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Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s music is better than every other music. He sings with emotion in all his songs. He’s the craziest and best dancer. I would like to dance like him but I can’t, so I just listen and always look up to him. I’m a very big fan. I don’t have any posters or pictures of him, only because my parents don’t let me buy anything. But if they would buy me whatever I wanted, I would probably be his biggest fan ever.

And no, I would never call him a weirdo, not in my whole life, even though I’m 12, even though all my friends think he’s gay. I never agree with them. If that’s his style, that’s his style.
—Joel Calderon, 12, Los Angeles

Locke High School

I am so proud of those students who got together to fight for their rights. Schools should not be like prison cells. With all those security cameras, I don’t think it will help students focus on their studies at all.
—Ngoc Nguyen, Hollywood HS

I can’t believe that in this city, we have such bad schools like Locke HS. From what I read, students feel more like they’re attending a jail, rather than school. They feel watched with every movement, because of all the security cameras in the hallways. It sounds devastating. I attend Hollywood HS and it’s not really bad. The only bad thing is that we have low scores on exams, but otherwise it’s all good.
—Hazel Morales, Hollywood HS

Thank you for sending me Bianca Gallegos’s article regarding the conditions at Locke High School.

Bianca, your investigation and research into the issue was very thorough and presented all sides of the issue fairly. It is heartening to see that the youth of our community feel strongly about making a difference in our schools.
Education has always been one of my highest priorities, and I am glad that you consider it an important part of your own life.
—Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator

It is amazing to see what kind of difference can be made once everyone gets involved in revamping a school. I know there are too many schools in Council District Nine that suffer from these conditions as well. Currently, I am working with L.A.’s Best and L.A.’s Bridges to make after-school life better for students.
—Jan Perry, Los Angeles City Council, District Nine

That’s not funny

I thought the article on not joking about the terrorist attacks was ridiculous. It’s true that the attacks were awful, but that article is blowing the problem out of proportion. When we joke about the World Trade Center and Bin Laden, we do not mock those who were killed. We laugh at Bin Laden’s futile attempts to destroy our lives. The objective of terrorists everywhere is to force us to live in fear of what may happen next. By joking and laughing, we defeat them.
—Ken Wehrheim, Taft High School

People dying and jumping out of windows to survive is not a joke at all. My friends and I joked about it the first day. But after we saw footage from ground zero, I felt sad. The world we live in is nothing like the movie screen. There are actual people who died and have real families who miss them. Some people do not care until someone they know dies. That is what’s wrong with people today.
—Oscar Henriquez, Taft High School

Valentine’s Day

I truly agree with this article. I think that most single girls hate Valentine’s Day because they don’t have a boyfriend to make them feel special. I see other girls carrying bears, flowers, candy and balloons, and I feel left out.
—Bertha Aguilar, Taft HS

I liked the Valentine’s Day article. I had a similar situation where I gave a box of chocolates to my crush and then he said that he had a girlfriend. What can get worse than that? It’s cute to see all the couples on Valentine’s Day, but that just makes me wish I had one.
—Dominique Jukowicz, Taft HS

School rivalries

This article was very humorous. I thought the pranks South Pasadena pulled on San Marino were funny. South Pasadena is bold for setting San Marino’s field on fire with the letters S.P. I give props to South Pasadena. I know that neither South Pasadena or San Marino can beat Taft’s football team. And I know if they tried to pull pranks on us, there would be endless rivalry. We would shut them down in pulling pranks.
—Joe Miller, Taft HS

The juvenile justice system

I feel bad for Peter, because his mistake will not only take 12 years off his life, but also 12 years from his familys’ and friends’ lives. I really hope he gets a second chance in life, after he exits the world he’s in.
—Elizabeth Rico, Hollywood HS

This article got me thinking of how bad it is to be locked up when you’re a teen. I never thought that being locked up could be so ugly, the way Peter described being in jail. This story gave me a whole different view of how things are when you’re doing time.
—Robert Diaz, Hollywood HS

This article made me realize how lucky I am to be free to do what I want and not have anyone tell me what to do. I can’t imagine having to wake up at a certain time and live in an 8-by-11-foot closet for a long time. I don’t think I could take a minute of that, and I’m going to try my hardest not to.
—Alex Noboa, Hollywood HS

I do not think teens should be tried as adults. Unless the teen murdered someone or went on a killing spree, he or she should not be tried as an adult. Teens are more likely to commit crimes, because they are not as responsible as adults. Punishing teens as adults would be harsh, because they are not old to handle such punishment.
—Mathew Weiner, Taft HS

Most pits rock!

I love your article and agree with it 100 percent. Mosh pits are one of the main reasons why people go to punk shows. Pits raise the energy and excitement of the concert. Everyone just rocks out. I think crowd surfing is banned at many punk shows, because it can get out of hand. I think it’s alright to do, as long as you don’t let it get out of hand.
—Alex Kanish, Taft HS

I completely disagree with your article about mosh pits. I feel that you are encouraging mosh pits. You might as well encourage underage drinking. In my opinion mosh pits are very dangerous.
—Ashley Famera, Taft HS

T-shirt patriots

I think your article about T-shirt patriots is really great, because it tells the truth. Many people who wear shirts that say USA don’t have the guts to join the Army. They are scared to die. I would not be scared if I was chosen to join the Army. I think that I’m a bit patriotic. I wonder why the terrorists would do a terrible thing like kill people. They did not think how the families of people who died would feel. I think the terrorists should be punished. And I think that all people should join the army. And if they don’t want to, then they should go to jail.
—Elmer Diaz, Taft HS

I consider myself a patriot. I even have a T-shirt that says NYPD on it, but do not think I am ready to go to war. While I want to help my country, I do not want to put my life on the line. I want to show my support, but am not willing to go to war. I believe that someone should have the right to choose to go to war or not.
—Mathew Stone, Taft HS