Letters to the Editor, March 21

Re: Returning to School

From: Rider Baker, Junior

With schools set to reopen towards the end of April, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the reopening of schools. For starters, there is the obvious health risk to students, administrators, teachers, and everyone else who comes into contact with them. With all that said, if COVID-19 protocols are followed and everyone is careful, then it is possible to return to school safely. However, health and safety concerns for COVID-19 are only part of the equation. Are we considering the mental health of students? Throwing everyone back into school for one month, just in time for finals I believe will be detrimental to student’s mental health. School is extremely stressful, and we haven’t experienced in-person school in over a year. What more are we going to learn from in-person schooling? We will have less instruction time on a hybrid schedule, most AP classes will be starting the review process, and the process of preparing for finals/taking them also occupies a week of school. I once again ask: What benefits do students receive from being thrown back into a now unfamiliar environment and forcing them to balance school, sports, and relationships whilst still being in a global pandemic?

Re: Returning to School

From: Amei Cibulka, Junior

I believe we should go back to in-person learning as quickly as possible. As soon as conditions are safe enough, that is. Firstly, I believe that the quality of education we have been getting through online learning is much poorer than in-person school. For example, some students have difficult at-home situations, like sharing a room with his or her sibling, making it harder to focus on work. Additionally, teens may be suffering due to the extended isolation from their peers. Without human contact (other than their family), loneliness can have serious mental health consequences, possibly leading to depression. If we go back to in-person school, students can interact with their peers at least a few days out of the week and regain some normalcy. Therefore, we should work on returning to safe in-person education as quickly as possible.

Re: Returning to School

From: Jacob Donohue, Junior

I believe that the conversation and the process of reopening of high schools seems rushed, and that there are other factors that need to be considered before reopening. Going back to school would massively switch up some students schedules, as students have taken up jobs, and other commitments since the start of the school year, due to its flexibility. The school district needs to start letting the student body know soon what their plans are for the rest of the school year, because students who did take on other commitments such as jobs, need to re-evaluate their schedule, which is difficult to do last minute. I believe that they should also implement what they did at the end of the last school year which is that you can not go below the grades that you had the previous quarter. Jumping to in person is a major transition, and given that we would be going in at the end of the year, which is full of finals, I think this would make students more comfortable and would allow them to transition more smoothly. 

Re: “The false dichotomy of American partisanship” by Gus Cromwell, October 29, 2020

From: Jason Page, Junior

While I largely agree that the modern aversion to third party voting isn’t ideal your article didn’t propose any major ways of changing the system or the culture to fix that problem. The prevalence of the two party system in American politics makes it much harder to get information on third party candidates who you might support. Overall the idea that simply by voting in what you believe is idealistic and not particularly attainable because of how deeply ingrained the two party system is. From information, to organization, to voting patterns all of American politics is structured for two parties. Most of my fellow juniors who will soon be voting thought that the integration of the two party system makes changing that system very hard. Once more the change would have to be at a government level and neither democrats or republicans are incentivized to make it easier to not vote for them. All of this and in order for this type of change to matter at least a third of voting America would need to change to a third party in order for it to matter. I agree that it would be nice if voting for a third party was more impactful but realistically it would be very difficult.

Re: “Carrillo students try balancing isolation with outside world” by Josephine Rivera-Hoagland, March 5, 2021

From:  Daniel Moessing, Junior

A statistic in your article about students balancing isolation with normal life caught my attention. You wrote that you received 18 responses to the survey you put out regarding that topic. I think that is too small of a sample size to produce representative results, but that other information can be gained from it. 

What interests me is the contrast between the article’s assumptions and the conclusions that can be drawn from the data. The article assumes that most students have not had much social interaction, and thus concludes that they likely want more. I find that the amount of responses to the survey tells a different story. I was one of the 18 people who responded. I did so because I appreciate the efforts of the Prensa staff to continue the school community even when we are not physically together. I assume that if other students felt the same way, more of them would respond. The small number of responses may indicate that few students actually feel the need for a school community.

Re: “How Kanye West redefined modern rap” by Ben Chan, March 3, 2021

From: Emma Chen, Junior

Regarding the article on Kanye West, while it is undeniable that Kanye revolutionized the rap industry, his immense success is not without its downfalls, which were breezed over in the article. But, by focusing on his many controversies coupled with his recent diagnosis with bipolar disorder, we can shine light on the contributions Kanye has made to society, not through music, but through the destigmatization of mental illness. 

By sharing his struggles with bipolar disorder, Kanye reveals the societal challenges that come with mental illnesses such as being ridiculed and misunderstood. This is demonstrated by the widely unforgiving response of the public and the media towards Kanye’s actions, painting him as a bigot or a marketing scheme. But, by opening up about his experiences, he uses his position of influence to encourage conversations about the stigma surrounding mental illness and what should be done to decrease it.

I believe that by depicting Kanye’s controversies as simply eccentricities, the article disregards the effects bipolar disorder has on his actions and the advancements Kanye has made in the mental health community.

Write your own letter to the editor by typing 200 words max in the body of an email to thepumaprensa@gmail.com. Don’t forget to include your name and grade. Not all letters will be published.

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