A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Quinn Pieper, 17

#TransLivesMatter On March 3, Leelah Alcorn walked along highway I-9 for three miles before being struck by a semi-truck traveling down the highway. An elaborate diary entry she had written prior to her death included “The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender.” With the higher homicide rate for trans people — and an even higher one for trans people of color — the higher suicide rate for transgender teens, the legality of practices used to… Read More »

Yvonne Lieu, 17

Freedom of Bias Thursday afternoon was the moment that our founding fathers once again rolled in their graves due to the feelings of utter disgust towards the signing of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This Religious Freedom Restoration Act, mimicking another version passed in 1993 by Bill Clinton, is a law meant to protect religious rights. However, the twist that Republican Governor Mike Pence put upon this piece of legislation is that it legalizes discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and… Read More »

Natalie Micco, 15

Living On the Edge I live for the moment when I drop into lukewarm water, filled with water snakes, permeated with trout, and traced with yellow pollen. Dangerous? Yes — but it radiates thrill. I have always been the girl afraid of pretty much everything– sharks, the color red, and even ladybugs. However, there is not a moment in my life that compares to jumping off cliffs in my favorite place on this Earth: Pinecrest. The granite rocks, lined with… Read More »

Jordan Boehning, 16

Are We Alone? As you look into the night sky from your bedroom window, what do you see? A night sky and stars, but what else is beyond?  Astronomers have concluded that there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets within the Milky Way Galaxy alone. With an estimated one hundred billion galaxies in the universe, anything is possible. So does this mean that aliens are real? Perhaps, but it is still uncertain. Whether you’re hiding behind a… Read More »

Priscilla Ng, 17

Affirmative Action How many times have you heard, “ He/She only got into __enter prestigious college__ because they’re black/ Latino/ Native American?” And how many times have adults told you that race has nothing to with admissions? That it’s based solely on hard work and a passion for knowledge? Affirmative action. Designed to help specific groups enter secondary education and the workforce, minority groups such as Latinos, Native Americans, African Americans, and women are receiving more opportunities to promote diversity… Read More »

Kate Hoover, 16

Chasing Mavericks The window opened on January 1. Now all there is left to do, for the next three months, is wait. Internationally elite surfers rush to Half Moon Bay within this three month window in the hopes of experiencing what the surf spot is known for: a half a mile off of the coast — surrounded by jagged rocks and the ever-present threat of a great white shark — mountainous, 50 to 100 foot waves rise and break. The… Read More »

Haaris Khan, 17

Pay Off College acceptance letters. Scholarships. Awards. Promotions. Public recognition. Leveling up in World of Warcraft. All of these things make our heart beat 10x faster. After all, we’ve worked so hard: we’ve studied hard, we’ve written and rewritten drafts for scholarship applications, we’ve played over 1000 hours in League of Legends. Earning an award or an acceptance is a great feeling, no doubt. But there’s a feeling out there, a high, that is not nearly as known. Imagine this:… Read More »

Mara Paley, 17

Attaining Nirvana Rounding the bend on I-80 East, the summits of the snowy Sierras are magically unveiled like curtains parting to reveal a beautiful day; coasting along the spectacular vistas of Highway 1, the waves below crash against the cliffs, a signature landscape of Northern California beaches.  Of course, there’s also the not-so-scenic endless dry and desolate expanse of Highway 5 across Nevada, where the road’s parallel white lines converge into a single point in the distance. And while not… Read More »

Matt Cotter, 16

#GamGate #GamerGate has been one of the most controversial hashtags in the past year. What started as a movement dedicated to unveiling problems with gaming journalism has quickly been derided by critics as misogynistic and hurtful, claims gamers were using Anonymous-like tactics to attack those who disagreed with the movement. And I’m going to defend it. Now, before you stop reading this, let me clarify. I am not defending those within the movement who have used misogyny and general hate… Read More »

Jessica Tang, 16

Unjustifiable Backlash The Charlie Hebdo shooting is a crime against freedom of speech, and a tragedy. But the backlash against the French Muslim community is something that never should have happened. Since the incident, two Muslim places of worship in two separate towns were fired upon; three grenades were thrown at a mosque; someone shot at another mosque shortly after evening prayers; and a small explosion occurred in a shop near yet another mosque. The outright violence against the Muslim… Read More »