Warren High students speak out

Dear Editor: High school is where I feel people find themselves or at least try to. They try to be their own person or find something that makes them stand out from the rest.

A way that a person can express themselves the most is through their style and form of dressing. Throughout elementary and middle school, I was forced to wear uniforms so I could not wait to reach high school so I could wear whatever I wanted. I felt that uniforms kept my classmates and I from expressing ourselves.

But now that I am able to, I feel as if everyone is always judging when someone dresses a certain type of way. They shouldn't have to worry about what others have to say, but when it is constant criticism, it is hard to avoid.

I can say that at times I wish our school had uniforms. When I dress nice people automatically start to assume things and they make unnecessary comments, such as "You are so spoiled" or "Why do you dress like that to school?" At times it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Yes, it's nice to be noticed and receive compliments, but if you are going to make a comment that will make the other person uncomfortable, it's better to not say anything at all. Destiny Olvera

Dear Editor: For the past two years we have been playing soccer at Apollo Park and then all of a sudden they turn off the lights at 9:30 p.m. when the park closes at 10. So we went to check why they turned it off and they said that they could because they work there.

The second issue I have with the park is that last time we were playing and then the next day when we came back the whole field was wet. We went to the office and told them what happened because it didn't rain and it was pretty suspicious.

So we told them and they said, "We're sorry that the field was wet but we won't do it again." The next thing I know they did it again. Kevin Hernandez

Dear Editor: Something that really bothers me about the media is how they take every little thing Justin Bieber does to an extreme. It seems they never talk about anything or anyone else.

I am in no way saying his recent actions were acceptable, but to take someone's mistake and use that as an excuse to start a petition (to get him deported) is not morally correct. Petitioning to deport him back to Canada is a really serious issue and it should not be made just because you dislike him.

What I don't understand is how there have been multiple actors who have been found dead because of an overdose but yet no one says anything about it, because they're dead. But Justin Bieber gets a DUI and everyone acts like he's the first person in the universe to have gotten a DUI.

I understand his actions were wrong - he could have hurt himself or someone else. Some people might think his fans might go and do something foolish and follow his path because they think it's "cool" but they have the power to make their own choices and not once has Justin ever encouraged others to make the same mistakes that he has.

All I'm saying is the media should give him a break, let him be young and make mistakes. He is human and he messed up, but having him deported won't fix anything. Jannel Maldonado

Dear Editor: For some time video games have been thought to be pointless and teach nothing. Now they have been shown to tell new stories and teach people a number of things.

Adults tend to look down on video games because they believe that they are pointless, they don't teach anything and are a waste of time.

Games have created new and amazing stories about heroes, villains and other worlds that also contain their own form of lore and myth. They also have been shown to relieve stress, teach hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, how to strategize, and team work.

Now games are a big part of entertainment and have proven that they are worthy of being so, because they teach people and are able to create new stories that people can take part in. Charles Porras

Dear Editor: My name is Amy Pacheco and I am currently a junior at Warren High School. I am writing this letter to inform you about my concern for pedestrian safety.

Many streets in Downey do not have sidewalks and so many pedestrians are forced to either walk on other people's lawns or walk on the street. Many of the pedestrians are children and teenagers walking to and from school.

I believe, as a citizen of Downey, that we should make our city safer by providing sidewalks. Some pedestrians are not comfortable stepping on other people's lawns because they fear the homeowner might get upset. This makes sense because it is their property, however, walking on the street is not safe.

When cars are parked on the street, pedestrians have to walk around the car, which only makes the distance between them and the cars in motion smaller.

I believe that Downey should set aside funds to provide the citizens of Downey more safety. I hope the people of Downey take this under consideration and attempt to make a difference. Amy Pacheco

Dear Editor: Downey is an overall great city - everything is near and accessible. The only problem is there are just not enough sidewalks to walk on and it's a problem. It's a problem for homeowners who take pride in their lawn and the pedestrians on the street.

As a result of not having enough sidewalks to, well, walk on, pedestrians either walk on lawns or on the street. This is dangerous for people driving and, of course, the pedestrian.

