 22 2021

“In a recent Churchill Observer, I read an article entitled “Recent Asian American Hate Highlights Racism” in the WCHS community by Sylvia Thomson. I was disappointed in the behaviors of some students within the Churchill community. The behaviors of the students that posted on Instagram was shocking and appalling. I think what stood out for me the most was associating an entire ethnicity of people with a global pandemic. Thomson reported that 86 percent of students have seen a rise in anti-Asian violence since the pandemic started. This was very scary to me. I believe that people should not discriminate against others because it makes people feel like they don’t belong. Everyone belongs to this world, and it is unfair to say that someone is less than you because of any differences. I agree with the author in that it is important to try to understand the concerns of other races and empathize with them, not judge. If we do not show empathy to others then we cannot create change. I am glad this article was written because it brings awareness to Asian hate, which is something we do not talk about a lot.” – Langston Qualls, 12

 

“Do Cameras on Have an Effect on the Learning Environment?” by Liam Klein, April 7 2021

“I think the article accurately describes students’ online learning environment at WCHS where most students keep their cameras off, leading to a decline in accountability and student participation. As a senior at Churchill, I know firsthand how demotivating it can be to attend an online class where barely any of my classmates have their cameras on. I agree with Liam Klein when he writes, “When asked, 30% percent of students said that the main reason they didn’t turn their cameras on was due to the lack of turned-on cameras from peers.” Everyone knows that teens don’t want to stand out from their classmates, so it’s normal for students not to want to be alone in the online class with their cameras on. That would just be weird! What happens is a chain reaction. Because no one turns their camera on, nobody else wants to turn theirs on either. But, I feel that if at least some people would turn their cameras on, then others would follow because they would feel more comfortable. Also, I agree with Liam Klein when he says, “Part of the reason behind this staggering number is the massive increase in anxiety and depression amongst young adults and teens.” Because some students do have anxiety or get worried about if their cameras or mics are really off, it makes sense that this situation causes students to overthink, leading to increased anxiety. When one of my teachers asks for everyone’s cameras and mics to be on, only very few students turn them on. Some students were actually dressed and paying attention, while others were playing video games. Even more shocking (and quite funny) were some students who were literally in bed sleeping. I felt bad for my teacher because she didn’t not know who was or was not paying attention. Some of my other teachers ask students to turn their cameras on just to say “Hi” and then they can turn them off again, and I see that mostly everyone does that. It is amazing to look back on this year of online classes and see how unusual our learning environment has been. All things considered, I am really enjoying my experience, especially this year since school is mostly virtual. Even online, learning is still learning.” – Sophia Chowdhury, 12