Articles written for The Borah Senator
My favorite articles from my time working for the Borah Senator Newspaper
In the state of Idaho, health- a core class for graduation, teaches “abstinence only” to students during its sexual health unit. The idea behind an abstinence only curriculum is that by promoting abstinence, it will discourage teenagers from having sex. But is this a realistic concept for all teenagers?
Idaho law states, “The legislature of the State of Idaho believes that the primary responsibility for family life and sex education, including moral responsibility, rests upon the home and the church and the schools can only complement and supplement those standards which are established in the family.
This means the schools are not allowed to teach students anything that could potentially encourage students to be engaging in sexual activity, because it is the “home and the church’s” responsibility. The problem is not all teenagers attend church, and many aren’t getting information at home, either.
Health teacher Mrs. Smith says, “We should be educating [other than abstinence]. Especially in high school.
By the time teenagers are in high school, most have a general understanding on the subject of sex. However, if these teenagers have only been educated by television, their peers, and/or the Internet, because Idaho prohibits the education of anything except abstinence, chances are they don’t have all the information they need to be safe and healthy.
Although down 21% since 2013, our state still ranks 25th out of all states for highest teen pregnancy rate, and according to the State Department of Health and Welfare, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are increasing in Idaho at an alarming rate. Left untreated, STD’s can cause permanent health issues, and some can even lead to death.
One Borah senior stated they remember learning about STD’s, but because only abstinence is taught, they are not given preventative measures.
Teachers may disagree about this curriculum, however don’t have a choice, due to the law.
Sociology teacher Mrs. Thompson says,“I think if it was up to the district [not the state], we would teach it.”
Fortunately, there are options for further education outside of school. Planned Parenthood of Idaho’s website is an excellent resource for answering questions one may have, and St. Luke’s Hospital offers a variety of classes on the subject, as well.
Overall, the most important lesson is to be educated with accurate information, and keep you and others safe and healthy.
(aWARD WINING ARTICLE)
Blatantly checking each other out as well as saying things like “Do fries come with that shake?” to girls in the hallways are common.
Some say such language is just a stupid thing kids say.However, it is also derogatory, demeaning, hurtful, discouraging, sexist… well you get the point.
And you’re probably thinking, “Oh my god, another female complaining about being uncomfortable with words.”
There are high schoolers yelling slang for “breasts” and “butts” on school grounds, yet everyone seems to ignore the objectification of females implied by such words.
The popular response to a complaint about vulgar language seems to label the complainer as “lame” or “radical” for an inability to share a laugh about any sexist “jokes.”
Those making sexist remarks always tell us to stop being offended, but rarely consider that they are the ones using offensive slang.
It has been suggested a campaign against the sexualization of our bodies be coordinated, but will that really stop the insensitivity?
When an issue like this happens, it is supposed to be reported so it can be acknowledged by the staff so disciplinary action can be taken.
Will reporting the incidents really stop the issue?
The fact of the matter is: sexism is a learned behavior. Reversing it will be a challenge.
The idea that females exist primarily to serve the male gaze is so ingrained into our social norms. Sexism isn’t always a conscious choice.
Not all men engage in objectification, and even females are part of the problem. Females call each other “sluts” just as much as men call them “whores,” but we cannot condone the encouragement of the “boys will be boys” mentality.
Everyone has a choice to be kind. Everyone knows the difference between a compliment and a slur. Words can empower or sabotage.
We must acknowledge that this is a problem almost everyone is guilty of. It doesn’t just happen in the halls and classrooms, nor does it only happen at sports competitions. Males are not the only party saying these hurtful comments.
The next step is up to students to decide whether or not sexism will be accepted in their presence.
(AWARD WINNING ARTICLE)
Sophomore Eden Makaafi is breaking stereotypes. She is currently the only kicker on the team, and has yet to learn to hit or tackle.
During the game against Rocky Mountain, a player snuck through our defense and Eden found herself to be the last resort to stopping him. Although it isn't her job to hit opposing players, she stepped in front of the Rocky player. She slowed him down long enough for Senior Mason Smith to tackle him.
"I have to do this for my team," is all Eden thought of.
As of the 2017-18 season, Eden takes part on the Borah football team as the kicker, which is a big responsibility. She has a background in soccer since the age of four, and she has developed skills needed to play at a varsity-level- she plays goalie or forward.
"It's exciting. It's a completely new environment," Eden says.
She was asked to play for Borah football her freshmen year at West Junior High. Coach Willie Alderson wanted her as a kicker, but she declined because soccer was and still is her priority. Her brother Ilaisa, a senior running back, had a big impact on her decision to finally accept the position.
This year is the last year she'll be able to play on the same team with Ilaisa.
"It's my senior year. Having my sister on the team adds to the specialty," Ilaisa said.
Football is one of the few male dominated sports in which women participate.Girls are often thought of as "too fragile" to play football, due to the intensity and physicality of the sport. But this doesn't scare Eden.
"My brother knows how strong I am," Eden said.
Eden says the support she receives from her parents, teammates, and friends are what motivate her. "I can totally hear the rowdies chanting my name," Eden said.
"On the field she's one of us. But in the back of my mind, she's still my little sister," Ilaisa said.
Student eyes rolled when the "mandatory assembly attendance" rule was put into place this fall for the first time in years.
