The Surveyor The student news site of Cedar Rapids George Washington High School Thu, 02 Dec 2021 17:42:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 No More Stolen Sisters Tue, 09 Nov 2021 19:31:03 +0000 Across the United States and Canada, Native American women and girls are being taken and murdered at an unrelenting rate. There is widespread anger and sadness in communities, especially First Nations (Canadian Indigenous people). Mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters are disappearing from their families without any explanation. 

Cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people have been around for decades, it has become a more relevant topic since the discovery of hundreds of native children found buried under Canadian Catholic residential boarding schools. The bodies of the children were found by researchers using ground-penetrating radars when they were searching the ground area of the school.  Residential schools undermined Indigenous people in Canada and disrupted families for generations, severing the ties through which Indigenous culture is taught and sustained, contributing to a general loss of language and culture.

According to Native American Wilderness and Native Hope, Native people make up only 2% of the population in the United States of America and statistics show the murder rate for Indigenous women is ten times higher than the average American woman. Murder is also the third leading cause of death for Native women.  One of the most difficult things when learning the truth about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is that statistics are extremely hard to come by. Native American Wilderness also made an investigation and found that out of the 5,712 cases reported of missing and murdered Indigenous women focused primarily on people living off reservations or native land, only 116 of those cases were included in the US Department of Justice’s official missing persons lists. 

There has also been a recent outcry from Native American communities after Gabby Petito went missing and her remains were found in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, where she had been camping with her fiancé when she disappeared. Petito’s case made National news just a few days after her disappearance and earned the attention of thousands across the United States of America, making her case go viral in just a few days. While Gabby Petito’s death was tragic and her family and friends experienced trauma, many were quick to point out that her case got more news coverage in just a few days than any Native person received in months, for example Dateline NBC ran a special episode concerning Petito just a month after her disappearance while Carla Yellowbird – a missing Native women from the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota – didn’t have an episode concerning her disappearance until four years later. Hundreds of cases of Indigenous people reported missing in the exact same state over the past decade have not been met with the same furor, there have been over 710 Indigenous people reported missing – mostly girls and women – and not one of them received news coverage like Petito.  

In response to recent news media coming out, some ways you can lend a helping hand are frequently checking websites such as Native Hope. Native Hope is a website that exists to address the injustice done to Native Americans, the creators of the website saying, “ We dismantle barriers through storytelling and impactful programs to bring healing and inspire hope.”

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Stop Animal Cruelty Fri, 05 Nov 2021 17:18:44 +0000 In theory, circuses may be an awesome thing to go to for entertainment and fun, right? At least that is what society is made to think when Hollywood creates movies that show how amazing circuses are. For example, one of those movies is The Greatest Showman. However, circuses are actually one of the most unfriendly animal productions that can go on, even though they base their shows on animal talent. Circuses have been around since the 18th century and since then there have been noticeable rising numbers in animal cruelty. There are a variety of punishments and methods that circuses use on their animals as a way to make them “behave” and all of these methods involve harming the animal.

Elephant cruelty is one the most relevant forms of cruelty. There are cases ranging from the elephant being locked up in a cage for 95% of their life to being physically hit and abused. Circuses leaders use abuse methods as forms of punishments to try and teach the elephant that whatever behavior was shown is not okay. But, animals like elephants do not have the same way of thinking as humans. Elephants are more simple than humans so when they act a certain way they will not learn that if they do it again, they will get consequences. Gallup News did a survey on how concerned Americans are for animals and how badly they are treated. As a result of this they found out that 65% of America is worried for the animals in circuses, which is the biggest percentage of the whole survey. This proves that Americans are aware of circuses being bad for animals but there is still nothing being done about it. 

