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School Bullying

The new information I have found is Philadelphia is not the only city that having school bullying. There’s a lot of bullying going on all over the country, little states and cities. According to youthviolence.edschool.virginia 402 students from grades 6,7, and 8 in a suburban middle school in central Virginia, Nearly half of all middle school student report being bullied every month and 15% of those students reported being bullied once a week. 
The information I found by doing more research on bullying is a 13-year-old boy name “Nadin Khoury” got attacked in Upper Darby by six high school kids. After 30 minutes of physical abuse in public, a woman jumped out of her car and saved Nadin Khoury and it happened in January 11, 2012. In fox29 interview Nadin said his family got tarred to leave the school and the country from those same high school students.

My personal opinion after doing research on bullying is that bullying is not the great thing to do. Bullying can cause kids take their life and a lot of kids have tried to take their life because they was being bullied in school and outside the school. So please stop this bullying; nobody is going to get anything out of it. Feedback for the people who want to stop the bullying: If you see anyone getting bullied please try to stop it or immediately call the police.

For my blog post #3; I am going to bring in a lot more Bullying issues and make a poster and talk about what we should do to stop bullying.
Bibliography
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¿Que hacen los jovenes en tu pais?

Por ejemplo: En los Estados Unidos los jovenes jugan fútbol Americano.

My final conversation was about the daily routine of the young people in native spanish regions. Surprisingly the people of the native countries share nearly the same interests as those in the US. In Hispanic regions the young children like to hang out with friends, go to the movie, go to school, go shopping, play soccer/tennis/gym, and go to parties/gatherings. This is nearly exactly the same. The only thing different is the popularity of sports. Baseball, Basketball and football are very popular sports in the US. Soccer is the most popular sport in just about every other region other than the US. 
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¿Que es las marcas de moda en tu pais?

Por ejemplo: En los Estados Unidos la gente llevan Armani Exchange y Nike.

My 4th Blog post revolved around the types of clothing is popular in native spanish regions. I posted the question "que es las marcas de moda en tu pais", and got a few valuable responses. The majority revolved around the main brands worn in the region. The types of clothing is very similar to those worn in the United States. They wear many sporty clothing such as Nike, Adidas and other athletic clothing apartments. This seams similar for the majority of clothing brands bought in the US are those of the athletic department. 
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Ybrownlee Blog post 1

 The previous blog post that i had up was deleted as well as the audio that was able to record. So the one for this first week was they way the sports are spoken about in espanol. Being formal or even informal, also some key words used to explain it.
(The screenshots will be uploaded as soon as i get them)
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Media's Idea of 'Perfect' 2

You’ve might have seen my ‘Media’s Idea of ‘Perfect’’ blog post I did a week ago. Since then, I haven’t conducted more research. This is because most of the sources say the same things as others. Basically, everything is just repeated in different words. So currently, I’m quite comfortable with the amount of research I’ve done.

But I have taken a look at some websites I frequent, mainly Tumblr. Tumblr is a blogging website, where one can make his or her own blog. It can range from a blog centered on an item or a band to a random blog, in which you can post whatever you want. A good handful of blogs are personal to the owner, in which they share their struggles with daily life. While browsing some of these blogs, I’ve found what are called ‘Ana’ and ‘Mia’ blogs, referring to Anorexia and Bulimia respectively. These blogs contain emancipated images of girls in fashion shows or even some airbrushes females on magazine covers. The people running the blogs are usually referring to these images as ‘thinspiration or ‘thinspo’.

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These girls think that this body is beautiful and attractive.

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'Thinspo'

Common Thinspiration are models in the media and girls from magazine covers and celebrities, who are also under this influence. Even the Internet is becoming a dangerous place for being comfortable with what you look like and who you are. Many celebrities have posed for magazines and complained about the editing they do to their bodies.

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I personally think that this is all ridiculous.

What is so wrong with seeing a person with flaws? Does the media know their impact on young girls’ lives?  


