Category Archives: Public Safety

Weapons do not belong in school

By Moses Jeuronlon

In school, one of the most important things next to education is the safety of the students, teachers, staff, and administrators. But how do they protect themselves? Should the teachers carry guns in school? Should the students carry guns as well?

Well, that sounds like a very reliable way for them to protect themselves. However, that solution has its own drawbacks, such as the misuse of the guns and the mayhem it could cause.

“Teachers would not know how to use the gun properly and if a gunman came in the school, they would panic and start shooting everywhere”, said Jacob Itner, a senior at Patterson High School.

We always hear the news about students shooting and killing people in their schools. If the students were prevented from bringing a gun to school in the first place none of that would have happened.

Not all students in schools are mature and responsible enough not to misuse the weapon they may have for self-defense. Some school shootings can result in people dying an unfair death. School should be a place where students should go and learn in peace and leave in peace. The safety of the students and staff should be taken into consideration by the school board to ensure they are learning in a safe environment.


Texting and driving kills

By Dasia Whitfield

Texting and driving is becoming a bigger problem everyday. Texting and driving is a
problem because people are dying every day because of this issue. Phones are becoming a big distraction.

Mr. Casey, an EMT teacher at Patterson, knows about texting and driving because he has to deal with accidents. “It’s a huge problem. People that text and drive should get the
same treatment as people that drink and drive”, says Mr.Casey.

When you are driving, you should never pick up the phone, because no matter what it is, it can wait. Distracted driving causes 15% of injury crashes. Nearly 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving incidents in 2015. These statics come from Teen Safe, a website that helps parents keep their kids safe.

All generations are affected by texting and driving. “No age group specifically, but everybody is affected. Everybody wants to be kept up to date. People do not have patience”,  explains Mr.Casey.

This issue can be fixed if everybody stops picking up the phone when they get a message or to change the music. Everybody has to be considerate and think about others
before picking up the phone and also thinking about themselves and how many lives can be taken away by texting and driving.

Patterson joins rally at City Council for banning styrofoam

(Photo: Ms. Hope)

(Photo: Ms. Hope)

By John Dingzon

Ms. Hope took at least two Patterson students with her to a rally at a meeting of the Baltimore City Council on March 9, 2017.  City Councilor Zeke Cohen and the committee urged the citizens of  Baltimore City to work with a group called B-more Beyond Plastics (BBP) to ban Styrofoam because Styrofoam has affected the community of Baltimore City over the course of the years. Many of the City Council, committee, and the citizens of Baltimore City rallied in Annapolis to support the efforts to ban Styrofoam in Annapolis. 1st district Councilman Zeke Cohen said, “Talk to your city district representative and they will also take this fight to the Annapolis.” This led to the Baltimore City Council signing a resolution to support the bill in Annapolis.

B-more Beyond Plastics is a youth led organization fighting to advance public health, environmental advocacy, and legislation to change the world. They have two current missions. The missions are to ban or tax plastic bags in Baltimore and ban Styrofoam in Maryland. A bill to ban Styrofoam was introduced in both the House of Delegates and State Senate this past session. B-more Beyond Plastics testified for both committees. Unfortunately, the bill was not passed. It has been suggested that BBP should gather more information to improve the bill.  

City Councilman 1st district Councilman Zeke Cohen was there along with City Councils and  representatives from several other districts. They participated in the rally and they wanted to urge and pass a bill on to the  Annapolis so they can banned Styrofoam. In his speech, Councilman Cohen said, “We will get this bill passed. If successful in Annapolis, then we will also pass it to other states too.” Cohen represents the district that Patterson High School is in. Students and teachers from a lot of other City schools also came to the rally to protest the use of Styrofoam.

Many of students and teachers wanted to banned Styrofoam because of how it has impacted the environment. Styrofoam harms the environment, and is also piling up in the streets and outside the school districts. Many people would want to use different materials instead of Styrofoam, such as plate metal, and glass plates.

There are 3 million tons of plastic produced every year. 2.3 million tons of that plastic end up in landfills. It takes 500 years for plastic to break down. Plastic that does not reach the landfill can be found littering our neighborhoods and watersheds. Plastic is lethal to marine organisms. 50% of sea turtles have ingested plastic. Also plastic contains toxins such as benzene and polystyrene that are harmful to humans. 

So what can we do? We can use biodegradable foam or plant based products when eating, shopping, shipping, and at home. That means instead of using styrofoam, use paper plates, paper bags at the market, paper board egg cartoons, etc., or better yet, use reusable bags and dishware that don’t need to be disposed of at all.

With files from Ms. Hope.
(Photos: Ms. Hope)

Investigating Patterson’s rodent problem

Photo: National Institutes of Health (public domain)

By Christian Pietrowski, Lionell Green and Jessica Branch,

Patterson is known for the roaches and mice that can be found all throughout the school. A lot of classrooms have mice living in the walls and sometimes during the day they make an appearance. So why does Patterson have this rodent and insect problem if the janitors clean every day–both after the students leave and during the day?

