Category: Editorials

What Did the U.S. Gain From the Vietnam War?

By Chris Parris 

Staff Writer

The Vietnam War was a conflict that saw the United States battle against the North Vietnamese in order to stop them from making South Vietnam a communist government. From 1965 to 1973, the United States played a major part in the conflict. Most of the United States Armed Forces withdrew from the war and Vietnam would eventually become unified as a communist nation two years later. The Vietnam War has been deemed as one of the most controversial wars in modern history and the conflict’s effects still linger. Even though the United States lost the war, we managed to gain quite a few things.

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Photo Source: Life & Time Pictures

Because of the Vietnam War, the draft no longer exists. During the Vietnam War, thousands of young men were drafted and shipped overseas. As the war went on the draft grew unpopular. The draft ceased to exist in 1973 when the United States Armed Forces became an all-volunteer military force. The improvement of weaponry and military tactics was another gain from the Vietnam War. By the war’s end, battle rifles were replaced with assault rifles; light machine guns and grenade launchers were incorporated into squads; the concept of having helicopters transport soldiers to and from combat zones was conceived; jungle warfare became better understood. 

Prior to the Vietnam War, terms such as “war neurosis” and “gross stress reaction” were used to describe veterans who had psychological problems after returning home from combat. The psychological trauma that Vietnam veterans displayed for years after the war led to a deeper understanding of mental illness in all veterans. In 1980, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD) became an official medical term as a result of years of  studies involving Vietnam veterans and veterans from other wars. Nowadays, psychological problems that veterans face are better understood and can now get proper services and benefits.

And finally, the Vietnam War changed how wars are covered by the news media. The Vietnam War has been considered as the “first televised war.” Every night, the American Public would watch the news and see raw, uncensored footage of firefights, airstrikes, and casualties. Wars continue to be covered by the news media but the footage that is aired is not as graphic. 

Yes, the United States lost the Vietnam War. Our efforts to stop Vietnam from becoming a communist country miserably failed. We suffered over 58,000 killed and thousands of veterans continue to suffer from PTSD and illnesses brought on by exposure to defoilants such as Agent Orange. However, the conflict brought innovations to weapons and military tactics, the purge of the draft, a better understanding of psychological problems that combat veterans face, and changed how the media covers wars.

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Creating a Safe Space for Everyone: Hammond’s New All-Gender Restroom

By Anna Taché

Editorials Editor

It’s a new year, and Hammond has lots of changes. A large freshman class, new sports coaches, more crowding in hallways, etc. Hammond also has another change that has peaked the attention of many: a new gender-neutral bathroom. Hammond’s new “all-gender” restroom, which now replaces the former boys’ bathroom situated near Mrs. Osborne’s room, has already created a bit of controversy within the time that school has been in session. Some people believe that a gender-neutral restroom could cause issues with both boys and girls using the bathroom at the same time, while others believe that it is a necessary accommodation for nonbinary and trans students. 

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Photo Courtesy of The Bear Press

The gender-neutral restroom was originally created for nonbinary and trans students who don’t feel comfortable using bathrooms that are for the gender that they don’t identify with. 

But to some students, that meaning has become misconstrued. Some students feel uncomfortable using that restroom, due to the fact that different genders can use the bathroom at the same time. “I think that I wouldn’t be comfortable using the bathroom because both boys and girls can use it,” says Junior Han Le. “One of my family members here at school used it, and they said it was bad.” 

Although some students aren’t very comfortable with the gender-neutral bathroom, others are very supportive of the bathroom, like Junior Iman Tura. “We have a lot of nonbinary and non-gender conforming students that go to Hammond that should have access to a bathroom that they feel comfortable using.” Another supporter of the all-gender restroom is Senior Liya Kebede. “I feel that it’ll have a positive impact on those who have been waiting for a bathroom like this, or even a space like this, where they can feel safe, and that they don’t have to double-think about which bathroom they’re quote-unquote ‘supposed’ to use,” says Kebede. Although she is supportive of the bathroom, she still worries about the treatment and use of the bathroom, stating that she “think[s]that there are some people at Hammond who may take advantage of the fact that it’s an all-gender restroom.”

