Jesuit Chronicle

Please, stop buying toilet paper.


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As the panic surrounding the COVID-19 virus grows, people are panicking and buying up important, life-saving supplies

We have all heard the stories. We have all seen the pictures. We have all gone to the stores. Walls of empty shelves where life necessities like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and face masks once sat. People, staring at the face of a global crisis, ran to the stores to buy as much of these as they possibly could. Many people bought out these items to resell online at a higher price, but most simply wanted to prep for the future, stockpiling on goods they heard were selling out fast.

If you have paid attention, you likely will have seen listings online for these products selling at crazy prices. People selling toilet paper by the square, selling doomsday prepping kits, or $1 bottles of hand sanitizer at $20. This practice is referred to commonly as price-gouging. It is common whenever a high-demand item comes out. Concert tickets, limited-edition collectibles, and other items have all combated this practice for years, but the hygiene industry did not prepare for this. There’s no way they could have.

In an urgent effort to reduce this practice, eBay has banned the sale of these items, and Amazon is taking down any sellers listing these products for extreme prices. This has resulted in many of these sellers simply stockpiling these products in their homes, unsure of what to do. They want to make a profit, but no one will let them sell for the prices they want. A New York Times article details one such seller who has tens of thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, face masks, and other hygiene products stacked up in his home (New York Times).

Many user comments on the article criticize the seller, pointing he could easily get rid of these items by either giving them to a local hospital or simply selling them for a fair price, and he did donate the supplies on Sunday, a day after the article was published, and people can see the ethical issues with price-gouging, especially for items that could potentially save people’s lives, but the broader issue here is not necessarily the price-gouging.

As mentioned before, many people—-normal, average people—-have gone to stores to buy large quantities of these items for their own personal stock, afraid they may not be able to get them in the future. Hoarding like this presents the real problem. Buying huge quantities like this is practically completely unnecessary. COVID-19 is not going to close all stores, it’s not going to shut down the roads, and it’s not going to cancel all hygiene product production.

Instead, when you buy out local supplies of hygiene products, you make it drastically harder for people who actually need these supplies to get them. Not everyone can afford to buy bulk orders of toilet paper, and not everyone can afford to pay the gouged prices online. Not everyone has the time to travel the city in search of basic necessities, so buying out these items only puts more people at risk.

You also make it harder for medical professionals to care for people actually infected with COVID-19 and people at higher risk of getting it. Only a couple of weeks ago the United States Surgeon General urged people on twitter to stop buying face masks (New York Times). He pointed out that across the country, stores had sold out of face masks, making them incredibly difficult for hospitals to find. Most normal people do not need face masks, and buying them is typically pointless, so buying large quantities only made it harder for hospitals to do the job we need them to. Right now, nothing is more important than ensuring that the healthcare system can operate at its maximum efficiency to fight COVID-19, and buying essential healthcare supplies prevents hospitals from doing this.

The best thing we can do right now is to spend like we normally do and not put any more stress on the retail system. Stores and suppliers are only equipped to handle a certain amount of demand and rapidly increasing the demand could put the entire system at risk. Doomsday prepping will only put us closer to an actual doomsday where stores will not have the items people need to live.

We are currently living in the middle of a global health crisis and it is easy to start thinking about doomsday, and what you might need to survive, but a global crisis is not the time to start selfishly thinking about what you might need in eight months. It is the time to start thinking about how your actions will affect the other people in your society and what other people need right now, especially those who cannot afford to spend as wantonly as you can.

About the Contributor
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James Martini, Staff Writer

James Martini’s interest in writing began as early as the second grade, and he has written ever since. As a senior, he began his career at the Jesuit...

Progress needed on responsive race education


Jenelle Gaerlan

Students at Jesuit have disappointingly limited educational exposure to discussions on race and identity.

Jesuit stresses the purposeful pursuit of social equity and awareness in one of its five student profile attributes: “Committed to Doing Justice.” In Peace and Justice and with inclusivity-oriented school events such as the Martin Luther King assembly and Multicultural Week, Jesuit clearly includes racial justice under the umbrella of social justice issues it seeks to expose students to.

Yet save an inevitably brief intro about the realities of racism in Peace and Justice, the times race is explicitly tackled in the classroom, in an educational environment, number very few. Many students, unless they actively seek out race education themselves, exit Jesuit with at best a surface-level, bare-minimum understanding of what marginalization means, of the aggressions both systemic and individual that compose America’s tumultuous, frustrating, ignorance-ridden racial landscape. This level of ignorance is inevitable without consistent, purposeful exposure to race and mandatory racial discussions beyond assemblies.

