Atlantic Community High School


Julia Peifer

Julia Peifer has 8 articles published.

Florida Senator Frank Artiles resigning

in News by

  On Friday, April 21st, 2017, Florida Senator Frank Artiles announced he is resigning after receiving pressure following the use of a racial slur during drinks with 2 other lawmakers.

  Frank Artiles said in his resignation letter that,  “It is clear to me my recent actions and words that I spoke fell far short of what I expect for myself, and for this, I am very sorry. I am responsible, and I am accountable, and effective immediately, I am resigning from the Florida State Senate.” The next day on Tuesday after the tirade  he said that he let his “temper get the best of [him].”

 CNN later interviewed the Senate President and asked what he had to say about the incident. He had this to say“Racial slurs and profane, sexist insults have no place in conversation between Senators and will not be tolerated while I am serving as Senate President.” According to CNN, Artiles also apologized to Sen. Audrey Gibson for calling her a rude word during the tirade as well. He said during his prepared apology speech in front of the senate,  “I extend a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and to all those I have offended.” Even though Frank Artiles apologized, that does not make what he said okay with the people he hurt and offended. He needs to prove he is sorry.

Florida Senator Frank Artiles announcing his retirement Source:
Florida Senator Frank Artiles announcing his retirement

Girls Like Me by Tanya Savory; Relatable to teens

in Arts & Entertainment by

  “Girls Like Me” is one of the books in the Bluford Series, written by various authors. Angel McAllister’s life is in trouble. Her mom is depressed, her dad just left her family, and her best friend, Sharice Bell, finds out her biggest secret; that she is a lesbian.

  This book does a very good job at showing some of the struggles of life. It shows the hardship of a parent leaving the family, a parent falling into depression, and the struggles of getting bullied. All the characters are very relatable to also. Many people may be the Sharice or the LaDonna of the book, the girls that are popular, and love to talk about boys and parties and clothes. Other people may relate to Win, because he is shy and smart, but also kind, fun to be around and loyal. Other people may relate better to Trey, who has girls falling all over him, yet wants nothing to do with it. Others may relate with Justice, who is confident, outgoing, and does not care what other people think of her. Many people can relate with these personalities, which makes this book even more enjoyable to read.

  Another reason that this book is so appealing is because it has aspects that almost everyone can relate with. One thing that people can relate to is having a parent leaving your family, or your parents separating. Many can also relate to being bullied during school, like Angel, which is more common nowadays. Many can also relate to having a parent suffering with depression. All these real life aspects incorporated in the book make the book even more relatable, which makes this book even more appealing.

  In the end, “Girls Like Me” is a very good book that shows some of the struggles of life, and is definitely worth taking the time to read.  It is on Mackinvia or on the Bluford Series website.

Book cover of Girls Like Me by Tanya Savory Courtesy of:
Book cover of Girls Like Me by Tanya Savory
Courtesy of:

Pledging to read!

in Campus Life by

  Taking place in the summer of 2017, Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott and the Florida Department of Education have partnered with the Florida Lottery and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to bring students the Summer Literacy Adventure. This project is to help students stay on the appropriate reading level for their grade, and stay motivated and excited to read and learn literature.

  The 2017 “Just Read, Florida” challenge is aimed to help students in Florida have a little bit of reading and literacy in their life over the summer. The goal of the project is to get students to read and write a little on a regular basis. To make this a little more fun though, the campaign is challenging people to make a pledge to read as many books as possible throughout summer break. The top ten schools with the highest rate of participation will be recognized by the Department of Education, and the schools whose students read the most books will receive a surprise visit from Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott.

  This challenge is to help maintain and improve students’ reading skills over the summer. This is a fun activity that lets parents be involved in their students education. One thing the Department of  Education suggests is that if a student’s school has any open media center days during the summer, they should go and get more books to read at school during the summer. They also suggest that the student should talk with anyone about what they are reading.

  One of the benefits with this challenge is that it gives everything the student needs; they just need the books and motivation to do it. The challenge even has websites (see below) that they can go to to help get themselves motivated to do this challenge. They suggest that parents read the books as well and engage in a conversation with their child, or make worksheets that follow what is happening in the book, to make sure they get both the reading and the literacy aspect in there, too.

