Raise Your Hand

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“Raise Your Hand” is a monthly editorial column written by high school students and their peers in collaboration with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Its purpose is to provide a platform for youth voice, particularly DOE students. Since its start in March 2016, over 90 articles have been published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

We fervently believe that when youth are allowed to voice their opinions, amazing feats are accomplished. A young adult’s concerns are not only about school lunches, bullies, or the dress code. The younger generation is just as passionate and invested as their adult counterparts in issues facing our world. After all, they are our future leaders!

Click here to learn more about Raise Your Hand.

Blog Posts

It’s safe to say that many in Hawai’i are concerned about the future of our islands. Over 350 CTL high school students from across the state wrote a response to the prompt, “Tell a local lawmaker: What is the one thing that must change in order for you to picture yourself having a good future in Hawai’i?”Here’s some excerpts of what the next generation wants legislators to take action on now.

Imagine growing up in a corrupt country, facing assault without justice, being separated from your family with no hope of reunification, living in abject poverty, fearing for your life daily. This is the reality for many outside America’s borders, and just some of the reasons why they so desperately attempt to cross over into a new life.

PRO: A PRACTICAL CHANGE TO HAWAII TOURISM“Not only are hotels understaffed, but Hawai’i is at full visitor occupancy while there is a severe shortage of other resources elsewhere in the islands…This prioritization of tourists’ wants over local residents’ needs caused an uproar within Hawai’i’s commu.

“Life below water.” People may see this phrase and think of UN SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) 14: to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Distance learning was one of the greatest struggles of the pandemic. In this new mode of virtual, synchronous learning, many students struggled to adapt and teachers pushed to return to in-person instruction, which will now resume in fall.

Kahealani Numazawa-PacanasMar Heinrich Ruiz Can Kaua’i be food self-sustaining? This question has recently become popular in the public arena, and as residents of the island, we fully support it.

Struggle to survive in the beautiful paradise you grew up in, or move away for more affordable housing and a better paying job? Which would you choose? Many local people actively weigh these exact tradeoffs of living in Hawaii, and many choose to do what they think best for themselves and their fami.

With the loss of tourism, new COVID-19 restrictions, and an overall drop in the economy, small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. By July of 2020, nearly 900 small businesses had closed, either temporarily or permanently.

CON: NOT LEGALLY OR EVEN INTUITIVELY AN INFRINGEMENT OF FREE SPEECHThe conversation about the power of big technology companies, or “Big Tech,” is a long and important one, but there is a simple answer to whether Big Techs’ recent actions against Donald Trump are an infringement on free speech.

As private entities, “big tech” companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have every right to exercise their discretion in banning whomever they please. The right to refuse service is, in itself, a First Amendment right.