Depending on their English class, sophomores may read The Other Wes Moore, or All American Boys, or American Born Chinese, and discuss stereotypes and discrimination from a literary lens. Students may spend a couple U.S. History classes absorbing a strictly factual account of the Chinese Exclusion Acts or the Civil Rights era. The quality of a student’s race education is dependent upon the classes they take, and even if they maximize their exposure to discussions about race, no curriculum across different departments at Jesuit specifically embeds comprehensive, continuing, multi-year education about many critical aspects of race.

Inevitably, of course, race does intersect with certain disciplines at Jesuit. Problematically, however, many of Jesuit’s rare classroom-based explorations of race are completely unrelated to what they learn about race in the next class, making it next to impossible for students, particularly those without experience with racial discrimination, to draw connections or actually develop a nuanced understanding of racism and racial identity. 

Students will obviously struggle with applying the diverse cultural experiences of authors they read in English class to the historical atrocities and institutional racism they learn about in Theology or History when there’s no continuous, interconnected educational progression guiding their understanding of race and culture. Worse yet, many topical racial issues, including issues that affect how students themselves respond to race and treat their classmates of color, go completely untouched. There are students who will leave Jesuit and never once engage in critical, intentional classroom discussions about their own implicit biases, about microaggressions, about cultural appropriation or police brutality or affirmative action.

Each and every student should be exposed to uncomfortable discussions from freshman to senior year, routinely revisiting more challenging topics and receiving exposure to cumbersome racial and cultural controversies. Without this curriculum-embedded emphasis on cultural responsiveness, many students miss out on participating in crucial, contentious political and cultural conversations, and their insularity leaves them unprepared to engage with those issues once they leave Jesuit. 

Case in point: when Mosely Watta performed at the Martin Luther King assembly, he informed the student body that he would refrain from sharing his piece on cultural appropriation, which included mention of the n-word, because he didn’t feel we were ready to handle that topic—yet. Considering his audience included 14-year-old freshmen, his rationale made sense, but the connotation of the word “yet” suggests that we as a school will eventually broach discussions about cultural appropriation and have the capacity to grapple with its cultural complexity. With no intentional sequence for students to develop racial literacy skills, and no designated course that explores cultural appropriation, it’s doubtful that each and every student will ever get the chance to have a mature conversation about the n-word. 

For students who want to understand cultural appropriation and other racial issues, they can; by attending the Ignatian Teach-In, for example, or participating in student-led projects and conversations with students of color, every student technically has access to race education. In all of these scenarios, however, students must dedicate extracurricular time to interacting with consistent, explicit forums about race, which means those who would benefit from race education the most don’t often receive it. 

Even more concerning, without curriculum-oriented opportunities to address race and culture, a disproportionate and unfair burden falls upon the students of color already experiencing discrimination to educate their classmates on their own experiences and dedicate themselves to diversity projects, such as student panels for Ms. Myers’ Peace and Justice class and the Multicultural Week assembly.

“With this idea that it should be student-driven, it’s just really tiring,” senior Natalie Tan said. “It’s really, really tiring to actually [explain your own experiences with racism], and it takes up a lot of your energy and your time. I understand it would be most effective student-driven, but at the same time when you’re experiencing [racism] and you also have to become the person to educate, and then you have to relive everything that’s hurt you, that’s really, really emotionally draining.”

A lack of race education doesn’t simply produce a student body that is socially and culturally unresponsive in an abstract, global sense. Without a thorough understanding of race, identity, and marginalization, students are infinitely more likely to perpetuate microaggressions and indulge in racial stereotypes, even without conscious racist intent. Senior Kaylee Jeong notes that her teachers have at times refused to vocally address microaggressions as students perpetuate them against her and her classmates of color, a consequence of Jesuit’s broader aversion to confronting racism through an educational, interpersonal lens. 

“I don’t need my teachers in every single class to be educating about race issues. I want to learn about biology and math, too, but I just want to be able to trust in my teachers that they’re going to be supportive of me if someone says something that hurts me in class,” Jeong said. “I want them to know why it’s problematic and be able to support me, because I don’t want that responsibility all to myself, to be like, ‘this is why you’re wrong, this is all the analysis behind it,’ while being respectful at the same time. That is so tiring.”