Another animal that is most abused are lions. While lions in the circus are seen as big scary cats, they are just animals that are forced to do something viewed as entertaining to humans. Leaders are the same way with lions as they are with elephants, they are physically and even mentally abusive. Circus leaders use whips, collars, electric prods and muzzles to control the lion. states that circus lions spend only about 10% of their life outside their cage. When the lions are not performing, they are spending that time locked up with no room to move. According to a study done by, animals in the circus that spend all their time in a cage have detrimental effects on their mental health. This can then affect their physical well-being. When this happens and their physical being is affected it just circles back around to not performing as well when the show is on, which untimely leads to them getting abused more and more. It is all one big cycle that cannot be broken unless actions are taken to stop it. 

Although there are not direct ways to stop animal cruelty in circuses, there are multiple smaller steps that can be taken that lead up to it. These steps include educating others of what is going on, signing petitions to stop all animal circuses in your area to be banned, encourage animal free circus to show instead and even alerting officials of animal cruelty to try and have a circus leader’s license taken away by the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). 

Circuses are almost all bad and although these solutions may seem like they would have little impact, but if everyone joined in on these small acts it would have a big difference in all animals’ lives. The first step to ending animal cruelty is recognizing that its a real issue in the world, and that’s a step in the right direction.

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Why You Should Be Vegetarian Fri, 05 Nov 2021 17:13:19 +0000 When you think of vegetarians I’m sure the words confrontational, aggressive and in your face all come to mind. Vegetarians are stereotyped to be very verbally aggressive and pushy people, but in reality vegetarians are just open and passionate about what they believe in. There are actually many benefits to being vegetarian that many people don’t know about. Some of these benefits include bettering the environment, bettering a person’s health and the fact that it can ultimately make people happier. 

The meat industry is bad for the environment because it releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. These gases include methane, CO2, and nitrous oxide. These gases get released into the atmosphere and absorb radiation as well as take in more heat from the sun. As the heat gets trapped into the atmosphere, it begins to increase. Besides helping the atmosphere, being vegetarian can also help preserve water. The foods that vegetarians cut are known to take a lot of water when they are produced so when those foods are cut out, less are being made which leads to less water being used. 

Besides bettering the environment, people are also bettering themselves. There are a number of health benefits that correlate to becoming vegetarian. Some of these benefits include clear and glowy skin, lower cancer rates, more energy, better digestion and more. Obviously vegetables are incredibly healthy and good for you, because of this, all of these health benefits come naturally when you eat them and base your diet around them. The nutrients in vegetables get absorbed into your body and can give you energy for hours, without needing an energy drink. 

Lastly, happiness has been proven to increase once you switch to being a vegetarian. Scientifically, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fruits and vegetables are proven to improve physical and mental health. Along with this, plant based diets have been proven to improve mental clarity and moods quickly because of all the hormones found in vegetables. There was a survey done by Vegconomist magazine on the average happiness rate on a scale one one to ten. The number that was averaged out was about 6.90 but those who were on the higher spectrum were found out to be either vegetarian or vegan. The average for vegetarians was 7.31 while the average for meat eaters was 6.80. 

All of these benefits probably seem too good to be true. When people decide whether they should be vegetation or not, what often stops them is the idea that there is a possibility of not having enough iron and protein. But, there is a solution to that that will break down the wall stopping others from being vegetarian. There are foods such as eggs, nuts, and all green vegetables that are filled with protein and iron. There are also supplements and vitamins that are available for anyone to take that can be a substitute if more iron or protein was needed. 

The stereotypes pinned against vegetarians are all made up from people who don’t take enough time to understand why they are so passionate about being vegetarian. Not only does being vegetarian make the world a better place, it also makes your entire mindset a healthier and happier place. When you think about the pros and cons of being a vegetation, very little cons come up. Even just thinking about being vegetarian and what that would mean to you is taking the right steps toward making our planet a healthier and happier place. 

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Setting off Fall Sports! Wed, 03 Nov 2021 16:40:12 +0000 The volleyball season ended on October 21st with a loss in the playoffs, to Liberty during the  Region Semifinals. It has been an emotional season for the eleven seniors that will be playing their last game ever as a Washington Warrior. Although the team’s varsity season didn’t go as smoothly as they had hoped, they consistently put up a fight and played with pride, with the student section cheering loudly behind them. They lost six games by only one set, and ended up beating Davenport North in the first round of the playoffs 3-0, however they suffered a loss in the semifinal round to Liberty High School with a final score of 3-0. 

