The Beachcomber | October 2019

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October 10, 2019

The Beachcomber

Vol. 61 No. 01

Beachwood High School 25100 Fairmount Boulevard Beachwood, Ohio

Same School, Different Levels Facing Our Achievement Gap

By Carington Peavy Features Editor

Beachwood City Schools is a thriving and diverse school district home to over 1,500 students. The district is ranked #6 in Ohio, according to the most recent school report card data. BHS earned four A’s and two B’s on the state’s indicators. 72% of BHS students took one or more AP class last year. However, of the 264 students who are enrolled in one or more AP classes this year, only 25 of those are African American. Over the years, BHS has held many events about the value of diversity and allowing minority voices to be heard. However, for a community that values diversity, why is there not more push

Inside This Issue...

Standardized Test Updates


Kashmiri Conflict

Pg. 4

Dress Code Blues

Pg. 14

Fall Sports

Pg. 15

for an equal playing field? What is An Achievement Gap? An achievement gap is defined as a consistent disparity in academic achievement between minorities, other disadvantaged students and their white counterparts. A Disparity in Test Scores Achievement gaps are displayed in many ways in schools across the United States. One place it is clearly visible is on standardized tests (AIR, SAT and ACT). The No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 was designed to increase American competitiveness in academics and was intended to address the achievement gap by increasing accountability in public schools through standardized tests. While NCLB had a significant impact on schools, it did not solve the achievement gap. Many critics argue that NCLB did more harm than good. If public schools did not perform up to par with federal standards, they would lose funding. They could also be subject to state interventions which could lead a school to be shut down and students being sent to a better performing school. In 2015, NCLB was replaced with the Every Student Succeeds Act, which gave states more flexibility and provided struggling schools with grants instead of budget cuts. A 2019 BHS graduate, whom we will call Dominic, initially got a 19 on his ACT. Dominic, who is African American, felt

Kathryn-Anne Barney, a social studies teacher hired last year to teach U.S. History and World Studies, has demonstrated the impact that an African American teacher can have. Photo by Nakita Reidenbach

sad and blamed himself, despite the fact that his parents could not afford an ACT tutor, and Beachwood did not offer an ACT prep program at that time. “I was scared to tell my friends what my score was,” he said. “Whenever someone asked me, I would say that I hadn’t taken it yet or I was going to retake it soon. It was hard feeling like the only person who got a 19 in the whole school.” With the help of friends and a borrowed ACT book, he was able to boost

his ACT grade to a 25 and was able to attend a college of his choice. The average composite ACT score for Beachwood students is a 25. The ACT administrative record for Beachwood from March 2017 states that Caucasian students received a 24.8 on average while African American students fell behind with an 18.4. While both African American and white BHS students performed well above the average for their subset that

year, Beachwood’s 6.4 point difference shows a significant disparity. Nationally, only 241,678 African American students took the ACT compared to 996,712 Caucasian students. The composite scores for African Americans are an average of 16.9, while white students receive an average of 22.2. On ELA AIR tests, the Ohio Dept. of Education measures performance index by subgroup. The performance index for African American students is

95.2 compared to 110 set by Caucasian students as of 2019. On Math AIR tests, the performance index is 90.6 for African American compared to 112.4 for Caucasian students. Social studies teacher Pam Ogilvy teaches Government, which is an AIR-tested class. “I try to provide all of my students with the support they need in preparation,” Ogilvy said. Continued on pg. 8

Principal Paul Chase Focused On Consistency By Tal Rothberg Editor-at-Large

Principal Paul Chase has returned to BHS for the 2019-2020 school year. Chase was previously the middle school principal for six years. Prior to that, he was assistant principal at BHS for seven years. While he has worked at the high school before, the current building is new to him. “When I was last here as assistant principal at the end of renovations,” Chase said. “We used to have a second floor right above [the 100 hallway].” “They tore that whole wing down and [built a new one-story wing, and] students had to walk outside from the downstairs area through the old north gym [which is where the main office is now] to walk to the other side of the building,” he added. “But the high school is now the finished product.” Chase also didn’t have his own office during the three years of construction. “I didn’t have walls in

my office, so I would have to take private phone calls in different teachers’ classrooms,” he said. An actual office isn’t the only thing Chase is looking forward to, though. “I’m also looking forward to getting to know students and [making] a difference in their lives,” he said. “Sometimes it’s actually harder for a principal or assistant principal because we’re not in the classroom with students every day.” “There will be key moments when some students just need help, or academic counseling, or a written recommendation, and I think those key moments are something I need to seize on to make a difference in the kid’s lives, and I’m excited to make that difference,” he added. Chase also has many plans for the school. His main goals for students this year are kindness and hard work. For himself, his goals are running programming, having students build relationships with

each other, intercultural awareness, and improving academics. “[I’m open to] listening to the student body seeing how we can make BHS better,” Chase said. “I want to be completely transparent, [and also] I like having structure with everything I do,” he added. “I think if things are consistent on a dayto-day basis, students know what to expect. It makes their day easier.” Chase does not plan to change a lot in his first year, but he does hope to emphasize followingthrough on the rules. Chase also wants to focus on mental health. “Mental health is really important in any high school in America right now,” he said. “I want to make sure students feel safe and happy and make sure that if somebody is struggling, we have resources in place that students are aware of where they can seek out help.” Chase isn’t all about academics, though. “I love hockey; it’s my favorite sport. I grew up

“I want to make sure students feel safe and happy,” Chase said. Photo by Nakita Reidenbach

playing hockey and I coached hockey at the high school level for a long time,” Chase said. “I [also] collect little cars called micromachines,” he added. “I probably have about 6,000 cars. They’re about the size of the end of your thumb.” “I love music, too— My favorite band is a rock band called Chev-

elle,” he added. “I sort of like that 90s grunge rock like Nirvana and a lot of the more modern hard rock like Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin.” Chase is really excited for the upcoming school year, including having an office with walls. “I feel blessed to have this opportunity,” he said.


2 State Legislature Eases Graduation Requirements for Current Freshmen By Ruth Brown Staff Writer

The Ohio legislature voted this summer to change graduation requirements so that the class of 2023 and beyond will not have to pass as many AIR tests. According to Beachwood’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction Linda LoGalbo, the state reviewed the old standards in July of 2019 and deemed them too rigorous and not proper preparation for the work force or college by state review. “Currently, the freshman class does not have to take the ELA I test as a graduation requirement.” LoGalbo said. According to the Ohio Department of Education literature, the class of 2023 is the only class under the new regulations; the three former classes are still under some permutation of the


The state legislature implemented this change because large numbers of students were not meeting graduation requirements, even with alternative methods. 18 point system that has been in place for the past few years. According to the Ohio Department of Education, as of July, the graduation requirements for incoming freshmen (class of 2023) include passing one English test and the Algebra I test. The previous requirements included passing two English tests and Algebra I and Geometry tests. LoGalbo explained the new requirements: students now need 12 points to graduate, whereas the old system required 18 points over seven tests.