It’s worth noting that Jesuit is not alone in its evident lack of race education. Many high schools, even after instituting more explicit classes on racial literacy such as Ethnic Studies, still struggle with imparting universal or even near-universal lessons on race. Cleveland High School, for example, had an incident in 2018 where hate speech, including hostile use of the n-word, was graffitied in a boy’s bathroom (OregonLive).

Jesuit, in its expressed commitment to racial justice, still has a unique responsibility to try harder. To make observable changes for the benefit of racial literacy on a yearly basis, even if that means investing a lot of resources. To pursue both long-term progress towards an embedded, multi-discipline emphasis on cultural responsiveness and the many complicated dimensions of race and injustice, and by taking up every opportunity teachers have to design more inclusive courses. 

Progress can follow two, hopefully coinciding, routes: in the long term, integrating a scope and sequence for racial literacy into freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior courses that specifically dedicates time to issues of race and identity, and right now, taking advantage of opportunities to revamp our current courses to make them explicitly about race.

Regarding the first option, scope and sequence, race and racial othering and discrimination undergird just about every societal discussion we have. Thus, it makes sense to insert a series of smaller but progressive, culminating, interconnected lessons into different subjects throughout students’ four years.

“Scope and sequence is where you say, ‘these are the skills, or this is the content area, that we want students to know,’ but we can’t do it all in one year or all in one class, and so you take it and you break it down into digestible chunks that are going to be covered over four years and ideally over a range of disciplines,” AP English Literature and sophomore English teacher Ms. Mathes said. “For example, in the English department, we have a scope and sequence of grammar skills. I think we should have something like that for what’s called racial literacy.”

Right now, students don’t universally receive a basic, classroom-based introduction into bias and discrimination until they are upperclassmen in Peace and Justice. To effectively impart lessons on race, those conversations should begin in each student’s freshman and sophomore year. More challenging topics that often remain at the wayside altogether, including cultural appropriation, affirmative action, microaggressions, criminal justice and economic inequality, should be intentionally addressed in lesson plans and class discussions. 

Developing an intuitive, effective, all-encompassing curricular response to the need for racial literacy will obviously take time. The administration and Diversity Office are currently pondering how to construct effective teacher training and rubrics that assess the quality and depth of race education. 

“We need to make sure that we’re educating our teachers, that we’re implementing training for our teachers, and we need to figure out some sort of rubric to measure our progress,” Diversity Director Mrs. Lowery said. “It’s a long and difficult process, it’s uncomfortable, but as a school, we’ve been waiting for this time to come and we’re ready to dive into deeper work.”

In the meantime, various departments at Jesuit still currently have the latitude—and the responsibility—to revamp current course offerings, particularly when such adjustments are already ongoing. 

For instance, next year, senior English classes are transitioning to semester-long courses that examine literature through a certain lens. Examples include “Confinement and Freedom in Women’s Literature” and “Mythical Magic Meets Modern Meaning.” While some of the electives, particularly the women’s literature course, explore minority voices, none focus singularly and specifically on the intersection of race and literature like, say, an African-American Literature or Asian-American Literature or Chicana Literature course would. 

Imagine a semester-long Asian-American literature class, for example. By focusing solely on the various dimensions of Asian-American storytelling, interweaving novels and short stories together so students understand all the messy contradictions and grave injustices defining Asian-Americans’ cultural experience, students will have access to a far more mature and honest portrait of what it means, for some, to be a racial minority in America, far beyond what a single assembly could impart.

Admittedly, this is the first year the English Department is implementing focused senior English electives. To construct entirely new lesson plans featuring diverse works of literature in time for forecasting would take substantial work, fine-tuning, and the possibility of failure.

“This is going to be a transforming program for a couple years,” senior English teacher Mr. Sprehe said. “We had been throwing this together in addition to doing our classes and doing all the other things we have to do outside of classes, trying to get this thing ready for forecasting. We may say, ‘wow, this was really so narrow, and I should have used other voices.’ The senior English teachers want to be responsive to student needs and our changing culture. It would be unfortunate if we made a change and it just basically stayed what it has been for years.”

