AFH Photo // Gilford Murphy
Over the course of 8 weeks, Teens in Print and The BASE collaborated to bring youth journalism to even more Boston teens. Here are the voices of the student athletes at the BASE.  

It is not okay for a student to feel uncomfortable going to school because of discrimination. It is the 21st century! You can be whoever you want to be. So why not give students the benefit of choosing the restroom they would like to use? 
Identify your gender or sexuality however you want to and let’s drop these labels that we give people. If everyone is entitled to their own liberty, why is everyone still arguing over who can use which bathroom? Why not just have gender neutral bathrooms? Why are people discriminated against based on their gender? Ask yourself these questions and sooner or later you will realize how inhumane the world can be. 
According to a York College study, 28% of gay and lesbian students drop out of high school due to discomfort relating to verbal or physical abuse. Furthermore, over 30% of reported teen suicides each year are committed by LGBT students. Something clearly has to be done.  
The Social Science Research Network says, “After winning the right to same-sex marriage in June of 2015, the LGBT community is once again battling in court for its rights, this time for the right of transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.” 
According to a letter from Superintendent Tommy Chang, published on the Boston Public School website, “One of the most important missions we have as a district is to create safe and welcoming learning environments where all students, including transgender and gender-nonconforming students, are respected and can flourish.” 
But despite these claims from the school district that they protect students as a whole, in reality BPS should have the trust from the students to discuss these matters together. Moreover, not all parents are as accepting. Too often kids who come out to their parents are rejected, abused or thrown out of their home. We need to be more accepting both at the school level and as a country.  
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The BASE
The Dress Code is an Idea Whose Time Has Passed
AFH Photo // Bill Le
Over the course of 8 weeks, Teens in Print and The BASE collaborated to bring youth journalism to even more Boston teens. Here are the voices of the student athletes at the BASE. 

In the past, society stereotyped women because they were seen as inferior to men. In modern day, people stereotype women based on what they wear.  
Sadly, I believe this is never going to end because I experience it every day in school. Schools have rules that have to be followed and a dress code is one such rule. Boys and girls are expected to follow their school’s dress code. Girls can't wear anything provocative and boys can't wear… well I don't know, because to be honest, you will never see a boy get reprimanded for violating the dress code. The rules are not applied evenly. 
Woman have been on a long journey for gender equality. We still can't leave our houses without being cautious of how we will be judged based on society's judgement of our clothing. We can't escape it. It's all over social media, and even our own parents can make us aware of what we can or cannot wear. 
 Social media platforms may delete an account or picture based on it being provocative or containing nudity. Don't get me wrong, I understand that sometimes there is a line you cannot cross, but social media's view on what is provocative is subjective and ridiculous.   
Why is there dress code anyway? When you think about it, it seems to be based on making girls change their behavior and appearance so that boys feel comfortable. We can't magically construct our bodies to make them “appropriate.” Try comparing two girls, one with a curvier figure, who are both wearing the same outfit. Unsurprisingly, the curvier girl would get dress code checked first. 
I've been dress code checked several times and I felt uncomfortable having both a male and female teacher dress code me. It’s a sexualized kind of discomfort that has no place in the school building. The way we dress is the way we express ourselves and maybe, you might not know this, but women feel great joy when they walk out of their house freely, wearing something beautiful, ready to show the world who they are -- and accept the compliments. Maybe instead of dress coding us, schools should teach boys that we aren't sexual objects. 
 My life, my body, my dress code.  
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AFH Photo // Joel Diaz
Over the course of 8 weeks, Teens in Print and The BASE collaborated to bring youth journalism to even more Boston teens. Here are the voices of the student athletes at the BASE.  

My name is Anderson Nova and I am 14-years-old. April 21, 2017 was a very, very hard day for me because I lost someone very important in my life.  
I was playing 2k17 on PlayStation 4 when I got a phone call from an unknown number. The person on the the other end of the line was hysterically crying and saying, “Sorry for your loss.”  
I asked “Wait... What?” They repeated, “Sorry for your loss.” 
I said, “Wait..Whatchu you mean?”  
The person on the phone then told me, “They shot your friend, Yanuel, at Ruggles.” The feeling that went threw my body was scary. I couldn't talk or breath. I couldn't believe what I was just told. I tried calling Yanuel thinking it was a joke, but his phone just rang and went to voicemail.  
This all felt like a dream because I knew him since I was young and I would never think this would happen. After this tragic death happened, I was able to put a lot of things to the side to focus on the main purpose of my life, which is school, and baseball. I was also able to meet one of Yanuel’s good friends and now we talk a lot and make sure we are keeping our heads up and focusing on the bright side. 
Now, when people talk about Yanuel I ask them not to, because I get very emotional. I want myself and others to remember him as a good person that passed away too young. 
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Over the course of 8 weeks, Teens in Print and The BASE collaborated to bring youth journalism to even more Boston teens. 

