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Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters and photographers tell us about their school. This week's school is Castle High School.

Peer pressure | Digital Castle | 'Frank' applauded
You asked | By the Numbers

Newspaper: Na Pali O'Ko'olau
Editor: Allison Martin
Adviser: Joel Flor


Standing up
to peer pressure

Castle students and teachers
rate peer pressure as a top
problem for teens

By Michael Yao
Castle High School

You and your friends are hanging out at the mall and they decide to go outside for a breather. You start talking with each other, and from your best friend's backpack pops out a pack of cigarettes. All of your friends pull a cigarette from the pack and light it.

As the pack nears you, you begin to get hesitant to take one. When the pack reaches your hand, you quickly pass it over to the next person.

Your friends say, "What the heck is a matter with you?" They pass the pack of cigarettes back and you take one, put it in your mouth and light it. You feel the pressure mounting as you suck in that first breath of smoke.

Peer pressure is the cause of nearly all the problems teenagers face today, whether it be drugs, sex or alcohol.

When Castle High School students were asked what the greatest problem facing teens today was, drugs was the top choice and peer pressure was voted second. But when teachers were asked the same question, peer pressure came in at a clear first.

"Peer pressure sucks," said Marina Yanela, a freshman. "It's sad that students have to act a certain way, do a certain thing or even look a certain way before someone would be their friend. That's so pathetic."

Even when students are just walking down the hall during passing period, peer pressure is evident.

"You want to cut? Who wants to take a math quiz anyway?" says one so-called friend to another. What kind of friend would want another not to succeed?

It does, however, come down to your choice: You have the power to cut, but you also have the power to say no and stay. From that one simple question, many outcomes may arise: You could go and cut; stay in math and take the math quiz; or perhaps convince your friend to stay with you.

Each choice has its own consequences -- some worse then others -- but in each choice there is a consequence, whether it be failing your math quiz or losing your parents' trust. It is up to you to choose which consequence you would rather have.

Students usually give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, to fit in, or to lift the stress of other kids making fun of them. Others give in because they just want to try what others are doing.

The idea that "everyone is doing it" is a key factor to the overwhelming amount of students affected by peer pressure.

Experiments have shown that peer pressure can influence people and have them change an answer to a wrong one -- even though they are sure they have a correct answer -- just because everyone else thinks the right choice is wrong.

But experiments also show that it takes just one person to stand his or her ground on what he or she believes is right for another peer to take his or her side and eliminate the pressure exerted by others.

Walking away from peer pressure isn't as easy as people sometimes make it out to be. It can result into the loss of a girlfriend, a boyfriend or even a childhood friend, but it can be done.

Doing things that go with your feelings and beliefs about what you feel is right can help you choose the right thing to do in an uncomfortable situation.

It's important to choose your friends wisely, like our parents always say, because if you choose friends who don't smoke, don't lie to their parents or don't cut class, then you probably won't do those things either, even though "everyone else is doing it."

Castle students get hands-on experiences in tech classes.

Tech center
takes Castle digital

By Rachel Robello
Castle High School

Years of tradition have been broken as Castle takes a step into the new millennium.

With the era of technology rapidly advancing, Castle will not be left behind.

The new Castle Technology Learning Center is home to six different classes taught by three different teachers.

Wil Beaver's classes include Graphic Communications and Web Design.

Megan Rothchild's classes include the Oracle program, and Phil Acosta teaches Net Fundamentals and the A+ Certification Program.

Acosta hopes the new technolgy center will make students more aware of the newly developed computer classes and generate more student interest, which will hopefully raise enrollment and increase funding.

The CTLC receives grants and funding from programs like the state Advance Technology Research program, Alu Like and the Career and Technology Education program for software, hardware components and materials and computers.


All-student ‘Anne Frank’
wins emotional applause

By Devin Elting
Castle High School

Castle Performing Arts Center presented its first all-student play of the year with performances of "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl."

The play opened Nov. 9 at the Ronald Bright Theatre.

The drama focuses on the experiences of a Jewish girl, Anne Frank, who hid for two years from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic with seven other people.

Taken from her diary, which was found by her father after World War II, the story follows a young girl dealing with a life of hiding and holding onto hope.

What Anne Frank experienced with millions of other innocent Jews is now known as the Holocaust.

The tragedy of the Holocaust led to the creation of Israel as a Jewish homeland.

Since then, there have been many wars in the Middle East and poor relations between Arab nations and Israel.

In the Castle production, Deanne Mutch brought tears to the eyes of the audience with her portrayal of Anne.

Mutch and the other excellent cast members helped bring to life how the people who spent two years in an attic together felt about their situation and their roommates.

"Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" brought loud and long applause from an emotional audience.


You asked

Why do you think teenagers give in to peer pressure?

Sara Iseri

"People give into peer pressure because they don't have strong morals and values. If they did, they would know what is right and wrong, and they would stand up against the influence of their peers, thinking for themselves."

Kim Gordon

"Because they are looking for acceptance."

Sheldon Smiley

"People are afraid of saying no, especially to their friends and to those whom they respect. They want to be liked. Even though one may realize they are being pressured into a compromising situation, many eventually give in to the fear of being not well thought-of and therefore becoming an outsider."

Jolyn Yoneshige

"Some people want to be in the 'in' crowd, and giving in to peer pressure is their ticket in."

Sheryl Nakasone

"Students give in to peer pressure because they think all the other kids are cool. They'll do anything to fit in. They do that because they want to prove that they're just as cool as everyone else."

Jonathan Cheng

"Because they don't have any real friends, and they want to get attention."

Nicole AhNee

"Some people give in to peer pressure because they see others doing it, especially if it's adults or popular people, and they feel that it is okay or not wrong."

Donald Carreira

"I think kids give in to peer pressure to become popular or act cool."

Krystal Terrado

"Because they want to fit in by living up to others' standards, and they don't have an individuality or a personality of their own."

Randy Kochiama

"To feel accepted."


By the numbers

Address: 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe, HI 96744
Phone: 233-5600
Principal: Meredith M. Maeda
Established: 1951 (formerly known as Ben Parker High School)
Site: Located between the beautiful Koolau Mountains and splendor of Kaneohe Bay.
Motto: "Knight Pride," demonstrating character, competence and commitment.
Colors: Maroon, gold and white
Nickname: Knights
Vision: A learning and caring community that works together for the benefit of its students and where all are committed to excellence.
Mission: We are dedicated to foster a connection between living and learning.
Teachers: 120
Students: 1,812

To our readers

With this page, Hawaii's Schools will be going on a short break before resuming with Kapaa High School on Jan. 13. Thanks to all schools that participated in the fall semester program.

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