Sources

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Spanish Blog

For this blog post I talked to Estafan again.  Me and him talked about food this time.  I found out that me and him have a lot in common.  We talked about his favorite foods and then I found out that he loves Sushi just like me.  He asked me what kind.  We both like Cali Rolls as well as Seaweed.

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Is Obesity linked to Prices?

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            Attention all viewers! Recent studies have shown that the foods that we love the most, are killing us slowly. According to Top 10 Junk Foods, common foods that teenagers can easily find are French fries, a can of soda or chips. This junk food is found at an affordable price. Therefore everyone will buy them because they find them delicious and might even think they are nutritious. If our country increased the junk food prices and lowered the fruits and 100 percent fruit juice was at a cheaper price then our country wouldn’t be in an Obesity crisis.

            When we get hungry, we want something to eat fast and hot. That’s where the idea fast food restaurants came from. Before, the U.S did not have such a system of fast food because they knew that if the food were out for too long, it would begin to spoil. Then, they made up a system in which the food was going to be ready. This process is horrible because its fried fat, and/or through the microwave. This may sound disgusting but it’s the truth. Millions of Americans love fast food restaurant. That’s where obesity comes in. You see, when you are cooking greasy fat then you are serving poison to the community. You’re killing our country for a dollar a burger. If someone was hungry and it was between the food that is home or a fast food restaurant, 2 out of 3 people chose fast food because they don’t want the wait. This food is horrible for the body but like it tastes good, the community doesn’t mind.

            Obesity rates have also gone up in the United States because we are currently in a recession. Unemployment rates are going up because there is not enough money and not enough money means not enough food. Unless, you buy the unhealthy food that can potentially kill you. We need change and we need it now. The prices in our country have to change. What’s bad for us is extremely affordable but what’s good for us is horrible. How can this society not be as mindful with the new generation and putting them at risk of so many illnesses?

            There needs to be change now. In our country the obesity rates for a male is about 31 percent. This needs to stop now. There is no reason why we can’t eat what we want without having to pay a lot of money. All of this fast food is causing cancer to our citizens because the fries from fast food restaurants contain a chemical that causes cancer. The community does not know this because we are not aware. We buy but do not know what we are buying! This has to stop.

There are many ways that the new generation can eat these foods while leaving original flavors and no artificial flavors. If our government makes a change in our food change we can be able to lower the rates of obesity. For example, if they say that a bag of chips, costs two dollars and a bunch of bananas is 35 cents per pound then the country will want to eat the banana. The country goes for the cheapest item. IF the healthier things aren’t as expensive than I can guarantee that we would have a healthier child rate.

We can change this now. Change is something that we all need and especially this country. We need healthier foods for lunch, and more affordable prices for the foods we need to eat. We had so many farmers and now we have none. Like unemployment is so high and farmer rates are so low, then why don’t we hire farmers? If we hire these farmers, then our fruits will be more affordable and our country will be at a healthier state.

            

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Food Problems blog 2

Well here it is, blog post 2 of the food problems in America. If you missed the first post the link is here.
I have found out new information that is both good and bad, for cliche's sake lets start with the bad news first. The bad news was with the study that I did on high fructose corn syrup. over the weekend I went to my local ACME, this ACME is in a good neighborhood, it has fresh fruits and vegetables and a wide variety of foods to choose from, it is a good supermarket. I checked out the aisle that has the sodas, and I noticed that every single kind of soda (except for the diet sodas) had high fructose corn syrup in it.
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If you remember from the last blog post I found a study going on at Princeton University that showed that high fructose corn syrup is extremely fattening, and that material is in virtually every soda at the ACME? That cannot be a good thing at all.

However the good news would be in the meat packing industry. I found a website here that talks about animals and about what people are doing to better the welfare of animals being raised for food. The web post talks about a practice called "animal husbandry" or animal science which is basically the practice of making sure that animals that are being raised for food are not abused.
However ironic this practice in law may seem to be (being nice to animals that you are eventually going to slaughter) it is still one step in the right direction.However there are other things to eat than meat.
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Seriously though, there are other things to eat than this pig and the pigs mother and father.