Some players mentioned their favorite moment was winning the playoff game at home, while others said senior night because of the large crowd of the student section who showed up to support and cheer them on.

Not unlike the varsity team, the sophomores have had a tough season.  They have a record of 1-6 (not including tournaments) their win, however, was against the city rival, Prairie. Despite coming out with only a few wins, a lot of the games have been very close and the team has kept it competitive. Five of their games have been lost by one set, on the cusp of winning. 

 Both the varsity and sophomore teams are having fun out on the court, and they are enjoying being teammates with each other. They are continuing to work hard, and are optimistic in their ability to win and succeed in the upcoming seasons.

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Are the Holidays Going Out of Style? Wed, 03 Nov 2021 16:21:15 +0000  America especially is not very all-inclusive with holiday celebrations, but seem to celebrate and give time off for school and work for “white holidays,” the big three being Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, this being considered the holiday season, they are not celebrated only in the U.S. though but some big holidays for other people such as well known holidays like Hanukkah people who regularly celebrated it are not given time off to celebrate it. Recently a point is trying to be made to be more all-inclusive toward others who celebrate holidays celebrated in other parts of the world. In the article “Iowa City Schools to take days off for Muslim and Jewish holidays, following student-led campaign” written by Mary Green to sum it up the Iowa City school district decided in an order to be more inclusive the entire school will take the days off for Eid al-Fitr a Muslim holy day, and Yom Kippur a Jewish holy day. These are still not widely known or celebrated holidays in the U.S. but it is a change from the most common holidays in the Iowa city school. 

Many Parts of holiday traditions have changed throughout the years into what we know today, but many parts of those traditions started out much different. Most holidays, in general, originated with important religious dates and built off of that introducing many traditions that evolved into what they are now. The origin of many popular holidays helps to point out what it actually is that is celebrated, and sometimes reveals a problematic background that most people would not want to be a part of.

Halloween originated in Ireland all the way back in the fifth century B.C. occurring every October 31st. The town would collectively put out fires in all their own hearths to give the house a dead appearance, they would then gather in the middle of town around a big bonfire. It was believed that on October 31, in the book Panati’s Extraordinary origins of everyday things by Charles Panati states “all persons who died in the previous year assembled to choose the body of the person or animal they would inhabit for the next twelve months before they could pass peacefully into the afterlife.” Dressing up in costumes is a big part of Halloween, but originally this had been a practice to wear a costume to try and scare off the spirits around them. Villagers were sacrificed if they were thought to act like they were possessed, human sacrifices were finally outlawed in 61 A.D. and were replaced with effigies (a sculpture of a person). “ Halloween customs originated as a means of frightening away spirits eager to possess the living, The earliest American mischief night pranks: overturning outhouses and unhinging front gates,” says the book by Panati. Now this holiday has transformed into a time for kids to go door to door for candy

Thanksgiving started in 1621 in Plymouth Massachusetts, this year this celebration lands on Thursday, Nov 25, 2021, landing every year on the last Thursday in the month of November. This historic holiday started with the pilgrims sailing on the mayflower and landing at Plymouth on December 11, 1620. Their journey was long and dangerous, and the weather 

Even though Black Friday is not a Holiday it is still something closely involved with the holiday season. This year it will be on Friday, November 26, 2021, but why did we start this tradition? Most people think The term Black Friday comes from the profit the stores make on that day, accountants show in their books negative numbers or their losses in red ink, and they mark profit in black, on Black Friday it was considered to be the biggest day for black ink in those books, but that is only what we were told, this story was made up. In reality, the term according to the article ‘Why is it called ‘Black Friday’?’ was made up by “bus drivers and police officers who used the term “Black Friday” to describe the heavy traffic that would clog city streets the day after Thanksgiving as shoppers headed to the stores”, the day between Thanksgiving, and Army-Navy Game (a football game between the Army black knights vs. the Navy midshipmen in Philadelphia). It was tried to change the name to “Big Friday,” but that name never caught on. Because the game was in Philadelphia Black Friday started there in the 1950s when the shops around that area promoted sales before the big event on Saturday (Army-Navy game), this tradition caught on and spread around. This tradition doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, every year stores come back with big sales that most people can’t resist.

