Sunday, April 11, 2021

Lakes students dive into opinion writing

| April 3, 2021 1:00 AM

The Press recently participated in a Zoom workshop with Lakes Magnet Middle School students learning about writing opinion pieces for publication. Emphasis was not on the messages themselves but how to structure a clear and convincing written opinion.

Under excellent guidance from teachers Jennifer Nelson and Mary Hamilton, here are some of the pieces penned by Lakes students.

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ANIMALS: Curtail the cruelty

Animal cruelty is everywhere in our society, people abandoning dogs, dogfights, and people hitting their animals. The real problem isn’t just animal cruelty but other actions and those actions affect us especially those animals. They can’t do anything about it so we have to be their voice.

In a few articles it will state that hunters are hunting and harming animals illegally. Most of those hunters either harm them or use them for unauthorized drug testing. So many people all over the internet have been trying to get people to be more aware of what’s going on. Illegally hunting and using animals for drug testing or other purposes needs to come to an end.

Why should animals have to suffer because of someone’s actions and nothing happens to those people who have committed that crime? Some dogs have a bad background history but there’s no such thing as a bad dog, just bad owners.

Personally someone I live by lets their dogs roam at night, making going outside a hassle because the dogs are not friendly. You can let them know to try to have their dogs stay on their property.


Student, Lakes Middle School

ANIMALS: Cruelty’s bigger threats

Acts of animal cruelty have to come to an end before it’s too late. In the article “Animal Cruelty Facts” it states that the amount of cruelty cases reported each day is just the tip of the iceberg.

Also, it states that some acts of animal cruelty include starvation, dehydration, allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin, inadequate shelter in bad weather conditions, neglect, etc.

So some people may be harming their animals without even knowing it, whether they forget to feed them one day, if they don’t give them enough attention, or not providing them with a proper shelter. But, If we don’t take action soon it may be too late in the future. Illegally hunting, abusing, drug testing, and other forms of animal cruelty need to come to an end because they are the main reason we are where we are today.

If people continue to harm these animals where will we be in the next few years when even the most populated species are endangered or extinct? In an article by “” it states by 2050, polar bears, rhinos, cheetahs, and other animals will be extinct if this continues at this rate.


Student, Lakes Middle School

GENDER: Love and justice

Can you imagine your parents not wanting you because you prefer your own gender sexually? Or getting bullied at school because you are different from other people?

Well, some people have gone through it and still are going through it.

LGBTQ members face discrimination almost all their life. They get harassed or bullied for being LGBTQ.

According to the article in the Coeur d’Alene Press, “Being able to create a school environment where students feel safe and welcome is so important,” she said, adding that the rally “would be a really good opportunity to show LGBTQ youth in the community they are safe, loved and welcome to be themselves.”

This is a big thing for us because it shows that we are trying to make them feel more loved and accepted which is exactly what we need to make this world more just.


Student, Lakes Middle School

SCHOOLS: Start class later

Did you know that kids with more sleep improve their academic success and their will to participate in school?

First, I have found that later start times affected academic behavior by a lot.

According to the text, “We have found that if school starts at 8:45 then kids feel less sleepy and also that the 30 minutes of extra sleep can make their grades go from D’s to B’s and A’s.” This shows that if you get more sleep then you function better, so I feel like schools should change their start time.

According to, if teens get 8 to 10 hours of sleep to be ready and functional for the day, it also says that teenagers go through a phase called “a change in biological clock.” This is where your body changes its sleep patterns and makes you fall asleep later and wake up later. If schools started early it will make the teens at the schools sleep patterns forcefully pushed, in the result making teens moody, sad, angry, even depressed.

In my research, I have found that sleep helps your academic success and all types of health.

It helps mental and social health by making teens more calm and less grumpy toward people.

At last, CDA Schools Needs To Make Schools Start Later. We need to address that.


Students, Lakes Middle School

ABUSE: Emotional damage done

Emotional abuse needs attention because kids are suffering from it in Idaho. Most cases of emotional abuse in the U.S. get shut down or not even looked at. Because of that, kids can be stuck in that traumatizing event, getting neglected by most adults.

“The intentional infliction of anguish, distress, or intimidation through verbal or nonverbal acts,” stated author Arti Patel. This matters because it can clear the befuddlement of what emotional abuse is and define emotional abuse and the action.

However, some say that Idaho does pay attention to emotional abuse and kids are just being dramatic about the way kids are getting punished for an action. But the “punishment” can turn into a whole different subject that is still traumatizing the children.

Kids can overreact but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. Getting rejected from asking for help can make a kid never want to try to ask for help again, so if you want to help you can start by seeing warning signs of abuse. Speak up and offer help.


Students, Lakes Middle School

EQUALITY: Not there yet

Gender equality will take 100 years to reach.

According to articles on and, Amelia Earhart, fondly known as “Lady Lindy,” was an American aviator who mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while trying to circumnavigate the globe from the equator. Amelia Earhart was the first person to fly over both the Atlantic and Pacific.