Though senior English electives will hopefully eventually include classes rooted in the cultural experiences of racial minorities, it’s still disappointing that there wasn’t a concentrated, full-throated effort to use one of Jesuit’s few opportunities to construct inclusive courses and create a meaningful course exploring racism and identity. Frankly, to try and fail to design a race-centric literature course this year would have been preferable to assuming it was unattainable. This process of kicking the can down the road, waiting another year or two, for the sake of designing the “perfect” way to approach uncomfortable, divisive issues and engage in uncomfortable conversations has squandered chances for bold strokes of change—and has potentially become an excuse for complacency.

“I think sometimes we find ourselves thinking we are changing and doing some great things, but there’s deeper work that needs to happen,” Mrs. Lowery said.

Overcoming inertia, especially at as long-lived and stable a school as Jesuit, is no small task, nor should the difficulty and sensitivity that it takes to construct a racially-driven literature or history course be neglected. At the same time, it’s impossible to deny that challenging faculty members and departments to engage with culturally responsive course restructuring when the opportunity presents itself is at best an afterthought, a concept easily scuttled by impending deadlines and scant resources.

Faculty have understandable concerns about implementing explicitly race-based education. Some question their own white identity, doubting whether they can fully, seamlessly understand and articulate to students the nuances of an author of color’s personal narrative. Ms. Mathes, who redesigned her sophomore English curriculum to include racially diverse authors and discussions on race, acknowledges that the process was imperfect and difficult.

“For me, I had to very intentionally push myself outside my comfort zone to find literature that wasn’t like the literature I studied when I was in college, and I had to intentionally teach that literature,” Ms. Mathes said. “The more I did it the better I got at it. It’s not particularly easy to teach the literature of another culture when you’re not of that culture, but it’s important to me, so I teach it.”

Certainly, teachers of color who understand race at a base level are best suited to guide conversations about minority experiences. Currently, however, Jesuit has to pursue race education with the faculty it has, which places an attendant responsibility on each and every teacher irrespective of personal identity: become educated on both the rhetoric and institutions that hinder racial literacy and racial equality. Avoid misattributing false perceptions, trivializations, and clumsy language to literary, cultural, or historical interpretations of racism as much as possible. Acknowledge one’s own deficiencies, rather than peddling assumptions, when it comes to planning lessons and educating students on the experiences of people of color.

Most importantly, make racial literacy and cultural awareness not just a reactive afterthought in times of racial tension and strife, or a one-off event coinciding with an annual memoriam, but a consistent part of how Jesuit students learn to pursue justice and critically question modern institutions. In this last, essential responsibility, progressing towards a four-year, interdisciplinary, culturally current racial literacy curriculum, and right now, taking advantage of the few opportunities we presently have as a school to pursue explicitly race-based courses, needs to be prioritized.

For now, teachers, departments, and the administration should take up every opportunity to reaffirm among all students a greater degree of racial awareness and cultural competence. Continuously sticking with what’s comfortable, and failing to designate substantial resources to race-based lessons and classes, created this crisis of racial literacy to begin with. Both white students and students of color need more radical change in how Jesuit teaches about race, especially if we want to actually depart Jesuit as agents for justice.

About the Writer
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Shawna Muckle, Chief Editor

Shawna Muckle, 17, is a senior at Jesuit High School. She has been a member of the Chronicle staff for three years in various capacities, and she is currently...

Public Transportation



Transportation raises questions and answers at Jesuit

Written by Jayla Lowery

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Nearly 500,000 school buses travel to and from schools on a daily basis, bringing over 25 million kids to school each day ( Passengers range from kindergarten to high school seniors, and classic yellow school busses are a common symbol of school for many students across the country.

Jesuit does not currently have a bus system available for all students, and since students come from a range of areas, a bus system would be challenging to create. 

“The practical reality of Jesuit is that students come from around 30 different zip codes areas,” Principal Paul Hogan said. “It would be difficult at best to have any sort of equity in transportation for all students.”

But what are the effects and implications of not having a reliable busing system at Jesuit?

Currently, Jesuit has a small school busing system in the form of the St. Andrew Nativity bus, which transports alums of the middle school back to Northeast Portland. If not filled with alums for the day, the bus is open to other students who live in the Northeast area.

But besides the Nativity bus, Jesuit has not had an all-school bus system since the ‘70s. With students living as north as Vancouver, Washington and as west as North Plains and Forest Grove, Jesuit students come from far and wide on a daily basis. Such distances make it difficult for many students to find transportation in the first place.