Christmas originated back in Rome in 337 A.D. and this holiday has been celebrated every year on December 25. Christmas was created a long time ago, and has changed over time into the many traditions followed today, “Christmas is an amalgam of the traditions from a half-dozen cultures, accumulated over centuries,” says the book by Panati. The day of Christmas was based on the birth of Jesus but finding the right time was slow going. For about two centuries after he was born no one cared about his birth because birthdays weren’t considered important, but death days were so his death was the only thing being celebrated. A time in January-May was thought to be around the time of his birth, but because of Mithraism (another religion) being big and one of their celebrations was to celebrate the birthday of Mithras the sun god which landed on the day of December 25, they wanted to compete with this religion, so they put their big celebration on the same day. Later it became very important to celebrate not only Jesus’ death but also his birth. Christmas now is less of a celebration of his birth but more of a celebration full of gifts given to family members and friends. 

With the era of cancel culture (getting rid of something, a way of showing disapproval for something through social pressure) most of these celebrations are considered to be canceled by the internet, this is partially from the backgrounds of these holidays coming to light for some people maybe they celebrate other holidays not recognized on American calendars. It helps anyone to deepen their thinking on why holidays are important and celebrated by a majority of people. Are holidays worth it with the work being put into them?

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Social Media Changes Over Time Mon, 01 Nov 2021 18:17:44 +0000 Social media has been a big part of our lives for the most part, but how did it all start? And what has changed in the apps we use today? A good majority of teens and young adults use some sort of social media in their day-to-day lives, but it was not always the way it is now.

The first well-known and most recognized social media platform is called Six Degrees. It was first introduced in 1996 by its founder Andrew Weinreich. Even though it was a recognizable platform few people connected to the internet at the time, not as many people joined the website, unlike today where billions of people are all now connected and have some sort of social media. Like today, Six Degrees founded in 1996 was the first social media site that was a way to stay connected with friends and to create your profile, it allowed its users to send messages to friends. It was even brought back once the internet was a little more popular, in the article A chronological history of social media written by Christopher McFadden, “in 2000 it was purchased for $125 million and shut down in 2001, but brought back a few years later.”

In 2003, Myspace took off as a social media site; it introduced the world to a new way of interacting online— starting up what we find familiar such as posting photos and videos, today on our social media platforms unlike SixDegrees who was a lot less about posting, and more about messaging friends. It introduced a way of following and interacting with friends through comments and posts that you as the profile owner could post photos of your life to share with others on Myspace. It was so popular in fact that it was the most used website in 2006. Around the same time, Facebook started up in 2004 but was only available to students at Harvard for two years until released to the public in 2006. In 2008 Facebook passed Myspace as the most popular social media site up to today where it has 2.5 billion users being the biggest platform to ever be in use, bigger than any other social media platform ever.

Facebook is not the only popular social media platform right now, another one is Instagram with over 1 billion users used by teens and young adults to share their pictures and videos. Snapchat is another video and picture-sharing social media with over 293 million users, which according to The Pew Research center Snapchat is used by people between the ages of 18-24, they make up about 78% of the regular users. Another popular social media site is TikTok that has 800 million regular users, The Pew Research center their statistics shows that about 50% of its users are under the age of 35, and the majority being 16 to 24. TikTok is only videos that usually consist of songs, comedic skits, and many other forms of entertainment. There are many other platforms used by many people, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok are a few examples of what social media looks like. 

