Category: In-Depth

The Dangers of Inaccurate Representation

Taking a look at when representation goes wrong.

By Uma Ribeiro

Editor-in-Chief 

Image source: imdb.com

With the start of quarantine came more time to find new TV shows and movies to watch, or to re-watch some old ones, too. Sometimes it is the case that re-watching a former favorite will lead to liking said movie or TV show even more. But it is more commonly the case that doing so will lead to the realization that those former favorites are either not as good as remembered or are problematic in one way or another. In many popular TV shows and movies, ones that are known on national scales and others which were once Friday night go-tos, an incredibly inaccurate and more often than not, offensive depiction of people of different ethnicities, and specifically Brown people, was a recurring theme. 

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Immigration Justice and Advocacy: What You Need to Know to Get Involved

By Uma Ribeiro

Editor-in-Chief 

 

Image Source: ACLU of Maryland

What is happening locally?

Immigration coalitions and advocacy groups, their local efforts, and national impact

After vetoing Council Bill Number 51 which would have ended the contract Howard County had with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) back in October, and after ignoring the urges that followed from county residents to close the Howard County detention center, County Executive Calvin Ball finally decided to end the contract in late March of this year. 

However, it is important to note that this decision was not one Ball came to on his own, but was a result of years of pressure from Maryland immigrant advocacy groups, such as CASA and the Friends of Latin America coalition. With this decision, Ball has not yet proven himself an ally of the immigrant community, but rather the immigrant community and activists in Howard County have proven themselves effective. 

A member of Friends of Latin America (FoLA), an advocacy organization for immigration justice whose mission statement is to promote “…awareness, activism, and social responsibility in the United States for more just relationships with Latin America”, commented on the reasons behind why he thought Ball finally chose to end the contract after vetoing Council Bill 51 in October 2020 and being in favor of the detention center in the recent past. 

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Hybrid Learning, In-Person Instruction, COVID Procedures, and More

Your Back-to-School Guide for Second Semester

By Uma Ribeiro and Sarah Meklir

Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor

Lunchtime will look pretty different now. Hammond’s cafeteria is now spaced out to ensure a safe environment for students and staff.

The New and Updated Schedule 

As of March 1st, 2021, HCPSS has implemented a new schedule for all students in order to accommodate the needs of those students who have chosen to return to in-person learning. A school day for all high school students now begins at 7:45 am and ends at 2:30 pm. Aside from group V–students who are remaining fully virtual–and group E–students who are learning in-person 5 days a week–the schedule is a hybrid of virtual and in-person learning for students in groups A and B. 

All students who have now transitioned from online learning full time to full-time in-person instruction will be in school from 7:45 to 10:15am on Wednesdays. Those who transition from full-time online learning to a hybrid learning schedule will be asynchronous on Wednesdays, as per the old schedule. 

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Hammond Students on the Transition to Hybrid Learning

By Uma Ribeiro and Sarah Meklir 

In-Depth Editors

Source: hcpss.org

The Bear Press asked Hammond students to give their opinion on Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to send students back to school by March 1st and the subsequent decision of the Howard County Board of Education to allow students to choose whether or not to return to a hybrid learning model. Students also commented on how they are feeling regarding the change in schedule that will occur with the start of hybrid learning. 

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In-Depth: The Intersection of Systemic Racism and The Climate Emergency

How climate change connects to racial injustice and contributes to economic inequality, physical and mental illness, and systemic racism.

By Uma Ribeiro and Sarah Meklir

Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor

Image Source: yale.edu

Who does climate change affect the most?

People of color, specifically Black, Latinx, and Native populations, are most affected by the dangers of climate change. The origins of this can be traced back to the horrors of slavery and colonialism. The lasting effects of slavery and the removal and destruction of land from indigenous peoples led to a disruption of ecological and economic systems, and inaugurated a pattern of exploitation whose effects can still be felt today.  

Systemic racism continues to result in economic inequality which adds to the terrible and dangerous effects of climate change. Take, for instance, neighborhoods in East Baltimore City which are concrete-heavy and highly made up of Black populations, little shade exists and these neighborhoods and their residents feel the terror of climate change the most. 