Pedestrians don't want to walk in the street, endangering themselves or others. Pedestrians don't want to damage a nice lawn either, but they don't have much of a choice when most neighborhoods in Downey don't have enough sidewalk to walk on.

I believe it will be better for homeowners and pedestrians if Downey were to put more sidewalks in our neighborhoods. There wouldn't be people in the street endangering others or themselves or damaging lawns. Marilyn Rodriguez

Dear Editor: School cafeterias do a fantastic job at keeping their budget stable, but don't have in mind one group in particular.

Students at Warren High School are becoming more vegan-friendly every day and are not being thought of by the school staff members. If you take a good look at the cafeteria's lunch menu, you will see a wide variety of meals for meat-eaters, and not enough meat-free meals.

Even though vegetarian meals might be higher priced than meals containing meat, vegetarian meals have become more appealing to many non-vegetarian students as well. Vegetarian meals tend to be higher in fiber and lower in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. The Downey Unified School District should make an effort to better serve the nutritional needs for all of its students.

Students aren't eating at school because the cafeteria does not supply the proper food for all their students. For example, the busiest days in cafeterias are when nachos are being served. Why? Both meat-eaters and vegetarians can eat nachos. Meat-eaters can add meat if desired, and for the vegetarians, extra cheese.

Items like pasta, vegan patties or tuna sandwiches can be added to the menu without a second thought. For the vegetarians in the lunch lines, they only have the choice of a salad or a microwaved burrito. From my own experience, a bowl of salad isn't the ideal lunch.

Lastly, if adding vegetarian meals is far from the school's budget, then the schools should let students have off-campus lunch. In this case, schools wouldn't have to worry about changing their serving habits and all students can actually eat. On the other hand, adding more food components to the menu would benefit not only vegetarians but the entire student body.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fiber would protect students' physical and mental health. Therefore, substituting vegetarian options can offer health benefits to all students.

The DUSD should work on minimizing the amount of processed meat being served and maximize serving vegetarian meals. Lourdes Sandoval

Dear Editor: I am a senior at Warren High and I think that the lunch at our school should be better because it is not good or healthy.

I would like to help by giving good ideas to improve and help students eat good, nutritious food. I would like organic, healthy, fresh food to be served, not food that has been in the refrigerator over a week. The juice boxes should be bigger; you can drink the juice in one gulp.

Furthermore, by making the food look more appealing and tasty, it would get us students to eat the lunch that's provided for us and it will get us through classes with a full stomach. Mariana Felix

Dear Editor: We should have soda machines in schools.

I understand that obesity has risen in the last couple of years among youth. When I was in middle school, the machines were just being taken out and replaced with Gatorade machines. Now that I am in high school, there are still Gatorade machines.

I agree that soda has a large amount of sugar, but Gatorade has about the same amount. Yes, Gatorade is an energy drink, but not everyone is active and they drink it because they want to.

Soda is exactly the same, as in anyone can drink one if they wanted to because it is their choice. Human beings should not have their own choices taken away; if it is a bad choice, then that is on them.

Also, the juice boxes that the school sells for lunch have about 12 grams of sugar and those are pretty small drinks.

I say that soda companies should bring soda machines back to schools. After all, these soda companies could be making more revenue, and it would be our personal decision anyway. Ramon Perez

Dear Editor: How can I even begin to explain how unnecessary Valentine's Day is and was?

Not only was it a waste of your hard-earned money on flowers and chocolates, but it's also very depressing for those who don't have a valentine or "lover."

Every time Valentine's Day comes around, it reminds me of my aunt, who always dwells on the same story and I know and memorized all my life, how she complains about her love life. She goes into full detail about how men are not romantic and only buy you things on Valentine's Day because it's mandatory.

I do agree with her; men only seem to buy you gifts and show affection towards you on that specific day because it seems like they "have" to. How unromantic and uncaring that is. They are not buying you those special gifts because they want to, they are buying them because it's expected.