The state legislature implemented this change because large numbers of students were not meeting graduation requirements, nor were they able to pass with alternative methods. Last year, for instance, more than a thousand Dayton-area students were scrambling to meet graduation requirements under the old system. LoGalbo explained that even alternative paths to graduation, such as industry credential, workforce readiness and college and career readiness tests were too difficult for many Ohio students to attain.

The state wanted to streamline the process by which students could qualify for graduation. Luckily for freshmen, this means less pressure on the tests. “We are doing well meeting the current standards,” LoGalbo said, meaning there is little cause for personal student concern. The multiple changes in the state requirements result in a grand total of three different sets of graduation requirements for four graduating classes. This causes some challenges for teachers adjusting to new tests and

These students face tougher graduation requirements than current freshmen. Photo by Joe Spero

for guidance counselors developing graduation plans for students, seeing that each class needs to meet different standards. This causes stress for students and guidance offices across the state. “The State is struggling with what it means to be college and career ready,” LoGalbo said.

Administrators appreciate the move away from excessive testing and the anxiety and stress that comes with it. “There are always changes to standardized tests,” Principal Paul Chase said. “I’m very happy to see that [the Ohio Department of Education] is considering a reduction.”

College Board Updates AP Programs, Teachers Adjust By Vivian Li Editor-in-Chief

The College Board is changing the curriculum of some AP courses and making new resources available to students and teachers beginning this year. One major change is an earlier exam registration date in the fall, which will be done online, instead of the spring. Another is AP Classroom, or My AP, which provides new online resources to students and teachers. Most aspects of the AP program will stay the same: exams are held in the first two weeks of May, the $94 exam fee and $37 fee reduction for low-income students are unchanged, and scores will be released according to the usual timeline in July. “[The College Board] has just made more resources available to teachers and students… and they’re having students order their exams much earlier than they used to,” guidance counselor and AP coordinator Liz Osicki said. While there are some AP curriculum changes, they are minimal. For example, some courses have been reordered. “For both AP Macroeconomics and Microeconomics, it wasn’t so much an overhaul of the content; it was just reordering it in a way that makes more sense,” economics teacher Pam Ogilvy said. All updates to AP courses and exams are listed at courses. AP exam fees must be paid in Infinite Campus by October 30. Osicki will then order the exams on October 31. A late order or an unused or canceled exam will

“A student’s dedication... is determined by their own work ethic, not the money they pay for the test. A student is likely to put in the same amount of work regardless.” -Senior Lexi Glova result in a $40 fee, which will be charged to students and parents. According to the College Board, a fall registration date improves student success. “We’ve heard words like ‘engaged,’ ‘confident’ and ‘less likely to give up’ when students register in the fall—and that commitment translates into more students taking the exam and earning college credit,” the College Board reports on their website. Osicki recognizes the benefit of making a commitment early in the year. “Students tend to [drop AP classes at second semester or decide not to take the exam], but knowing that you have to pay a $40 fee might hinder that,” she said. Senior Lexi Glova, who has been taking AP classes since her freshman year, disagrees. “I don’t think the early registration is fair because students and their families need more time to prepare for these types of costs,” Glova said. “Mid-October is still very early in the school year… the AP exams are so much later in the year that it doesn’t make sense to pay so early for them.” Glova believes that the

cancelation fee on AP exams will not impact student commitment. “A student’s dedication to a class is determined by their own work ethic, not the money they pay for the test. A student is likely to put in the same amount of work regardless,” Glova said. Ogilvy thinks that there are pros and cons to moving up the registration date. “For kids, it’s like they’re locked in now,” she said. “Hopefully, students will commit knowing that they have to take the test. However, you don’t ever want to see a kid feel stuck— like they have to do this. They’re not going to put their best foot forward because they don’t feel successful in the content area, so [the new timeline] can be a blessing and a curse.” Because of the socioeconomic status of most Beachwood students, Ogilvy doesn’t expect fall registration to have much of an impact on BHS. “Here, I don’t think it’s going to have the intended impact that the College Board wants. Elsewhere, it might,” she said. As AP coordinator, Osicki will use My AP to organize student rosters

“For the most part teachers are really excited because of the resources that will be available,” said guidance counselor and AP coordinator Liz Osicki.

Photo from Beachcomber archives

and exam registrations. When class rosters are finalized, Osicki will submit the information to the College Board as the school’s exam order before the November 15 deadline. “We’re reducing paperwork and busywork and making coordinating AP classes and testing easier than ever, from registration through exam day,” the College Board states on its website. Osicki believes the changes will be beneficial to students and staff. “For me personally, I think it’s going to help with streamlining the ordering process,” she said. “Teachers can verify their rosters for me so that I don’t order an exam [that isn’t needed]. It will make the data for the tests that I’ll be ordering more accurate.” In the spring, schools will receive AP exams and ID labels for each student. The ID labels will connect a student’s exam with their registration information, eliminating the need

for them to bubble in all their information before the exam. AP preadministration sessions, which were previously held in the spring, are no longer needed. “It’s always quite a difficulty to get everyone to attend [the preadministration sessions]... I think not having to hold them will be better for all of us,” Osicki said. Through the My AP website, resources such as personal progress checks, a progress dashboard and an AP question bank is available for students and staff. Progress checks measure student improvement in each unit and throughout the year, while the progress dashboard helps teachers pinpoint student achievement and areas in which they may need additional support. The AP question bank is a database of over 15,000 real AP questions that can be assigned to students. After completing all 225 AP Calculus AB

sample questions, math teacher Jeff Luce can confirm that they are authentic and true to the test. “I got them done just because I wanted to make sure that they were fair and that what I taught in the past was matching what they had, and it was spot on,” Luce said. “I think it’s really well done.” Ogilvy is also excited to use the practice questions. “Historically for AP economics, the multiple choice is the area that the students struggle with more,” she said. “It’s hard to find questions that are comparable with what the exam is like, so [the College Board] offering us so many free questions can only help.” Glova thinks that the new AP resources will better prepare students for the challenges of AP exams. “The AP questions Continued on pg. 6