The bibliography can be found here.
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Conversation 5

First Week:

Partners Name:

City y Country:

 

Who you spoke with and why you chose that partner. What did you learn about them? What did you learn from them?



I spoke too two different guys they both messaged me. I learned more about music, I had really wanted to learn more about the music of different cultures and I was finally able to learn this from Nicholas who told me about Folk Music in Argentina. I also talked to Sonador and he was telling me about what he was doing, cooking, and we ended up talking about food and what our favorite food was and such which was cool and chill. I learned from him how to say pasta in spanish which is my favorite food and I never knew how to say it. 

How did this interaction help you move towards achieving your personal goals?


These conversations helped me in two different ways, the first was my general goal of speaking just in a normal confortable conversation. This was accomplished in the conversation about food, I was not nervous or thinking to much about what to say I just had to look up words of certain food in spanish, but other then that it was a good conversation. My goal for the conversations over all was about music. I wanted to know what type of music people listened too but also the cultural music from their country. Nicholas talked about folk music in Argentina which I had never heard about before, so I got both of my goals done in these conversations.

What specifically did you do well according to your goals/expectations? What specifically to you need to improve on? 

I think I was talking more and talking about myself, which I had discovered I needed to do, more then just asking questions to move the conversation along. I think these were my best conversations I was more comfortable talking to them in spanish. 

 

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Internet Piracy and Morality

    Internet Piracy is still a large issue in the world, and it is ever growing. As more and more laws are being considered to ban this crime, pirates are banning together to save their craft. Since my last blog post I have conducted my own research on internet piracy, as well as ask the opinions of my peers and colleagues. The results were interesting, and posed many questions for the future.
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Out of 28 people interviewed, only half knew what internet piracy is. The other fifty percent consisted of people that either had no idea what this was or had just heard it mentioned before. What does this mean? This means that people are misinformed. The government, while right in its deliberations and conscience, has a knack for not telling both sides of the story. They fail to inform the public and to ask questions vital to the system. More than half of these people also said that piracy was wrong. If this is true, then why is so much media pirated every day?
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Out of these people interviewed, well over half said that they or someone they knew had or still is committing internet piracy. This raises the question of morality. Why do we think piracy is wrong? Piracy takes profit away from the person or group of people that create the media we use. If you are not paying for the media you use, you can be sure that the company who produced it is. This is why people feel bad about breaking infringement laws. This is also why pirates disagree with SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA. These laws would allow for the entertainment industry to hunt down and prosecute them. If this happened, we can be sure that they would be more swift and brutal with their rulings than the government ever was. This is because internet pirates are stealing from the companies, not the government.
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In my opinion, copyright infringement is wrong. I do not think that it is prosecutable. Kids are not sued when they shoplift from their local Walmart. The same goes for the internet. Now that U.S. laws are starting to catch up to current crimes and events, the government is getting more of a hold in the online world. I personally have pirated on several occasions, but so has most everyone in the U.S. Every time you get that new song you love from your friend, or that old album you lost a while ago from your cousin, companies and coallitions such as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) consider you a criminal! I do not think this is right, but it is up to you  to decide.
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http://gizmodo.com/5877000/what-is-sopa

http://www.samizdat.li/2009/09/morality-of-internet-piracy.html

http://bigthink.com/ideas/42029

http://www.go-gulf.com/blog/online-piracy​
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Blog#2 Legalization of Marijuana

For the past week I have proceeded in researching more on my topic about the legalization of marijuana. New information I have found include current event articles as well as some done in the previous years.

To add onto my research I've been doing some searching for contacts of authors from opinionated articles that include a quote from president Richard Nixon. "Neither the marihuana (sic) user not the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety." In this President Nixon states his opinion on the drug problem of 1972. Also I have found that there was in fact another actual study by UCLA's Dr. Donald.

When constructing my own research I've found that age can account for the type of results I've received. It seems as though the older age group negate the possibility of legalization while the young adults and teens seem to think there wise. Although my research hasn't been through survey but many personal relations I feel as though the answer you'd get is dependent on the age of the questioned.

