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He seemed like the perfect boyfriend

I felt so amazed reading this because there is just too much violence between people in relationships and I think that girls should not stand being abused. "Dolores" should have gotten away from "Mark" as soon as the first sign of abuse developed from "Mark." But it is very true that love moved her to keep accepting his violence. If that would have happened to me I would not have accepted it; I would have told the cops and dumped him right away. This article helps many girls make the right decisions and not get tricked by guys.
—Neri Ramirez, Nimitz Middle School (MS)

I agree with this article. It’s not OK for your partner to be hitting you. Many people are sweet talkers. They seem to be really nice people at first, but later they show their true colors. Everyone who has a partner that hits you, you should stay away from the relationship. Don’t let you partner take away your power.
—Lupe Gonzalez, Nimitz MS

Gang violence

There is a problem with Latino gangs and other street gangs in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. The problem with gangs is that sometimes you can’t even walk in the neighborhood you live in because that’s their territory. Another problem is that even if you don’t look like a gang member, they will hit you up and ask, "where are you from?" They are just trying to scare you so you won’t go through their neighborhood.

A lot of gangs try to get people to join so that the gang can get more powerful. Gangs also try to use little kids to commit crimes because if they get convicted of a crime, they won’t get a hard sentence because they are underage.

My personal experience with gangs is that most of my family has been living in the most violent neighborhood in south Los Angeles. Violence has made my life hard. My family has been surrounded by drive-by’s and homicides and this has affected me physically and mentally.

I think that the police should get more involved with the issue of gangs. Mayor James K. Hahn and Police Chief William J. Bratton should do something because there are many young children being killed in the streets.
—Shani Burrala, Amelia Earhart HS (North Hollywood)

Football: a life lesson

This article
made me think about how I should appreciate things while they are still there. What if you broke your ankle and found out you could not walk for the rest of your life? You should do what you can right now before you can’t anymore. Thanks for making me want to work harder.
—Emilio Adolfo Moreno-Alcala, Nimitz MS

She’s driving me crazy

The story by Enoch Kim says more bad things about his sister than good. I think that his sister acts like that because he doesn’t treat her with care. My little brother does not behave like that. This is because I treat him the same.
—Ronald Rívas, Nimitz MS

I have two younger brothers and I cannot stand them. I get no respect and my parents don’t believe a word I say when we fight. I always get in trouble. I agree that it is fun sometimes, but more of the time my brothers irritate me. It’s almost like they’re above me. Enoch Kim did a great job of explaining life with a younger brother or sister. Sometimes you just want to throw them out the window. Other times you want to play with them.
—Ricardo Cardenas, Nimitz MS

Standardized testing

One day I was reading the Los Angeles Times and it said that two experts found the Stanford 9 test has many flaws. The story said the test was prejudiced and poorly made because many of the questions test inherited aptitudes, such as spatial relationships.

Another problem with the test is preparation. I think for every hour spent on preparation students could be learning new things. I remember a teacher told me that if you mark all "Cs" on your answer sheet, you will pass. I don’t think we can call that learning.

In conclusion I think we should not have nationally standardized tests. There are many other ways to see if students are learning.
—Hratch Ghanimian, Amelia Earhart HS

Within the last 20 years Americans have become convinced that public schools are not adequate and are failing disadvantaged students. During these 20 years they have put in place the Stanford 9 exam. The Stanford 9 is a multiple-choice test that takes about three to five days to complete.

Many schools claim the test is socially biased. Crowded schools and schools in poverty-stricken areas are being discriminated against because there are students who can’t speak fluent English and students who are so far behind they don’t care about the test.

Schools and teachers are graded on the test, but students are not. Teachers tell the students that it doesn’t affect their grades, graduation or college acceptances, so students don’t even try. Why should they? Test week is just a bubble game to them.

I am 16 and I have for the most part passed it when I tried, but by seventh grade most students don’t try anymore. In high schools, most students ditch, stay home or sit around during test week. I believe that standardized testing needs attention from the school system, as does the school system itself.
—Brook Litwack, Amelia Earhart HS

I guess I could be beautiful

A lot of girls think they are not pretty, but inside they really are. I started to wonder if I have low self-esteem because sometimes I think that I’m not pretty. Right after I finished reading the article I realized that I was just like the girl in it. Many people see you by the person you are outside and not inside.

You shouldn’t judge people by the way they look. People could be pretty outside, but could also be mean and nasty. Thanks for putting this article in the paper; it really helped me.
—Daniela Rios, Nimitz MS

This happens to many people, and they probably don’t even know it. I kind of feel the same way the girl does but not that bad. The truth is, you don’t feel happy when you think you’re ugly. This article has changed many things I think about myself. I hope that many girls that feel the same way that I do read this before it goes to the extreme.
—Marina Castillo, Nimitz MS

The naked truth

I like this article because it makes people realize that being naked isn’t that bad. I think that we are brought into the world naked because it’s OK to be naked. This shows that some people actually enjoy being naked and don’t really care. So I personally think that being naked is OK and that the article is great.
—Ilicina Mayorquin, Nimitz MS