All Things Being Equal?

Last month, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson spoke to the United Nations in New York City promoting the campaign “HeForShe.” The ongoing campaign is one that is working to get men involved in the feminism movement and the fight for gender equality.

But what does NHS believe about equality?IMG_0080

“I believe that the only thing that separates men from women is a women’s ability to become pregnant,” English teacher John Carino said, adding that he considers himself a feminist. “Women are sometimes put in a place of submission. I try to help young ladies who have been harassed.”

NHS Athletic Director Thomas Pompei also considers himself to be a feminist. In Emma Watson’s speech, she describes how women are often paid less than men, even if they perform a job identical to their male co-workers. “I believe that women should most definitely receive equal pay,” said Pompei.The athletic director pointed out that some women who also serve as an athletic director may receive less pay, not because of their gender but merely based on the teacher’s contract and salary structure, such as in towns like Wolcott or Watertown.

Principal Janice Saam said, “I don’t think gender, race or religion should impact equality. As long as you’re qualified for the job, you should be paid accordingly.” Saam also stated how even though she considers herself to be a feminist (especially after Emma Watson’s re-definition of the word) she hasn’t really received the chance to necessarily “promote” it, however, she said, “Every opportunity that I have to correct someone’s perception that might be faulty, I will do so.”

Students also had plenty to say about feminism. Junior Amanda Valentin considers herself to be a feminist. “If men get involved, it would make feminism stronger. Not just women can fight for equality,” she said.

Junior Brianna Durante doesn’t see any difference between the genders. “I believe that women have just as many rights as men and can do anything men can do,” she said.

“I believe in equal rights,” said Senior Smay Joseph. “What’s the difference between men and women?”

Naugy Volleyball Falls To RHAM In Second Round

After defeating Guilford 3-1 in the first round of the Class L tournament, the Naugatuck girls volleyball team lost to undefeated RHAM High School 3-0 (12-25, 9-25, 20-25) last Thursday in Hebron.

While Naugy was unable to win a game against last year’s state champion, who will likely take the trophy again this year, Coach Kevin Wesche was very pleased with his young team’s performance throughout the game.

“I think we did very well considering what we were up against,” Wesche said.  Our girls showed a lot of class, a lot of grit, a lot of fight.  We made them burn two timeouts in the last game, which they are not accustomed to.  We ended up losing that game but we still gave them a good run for their money.”

A good run for their money, indeed, and that is what the Greyhounds have done all year long.  After a tough first loss of the season to Woodland, who is in the state semifinals, Naugy went on a five-game winning streak, including a win against Torrington, which co-captain Erika Andreoli says was the biggest win of the year for them.

“It was a big win especially because they beat us three times last year,” said Andreoli, a key server for Naugy in her past two seasons.

Wesche, after finishing last year as one of the premier teams in the NVL, saw his team, again, towards the top of the league, and was not surprised by his team’s success this season despite their inexperience at the Varsity level.

“I think they matured and developed throughout the season,” said Wesche, whose Greyhounds finished the regular season with yet another winning record of 14-6 and received the 15 seed out of 27 in the Class L tournament.  “We had a very inexperienced front row back in August but they became very experienced by the time the season finished up thanks to our senior leadership.”

That senior leadership is headed by Naugy’s three captains, Kara Klimaszewski, Lauren Burns, and Erika Andreoli.  Andreoli says that her co-captains and herself were responsible for keeping their team together throughout the season, through the highs and lows.

“We all had different personalities but the same role,” stated Andreoli.  “There were some points in the season when there was some tension because we were facing a hard opponent, so we called team meetings to talk things over.  We tried to keep the team up and together because in volleyball, that is very important.”

Also, Klimaszewski occasionally came in on Wesche’s front line to provide her leadership to a young group, which included Nicole Healy, Olivia Rotatori, and Alexa Blazas, while Teree Perkins and Ally Mezzo would also rotate in.  Burns was quite astounded by this young front line and says that they all stepped up this year because they did their job.
“They really stepped up for our offense,” said Burns.  “They hit, blocked, and were able to serve for us.”

Every one of these girls will be returning to Wesche’s squad next season, and that makes the coach very optimistic, despite the losses of the 2015 graduates.

“I think they will come back strong next year,” Wesche said.  “We will have strong and experienced front line.  That came with the leadership and example from the seniors that we had this year.”




NHS doesn’t tolerate intolerance

The news is filled with judgments – sports teams, fashion, celebrity expectations. But is this judgment always called for?

