“Big Brother” has made its way to Pueblo High School as 25 cameras, in virtually every corner of school, have been installed.
These cameras cost $150,000, which has been paid for by the district’s “special budget.”
Assistant principal Karla Martinez said, “I am very happy to have updated cameras because they produce much clearer images than the old cameras.”
Most staff members interviewed for this story approve of the cameras. However…some students have mixed opinions about the “eyes” around campus, which are inconspicuously smaller and harder to detect than the old cameras.
Emely Villanueva, a junior said, “The new cameras are a little creepy, but they will provide for a safer campus. With a shortage of monitors, these cameras might fill the void of campus security.”
Freshmen Marquis said, “I feel weird being watched all the time. It ruins my privacy.”
Senior Diego Ramirez said. “It’s also scary not knowing where all the cameras are… they could be anywhere.”
…Which is the whole point. Administration is confident that these cameras will aid in controlling discipline and inhibiting bad behavior.
Martinez said, “The cameras were installed in all areas around the school. It’s now possible to see virtually every inch of Pueblo’s campus.”
Security monitors are also optimistic about the new cameras helping keep order on campus.
Security monitor Ms. Nellie Rivera said, “No matter where a student is located, administration and school safety have access to cameras in any location, from phones and monitors in the office. These cameras won’t solve every problem, but they will certainly help.”
The 2020-21 school year has been a complicated time for the Pueblo community, and Mr. Frank Rosthenhausler, our school’s principal, recently expressed his fair share of struggles—but offers advice and solace to those who are sharing his frustrations.
Rosthenhausler, who is beginning his third year as principal at Pueblo, said that not seeing his students and staff in person has been the very challenging.
“I admit that I had a tough first week,” Rosthenhausler said. “I shared in the agony of seeing families struggle, our students struggle and our staff struggle. All of this isn’t exactly what I had signed up for when I became principal. Still, it is my responsibility to make our [Pueblo] community whole.”
Despite the challenges that he has encountered, Rosthenhausler said that he has become more adjusted to the often adverse and challenging circumstances that the Pueblo community has experienced regarding online instruction during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s been emotionally tough, but I’ve figured out some ways to cope,” said Rosthenhausler. “At the end of the first quarter, I feel a lot better now, and interviews like this help because I get to talk to the kids and see the kids. In the end, I’m okay with where we are for now.’’
As principal, Rosthenhausler said that it has been a bit challenging keeping the balance between students and teachers. He fears that teachers are handing out too much homework, or they are not assigning enough.
“I ask myself a lot of questions, like, ‘Where does that balance lie between teaching and handing out homework and grading homework? How can we avoid stressing out our students with an incredible amount of work and time on the computer? How do teachers avoid stressing out themselves with handing out too much work and trying to grade everything they assign—as well as provide the feedback necessary for students to actually learn?’” He paused and added, “How can we all do what’s best for our students and teachers…?”
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the TUSD Governing Board decided that students will not be returning to campus after the fall break on Monday, Oct. 19. There will be future meetings to determine when the district will deem it safe for a campus return—and at a specific capacity. Rosthenhausler said that he does not know anything for certain, which has been frustrating.
However, he did express that he will be “very pleased” to see all the students again. He believes there is more to school than just education; high school is also about students’ experiences with their peers and their teachers.
“There’s so much more to education beyond what we learn in books,” Rosthenhaulser said. “Our students really need the opportunities to socialize with adults and with their peers, organize their day, and be a part of clubs and other organizations that really hit the social and emotional aspects of schooling.” He paused and added, “I’ll be thrilled to see everybody back, and I’ll be holding my breath until that happens.”
Rosthenhausler encourages students to stay motivated while they are learning online.
“I would like students to finish off strong, make sure they are paying attention in teachers’ Zoom meetings, handing in homework and keeping their heads above water, so that when the time is right to return to campus, we can slowly start coming out of the ocean.”
Rosthenhausler said that it is important for the Pueblo community to be flexible for the next several months. He said that it is very possible that we could return to campus—only to have to return back to online instruction if being on campus is deemed unsafe again.