  Overall, this is just meant to be a fun challenge to help students stay on track during the summer months so they do not do nothing school related over the summer.



• The Just Read, Florida! website provides a list of suggested summer reading selections as well as tips for helping children with reading skills at home.

• Sunshine State Young Reader Awards Program is a statewide reading motivation program for students in grades 3-8.

Teachers and Parents:

• Florida Public Libraries

• The Just Read, Florida! website provides a list of suggested summer reading selections as well as tips for helping children with reading skills at home.

• Just Read, Florida! parent site

• Just Read, Families!

• Sunshine State Young Reader Awards Program is a statewide reading motivation program for students in grades 3-8.

Florida First Lady Ann Scott kicking off "Just Read! Florida" in Tallahassee Source:
Florida First Lady Ann Scott kicking off “Just Read! Florida” in Tallahassee

Women fighting for equal pay

in News by

  For a long time, women have been fighting a battle against discrimination. Women have been fighting to be looked at as equals to men, not less superior than them. Women have been making progress in recent years, but we still have a long way to go. The battle women are currently fighting is for equal pay.

  According to Senior Research Associate Julie Anderson, “Women can catch up with men in Florida pretty quickly because men’s earnings are relatively low compared to men in other states.” She continues, “So, it’s not hard to catch up to the lower bar.”

  Recently the U.S Women’s Soccer Team was able to get a higher pay after a lengthy “Equal Play, Equal pay” campaign. Along with a 200,000 to 300,000 dollar pay increase, they also gained other things they needed. They were able to improve travel accommodations and working conditions, get union control over some of the USWNT licensing and marketing rights, greater support the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), with a continued commitment to pay NWSL salaries for allocated USWNT players, additional field and stadium oversight, and greater bonuses for players who don’t have a USWNT contract, per diems that are equal to the ones the men’s national team receives, and  more support for players who are pregnant or adopting a child.

    Even though women have been trying to get equal wage for a while, women still have a long time ahead of them. According to Terry Sanders, the head of the Florida National Organization for Women, “Women are 51 percent of the population now, and yet when it comes to Legislature, there’s another example of where it’s really disproportionate.” This means women are a majority of the population, doing most of the work, so why are they not getting paid equally? The battle has been long, but women have been making some progress. Equal pay is still a few years away for women, but a least now it is actually achievable in the close future.

People in Utah gather together to rally for equal pay for women Source:
People in Utah gather together to rally for equal pay for women

Choosing Judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court: Bad for the disabled

in Opinions/Editorials by

  On Feb. 1, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to take the place of Judge Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court bench. Scalia died suddenly in Feb. of 2016 of natural causes. Appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court bench is not the best for the people because he has had a past track record of not protecting people with disabilities. Some people approve of him though, saying he will rule justly and not be biased.

  People have been voicing their disapproval of Trump’s nomination for one main reason: he has had past rulings that make people believe that he will not judge fairly. In the past he has had rulings that failed to protect people with a disability.

  National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García says that, “Everyone should be concerned by the trend in Gorsuch’s records.” She also said that, “He’s endorsed the lowest expectations for students with disabilities, and he’s allowed schools to provide our highest need students with the bare minimum of an educational benefit.”

Even though some people say Gorsuch is not a good judge, there has to be a reason why Trump choose him. At a highly anticipated evening ceremony where he announced that he nominated Gorsuch, Trump said, “Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support,”

However, there was also another case where he failed to protect a disabled assistant professor. Assistant professor Grace Hwang worked at Kansas State University for 15 years with a lot of success. After she was diagnosed with cancer, she requested a six month leave that covered the fall semester of 2009.

  While she was preparing to return to school, the campus had a big flu epidemic that could be dangerous to her because of a compromised immune system. She asked for more time off, during which she could work from home. She was denied more time off, so she sued. The case went to Gorsuch, who ruled that the request for more time off was simply unreasonable.

  What the people can do is protest.  This is  American, the government represents the people, and the citizens of the United States  have the power of protest to say when we do not like something that is happening in the government. Judge Neil Gorsuch has had rulings in the past of not protecting the rights of disabled people, why should the people of America believe him now saying he will rule justly? He says himself, “I have no difficulty ruling against or for any party other than based on what the law and the facts of a particular case require.” All we have to do know and see if he passes the Senate.

