AFH Art//Janna Mach
The following investigation into high school sexual harassment was submitted by a team of reporters at a Boston Public high school. We have chosen to withhold the identity of the school because the writers of the piece were unable to interview students and teachers outside of their own school. We know that this is a problem prevalent within the wider Boston Public School system,  and we did not want the writers’ limitations to convey otherwise. 
For many high school students, specifically girls, sexual harassment is a problem. According to Equal Rights Advocate, “Sexual harassment can happen in three different ways: verbal (comments about your body, spreading sexual rumors, dirty jokes or stories etc), physical (grabbing, rubbing, touching, pitching in a sexual way, sexual assault), and visual (display of naked pictures or sex-related objects, obscene gestures).”  
“I feel like sometimes this person will try to abuse me one day if I let them touch me,” said Daphcar, a 10th grade student at Boston Public High. 
Many students, especially boys, believe that it’s normal to sexually harass girls. Joseph, a student at Boston Public High, demonstrated this belief. He admitted he had already committed sexual harassment. He stated, “I just want to do it because I want to, without caring about the girl’s feelings…” 
Unfortunately, according to an interview with a staff member of the school who wishes to remain anonymous, this is not a new dilemma. He said, “I witness sexual harassment every day, in the school, in the street, everywhere.” He further stated, “That happens because the female lets them do it. When a female dresses a certain way (like showing her boobs a little bit), she’s showing what she got. If you have short shorts, a little shirt and you’re walking around, someone might go and touch you. But look at how you’re walking around…if you dress properly nobody will bother you.” 
Yet, this type of language is part of the inherent problem at Boston Public High. Isn’t it a kind of way to blame the victims? Do women really needs to hide themselves so they don’t worry about being violated? Do boys, like Joseph, really think they can touch a woman just because they want to? 
“Sometimes I suffer sexual harassment. When I’m walking, boys start to talk about my rear...even if I wear wider clothes,” said Stefany, a Boston Public High student. “I feel uncomfortable with that. For this reason I stopped going to the pool and beach.”
Stopping this type of behavior is difficult. “There are boys who constantly touch girls’ hair, pull on their hair or touch places where they don’t have permission to touch. Sometimes I see girls not feeling like they have power to say ‘no,’”said Ms. B, a teacher from Boston Public High. “Also, sometimes I see relationships between a boy and a girl where the boy is not treating the girl with enough respect.”
 “I feel really scared because a lot of our students are older—17, 18, 19—so when I see a little bit of emotional abuse, I’m nervous for it to turn violent,” she added. 
“I think the school should have education about sexual harassment, so people can be aware of that,” said Lafouine, a student from Boston Public High.
The benefits of sexual harassment education has been supported by experts. “This new data on consent and sexual assault make it crystal clear that more needs to be done to educate men, women, and young people in this country,” said Dr. Leslie Kantor, Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood. “In order to curb sexual violence, we need to teach young people how to talk about sex, including how to ask for and recognize consent.”
As you can see, sexual harassment is a critical issue that has been not fully addressed in school. Sexual harassment affects many girls and makes them feel uncomfortable. And the way a girl dresses or walks shouldn't be an excuse to commit it.  Sexual harassment can happen in many different ways. However, not many people are aware of those ways. Thus, we should try to prevent that from happening by having education about sexual harassment for girls and boys.

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AFH Photo//Delia Fleming
This woman,
Belongs to you, her heart is possessed by you
She handed you her soul, her mind, and her body
Solely with affection and fidelity.

This woman,
She hesitates, but you reassure her of your promises
You’ve restored her spirit in truth and intellects unknowingly
 Cautiously watered her roots, recovering all her losses. 

This woman,
Adores your sincerity, your love, your knowledge, your patience
She honors your integrity, as it intensified her attraction towards you even more
An attraction comparable to the moon and the oceans.

This woman,
Fell in love with your warmth, your gentle support, and romantic notions
You’ve become her fantasy in a world of dreams and false illusions
With a heart of gold you’ve accepted her guilts, her agonies, her past and
Willingly embraced all the dents, the scars and damaged heart.

This woman,
Without you she does not flourish, she does not blossom, she does not feel
Her nerves soothes with your scent blending in the aura, the charm in your smile and
The genuine tone in your voice as she heals. 

This woman, 
Wrote this for you. 

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AFH Photo//Bill Le
i’m tripping over my words but i can’t tell if i’m falling for you or just falling in general. 
my heart is pounding but i can’t tell if it wants you or it wants to want.
is it you that’s making me feel this way or is it the adrenaline pumping through my veins.
am i in love with you or am i in love with falling 