Overall, many students at Hammond are supportive of the new all-gender restroom, but they still have their worries. In order for the bathroom to be used in the way that it was originally intended to be, it should be publicized more as a restroom where nonbinary and trans people can feel safe. 

Pride Month: We Still Have a Long Way to Go

By Anna Tache

Editorial Editor

June; the month that marks the end of school, the beginning of summer, and the beginning of our freedom as students. However, June is also an important month for another reason: it’s pride month. Pride Month is a time for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as any others, to celebrate what makes them proud of themselves as individuals. Pride Month is a very important time for members of the LGBTQ+ community (which I’m going to abbreviate as LGBT) to be able to express themselves freely without limitations.

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Photo Credit: Anna Tache

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The Effects of Junk Food on the Body

By: Amani Moore

Staff Writer

Junk food. It’s cheap, fast, and delicious, but how does it affect our body?

When running up the steps, do you ever feel winded and don’t know why? Junk food may be the reason behind that exhaustion. This happens because junk food lacks all of the nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates that keep you energized and healthy. If eaten on a regular basis, junk food can lower energy levels to a point where it can be difficult to do simple, everyday tasks. Junk food may make you happy, but when looking at all the facts, is it really worth it?

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Consuming junk food can also lead to depression in teenagers. Teens go through a lot of hormonal changes, causing moods to fluctuate and different emotions to flood in. A healthy diet plays a key role in how to maintain hormonal balance. With a horrible diet (like junk food)  one may tend to feel sluggish, heavy, and overall unsatisfied. According to msn.com, the likelihood of teenagers getting depression has increased by 58 percent when their diets consist mostly of junk food, as feelings of sluggishness and lack of energy contribute to depression, sadness, and low self-esteem.

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Immigrants Should Be Allowed in This Country, and Here’s Why:

Casandra Arreola and Uma Ribeiro

Staff Writers

Immigration is a topic that people have been debating for centuries. But with the Trump administration in office and making ridiculous policies that even go as far as to hurt children, it is being discussed and debated now more than ever before, and has become an issue of morals rather than one of politics.

Under the zero tolerance policy Trump released back at the start of his term, in which all people entering the United States illegally are prosecuted, innocent children were separated from their families, some younger than two years old.

Though the topic of new people entering the country is largely debated, there should be no debate when it comes to the separation of families and the detaining of innocent children in horrible conditions. It has been proven that family separation causes severe trauma, especially in children, and the fact that they are detained in these horrendous centers rather than being comforted in any way only makes that trauma worse.

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Gun Control: Why America Needs to Follow an International Example

Laura Mosier

In-Depth Editor

There have been 51 mass shootings in the United States as of March 4, 2019. In just 63 days, there have been 51 mass shootings. In this same period of time, 2,344 people have been killed by guns. Out of all of the victims of gun violence in 2019, 458 of those injured or killed were under the age of seventeen.

Fifteen days after the deadliest shooting in Australian history, the Port Arthur Massacre, Australia had implemented the National Firearms Agreement. Since then, gun violence has gone down immensely in Australia. The United States continues to have mass shootings that take the lives of so many people, yet nothing has been done to combat this issue.

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The 2018 Midterm Elections: Howard County is Heading in in the Right Direction

Anna Tache

Editorials Editor

During the last Midterm Elections, held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, the nation voted to elect candidates for positions such as Senator, House Representative, Governor, and even County Executive. These elections determined our country’s Congress for the next two years and were crucial to the future of our

nation. I had personally hoped for a Democratic takeover of both the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Maryland State Government, and the Howard County Government, and I was not completely disappointed. Although the Democrats did lose the Senate by a few members, they did take over the House with a 26-person lead over the Republicans. In Maryland, Republican incumbent Larry Hogan won the race for governor; however, Maryland elected a Democrat for Attorney General, as well as majority Democrats for the State Senate and the House of Delegates.

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