The most popular and common form of transportation to Jesuit is cars. Most students catch rides with their parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, or drive themselves. 

Senior Anna Niedermeyer frequently carpools to and from school despite living less than 10 minutes away.

“My parents usually drive me to school since I can’t drive, and I carpool back home pretty much every day,” Niedermeyer said.

Other students like Jaedina Bayking live far from the school, and often rely on public transportation to get to and from school. 

“Sometimes getting back home from Jesuit on the bus takes forty-five minutes to an hour.” Bayking said.

“I tried not to take the bus to school because I was scared of being late. Buses are really unpredictable.”

When it comes to carpooling, the question of environment friendliness is unavoidably raised. Without a school mandated bus, students spend large amounts of time in cars and in traffic. While clean energy vehicles exist, students without energy-efficient vehicles emit higher levels of carbon into the atmosphere.

“Our biggest carbon footprint by far is the driving and parking,” Hogan said.

“Idling is a big issue. There’s a large backlog on Beaverton-Hillsdale highway,” said Jennifer Kuenz, Associate Director of Ecological Justice & Global Networking and Physics Teacher. 

Further, not all students have the resources or privilege to transport themselves to school via car, or even leave directly after school ends. Students without cars may have to wait up to forty minutes for a public bus or stay at school for hours waiting for a parent or other ride to pick them up.

With so many reasons to create a bus system, it would seem like an easy decision— but it’s not that simple.

Securing Jesuit buses to transport kids to and from school would be expensive for students and be difficult to procure for the mass array of extracurriculars and distances. 

For private schools like OES, which has a bus system for students, families pay upwards of 1200 dollars to fund school buses.

“The cost of trying to serve all the areas students are in are huge and would definitely cause tuition to go up,” Hogan said.

The sheer amount of different cities, events and activities Jesuit students live and participate in decreases the likelihood of a bus system that could encompass all students.

But even despite these complications, should Jesuit employ an all-school bus system at Jesuit?

The answer is unfortunately complicated; as efficient as it might prove to be, Jesuit’s large student body population would prove challenging for creating a school-wide bus system.

With the existence of the St. Andrew Nativity Bus, and the Beaverton Transit center right down the street, faculty have come up with potential ideas for alternate transportation for students without cars. 

Some of these ideas include school wide bus passes and shuttles that go to and from the Beaverton Transit center.

“Portland Public offers bus passes to all of their students. Since that is a government funded program, we can’t get those, but it would be great if we could begin advocating for all members of Portland Public to secure those,” Kuenz said.

“It would be great if we could get a regular shuttle somehow going to the Beaverton Transit center. The last school I worked at had a regular shuttle going to and from the train, so it would be great if we could make that happen here,” Hogan said.

For the time it takes to realize some of these ideas, there are many ways students and faculty can work on more environmentally conscious. Some of these ways include biking or walking for Jesuit members in the neighborhood, carpooling, or taking the bus or other forms of public transportation.

Advocating for more Jesuit involvement in public transportation for students is also important for this topic. With the student body voicing their different ideas and providing support, Principal Hogan and Ms. Kuenz’s ideas could be a reality.

In the meantime, shifting transportation methods in order to be more environmentally friendly is an important step towards reducing Jesuit’s carbon footprint as well as encouraging the school to look into school wide transportation methods.

“There needs to be a culture shift. Its an awareness.” Kuenz said.

Put yourself and/or you carpool on the Jesuit carpooling map and check out available carpools now available on the student portal at

About the Writer
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Jayla Lowery, Staff Writer

Jayla Lowery is a current senior at Jesuit High School. She enjoys biking, reading, swimming, music, daydreaming, watching movies, and writing mediocre...

The pressure to “fix everything” should not lie on Gen Z



The pressure to “fix everything” should not lie on Gen Z

Social pressure upon one of the youngest generations to repair society’s problems is unwarranted– and doesn’t help to solve anything.

Written by Jayla Lowery

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Generation Z, or the people born between 1997 and 2010, were recently the subject of an Affinity Magazine article titled “Gen Z is Here, and They Are Going to Fix the World’s Mess.” Affinity’s article continues a trend of calling upon Gen Zers to provide remedies for today’s societal and economic problems. 

But is it fair to place such pressures and socialital responsibility upon Gen Zers?

