Who Am I? by Keisha Howell

Who Am I?

I’m still searching for the answers

Am I a broken glass that can’t be picked up without hurting someone.

The sun that goes into hiding when the rain falls.

The scrapes on a place that no one wants.

Am I the least of favorite outfit that you just won’t wear?

That pair of shoes, that won’t fit anymore.

The dirt on a shoe that no one wants to clean.

Who Am I?

I’m still searching for the answers.

Am I the abandon child that no one seems to look for?

That hard math problem, that can’t be figured out.

Am I the caged bird that can’t be freed.IMG_1211

The street light that keep changing colors.

Who am I?

Who is this girl?

I’m still searching for the answers.

The answers are unknown which is the reason for this sad tone.

I’m searching for change

I’m sick of this game.

These pieces must be mended.

I’m sick of pretending.

Who am I?

Tell me cuz I’m tired of searching for the answers.

And if you can’t tell me I guess am that last bible scripture that cause tears to flow down your face, after a sermon.

My Life in the Hurricane by Sontique Campbell

Hard winds, dark sky, and water forcing itself inside…Hurricane Sandy left my town in an ocean of tears…  IMG_0002_2

I lived in Far Rockaway since I was eight years old. I met my friends and father side of the family there. Far Rockaway is very much a part of me, so to see my library, my board-walk, my skate park, my friends homes and my old middle school destroyed showed me everything can be taken away from you in a few seconds. Rooms flooded, lives taken, no lights, no food, no power and clothes. Honestly I was distraught by what I was seeing.

On October 29th warning signals flashed across my T.V. screen but the sky didn’t seem to reflect that scene. So me and my family decided to stay home. Three hours later the winds were greater. Hard whistles as the wind hit my window. Four hours passed. It’s dark and water reaches my parking lot, tons of water. My lights went out. My parent’s car was floating near my front door. I ran to my hallway and the water reached my landing, my brother and sister started crying and my mother is worrying. I suggest we play cards to keep from being gloomy. We all got tired and fell asleep to see the aftermath in the morning.

The day after, I open my door to a horrible fish stench. I go downstairs and my hallway is full of mud, tree branches and garbage. I go further outside to walk towards the boardwalk. I see cars on top of cars, Channel 1 News, police, fire fighters, and buses going to shelters. The boardwalk was smashed into someone’s house and so many pieces of it in the street, homes caved in, mud and dirt everywhere it was a ghost town. Far Rockaway was officially at it’s worse.

No Street lights so criminals came out at night. Those that lost things or never had anything took it upon themselves to steal from their own community. Red Cross and the National Guard came to the rescue. Food, pampers, clothes given to those in need, covers and blankets for those with no heat. The sad faces of my neighbors, family and friends while trailing through dirt to see the outcome of Sandy made my stomach turn and suddenly sadness took over me and I started to cry.

Throughout this whole experience I take nothing for granted, Hurricane Sandy definitely open my eyes to fear and sadness, but I also realize the place I grew up in has played a special part in my heart I never knew it did. Having this happen to me made me a more stronger and positive person in so many ways for my family and myself. I learn how to pick myself up and move forward, it wasn’t easy but me, my family and my community did so by coming together to rebuild our community back.

“Transit Searches” Sontique Campbell

Transit Searches

I am against transit searches, because it doesn’t have an effect on keeping the terrorist away it has never happen and its random and it only happen when I’m rushing to the train.  IMG_0038_2

What are transit searches? …… Metro Transit Police advised customers they would conduct random inspections of carry-on items, as part of the continuously changing law enforcement programs designed to keep the system safe.  The inspections, which will be conducted with Transportation Security Administration officials, are expected to take only minutes, as police will randomly select bags or packages to check for hazardous materials using crazy technology as well as K-9 units trained to detect explosive materials.  Carry-on items will generally not be opened and physically inspected unless the equipment indicates a need for further inspection.  Anyone who is randomly selected and refused to submit their carry-on items for inspection will be prohibited from bringing those items into the station Customers who encounter a baggage checkpoint at a station entrance may choose not to enter the station if they would prefer not to submit their carry-ones for inspection.

To me it goes against the 4th amendment. Which is the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  Bombing trains, I feel its never happen so its not keeping anything safe the only things that’s getting bomb is buildings, I think they need to worry more about planes in the air with no altercation, and train stations that cops barely at anyway.