In my opinion, I'd rather get romantic gestures on any ordinary day rather than on Valentine's Day. It shows that you're running through their minds and they're thinking about you. I find it really cute when my man randomly shows up at my doorstep with gifts and roses, with a wide smile on his face, and says, "I was thinking about you, so I got you these to represent you're always running through my mind." I almost shed a tear just writing that.

So just think about it. Which would you prefer: getting roses and gifts on Valentine's Day, like everyone else in the world, or on an ordinary day when he wants to remind you how special you are to him and that he loves you? I go for option two. Vanessa Faith Martinez

Dear Editor: Daniel Solis was a Warren High student who tragically died in a car accident this year. Dodi Soza was a Downey High student who passed away during his football game against Lynwood.

Dodi's death was tragic and brought the community together. Many good articles were written about him in The Downey Patriot. Even the rivalry between Warren and Downey was put to the test; Warren contributed to the cause and showed respect towards the death of Dodi.

However, when Daniel Solis passed away it wasn't brought about the same way. No one but his family and close friends mourned his tragic death. His fellow friends made a commitment to wear white in honor of his death and no one really contributed.

Many students believe popularity could have contributed to this issue. In my opinion, popularity shouldn't play a role in mourning the loss of a fellow student. Anahe Garcia

Dear Editor: I would like to address an issue that I have noticed within our city of Downey. The streets lack a sufficient number of street lights!

The meager amount of street lights in Downey put our pedestrians and night drivers at risk. Pedestrians are at risk of being run over by cars at night; they are also at risk of being abducted or mugged because they aren't fully aware of their surroundings.

Night drivers could get in more accidents because there are no lights to guide them through the road. Some people have to walk after dark because they have no other option and it would be really unsafe for our citizens to walk without street lights.

I hope something is done about this issue because it affects almost everyone who is out and about the streets at night time. Trevor Singson

Dear Editor: I am a senior at Warren High School and it's that time of the year when a majority of my classmates are getting their college acceptance letters.

But myself, I am finishing up my enlistment with the Air Force, and I wish more people would accept joining a military branch just as much as when someone goes off to college.

I've had numerous people tell me that joining the military is basically throwing away my life and I don't understand why people see it as such a negative thing to do. Just like my writing teacher Mr. Fitzpatrick said, "I wish we didn't have to have a military, but we don't live in a perfect world and someone needs to protect our country."

I'm not saying I want more people to join the military, I wish that it was not seen as a last option. When most people join the military right out of high school, they decided a long time ago that they were going to do so. Jordan Mann

Dear Editor: Students here at Warren High School seem to be getting more addicted to their technology. More students are failing their classes and don't seem to have any sense of urgency about what they are doing.

I don't think a lot of students here are prepared to enter the real world after high school. I think technology has a lot to do with it, not to mention social media.

In class, students are texting their friends, trying to hide their phones, which results in them not paying attention in class. The fact that they cannot wait until after class, snack or lunch to talk to their friends makes them addicted to technology.

Although iPhones and Androids can prove useful in class, for example, to find research and things you don't understand, they still become a major distraction afterwards. The distractions are things like the games and apps you can download.

Maybe Warren High should make more strict rules when it comes to students using their phones and other personal devices in class, such as having to leave all their technology in a cabinet until the end of class. In the end, distractions are causing people not to take school seriously. Matthew Romero

Dear Editor: I am glad to say I am a Downey patriot.

I have been living here most of my life and to me it's one of the best cities around. It's a nice and safe environment to live and raise your children.

The city has entertainment, shopping centers and great restaurants. In the city of Downey you have the Krikorian and Downey Landing. The city also has fine restaurants such as Porto's, BJ's, Tropicana and many more.

That's why I consider Downey such a great place to live; we have everything that we can possibly need. The community is great and people participate in community service programs.

Downey is the best! Oscar Monroy

Dear Editor: Downey is a great city to live in. We have friendly neighbors, some of the best schools in the state of California and, more than anything, our city is safer than most others cities in L.A. County.

For example, for a while I lived in Compton. Fortunately, my neighborhood was not as bad as others, but my school was terrible. Teachers were so rude to their students, causing them to have no respect towards each other. Schools there were just so chaotic!