Generation Z is known as the technological generation, and are the first to grow up immersed in technology and the Internet. Gen Zers are known to have gotten their first phone before their 12th birthday. They are found to spend 15.4 hours a week on their phones, as compared to the generation before them, millennials, who are at about 14.8 hours a week (

Gen Zers are the most ethnically diverse generation in US, and make up 27% of the population. Gen Zers were found to get a majority of their news from social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Naturally, social media has transformed the way Gen Z receives news. Due to various social justice-centered accounts and easy-to-share posts, Gen Zers tend to be more socially aware and inclined to activism than their older generation counterparts. Gen Zers tend to be in universal agreement on topics such as climate change and legalized marijuana (BusinessInsider). 

This does not necessarily make Gen Zers more liberal; in fact, Gen Z is often found to be split almost evenly between liberal and conservative ideologies. Issues regarding gun rights and immigration are more divisive within the population.

However, conservative Gen Zers are found to promote diversity and are more likely to argue for LGBTQ+ rights than conservatives of older generations (

All of the signs point to a revolutionary generation, one that comes as idealized savior of the political and social issues currently plaguing America. It’s easy for older generations to point to Gen Z to right the wrongs the last few decades have created. But does all of this praise result in the stepping back of older generations in attempting to solve these problems as well?

A common narrative often presented is that baby boomers wrecked the economy, and Gen Zers are here to fix it. This story, however, makes it easy for baby boomers to proclaim the younger generations as heroes and avoid the responsibilities of participatory activism. 

Millennials and Gen Zers have been steadily increasing their voter participation, jumping from 20% in 2014 to 36% in 2018, a record high for young voters. This number is expected to increase in the following election.

Prominent social activists are shown to be young people. Swedish girl Greta Thunderberg, 16, is one of the world’s most prominent and outspoken environmental activists. After the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, thousands upon thousands of kids walked out of their schools, the largest event mobilized by teens since the Vietnam War.

The stories of young people’s activism tend to be heavily featured in media, with stories of social media and marches such as the Climate Strike displaying the political action of young people. 

But where does this encourage participation and action from baby boomers and Gen Xers? It doesn’t— and that is an issue. 

Although there are many effective and famed activists from the boomer and Gen X’s generations, the burying of their stories further the idle attitude held by members of older generations. With such a heavy emphasis on the activism of Gen Zers, older generations are seemingly given a pass to sit back and observe as opposed to participating in social and political activism with their younger counterparts.

Social change doesn’t happen with some people taking the backseat. If baby boomers and Gen X see things they want changed, it takes their voices along with Gen Zers to promote their ideas to the government and beyond.

And, it isn’t hard for this ‘next generation’ attitude to get passed into Gen Z. In the future, Gen Z could easily say they’ve put in their time and pass the responsibility onto the generation after them. And this could go on to the next generation, creating a cycle of passing a torch that will ultimately go nowhere.

Older generations might avoid responsibility for issues of society by placing high expectations on younger generations. If baby boomers wrecked the economy, why not get involved and help fix it? By looking to Gen Z’s to fix older generations mistakes, baby boomers and Gen Xers avoid culpability; and, they imply all change must happen in the future by young people, and not now by people both young and old.

But why does this torch of social change and activism need to be passed? The truth is, it doesn’t. Sure, it may be the easiest thing to do, but it’s the least effective. If baby boomers and Generation X want change, they need to participate as well. The battle for an improved society should not be fought by certain generations alone. 

It takes an effort and leadership from the generations before Gen Zers to provide effective change to the problems that need to be fixed. So no, it’s not just Gen Z who is going to “fix the world’s mess”— it must be all generations, together. 

About the Writer
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Jayla Lowery, Staff Writer

Jayla Lowery is a current senior at Jesuit High School. She enjoys biking, reading, swimming, music, daydreaming, watching movies, and writing mediocre...

Health and Wellness vs. Before-School Activities



Scout Jacobs ’21

Health and Wellness vs. Before-School Activities

Jesuit has adopted a program of working to improve numerous aspects of the school, focusing on the “Health and Wellness” of students and faculty, as well as “Culturally Responsive Teaching.” This program, known as School Improvement Plans (SIP), strives to raise awareness towards students’ “self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making,” as well as maintain the overall well-being of students and staff.

One aspect of self-management is sleep. Teenagers are recommended to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night (National Sleep Foundation). Teens’ biological clock shifts later during adolescence, making it extremely common for many teens to struggle to fall asleep before 11pm.

