Each fall, the next cohort of students prepare to embark on their senior year of high school. For some this means little more than having only two semesters to go — the good, the bad, and the mediocre will all be drawing to a close in a matter of months — and their futures beyond that ever-lingering date in June remain stubbornly undecided.
On October 6th, the United States Supreme Court ruled not to enter the debate over the legality of same-sex marriage, and in doing so gave many states a victory. By refusing to review rulings made by lower courts concerning bans on same-sex marriage, the Court has given lower courts in each state the right to decide if the practice is legal or not. The order of refusal to look at the case was extremely succinct and contained no explanation.
In 2006, when most Berkeley High School students were in elementary school, the world said goodbye to Planet Pluto. Many of us watched in despair as Pluto was plucked from the solar system and placed into the rejects basket known as the “dwarf planets.” It came to many as a shock; Pluto had been a planet for 75 years and had been ingrained in our culture. Even Mickey Mouse’s dog was named after the celestial body. According to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Pluto is still considered a dwarf planet.
Sexual harassment, defined as unwarranted sexual attention including comments and physical acts, plagues women in today’s society. Unfortunately, much of the harassment women and girls face takes place in a school setting. Sexual abuse has been an especially hot topic on college campuses for many years, but people are finally putting it in the spotlight, and refusing to tolerate it. Recent sexual abuse cases on college campuses across the country have highlighted America’s rape culture.
On August 28th, Mills College, an all women’s college, allowed male-to-female transgender applicants to apply to the college. This made Mills the first college to take this bold step. Calliope Wong, a transgender woman, had her application rejected by Smith College, another all women’s college, because she was listed as a male on financial aid forms required by the government sent to Smith. Although Smith was aware that she was a woman then, they believed it was right to enforce the strict interpretation of biological gender over self-identified gender at an all women’s college.
As elections approach, many high school seniors will face their first voting opportunity. Some will apathetically decline, while others will eagerly contribute their vote. But high school seniors should be encouraged to cast their vote, because they are amply knowledgeable, and hold an essential voice in America’s democracy.
Energy, not in a scientific sense but in a cosmic sort of way, functions in a loop. The “Golden Rule,” no matter how el- ementary, rings just as truly in high school as it did in the first grade. People try to be nice, adding positive energy to a loop that will take whatever you give and re- ciprocate it right back (in case you weren’t clear on the “Golden Rule” idea, it is “do onto others as they do onto you”).
Last Thursday, polls revealed that Scotland would remain within the United Kingdom instead of becoming an independent country. Scottish-UK relations have been peaceful since 1707, when the two kingdoms merged. Mr. Alex Salmond, the Prime Minister of Scotland, is echoing a cry for independence not heard since the 1296 Wars of Scottish Independence by posing a simple question to Scottish voters: should Scotland be an independent country?
Registration is the christening of the school year. From the forms, long lines, and terrible pictures to the locker assignments, nothing has changed since middle school. This year has something different in store. Before the wandering masses reached the cheerleading signups, a large table with a mannequin, dressed in full cap and gown and leaning ominously in our path, suggested we begin preparing for our imminent graduation. The first time we step on campus, we are already expected to begin considering what kind of decorative cards we will be sending our family members upon graduation.
On August 9th 2014, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri by police officer Darren Wilson. Brown, unarmed, was stopped by Wilson for jaywalking, then was shot six times after allegedly being identified as the suspect of a convenience store robbery. Conflicting reports range from Brown being shot while surrendering to Wilson, to Wilson retaliating after being assaulted by Brown.