AFH Photo//Dominic Duong
One day, a girl named Laura was on the bus on her way home. She was 9 years old and in the 5th grade. Everyday, this chubby white girl named Quenisha bothered her, called her names, and threw her stuff. Because this was Laura’s first year in the U.S., she trusted a kid to translate what Quenisha was telling her, but he translated wrong. Laura always felt alone. She didn't want to tell her grandma about Quenisha because her grandma wouldn't believe her. Why didn't anyone stand up for her? 
Quenisha started hitting Laura every day on the bus. The bus driver saw Quenisha  hitting Laura every day, calling her all kind of names, and throwing dirty things at her, but the bus driver didn't do anything to stop Quenisha. One day, poor Laura was mad and in such a rush that she was praying “ I don't want this girl to start bothering me today please.”  When Laura got on the bus, Quenisha was there to start hitting her and bothering her. Laura thought, “Oh God, help me.” Then Quenisha started throwing her things.
Laura was dirty when she got to her house. Her grandma said, “What happened to you?” “Grandma, there is a white chubby girl calling me immigrant, hitting me, and throwing my things on the floor,” Laura  replied. 
Later that week, when Quenisha was on the front seat of the bus waiting for Laura, Laura said patiently, “Please don't hit me. Leave me alone. I’m not in the mood.” Quenisha didn't listen. She hit Laura. Then, Laura got more mad. She grabbed Quenisha’s hair and start hitting her. 
Weeks later, Quenisha’s mom went to the school to report Laura, saying Laura was bullying her daughter. But you know that is not the truth. Laura was the one getting bullied, just for being short with long hair, caramel skin, and eyes like coffee with milk. Just for being Latina. Quenisha was being racist. 

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IBA Photo
One day at lunch, one of my friends asked me if I was gay. I replied, “No, I’m not.” However, someone else overheard and thought I said yes. That person told another person, then that person told another person, and before I knew it, there was a rumor going around that I had a crush on a certain boy. Between classes, people would ask me if I was gay, over and over again. I counted—11 people asked over the course of one day. I remember saying to one of my friends “No, I’m not... but why should it matter even if I was?” And they replied, “I don’t want you to be no (explicit).” 
According to, 20 percent of U.S. students in grades 9–12 experience bullying. Many people don't understand why bullying happens. According to, young people who are “perceived as different from their peers” are at a high risk for being bullied—and one group of students who is perceived as different from their peers are LGBTQ students.
Sexual orientation discrimination is when a person is judged by their choice as to what gender they want to date. An article from The Edvocate states that more than 85 percent of LGBTQ students report harassment. In some situations, some victims might even harm themselves or take their own lives due to the constant pressure of bullying. 
The Edvocate also highlights that this type of bullying happens a lot within our schools. For example, sometimes students make fun of boys with high voices, long hair, or visible emotions. It seems some teens can't even trust their own friends to support their sexual orientation. 
The day that rumor went around the school was the day my depression started. I stopped talking to everybody. If it weren’t for the really good friend I had at the time, I don’t know what would have happened to me. She talked to the kid who started the rumor and told him it wasn’t okay. She told me she was here for me whenever I wanted to talk, and we talked a lot. However, there are plenty of other kids who get bullied who don’t have this kind of support from their friends or even their parents. It’s up to us to step up and be the shoulders to cry on for kids facing discrimination. 
There are a number of ways you can support kids getting bullied. You could walk up to the victim and ignore the bully and just start talking to the victim until the bully goes away. You could also stand up to the bully. You could say something like, “Leave this person alone—what did they even do to you?” Once the bully is gone, ask the victim if they’re alright. If they don’t seem okay, contact an adult you trust, like a teacher. 
Even if someone is different from you, you shouldn’t judge them for who they are. You never know who might need a friend. 

