Posted on: 22/10/2020
The US Presidential Election 2020Donald J. Trump Versus Joe Biden
By Jacob M, School Prefect
On Tuesday 3 November, the presidential election will take place. The democratic nominee, Joe Biden, will be competing against the republican nominee, Donald Trump – the current president of the United States of America.
Whichever new leader of the Free World is elected, the victory will cause scepticism and anger against the other side. The current president, Donald Trump, has already created this uncertainty around the authenticity of the vote. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, voters are increasingly choosing to vote by mail, which has seen a sharp rise. Trump has been extremely vocal in calling the campaign process into question, creating a conspiracy theory against the authentication of the result.
On the other side, the Democrats' distain has grown against Trump, due to his response in tackling Covid-related issues, as well as the response to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, when he refused to speak out against discrimination and systemic racism, which has already created a mass divide in the country. Even in the most recent debate, Trump didn’t refuse to condone white supremacy groups, until he was put under pressure in a recent interview. This, therefore, has created a divided nation, threatening to have an aftermath of protests or riots once the election has taken place. These are unprecedented times.
We can only hope that the Presidential Election will go smoothly and that the winner will have won the right to govern fair and square.
Posted on: 16/10/2020
How Coronavirus has Affected Me and My SchoolThis week’s prefect topic is on the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on young people.
By Hassan A, School Prefect
It’s strange to think that a year ago, none of us had ever heard of coronavirus. Even until January of this year, there were only vague rumours of a spreading virus in some distant city called Wuhan, in China. Nobody could have imagined how many lives would be lost and how many personal freedoms would be lost.
Within a few months, the virus' reach became much wider than just Wuhan, and as we all know, from March the country was told to: “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives”. Schools were closing, and it’s fair to say that every student relished lockdown for the first month or so, relaxing at home without any worries. Microsoft Teams sessions were running throughout lockdown, which provided something resembling school lessons, but they were never quite the same. Imprisoned at home for so long, there was only so much to do, and the repetitive routine started to get to us.
It wasn’t until lockdown restrictions had eased in mid-June that students were called into school for weekly lessons in class-sized groups. It was a relief for me and many of my friends to be able to get out of the house and see each other again after three long months. I don’t think anybody was ever as glad to go back to school as students this June.
Since September, school has resumed as normal as possible in these strange times. Social distancing and hygiene measures are in place to ensure our safety, and while many students find these precautions cumbersome, they are in place to make sure things don’t get bad enough for us to be sent home again. Above all, I think that’s what we all fear most.
Posted on: 9/10/2020
Mental Health Issues in Young People – Don’t Let Them Suffer in SilenceWeekly Opinion Piece from our Prefect Team:
by Ife A, Lead Prefect
About 1 in 5 young people aged 13 to 19 experience a severe mental health disorder at least once in their lifetime. Over one third of students with a mental health condition, aged between 14 to 21, have the highest dropout rate in education of any disability group, highlighting how many people are not gaining support and are just giving up. They cannot find the help they need.
Mental illness is a very important issue. Lots of people have suffered with mental health conditions, such as bi-polar, or have had a history of depression through their lives, and we are now seeing a large chunk of teenagers who struggle with anxiety or depression. If this issue manifests itself in the classroom, then awareness would increase, meaning more establishments would open for support and treatment.
Mental illness starts in early childhood, becoming a normal way of life for adults who remain untreated. This is why we need to offer help at the early stages of development. We need to spread awareness about teenage depression to put a stop to suffering in silence.
Teenage mental health severely impacts a young person’s ability to succeed at school and, in their day to day live, depression and suicide rates increase if left unexplored. We need to protect our young people to keep them safe, healthy and happy.
Too many teenagers continue to feel alone and suffer. By improving education about teenage mental health we can create awareness and hope. We can save lives.
How can we support our friends in school?
Be friendly with people, even if you don’t know them
Be kind - you never know what people are going through
Go the extra mile - check if someone is okay if they look unhappy and offer a helping hand
Speak to someone in school if you are worried about someone.
World Mental Health Day is on 10th October 2020. Look after your loved ones.
Mental Health Charities
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends)
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)