Things That Matter

California Teen Slays Calculus Exam, Leaves World Speechless

calculus kid
CREDIT: KTLA

If you thought the bar was high to get good grades in school, Cedrick Arguetta just raised it way high, like WAY high.

He’s a half Salvadorean, half Filipino 17-year-old from Abraham Lincoln High School in Lincoln Heights who was one of 12 students in the world to get a perfect score on his AP Calculus exam. A PERFECT SCORE.

READ: For the Doubters, Here is a Sick Stat on Latinos and School

But his calculus smarts didn’t come overnight. “Leading up to the exam we spent about two or three hours every day after school,” he said. That’s like two to three hours too much for us, the mathematically challenged.

And listen to this, he also got a perfect score in the English and math sections of the ACT, a college entrance exam. With that kind of intelligence, we doubt he’ll have a hard time getting into his prefered college, Caltech or getting his dream job at NASA.

Read more about Cendrick Arguetta from KTLA here.

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An Adorable Moment Is Making The Rounds After An 8-Year-Old Boy Consoled His Crying Classmate With Autism On The First Day Of School

Things That Matter

An Adorable Moment Is Making The Rounds After An 8-Year-Old Boy Consoled His Crying Classmate With Autism On The First Day Of School

Facebook / Courtney Coko Moore

The first day of school jitters can affect different people in different ways. For young children, this is especially true. While some kids might feel excited to start the new year in a new classroom, with a new class schedule, teachers, and new friends — others are completely terrified of the change. And it’s completely okay. So when an 8-year-old boy helped his classmate deal with the first day of school jitters by holding his hand as they both walked into school, our hearts couldn’t help but melt. 

On August 14, a photo of 8-year-old Christian Moore holding his classmate’s hand, Connor Crites, during their first day of the second grade at the Minneha Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas. It was the purest moment on the internet in weeks.

Crites told local reporters that he was having a difficult day and that his classmate, Christian Moore, extended his hand to him in a kind gesture. “He was kind to me,” the second-grader told KAKE. “I started crying and then he helped me. And, I was happy. He found me and held my hand and I got happy ears.” 

Moore’s mother, the second-grader who reached out to Crites after he saw he was struggling during his first day of school, wrote on Facebook that she was “so proud of her son.” 

“[He saw] a kid balled up into a corner crying, so he went to console him, grabbed his hand and walked him inside of the school! It is an honor to raise such a loving, compassionate child! He’s a kid with a Big heart, the first day of school started off write, she wrote in the caption.” 

While this is such a simple and sweet gesture, it’s important to highlight the importance of this because we don’t see it often. 

(Photo credit: Courtney Coko Moore)

Sometimes children aren’t super comfortable with showing a softer side, especially in school, so to see this happen among two young boys gives a bit of hope that we can see more and more moments like this.

Moore’s Facebook photo quickly gained a lot of attention and has been shared over 27,000 times in a matter of days. It’s also gotten over 21,000 likes and over 7,000 comments. 

Folks shared their positive thoughts in Moore’s Facebook comments calling the moment “beautiful” and other comments told the mother that the photo warmed their hearts.

(Photo credit: Courtney Coko Moore/Facebook comments)

One commentator said the 8-year-old’s actions were a testament to what a wonderful mother she is. (We definitely agree with that!)

Other people continued to root him on and express how it makes them happy to see young kids support each other in this way. 

(Photo credit: Courtney Coko Moore/Facebook comments)

After all, it shows our future generations supporting one another. We’re so glad that other young kids who might come across this post will see how they, too, can show kindness through their actions in someone else’s moment of need. It doesn’t take a lot to be kind or lend a helping hand, and 8-year-old Christian Moore is a perfect example of that.

Most importantly, however, April Crites, the mother of the other boy in the photo, also came across the post.

“Tell your son I said thank you so very much! That little boy he helped is my son and is autistic,” Crites commented on Moore’s post, according to KWCH-TV. “I worry every day that he is going to get bullied for being different and your son just absolutely warmed my heart. If there were more children like him I wouldn’t worry about such things.” 

No parent should have to live with that fear when sending his/her daughter/son to school every morning. Children should be taught to be kind to one another instead of bully each other. So, we’re definitely glad that there are parents raising their kids to act out of compassion and empathy first and foremost, like those of 8-year-old Christian Moore. 

According to KWCH-TV, Crites, the mother of the boy who was feeling anxious on his first day of school, struggles with speech. She also hopes that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship between the two boys after sharing this moment together. 

