OPINION: Trafficking Right in Our Own Back Yard

NAUGATUCK – The recent kidnapping of more than 200 young women in Nigeria over the past month has captivated the attention of the entire world. Political instability within the country’s government have sparked the radical Islamic group, Boko Haram, which is loosely translated as “Western civilization is forbidden,” to maliciously act out against those with differing views.

On the night of April 14th, approximately 276 Christian schoolgirls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria, were taken at gunpoint while attending their final exams in physics by the militant group. In the weeks prior to the exam, the school had been closed due to security issues, which has sparked controversy with whether the girls should have been at the school on the night of the intrusion. Despite the continuous efforts of trying to find these girls, the rescue has yet to occur after more than a month. Other countries, including the United States, have offered their resources to the Nigerian government – such as the implementation of wireless drones to monitor the country.

Boko Haram has released numerous videos which allegedly depict the girls and the intentions of the group. As reported by CNN, “[t]he appearance of [the girls] ‘unharmed’ makes it look like Boko Haram is doing this for legitimate Islamic purposes to win a prisoner exchange –  as opposed to sex slavery,” which was the initial thought by the public of this attack.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau stated in a public video that the terrorist group will not release the girls “until after you release our brethren.” His comrades are imprisoned within the confines of the Nigerian legal system. Even though it appears as though their intentions are not for sexual reasons, their abduction of the girls and the subsequent loss of their freedom is still considered human trafficking.

According to Love146, an anti-human-trafficking group headquartered in New Haven, about 20.9 million people are enslaved around the world; about 2 million are considered to be in similar circumstances as the 276 girls in Nigeria. When human trafficking becomes a topic of conversation, most think of the sex trade in Africa, Turkey, Thailand or other foreign countries, yet human trafficking is quite prominent in the United States. Love146 reports that the United States in known for trafficking of labor exploitation. Immigrants, typically females, who come to the U.S. will accept jobs at less than minimum wage – or even no pay – in order to meet basic needs. Women also from other countries are sold to johns, or sex traffickers, in the U.S. by their families to earn extra income. Such illegal activities are being stopped daily, yet there are still millions of enslaved people around the world.

Shandra Woworuntu, an activist against human trafficking as well as a former victim, was brought to the U.S. from Indonesia to service men in the underground sex slave industry. In 2001, Shandra arrived here under false pretenses that she was going to be getting a minimum wage job as a waitress. After paying about $3,500, her passport and identification were taken away by the people who brought her over. In an interview with the New Haven Register Woworuntu said, “[t]hey locked me up. I couldn’t open the door. I opened the window to try and jump from the second floor, but it was too high so I wouldn’t escape.”

“There are a lot of things that we don’t know about that happen in the U.S.,” said Senior Sabrina Sharp. “and human trafficking might be one of those things.” The taking of someone else’s liberty seems to anger people, yet when asked, many believe slavery and human trafficking occur in other places. But it doesn’t. It happens here, in the United States, to people looking for better lives. By talking about the injustices, we as a society could help bring about the end to this devastating practice.

Said Senior Tara Mahoney, “More people are affected than we know. It’s worth doing something about.”




Naugy’s View on Donald Sterling – Jake Gingold

By Jake Gingold
NHS Greyhound

Last week, an audiotape of a recorded conversation between Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, surfaced on the Internet.
NHSgreyhoundlogo “I’m not into basketball, but if you’re a man with integrity, why would you put yourself in a situation like that?” said NHS security guard, Cherry Robinson. NHS sophomore Bryan Looby says, “He’s misunderstood. He was talking casually with his girlfriend. He’s still a racist, though.” Junior Lauren Burns says, “I feel like it’s unnecessary for him to think like that.” On the tape, Sterling made extremely racist comments about Stiviano posting photos on Instagram of herself with black people including NBA legend Magic Johnson. He told her to not post pictures of herself with black people and to not bring black people to his games. These comments sparked an outrage by NBA players, coaches, owners and former players.

According to NBA.com, NBA star LeBron James said of the situation, “It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It’s unacceptable…” A few days after the audiotape surfaced, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from anything NBA- related and fined him $2.5 million, the maximum fine for an owner. According to ESPN.com, Silver said, “The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording, and on a second recording from the same conversation — that was released on Sunday — is Mr. Sterling, and that the hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling. The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse multicultural and multiethnic league.” Concerning the banishment of Sterling, NHS junior Emily Bottinick says, “I think it’s rude that people with millions of dollars can say whatever they want. I’m glad that they’re holding him accountable.”
But not everyone agrees with the NBA’s decision. Junior Evan Pelliccia said, “I feel like it was too harsh of a punishment.”

NHS anticipates ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ premier

The film premieres June 6. Photo courtesy of thefaultinourstars.com

The film premieres June 6. Photo courtesy of thefaultinourstars.com

By Norma Fayad

NHS Greyhound


All over Instagram® and Twitter® people have been buzzing about The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. This book-turned-film has even been audaciously called this generation’s Breakfast Club. The movie premieres June 6and many trailers have already been released, with the hashtag #tfios becoming popular on many media sites.

The official trailer has had more than 18 million views on YouTube. The official The Fault In Our Stars movie fansite is advertising “The Night Before The Stars” as a midnight premier on June 5. Ticket holders can get reserved seats through the website for any theaters nearby. The cast of the movie includes Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff and Emily Peachey.

The Fault In Our Stars follows the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager diagnosed with lung cancer who meets the boy of her dreams, Augustus Waters, in a cancer support group. The two fall into a comedic yet romantic love and spend their potentially fleeting time together exploring the larger issues of life.
Many of the faculty and students at Naugatuck High School who have read the novel had very pleasant observations about the book and their expectations about the film.

“I love it! I read it four times when I got it, it made me cry on a train in Europe cause that’s where I was reading it,” said sophomore English teacher Ms. Moutinho. “I’m going to the early screening on Thursday.”

Moutinho wasn’t the only staff member who loved the novel.

“I think it was fabulous, made me cry and laugh at the same time,” said media specialist Mrs. Coretto.

English teacher Mrs. Messenger shared her sentiments.

“I think it’s a beautiful book that offers great insight into teenagers and love,” she said.

Students also seemed to love the novel and its messages about life. “I recommend reading it 6 or 7 or 100 times,” said freshman Lauren Stankiewicz.

But how will this novel translate into a movie?

“I’m nervous but excited,” said junior Sarah Hanks, “because I always get nervous when they make my favorite books into movies!”

Others shared her nervousness.

“It could be really cool unless they change it so much that it doesn’t make sense or that it isn’t the same thing as the book,” said Stankiewicz.

“I think that it would be good but, some movies don’t always come out as good as the books,” said Nicole Boldue, a sophomore.

Coretto agreed. “I would like to see how they portray the author from the book in the novel and not sugarcoat the movie what so ever,” she said.

Messenger felt a film could bring more people to the book.

“I think that as a movie, it might reach more people and they’ll read the book as a result, and that’s always a good thing,” she said.

Not only are people planning to attend, but some are even committed to the midnight showing June 5.

“Yes, I’m going to the midnight premier,” replied Hanks. She plans to see it many times, “until I run out of tears!”

Moutinho and Messenger are still considering whether or not they will go. “I’m really excited, and I hope they do a good job,” said Moutinho.

With the popularity of this novel increasing due to its big screen premiere, would teachers ever consider this novel for their curriculum?

“It must be read by all high school students and all students in general actually,” said Coretto.

Moutinho agreed. “If I could find a sensible way, I would. If it makes sense with what I’m teaching, I’d definitely use it,” she said.