“We just have to be tough,” he said. “This situation is a true test of life. Our path isn’t always what we’ve outlined.”
has been a lot of controversy regarding the new tardy and attendance policy at
Pueblo this new school year, but early on, a lot of people have expressed their
Thus far, administrators have not lessened the penalty for being late. Tardy lines from primarily during first period, and sometimes this line is excessively long—sometimes as long as 100 feet. Students have to stand in long, hot lines until they reach the attendance counter where they receive “the go” to proceed to their first teachers.
one minute has been shaved from this year’s passing bell schedule. If students
are even remotely late to class, they must return to the attendance office for
would prefer students just going to class late and not having to come up here,”
said Pueblo’s attendance clerk, Ms. Angelica Aros. “It takes students forever
to sign in, and the lines can be very, very long—even now at the end of the
feels that the tardy policy is helpful and gets our students prepared for the
real world, but most students think that the tardy lines are unnecessary.
intention is to get our students to realize the importance of being on time,” said
Assistant Principal Steven Lopez. He does, however, acknowledge that five
minutes may not be sufficient time to get to class.
we need to put that one minute back into the schedule,” Lopez said. “We’re
still evaluating the situation.”
teacher Ms. Josephine Rincon said, “We teachers end up being the ‘bad guy’
because we try to get our students to be responsible and to get to class on
time. My job description is to grade and plan and to communicate with parents
about how their children are doing. This tardy policy turns me into a
disciplinarian, and when I have to be the disciplinarian that messes up the
pure relationship between student and teacher.”
students at Pueblo are opposed to this year’s strict tardy policy.
Marcopolo Moreno said, “It’s a waste of our time! Even if we’re a minute late,
we have to stand in line sometimes up to 40 minutes—sometimes the entire
period! Traffic is very bad in the mornings, and being late is not our fault
junior David Miramontes said, “The tardy policy is an irony—because in the end,
it makes us miss more class than necessary.”
Tardiness has historically been a big problem in our school, but we are improving on this situation despite long tardy lines. During the first week in December, there were 1,014 tardies reported in the attendance office. The next week, the number of tardies plummeted to 769 tardies, and more than 90% of these tardies were during the first period.
Pueblo’s faculty has addressed this problem and working hard to help decrease students’ tardies. As of mid-December, Behavior Interventionists have completed 258 interventions, 236 student conferences, 20 parent conferences, and two lunch restorations.
Ms. Angelica Aros, one of Pueblo’s attendance clerks said, “Yes, I believe Pueblo can make a change. These lines are not the solution. Students need to value their time at school more.”
Mr. Steve Lopez, assistance principal, affirmed that after students are tardy six times, parents will be called. If tardies persist, Lopez added that home they will be required to attend “Saturday School”.
Bryan Ramirez, a junior, said “I’ve had to go to lunch detention and it truly does help me get back on my feet and realize what am doing is wrong.”
Tardiness begins in the morning right after the first bell, at 8 a.m. 1st Period, and within 15 minutes, the tardy line serpentines from the attendance office to the outside—consisting sometimes as many as a hundred students. Some students express their frustration because they were just seconds late—and still not allowed in class. By the time they receive their tardy slip and go to class, students will have missed half—or more—of their class.
“The whole tardy policy is just a mess,” said student Ramirez. “Administration needs to come up with a more effective way to deal with students’ tardies. Being in long lines is not a solution—it’s just a band-aid to a big problem. I believe that students and teachers should come up with more innovative ways to deal with our tardies. I suppose that students themselves need to fix the tardy problem by just showing up to school on time.”
Administration said that they will continue to make improvements in the tardy policy. “So far, the tardiness problem has improved,” said Assistant Principal Steve Lopez. “We could always do better, however, and we’ll continue to make improvements as the discussion continues.”
On Wednesday, March 14, thousands of high schools across the United States participated in a “March For Our Lives” event to pay homage to the 17 shooting victims at Marjorie Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14—as well as to express their strong opinions about a lack of stricter gun laws.
More than a thousand Warriors and many teachers and staff members participated in its own march at approximately 12:45 p.m. after the radio broadcast during sixth period.
Participants marched from their classrooms to the football field for approximately 17 minutes, one minute for each of the victims in Florida. Students then were directed to the bleachers to listen to students’ speeches.
First, Dr. Augustine Romero voiced his support for students’ opinions.
Twelve students spoke afterwards—each of them conveying their concerns regarding school safety and regulating the Second Amendment, either in short two or three-minute speeches or in the form of poems.
One of the dozen speakers, senior Brianna Metzler, said, “Because of my anxiety issues, giving this speech was a true testament to needing to express my voice. I took a chance [to publicly speak] and do not regret the words that I shared with nearly a thousand students. I’m proud of myself, and I really hope that I was heard.”
“I was shocked at how many students participated,” said senior Jorge Becerril, who was one of a few students instrumental in organizing this event. “I was equally impressed by the quality of the speeches from students who were very committed to expressing their voice about gun violence at our schools across the country.”