For further research in my topic I would maybe like to get more opinions from that of a person in the government that might be in a position of economic and law field. But in my opinion I feel as though this topic has much relevance to myself. In low class neighborhoods dealing with drugs is a major trend. Marijuana being one of the top sellers dealers sell today because of the income it brings. Both young and old deal with the drug the younger citizens seem to face hard penalties, turning that one time convict into a harden criminal because of the harsh treatments in jail. Here is my bibliography.


Blog 1.




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Teen Pregnancy Part 2

In my research, I found some new interesting statistics. They were about race, age, STIs and other various things relating to teen pregnancy. Some of the statistics were very shocking to me. I will share the most shocking in this blog post.
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I originally was only looking for statistics on pregnancy, but this relates to it and I found this shocking. Almost half of the new cases of STIs are from 15-24 year olds. This lets me know that even if a teen does decide to have sex, they are risking pregnancy but more predominantly, infection.
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I found the last statistic very frightening. This means that almost no one who has a child as a teen will receive a college degree. Anyone who becomes pregnant will most likely not have a career, but just a job to support their child. I imagine that is an unfulfilled life to have.

 

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One aspect I did find encouraging is that compared to previous decades, most statistics with teen pregnancy have improved. 
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Even though this is true, it doesn't mean that teens are at any less of a risk experiencing pregnancy. It is just that the prevention methods are more public and easy to obtain than back then. So teenagers should use the resources to their advantage and prevent teenage pregnancy.

Also, in this link, it shows that teenagers with lower incomes are the direct source of children being disadvantaged in their life. According to this research, income has an impact on whether a teenage pregnancy is a drastic curse or a manageable mistake. Basically, it's saying that not all cases of teenage pregnancy end in a dreadful nightmare. If you have the income to support the child, it will not be as difficult as if you do not. But research is still new, and can not definitely say this is 100% accurate.
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Trayvon Martin Case

In the Trayvon Martin case, there have only been a few outbreaks.

According to Florida’s special prosecutor Angela Corey at a news conference has charged George Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder. He is being held with no bond. If George Zimmerman is convicted, he could face life in prison.

 http://abcnews.go.com/US/george-zimmerman-charged-murder-trayvon-martin-killing/story?id=16115469#.T7Qum59YtO6 (The link to Angela Corey announcing to the press that Zimmerman was being charged) 

 

 Also, they have uncovered the weapons in the killing and the photo of the exact spot he was killed at. News reports say Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system before he was killed.

 

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                                   9 mm handgun used by Zimmerman

 

 

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                George Zimmerman being taken into custody in the far

                                         left of the photo.

               

 

To add to my research, I have looked up more information and looked up various videos and news reports on this case. I’ve also read many news articles about this case. My findings were helpful and gave me more insight on my issue. Finding out more about the case then I already knew made me realize there is a lot more than it seems to this cause. It’s more than just an African American teenager being killed by someone of a different race.

 

In my opinion, I think that Zimmerman has a bad judgment of people that were a different skin color than him, so that really gave him a reason to physically fight, then kill Trayvon. I also think that Zimmerman had no reason to shoot. Trayvon was unarmed. To me that wasn’t necessary. Even though Trayvon was taller and more fit then him, he still shouldn’t have shot him just because he got over powered. Other things could have been put in place then to kill an unarmed teenager. Like calling the police, or filling a report on Troyon, not leaving him dead and his family left to morn over his death.

 

I’m left wondering if this was really an act of racism and why did it take 44 days for Zimmerman to finally be arrested. I wonder would the situation had been different of Trayvon wasn’t an African American teenager. Maybe the outcome would have been different if Trayvon was white or of a difference race that wasn’t African American. But Zimmerman is the only person that was there at the shooting. He may tell his side of the story, but Trayvon Martin couldn’t live to tell his side. I think no one really knows what actually happened. Everyone has his or her own opinion on this. This is just what I think.

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                            Zimmerman’s head after the shooting

But an unarmed teenager is left dead while he survives with a few cuts and bruises. 

Click here for my Bibliography.