New Bell Schedule Brings Late Start By Ian Stender Opinion Editor

The 2019-2020 school year has brought an array of changes, one of which is the new bell schedule. This is the second year in a row that the schedule has changed. This year, first period starts at 8:10, 35 minutes later than last year. Academy is at the end of the day, rather than after lunch. Staff and students seem satisfied with the new schedule and appreciate the later start. “I have been pleasantly surprised with what a difference half an hour in the morning makes,” science teacher Alex Paulchell said. “My drive to work is in the sunlight instead of the pitch black, I have time to get coffee and I have an extra half hour to sleep.” “It has actually had a huge impact on my ability to be happy,” he added. Junior Sadie Alter agreed. “I like the new schedule much better. I feel like [the later start time] really helps me out and I’m more focused in my first period than I was last year,” Alter said. Junior Dami Aletor is also happy with the new schedule. “I like the schedule this year because we can, of course, come to school later, and I need my sleep,” she said. “I also like the fact that academy is after school;

“I like the schedule this year because we can, of course, come to school later, and I need my sleep.” --Junior Dami Aletor it’s less chaotic.” A major change in this year’s schedule is the academy period, a designated time in the day when students can seek help from teachers and get work done. This year’s academy is at the end of the school day, rather than in the middle of the day. “We’re placing academy period in a position where it can be more openly attended by students,” Principal Paul Chase said. “You have all the staff available at the end of the day as teachers don’t have to cover lunch duty,” Chase added. “Having a set time where everyone’s available [for academy] works a lot better.” Chase explained how the new academy period will affect student athletes. “When we talk about the student athlete— you’re a student first and then you’re an athlete,” he said. “This model allows teachers to be available for a half hour before kids go off to sports.” Senior Zoe Shook, however, doesn’t like the afternoon academy. “Having [academy] in the afternoon means that teachers can’t have it every day, which is annoying because what if

I can only see a teacher on a Tuesday, but they don’t have academy on Tuesday?” Shook said. “Having academy in the morning would mean that [teachers] would almost always be there anyway. Also, I just want to go home at the end of the day.” Paulchell has noticed that his academies are less chaotic this year. “Last year, my academies were overrun; there were way too many students because there was nowhere to go,” Paulchell said, “but now, I feel like the only students who show up to my academy are the students who need help.” To judge the effectiveness of the new academy time, Chase is currently collecting data on academy attendance. “I want to see how many students actually show up at the end of the day for academy,” Chase said. Chase will use this information to determine if the end of the day academy period is working or if changes should be made. Because the school year has only just begun, Chase is waiting to see how students and staff respond to the new academy schedule According to Chase,

once the school collects enough data to measure the effectiveness of afterschool academy, they will act accordingly. “Would it be beneficial to have some morning and afternoon academy? Typically, you wait until mid-year, after you see how things are running for a while,” Chase said. The later start time has been a popular move among students. According to Chase, the district implemented a later start time to give students the ability to sleep in. “There’s tons of educational research you can look at that shows having more sleep helps you in school,” Chase said. According to The National Sleep Foundation, “Children who seem excessively sleepy during the day are more likely to experience problems with learning, attention, hyperactivity, and conduct than kids who aren’t sleepy.” Chase believes the later start time will benefit student athletes as well. “I think that for kids who are so busy with sports going late, it’s great that you can add an extra forty-five, thirty, or even twenty-five minutes to your sleeping patterns every day. You add up 25 extra minutes of sleep a day over the course of a year—that’s a lot of rest, which results in less stress,” he said. This year’s schedule appears to be working well, but as Chase said, only time will tell.

Administration Cracks Down on Vaping By Peter Soprunov Staff Writer

Superintendent Dr. Robert Hardis emailed Beachwood parents on Aug. 6 to inform them of a change in policy with regards to vaping. “In addition to educating our students about the dangers of vaping as well as the use of any sort of tobacco product, Beachwood City Schools has added to our school discipline an additional consequence should a student be found in possession of a vaping instrument, tobacco or illegal drug product or paraphernalia at school or at a school-sponsored event,” Hardis wrote in the email. Previously, students caught vaping on premises would be required to attend six hours of drug and alcohol counseling at a quarterly drug counseling weekend session, along with the possibility of further discipline. Under the new policy, offenders will receive a traffic citation from the district’s Director of Security, Officer C. J. Piro. For Juulers under 18, this would constitute a

“The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to make sure their products are as appealing and as addictive as possible.” -American Lung Association juvenile court date (at which a parents’ attendance is mandatory), a minimum fine of $100 and an estimated (though variable) 100 hours of community service. Assistant Principal Ryan Patti added that it is common practice in the juvenile court to assign research papers; offenders can anticipate an assignment on the dangers of electronic cigarettes. Per his assessment of the situation, this would not apply to legal adults, and it is hard to predict how a Cuyahoga County judge would sentence such an offender. Students’ response to this development varies significantly. Many students instinctually view the new measures as somewhat punitive, but

the vast majority seems in favor. “It’s a bit intense,” Junior Ethan Holz said, “but I think it is setting a good example. There need to be consequences.” “I think it’s fair,” said one anonymous Juuler. “School’s just not the place to do it.” Another Juuler confessed that they have been waiting for this opportunity. “I was actually thinking about quitting so that would be good,” he said. Many students, including non-Juulers, feel that others should have a right to destroy their own health if they so choose. But the American Lung Association, which Dr. Hardis cited in his email, alleges that

widespread use of Juuls among teens is no accident, and not fully the fault of the Juuler. “The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year to make sure their products are as appealing and as addictive as possible,” the website claims. “The tobacco industry also aggressively markets e-cigarettes to youth, glamorizing ecigarette use in advertisements and offering e-cigarettes in candy flavors like bubble gum and gummy bears.” Juul Labs rejects that assertion. “Underage vaping is a serious problem,” Juul CEO Kevin Burns stated in a press release. “Juul Labs is committed to preventing underage use and has taken the most aggressive actions of anyone in the industry to proactively curb underage use.” The change in policy is the direct result of recent efforts to curb underage tobacco use. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, who has received genContinued on pg. 6

Bison Briefs

• Homecoming is on Oct. 12th. Tickets are $15 Online, and $20 at the door. • The Top 3 for Homecoming Queen are Abigail Adams, Miranda Luxenburg and Carly Petty • The Top 3 for Homecoming King are Jack Brewer, Isaac Kanterovich and Antonio Roscoe. • At publication the Football team’s record is 5-1, with the Homecoming game against Cardinal scheduled this Friday, Oct. 11. • The Girls Volleyball team is smashing school records with a 17-1 record at publication. • The first quarter ends Oct. 18th. • The drama club is presenting The Hound of the Baskervilles for the fall play. • Beachwood High School’s “Color Run” is slated for Sunday, Oct. 13. The Color Run is a 5k run to raise awareness and spark action against Climate Change. • At the football game against Independence, the school raised over $6,000 for the Arthur Gugick Memorial Scholarship. • The PSAT for 10th and 11th Graders is Wednesday October 16th at 8:10am. • The National Honors Society Induction is Thursday, October 17th at 6:30pm in the BHS Auditorium. • BHS picture retake is Friday, October 18.





