Monday, May 4, 2009

Winona Elemantary School

Each week The Hamilton Spectator presents a page of news from local schools. It’s a page for students by students. Today, we feature Winona Elementary School located at Winona Road and Highway #8 in Winona and Elizabeth Bagshaw Elementary located at 350 Albright Road, Hamilton.

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8
Winona Road & Highway #8
Winona ON, L0R 2L0
Phone Number: (905)643-4141
Fax Number: (905)643-4666

Principal: Mr Rick Clark

Pulse Facilitator: Ms. Susan Trathen

School Students Protection at Risk
Heather Young

In today’s society of escalating violence and lack of respect for others, I wonder if schools are really safe? When students walk out their front door for school in the morning, they should not have to be worried about their safety. In a recent altercation at Bendale High School in East Toronto, a student was shot on school property and sustained life threatening injuries. School safety has gone to the extent of installing video cameras and having police patrol the school grounds. Changing behaviours and impolite personalities in our society have altered the safety of our schools and is a priority to change.

Young people already have many concerns and their security when learning should not have to be something they fret about. When students step onto school property their safety should be in the hands of the teachers and administrative staff. Rules and regulations should be exercised and with this protection pupils should be able to feel at ease. Students should be able to approach someone of authority with a concern without feeling uneasy. Although school should be safe, this is not always the case.

During a regular day at a Toronto school, chaos resulted when a shot rang out. The East Toronto
School went into lockdown following an incident in the parking lot. The intended target of the September 16 shooting felt he was attacked because he was dressed nicely and looked like he had money. A struggle between two teenagers resulted in one of the involved being shot. Changes in the security over the past years at this troubled school did not prevent this tragedy from occurring.

Extreme measures are being implemented at school for the protection of staff and students. Police officers are stationed at twenty-eight high schools across Toronto as a current pilot project. Although guns at Bendale High School are common, the school was not on the list to get a police officer to act as a deterrent. A student safety hotline is in progress of being set up and the board is providing equity training for all staff members. The overall goal is to make schools a secure learning environment, but to what extent will they have to go to achieve this.

The safety of schools has changed because of the morals and values of the students that attend them. Students have the right to feel protected at school equally as they should at home. We hear about incidences of violence that continue to happen where security could be stricter on school grounds. With all the security measures being used today, schools are generally safe but issues continue to occur that test our perception of this. Violence still remains a huge problem and the question continues whether school is a safe place to be.

Why Parents May See Their Kids Die
Aaron Bruinsman

This generation of kids may actually die before their parents. Why? It is because, unlike past ages, greasy foods and sweets are more readily available to the public. People also consistently deny their need for physical activity. To top it all off, parenting standards have significantly dropped over the past few years. So why the worry? The cause for stress comes from the fact that children are feeling the effects.

Recently, obesity has become a serious issue. Foods like hamburgers, pizza and candy all pose a major threat to the body, but somehow they have ended up as a staple in the North American diet. The problem? The constant eating of junk food leads to obesity, which later results in many devastating medical conditions, like diabetes. The worst part is that many teens have fallen into the sugar craze. Pop, gum and ice cream are only a few things consumed daily by them. The epidemic of obesity is extremely severe, but only seems to worsen without exercise.

Telling a child to play outside is exactly like ordering them to eat their vegetables; they just will not do it. Children would rather isolate themselves from the outside world and stay in. And why not? With today’s technology, fun inside is completely possible. Just pop in a movie, engage in a video game, or take part in a computer session. It is all in good fun, or is it? The problem is that these games replace physical exertion because of their addictive properties. Sure, it would not be so bad if there was some exercise involved, but literally every electronic entertainment device merely requires a touch of a button. That is where the issue starts. Without physical activity the child’s muscles will not strengthen as they should and an overweight person may be the result as calories are not being burned. For those reasons, failing to exercise is just as harmful as misdirected parents.

With all seriousness, parents can negatively affect their children, despite their efforts to keep their child happy. Think about it. The parents do everything for their child, so the parents are basically their teacher on how to live life. For example, when a guardian constantly purchases junk food all the time, the young kid will believe that junk food is healthy to eat. So, when they mature, the new adult will act based on their childhood and consume junk foods. That is why the importance of responsible caregiver is critical. Whenever their child is coping with stress, or is deserving of a reward, they give them food. What is so twisted with that logic is that the parents are only thinking of themselves, not their children. Another issue with parents is that some like to think of their son/daughter as friends, completely disregarding rules. Limits on anything, including electronics, will be nonexistent, leaving the kid with their own opinions on their lifestyle, which can be purely destructive. In essence, parents can make, or break, their child.

The heath of today’s society is rapidly deteriorating. There is no avoiding this fact. It could have been so easy just to eat the right foods, but people were convinced that unwholesome goods would not hurt them. Many do not exercise, simply because they have been kept busy with their electronics. Add to this the parents who think its okay to put themselves at a higher priority than their child, just so the effort on the part is reduced. Are these indicators of a dying population?