Updates— if you have a social media app on your phone, every once in a while that app needs to update. Most of the time it is little things that programmers of the app need to work out, or users gain a new feature to use, the setup when opening the app may look different, or the app may end up looking completely different, many different things can be redone to an app. Another big change often made is when another person or company buys it, this can lead to many changes done with the site. 

There are many new changes in the popular Social media sites mentioned above, including live streams are a new thing on many sites. Stories originated on Snapchat, and have spread out to other platforms that also added this feature. A big part of new advanced technology is the algorithm using it to find things that you are interested in, it brings up posts that are like what you have looked at before, some apps are better at this than others such as the TikTok algorithm that changes all the time based off of all the things you do in the app, all the way down to how long you watch a video. All the pictures, videos, and ads that you like, or save are all used in a way that will keep you on any of the apps for a much longer time so that when you open the app, you get lost in it, losing hours of your time. In the 2020 documentary, the social dilemma dives deep into how effective the algorithm really is.  Social media is very addictive to most people because it is all geared toward your certain taste, because of the algorithm. 

Products placed in a certain way in ads persuade you to buy that product, and because the entertainment part of the app finds things that interest you, the ads to find products that you are more interested in as opposed to putting a random ad in, and hoping someone interested will see it, Instagram has even put in a feature for shopping through the app, so that it’s easier to buy the product you are looking at right then and there. While this is effective in getting you interested in posts and online products, there are a few problems with the algorithm on most sites, sometimes the wrong things get filtered out, posts are often reported by someone who gets offended by the post to the company in charge of the app, but sometimes they are not looked at and are quick to take it down. Filtering through videos is a need when taking down videos that are offensive, or inappropriate.

During people’s time at home, social media was a good way of curing boredom, and because it is so addictive, all people can use it as a way to get lost for hours at a time. At a time where we could not leave our homes and see friends or family members, it was quite helpful to see what they were up to and to keep in contact with them through social media. There were even changes done to some sites to accommodate for the distance, the creators gave us the features in the app to video chat with our friends. 

Now that in-person school is available so that students can come and see their friends face to face. Social media helps to keep in touch with others, but it is less needed for interacting with school friends. There are also more restrictions when it comes to being on phones and going on social media during school because it takes away from the time set for education. When at home there are more opportunities to get on social media as much as you want.

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The Arts at Washington Mon, 01 Nov 2021 17:33:59 +0000 With the pandemic affecting the arts performances in and out of schools worldwide, Washington High School has seen a big difference in the amount of students participating in activities. From show choir performances to new music programs at Wash, things are really changing and may continue to change as well.

All teachers have had a relatively positive experience with having the students back in person again, and many expressed how excited they all were for live performances again. While schools aren’t 100% back to normal quite yet, it’s definitely improving in comparison to last year, where classes were held online

Peter Westphalen co-teaches six choir and show choir classes in total with Amy Farley. They have both seen the biggest hit in the number of students participating in their classes. “Certainly the number of people participating in the art has gone down dramatically. The awareness of the arts has been hit because of the lack of live performances,” said Westphalen. He mentioned that more people, including the students at Washington, have begun to value the arts more. Westphalen says, “The students being back in person has given me an appreciation for what we have here, having it been basically taken away at nobody’s fault for a better part of a year and a half. I want to add, I found that the students have a shared appreciation for being back.”

When asked about the changing number of students participating in her classes particularly, Farley said, “The numbers are down. We had to get rid of a choir and a show choir because we didn’t have the numbers to fill the spots.” While choir classes did take one of the biggest hits out of the three activities, Farley remains positive and confident that the numbers will once again increase. With having limited participation and performances for over a year, Farley thinks that people are becoming more aware of how much they love the arts. “With the arts, there’s so much building upon years and years of work, and so when you lose a year, skill level slides backwards really far. But I do think that people have a higher appreciation of the arts, because we lost a year,” she said.