Indian Military Moves Into Kashmir, Human Rights Move Out By Hiba Ali Staff Writer

Death and despair are visible in the artwork of Kashmiri children who have been exposed to violence in the region of Kashmir, now controlled by the Indian military. These images indicate evidence of extreme trauma, according to the BBC. “I cannot see the world again and cannot see my friends again. I am blind,” one of the children wrote in a crayon drawing. “I cannot see anything in my life now… I was not knowing my future will be so dark, and it will effect my education,” another child wrote. Their pages capture their ongoing experiences in Kashmir, where civilians have been living for months without access to medicine and food. Some of these young people have fled from Indian soldiers wielding pellet guns; some of them have been shot; some of them have had friends who were shot according to The New York Times. According to an article by CNN, they have lived without Internet access for months since the Indian army has blocked all communication to the outside world. These children can no longer go outside to play cricket, the most popular sport in the region, as they have been homebound to ensure their safety. They have been denied education, since schools were closed for months due to violence in the streets, according to The Guardian. When some students returned to school, their artwork reflected the trauma that they had experienced. “It’s unfair… The killings are unfair, the beatings are unfair, the torture is unfair,” said Irsa Irfan, a Pakistani student studying in London. “Everything happening to them is unfair. They just want a peaceful life of their own to live.” These children no longer feel safe in their own houses. “[These children reflected] anger, rage, and depression,” said Art Therapist Dena Lawrence according to India Today. The Indian govern-

ment under Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a state of emergency on Aug. 4 claiming threat of terrorism. Kashmir, called “Heaven on Earth” by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in the 17th century due to the natural beauty according to Economic Times India, is a small valley between India and Pakistan in the North now turned a repressive police state. According to a timeline from BBC, Kashmir was a province that was disputed during the time of the India-Pakistan partition. The Muslim majority of Kashmir wanted to be a part of Pakistan, butthe NonMuslim ruler during that time did not. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution gave special rights to Kashmir as a disputed territory. However, there was a loophole in the article that could absolve the rights in case of a national emergency, according to BBC India has removed the ruling that only Kashmiris can own property in Kashmir, allowing Hindus to take residence there, escalating the tensions through demographic changes. There are now 600,000 Indian troops in Kashmir, and it is the most militarized region in the world, reports the Times UK. According to CNN, Indian troops have used pellet guns against numerous protesting Kashmiris as well as innocent bystanders, resulting in serious wounds. “By restricting journalists’ access to the outside world and harassing them on the streets, the Indian government is effectively stifling reports of unrest in Kashmir following its decision to revoke the region’s autonomy,” wrote Independent U.K about the violence towards journalists in Kashmir. A strict curfew has also been instituted, and anyone who breaks it faces the violence of the Indian Army. Furthermore, Kashmiri officials have been put under house arrest and the people of Kashmir are protesting in the streets. There is a history of conflict between armed separatists and the Indian Army, but the Indian military has been killing civilians as well as armed separatists, and families report that the Indian army is refusing

to issue death certificates or are not listing cause of death in order to downplay the number of civilians killed, according to The Independent. “War is inevitable,” Irfan said. “It only makes sense because tensions between the countries are constantly escalating, and with the Indian government constantly denying their own bad deeds, the breaking point is near.” The BJP Indian nationalists have defended the actions of the BJP. “The Kashmiri [people understand] that most of the separatist leaders have been using the so-called ‘Azadi movement’ for filling their coffers and settling their sons, daughters and relatives out of the state and country,” wrote a reporter for Indian Today Newspaper in defense of the Indian government’s actions; however, they stated no evidence. Furthermore, Al Jazeera shows that all those arrested were people who protested the injustices against Kashmiris, not corrupt individuals. Al Jazeera reports that the Indian government cites Pakistan-supported terrorists as a reason for militarization but has not presented evidence to support that claim. The BJP has many supporters in and outside of India. BHS students are no exception. “I like the BJP, I like all their programs,” said sophomore Vidula Jambunath, who is of Indian descent. “I like how they’re trying to be more progressive, even though they’re a more conservative party, within the terms of what they’ve done so far,” Jambunath said. “I think it’s pretty great.” According to LiveMint Newspaper, Indians also support the militarization of Kashmir due to the economic boom from the region’s bountiful resources. In contrast, others oppose the party due to their past actions against Muslims and due to the fact that the articles that are revoked by the BJP government were designed to protect the rights of indiginious Kashmiris. “It’s ridiculous that they’re even in power, considering how openly inhumane they’ve been

Kashmir was called called “Heaven on Earth” by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in the 17th century due to the natural beauty. Image by Michael Peterson via Wikimedia Commons.

to Muslims in Gujarat in the past, massacre and killing that reeks of genocide,” said Mariam Gardezi, a Pakistani senior at Case Western Reserve University majoring in International Relations. The massacre in Gujarat started, according to BBC, after a train with Hindu Pilgrims was set on fire. The New York Times reported that it was caused by accident and not an act of terrorism or a hate crime. However, Hindus in the region immediately blamed Muslims, leading to over 1,000 murders of local Muslims. In Feb. 2002, a mob of Hindus hacked and burned 69 Muslims to death and also robbed and burned their property at Gulbarg Society Complex over the course of three days. At that time, the state chief minister was the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Modi never did anything to stop the riots and his advisers were found to have been involved in the riots. The attacks were in Feb. 2002. No trials took place until seven years later. “They’re Hindu nationalists and display hatred towards Muslims,” Gardezi added. The History In 1947, the Ruler of Kashmir, Hari Singh, also called the Maharaja, acceded Kashmir to India during the partition. However, since the Kashmiris’ viewpoint was not accounted for and it was not decided by the British Viceroy, who still had legal authority in the region, the Kashmiris and Pakistan don’t consider it a binding or legal decision. Seeing the potential of the tensions building up, Britain and the U.N. decided in 1947 that Kashmir would remain a disputed territory to be resolved on the basis of where the majority of the civilians wish to go. However, no action was taken by the international community despite the countless times Pakistan tries to bring

the case to the U.N.’s attention. Since then, two wars have been fought over Kashmir and Pakistan gained a part of the region, now called Azad, or Liberated Kashmir. Azad Kashmir has its own government while also enjoying all the rights of Pakistani citizens. According to Pakistani Parliamentarian Seemi Bokhari, Pakistan will not declare total autonomy of Azad Kashmir until the rest of Kashmir is freed and can, as a whole, declare if it wants to be independent. According to Washington Post, the rest of Kashmir was considered disputed territory, and since the matter of which country Kashmir would go to depends on demographics, only Kashmiris could own property until the Indian government overturned that policy this year. Human Rights Violations