Ms.Rivera, head custodian at Patterson High, told the Patterson Press, ”I honestly have no clue why there is a rodent problem in Patterson because I work like crazy and so do the other custodians.”

Morgan McCafity, a senior at Patterson High, said, ”The rodent problem is sad and scary.” She doesn’t want rodents running across her feet when they could possibly have a disease.

Honestly, the rodent problem at Patterson is sad because Patterson is a really nice school and is actually cleaned on a regular basis. So if Patterson is cleaned regularly, why is there a rodent problem? To discover he answer to this question, we went around the school and asked questions to random students and teachers in school. Here are the questions we asked and a random sample of some of the answers we received:

  1. Why is Patterson so dirty? (Because students leave trash everywhere, not caring about trashcans.)
  2. Why are there so many rodents in Patterson? (They are smart creatures and they find their way in no matter what.)
  3. If the custodians clean, WHY is it so dirty? (Because students throw trash wherever they can and whenever they can even if there is a trashcan 5 feet away.)
  4. What makes Patterson so dirty? (The students.)
  5. Why haven’t we gotten an exterminator? (We have a couple times but it doesn’t work.)
  6. Where are they coming from? (The outside of the school.)
  7. Why haven’t we stopped this? (Patterson has tried numerous times.)
  8. What is causing the rodents to come out? (The cold and the trash and food crumbs that are on the ground.)
  9. How many rodents have you seen in a day? (About 8 or 10.)
  10. How can we stop them from coming in? (Block all the small holes and ways that they come in.)

As an experiment, two of us walked around the school to see how many mice and rodents we could each find in just 5 minutes (for a combined total of 10 minutes between the two reporters). Here is what we found, broken down minute by minute:

pietrowski- Lionell-Branch (1)

All in all, Patterson has a really bad rodent problem. Patterson might be one of the worst schools with a rodent problem. Part of the problem is because the school has small holes in the floors and walls and the animals are small so they can come in through the holes. The custodians clean as often as they can, but as long as students continue to throw trash everywhere the rodent problem will not get any better.

New student group brings different cultures together to solve school problems

By Natasha Abrev-Moran,

There is a new group in Patterson High School called SPIRIT.  This group started on October 16, 2016 with about 60 students involved.  The meaning of SPIRIT is Students Problem Idea Resolution of Issues Together.  The purpose of this group is to bring different cultures together to find out the concerns they all have and find resolutions.

The  sponsors of this group are CASA de Maryland and Jamya Ceisa de Maryland. In the group, students are the leaders who talk about their concerns. These concerns involved school safety. They advocated for more security and fixing the alarm detectors. This issue was brought up to the principal who took action by hiring new security staff and stating he would look into resolving the detector problem.

Another issue many students are concerned about is safety before and after school. “Most students fear for their safety while on the bus. Thanks to the SPIRIT group, they will be working on fixing that and pushing to have a positive outcome,” said Margot Harris, ESOL department head.

SPIRIT meetings occur once a month, usually after school or during lunches in room 315. If you have any concerns or wish to join feel free to speak with Ms. Harris.

CyberPatriot competition teaches students cyber-security skills

Image: Franklin County AFJROTC

Image: Franklin County AFJROTC

By Faran Nadeem & Amadou Bah,

CyberPatriot is a program in which students are given images (operating systems) that have some errors in it and we are supposed to secure them. As we secure the image we gain points each time and if we make it unsecured we will lose points.

This is an after-school program at Patterson High School although in many other schools they have a separate class about it. Our team name is the Cybernauts. The first competition of this school year took place on November 11th, 2016 and the competition was about 6 hours long, including the lunch break.

Two more competitions were held over the next two months. The competition is online and that is great so we can participate from our own school.


E.M.T. seniors visit Fire Academy

EMT students get hands-on experience (Photo: Patterson Press)

When they are not visiting the fire academy, EMT students practice their skills in the classroom (Photo: Patterson Press)

By Christian Pietrowski and Morgan Mccaffity,

Every Wednesday and Thursday, the seniors in the E.M.T. (Emergency Medical Technician) pathways at Patterson, Vivian Thomas,  Douglass and Dunbar go to the Fire Academy on Pulaski Highway to learn E.M.T and fire training. This program prepares students for a career as an E.M.T. or firefighter after high school.

Baltimore City has been wanting to do this program for years but the funding just wasn’t there. This is the first year the City has done this. Once, when students went to the Academy, they did hands-on learning, which was learning how to do suctioning.

The day before winter break, the E.M.T. students worked with kids from Armistead Elementary School as well as another school to show the younger students what goes on. The event helped to build community-based relationships. Lionell Green, a student in the program, said, “It helps me prepare for when I graduate to become a EMT and helps me get a good paying job.”

The City hopes this program goes on for years to come.