At the same time, Jesuit currently offers various activities and classes before school, some starting as early as 6am, including math classes, NHS meetings, test-prep classes, and sports practices. 

This poses the question: if Jesuit will be striving to maintain the health and wellness of students, should classes and activities continue to be offered so early?

Providing classes early in the morning–well before school starts–hinders students from likely obtaining the 8-10 hours of sleep needed to fully function correctly.

Early classes not only interfere with sleep schedules, but the lack of sleep students accumulate can flow into other areas of their lives, such as their mental health. A study conducted at the University of Minnesota surveyed 9,000 students in eight different high schools, with start times ranging from 7:35a.m. to 8:55a.m. The study found that with each additional hour of sleep students reported, there was a 28% decrease in students’ feelings of sadness and depression (University of Minnesota).

While early-morning activities may interfere with the sleep and mental health of students, the activities offered are optional, so students make a decision to participate. The motivation for taking a class or sport before school can be a range of reasons according to the individual, and they are fully informed of the commitment.

Despite this, a reason for taking so many classes or extracurriculars for many students is their desire to achieve high-set goals. As a college preparatory institution, high expectations at Jesuit are common and often motivating, but the pressure of these expectations can drive students to take advanced or additional courses.

This can create a domino effect, with the pressures of success leading to the decision to participate in before-school activities, potentially hindering the amount of sleep obtained by the student if they are unable to fall asleep, as noted by the National Sleep Foundation. 

When a school has a culture of success and students strive to do well in all things, does offering before-school activities best serve the health and well-being of Jesuit students? 

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About the Writer
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Scout Jacobs, Managing Editor

Scout Jacobs is a managing editor for the Jesuit Chronicles at Jesuit High School. As a junior in high school, this is her second year doing...

Jesuit’s lack of treatment-based education perpetuates addiction stigma


Addiction: Education and Treatment for High Schools that Face a Potential Crisis


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Chief Editor

JUUL usage among high school students has inspired concern about the reemergence of nicotine addiction. With this increased concern comes a need to examine the defects of current addiction education and stigma—defects that Jesuit is by no means immune to.

Many high schools, including Jesuit, offer widespread preventative education for addiction. Preventative education teaches students about the addictive properties and harmful physical, mental and emotional effects of various substances. In health classes, teachers have begun placing an emphasis on e-cigarettes in particular, encouraging students to initiate their own questions. “I think it’s important to have vaping education, but I also think it’s important for kids to ask the questions they want to know,” Health teacher Ms. Kaempf said. “I want my students to have ownership over their own learning.” While understanding the science behind addiction remains a crucial deterrent for teenagers considering experimentation with substances, it does little to help kids already struggling with addiction, where symptoms are beyond their control.

The other side of addiction education is treatment education: education that focuses on assessing treatment and rehabilitation options for existing addictions.Education on addiction resources, including school resources, may seem geared only towards addicted students, but treatment education provides important information to the entire school community. It confronts stigma and misinformation surrounding people suffering from addiction, and it helps students feel safe coming forward about potentially addictive behaviors in themselves or their peers, rather than leaving addiction assessments to adults on campus.

For faculty, detecting seriously-addicted students is often difficult. Given that most adults on campus are only able to observe and look out for students during the school week, faculty have limited insight into students’ substance usage and level of drug dependence, including nicotine. On-campus drug usage, although a serious breach of school rules, is one of the few methods the administration has to identify struggling students.

“If a student is doing these things frequently on campus, it leads me to believe they have a problem,” said Mr. Maxie, Vice Principal of Academics and Student Life. “I am first and foremost concerned about their health and well-being. I want you to get the help that you need, which means I’m going to connect you with your counselor and hopefully together we’ll be able to find out if there’s a true issue there.”

On-campus drug usage typically involves suspension, and in most circumstances students are still allowed to be part of the community. However, the administration addresses drug use on a case-by-case basis, depending on a student’s prior discipline record.

While Jesuit has not standardized treatment-focused education in any particular class, Mr. Maxie stresses that the administration prioritizes directing students it knows are struggling with substance abuse towards their counselors to develop a treatment plan that is effective for them, whether that’s rehabilitation, counseling, or other methods to treat addiction. 

School counselors are not considered mandatory reporters regarding illegal substance abuse, and students can come forward about problems about substance addiction without necessarily having those issues referred back to the administration or to law enforcement. Counselors also serve as the primary contact between outside psychiatrists and rehabilitation centers for a variety of mental illnesses, including addiction.