Amnesty International has reported the Indian Army’s involvement in disappearances, abuse and assault on Kashmiri Muslims. According to Dawn newspaper, a Karachi newspaper, the Indian chapter of Amnesty is opposed to the actions of the Indian government towards Kashmir, specifically, the blackout of internet and other services. Genocide Watch has put the region on high alert as of Aug. 15, and, the region has now advanced further than the 10th and final stage, meaning that all forewarnings of a potential genocide have been surpassed and if action is not taken, a genocide is likely to occur. The Indian government has cut off wifi and communications in Kashmir, although some landlines are working, according to CNN. The U.N. considers Internet access a human right. The lack of internet is also a problem for hospitals since they are unable to order medicines to treat patients with prob-

lems like dialysis. One doctor was arrested, not because he was protesting, but because he asked for wifi access in order to request supply of medicines according to Telegraph news. Impact Kashmiris are separated from family and are cut off from Internet and other communication with the outside world. “We still have family [there] but we’re both divided, kind of like how the Berlin Wall divided Berlin, so it’s been hard to not know how our family’s doing,” said Manal Qureshi, a Case Western Reserve University student, who has family in Kashmir. “There’s no communication,” she added. “The New York Times has reported that hospitals don’t have medication, stores don’t have food.” “It’s like ‘are they okay, are they not okay?’” Qureshi said. “It’s really difficult. There are people who passed away and their families who are overseas or outside the region don’t even know.” “If I heard any noise, I would hide in the corner of my house” one child told the BBC, after hearing the Indian Army killed one of his friends during a protest. CNN reports the Indian Army uses pellet guns on Kashmiri protesters, which caused severe damage to the eyes. Many have needed medical attention and even surgeries. One man had to take his 8-year-old son to receive surgery for the young one’s eyes. However, the taxi ride there cost him Rs 4,000 ($56) in this current situation compared to the normal cost of Rs 200 ($2.8), which is taxing on the citizens of Kashmir. Opinions of Students These tensions go further than South Asia. People in Beachwood are also divided on this issue. They do not agree on which country KashContinued on pg. 5



China-Taiwan Conflict: The View From Beachwood


By Roberto DeMarchi Staff Writer

As tensions between Taiwan and China simmer, students at Beachwood have mixed, subdued feelings on the matter. “‘I’m not too patriotic, but I won’t be happy if Taiwan is integrated into China,” said Jesse Wu, whose family is from Taiwan. “My parents, however, strongly believe in Taiwanese independence.” Students on both sides of the conflict perceive it as distant from their everyday lives. “[It] really doesn’t affect me here,” said a BHS of Chinese origin, who chose to remain anonymous. Like his Taiwanese counterpart, however, his parents hold more powerful opinions in favor of their country. The small island of Taiwan, 81 miles off the Chinese coast, has long been vying for complete political independence from China. The Chinese government, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) states

“The Taiwanese assumed that they would be independent after the Japanese were defeated, while the Chinese assumed that Taiwan would be returned to them.” -Dr. Roger Purdy, Professor of Asian History at John Carroll University that Taiwan is historically Chinese territory, and therefore should be added as a province of China. The Taiwanese hold rather different views on the matter. Chinese teacher Ai-Lan Lin compares calling a Taiwanese person Chinese to calling a Canadian person an American. “[Taiwan] has its own leader… [China and Taiwan] are two very different environments, different lands,” she said. China’s interest in Taiwan has grown due to the Hong Kong protests, since by keeping the island in check, the Chi-

nese government will send a strong anti-separation message to the protestors farther south. The train derailment in Hong Kong on Tuesday is suspected by many to be an act of sabotage related to the protests Both Taiwan and Hong Kong have occasionally surfaced during conversations between Beachwood students, but have never been the subject of a major argument. “If I say I’m from Taiwan, [Chinese students] won’t really care about it, because they’re like ‘Oh, OK,’” said Stephanie Yen, when asked whether she feels any antagonism

Taiwanese protest the extradition law in June 2019. Image source: Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons

Continued from pg. 4

mir should belong to. “I do think it’s Indian land, so I do think it had to come back eventually, but I don’t justify the means of which it did,” Jambunath said. Jambunath’s viewpoint is based on the 1947 accession. Jambunath also said some of her ancestors had land there, so they deserve to get that land back, a point which causes many Indians to support the Modi government. “[Some Indians believe] that Kashmir should be a part of India.” sophomore Shivani Rajgopal said. “Some other people may think it should not...they might have a bit more of a view that Kashmir should be independent,” Even neighbours in other countries have varying views on this topic. “My family members

believe Kashmir should become an independent country because that seems to be the only solution,” said Laiba Sarfraz, a Pakistani activist on social media. “However, my neighbours think since Pakistan is helping Kashmir, it should be a part of Pakistan.” However, people on both sides agree that what is happening in Kashmir is wrong and unjust. “Because both my parents are Muslims, they both share the same sentiments over this issue…” said Heba Rehman, a medical student studying in Saudi Arabia, born to both Indian and Pakistani parents. “Regardless of background and religion, it is clear that what is taking place in Kashmir is outright wrong.” The View From Pakistan

Seemi Bokhari, a member of the Pakistani Parliament explained why Pakistan is involved in the conflict.

from students of Chinese heritage. “It’s not a huge problem.” The island has a turbulent history with its superpower neighbor. The Ching Dynasty of China lost Taiwan to Japan in 1895, which held onto the territory until 1945. “After that, there were two conflicting assumptions,” said Dr. Roger Purdy, a professor of Asian history at John Carroll University. “The Taiwanese assumed that they would be independent after the Japanese were defeated, while the Chinese assumed that Taiwan would be returned to them.” A Chinese military invasion of Taiwan would be a bloody affair. “The backbone of Taiwan’s defense is a fleet of vessels capable of launching anti-ship cruise missiles, on top of an array of ground-based missiles, and substantial mines and artillery on the coastline,” according to CNN . Coupled with the fact that such a move would alienate the U.S., a major trading partner for China, the idea of invading Taiwan is a no-win for China. Dr. Purdy states that because of these two factors, there is very little chance of an armed confrontation between the superpower and the island. Even if China does somehow politically