Instead of getting pumped up to celebrate school spirit, students seemed to be upset they could no longer escape campus until the assembly was over.
Celebrating school spirit used to be one of the most important parts of teenager's lives. Movies such as High School Musical and Grease are well-known examples.
School forms the foundation of our lives- the basis of who we are.
This year, at Borah's homecoming football game, the student section showed their "school spirit" by yelling toward the field, "Our rowdy section would make a better football team." Although intended for the other team, this "cheer" could easily have been perceived as an insult to our Lions.
Lately, however, it seems the term, "school spirit" has been re-defined. Students are no longer interested in showing pride for their school.
Memories of high school should be filled with festivity instead of regret; instead it has become meaningless, and something to be embarrassed about.
One senior suggested better entertainment at the assemblies. Often, there are good ideas, but they fall flat. For example, sumo wrestling was a fantastic plan for the first assembly of the year, but after only one, five second round, student council was already introducing the next act.
Activities and other events are advertised on large posters in the hallway; there are numerous social media sites ranging from athletics to academic clubs. Yet, if asked, how many Borah students would know when the next big event is at?" the response would end in awkward silence.
According to Coach Colby Donicht, how well athletic teams play is often determined by the support they receive from their peers.
Our choices during our teenage years determine whether we make good memories or not. High school lasts three years, and is over before we know it. Since most of our young years are spent at school, shouldn't we try to make the most of it by being involved and excited about the very place that determines what happens after graduation?
Between practices, tournaments, and even nap sessions, the wrestling team vows to never let each other down.
At least two hours each day is spent warming up, practicing drills, and live wrestling. These boys willingly give up their Saturday's and after school hours for it. Some of the boys live and breathe wrestling, while others use it to pass time between other sports. If the practice is aggressive enough, the boys can lose around eight pounds due to the hard working drills.
The team spends a lot of time together and it becomes a regular thing for them to mess around with each other. They are commonly found messing with each other in the halls outside of the season, yet the bond is still unbreakable.
"Our sesnses of numpre sort of just allign," Sophomore Rain Forrest says/
Before tournaments, there are times were they lay in each other's laps for the sole purpose of being together.
Junior Logan Bennett says that somebody years prior to the season named it a "cuddle puddle" even though it is a big nap session.
When asked about the "cuddle puddle", a smile grows on each of the wrestler's faces and sometimes laughter slips.
Weight is one of the biggest struggles for most of the wrestlers. Weight classes are divided by every six to eight pounds. The boys must watch what they eat and stay focused. There is never an easy option for changing classes.
"If I watch what I eat or not eat at all, I could float five pounds easily," Sophomore Soli Harris says while devouring granola bar after granola bar.
They will sometimes have to lose multiple pounds right before a meet, but it's much easier than most think. Some of the boys layer heavy clothes on top of more clothes and run laps in the wrestling room that is described as "90 degrees", just to sweat off their water weight.
Hydration is one of the most important things in preparation for wrestling according to senior Josue Cordero. Although majority of the weight lost per practice is water weight, consumption of water is key for reasons like performance.
Wrestling as a sport can be underestimated. "Mental toughness is the game," Sophomore Tanner Holt says. Being physically capable to wrestle is one thing as anybody could attempt to pull off a "double leg takedown," but not everybody is mentally strong enough to play.
"it;s intense. It's what makes us stronger," Senior Ben Thompson says.
The coaches are here for the same reason as the boys; to learn and grow. They push the boys each day to become stronger and better at the game.
10/13/2016 0 Comments
(AWARD WINNING ARTICLE)
Hopes are high with two minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Borah versus Columbia game. Sophomore Ndayiragije Innocent goes in for a tackle while playing defense.
“In this play, (sophomore) Jackson (Cole) and I jump back six to ten 6-10 yards and we try to break their (Columbia’s) route,” Innocent said.
After making the tackle, he said he felt pure pain in his right leg. He tried to walk it off at first, and then he started hopping until Coach Jason Burton told him to get down. (Sophomore) Jacob Batubenga was also on field at the time.
He said, “One minute he was in the air, the next he was on the ground.”
The full diagnosis for his leg was a clean break in his tibia. After his five-hour Emergency Room visit, he was put into a wheelchair in which he will most likely remain until October.
Senior Tanner Chapman and the rest of the football team were scrimmaging against Bishop Kelly in the mid-July. In the midst of diving and doing whatever he was doing, he slipped and landed on his shoulder.
“As soon as I hit the ground I knew something was wrong,” Tanner said. “It swelled up pretty bad, but the picture was cool.”
Diagnosis was a clean break in his left collarbone. He was cleared not too long after and got right back on the field to assume position as cornerback and safety for the varsity football team.
Sophomore Sam Caldwell has been playing football since the eighth grade. Never has he ever been pulled from a game for an injury quite like his.
Caldwell was pumped and waiting for the game against Capital. Only minutes into the first game of the season, he was blocking for the running back, Innocent. When the Capital player that was after Innocent rolled over, he hit the outside of Caldwell’s ’s knee -- resulting in his knee bending inward.
The full diagnosis was a strain in one of his ligaments (MCL), and he almost strained his ACL. He has been in a brace since and shall remain until October. Caldwell said he does not plan to play anymore football this season, so he can play winter basketball.