Category Archives: national news

SEA 9/11 Ceremony

By Diego Avalos

The tragedies were massive. 2,996 people died and over 6,000 were injured after the tragedy that ensued the morning of September 11, 2001. Two aircrafts struck the Twin Towers in New York City and one struck the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The final plane also known as flight 93 landed in a field in Pennsylvania after attempting to crash into the White House. 19 Al-Qaeda members were the hijackers of the four different aircrafts, the most notorious of them being Osama bin Laden. This has been America’s most tragic event so far (the day of September 11, 2001). It affected Americans daily lives severely in many different ways. 

Every year Southeast Academy High School has a ceremony to remember all of the lives that were lost on that tragic morning. This ceremony consists of emergency responders, Norwalk city council, and the cadets of Southeast Academy. The ceremony also includes the flag folding team, and a 30×20 foot flag held up by two cranes. Many cadets take pride in partaking in the ceremony, and some cadets come around 5:30 to help set up for the ceremony.

There was a massive change to our ceremony this year because of COVID-19 health and safety measures that were in place. Usually there are fire fighters, police officers, and emergency responders who attend the ceremony. Another aspect that was missing from previous years was the presence of John Glenn’s band and color guard. The changes made to this year’s ceremony resulted in a much shorter memorial, but not in any way less important. 

Mayor Perez, a guest speaker at the ceremony this year, helped cadets understand the value of the ceremony a little more. When cadets know that the mayor will come, it symbolizes that the ceremony is something important- so important that even the mayor attends. She has spent most of her life in Norwalk and decided to run for mayor, since she believes that it is important to have someone who will put everyone’s perspective into practice and tries to figure out the best situation for all of Norwalk’s residents. She considers what is best for everyone using programs to help the community grow stronger.

After the ceremony, everyone goes back to class with the thought of all who lost their lives that day. Many of our guests paid tributes to our fallen heroes. This tragedy forever changed Americans’ daily lives. After this event all Americans were traumatized for a while, but we  stood as one nation, and 20 years later, we still do.

This Month in History: September

By Edmund Shryock

1. 1939 – WWII Begins in Europe: On September 1st, 1939, Adolf Hitler’s armies swept into Poland. Poland was also invaded by Russia at the same time. This would be the spark that would drag the French and the British into another war with Germany. This war in Europe would eventually turn into a global conflict. Most commonly known as “The Second World War.”


2. 2001 – 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: On the morning of September 11th, 2001 the lives of millions of people would be changed. Four American commercial planes were hijacked and turned into missiles against the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and possibly the U.S. Capitol. There were 2,996 deaths that day, and the country had to unite. Airport security would be strengthened as a result, and America would declare war on Afghanistan shortly thereafter,  that would end up ending 20 years later. 


3. 1862 – Battle of Antietam: On September 17th, 1862, the deadliest day in American military history would take place. The Confederate army, under general Robert E. Lee, met heavy resistance from Union forces under George B. McClellen. The fighting began at dawn and lasted throughout the day, and by the end of the first day 26,000 men were killed, missing, or injured.


4. 1960 – First-Ever Televised Presidential Debate: Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy squared off in the first televised Presidential debate in the election of 1960. This took place on September 26th, 1960. This new way of meeting the Presidential candidates allowed more people to turn out for the election. This debate also gained Kennedy support from people who did not know him, as he looked calm and collected, unlike Nixon.


5. 1955 – James Dean Dies: On September 30th, 1955 the 24-year-old movie star James Dean died in a car crash, abruptly ending his promising acting career. He was made famous with movies such as Giant and Rebel Without a Cause. Dean’s death was a tragedy as he made a vast influence on\ teenage lifestyle in the 1950s for numerous teens.

Kids over 16 can now get the Covid-19 Vaccine

By Mario & Mathew Ruiz

Teens are now able to get the Covid-19 vaccine. With all states now starting to open slowly, vaccination eligibility to residents 16 and up, these teens are among the latest groups trying to get the vaccine. Children as well as teens tend to get mild cases of Covid-19, though some have gotten very ill, and have even died from the virus. So by getting vaccinated it can help protect them. Vaccinating these younger populations will help limit the spread of the virus, as proven by the experts.