“Right now, there’s like a weird status quo, that Taiwan and China are just kind of mutually denying one another,” Senior Stephanie Yen said. Photo by Joe Spero

maneuver Taiwan into unification, or if Taiwan gains internationally recognized independence, very little would change abroad, according to Dr. Purdy. Other countries are unlikely to get sucked into the mire of a ChinaTaiwan argument, and would not do anything if one side or the other wins, according to Dr. Purdy The status quo of power in the Pacific would be essentially unchanged. As for the eventual fate of Taiwan, it seems to be stuck in a perpetual loop. “Right now, there’s like a weird status quo, that Taiwan and China are just kind of mutually denying one another,” Yen said. Neither power seems willing to back down politically, yet at the same time neither wishes to be in an open military

engagement. Knowing that the “front” will not be moving anytime soon might bring some comfort to Chinese and Taiwanese students, who can still visit any relatives there without having to worry about legal interference from either power. So, while the island and superpower subtly feud over Taiwanese independence, both Yen and Lin testify that students here at BHS have not let the overseas conflict irk them to the point of rivalry with each other. Because of the somewhat quiet nature of the disagreement between the two parties, students from Taiwan, China, or any other Asian Pacific countries should not feel unsafe if they return to their families there.

“You can protest, you can send funds through the Red Cross because no one can stop the Red Cross [at borders].” -Seemi Bokhari, a Member of the Pakistani Parliament “We want our Muslim brothers and sisters to be free of these atrocities,” she said. “Our Prime Minister [Imran Khan] said that if nobody wants to help Kashmir, [he] will.” “We just want to follow the Kashmiris’ will,” Bokhari added. “When someone dies in Kashmir, most of the time they wrap them in Pakistani flag. Pakistan wants to help.” Pakistan has also made continuous attempts to make peace with India. Recently, after capturing the pilot of an airplane that flew over the border threateningly, Pakistan returned the pilot to India as a gesture of peace, according to The Guardian. Pakistan has also re-

cently tried to involve the United Nations to intervene in Kashmir, however as of yet, the U.N. has made no move to help. Hope For Resolution

The U.S. and U.N. can take measures to resolve the tensions by mediating between the two countries. However, no country has taken a stand on this issue. “I do think it can be solved peacefully if other countries intervene because if they do not then two countries with nuclear powers would be at war, which would not only damage India and Pakistan, but also other countries,” Rahman said. “I doubt the

U.N would solve anything as time and time again, the U.N has been unable to resolve conflicts in other countries like Sudan, for example.” “The world doesn’t care,” Gardezi said. “Unless the sleeping world opens its eyes, there can’t be change.” “Kashmiris need support which so far they aren’t getting,” Gardezi added. “Their stories aren’t even being heard. Nobody wants to hear about their suffering, so how will there be a resolution?” How to Help

There are steps one can take to help the people in Kashmir, however. “I think they should

raise a little more awareness about the problem,” said freshman Samah Khan. “If you want to solve a problem, obviously you have to acknowledge it first.” “You can protest, you can send funds through the Red Cross because no one can stop the Red Cross [at borders],” Bokhari said. “Pakistan has stopped trade with India, but over in America… you could also boycott Indian products,” Bokhari said. Furthermore, there is a petition on change. org trying to get the case to the U.N.’s attention as well as rallies for the cause throughout America.




Hate Crimes on the Rise Across United States

By Prerna Mukherjee Managing Editor

David Johnson went back-to-school shopping with his wife and granddaughter on Aug. 3 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Arturo Benavides, a war veteran, was checking out at the cash register. Jordan Anchondo was shopping with her husband with their two-month-old son. These innocent people were among the 22 killed and more than 20 injured in a mass shooting that afternoon. The shooter purchased the weapon legally, and was targeting people of Mexican descent. In the past several years, the US has faced increasing racial tensions and higher rates of hate crimes. A new report from The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, headquartered at Cal State in San Bernardino, found that hate crimes rose 9% in 30 major American cities in 2018. Beachwood has not been immune from these increased tensions. Sophomore Hiba Ali expressed her concern. “It’s kind of devastating really…,” Ali said. “…I feel really deep sorrow for the people it’s affecting. There are people who actually think these lies, actually hate someone they don’t know just because they have a different skin tone…” “[A hate crime is a] ‘criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity,’” according to the FBI Beachwood Police Chief Gary Haba explained that it is important to differentiate between hate crimes and hate speech. ““Hate crimes” are defined only under federal statutes (18 US Code 249) and basically require bodily injury,” he wrote in an email. “In Ohio, we have a law AP Cont’d from pg. 2

can be confusing and manipulating in ways in which the content isn’t being fairly tested,” Glova said. “With this said, students can get used to the AP style questions with more practice available to them.” The online resources will be utilized differently for each class depending on the teacher. “You might have one teacher that uses every available resource through College Board, and you might have another teacher that chooses only some of

called Ethnic Intimidation (ORC 2927.12) which enhances the crimes of Aggravated Menacing, Menacing, Criminal Mischief, Criminal Damaging, or certain Telecommunications Harassment if the reason for the crime can be linked to race, color, religion or national origin.” “Hate speech is another matter in which people may say or write hurtful things based on race, religion, gender identity, national origin, etc,” Haba continued. “If there is no threat included in the speech, it is often difficult to relate it to a ‘crime’. In Beachwood, we do deal with these types of things, but I would not say it is frequent.” Hate speech has been seen within the Beachwood community and Beachwood Schools as well. The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage was a target of anti-Semitism on July 18. “An anti-Semitic poster was posted on the electronic sign in front of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, apparently as part of a coordinated attack on houses of wor-

ies. No one is immune from hate,” she added. “…Whether through gender, [sexuality], religion…there is someone out there to put [them down].” The person who posted the flyer was not charged. “The only real crime that was committed… [was] trespassing… there is no direct threat with it,” Haba said. “Had we learned who actually [posted the flyer,] … we probably could have charged him/her with trespassing, possibly with menacing…” “[Hate speech is] mostly protected by the First Amendment,” he added. “…[If it violated a school rule or work rule,] then you could have consequences as far as your job [or school]… but as far as criminally, most speech is [protected by the First Amendment], period.” The Beachwood Police Department investigated the flyer, which was identical to other flyers posted around the country. “The flyer, which was posted in an obscure location, was investigated by our department and our incident was

