But It’s Just a Study Hall!

Written by Nicole Healy and Ashley Roberts

“Students who know the worth of their education are the ones who consistently come to class,” said Mrs. Stewart, Naugatuck High School’s English department chair. So why are some students skipping class?

After polling 20 students at Naugy High we found that 65% have skipped class before. When asked what classes they cut, they said study halls, math and English classes.

Does the fact that the class is required rather than chosen by the student affect whether or not they skip the class? Dr. Kobylenski, one of the art teachers at Naugy, said not a lot of people cut his class because they choose to be there to pursue their love for art. He believes students would want to come to class more if the school offered more classes and gave more freedom to choose what students want to  take. “Money is what keeps it from happening,” Kobylenski says.

Elective teacher, Kevin Wesche, said he doesn’t get many cuts either. But when he does, he says, “It is very hard to make up a hands on class like CADD.” He believes to keep students in their core classes teachers just need to make class more enjoyable and make students comfortable in the class. “Why did you become a teacher of something if  you can’t make it interesting?” he says.

On the other hand, Mrs.Saam, the principle of Naugatuck High School, says she does not decide what classes are graduation requirements. It is in the hands of the state of Connecticut to decide, she just follows their guidelines.

Saam said she understands sometimes students have bad days or go through emotional issues at home and can’t handle going to class sometimes, but wandering the halls instead is not acceptable. The school has guidance counselors and social workers to help students through personal issues, but that option is not often used.

So, how exactly are we are we supposed to keep kids in class? We can’t change the curriculum, money isn’t exactly available, and our counseling services  aren’t always being used.

Mrs. Stewart suggests,“Let the kids know it matters they’re there.”

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.