Unlike in Compton, Downey has a safe environment not only in schools, but also in neighborhoods and public areas. We have friendly neighbors who help each other out and work together to maintain a clean environment here in Downey.

Sure we have problems here and there, but what city doesn't? Downey, in my opinion, is a great city to live in and a great place for your kids to grow up in. Jazmin Gonzalez

Dear Editor: Life as a high school senior student, as we know it, is coming to an end. We have conquered all the tests, the quizzes and mainly our fears of not succeeding.

Remember the feeling of your first day of high school; the fear, the adrenaline rush and the terror of being somewhere new for the first time? Well that's what it's going to feel llike the day we walk across that stage as our name is called and we're handed our diploma. It doesn't hit us until we take a moment to realize how far we've gone in life.

Once we hear our name being announced on the speaker and our family and friends cheering for us as we walk down the aisle, it hits you and you remember all the late nights you stayed up doing homework you procrastinated on and all the cool friends and lovers you made throughout your four years of high school.

When they give you your diploma and tell you "congratulations," you have this big smile on your face and are probably thinking to yourself, "It's finally over. Now it's time to act like an adult and go on to the next phase of life."

Congratulations, seniors. I hope the best for you all. Brenna C. Favela

Dear Editor: Five years ago, a new restaurant called Gloria's was built on the corner of Florence Avenue and Old River School Road. And as a resident living on the street right behind this restaurant, I can personally say it has become a disturbance.

Gloria's becomes very popular on the weekends, especially when a big game is playing. Too often people walk out drunk and tend to become violent. In the past, bar fights have occurred, and there have been yelling out of the restaurant and shootings in the parking lot.

Also, due to lack of parking, customers park in the residential area behind the restaurant, causing many problems such as car crashes between intoxicated drivers and traffic on such a small corner.

Gloria's is an excellent place to eat but I believe something should be done. I believe removing their license to sell alcohol would be a great idea. Until then, more and more incidents will continue to occur. Monica Calvert

Dear Editor: I am a proud student at Warren High School and I consider myself fortunate to be able to attend such a great school. However, I have concerns for the direction Warren is heading.

Recently I discovered that the district plans to remove trigonometry from the curriculum at Warren High.

As a student who is currently taking trig/pre-calculus, I know the importance of the class. It is essential to take this if a student wants to do well in calculus. Incoming freshmen who have not taken Algebra 1 will be forced to take an integrated math class then Algebra 1. As for those who are currently taking Algebra 2. they will be forced to take calculus without the pre-calculus class.

These changes will affect the chances of students doing well in school. Students who will be taking calculus will most likely fail. Those who will be taking an integrated math class will most likely only reach the Algebra 2 level of math. This will lower their chances of entering a competitive college after high school.

I urge parents who currently have children in middle school to become more involved in their child's education. I, as a student, have no say in the changes made to the courses at Warren High but you as parents can make a difference.

For the benefit of your child, please stop these changes from being made at Warren and also Downey High School. Stephanie Mejia

Dear Editor: I enjoy going to Warren High. My school has a variety of classes that I feel other schools do not have, which makes me feel privileged.

Some of these choices are art, construction, photography and culinary arts. It is not just elective classes but high-level classes that are available to students.

In my case, I have gone beyond the math requirements but I still want to go further and now I am taking statistics. My strength has always been in math and I am happy to be at a school that will challenge this strength. Warren High, with its extra classes, can do this. Michelle Mendoza

Dear Editor: It is very odd that everywhere else in the world soccer is the most popular sport but here in America that spot is taken up by football.

I understand that there are a lot of kids playing in AYSO, but without proper emphasis on soccer within the entire country it does not help as much. Kids here in America are growing up seeing football everywhere and everyone watches the Super Bowl - not half of those people know when the MLS season starts or even when the playoffs start and end.

I am not condemning football in any way, I'm just saying that we need more emphasis on soccer so this country can continue to compete against the best teams in the world and win.

America needs to show that we, too, are a soccer powerhouse. Konstandinos Makris

Dear Editor: Downey is a prosperous city with excellent establishments. Downey has the opportunity to improve in many ways by advertising its empty spaces of land to businesses.