Another senior who co-organized this event, senior Liam Membrila, said, “I have always seen and felt the hunger for myself and my generation to be heard. I really want to show our representatives our reality—seeing the swarm of Pueblo students and faculty marching and chanting, ‘The people united shall never be divided!’ This inspired me to be even louder.”
Membrila added, “The greatest frustration, however, was a constant tug-of-war with the district about allowing local media on campus. It’s not as if our march were something disrespectful or about something illegal. We [students] were speaking about our safety. My generation will be the change.”
“Last minute changes were very frustrating,” Becerril said. “I was disappointed that our administrators did not allow Channel 4 [KVOA] on campus, but I suppose that they had their directives from the district office. It’s not like we were trying to riot or speak about something not legal. We students definitely had a mission and a purpose, and our diligence to have common sense gun laws hopefully lasts until there is change. I would think that our administrators would want the Pueblo community to have media coverage because what we students did was very positive.”
Student body president Kanani Salazar, a senior, was one of the two emcees at the event, introducing each speaker.
“The march was extremely organized,” Salazar said. “We heard many different voices that are seldom heard. I hope this isn’t the last of these marches because students need to be heard. Young people across the nation are the future of this country, and we will make positive changes, including common sense Second Amendment laws.”
Another emcee, senior Cynthia Amarillas, said, “I am very proud of the Pueblo community for uniting for a very valid cause. We will be the generation that changes gun laws in America. We all must register to vote so that our voices are heard. We will not abandon this movement. Enough is enough!”
Seniors Darlene Padilla and Bea Nevarez set up a table for 18-year-olds to register to vote, and many seniors took advantage of this opportunity.
Andrea Cuevas, a senior, and one of the hundreds of participants in the march, said, “Voting is essential to change this country’s policies. Young people—especially Hispanics—need to vote. This generation is creating this country’s future. If we don’t vote, then we become merely bystanders.”
TUSD School Board member Ms. Adelita Grijalva (and a former Pueblo graduate—from the Class of 1989) voiced how proud she was of Warriors’ spirit and their commitment to making positive changes.
At approximately 2 p.m., the march was officially over, and students returned to their classes feeling confident that they had made a difference in their community.
“Overall, Pueblo High School’s first march to pay homage to Florida’s shooting victims was undoubtedly very successful,” said Cynthia Amarillas. “Hopefully this march also showed administration that students are capable of organizing and implementing events that make a positive difference.”
Aerial Photos: Andrew Romero, a junior, under the supervision of teacher Mr. Ernesto Somoza.
To honor the 17 slain students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, Pueblo’s “March For Our Lives” encourages all students and faculty members to participate on Wednesday, March 14—exactly a month after the tragedy. Hundreds of schools across the nation will be participating in their own marches on this date.
Senior Jorge Becerril was one of the architects of this movement.
“This country desperately needs common sense gun control,” Becerril said. “We students—and the teachers, too—shouldn’t have to worry about our safety at school. We are here to learn.”
Students and teachers—as well as everybody in the Pueblo community—are encouraged to participate in the solidarity movement after the radio broadcast in 6th period.
Participants are encouraged to wear orange, the color that has come to represent the anti-gun violence movement.
There will be an announcement over the intercom instructing Pueblo to begin their 17-minute march (one minute for every lost life in Florida) to the football field—much like a fire drill procedure. Once on the football field, students will continue walking around the track until the 17 minutes has lapsed. Then, everybody will sit in the bleachers and observe a minute of silence.
The two masters of ceremony, seniors Kanani Salazar (student council president) and Cynthia Amarillas (student council representative) will introduce student speakers. These speeches will last from one to three minutes. TUSD School Board member Ms. Adelita Grijalva is expected to be a speaker.
Becerril added, “There have been plenty of school shootings since I was a freshman, but for some reason, this shooting really affected me—maybe because there was so much press of this event in the aftermath of the tragedy. I’ve been inspired by many of the survivors of the Florida shooting who are adamant about getting their legislators to pass laws to make high school campuses safer.”
Becerril explained that this event is not about eradicating the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms), but rather making our society and our schools safer with common sense legislation that may ensure a safer country.
“This march is not an excuse for students to ditch or to skip their sixth period classes,” Becerril said. “We want our school to portray a mature message about this topic. This is also a great opportunity for students to voice their opinions. This topic is also a great opportunity for teachers to have meaningful dialogues and discussions in their classrooms.”