 

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English 9, You and the World

            As an American growing up we are always told the amount of freedoms that we have and how amazing it is to live in our country. In only the past centuries African Americans and women have gained their rights. Now my rights as a woman are going to be taken away from me. For women a major step since gaining our rights is the Violence Against Women Act. This is what a women needs to stay protected and be given her rights as a United States Citizen. What is also apart of this act is Roe V. Wade, which legalizes early term abortions. Since this was added there has been a lot of backlash mostly from the Republican Party. This time they might get their way.

            Over the past few months Republicans have made a bill changing the rights of women. While reading the next part of this blog post imagine yourself as a woman having to live through these types of regulations. In one point the bill that is trying to be passed states that if a woman is on her death bed and it is between her and the child’s life no matter how far along in the pregnancy the child will always saved and the mother WILL DIE. In another point in the bill it says that in order for a woman to have an abortion first a rod must be stuck up her vagina and she must watch the fetus before she has an abortion. In one article I read  it discusses how Senator Farnese says that is this law is passed then men who need Viagra should need postate exams. Sarcastically describing how ridiculous this law is. There has been no proven medical reason that this needs to happen; the only thing it is helping is to scare women from doing what is best for them, ABORTION. During another point in the bill that the republicans are trying to pass it says that there will no longer be funding for hospitals for emergency abortions when the woman’s life is in danger.

            Many republicans before have tried to shut down family facilities like Planned Parenthood when in fact only 3% of their services consist of abortions. It went so far that many clinics were sued in Texas in 2011. In Arizona they banned funding leaving many woman without access to abortions putting their children in worse situations. If they can’t even pay for an abortion how are they going to take care of a child for 18 years?

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            While attending a breast cancer walk with my mother and family on May 8th we witnessed people walking around with signs with pictures of open breast asking if they would do that to their own children. Basically saying destroying their bodies. To many people who that day had such importance to it ruined it. As a women in the United States of America IT IS MY RIGHT TO DO WHAT I WANT WITH MY OWN BODY. Most of the information and pictures that they had were wrong. Most women have abortions in there first trimester when it is only a fetus in their stomach. They showed pictures of full grown babies. Every year 1.37 million women in America have abortions. This is a large number and without clinics to have abortions or anywhere else that provides them most children will be brought into awful situations.



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I do understand that sometimes people do not believe in abortions morally, religiously, and for other reasons. But no one is asking them to get one the only thing that we are asking is for women to get the rights to their bodies. When my mom was younger she worked in a women’s health center and has told me many stories about the awful things that she has experienced because of it. It becomes bigger than just us but at what point can I chose what I do for myself.  The article I read talks about how far people will truly go to stop women from many rights. What can we do to make a change?



Here is a link to the video of my mom(Alison Sprague) and I, discussing what it meant for her to be a social worker at Elizabeth Blackwell. 

​Here is a link to my first blog.
Here is a link to my bibliography.
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Illiteracy in American Post 2

    I have found that illiteracy has a lot to do with poverty. In 1st grade many of the students who come from a lower income family have far smaller vocabularies then those who come from higher class families.
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This is often because illiterate adults do spend the time or energy checking their child's homework of grades. Not only don't they but if they tried many of them couldn't. This sets a bad example for the child as they don't see anything else. They often don't see a reason to go to school and do well. If their parents can't read, why should they be able to?

    Being able to read will allow these people to help their community in large and small ways. They will be able to do things as small as reading a lost dog poster,
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or things as big as being informed in current events. People will be able to understand what is going on in their community, in their state, in their country. They will be able to form their own educated opinions without hearing already opinionated information from their friend down the street.

    I have always had such a deep connection with reading that the fact that there are so many people who can't leaves me baffled. At first I just don't understand. How could that happen? How did you not learn to read when you were little. It's amazing how much I pride myself on my ability to read. Even when I thought it was common, I liked it about myself. I guess I liked more how much I read.