An anti-Semitic flyer was posted on the sign in front of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in July. Photo by Prerna Mukherjee

ship and Jewish organizations in several states,” according to the Cleveland Jewish News. Maltz Museum Director of External Relations Dahlia Fisher spoke about the incident. “This incident is representative of an [increase] in anti-Semitism [and] hate…across all kinds of communities,” she said. “Hate has no boundar-

shared with partners as there were identical flyers posted throughout the United States,” Haba wrote in an email. The last two years have seen several horrific hate crimes committed in Ohio and bordering states. Last year, on Oct. 27, a man shouting AntiSemitic slurs opened fire at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, killing

eleven congregants and wounding four officers and two other people. On July 11, James Patric Reardon posted a video on Instagram expressing anti-Semitic sentiments. The video shows him firing a gun with the sounds of screams and sirens in the background. “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon,” the caption stated. The Instagram post referenced a Jewish Community Center in Youngstown, and it also identified the center’s location. Reardon was taken into custody, and authorities later found anti-Semitic and white nationalist propaganda, semi-automatic weapons, rounds of ammunition, a gas mask and bulletproof armor in his house. Haba explained that the Beachwood community has fortunately not seen a major rise in hate crime. “We got a couple of [bomb threats a few years ago],” Haba later added. “…[T]hey were happening all over the country to a lot of Jewish institutions…we got a couple at the JCC…

the resources that are available,” Osicki said. Both Luce and Ogilvy are planning to assign progress checks and sample questions. “There are a lot of books and other resources, but this is coming right from the official, authentic source,” Osicki said. “This could really help students in their studying and what they are focusing on.” To access all these resources, students are given a join code for each AP class they are taking. “First and foremost, students need to make sure that they have a College Board account and login ready,” she said. “When teachers

give out the join codes, the students need to login to their account to get that going.” Luce encourages students to familiarize themselves with My AP by logging in and locating their classes and resources. “As long as you know how to get in there, just going there every once in a while and looking around to get some idea of what the problems are like can be helpful,” he said. Overall, teachers are optimistic about the updates. “It’s something new to learn, so I think there’s a little bit of that nervousness… but for the most part teachers are really excited because of the

resources that will be available to the students,” Osicki said. “Other than their teachers and what they do in the classroom, there are an infinite number of possibilities for extra help and resources to help students succeed in their classes,” Ogilvy added. Luce is looking forward to incorporating the new resources into his classes. “Since I already have a lot of my other resources, I don’t want to just pitch those out of the window because they worked really well in the past,” he said. “But at the same time, I want to use the new resources, too.”

“This incident is representative of an [increase] in anti-Semitism [and] hate... across all kinds of communities. Hate has no boundaries. No one is immune from hate.”


— Dahlia Fisher, Director of External

Relations at the Maltz Museum

[but] it was a hoax…” When hate crimes do occur, the Beachwood Police Department is in contact with other law enforcement organizations. “…[W]e robustly share information on potential or actual occurrences with the FBI, other local/state agencies, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and others,” Haba wrote. Haba added that the Beachwood community remains alert to hate crime incidents. “Because we are a racially diverse city and have a higher-than-average Jewish population, we are more tuned in on these types of issues than many cities,” he wrote. “But the issue is widespread throughout the country and world, so I would say that it is not a ‘bigger issue’ here. Only that we must be more alert to the issue here than what I would consider typical.” “We work closely with federal and local partners to share information and alert each other when potential threats are discovered. We [also] vigorously promote the “See Something, Say Something” campaign and provide training to Beachwood institutions on what to Vaping Cont’d from pg. 3

erous campaign contributions from the tobacco industry for the bulk of his career (One RJ Reynolds lobbyist went as far as to describe him as “a special friend to RJR”), has been pushing a “Tobacco FreeYouth Act”, often abbreviated “T21”. The bill seeks to avoid systemic changes or new regulations on the tobacco industry, changing only the minimum age for purchasers to 21,

look for and who to report information to and when,” he added. Beachwood students have expressed their concern regarding increasing hate crimes this year as well. “I am really upset… [considering that] the more that we are being…more accepting, the more hate [people get],” sophomore Claire Weaver said. Weaver is a member of the BHS Gay-Straight Alliance. She explained that communication and education is a key factor in preventing hate crimes. “I feel like part of… [the reason for hate crimes is] because there’s just misunderstanding or miscommunication…I feel like if people could learn about these different races and cultures and perspectives, everyone could be a lot more together.” Ali added that education and acceptance are key factors in preventing hate crimes. “The country needs to accept that [hate crime is] real and something that needs to be done,” she said. “We all need to be a bit more accepting; we need to educate ourselves; we need to educate our peers; we need to raise awareness.”

and redefining the term “tobacco product” to comply with the FDA’s current, more inclusive definition of such. Conservative state senates across the nation have followed McConnell’s lead. The 133rd Ohio General Assembly, in accordance with Gov. Mike DeWine’s desires, raised the age for the purchase of an “alternative nicotine product” to 21. The new policies in BHS, and across Ohio, are applying these new rules.




Protecting Lives or Protecting Guns?

By Amy Chen Staff Writer

Only 13 hours after the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas, a 24-year old opened fire on a crowded street in Dayton, Ohio. Within 32 seconds, 27 were wounded, including 10 now reported dead. This is one more tragic episode in a long string of mass shootings in recent years. In spite of these many tragedies, gun rights supporters continue to cite the Second Amendment to support their position: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” These words were originally adopted by men who were trying to establish independence from what they viewed as Great Britain’s tyrannical rule. The Second Amendment was insurance that the people could retain power against an oppressive government. However, in light of recent events, perhaps it is time for this generation of Americans to rethink the legitimacy of citing the Second Amendment as a reason for possessing guns. 2019 isn’t even over yet, and according to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been almost forty-thousand incidents of gun violence in the United States, which have caused more than ten-thousand deaths and over twenty-thousand injuries. Out of these many incidents, only around 300 have been mass shootings, which means that the vast majority of violent incidents involving guns have not even been covered by the media. Rosetta Craig of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence cited the high rate of U.S. gun ownership as a contributing factor for high

Image by Amy Chen

rates of gun violence. As reported by the latest global Small Arms Survey, there are over 393 million guns in the United States, not including firearms owned by law enforcement agencies or militaries. “We have too many guns with too little accountability for who can sell, buy, possess, store and carry those guns,” Craig said. “We are the only developed country that has so many guns in the civilian population… Hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen each year in the U.S., making their way into the criminal population.” Whereas Craig sees these numbers as a problem, Executive Director Dean Rieck of the Buck-

niable that rates of gun violence internally are getting higher the more incidents go uncovered and unregulated. For example, on Sept. 6, I checked the Gun Violence Archive to find out that there have been 291 mass shootings since the start of 2019. I checked again on Sept. 16th, and the number rose to 300. Rieck believes that the cause of the worst gun violence doesn’t have to do with the gun, but the person. “I think that as a society, we have to stop being afraid to deal with those who show violent tendencies,” Rieck wrote. “We have to start dealing seriously with mental illness and learn how to detect the patterns that

“We have too many guns with too little accountability for who can sell, buy, possess, store and carry those guns.”