To my knowledge, many teenagers want to get vaccinated to be able to go out more and keep themselves safe. WIth the reopening of many schools, graduation being around the corner, some health officials are reminding the teenagers about how they may be at lower risk of Covid-19. Many parents want their kids to get vaccinated but others are unsure so it is both-sided. The plan is to get millions of people vaccinated so the rates can drop and everything can go back to normal again. Well, that has already begun. Disneyland has reopened, as well as Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags, Universal Studios and many other attractions starting to reopen with precautions. 

When teenagers were first eligible to get vaccinated, over 2,000 kids got the shot in the third phase among those who have received it and have no side effects. It has been said that 12-15 year olds produced higher levels of antibodies on average than older teens and adults. So far, it has been successful for the vaccinations on these kids. But everybody’s body is different and they can also react to things differently. Results of further data are being expected in the second half of the year.

Should colleges require students to be vaccinated?

By Monse Juarez

The decision has been made by several colleges and universities across the country: students will be required to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Some exemptions from this requirement include religious and medical reasons. Aside from the exemptions, there has been pushback by Republicans and even from parents of students. However, the majority of students have not tried to fight the decision at which colleges have arrived. It is clear that different groups have formed their own opinions about the Covid-19 vaccine, however the real question is: Should colleges require students to be vaccinated?

To answer this question, society must first consider if it is actually legal for colleges to set this requirement. According to Harvard Law Professor, Glenn Cohen, colleges aren’t exactly breaking any laws. On the other hand, there aren’t any laws that explicitly say it is allowed. The Covid-19 vaccination roll-out for college students has been controversial for this very reason. The law doesn’t explicitly forbid or allow college institutions from setting vaccination requirements. In reality, the pushback comes from individual states that have decided to ban Covid-19 regulations like masks and vaccinations.

Clearly, Covid-19 vaccinations are needed to make sure that people are safe. So in reality the Covid-19 vaccination requirement that has been implemented by several colleges across the country, is not exactly illegal. Some colleges already require that students receive flu shots, and all public schools require vaccinations for things like MMR and chickenpox. So the Covid-19 vaccination requirement is actually not as far-fetched as some may believe.

Asian-American Hate Crimes a Step Backward

By Edmund Shryock

As the pandemic ruined summer plans and normal schedules, for some people it fueled a hate against Asain-Americans causing violence to spring up around the country. This is a major step back from the progress that Americans made in breaking down the racial barriers in the last 60 years. 

After the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, America declared war on Japan, officially entering the United States in WWII. However, war with Japan created hatred towards Asian-Americans as the U.S population believed that they were spies. This led to President Roosevelt signing into action Executive Order 9066 which forced hundreds of Japanese-Americans to be sent to internment camps even though most were American Citizens. 

In 2020 the whole world came to a stop due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. As scientists tracked the location to where the pandemic started, they found out that it originated from China. This gave birth to conspiracy theories on how the virus started causing numerous Americans to have anger towards Asian-Americans believing they were the main cause. These tensions were only escalated when then-President Donald Trump would use terms such as the “Kung Flu” and “China virus” when referencing the Coronavirus.

Now with Joe Biden as President, he has now faced the issue of Asian-American hate spreading across the country. Los Angeles Times staff writer Leila Miller reported that, “The Los Angeles Police Department documented 15 hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2020, more than double the previous year, according to a new study by the agency.” This goes to show the destruction caused by hatred and stupidity. (picture via)

In my opinion, I believe that the only way to stop the racial hate and unite this country is to educate each other and actually discuss our differences. American musician Daryl Davis put it best in my opinion: “There’s a difference between being ignorant and being stupid… For me, an ignorant person is someone who makes the wrong decision or a bad choice because he or she does not have the proper facts. If you give that person the facts and the proper information you have alleviated that ignorance, and they make the right decision.” Through this education process we can unite and look past race and skin color as a whole, making the world safer for generations to come.

Texas Battered by Snow Storm

By Mathew Ruiz

It was the week of February 13, 2021 when an unusual snowstorm hit Texas, leading to massive damages including power outages, no water, no electricity, and very limited supplies, including food.

The storm left millions of people in a very dire situation. Many of their houses’ pipes burst open causing water to gush and flood the floors. This led to the point where they had to boil water from the snow for the heat inside their homes. The storm was so bad that it also delayed the federal government’s delivery of Covid-19 vaccines which had caused many other shortages.