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    Although there are many programs that help both adults and children learn to read many adults are too embarrassed to admit that they need help. They don't want other people to know so they have a designated person to help them. A friend or relative will write or read things for them. The thing that I find most upsetting about this is that the friend or relative often doesn't try to help them learn, they just mindlessly do things for them. It's like the proverb, "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime." That directly describes this illiteracy problem. These relatives are "giving them a fish," doing them a favor. They will be helped for today but when tomorrow comes and a new letter or bill comes in the mail, they are still incapable. If these friends were to sit down and say, "I'm teaching you to read," it may be hard in the beginning but in a lifetime it would be less time then reading everything they need for them.

    Some of the programs that help kids and adults learn to read are the MCOL (Mayor's Commission on Literacy and Books Aloud. MCOL is an organization that helps to ensure that adults are getting a good enough education
To view my sources click here
To view my previous blog post click here
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You and The World: Cyberbullying


In some cases, cyberbullying incidents have resulted in death. Suicide, as well as homicide. That, to me, is one of the worst parts about any type of bullying. The fact that it can turn an innocent, friendly child into a murdering monster. It can also send them into a depression so deep that they kill themselves. Either of those results is absolutely horrible, and they could be so easily avoided, if people would just be more kind.

An example of a cyberbullying incident gone too far is the story of Megan Meier. Megan was 13 years old when the incident took place, and the consequences were fatal. Click Megan, to read the entire story, and see just how far cyberbullying can take a victim. In cases like this, the incident doesn’t just hurt the victim; it could also affect the family in a very bad way. Their emotions could range from blaming themselves, to hating the offender, to blaming everyone. It could tear a family apart.  

For a bar graph of cyber bullying rates and data, click here. You could be an advocate to stop cyberbullying, but before you try to do anything, make sure you’re not doing any cyberbullying yourself. It is easy to slip into that hole without actually realizing it. Something you find funny, or that you and your friends take as a joke, could be seriously hurting the person on the other end. You just have to be careful about what you’re putting out there.

Another way you could help victims of cyberbullying is telling an adult. It’s just as if you were in school and someone were bullying you or someone else that you could see. Tell an adult you trust, someone that you know will do something to help. You could also try your parents, if a teacher doesn’t help. Although you may feel bad about telling on someone, but you could possibly be saving a life. Always speak up before it’s too late.


See my bibliography here.


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The Killer "Cancer" Part 2

In my pervious blog I talked about what cancer is and how it forms. I also talked about how the environment is affecting our bodies in appalling ways. Finally I talk about some statics of cancer in America. In this blog I am going to talk about people’s social class and how that affects cancer. I will also be talking about how people with cancer sometimes don’t get the right treatment because of the health system in America.



15.1% of people in America live in poverty. This means that most of these people don’t have any health coverage this also means if they get sick they will not be able receive a good doctor.  Health Coverage should be equal for all people no matter how much money that they make. These people that are living at the poverty level may be forming cancer and not even know it because they don’t have the right doctors. America is controlled by how much money you have. Treatments for cancer are expensive and most people are not able to pay for it. Not only does their family suffer but they also suffer. When you have money you are more able to pay for the treatments that you need.

 

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It’s not just people without health coverage it is also people with health coverage. A large number of people when they find out that they have a cancer their employer misplace their sponsored coverage, because they don’t want to pay for the high bills. But that is not fair your health coverage is supposed to cover you in the time of need and they are not doing that in some cases. Not having the correct health coverage can disable someone from getting preventative cancer screenings. 24% of people aged 40 and above are not able to get correct cancer screenings because of their health coverage’s. In American we spent $895 billion, on cancer treatment, this number is growing fast because of the aging population.

Support Health Care 

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Childhood cancer is the leading cause to childhood deaths in America. In developed countries such as America many children that have cancer and are never able to be diagnosed, or are diagnosed to late. The UICC (The international Union Against Cancer) wants to help make sure all children are diagnosed. Children are covered for health insurance only if their parents are. Even then some health companies bail out when a parent needs help for a child who has cancer. The American Cancer society wants to make sure every person is covered if they are ever in need.

 

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How can I start getting involved to help make sure everyone is able correct for health coverage? Well you can always volunteer with the American Cancer society. They are open to any ages; they just want to end the miss-treatment of health coverage. 