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Cover Story
Avoiding the Hazards on the Road to Higher Education
At the core of the American Dream is education and one’s right to pursue it without bounds—however, the education system is ringed with inequalities for the poor and others lacking certain privileges. These disadvantages widen the gaps between whites and students of color in higher education. 
Most students in pursuit of higher education face a multitude of problems, like the burden of paying thousands of dollars a year. Currently, the total U.S. student debt is $1.4 trillion and growing rapidly each year. In 2017, the average student amassed $37,172 of debt, and every second about $2,858 worth of student debt is accrued. 
For first generation college students, often students of color from non-affluent neighborhoods, this problem can worsen as they are more likely to drop out; drowning in debt with no college degree is a calamity. Furthermore, the cost of books and other materials weighs down students’ growth.
 Shurly Won, a senior at Simmons University studying computer science and biostatistics, faced these overwhelming challenges. “Financially, many of my classmates have told me that their parents have paid for or will pay for their tuition,” she said. “Unlike them, I need to carry my own burden and take out my own loans.” Won’s responsibility for paying for her college education put her in a different headspace from many of her classmates.
 Many students of color have similar burdens, especially when attending predominantly white schools. Won called her financial advisor before attending Simmons and explained her circumstances, which helped her manage the financial toll college education would take on her.
 “For incoming minority students, I would like them to know that if they happen to be in a difficult situation, never be afraid to speak up,” she said. “There are likely other people on campus who share the same situations.” 
Jaelle Sanon, a junior at Cornell University majoring in industrial and labor relations, echoed these same sentiments. “Take advantage of everything and also advocate for yourself,” she said. “The school accepted you, and now they must give you all the resources needed to succeed.” It is also in the best interest of the college to provide these resources and support programs so students’ successful graduation is guaranteed. 
Many students in college feel out of place, disorganized or homesick. For students of color, these problems are only heightened as the cultural dynamic shift is bigger and stronger.
 According to a study by the Government Accountability Office, starting from K-12 education, students of color are plagued with inequalities, with schools serving predominantly black and Hispanic students offering “disproportionately fewer math, science, and college preparatory courses” and experiencing “disproportionately higher rates of students who were held back in 9th grade, suspended, or expelled.”
An educational gap is one of many factors making life different for students of color in the U.S. These differences manifest themselves as huge obstacles in college as students of color are faced with problems they’ve never encountered before.
Students of color need close support from the institutions they’re attending to guarantee success. Sanon goes to a predominantly white institution, or a PWI, and is a first generation college student of color, which makes her experiences very hard at times. “Academically, I felt like I wasn't prepared for Cornell, but it is a learning curve,” she said. “You learn as you go. I had to re-learn how to read, study and take exams. However, Cornell provides academic services, and I have been able to surround myself with friends in my major to help me.” 
 At Cornell, Sanon attended the Prefreshman Summer Program which she credits for helping her transition from high school to college. “The Prefreshman Summer Program allowed me to take classes in my major before I officially started Cornell as well as familiarize myself with the resources Cornell offers for low-income students,” she said. “I also met some of my best friends there.” 
Programs like these help students of color adapt and prepare themselves for a successful four years of college.

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AFH Photo//Yvonne Chen
There was a girl I liked in my health class. One day, I decided to ask her out because I wanted to get to know her more. A little after the bell rang, I walked up to her in the hallway. “Do you want to hang out sometime?” I asked. She looked at me and took a long time to answer. 
“Thanks...but I have a boyfriend,” she replied uncomfortably. 
Later, during lunch, I was sitting next to the girl in the cafeteria. I overheard one of her friends say, “I thought you had a boyfriend.” The girl replied, “I don’t.”
 I got angry. I couldn’t believe she lied. 
The most common thing girls tells me when I ask them out is that they have boyfriends.  Often, this isn’t true. I feel like this has happened to me 300,000 times. If a girl is single and she's not interested, she should be honest with me. She doesn't need to lie about it. 
I think a lot of girls are afraid that if they don’t say they have a boyfriend, I’m going to keep asking them out, but the truth is, I respect their decision. I also think girls are afraid that saying flat-out no is impolite, but actually, I would prefer they be honest. If you don’t like me, just tell me straight up that you are single but not interested. 
 I asked other members of the Teens in Print staff two questions: “Why aren’t people honest when it comes to dating and relationships?” and “What should you do if when you ask someone out, they tell you they are in a relationship?” 
Honestly I think that people use the line to make sure that you don’t get your feelings hurt, but when the news gets back to you, your feelings will get hurt. It’s selfish and you deserve their honesty. -Yasmin Mohamed

I was in a friendship with a boy and ended up liking him. Once I told him, he felt uncomfortable, because he didn’t like me in the same way. The friendship fell apart; he started to ignore me and tell people lies about me. He made me feel like I was less than what I was. What he did to me was a life lesson on loving yourself.  -Seana Fuller 

Being honest with someone is always the best way to go. If you are not interested in someone—or if you are— tell them straight out. With that being said though, I also understand why someone would lie about it to spare your feelings, or if they do not feel comfortable bluntly expressing themselves.-Kiana McLean 

It takes a lot to make me genuinely like someone. So once I do, if I’m turned down, it is usually best if I stop talking to them all together.   -Jacob Downey

I’ve had my fair share of rejecting people, and it isn’t something that I do to make others feel bad or a mockery of their feelings—it’s something that is genuinely not fun to do. You want to say yes, and you want to return the way that they feel, but you can’t. Being rejected is better than being played with or strung along. -Mariella Murillo 

My advice for anyone who gets rejected by this line is to not take it personally. If a girl says that to you, it says more about her than it says about you. Sometimes you just have to forget about her. Just let it be.

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