Also as a citizens and my own experience I was searched for a little pocketbook and which you can highly doubt a bomb would be in it I was also running late and was rushing to catch my train.  And I hear an officer call for me I admittedly stop which made me  aggravated, for them to find nothing on me.  Train searches are a waste of time and playing with people money. Especially if it has never happened before!

Mr. Schulman U.S Government Class…..

“The Legal Age” Shanice Junor

The Legal Age

Why shouldn’t 18 be the legal age for everything?  IMG_0028_2

After doing research and conducting class surveys, it is clear that there is controversy in what should be the legal age for everything.  Majority, believe that 18 years olds should be allowed to have the same privileges of those who are 21.  The main concern of the majority is they believe 18 years olds should be able to drink.  But there are many reasons why it is NOT safe for 10 years olds to consume alcohol, which later on I will thoroughly explain with strong facts behind it.  According to my research, many people believe that most 18 years olds are not mature enough to handle the responsibility of drinking and strongly agree with The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 which was passed on July 17, 1984 by the United States Congress as a mechanism “whereby all states would become thereafter required to legislate the age of 21 years as a minimum age for purchasing and publicly possessing alcoholic beverages.

What does Drinking do for an older person, that isn’t 10x worse for someone younger?

Teenagers are four times as likely to be involved in a car crash and three times more likely to die in one than adults according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Recent studies have shown that these statistics may have to do with teenage brain development.  A National Institute of Health study proposes that the part of the brain that restrains risky behavior, including reckless driving and thinking skills is not fully developed until the age of 25, so even the age of 21 is 4 years behind.  After doing some more research, Scientists have recently proven that alcohol can still damage the brain of a 25 year old.  Why would the government of US allow 18 year olds, almost 10 years behind the full development of the brain, to drink alcohol?

Overall, any benefit or joy alcohol can bring is minimal compared to the greater harms alcohol causes.  Although alcohol is harmful to everyone, alcohol harms young adults much more than older adults.  One’s brain does not complete development until the age of 25.  The mind has not fully formed its critical and rational thinking abilities.  Studies show that alcohol is deterrent to the process.  This can connect to a few of my senior classmates who are 18 and older and are prospective college students.  If you are looking to go to college and excel and gain something from higher education alcohol can be a roadblock to that goal. The fact that your brain isn’t fully developed yet, drinking alchohol  can stop the full formation of your mind, and your ability to think critical and rational, two things that may be necessary for college.  Not only does alcohol consumption affect the brain, it also affects female maturation and reproduction abilities during adolescents.

The National minimum drinking age act, allows 21 years olds to drink.  Once again, 4 years to low but there goes the government’s way of giving the people some leeway.  Most 18 years olds are still at home with their parents, fresh out of high school and even on their way to college to begin life on their own.  At this point they are finding themselves and are bound to make many mistakes, which of course some may learn from, and unfortunately some may not.  The hype of finally being 18 may cause teenagers to go above the limit, because to them they’re an Adult.  They are on their own without parental supervision.  Here is where the law comes in handy.  The National minimum drinking age act is the rule they must abide by, in other words it serves as their parent, and if they don’t abide by the rules, they will have to face the consequences.  Being that 21 is the minimum age for drinking, it allows teenagers to mature more, and the excitement of finally being on their own should be long gone.

In conclusion, ages of initiation vary in this country.  One may vote at 18, drink at 21, visit the local casino at 21, rent a car at 25 and run for President at 35.  These ages take into account that requirements, risks, and benefits of each act.  The National minimum legal drinking age of 21 has survived the test of time and is firmly supported by current scientific research.  Opponents of lowering the MLDA argue that teens have not yet reached an age where they can handle alcohol responsibly, and they are more likely to harm or even kill themselves and others by drinking prior to 21 and that traffic fatalities decreased when the MLDA increased.  The lives and futures of our children depend on its continued support.

“The Legal Age” Tatiania Dominique

The Legal Age

Adulthood is something that much adolescence looks forward to. This is because as an adult your able to do whatever you want.  Eighteen should be the legal age for everything because at this age you’ve experienced enough to conduct yourself as an adult.  The Supreme Court should review the legal age for a number of reasons.  As a young adult myself, I feel that I’m mature enough to take on adult privileges.  IMG_0015

I’m not satisfied with 21 being the legal age.  I believe 18 should be the legal age.  As the 14th Amendment states, “All persons born in the United States are citizens and no law shall be enforced that abridges their privileges.  Nor shall any State deprive a person of life.”  This is an example of how young adults are being deprived of life.  America is about equality and at 18; young adults aren’t treated equally as those whom are 21.

