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"They come in welled up with emotion, they’re crying and there’s no way they can concentrate on the lesson at hand," says a teacher at Dymally High School in South Los Angeles.
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It's third period at Castlemont Business and Information Technology School in East Oakland. A visitor begins a discussion about poverty, bad food and crime. Tough times? Tough streets? These high school students aren't stressing.

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Interviews with and writings by nearly 100 students at the Castlemont Campus of Small Schools reveal three major stressors jeopardize their health: academic anxiety, lack of healthy food and an environment that limits their freedom and imprisons them indoors. Even more alarming, factors such as a poor diet and lack of nutrition can lead to health problems that can be passed on to future generations, researchers say.

Picture of Beatrice Motamedi

Ditiyan Franklin was a B student with college aspirations and a big, dimpled smile. Just last week he went to his senior prom, dressed in an impeccable white suit -- a memory stored in a key chain photo his father now carries in his pocket. Had he lived another month, Franklin would have experienced another rite of passage: high school graduation. But on Wednesday, gunfire cut his future short.

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