As climate change worsens every day, so do the conditions in these neighborhoods, where there is insufficient access to healthcare, an absence of trees, and an abundance of row houses in which temperatures can get up to eight degrees hotter inside than outside temperatures. As reported by the Howard Center For Investigative Journalism in Code Red,  “People who live in the hottest parts of the city are more likely to be poor, to live shorter lives, and to experience higher rates of violent crime and unemployment.”

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Howard County Implements Disposable Bag Fee in all Retail Stores: It’s About Time

By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Image Source: https://livegreenhoward.com/

Chances are, if you have shopped in Howard County at any point in the last two months, you know about the new disposable bag fee. But for those of you who don’t know, starting on October 1st, all retail stores began charging 5 cents for any disposable bag sold at the point of checkout.

The county is trying to make efforts to become more environmentally-conscious, especially when it comes to plastic bags. For every 5 cents collected, 4 cents goes into something called “The Disposable Plastics Reduction Fund”, which then goes towards providing reusable bags to people in Howard County and creating different environmental efforts/programs.

Even if you don’t do your shopping in this county, this fee has the potential to affect everyone who lives here in such a positive way. In the eyes of many, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs. 

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Three Local Ways to Get Involved with the Black Lives Matter Movement

By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Youth-led march in Columbia, Maryland back in June 2020
Image Source: The Baltimore Sun

Amidst the racial inequality and police brutality that occurs far too often, it is not unusual to begin to question your role in these issues. If something hasn’t happened directly to you, are you still able to help? If you want to speak up and say something, does your voice truly have power? It is easy to say no to these questions, especially if you’re only in high school.

But, that should not keep you from making use of the power that you have. After all, the future advancements in racial equality will eventually land on your shoulders. This task may seem daunting, but don’t worry; there are so many young people of this generation standing with you.

This begs the question: why is it so important that students in Howard County fight against racial injustice? The divide in this county is evident and affects all who live in it. The only thing left to ask is what you can do to fight this division. Here are three easy ways that students like you can get involved with the Black Lives Matter movement:

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“No Justice, No Peace”: Protests Sparked by the Death of George Floyd Lead to Positive Changes, Police Continue to Incite Violence

QAN5BCMZJRGPLMCF2YYZTMXNQEProtests following the death of George Floyd continue in Baltimore City.

Image Source: The Baltimore Sun 

By Uma Ribeiro

In-Depth Editor

On May 25th, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered by a White police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As he pleaded for his life and expressed he could not breathe, the police officer continued to press his knee into Floyd’s neck while three other officers watched him die and did nothing. The resulting uproar and nationwide protests sparked by Floyd’s death have been necessary for a long time. Protesters are demanding an end to police brutality, calling for the rightful defunding of police departments, and are fighting against systemic racism. The protests are not solely about the death of Floyd, but what his death represents: the thousands of Black lives lost to police violence, White supremacy, and systemic racism in America.

The fact is, police presence within the United States has not been positive. Law enforcement incite violence and take lives, and continue to do so every day. In a time when we are not even supposed to be in contact with one another due to Coronavirus, racism is still running rampant, and the death and maltreatment of Black people across the world did not cease when COVID-19 surfaced. 

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Changes in the Environment Seen Due to Coronavirus in Just Mere Weeks

By: Uma Ribeiro

In-Depth Editor

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Image Credits: deseret.com

In the chaos and uncertainty of these times, one silver lining has seemed to present itself within the past few weeks. Across the world, pollution and emissions have slightly lessened due to the Coronavirus lockdown, prompting scientists and news sites to question whether or not there could be any lasting positive environmental effects. People staying inside, tourists canceling their flights, and fewer cars on the road have led to reports of air pollution dropping around the planet, falls in road traffic and roadkill, water canals becoming crystal clear once again, and the Himalayas becoming visible for the first time in decades, as well as reports of visible local changes.  

From Washington DC to Boston, NASA noted a 30% drop in air pollution within that region, publishing visuals comparing the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from March of 2015-2019 versus March of this year. Hammond students have also reported changes around the local Howard County community.

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