Governor Scott signs new law for 2017/2018 school year

in News by
  • rick-scott.jpeg
    Florida governor Rich Scott signed a new law in April that lets students cross county borders to go to different schools. Picture from:

   In April, Governor Rick Scott signed a law that allows students in one county to attend school in a different county. This is not a good idea because it could potentially have a negative impact on the school.

  While some people see it as a good thing because it is beneficial for athletes, there are going to be negative impacts that may outweigh the good. One of the main concerns is from the teachers because it will affect their salaries. It is also concerning to the schools because it could affect their scores. Another bad thing about this law is it hurts schools that lose students by affecting their scores. In an article from the Orlando Sentinel, the author says that it may “dilute the value of local schools taxes and disrupt school districts’ efforts to plan for projected growth.”

  There are stipulations to this law though. One stipulation is that the school can have a max of 90% capacity before it can accept out of district students. This eliminates some of the popular schools like Park Vista High School, Don Estridge Middle School and Calusa Elementary School from being eligible. Another stipulation is that the parent must provide transportation, the students are not allowed to ride the bus.

  While this can have a negative impact, it is still enticing to athletes. A mom, named Juyle Pierre Louis, in an interview with WPTV said that, “I’ve always taught them, you have to get the grades.”   

  Meanwhile her son Joshua has his eye set on playing high school football. He said in the same interview, “Some schools, they do have better coaches than others.” All the people can do now is wait and see how it is going to work in the next school year and how it impacts the schools.

Stopping human trafficking

in Campus Life/News by

 My freedom Day is on March 14, 2017 and aims to help raise awareness for human trafficking. Human trafficking is “the practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another” according to There are three types of trafficking: sex trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage. Forced labor, also known as involuntary servitude, is the biggest sector of trafficking in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State. The human trafficking industry makes about $32 billion dollars per year.

  Human trafficking isn’t just in the US; it’s a global problem. In Europe, over 140,000 victims are trapped in a situation of violence and degradation for sexual exploitation. In Boynton Beach, three men were accused of kidnapping a 19 year-old and trying to force her into prostitution. They were not successful.

  During an interview with the girl, she said, “I was in fear for my life” on The Palm Beach Post article by Julius Whigham II. All over the world, there are victims from at least 127 countries that have been reported to have been exploited in 137 states. In human trafficking, the average cost of a slave is $90. Out of the millions of people enslaved, 1 in 5 victims of trafficking are children, although in poorer regions they make up the majority. Women make up two thirds of the trafficking victims.

  There are many things the world can do to help annihilate human trafficking. One thing people can do is to research and get informed about the problem. Then, people can donate money to people or victims that have seen or been through human trafficking. The community can also help raise awareness to help human trafficking get attention.

A young girl, tied and bonded, symbolizing what life as a sex slave is like Credits to:
A young girl, tied and bonded, symbolizing what life as a sex slave is like
Credits to:

Stop teen injustice!

in News by

On Feb. 22, a court ordered a New York jail to stop putting juveniles in solitary, saying it was harmful to their health and violated their eighth amendment right, which states “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, or cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

  This is a huge deal for 16 and 17 year olds in jail. It not only helps them, but the court also passed other laws that will help teens. For example, one requires that teens receive proper educational services while in jail. 

  Now, the punishments must include meaningful social interaction and must not be harmful to the children’s physiological health.

According to Phil Degranges, staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, “We’ve seen some juveniles who become suicidal after a few days in solitary.” He also said that, “Other juveniles have gone into solitary confinement with mental illnesses and their illnesses have worsened.”

  This is a huge step forward for the 16 and 17 year olds in the jails.

According to Stop teen injustice! (,The children at the Justice Center are sexually harassed by adults, housed in disgusting conditions, denied education and, in some cases, pushed to contemplating suicide.” Children were routinely sent to solitary for “offenses” such as speaking loudly or wearing the wrong shoes.

New York jails have stopped putting 16 and 17 year old in solitary confinement. Source:
New York jails have stopped putting 16 and 17 year old in solitary confinement. Source:

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