By Marissa Cohen
This year’s upcoming election might be one of the most important ones in our nation’s history. Between debate cancellations, attack ads, and a global pandemic, the road to November 3rd hasn’t exactly been easy. However, while many of you probably hear the words “Trump” or “Biden” every 10 seconds, they’re certainly not the only two people running in this election. Many people these days are tempted to just vote down the party line, but local elections can be just as important, if not even more important, than the presidential one.
In Newtown Township and Newtown Borough, there are two other very important elections: one for our U.S. House Representative, and one for our state representative. There are also a few smaller, more local elections this year such as local judges. Some of you know a bit about the election for the House of Representatives. The two major names in this race are the incumbent congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R) and Christina Finello (D). Our district’s congress race is usually one of the most debated in the months leading up to the election, as the results tend to flip-flop between political parties. This race is one that’s gained much national attention, with Finello being noticed by notable congress people such as Elizabeth Warren and both candidates being featured on major media stations and shows. Fitzpatrick and his family are very well known and respected in this area, so the polls currently favor him. However, Finello is not too far behind.
The other important local race this year is for state representative, a race between incumbent representative Perry Warren (D) and newcomer Charlie Adcock (R). Both men live in Newtown, with children who have gone or who currently go to Council Rock. Warren has served as our district’s representative since 2016; he has a very bipartisan and common sense approach to his politics. Funnily enough, one of Charlie Adcock’s major election points is common sense too, and it seems to be what he’s pushed a lot in his campaign. Like the election for Congress, it is currently projected that the incumbent representative will win, but you can never be too sure when it comes to polls. If the 2016 election showed anything, it’s that polls aren’t always accurate.
These local elections are very important: these are the people who will be making decisions that affect Newtown directly, and the people who will represent you in the state house and in Congress. So, what can you do to make sure you have a say in the local elections? Vote! There are multiple ways to vote this year: you can go to the polls on November 3rd like usual, or you can request a mail-in ballot, another perfectly safe way to cast your vote if you’re nervous about in-person voting during the pandemic. Doing your own research on these candidates is very important too. If you don’t take everything at face value and you make your own decisions based on policies and facts, you’ll be more comfortable with who you’re voting for and you’ll be picking the candidates who best represent you.
So, if you’re casting your vote in this year’s election, remember that while it may be all you hear about, it’s not just Trump and Biden.
By Lindsay Gottlieb
Who doesn’t love to stay up late on a summer night watching Netflix, texting friends, and doing anything else to avoid sleeping? This is because most students see summer as a three-month-long opportunity to relax and not stress over school. However, as back-to-school season approaches each year, students realize they have to begin regulating their sleeping schedules. Staying awake until three in the morning on school nights will lead to extreme fatigue during the school day, and a result of that, inefficient performance.
A 2015 study from the CDC reported that approximately 72% of American high school students do not get enough sleep on school nights. Parents suggest that the use of technology in bed is a main cause of this problem.
To fix this problem, many parents have limited screen time for their children, to make sure they get an adequate amount of sleep. Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder have been linked to sleep deprivation. Perhaps today’s teenagers do not understand how vital sleep is to the body and when this function begins to decline, things such as behavioral changes are the consequence.
On the search to collect accurate information relative to not only American high school students, but specifically Council Rock North students, I decided to interview one student from each grade level about their feelings on this matter. I asked them the following three questions:
“Since the transition from school to summer, I’ve gotten a lot less sleep. I find myself struggling to stay awake in first period. I don’t even go to bed at an unreasonable time for a student my age. For a student to get a full 8 hours of sleep while waking up at 6:30, they would have to go to bed at 1:30 at the latest. This is completely unreasonable for students ages 14-18. Most kids in this school are not sleeping before 11:30. I think that school should definitely start later. Not only would students be able to pay attention better in first period, but they also would be able to sleep in and get their full 8-10 hours of sleep.” -Ella Ciervo, Grade 9
“No, I have not experienced a decline in nightly sleep since the transition from summer to school. Yes, being well rested is important to me, so I manage my time so that I can get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Of course, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if I have an event or a lot of homework. I think that it is possible for students to manage their time wisely like I have. I play three sports, am an honor roll student, and the president of a club. I still have time for other activities while balancing all of these things. At the high school level, everyone should be able to do this. Why should we change school start times at this problem can be fixed by our student body? If we started later, we would also get out later, creating later nights. Often times, high schoolers will stay up even though they have school the next morning. That's their own fault, they aren't responsible enough to prioritize sleep and go to bed earlier. If we bend the start times, it will only hurt our children, because they won't learn how to manage time or get up and take action. When they have a real job, do you think they will move their start time because little Jimmy from CR isn't getting his sleep? No, that is pathetic. I am a firm believer that CRSD should maintain the early start time so that we can produce productive, working class citizens.” -Addison Adcock, Grade 10.
“Yes, definitely I am sleeping less. … I get about 5-6 hours of sleep each night. I believe that school should start at 8,even though it may push sports or activities back an hour or so. It will allow students to get more sleep and be more awake at school.” -Ava Angelakis, Grade 11.
“I got much better, fuller nights of sleep over the summer. … I have to wake up at 6am to get to school on time, so it’s very difficult to get 8-10 hours of sleep. Yes, I think [a later start time would] be great! There may be some conflict with elementary and middle school buses which is a con, but older students need more sleep. Students would be more alert and healthy, which is the most significant result of a later start time, even if it would take some work with other levels of school.” -Alexa Schnur, Grade 12.
After collecting these responses from my fellow students, I have concluded that 75% of my interviewees are in favor of a later start time to get more sleep. They believe this could potentially increase productivity in school, rather than falling asleep in first period. I have also drawn the conclusion that most students feel relaxed with a more flexible sleep schedule during the summer. Should Council Rock push back school start times in hopes of increased efficiency by both students and teachers? This has been a debatable topic for a long time, and will probably remain as so until a final decision is made by the School Board.