American Lit. students use MLK model to express concern on personal issues

Dear Editors:
I am writing as a member of Mr. Winkel’s fourth hour American literature: 1940’s to today class.

A topic that I believe needs to be re-evaluated in its approach is the human growth and development curriculum.

I’ve recently read Martin Luther King, Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and it has driven me to take action.

Since approximately the seventh grade our health curriculum has consisted of several topics like hygiene, the effects of drugs and alcohol, nutrition and fitness, and abstinence.

Though as idealistic as the approach of abstinence is, it seems to have become unrealistic.

Many people do wait until marriage to partake in sexual activity, but many will choose not to wait.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2003, approximately 62 percent of high school seniors had been sexually active.

As mentioned earlier, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to remain abstinent until marriage, and for those who do chose to become sexually active regardless of whether or not they are taught abstinence in schools, there is much left to be desired in their education as stated in Dr. King’s famous quote, “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever.”

One must understand that it is not necessary to encourage students to take part in sexual behaviors in order to arm them with the knowledge to step up and protect themselves if they choose to become active.

Another saying of Dr. King’s that comes to mind is, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

Would it not be a better idea to help students make informed decisions?

There are many risks in unprotected sex, some of which can affect the rest of a person’s life or even end it prematurely.

It is unjust to deprive a student the knowledge to live successful and healthful lives, and as Martin Luther King, Jr once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

An abstinence-based curriculum could implement other options in its entirety, such as how contraceptives work, their effectiveness and proper use.

Many would argue that it’s a parent’s job to teach children how to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

I believe so as well, yet, at the school I previously attended, I knew several young women who had experienced pregnancy scares.

And it is embarrassing, no one wants to talk to their parents about sex; I sure don’t, but it would be a lot worse to sit down and have to tell your parents that you were pregnant or contracted an STD.

If a parent has the option to sign a form stating that they don’t want their child to attend that portion of the class, then why not offer it? If they don’t like it, they don’t have to take it.

Respectfully,

Caitlin McGowan

CFHS Student

 

Dear Editors:

I am writing as a member of Mr. Winkel’s American Literature: 1930 to Today class.

I have recently read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” and it has inspired me to action against rising prescription drug prices.

When I was 14, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and discovered firsthand how expensive the high prices of prescription drugs were.

I never realized how an illness could affect the financial security of me and other families who deal with the same situation.

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

Something must be done to stop these rising prices before people begin to die because they can’t afford the medication they need to survive.

Think of a mother who is having to stop taking her medicine because she has to buy her children food for the week and cannot afford both.

Simply because the price is too high on the drug that stops her pains, she must go without.

She would be in much agony for very long periods of time.

I believe we should protest peacefully and make ourselves heard by the officials in Washington.

Leaving this issue unattended would leave many people without medicine to help them survive. We must have action; it is the only right thing to do.

As Martin Luther King, Jr., would have said, “There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.”

However, it must be restated that while we must protest, it must be through peace.

Violence and anger towards the companies would only cause more violence and anger.

Martin Luther once said that one who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly and with a willingness to accept the penalty.

It is morally imperative that in this day, we should not have people hurting and dying because of the inability to afford medicines to keep them alive.

All people should be equal with their health benefits as well as their rights.

Respectfully,

Logan Lewellyn

CFHS student

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