Students testify at MTA bus pass hearing

Students and parents lined up testify against recent changes to the MTA student bus pass (Photo: Brian Clark Jr., Patterson Press)

By Amadou Bah,

Students, teachers, parents and others attended a public hearing on Thursday, January 5th to testify to City Council about the need to extend the MTA student bus pass to 8:00 PM. The hearing took place at Frederick Douglass High School at 4:00 PM.

Until this school year, students were using S-PASS, which allowed users to ride the MTA bus for free between from the hours of 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. The S-PASS allowed for multiple rides throughout the day, making it possible for students to go from home, to school, to after-school activities and back home again.

However, with the new “One Pass”, this has changed. The current contract between the school district and the MTA limits the hours students not taking part in school-sanctioned activities can ride the bus for free, cutting it from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. In reality, this is also impacting many student athletes as well as students who participate in after-school clubs like Coding Club, the Patterson Press, Chess Club and many others.

Many critics of the new MTA policy believe that the changes are being implemented in order to save MTA money. However, Sean Adgerson, deputy chief operating officer at MTA, denies this. In an interview with ABC2 News, Adgerson asserted that “any suggestion that the MTA has changed its S-PASS policy to save money at the expense of Baltimore City’s school children is simply inaccurate”. Adgerson told ABC2 News that MTA has created a process for the school system to provide bus fare for after-school programs.

Despite these assurances, students participating in non-athletic after-school clubs at Patterson are still not being provided with any additional bus fare and often have to leave their activities early to ensure that they get on the bus before 6:00. With a dismissal time of 3:35 PM, after-school programs at Patterson often do not start until 4:00 or later. Also, many Patterson students live far from the school and have to transfer busses multiple times. This makes it necessary for some students to board a bus after 6:00 PM if they stay for an after-school activity.

Additionally there is the issue of students who work after school or participate in other activities outside of school, such as volunteering, buying groceries for their families or spending time at a community center or a place of worship. MTA officials insist that this is not their concern. “Our contract was always designed to take kids to and from school and school related activities, not for jobs, not for those other things,” Adgerson said to ABC2 News.

Students and teachers stated their opinions about the bus pass issue at the City Council hearing and elsewhere.

“It’s really a shame that students are not able to ride the bus for free between the hours of 6 am and 8 pm as they were in the past”, said O’Brien Bobbi, an English 1 teacher. “I also think that there are a lot of problems with how the new S-Pass policy was rolled out to the schools because the first we’ve heard about it–well, the first I’ve heard about it–was when students were struggling and didn’t know that the bus pass stopped working at 6pm. I hope this problem will be fixed soon”, she said.

Nathan Nieves, a sophomore from Patterson High School, talked about having to leave Casa de Maryland’s Mi Espacio program early every day. “I’m trying to do my part by seeking out the positive, by learning how to help my community. I hope Baltimore City does their part too, to make sure I get home safe”, he said.

A Patterson student named John Dingzon commented on this issue, stating, “It’s really unfair for students that have after-school activities and don’t have enough time, due to this issue. Students that leave after-school activities wait at the bus stop and sometimes buses are running late.” Dingzon added, “When students get on the bus they’re expected to pay a fee of $1.70 which most kids don’t have and some bus drivers are rude and will not allow them on, due to this issue. All I want is that the new Bus pass be extended back to 8 or 9 pm.”

Dingzon had more to say but the City Council didn’t have enough time to hear him testify. A long line of students and parents who were still waiting to testify were turned away without getting an opportunity to speak. At 5:45 a member of City Council said, “Students need to be dismissed right now. City Council and MTA will try to find the best way to pass this bill”. Some members of City Council have pledged to fight until a new bill is passed and the bus pass for students is extended.

The hearing closed promptly at 5:50 p.m. so students could get that 6 p.m. swipe for the bus home, an irony that was not lost on the students and others who had come to the meeting to testify.

It remains to be seen whether City Council will figure out a way to get this issue resolved.

Clown scares sweep the nation

Killer Clown

“Killer Clown”

By Christian Pietrowski,

Clown scares have been a hot topic in the news lately. People dressed as clowns have been seen following people around. There have been reports of people having clowns following them in every state except Hawaii.

The clowns follow people around, acting scary. In some cases it has caused schools to close because there have been clowns near the school. Even if some reports are true there are some cases where people where lying about seeing clowns. For example, three middle schoolers from Annapolis, Maryland called the police claiming to see clowns following them but when the police investigated they found out from security camera footage that the kids where lying and trying to cause a ruckus.

Yet many cases around the United states have been found to be true. According to FOX News and The New York Times there have been 12 arrests of people dressing up as clowns to scare people and also 12 people have been arrests for filing a false police report. The clown sightings first began to be reported in late July or the beginning  of August. The clown sightings started in South Carolina. The first report was from a mom saying she was at a park with her two kids and her son saw a clown trying to lure the kids into the woods with him. Thankfully, no one has been killed by these clowns that people are seeing.

Be cautious if you see a clown but don’t be too scared unless the clown is in an odd place.

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