“The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune.” — Amelia Earhart

The article also mentioned Sarah Thomas. Thomas, 47, became the first woman to referee full-time in the NFL in 2015 and first officiated a playoff game in 2019. And first woman to referee the 2021 Super Bowl.

This is cool and important to see that women are making a difference. They are proving that they can actually do stuff.


Student, Lakes Middle School

HOMELESS: Step up and help

Don’t you think there should be a way for the homeless to not live on the street? There are people making tiny houses for the homeless so they don’t have to live like they used too.

First off, there should be way more places where the homeless could go and stay so they don’t have to live on the streets. As it says in the article “as of January there are seven thousand people experiencing homelessness in Nevada.” This proves homeless people are human beings so they should not have to live on the streets with no roof over their head and no home to go to.

Additionally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development also stated they make tiny houses that cost no more than 30% of a person’s household income. This matters because making tiny houses would really be a great place for homeless people to stay and a good starter home while they tried to get back on their feet.

Clearly, people with no homes need our help and we can help by putting some effort into it. Overall they need our help. We are so lucky to have a roof over our heads and a bed to sleep in. Try to make a difference. Even just giving a homeless person $5 would make their day.


Student, Lakes Middle School

GUNS: A reasoned approached

What if you were in a school shooting? I would hope there is a person with a gun. A person with a gun could fight off the bad guys and save lots of people. However, the people who have guns need background checks because if they don’t and they are a bad guy, they could kill other people.

Across the United States there are school shootings. The shootings happen because there is no protection for schools except the school police officer. For our society to be more just there would have to be guns because when someone kills another person that is very sad. If there are more guns in our society that would happen way less.

Eight out of 10 shootings are with illegal gun possession according to the article “Gun control topic overview.” This is bad, so we want to limit the illegal possessions so we can have a just society. This shows we need to do better with gun control.

According to a Kansas City Star article, Woody Kozak said we should lengthen the sentence to five years for those found in illegal possession of a firearm. The result was a significant drop in homicides by firearm. This shows less people will have illegal firearms and that means less chance of people getting killed. Therefore less people will get killed and it will be a safer society.

What if you were in a school shooting? You would want someone to have a gun because then you would not die. Now that you read this letter, I hope you understand my claim. You should put a sticker on your car about guns.


Student, Lakes Middle School

RIGHTS: Basis of happiness

“Freedom is America’s foundational principle.” In different states of America, people had different rights. For our country to be more of a just society we need to have more personal rights, because without personal choices we won’t be ourselves.

Everyone should have more freedom/personal rights. The article “The Importance of Freedom/The Armory Life” states, “Freedom begins with the fundamental idea of self-determination.” Self-determination is why we all work hard and why we act the way we do.

From the article “Free People are Happy People” it states, “People who said that they felt completely or very free were twice as likely to say that they were very happy about their lives as those who felt only a moderate degree of freedom, not much, or none at all.” This means people with more rights are happier.

Also from the article it says, “They are defined in the declaration as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This defines everyone’s personality, and so everyone can choose who they want to be. In a perfect society everyone should still be themselves.

The article “The Advocates for Human Rights” says, “Human rights also guarantee people the means necessary to satisfy their basic needs.” Everyone needs basic rights and having rights gives us access to basic needs. From the article.

Furthermore for our society to be more just, we need to have more personal rights. We should have equal rights, not having each state having their own rights. Remember that everyone should have equal rights.


Student, Lakes Middle School

BLM: Part of a just society

Black people have wanted to be equal for a long time now, ever since slavery maybe even sooner than that. Black people have made February a month to celebrate, but it shows a lot more than just celebrating them. It shows how long they fought, being afraid. I believe that we need more people to be equal so we can move on, so we can be a just society.

This is showing that if we’re all against each other none of us will be equal. A movement has started. They are putting #sayhername everywhere to highlight how this violence is going unnoticed. This shows that people are making a hashtag to make people notice everything white people have been doing to black people.

According to an author, “Black lives matter is a movement which began as a hashtag.” The graph illustrates that everybody is realizing that what people are doing is wrong and that it needs to change so a lot of people took notice and joined to stop racism.

The author states that in July, BLM activists are spreading across the United States and are all trying to help black people. All of this matters because many people are agreeing/realizing the fact that white people are mistreating black people and are all helping any way they can. This matters in society today because it’s wrong that people are allowing them to say what they want without disagreeing with them and standing up for what is right, it happens everyday.

I believe we need more people to be fair with everyone so we can move on and stop being judged for things no one can change, so we can be a just society. This is all important because it shows we need to be equal and not judge others for having a color of skin. It ruins their lives and sometimes takes them. Maybe others can help and even you by spreading kindness to everyone, every color. Just spread the word about what’s going on in the world right now.


Student, Lakes Middle School