Kids need their parents to escort them to success. When parents are involved in their children’s educations, kids do better in school. The family makes      critical contributions to student achievement, from preschool through high school. Learning starts at home. Parents who show their children why it is important to get an education are    more effective than those who just give their kids money and send them off to school. Teachers believe that their students would perform better if parents were more involved. Children of uninvolved parents are more likely to fall through the cracks. One lesson kids learn is: “If my parents don’t care, why should I care?” Students are the future of the country, and it’s sad when the lack of support from parents is a reason that they are dropping out.
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Today’s Harlem Shake is a pop dance consisting of an individual moving to the melody of the music with a group of people who appear to be spectators in the background. Then, all of a sudden, the song reaches its peak with the prompt of “Do the Harlem Shake,” and all the bystanders disregard what they were doing and begin to dance insanely, often in random masks and costumes. Ever since the modern Harlem Shake went viral in late 2012 via a song recorded by an American DJ named Baauer, it has become a sensation all over the country, with grade school students and even professional athletes producing their own versions of the dance. However, some believe the latest edition is a weak copy of the original. “Today’s Harlem Shake is a complete mockery of what the original Harlem Shake stood for,” says Wayne Montague, a junior at Brighton High School.
The original Harlem Shake of the early ‘80s was also known as the Albee after its creator, a Harlem resident named “Al B.” Some say it drew inspiration from an Ethiopian dance called the Eskista, which consists of a variety of body movements, head jerking, and shoulder bopping.
The Harlem Shake grew in popularity in 2001 when G. Dep offered the dance in his music video “Let’s Get It.” It died down and then was revived. Erik Solis, 17, of Another Course to College, has no problem with updating cultural history, believing the dance has simply evolved over the course of the past decades. Although it may be far from its predecessor, Solis says it’s fun and people today enjoy it.
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On Point
Trayvon lives on:
On July 13, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Myriad people tried to dirty Martin’s reputation by talking about things like his reported marijuana use in attempts to make him look like a thug. How does this justify the fact that he was killed, unarmed, by a man who happened to be stalking him? Well, if we are talking about criminal behavior, let’s take a step back in time and describe a man who got in trouble with the law and still rose up to become successful. As others have noted, this man was charged with driving drunk, paid a fine, and later became president of the United States: George W. Bush. I believe I would have made a better argument than the prosecutors in the Zimmerman case. Zimmerman was caught in a lie when he explained that Trayvon Martin jumped out of the bushes. That should have been a bigger deal in the trial. In his heart, Zimmerman knew he had done wrong. It would take me a very long time to believe that race did not have anything to do with this case. Apparently, Trayvon’s appearance killed him, because he looked so suspicious in a hoodie that Zimmerman felt he could only live to see the next day by following him like some twitter bird or an animal stalking its prey. What would have happened to the whole neighborhood if Trayvon had walked home that night without a chaperone? Was he going to do something drastic like adjust his hoodie?
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Music is definitely something that fuels and inspires the generation of today. Many people are influenced and molded by what they plug into their ears every day. The rap industry is still alive and well, motivating people to do good and bad. Do the names Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Nas, Jay-Z, and Rakim ring any bells in your head? What about Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake, and Chief Keef? How has rap changed from back in the day? Seventeen-year-old Kevin Lewis thinks that hip-hop has done a complete 180-degree turn. The message used to tell kids not to grow up brainwashed by the world, some say, and now it targets college students who like to party. “None of these rappers are the same, their style, their attitude, and their demeanor is all different,” says Lewis, from the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. “Rappers today can’t even compare to those back then.” Lewis feels that rappers have tried to adjust to the new era we live in. “Lil Wayne went from gangster rapper to rock star,” says Lewis. Julia Malita, 16, from Boston Latin Academy, thinks the new-schoolers are getting a bad rap. “I don’t think that rap has changed much over the years,” Malita says. “It’s still pretty much the same.” Still, it isn’t uncommon to hear adults complain about the music that kids are into these days, saying it causes them to act recklessly. Chadrick Fennell, 16, from the O’Bryant, responds: “The music I listen to doesn’t define who I am as a person.”
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"There was a time a long, long time ago Chevys and levees played on the radio No cellphones, just 20,000 lights Swaying on a Saturday night, alright Can you imagine that slice of time? Rock and roll was young, people stood in line To hear music that played into their lives That you could carry 'till the day you die" -- "Slice" by Five for Fighting   These lyrics are just one example of how music has evolved since the ’80s and ’90s. Back then, music’s messages were as salutary as oxygen itself. Now, the ways songs are displayed and spread have evolved, and their sounds have shifted. Instead of physical copies of the classics, there’s now iTunes and loads of overplayed songs on mainstream radio stations. Rock’n’Roll radio, once a staple of the local airwaves, is very much consigned to spinning oldies and trying to reach people online or via paid subscriptions. Pop and hip-hop dominate the dial. “The fact is that the general public might be pretty blind to any other form of music,” says Christina Daher, 16, of Snowden International High School. Daher listens to heavy metal and rock, and feels that her favorite bands should have a chance in the audio limelight. “The messages they give us are beautiful,” says Daher. “They put their feelings and emotions into these songs.” With a few exceptions, punk rock, post-hardcore, and other alternative genres are largely silent on local non-Internet radio, except for some college stations. Today, some teens say, it’s all about an artist’s looks, who’s the next big thing, and just selling out. “Radio has no standards or values. The best they do is censorship,” says Ronnica Rogers, 17, of the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. “If the radio were less biased towards genres of rock, they’d see that rock, too, is catchy, meaningful, and beautiful.”
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