The Club No One is asked to Join
Nick Jovetic, grade 8

Look at three friends. Chances are one of them will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Type 2 diabetes has various affects on the human body. The financial and personal cost of diabetes can be overwhelming. Preventing Type 2 diabetes is easy; it just takes commitment and responsibility. Type 2 diabetes is very dangerous though it is also preventable.

Diabetes is accountable for several illnesses. Untreated, this disease can lead to nerve damage, heart disease, and stroke and kidney disease. Eight percent of diabetics will die of a heart attack or stroke. This preventable disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the world. Increasing cases of diabetes is leading to a higher cost for healthcare.

The cost of diabetes requires massive sums of money for treatment. This year it will cost Canadian taxpayers 15.6 billion dollars to treat diabetics and by 2020 it will accumulate to 19.2 billion dollars. An individual may expect to pay anywhere from one thousand to fifteen thousand dollars for medication. Diabetics also suffer from other hardships as well, for example, not having the ability to work consistently and being unable to consume more than forty-five grams of sugar and carbohydrates per meal. As a result, life as a diabetic can be tough.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented if healthy lifestyle choices are made. Exercising for thirty minutes a day and loosing five to seven per-cent of body weight reduces the risk of Type 2 by fifty-eight percent! Eating healthy is a huge factor in minimizing your risk. Having regular blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol tests are essential in preventing this disease. Making a strong commitment is all it takes to prevent Type 2 diabetes once and for all.

The number of diagnoses of diabetes is expected to rise each year by seven million cases to “epidemic” proportions of three hundred eighty million by 2025. All of the affects of Type 2 can be minimized by disciplined treatment, diet and physical activity. Costs for treatment can be lowered by early education, healthier convenience foods and family exercise. Daily physical activity, proper diet and education about diabetes are sufficient to help and prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Without serious, positive changes, look at three friends. Who will it be?

Home Schooling
Taylor Jauernig

Education is a very important part of our society. But what exactly is the best form for our students today?

Home schooling is becoming more popular these days for religious reasons, safety concerns and to meet individual learning styles. Some parents find it easier for their child to be taught at home while others find it inconvenient. Both forms have their merit if both the educator and student are serious about learning.

Religion plays a large role in people’s lives. Some religions do not agree with how children are being taught at regular schools. So, they home school their child and teach them in the manner they prefer. Also a certain religion may require a child to learn certain things that cannot be taught at school, so the parent home schools them to teach them what is needed.

Along with religion, safety is one of the reasons why parents home school their children. Lately there has been much violence going on at the high school level. Shootings, stabbings and group fights occur on more of a regular basis. Parents do not want to have to be worried when they send their kids to school. Also many kids are being exposed to drugs and alcohol at a young age, and parents do not want that influence to be forced upon their children on a day-to-day basis. Parents want their children to go to school to learn, not to be influenced by the people around their school that may fall into the category of troubled youths.

Another reason for home schooling is, some children learn on different levels. A child may be at a sixth grade level in Math, but only a third grade level in English. With home schooling, it allows the child to learn at whatever grade level they need in each subject. In a regular school the teachers teach the curriculum that is required for that grade level. This makes it difficult for the kids with different leaning abilities to learn at the level they need to. Many kids can adapt to that, so if that is the only reason why someone is home schooling their child they should enrol their child in a regular school. This way they will not miss out on all the beneficial things that a regular school has to offer.

Therefore education is an important part in everyone’s lives. It is up to the people to make the choice of what form of education they prefer. Enrolling a child in regular school would be the easier, more common choice. It would help them develop good social skills, learn what is appropriate for each grade level and it will let them have the experience of a graduation and a prom. Even though parents may worry about sending their children off to a public school, they should know though there is a lot of bad, there is still a lot of good.

Luc Robinson

Coffee is one of the world’s most widely consumed beverages. This great tasting drink is extremely addictive. There is some evidence however that it can be healthy for the human body in limited quantities. The drink is consumed world wide, and is very popular. Coffee is a great beverage, but it can be as addictive as cigarettes.

It is clear that humans can become addicted to coffee. Most people drink coffee daily, usually in the morning and thus it becomes a habit. Some humans put heaping teaspoons of sugar in their coffee; sugar is addictive and too much is unhealthy. Another reason why coffee is hard to resist is the caffeine content, caffeine stimulates the body and mind, when people start drinking caffeinated beverages the drinks become hard to resist. It is easy to build up a tolerance toward coffee once humans start but, it can be healthy too.

Coffee has some healthy aspects. It can help the body in many ways. It has been proven that coffee helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes mellitus type two. These are great upsides but it can also increase the risk of reflux acids, which leads to heart burn, indigestion, and acid reflux disease. It might be argued that this great tasting beverage can do more good than bad to the body, but its popularity has more to do with its caffeine.

