Coming to Secondary Academy for Success (SAS), I had no idea that there was a stigma. By getting a job and telling more people where I went to school and hearing rude and sarcastic things, I realized there was so much negativity about it. Drugs and other substances are at all schools, not just at SAS, they are more known about because we are a smaller community of students. We are good kids and we are learning in a way that works for us.
Today I am writing to you about the judgement about SAS. Students at SAS are constantly being judged and put down simply because they needed a different learning environment. A SAS student who I spoke to said one of the reasons that they didn't come here sooner was because of the judgement they'd been hearing from kids at the bigger high schools.
SAS individualizes learning and tries different things to make school fit for each student. Being a senior and my second year here, I feel as if this issue is much larger than just SAS alone. Knowing the amount of people that have gone here or the people that have wanted to come here, but didn't because of what someone said is appalling. Personally deep down I know that just us alone won’t change the stigma about coming here.
SAS is a place where you can feel comfortable and be yourself. We the students of SAS don’t have the power to do it alone, so please support us as a member of the community.
I am writing to you about this years Halloween and the stealing of personal property that took place. Many residents in our neighborhood were able to eye witness malicious behaviors from children who seem to lack respect and humility.
Full bowls of candy were dumped into bags. Bowls and wash buckets were stolen from residents. Several kids dressed in purple scream outfits came back an hour later, just to steal more items and leave the little ones with nothing.
Now some may just say, “it’s just kids”. But would that person say the same if these same items were stolen from them or even a store? The last I checked, stealing can get you sometimes 6 months in jail.
I would hope we try to instill our children with the honor system and hope they never take personal property. These children have to understand in this day and age we have cameras and ring. All of what happened on Halloween has been taped. Many parents will be filing a report while others will never be putting out candy again. Some have already contacted the police. So if you have any insight, you may want to say something.
I will be writing a letter to the Northshore School System with hopes that there will be accountability and possibly children doing the right thing.
These individuals have unfortunately ruined it for the next group of kids. All because they wanted more candy and thought it funny to steal people’s belongings. Somehow, I just don’t find that funny.
This type of malicious behavior has no place in our community.
Whenever someone asks how my day is, my muscle memory immediately responds with “Good, how about yours?” with a fake confidence, as I promptly await the same response. We start conversations with the same hook, line, and sinker and expect to have a connection to the people we talk to everyday, and it stems from the taboo that mental illness shrouds itself in.
I would like to discuss the importance of mental health awareness. Mental illnesses are more common than one might think, especially in teens. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that suicide is the third leading cause of deaths in youths 10-24, and only 50% of youths age 8-15 received mental health services in the past year. That is the same probability of guessing a coin flip. But statistics about suicide do not tell the story of the young teen struggling to collect the motivation to get out of bed each morning because they are suffering from depression. The teen who feels alone, and wants nothing more than to reach out to friends, but social anxiety disorder takes a hold of them and holds them back. These untold stories are far from rare.
Having a healthy mentality is not just the absence of a diagnosis. Mental health, to me, also refers to the presence of positive characteristics in one’s life that improves quality of life. Anything to break up the manipulative monotony that drags us into a melancholy that wants to leave us motionless when it is done with us. These lifelines can range from something as small as warm tea before bed, to as monumental as having friends one can be open and honest with. School counselors and nurses can help provide resources to connect with occupational therapists and psychiatrists who will support you.
About 1 in 5 teens have a mental illness that affects them daily. Here is how we can comfort them on a personal level. If a friend having a hard time, let them know that you appreciate them, and are thankful that they are with you. The stigma about talking about mental health is a boundary, and that should be expected. It is important to respect the other person’s choice if they do not want to open up to you. If they make the brave decision to discuss their experience with you, do not make them feel as if they are wrong, bad, or stupid. To address how difficult it can be for many to receive health care, contact your local politician. You can contact our governor Jay Inslee, and our two senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to voice your concerns. If you would like to talk face to face with our local leaders, attend a town hall meeting and assert your opinions about what should be done to aid those affected by mental illness. Tell them we need access to affordable healthcare, education about mental illness in schools, and an increased amount of community support groups. The Adolescent Psychodrama Therapy group is a great example of one. These support groups would ideally help with transportation.