Among the student body, however, rumors and a lack of clarification by the administration have led students to believe the protocol for substance abuse is entirely centered around consequences. No class emphasizes giving students information on any of the internal and external resources Jesuit has to help students caught using substances—leaving many with the assumption that those resources don’t exist at all.

“I do think when there’s actual instances of drug addiction or nicotine usage in the Jesuit community that we fail to address the issue, which is the addiction itself and not the fact that rules were broken,” junior Lucy Keane said. “I think it’s centered around consequences like suspension. I think it would be more beneficial if rehabilitation resources and resources that would support the student in overcoming this challenge they are facing were more available.”

“No class emphasizes giving students information on any internal and external resources Jesuit has to help students caught using substances—leaving many with the assumption that those resources don’t exist at all.”

The misinformation that surrounds Jesuit’s role in treatment assistance also helps explain the minimal amount of students who reach out about addiction-related problems. 

“We have not had many students or families contact us looking for resources to help deal with addiction of any kind, partly because of the stigma [around addiction] and they don’t want the school to know, but hopefully because they are actively seeking their own programs,” Principal Mr. Hogan said.

The stigma that prevents students from coming forward links back to the flawed standards for addiction education. In light of climbing addiction rates, Oregon implemented more standards in 2018 for presenting information on the risks and problems associated with addiction to students (The Lund Report). However, no expectations—either at the state level or in Jesuit’s current preventative curriculum—clearly address possible treatments or the specific consequences school has in place for substance abuse.

Without education on Jesuit’s efforts to treat addiction, students are unlikely to assume they will be cared for by their counselors or the administration if they are caught with substances or come forward on their own. 

When objective information on how to curb addiction, not just how to avoid it, is neglected in health classes, students experiencing addiction have trouble evaluating different treatment options. For nicotine addiction from e-cigarettes in particular, medical treatment options commonly prescribed to students may have no evidence to confirm their efficacy.

Nicotine-replacement mechanisms meant to minimize the symptoms of withdrawal, such as gum and patches, have little evidence for lessening nicotine dependence in young adults addicted to vaping (Time).

Without a comprehensive education on addiction treatment, or substantial counselor aid in assessing their options, addicted teenagers often feel too stigmatized to seek additional help in assessing treatment options. They often end up choosing the first treatment method their doctor suggests, which may be non-evidence based (Vox). Even more likely, students may feel too ashamed or in denial to seek treatment at all, especially if their parents haven’t recognized any addiction symptoms. 

While Jesuit may only rarely have incidents with students experiencing addiction, of the 20% of high school students who vape on a regular basis (Washington Post), many may be developing a dangerous dependence. Jesuit students have received enough education to recognize that dependence, but few have learned how to combat it. Some likely have yet to come forward or seek help.

Treatment education, alongside education on the science and risks behind addiction, should become an emphasized aspect of the health curriculum and a central component of schoolwide efforts to improve addiction education. Students should know much more about the resources available to them in the counseling department for dealing with addiction and other mental illnesses. The consequences of substance use should be honestly portrayed to students and shouldn’t remain subject to rumor and conjecture. 

A straightforward explanation about how addiction can be treated, and in cases of on-campus drug usage, what both the punishments and treatments offered to students are, by no means encourages more students to abuse substances. 

Having a clear picture of the realities of having an addiction, namely treatment, will enable students to rationally self-assess their behaviors and choose appropriate, evidence-based treatment. Being informed on their available resources within Jesuit will empower students whose symptoms and usage are “undetectable“, particularly common among e-cigarette users, to come forward with less shame or uncertainty.

As for the students who aren’t currently struggling with substances, understanding that addiction treatments exist even within our school, even for high schoolers, will help eliminate addiction’s reputation as an ugly, incurable disease. 

Seeing addiction from a solution-based standpoint, alongside the cautionary information that preventative education offers, is integral for eliminating the stigma around addiction that prevents others from seeking treatment. Addiction is so widespread, and nicotine addiction is increasing so rapidly among high schoolers, that no student should remain ignorant about various treatment resources.

About the Writer
Photo of Shawna Muckle
Shawna Muckle, Chief Editor

Shawna Muckle, 17, is a senior at Jesuit High School. She has been a member of the Chronicle staff for three years in various capacities, and she is currently...

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