In one of the most unexpected snowstorms of early 2021, approximately 58 people died, including an 11-year-old boy who froze to death. The parents of this young child filed a lawsuit of $100 million dollars after not having any electricity. In Houston, a woman and her 7 year old daughter died inside her car while it was parked and running in the garage in an attempt to keep warm. Most families were cooking outside, charging phones in their car and using snow to melt and shower. All of the wild chaos made it very difficult for hospitals to take care of patients.

While some schools were open in Texas, the storm then led to them being closed for several days as their crews would have to repair pipes, damages, and clean the classrooms. The horrific snow storm temperatures were the coldest it has been since the year of 1989. Driveways were covered in snow, and without a car or road access, it was difficult for the residents of Texas to go to their grocery stores. The only way to get there was by walking. When residents could drive, the weather conditions caused more than 450 car accidents between the days of Sunday and Tuesday in the Houston area alone.

The stores looked like it was the beginning of Covid-19 all over again. There were long lines to get in, all shelves were empty, including all toilet paper and wipes. Water, first aid kits, and food were also eventually completely gone. When you’re in a situation like this, you don’t know what to do; so, some people started panicking.

Overall, around 290,000 Texas residents were left without power and more than 22 million other people across the South were put under frigid temperatures in the coldest winter of their lives.

March: This Month in History

By Edmund Shryock

There have been a great deal of historical events that have taken place within the month of March. All of us know about the events of last March (2020) which now overshadows previous historical events and achievements. Now let’s take a look back at five historical events that have taken place in the month of March.

  1. The Ratification of The Articles of Confederation:
  • On March 1st, 1781, The Articles of Confederation were ratified, creating the first taste of a Government in the United States after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although the Articles remained as the governing body of the U.S. Government until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1789, there were major flaws within it. It created economic disorganization among the 13 States and there was no executive leader. This paved a way to a signing of the current U.S. Constitution that is the backbone of current American Politics. 
  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt was Inaugurated as the 32nd President of The United States:
  • On March 4th, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated and was faced with getting the United States out of the Great Depression. He was offering a New Deal to America and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to this crisis. In his Inauguration Speech, he would go on to say the famous words, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” This would rally the American people and cause him to win 3 more elections.
  1. Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union army:
  • As the Civil War had been raging on for almost 3 years, the Union Army was in need of a new general. On March 9th, 1864, Ulysses Grant would be commissioned as the commander of the Union forces. Grant would go on to fight in numerous battles against the Confederate leader General Robert E. Lee. Eventually, Lee was defeated at the hands of General Grant’s army. This popularity of his successes in war helped him win the White House, becoming the 18th President of the United States. 
FILE – In this March 23, 2010, file photo, participants applaud in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, as President Barack Obama signs the health care bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  1. Obamacare is passed through Congress being signed into law:
  • On March 23, 2010 in former President Barack Obama’s second year in office, he helped form a Universal Healthcare Reform Bill. This bill was going to allow healthcare to be offered to all Americans. However, this bill created enormous backlash from the Republican party believing it to be unconstitutional. This was the start of a majority of the division we see today in Washington. However, Obamacare was effective and popular among people who could not afford healthcare, helping Obama’s reelection in 2012.
  1. The United States buys Alaska.

The Russian Empire at the time was looking to sell its Alaska Territory as it was across the Pacific Ocean and hard to defend. Also, Alaska was very sparsely populated. America was willing to purchase Alaska, however the Civil War postponed the sale until after the war. President Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State William Seward set a deal to pay $7.2 million for Alaska, which was only about 2 cents per acre. So on March 30, 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S. However, Alaska would not be granted statehood until 1959, almost 92 years after the purchase.

“Help is Finally Here” : Stimulus Checks Help Those in Need

By Daisy Penaloza, News & Opinion editor

Finally.

In the last couple of weeks, much to the relief of many, Americans began seeing a rise in their bank accounts. That is because the stimulus checks have finally started arriving; and, more are on the way!

How did this come about?

The American Rescue Plan is a 1.9 trillion dollar economic stimulus bill created by President Joe Biden and signed into law on March 11, 2021. This bill includes many benefits for people who qualify.  

This stimulus bill will bring aid to small businesses and communities as well as many others in need.