What makes the age of 21 so special? Some might say that those who are 21 have experienced enough things in life and are more mature than those that are 18. I disagree with this statement because for one, some people that are 18 are more mature than some adults.  If voting privileges doesn’t make you an adult than I don’t know what does. People might also argue that at 18, young adults haven’t even gone through the college process.  Going away to college and being independent are great qualities of an adult.  Children are surly not capable of completing such a task.

The Legislative intent of the law might be that 18 Year olds have been acting more mature over the years and they should be considered adults.  This would be great support towards passing this law.  Hearing the voice of others always helps your claim so I conducted a vote from class 120 during government.  The entire class agreed that 18 years olds should have adult privileges.  A statement in which everybody didn’t agree with is that 18 year olds have experienced enough in life to be considered adults.  Although they might not have faced obstacles as an adult, facing such things will help you grow and become stronger. I say that we give young adults a chance to prove all that they can be.

“Loitering” Momtaj Begum


IMG_0020Prohibiting loitering, not allowed staying in a park after dusk promotes safety and organization.  Sometimes people staying in park dusk can cause trouble.  For example, a few boys in a public park at dark making noise might be a nuisance to the people.  Another example would be gang activity.  If members of a certain gang were to be there then it is sure that some sort of gang activity would take place and there’s a slight chance for a fight.  This can also keep the community organized by giving people a time to go home.   Developing a time system with definitely keep the community on top of their tasks and give parents at home one less thing to worry about..

Not loitering may also help decrease violence.  Like I said before, it will keep gang activities from happening occasionally and at the same time control violence.  Violence is one reason why many neighborhoods and communities are dangerous.  Loitering laws will help enforce a positive environment.  Children would attend parks more and pass their time in laughter.  Because of teens (we all know how teens are) some parents allows their children go to parks less often. This can also influence those children to become a better person instead of showing reckless behavior when they grow up to become teens later on.

To make things clearer, loitering isn’t illegal. But, if signs say ”NO LOITERING” are present then it’s means that you shouldn’t be there. But the law should be a little more stricter; that case if there are anyone hanging out when they aren’t suppose to then they should be responsible to pay a certain amount of fine.  I mean if you have no reason to stay outdoors then why do so?  Some people like hanging out with friends and doing what they’re suppose to but there are others who are there just to annoy the public.  What does it do for you?  I mean causing harm or being annoying can’t do any good and plus you’re not getting paid to do it.  It’s not beneficial but in many ways can be a nuisance and harmful.

I believe that loitering laws are there for a reason.  It should be more so looked with importance than avoiding it. It helps create a better and more positive environment.  Some positive impacts the environment will have is less violence, less gang activity, more safety, less threat, not having the public annoyed and timing (organization).  Instead of wasting time it will also allow students to do indoor things such as schoolwork without the friends or outdoor activities being a disturbance.

Mr. Schulman U.S Government Class…..

“Loitering” Zeeva Fred

Law: Loitering stated in N.Y. PEN. LAW 240.35: NY Code – Section 240.35: Loitering  IMG_0014

which states:

A person is guilty of loitering when he:

Loiters, remains or wanders about in a public place for the purpose of begging: or
Loiters or remains in a public place for the purpose of gambling with cards, dice or other gambling paraphernalia; or
Loiters or remains in a public place for the purpose of engaging, or soliciting another person to engage, in oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct, or other sexual behavior of a deviate nature;
This law should be reviewed by the Supreme Court because often, many people aren’t doing anything wrong that would harm people around them or causing no real trouble for it’s surroundings.

The legislative intent of this law is to keep havoc and trouble from individuals that cause these kinds of trouble to be kept off the streets and in certain areas, either by themselves, or with a group of people.  I disagree with this law because like I said above, not all people are out causing chaos within a certain community or city that would cause so much of a disturbance to people in that area. No kind of loud disruption can cause that much of an outbreak that would cause a crazy outbreak in people that live nearby.

Although there is no specifies constitutional amendment that matches up to this law, I still believe the Supreme Court should review it.  It is a law though and that is equally as important.  In NYC, it is illegal to loiter (as stated above in the three points) but it is also illegal to be charged with something that you are not doing even though the officer may think you are doing something wrong.  Many are wrong and the court has to certainly review it without further influences and equal fairness amongst the victim(s) and involved people in charge.