People affected by mental illnesses are fighters. Carrie Fisher, who played Leia in Star Wars, battled endlessly against the stigma of mental health before she was taken from us. She was diagnosed with bipolar at 29. She said, “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.” Ethan Nikel
How many of you have ever struggled with mental health? I know I have since I was 3 or 4 years old. It’s like being chained down with no escape.
The average person spends 55 minutes per day worrying, however someone with an anxiety disorder worries over 300 minutes per day. With the 6 different anxiety disorders I have, including General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, I spend about 500 minutes worrying on an off each day. There are only 1440 minutes in a day, so I spend nearly half of the day worrying.
You probably know more than 20 people, and 1 in 20 struggle with America’s most common disorder - Anxiety. The reason this is such a big problem is because someone you know is struggling and they need your help.
But we have tools that can help us work on this issue such as coping skills. Coping skills include talking, using distractions like art or hobbies, and self-care. Together we can talk and bring this issue to light.
I need you to take care of yourselves and others with anxiety by helping them out. Take a bubble bath, or shower, do something relaxing, even brush your hair. Whatever makes you feel better, that is positive. If you or someone you know needs help, ask for support or support them. You can do this by saying to someone, “I need your help to be safe,” or listen to someone when they say, “Hey, I need help.”
This is important to all of us because a lot of people struggle with anxiety and it may be you or someone you know. Anxiety is like a monster who makes you afraid of the world and everything in it. Kilee Busch
I found Fred Obee’s Guest Column on fake news spot-on.
This “person” doesn’t like the news, so he calls it fake news. And he believes all the lies he tells.
Pauline L. Thompson, Woodinville
Our green, beautiful, shade providing vegetation needs our help! During the non-rainy season, about once every 7-10 days, all of our trees and other plants need an extra, good soaking, ideally 30 – 45 minutes. Over the past two summers both the surface and deep soil – simply stated, are bone dry or in a drought. Please be generous with your wallet and regularly water your trees and bushes…the grass gives a clue about the dry and compromising conditions. Jeannine Sieler Washington State Native and Tree Lover
The following letter to the editor was received in reference to the Guest Column by Fred Obee, Executive Director of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association that we ran on August 20, 2018.
It is interesting reading the article “No excuse for fake news rhetoric” (published on The Woodinville Weekly on August 20, 2018). I wonder whether the author really don’t know where the name of “fake news” came from or just pretended he didn’t know it. He used the first and second paragraphs to list many stories that newspaper reported and concluded that there is no fake news. I agree those stories are not fake news. Actually nobody will say sports’ reporting is fake news, even if reporters have bias to favor Seahawks, Mariners, or Sounders. Nobody will say weather reporting is fake news, even though the weather report is not always accurate. The author should know the name of “fake news” is used to point out the biased reporting of political events or issues by some major media. If he doesn’t know that, he is not good in his profession. Trump uses “fake news” to fight against those biased media and majority of American people agree with him. A recent article by Politico indicates that poll shows 77 percent of Americans say major news outlets report ‘fake news’. Several years ago Washington Post reported that just 7 percent of journalists are Republicans. It is not important which party a journalist belongs to, as long as she can make efforts to report facts in political events and issues. In some extend, media controls what we can see and hear. Therefore, it is very important for media to do its best to report facts, all facts, and nothing but facts, so that people can base on facts to make informed decision in the events such as election. Journalists should do their best to regain people’s trust. While we don’t want “fake news rhetoric”, we don’t need “all Trump’s fault rhetoric” either. Jun Tang Woodinville