My last Blog.

Sources
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International Domestic Animal Abuse - #2

If you missed out on my last blog entry, I have been looking into the subject of domestic animal abuse within the world, and what I could do in order to help stop what is happening. Before, I packed in a lot of information about serious abusive situations and why I wanted to be a part of this kind of change. With this next entry, you'll find some more information, but more importantly, what I think of my topic at this point in my research.

I still have been keeping tolls on what has been going on with the health of domestic animals. While looking for some news to talk about, I found this article on the relations between domestic violence and animal cruelty from the ASPCA website. In that article is a list of stats comparing different concepts that have to do with domestic abuse and animal abuse happening under the same roof. For example, according to the article, studies have shown that those who abuse their pets do so in order to show control over the household and to intimidate the victims of domestic violence. The ASPCA has been finding ways to respond to those situations and help out as much as possible.

This is a venn diagram showing the relationships between different forms of domestic abuse, including animal abuse. Child maltreatment is also in the equation because in domestic abuse, there is neglect towards mostly children, women, and animals.; source

​To add on to all of this, I have started to look into why animal abusers do what they do, to attempt to answer my questions from my first post. Some of the answers to that question came up on the article I just read and mentioned above. However, the questions like "What types of abuse happens in labs instead of homes?" and "How can people prevent abuse besides donating?" I have yet to tackle. I'll definitely have that by next week's post. On a different note, finding local people to talk openly about the subject has not been easy. Most people in abusive situations, even if it is "only" pets, do not just come clean to strangers. I can understand that logic, for if I were in the situation there would be no way I share my personal life on the spot, either.

Going throughout this whole research project, I developed an even stronger opinion on animal abuse than I had before. For example, when I say "Animal abuse is wrong," I can back it up with more ways as to why it's wrong and examples of situations involving animal cruelty. Right now, I still want to find more reasons as to why pet owners find reasons to abuse their animals. Was it the way they were raised? Did their parents do the same thing? Is there a connection to emotional problems somewhere in there? Also, I am dying to know about what happens to animals used for testing in labs. More information is to come very soon! Thanks for reading!

The before & after of a dog that has been saved from animal cruelty. This is the goal of many animal care organizations–to have pets be cared for and healthy after their previous life of neglect.; source


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Immigrant Rights Part 2: Fuerza

For those who have not yet seen my frist blog, you can find it here
   One in eight students in Philly have been raised with English being their second language. Services for these children are being decreased because of budget cuts. This is affecting many families in the city, both legal and illegal. The budget cuts are just one of the many barriers for immigrants in Philadelphia. In Pennsylvania new laws were introduced including the SB9, HB 439, and the E-Verify Bills. These bills will affect many families of the state. They will deny protection to workers, lead people into poverty, and leave many businesses to close down.

            I have already begun to start my project for change, which is to educate myself and to bring awareness to my topic. Last Wednesday, May 16, I joined a group called Fuerza. This group is part of a larger organization called Juntos, which is a community of Latino immigrants in Philadelphia who strive to earn human rights in the fields of labor, education, and immigration. The group I joined consists of several other teenagers who have come to educate themselves about the topic of immigration rights and fight for their rights.

            I first heard of Fuerza through my cousin who was in the group. I asked her about the group and I made a decision to go to the weekly meetings. At the meeting we had a speaker from CNS (Campaign for Nonviolent Schools). We talked about the decrease in the amount of counselors in high schools and the budget cuts and how it affect the community of immigrants. Another thing we discussed was the high drop out rates among Latinos.        