Student athlete stereotypes, such as, “students who excel at sports, never do well academically,” is a common misconception. This belief about student athletes is continuously debunked at The BASE. 
The thudding of baseballs caught in leather gloves echoes through the hallways as students practice baseball drills and math drills, hitting practice and writing exercises. The BASE, a Boston-based non-profit organization, provides academic and athletic support to middle and high school aged students. They support student athletes with year-round baseball and academic training, access to college fairs and showcases, professional visits, and academic scholarships through partnerships with several colleges and universities throughout the country. The program isn’t exclusively for athletes. Some students don’t play sports at all and join strictly for the academic support.  
“We don’t have rules here, we have expectations,” said Elena Mendez, the Academic and Educational Coordinator for The BASE. All participants at The BASE have to “earn their spot” meaning they need to be serious, driven, active participants in the program. “Students are expected to show up to their practice or academic tutoring to prove their dedication and take full advantage of the opportunities provided to them,” said Mendez. She expects all student participants to be leaders among their peers, whether they’re in middle school or high school.  
Jesus Moscat, 17, has been attending The BASE for one year. “Ever since I stepped foot in here, I felt a big sense of family and everyone really embraces you with open arms,” he said.  
Moscat also stated that since receiving academic help, he has been getting his homework done more efficiently. “I don’t really procrastinate much anymore and they put an emphasis on getting work done.” 
The BASE is a free program open to students in and around Greater Boston with a majority of students coming from Boston public schools. They have a generous number of dedicated students participating regularly.   “We have about a couple hundred students throughout the year, and every day, we have an average of 50-60 youth coming in and out,” stated Mendez.  
If you are a Boston teen interested in learning more about The BASE, visit their website at www.thebase.org. Or, pay them a visit at 11 Walnut Park in Roxbury. 
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AFH Photo // Gilford Murphy
Inspired by the international organization "This I Believe," students at Madison Park High School wrote about their personal journeys describing the core values that guide their everyday lives.

I believe that every person deserves an adventure in their life. When I was in Puerto Rico, I always looked up at the sky and wondered about the culture of other countries. I wondered how they speak. I wondered if the weather was the same as in Puerto Rico, if the food tasted the same. I was curious about how snow looked and if it was as cold as ice. I wondered how it would be to speak another language, and to understand people when they spoke to me. I wondered if the beaches are the same as in Puerto Rico, or if they were clearer.  
I know every place has something special about it. I wondered if people from other countries were nice like people from my country. I knew if I went to another country I would lose my friends and everything I had there, even my family.  
When I was 11 years old, I went to New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut and some other places. I have some good memories from these places that I will never forget, like that time I went to Manhattan to see where the Twin Towers were. Memories are important and traveling around the world is important, too.  
Some people believe that not everybody deserves an adventure in their life. I disagree with those people because most of the time they think other countries are the same as theirs. What they don't realize is that they are different, with different food and different cultures.  
China and Puerto Rico are different, for example. In Puerto Rico, people speak Spanish and in China people speak Chinese. In Puerto Rico they have their New Year on January 1. Meanwhile, China’s New Year is on February 16. It's amazing how people think it's all the same. If you travel then you'll see they are completely different.  
You can also have an adventure in your own country, but it is not the same as traveling to a new country and learning something new. Even though there are benefits and risks in traveling, I still believe that every person should try because it's good for your mind and life. Your mind could start seeing things differently and you could see how great the world really is. I have a big imagination because of all the places I have traveled to. It has helped my curiosity and confusion about other places.  
Traveling makes me happy because I get to see things I don't normally see and experience new things. I suggest people take a big step and enjoy traveling because not everybody is going to tell you about other places. Sometimes, you have to find out yourself.  
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