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AFH Photo//Mariana Melara
What viral posts do you see on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds? Do you see memes involving drama, relationships, confrontations, celebrity gossip or derogatory jokes? More and more often, we see African-American influencers uploading videos and photos that are meant to be funny and entertaining, but end up degrading women and reinforcing stereotypes about black culture. 
Some black influencers get famous through hostile and inappropriate behavior. For example, BlameItOnKway, a black Instagram comedian with 3.1 million followers, posts videos and photos where he is dressed as a girl with bright colored wigs and reinforces the stereotype of the “angry black woman.”  BlameItOnKway is just one of many black men who do comedy sketches and crossdress as “ghetto distasteful” black women. These videos get thousands of likes, comments and shares, despite the fact that they victimize dark-skinned women. 
This isn’t just a trend that exists on YouTube. Reality shows such as “Love and Hip-Hop” and “Basketball Wives” also reinforce this stereotype by showcasing black women who are constantly cursing, fighting, wig snatching and acting aggressively. This is problematic because it’s sending the wrong message to younger people. Many viewers see this behavior as cute or funny, but actually, it’s degrading and doesn’t highlight the professional work and talent that black women have.
However, this problem isn’t easy to solve. In Citizen, Claudia Rankine writes, “In order to get your voice heard, you got to be loud and angry.” It seems like for a black person to become famous, they have to act promiscuous or have a lot of attitude. To gain the attention of white audiences and black audiences, they have to adopt these derogatory narratives. Black Youtubers who actively combat the “angry black woman” stereotype—like Lovelyti2002 and Chrissie—don’t get as many endorsement deals for their videos. Their videos are clearly not as popular as the videos where black women do adopt the stereotype. 
This is where we come in as viewers. It’s time to be conscious of positivity and knowledge. Know whose work you’re supporting. Look for black Youtubers who are giving a lot of information, making truthful videos without degrading content or black stereotypes. If someone shows you a video that features these stereotypes, ask them: “Is this who we are?” or “Is this really funny?”  If we start this conversation, maybe one day all black girls and women could successfully share authentic content YouTube. 

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AFH Art//Leon Dorsainvil
What's going on in the world today,
We lost another person to 
this stupid ol’ gunplay.
What happened to people staying in their own little blimp,
Now these young boys are picking 
up guns, talking about busting a clip. 
Too long we watched in silence, 
As our young brothers and sisters die 
from this gun violence.
When will it ever stop, 
I'm tired of watching the news and seeing 
another teen gets popped.
Don't they see the scars and pain that they leave? Trust and believe 
You're not hurting just one person 
You're hurting the whole community.
This violence has got to stop.
Picking up a gun doesn't make you a man,
That's a stupid plan.
Killing is not the way,
It could never lead to a brighter day.
Every time a young brother or sister falls, 
The black community stalls.
It seems like nobody values life anymore. 
Please think before,
you pull that trigger,
Cause life is so much bigger.
than what you see before your eyes,
It's like a black man is just happy to make it to 25.
When did that become a goal in life? 
Devote your time and dedication to 
moral values and education.
Gain knowledge, for knowledge, is power,
Ignorance is milk that's sour.
It's time to put away the guns, 
Killing each other isn't fun. 
I'm done watching in silence, 
Brothers and sisters, please stop the violence.
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AFH Photo//My Vu
It is the beginning of English class. You walk towards your familiar seat, but before you are able to sit down, your teacher announces that your class will start a new project  based on the book you just finished reading. You sit down, unzip your backpack and search for your pen. All of a sudden, your body stops and you can feel your heart drumming in your chest. Everything goes silent and you start to panic internally. Why? Because your teacher just said the forbidden “g” word: Group. 
Yes, you were assigned a group project! If you don't like working in groups because you're an introvert or afraid of doing all the work, I'm sorry, but you have a severe case of grouphobia. Don't worry, it is not contagious, but it is hard to overcome. 
Throughout high school, teachers encourage students to work in groups. Working in groups has been proven to have many positive effects on students. According to The Center of Innovation in Research and Teaching, students are able to “develop communication and teamwork skills” and “plan more effectively and manage their time.” 
However, not many students are able to see or experience such benefits and do not enjoy working with others. Wanjing Li, a senior at John D. O’Bryant, does not like working in groups. “In most of the groups that I have been a part of, it has been very awkward since we are all strangers,” she said. “No one really knows each other, so it’s hard to communicate with the other group members.” Li feels that familiarity with group members is key. “If I am in a group with a friend, then I will do what I need to do with ease,” she said. “There are no complications since I am able to communicate with other group members through my friend. I am not alone.”
Michelle Cho, a senior at John D. O’Bryant, remembers a time when her group project derailed thanks to lack of communication. “There was a time in physics class when we was assigned to give a presentation using Google slides, and the other members of my group changed my slides without permission and didn’t tell me about it til the day of,” she remembered. 
Now the question that most people with grouphobia have is: Why do I even have to learn to work in groups? Well the truth is, group work doesn’t go away when you graduate high school. Alexandria Fischer, a pre-vet sophomore majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry at Northland College in Wisconsin, says that group projects still happen in college. However, she also says it’s a little easier to manage tricky group situations when you have strong relationships with your teachers. “If you have a problem with a group member not helping or doing bad quality work, you can bring it to your professor and talk about with them,” she said. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that in high school, Fischer suggests trying to take charge of your group.  “To students who usually have to do all the work on a project, just do your best work,” she said. “I've also found that if I ‘assign’ aspects of a project to others in a group and hold them responsible for those parts, it's a lot less stressful.”
So, those of you with grouphobia, fear not—there are solutions that can make group work a little less painful. There’s no need to fear the “g” word when you have clear strategies in mind. 

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