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This chart shows the percentage of graduating students based on race and gender. Source here
One thing that we do in Fuerza is we go out into the world to help fight for immigrant rights. Last May 7th the group went, along with hundreds of many other people from the state of Pennsylvania, to Harrisburg, to help state representatives make their decision in saying “no” to the proposed anti-immigration laws for Pennsylvania. We wanted to prevent the state from following the path of Arizona and it’s SB1070 bill, which led to its loss of $140 million dollars. The protest was featured in the program “Bandera” on the Telemundo Philadelphia channel. In the report the director of Juntos, Erika Almirón, was asked about the motive behind the manifestation. She said “ Today, Juntos decided to come to Harrisburg and we stayed all day, since the morning talking with legislators”. I was also able to ask Selena Zacateclo (an attendee of the protest and new friend) what had happened. Selena responded, “Well it was really powerful. We demanded our rights, spoke out and fought for what we wanted...We asked them [the legislators] not to pass the anti-immigration laws because we don’t want to be separated from our families, that we found the laws unjust and they were basically against human rights.”
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The protest at the state's capital. More than 500 people attended in order to speak against the anti-immigration laws. A slideshow may be found here 
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Erika Alimrón, the director of Juntos, speaks out against the anti-immigration laws.
            Hearing about the things Fuerza did and will continue to do has sparked up my interest in the organization. We will continue to fight against the anti-immigration laws until they are completely gone from the list of proposed laws. For this reason I am sharing a legal petition against these laws. Only we can help the legislators and representatives decide on which side they are on. This leaves me wondering how much time do we have left before the decision is needed and will our representatives make the right choice?


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Privatizing Public Schools, Part 2

Since my last post, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my topic (for those who have missed it, I am blogging about the privatization of public schools, you can find my previous post here). I have been researching and gathering more and more information. Along the way, I have also been gathering more and more anger. How can we expect corporations who are out to make money to keep the interest of the students in mind? How can we expect them to keep the parents or teachers interests in mind? 
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Protesting the privatization of public schools in Philadelphia. Some signs are sporting the slogan "I don't have a price tag. "Picture can be found here.

To quote New York Senator Bill Perkins “Charter schools came on board with the promise that they could do better for less… No sooner than they became they started advocating for more money…they began advocating to be a part of those public schools, to take over those public schools. So it’s a switcheroo kind of a thing. They came in with one expectation, and now they’re in the public schools creating all kinds of chaos. And the Mayor is closing down schools, with the plan of putting in these charter schools. And I think it’s outrageous that they’re getting paid so much.” 

Private corporations who are only looking to make money are running our schools. Does anyone else find anything wrong with this statement?

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Protester holds sign sporting the slogan "Don't privatize, our schools are not for sale."  at demonstration. Pricture can be found here.
Who’s to blame for this mess? 

The School Reform Commission has proposed a plan that will close 64 neighborhood schools in the next 5 years. The SRC also wants 40% of all Philadelphia students to be attending a private school in the next 5 years.

Which company the schools actually go to is still undecided. Some ideas that are floating around include having “Achievement Networks” and decisions about schools would be made within each. These decisions would be about curricula, discipline, staffing, supplies, etc. As retired teacher, education activist, and writer said Lisa Haver said in a Daily News article “District officials have admitted that this new system would do nothing to lessen the deficit…. A bidding process would determine who controls each network. Anyone may be chosen: former district personnel, charter school operators, corporations, or politicians including State Rep. Dwight Evans, who last year bullied one charter school behind closed doors in order to override the choice of parents at Martin Luther King High School. How have we arrived at a point where the public school system can be auctioned off to the lowest bidder?”

I am strongly against the privatization of public schools. After doing even further research, I learned that when a school becomes privatized, they no longer have to be transparent to the taxpayers who support it. They don’t have to release the salaries of the CEO’s or staff, do not have release whether or not they have the required level of certified teachers, and do not have to say whether or not those teachers are even teaching the subject they are certified in.

In some ways, I wish I could talk to the SRC. I would have plenty questions for them. How am I supposed to learn geometry from a certified gym teacher?  How am I supposed to become a member of by global community, and an active, contributing citizen if my government doesn’t value my education? How can I trust the SRC to be a powerful advocate for my education if, as Lisa Haver said, “its policies can be dictated by billionaires with deep pockets and rigid contracts”? 

Hearing these things sparks something inside of me. It's a hard feeling to describe when you pledge allegiance to the flag every morning to have the SRC/American government send the message that they don't value your education.


Well, government, if you don’t care about my education, how can I believe that you care about me?





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