Month: December 2017

Slavery in Libya

This week, CNN released a video containing footage of sub-Saharan migrants being sold at auction in Libya. Libya is a transit country for tens of thousands of migrants who are fleeing their home countries due to economic or political conflict. Most try to make their way to Europe in search of better opportunities, selling everything they own to finance the journey across the Mediterranean. Recently, however, the Libyan coast guard has been more strictly reinforcing their boundaries. This means that fewer ships are making it out to sea. As a result, smugglers are finding themselves with vast amounts of human lives and nowhere to send them. That has led to smugglers becoming auctioneers, and the refugees their slaves.

The slave trade in Libya is not new. In many seemingly ordinary towns throughout the country, migrants wait in solemn lines to be sold into their fates. Most are being auctioned off as farm workers, going for the US equivalent of around $400. While waiting to be deported, many migrants are kept in detention centers. One interview from CNN recounts the horrors that some migrants face. One detained migrant named Victory explained that he had fled his home state of Edo, in Nigeria, to flee “rampant corruption” at home. He spent all of his life savings trying to reach Europe. Victory made it to Libya, and was held there like many other migrants; sadly, they are held in abject living conditions, deprived of food and abused by their captors. Even after being sold as a day laborer multiple times, he could not raise the funds to free himself from debt. This is only one story out of hundreds of migrants and refugees that have been held in the Libyan slave trade.

According to the Alpha Conde, the chairman of the African Union, they will “use all of the tools at their disposal” to look into the situation. The evidence filmed by CNN has been handed over to Libyan authorities. CNN reports that, as of Friday, December 1, Libya has launched an investigation into the slave trade.

By Rachel Smith

Sources: BBC, CNN

Photo provided by AFP/Getty Images

Football Season Comes to a Close

Lake Howell football has come to an end. The Hawks ended the season with a record of 3-7. Lake Howell students are very proud of the team and how well they stuck together, even through tough times, which included 3 games that were barely lost in overtime. The boys ended the season with a very close game against the Oviedo Lions but came up short.

Ashlee Trenholm (Senior): “I attended almost every game last year and almost every game this year, and the spirit and fight in this team is exponentially higher than last year’s team. The homecoming game against Oviedo was one of the best football games I’ve ever attended. We just barely lost and, if you ask me, the refs blew it for us.” The Hawks lost 35-30 and almost scored a touchdown on their last drive of the game.

Kenyonta Skinner #13 (Senior) was the team’s leading scorer but got hurt halfway through the season. His recovery has been going well. The game against Oviedo was also senior night, and Kenyonta came in the game with his injury for one play. He managed to score, but the touchdown was overturned due to a flag on the play. “During the play I felt my knee bugging me but, as weird as it sounds, I had never felt so ready for a game in my life.”

Chase Bennett #19 (Junior) had over 200 all purpose yards and a touchdown, “As proud as I am of my performance. The disappointment in the loss is greater. I’m still very thankful for this team and very proud of the season.” Chase Bennett played his best game of the season against the Lions.

Overall, the students of Lake Howell are very proud of their team for sticking it through together this season and working their hardest.

By Tomas Roosen


Lake Howell Blackout

 On Friday November 10, 2017 a group of students got together and held an organized blackout at Lake Howell High School. A blackout is when a group of people wear all black to signify that they are against something that has happened or is happening; a blackout typically happens within the African American community.


The blackout was not organized as a part of Lake Howell’s Black Achievement Cultural Club (BACC). It was, however, arranged by a few students who are in the club.

The students organized this blackout date because they felt as though their opinions, as well as others, were not being respected regarding their choice to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance, especially under occasions where teachers had asked students to leave class.

Student Tymia Williams (Junior) commented,“It was very important for this to happen because they [our community] need to know that we matter too.”

One student, Nyla Davis (Junior), has been told to leave her first period class a total of three times in the week prior to the blackout for sitting during the pledge.

Davis said the teacher had not said anything the entire year until the recent announcement made by Principal Kotkin about people who have continued to walk during the pledge. Davis said, “I don’t understand. I’ve been doing the same thing since the first day of school.” Davis is one of several who have been asked to leave class.

After speaking with Principal Kotkin about the issue, he clarified that “students should have a pass if their teachers have any issues. There will be no disciplinary actions unless a student defies the teacher.”

Mr. Kotkin attended the BACC meeting and talked with the students face to face to ask what he could do to help. He has been very supportive of his students and wants to help students push forward in making a difference.


By Kimiya Watkins

Photo Credit to Malonte Odom