Another issue that Downey can improve on is by having police or security in the parks. The safety of the parks would be improved and people would go more often because it would be a safer environment.

Yet another way that Downey can improve is by having street signs on dead-end streets. These dead-end streets have cars enter them at high speeds. These high speeds in these small streets are dangerous to children crossing them.

These improvements will benefit Downey greatly. Downey would be a much safer place and even more prosperous. Kevin Vallejo

Dear Editor: I think there should be no electives in high school. The reason I believe this is so we can focus more on our core classes rather than electives.

I feel like both teachers and students would like this idea. Students would have a shorter day and teachers would have more focused students on math and language arts. Parents would also like this because their children would come out earlier.

Also, with the shortened day, some schools can have really late starts or really early releases. This is just my opinion. Joshua Del Aguila

Dear Editor: High schools in Downey seem to be getting crowded. The reason I think they are too crowded is because when I go to snack after second period, the whole school is going out to the quad all at once and it gets crowded in the halls to get to the quad.

The amount of students at Warren is 4,000 and they are all in one section of the school during snack; there is not much to do since we only have 10 minutes.

Getting to class is pretty tough. If you have classes that are not next to each other it will take you quite a while to get to the next class and sometimes you have to worry about being on time.

A solution I have so Warren won't be so crowded is that students that come from other cities such as Bell Gardens or Los Angeles should be transferred to schools closer to their home.

In Beverly Hills, they got rid of the students that lived in other areas and only Beverly Hills residents are allowed to attend school in Beverly Hills. Omar Cruz

Dear Editor: Downey is a pretty good place to live but it is boring.

Going to see a movie at the Krikorian seems overrated. Also, there really is not much to do as in just going out with friends. I know there is the mall but what is the point if you do not have any money? Window shopping is not much fun.

Downey should make a cool place for people to just hang out and entertain, with games or a variety of things all in one so it can be a fun experience to the city.

It would be great if some of it was free, so even if you do not have a lot of money you could still have a good time. Stefanie Ortega

Dear Editor: I'm walking to class, earphones in, and no one is bumping into me. No one. Those are surroundings I'd prefer, but unfortunately, it's the opposite.

The Warren High School student population has been growing rapidly since I arrived freshman year. There are only two public high schools in Downey, and over 3800 students are attending one of them.

The lines during lunch are the beginning fight sequences of "The Hunger Games." by the time I am getting my food, the food is either gone or thrown around.

The population doesn't affect my hunger or my schoolwork: it affects my privacy. Whether it be in a lunch line or the library, I demand my space.

Our school district could either decrease the permits allowed (for over 3.5 GPA students only) or send failing students to Columbus instantly. There has to be something done before our campus resembles a Saturday at Disneyland. Nick Romero

Dear Editor: Warren High is very beautiful but there are times when it can also look like a junkyard because students do not take pride in what a beautiful campus it is and think they have people to just clean up after them.

They are too lazy to take five steps and throw their trash in a trash can that is right next to them. The trash can be right next to them and they still won't bother to throw it in there.

If students were to actually take pride in what kind of school they have it could be the best school in Downey. Julian Perez

Dear Editor: Whenever you hear about America's war on drugs you usually see people being sentenced to jail for a ridiculous amount of time for nonviolent drug charges. Then when you see the amount of money spent on resources and police forces, it's just outrageous.

Then when you see the statistics during the beginning of the drug war, you'll see that there are more drugs moving back and forth through countries.

Also when you look at alcohol, it seems to cause more fatalities but somehow it's still legal and its use seems to be rising more among youths in high school than marijuana. Then you also hear false propaganda about certain drugs, especially from right wing conservatives. For example, that pot causes people to kill and slaughter people and families.

Then again we can't blame the U.S. government for trying to protect people from hurtful and dangerous substances. But we also can't just let this drug war go on and accomplish very little and waste so much money for this war to keep going on.

It's hard to believe that something like this has to fail and is still continuing to this day. Jerry Procopio

********** Published: March 6, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 47