The monster within by beautiful young lady

Fat, ugly, dirty these words echoed in my head
as I laid down on my bed.
Sometimes I wonder what’s the purpose of my life
I often wonder am I here to fight, am I here to look beautiful, am I
here to take up space, or am I here to make something out of my life.

But yet I could never find the answer. I got up and look into the
mirror wondering who the reflection in the mirror is, but yet I
could never figure out who it was. I think hard and hard and then
finally I realized the person I was l looking at, was me. But I
couldn’t recognize the unfamiliar face nor the unfamiliar body. I walk
back and forth in the mirror trying to figure out this stranger in the mirror. But yet I couldn’t figure out who this stranger is..

I think again and again and again and then I finally figure out this is
the person I have become. I now realize that all my life I have been
walking around with a stranger in my soul. I stand there staring and
staring trying to solve this mystery. I then finally figure out that I have become a terrible monster, that look like ugly Betty with big glasses, freckles on her face, short hair and smelly. I ran down the stairs to my family asking them who was this monster in my body and no one seems to know what I was talking about. I ran backup stairs and looked in the mirror. There was the ugly monster again, I called my sister asking her who was this monster in the mirror  but she didn’t see a monster. I look and look again and I keep seeing this ugly monster. But no one else could see it but me. I started to cry. It just made me look like an uglier monster. I stop crying and look deep into the mirror trying to figure out, how I could get rid of this ugly monster.

Then I realize in order for me to get rid of this ugly monster. I have to change the way I think about myself. I started to think of myself as this beautiful young lady, who is better than she thinks she is.  I started to look back into the mirror and the monster was finally gone.

“Sugary Drinks” Shaneece Worgs

Sugary Drinks

A law of 16-ounces on sugary drinks will be banned in fast food IMG_0030_2places in six months, which is in March 2013 if any store is found in violation they will pay a $200 fine.  In the Los Angles Times New York was the first place for the law to be passed.  This law is to help people who are struggling with obesity.  They also have this law now where when children in public schools have their lunch they have to have to full up their tray.  The Supreme Court should review the law because Mayor Bloomberg shouldn’t have to help children or adults with obesity.  Not everyone wants to loose weight.

The purpose of this law is to help people wit obesity.  I disagree with the law because Mayor Bloomberg shouldn’t try to only have to drink 16 – oz drinks because other people don’t want to lose weight.  In New York public school children now have to fill their tray food.  There is food being wasted because children for example teens don’t want to eat healthy foods.

The 1st amendment “protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression for government interference”.  This allows the people of the United States to have the freedom to say what they like, have the religion they want and have their freedom to do want they want. This violates the amendment because the government controlling want other people consume.  Some people express them selves in different ways for example drinking sugary drinks over 16- ozs.

The government shouldn’t have anything to do with what people eat or drink.  If fast food chains violate this law they will have to pay a $200 fine.  Other people shouldn’t have to suffer form others who don’t want to be healthy.

“Legal Argument” Nashawana Graham

Legal Argument   IMG_0009_2

Do you believe in freedom of the speech?  Having the right to express yourself and being you and not being you by wearing clothing that ‘s not you?  In Freedom Academy High School students have to wear the dress code: white shirt, nave blue pants, all black shoes.  A rule that I am not satisfied with is that we the students have to wear uniform everyday including a Friday a rule that’s not being even look at.  This rule should definite be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

This rule that means matches up with an actual amendment is the last violated of freedom of speech the right to express yourself the rule with not wearing what we like is not being followed in the 1st Amendment since students aren’t wearing what they would like by wearing dress code.  So this 1st Amendment is being violated.  A quote that connects with this rule not being followed is “Congress shall made no law…. Abridging the freedom of speech.

I did a look and listen to what students discuss about the dress code in our High School.  Mostly every student in the school talk about the dress code makes them upset.  Since seeing other students wear what they want and don’t worry about school staff questioning about the dress code.  Some students saying in ways they don’t have to worry about picking a outfit the night before and just getting there uniform clothes right.  Most students saying not good having uniform because they don’t have no right of express and not being free at all of what wanting today.

I think that the reasons that the court should review this rule because the something that has do with a U.S. citizen rights on what feel is right and makes the United States a better for the better for the people.  Students say that wearing a dress code shouldn’t be allowed, only for job or career.   The Court should review the dress code laws for schools because we need to express ourselves.