This new plan covers just a small portion of what is needed in order to rebuild what was of incredible destruction from the previous years, from the United States last administration. We all know how much of a struggle those last four year were.

Anyways, enough about that. It’s time to focus on the new, the better. We’ve finally got some good coming our way, let’s see what that’s all about.

This new bill incorporates many needed factors from creating millions of additional jobs to advancing racial equity. Many people will finally see their window of opportunities arise.

As President Joe Biden stated, “It’s time that we build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out. And this bill shows that when you do that, everybody does better.”

With this new plan, Americans are hopeful that the country will begin to recover from not only the consequences wrought by the traumatic pandemic but also from the period of national upheaval and unrest.  

See our related story for more insight on the American Rescue Plan.

Stimulus Checks From Government

By Carter Balbuena 含光君

The new $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill proposed by President Biden has been signed by the Senate and the President himself, so here’s what the bill includes:

Direct Payments

Most likely, the first thing people are wondering about is the stimulus check, specifically how much they’re getting, and if it’ll be enough to support them. Those eligible are as follows: individual people get $1,400 per person if they earn up to $75,000 per year and for couples if they earn up to $150,000 per year. This means that for a family of 4–two parents and two children–they would receive a check for $5600.

Unemployed Benefits

Now, those that are unemployed get $300 a week, which was originally proposed as $400. This will extend up to September 6, 2021.

Public and Education

Over $128 billion in grants is being given to schools, which includes funding for colleges, transit agencies, housing aid, child care providers, and food assistance. $7.5 billion is being sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to aid the COVID-19 Vaccines.

Other Benefits

Child tax credit has been increased to $3,000 for ages 6-17 and $3,600 for children under 6. As for couples earning $150,000 a year and individuals earning $75,000, this amount is reduced. However, those that are eligible for full credit will get payments up to $300 per month starting July and lasting until the end of the year. Additionally, $7.25 billion is included for a small-business loan program known as PPP which allows for more nonprofits to apply and also includes larger nonprofits to be eligible.

Check out more on the American Rescue Plan and the stimulus checks.

Return to School Opinion: What Choice Would You Make?

by Eliza Rodrigueza

School is a big part of a student’s life and it will prepare them for adulthood, but since 2020 students have been in distant learning and taking classes over Zoom. If given the option to go back on campus, I wanted to see what the students would choose, so I created a Google survey and asked students to participate. 

My question was simple, If high schools were to open again and you were given two options to choose from: (1) going back on campus, or, (2) staying home and continuing to do distance learning, which one would you choose?

Out of the fifty students who responded to the survey, the results were pretty close. 52% said they would opt to return to campus while 48% stated they would remain home.

When asked about her choice to continue distance learning, Cadet Paula Huerta stated,  

“I personally do not think it is safe enough to go back. My dad is very prone to getting sick and it could be very risky. The vaccine is out but it doesn’t mean it is a cure.”

Personally, I agree with what Huerta has said because it is not yet safe to go back to school even if the vaccine has been released.

Cadet second class Briana Guvara shared that, “Yes I would go back on campus because distance learning is very distracting.”

Staff Sergeant Mia Martinez states, “I would like to go back on campus because I need to get out of the house. And because I miss seeing my friends even if we are conversing from 6 feet apart.” It’s easy to understand that students miss seeing their friends. 

Those wanting to return to school have valid reasons. The distractions at home can really get in the way of learning, and all of us miss socializing with friends. 

What to Consider?

In January, Harvard Health Publishing released information on the Coronavirus Outbreak, and it stated that younger kids can get COVID-19 too. 

Still, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District just reopened elementary schools beginning Monday, March 29th. But unfortunately, there has been no vaccine released for younger children under the age of 16.

Therefore, I don’t believe that it is safe to send them back to school; younger kids are very naive, and they do not always listen to what adults tell them to do. They may not wear their masks. They may share them with friends.  If it is not safe for high school students, why would they send little kids to go back to school? 

Just because a vaccine was released there are still many possibilities where it can go wrong and turn out for the worst. 

UC Davis and WebMD both published articles that share why many people are still hesitant to take the vaccine.

The decision about whether or not it is safe and advisable to return to school remains quite controversial. 

If you were given the option, which would you choose? Sound off in our comments section.

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