Orchestra teacher Andrew Steffen said that the number of students participating in orchestra has stayed relatively the same, but he’s excited to share what the students have been working on in person, as opposed to practicing over a Google Meet. Steffen also believes that the pandemic has gotten people to reflect on what the arts mean to them. “It has gotten people on all levels to reflect on what the arts mean to them, including professionals for visual art, music, and now everyone has a chance to reflect on what the arts mean to them personally.” Steffen talked about a new class that was introduced this school year called “Digital Music.” The class is for students who want to learn how to use a Digital Audio Workshop to make music that sounds like it could be on the radio. This music program started at Kennedy High School, and was soon added to a variety of music class options at Washington.

The newest band teacher at Washington, Jared Wacker, has seen a major change in the arts as well. He mentioned that a major challenge is going to be re-developing those skills that were lost over time. “So students here at Wash, unless they were studying privately, really didn’t play for essentially the last 18 months. And when you’re working on a skill-based activity, like band, you’re losing out on that time, like you don’t progress, and for that long of time actually some people regressed a little bit,” said Wacker. When asked about how the numbers of participation have changed, Wacker said that a big change was the noticeable decrease in the number of students participating in the music programs. “There’s a lot less. It’s not just here at Wash, it’s everywhere,” he said.

After a major break from the arts, Washington is finally getting back to normal, and all of the teachers have very positive outlooks on the future for the music programs.

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Finley’s Feel on Fast Fashion Mon, 01 Nov 2021 17:29:36 +0000 Fast fashion is the accelerated trend cycle of clothing or brands that produce at high volumes. Well, what does that even mean? It’s really the business; the sooner the company can make you think something is out of style, the sooner they can sell you something new. Now the issue with this is that trending should not cycle this fast. I mean, you see some crazy print in the summer that everyone has and you just need it because you saw it on Tik Tok, and by next month it’s out of trend. The trend cycle is supposed to be a five to ten-year cycle, but trends are out in months, and micro-trends last weeks now. Microtrends are trends that rise quickly in popularity and fall even faster. Microtrends are much more common now because of social media.

Companies like Shein, H&M, Princess Polly, Adika, and even Urban Outfitters are prominent contenders to the issue of fast fashion. These companies are mass producing on micro-trends because the demand for cheap trendy clothes is huge. Everyone wants that one dress and that one pair of pants. This creates an endless cycle of waste, and most of these clothes can’t be restored or donated because of their poor quality. This produces mass waste in our landfills. Clothing takes over 200 years to fully decompose, and with that, the dye from the clothes and other chemicals goes straight into the soil. 

As bad as it is for the environment, the actual ethics of it is even worse. Sweatshop workers live in very crowded dormitories and do not have any benefits. Both where they work and live have serious dangers. Dust and lead poisoning are common, and contracting severe diseases is a considerable risk. Sweatshop workers’ average monthly pay is under 300 dollars which is not a livable wage. A huge misconception is that if it’s made in China, it’s unethical and made by underpaid workers in sweatshops. While this is true for many companies, it’s not always the case. 

Take a look at one of my favorite companies, Tunnel Vision. While their clothes are made in China, it’s still sweatshop-free and the workers get a livable wage. And on top of all that, the clothes are reliable materials that will last you years and years. The downside is the price of pants costing over $100 but shirts costing about $30.  Owner Madeline Pendleton talks about how she prices just enough to pay her employees a generous livable wage, and she gets paid the same amount. Most fast fashion stores are from Aliexpress which is a bulk clothing distributor that copies others’ designs and uses underpaid workers in sweatshops. One way to tell if a store is fast fashion is byprice, pants under $50 and tops under $30 is a significant sign of unethical labor.

The temptation to buy from fast fashion companies like Shien is rather tempting. But remember, those trendy pieces you have to get will probably be out of style sooner than you think. Instead, try to buy good quality ethical basics and try thrifting for the more trendy clothes that fit you and your personal style. It’s really more accessible than you’d think. Most trends are from past decades anyway, so try your luck at thrift stores or vintage stores. And the next time you find something really trendy you want, give it a week or two, then decide if you really want it. Most of the time, you’ll find something better.