Three recent news stories have brought this judgment into question, one of which is Wal-Mart’s plus size Halloween wear category being labeled as  as “fat girl costumes.” They have publicly apologized  on Twitter.

Mrs.Nunes, a guidance counselor at  Naugatuck High School, said, “People should be more concerned about themselves and their values.” Mrs.Nunes tries to help students realize that they are worthwhile, valuable members of society. She believes that Wal-Mart’s “error” was very “unprofessional.”

In another story, a man at a Dallas airport was attacked for wearing a pink shirt. The attacker assumed the color of the shirt meant he was gay, and the verbal argument between the two turned physical. Bystanders helped remove the attacker, who was soon taken away by police.

Veronica Archeki, a Naugatuck student, said, “It’s disgusting how people associate colors with gender; guys tend to be more limited.” Art teacher Dr.Steve Kobylenski agrees, saying that “pink is a man’s color.”

When asked for the reason for his attack, the man replied, “Because this is America, that’s why. The same reason you get to live, to breathe, to walk black,” according to The Daily Mail online.

In “7 Things I Can Do That My Black Son Can’t,” written by Calvin Hennick, a white father expresses concern about his black son’s privileges, For instance, he can “lose my temper in traffic” and “loiter in wealthy neighborhoods,” while such actions could put his son in harm’s way.

Dr.Kobylenski expressed hope that this wouldn’t be the case. As far as equality in his classroom, he tries to treat everyone fairly no matter what race, size, or sexuality. “I think the media perpetuates stereotypes,” Kobylenski noted.

How strong is security at NHS?

Reaction at Naugatuck High School to the Seattle school shooting last month was strong. “Of course it’s upsetting; there seems to be no value for human life,” commented Elaine Mulhall, a math teacher at the school.


New scanners will require badges to enter the building during school hours.

Recently, Jaylen Fryberg, a IMG_7576student at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state, killed three people when he opened fire at his school, including himself. He was a 14-year-old freshman. Fryberg was also very well-liked with lots of friends. He had recently broken up with his girlfriend, but could that have been the only trigger for this act of violence? His rampage came to a sudden end when a teacher grabbed his arm and he turned the gun on himself.

This incident in Seattle raises questions for faculty, parents and students in  Naugatuck: Is Naugatuck High School safe?

James P. Leary, dean of students, said, “I don’t think we have the manpower to check what students bring to school. I’m not sure if we want something like that here.”

What Leary is referencing are metal detectors at the front entrances and random checks of lockers and backpacks. But what procedures are currently in place? “Protocols we would take in a situation like this would be: security force, student honesty, and doing the right thing. This is supposed to be a safe place,” said Leary.

Matthew DaSilva, school resource officer with the Naugatuck Police Department, said that when considering school safety, officials debate the rights of the individual against the security protocols taken.

Elaine Mulhall, a math teacher at the high school, had different view on school security. “I think it’s getting to the point where students are going to have to walk through security, but I feel we are not safe anywhere.”

The Seattle incident shocked students at the high school. “I wouldn’t know what to do in that situation. It’s scary to even think about,” said sophomore Ronahi Musa.

If put in a similar situation where a student had a weapon Mulhall said would “protect as many people as I can.”

Additionally, Mulhall noted, “There are a lot of good kids doing bad things.”

Woodland football’s kicker supports feminism

lauren charette2This year, sophomore Lauren lauren charette3Charette, joined Woodland High School’s football team as their first-ever female kicker.

“The team treats me really well. I haven’t gotten any negativity from anyone on my team, but from others outside of school, yes, I have,” said Charette.

Recently, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, spoke before the United Nations regarding gender equality and feminism in order to promote HeForShe, a national campaign to involve men in the gender equality movement.

Charette considers herself to be a feminist, as well as a supporter of Emma Watson’s campaign to achieve gender equality.

She explained that women should be given the same rights as men because “people shouldn’t be treated differently based on the gender that they are.”

Naugatuck High School’s faculty also responded positively toward Watson’s promotion of the campaign HeForShe.

Janice Saam, principal at NHS, is only the second female principal at the high school. She not only supports feminism, but also feels very strongly regarding equality in our society.

“People often assume that the male must be the role of authoritative power. I don’t think gender, race, or religion should impact equality.”

Athletic Director and Dean of Students Thomas Pompeii considers himself to be a feminist. “My loving mother, beautiful wife, and precious little girl are the most important women in my life. I want the world to see them like I see them,” Pompeii said.

Watson made a powerful impact when she spoke before the United Nations in New York City recently.