Coffee is an extremely popular drink. It was discovered in the ninth century, so humans have been drinking it for a very long time (what a surprise). Coffee was used as a medicine for man types of diseases, and sicknesses of the stomach. After the American Revolution coffee was in high demand because the price of tea was very high. More and more people began drinking it. Coffee is produced in dozens of countries and is shipped world wide.

Millions of people drink coffee everyday. The sugars and caffeine are risky but such a good risk is worth it right? Although there are downsides to the drink, it does have a healthy component, and humans have been drinking it for thousands of years. Coffee is a wonderful beverage that tastes good; it can help the body, but must be consumed in moderation.

Benefits of Nuclear Power
Holly Fortman, grade 8

People may not realize it, but nuclear power is a clean, safe and reliable source of energy that provides many benefits to our country and planet. It is a pollution-free way to generate electricity. Nuclear technology helps to save peoples’ lives and it contributes greatly to Canada’s economy. The fact that nuclear energy provides pollution-free electricity is a very important benefit in today’s environment.

Since nuclear energy releases no pollution, it is a “green” source of power. Nuclear power plants do not release poisonous “greenhouse” gases which are the cause of acid rain and contributes to global warming. Air pollution in Canada would have been twice as high over the last thirty years if it was not for Canada’s nuclear reactors. It takes 389,000kg of coal to generate the same amount of power as one percent of a twenty-one kg CANDU fuel bundle. The spent (used) fuel is stored safely and in the future it will be recycled. Japan and France already have recycling programs. Not only does nuclear power help to keep the environment clean but it also contributes greatly to the field of medicine.

With nuclear technology, millions of peoples’ lives are saved. It helps to diagnose and treat people and often prevents surgery. Thirty percent of all disposable medical supplies used worldwide are sterilized using the colbolt-60 produced in Canadian reactors. The colbolt-60 has also been used to treat cancer for more than thirty years. Eighty-five percent of the world’s colbolt-60s are produced in Canada, which also helps our economy.

The Canadian economy profits from Canada’s nuclear industry. It employs about 30, 0000 well-trained people in over 150 companies and organizations. Indirectly, it creates about 70,000 jobs. Canada is also the world’s leading producer of uranium. Canada produces more than thirty percent of the world’s uranium. Also, the industry generates $700 million each year in federal income and sales tax. Canada’s nuclear power program benefits the world in many ways.

Overall, nuclear power is a safe, reliable source of energy that will help to keep our planet clean. It does not release any pollution into the environment which contributes to global warming, acid rain, and smog. Thanks to Canada’s nuclear program, many medical treatments and diagnoses are available. Canada’s nuclear industry contributes significantly to our economy. With the demand for power getting greater every year, nuclear energy must be a part of our energy mix to keep our environment clean.

Why People Pay Attention to the Tabloids
Danielle Heald

Celebrities live the life. They have the best cars, wear the best clothes and own the biggest houses. This could be why people seem to be obsessed with getting the latest dirt on the hottest stars. They pay good money for fresh gossip on people they look up to. Also, people seem to enjoy reading about their idols flaws in these magazines. These explanations could be the reason why people pay such close attention to the tabloids.

The fact that celebrities seem to have everything could be a reason why people are so interested in their lives beyond the camera or microphone. Perhaps, people feel better about themselves when they see or read about others people’s misfortunes. For example, reading about someone famous shaving their head and going crazy would most likely make someone feel better about themselves when they are having a problem whether it is at work, school or just a personal issue. It could also be that people are jealous of the way celebrities live. But maybe, they are really just interested. These could be some of the reasons why individuals become obsessed with discovering the newest gossip regarding a celebrity.

Despite the fact that people are interested in the tabloids, is it really worth paying for dirt on the people they look up to? Some people pay tons of money just for a story they do not even know is true. The headlines that make people so curious and interested that they would be willing to pay any amount of money to get the details. If an average person buys a magazine twice a week at a cost of six dollars per magazine, they would be spending six hundred twenty four dollars a year. So people spend huge amounts of money just to get the latest scoop on popular celebrities. What people do not realize is that it is affecting the people they are reading about.

Everyday, famous people are overcome by the paparazzi snapping photos to get readers what they want. How is it that people want their idols’ pictures taken without their permission knowing that it hurts them? Maybe, it does not have to be true; it just has to sound good. People reading and buying these magazines seem are interested in anything they do even walking their dog, or losing weight or heaven forbid gaining a few pounds. Sadly, many people believe all of the lies the tabloids spread about the celebrities they look up to daily.

The rich and famous people seem to have it all. But tabloids can make people think otherwise. They show with all their flaws and people love that, even if the facts they are reading about are not true or the way journalists got the gossip went way beyond what is right. It is pathetic how people can become so obsessed in finding flaws in others that they would be willing to pay any amount of money just to get the scoop on celebrities.

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