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Free Lunch Mon, 01 Nov 2021 16:27:47 +0000  The United States Department of Agriculture made the announcement last April that free meals would be offered to all students attending public schools for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, regardless of financial situations. Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill to make meals free for students permanently. Bernie Sanders stated in an Insider article, “Every child deserves a quality education free of hunger. What we’ve seen during the pandemic is that a universal approach to school meals works. We cannot go backwards.”  Around 42 million people living in the US have been financially impacted by the pandemic, increasing the amount of people struggling with food access from 2019 by 20%. In the spring of 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act began funding for food assistance, making it easier for application of assistance programs. Many benefits were added to already existing programs.The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program received a 15% boost, the Women, Infants and Children program received an extra $26 per month, and the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program were given additional funds for when schools were shut down. With the help of this funding, some of the world’s hunger issues have improved. 

            A study from 2018 showed that school lunches are the single healthiest food source in the U.S.A study that looked at American diets found school lunches to be the most healthy compared to restaurants and grocery stores, with only 24% of school meals being low quality. When schools shut down due to the pandemic, drop off and pick up locations were instated for both breakfast and lunch. Some school districts have turned down the USDA’s offer, for example Waukesha, Wisconsin. Out of the 408 school districts in Wisconsin who were eligible, Waukesha is the only one not accepting the program. According to Karen Rajnicek, a school board member who was interviewed in an article by The Washington Post, “the free program made it easy for families to become spoiled.” This brought together almost 1,000 parents and teachers who created the “Alliance for Education in Waukesha.” This is a connection over social media that’s been pressing the district to accept the USDA’s program, especially now with pandemic caused financial struggles. Students from low-income households attending Waukesha will still be eligible for free or reduced priced meals through the original National School Lunch Program.

           In recent years, school lunch debt has risen by 70%. Students who have remaining debt may have consequences, including not being able to participate in school activities, or being served cold lunches rather than a hot lunch that other students have access to. Having lunch debt, or not having enough money in a student’s account can promote “lunch shaming,” a term used when someone is made fun of for these reasons. Lunch shaming has been seen more recently, especially post pandemic, and was taken into consideration when free and reduced priced meals began to open up. For the most part, the districts that accepted the USDA’s offer reduced food insecurity and obesity rates. 


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How Has Social Media Impacted Missing Persons Cases? Thu, 28 Oct 2021 18:14:41 +0000   Every year, close to 600,000 people go missing in the United States. The first 72 hours are crucial for a missing persons case, since investigators say it’s more likely to follow up on leads when information is fresh on people’s brains. If the person is thought to have been abducted or murdered, that’s when it comes time for search parties and alerting the media. Sometimes, getting the word out to social media that a person is missing is all that can be done. According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an article by Your Basin, social media has been a game changer. Since everyone has access at their fingertips, it’s an easy way to share and spread information.

           Children who are kidnapped are usually murdered within the first three hours to two days, so alerting the media is key to locating the child. Amber Alerts are a broadcast emergency response created after Amber Hagerman, a nine year old girl was kidnapped and brutally murdered in 1996. They are only used for the most serious child abduction cases. Dr. Michelle Jeanis said in an ABC News article, “There is a specific criteria for the level of danger the case must meet to warrant the alert.” Jeanis and her team say if too many Amber Alerts are issued, they could be ignored. According to Amber Alert reports, nearly 7 in 10 children are found and reunited with their families.

          Aside from an Amber Alert, there are five others that could be issued. These include a Clear Alert, a Silver Alert, an Endangered Missing Persons Alert, a Camo Alert, and a Blue Alert. Typically, these alerts focus on the elderly and adults. Not only does social media spread alerts, but can spread updates and awareness of missing persons who weren’t as fortunate, either never found or found dead. People are encouraged to always read before they share any information, as it could be old or not reliable, which creates chaos and confusion. Overall, social media has been a very effective source in finding missing persons and sharing information on their cases.

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