Crite’s mother also went on comment on Moore’s Facebook post that “it doesn’t matter color, it doesn’t matter gender, it doesn’t matter disability, and it doesn’t matter anything, just be kind, open your heart… it’s what we need in this world.” 

We can totally get behind this sentiment. This moment should serve as an example and as a testament to what kindness can do. 

 
 

A Texas Family Is Suing Their Son’s School After They Forced Him To Color In His Fade With A Sharpie

Things That Matter

A Texas Family Is Suing Their Son’s School After They Forced Him To Color In His Fade With A Sharpie

One of the worst things about public school is the arbitrary way that dress codes are enforced. However, this isn’t just a conversation about skirt length or bra straps infractions. Uniform coding has a history of enforcing rules that violate individual civil rights especially for female students, Black students, and students of color.

Now, a case out of Texas is arguing that this sort of civil liberties violation is what happened to a student in April 2019 at a Houston-area school.

The family of middle school student, Juelz Trice, is suing the Pearland ISD School District for an incident last Spring where administration used permanent marker on the 14-year-old’s scalp.

Twitter / @ajplus

On April 16th, Trice received a new fade but it was cited as a dress code violation the very next day. The middle school student   who is Black was in the cafeteria for breakfast when he was told by the assistant principal, Tony Barcelona, to go to the office because of his haircut. According to the lawsuit, he and Barcelona were met by discipline clerk, Helen Day, and, later, teacher, Jeanette Peterson. There in the office, Trice was given two options: go to in-school suspension for his violation or use a black Sharpie to color his scalp in. Reportedly, Trice worried that in-school suspension would impact his eligibility for the track team so he chose the marker option.

According to the lawsuit, Day then took the black permanent marker and used it to fill in the design of Trice’s fade. Peterson was then asked to pick up another marker and help fill in the middle school student’s scalp. The lawsuit alleges that “They laughed as they took many minutes to color 13-year-old J.T’s scalp which took many days of scrubbing to come off.” Images taken of the boy’s scalp after the fact reveal that the marker made the design far more noticeable.

According to the family’s attorney, there was no attempt to notify Trice’s parents before his scalp was colored in.

Twitter / @mochamomma

The civil rights lawsuit cites the school district as well Barcelona, Peterson and Day as defendants in the claim. According to Randall Kallinen, attorney for the student’s parents, Dante Trice and Angela Washington, the school district has yet to meet with the family. The only thing that has been done to rectify this problem was to change the existing dress code. In May of 2019, after the incident with Trice, the updated code removed restrictions on hairstyles and carvings.

It should be noted that the administrators and teacher involved in the incident did not receive corrective action. In fact, Barcelona, who was a vice-principal at the time, has now been promoted to principal. All three still work at Berry Miller Junior High where the situation occurred.

“I was mad. I was really mad,” Dante Trice said of his son’s ordeal. “I just imagine three people holding him down with a marker against his will.”

In a new conference about the incident, attorney Kallien cited a 2015 Department of Justice study that found that Black students were 143% more likely to be suspended than white students.

Twitter / @MarcelinoKHOU

“We are here today to right this wrong through the court system because apparently, PISD doesn’t care about African American people,” Kallinen claimed in the televised statements.

While Houston has received the title of the most diverse city in America, Pearland where the middle school is located is much less diverse. Of its population, nearly 63% is white and only 17% is Black.

While the lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, that isn’t all it is attempting to fix. Filed in the Southern District of Texas, the suit also requests that the court order school district employees receive racial sensitivity training. Considering this incident, it seems the school could definitely benefit from this.

Local activists have come out in support of Trice and his family, but they have received a lot of encouragement from Twitter as well.

Twitter / @DovieWatson

As this Twitter user expressed, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen alleged racism in school dress codes or from school administrators. In the past, school districts have faced lawsuits over dress codes that declare braids, long hair, and other so-called “ethnic” hairstyles “against the rules.” In these instances, it is usually found that the school district has violated the civil liberties of students.

Some pointed out that instances like these are more like policing than educating.

Twitter / @taylorwestc

A lot is asked of teachers and school administrators. We definitely won’t argue that. However, the number one thing required of them is to teach our young people. When we see stories like these, we have to wonder how much time is being spent educating and how much is being spent policing these kids. When it comes to their hairstyle, it’s best to let the parents and kids take this one.