— Rosetta Craig of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence

eye Firearms Association argues that America is, in fact, a safe place. In an email he referenced a Wikipedia article on a list of countries by intentional homicide rate. “[This list] ranks countries on intentional murder rates,” he wrote. “If you sort the list by the murder rate, the US is somewhere in the middle. Some of the studies… that show the U.S. as a highly violent place [are] questionable. [The U.S.] just isn’t.” Admittedly, the firearms death rate in the United States (21.3 for Virgin Islands, 10.6 for mainland) cannot compare to that of El Salvador (39.2) or Venezuela (38.7), as calculated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2016. However, it is unde-

lead to incidents like [the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas].” Most gun rights advocates agree. “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem,” President Trump said in response to the Dayton and El Paso shootings. “I don’t want them to forget that, because it is. It’s a mental health problem.” On the surface, merely calling for better mental health care seems like a good idea for preventing future shootings. Perhaps a neurodivergent person would be more likely to commit an act of violence, but according to MHA (Mental Health America), most people with serious mental illnesses are not violent. Senior Nikhil Murali agreed that mental

health is not the sole issue, but argued that better mental healthcare might lead to less gun violence. “What I find interesting is that mass shootings have skyrocketed since [the 1980s and 1990s], and Americans have had massive amounts of guns prior to 1980,” he said. “The landmark moment that I see is when President Reagan gutted federal funding for mental health in 1980.” “Obviously, not every person with mental health problems will go on to commit a mass shooting. But Mother Jones—a left leaning news outlet—found that problems such as paranoia, depression, delusions, etc. were common among mass shooters,” he added. “We need more, quality mental healthcare, along with strong universal background checks [to avoid future shootings],” Murali said. Craig agreed that realistic prevention of future mass shootings requires more multifaceted planning. “The first step is to realize that a multi-dimensional approach is key to reducing the problem of mass shootings and gun violence as a whole,” Craig said. “There are many varied circumstances surrounding each and every shooting. However, every shooting involves a gun.” More pro-gun activists are still unconvinced, referring to the Second Amendment as the basis for their beliefs. “We are as ‘absolutist’ as the Founding Fathers and framers of the Constitution. And we’re proud of it,” NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre of the NRA said. “We believe in our right to defend ourselves and our families with semiautomatic firearms technology.” But “semiautomatic firearms technology” weren’t a part of the Founding Fathers’ thought process when they drafted the Second Amendment. According to the Washington Post, the average Revolutionary-era musket could only hold a single round at a time and fire three rounds per minute at a velocity of 1000 feet per second. On the other hand, your modern-day AR-15 can hold 30 rounds at a time and fire 45 rounds per minute at a velocity of 3260 feet per second. However, Rieck defended the right to possess assault rifles. He cited a data table from the FBI, which reported the number of victims murdered by weapons used from 2012 to 2016. “Handguns are the most often used weapon in murders,” he said. “In 2016, handguns were used in 7,105 murders, while rifles were used in only 374. Yet, when people start talking about banning guns,

Image by Yang Yu

they invariably want to ban rifles. Why? Knives were used in 1,604 murders. Yet, no one talks about banning knives. Why? Hands and feet were responsible for 656 murders, almost twice as many as with rifles, but of course we don’t talk about banning hands and feet.” When discussing Rieck’s response, senior Yaya Gao pointed out that while knives and limbs could be harmful, they are, for the most part, used for routines that don’t require violence or murder. In fact, while knives and limbs are utilized for many other purposes, guns are utilized almost exclusively for violence and murder. Beachwood students may feel that gun violence is a distant problem. After all, Dayton is three hours away. However, Ohio has seen six mass shootings in recent years, including

of gun violence,” Craig said. “Get involved in politics and let your voice be heard. Talk to your legislators and tell them what you think. Get involved with an advocacy group to prevent gun violence and consider visiting legislators in Columbus and in district offices. Talk to friends about what you have learned and be a good listener.” Students shared their views as well. “I get that you can’t ‘ban’ guns,” said junior Carrington Peavy, “but at least strictly regulating things will be beneficial… making it harder to get a gun and [implementing] routine extensive background checks would save lots of lives.” Craig stresses the importance of raising awareness about gun issues within local communities. “Awareness of the issues surrounding gun violence took a big step

Ohio has seen six mass shootings in recent years: the 2011 Copley Township shooting, the 2012 Chardon High School shooting, the 2016 Madison High School shooting, the 2016 Pike County shootings, the 2018 Cincinnati shooting and the 2019 Dayton shooting, which had

the highest body count.

the 2011 Copley Township shooting, the 2012 Chardon High School shooting, the 2016 Madison High School shooting, the 2016 Pike County shootings, the 2018 Cincinnati shooting and the 2019 Dayton shooting, which had the highest body count. Beachwood’s very own mall has been the location of gun-related incidents, including a shooting in the parking lot in 2017, another one in 2018, and finally a police-involved shooting just this summer. But what is the next step in preventing mass shootings like those in Dayton and Texas from happening again? And what should young people who want reasonable gun control do to make a change? “Learn as much as you can about problems

forward when students took control of the conversation after the Parkland shooting,” Craig wrote. Beachwood engaged in that conversation over a year ago. On March 14, 2018, a month after the Parkland shooting, students joined the national walkout to raise awareness for gun violence. Now, after the deaths of 32 people caused by the back-to-back El Paso and Dayton shootings, I hope students continue to participate in the gun violence prevention movement. Craig hopes for the same. “If local schools are going to be a source of credible information about gun violence and its prevention, the students themselves will have to make that happen,” she said.




Same School, Different Levels: The Achiev Continued from pg. 1

“I don’t differentiate based on race for an already flawed state exam, but more from student to student.” The American Institutes of Research’s 2017-2018 Annual Technical Report outlines the clear gap state wide between White and African American students in the Government portion of the Ohio AIR test. According to the graph, Caucasian students consistently outnumbered African American students in the “Proficient” category and above, but are underrepresented in basic and limited levels. Disparate Enrollment in Honors / AP Curriculum Beachwood offers a wide range of AP courses. This year 264 students are enrolled in at least one AP class. However, of that number, only 25 are African American. Social studies teacher John Perse, who teaches AP US History and AP European History, acknowledged that there is a gap in terms of the number of minority students enrolled in APs, but he does not see a large achievement gap among those students. “I don’t really see a major achievement gap in my AP courses. My minority students [overall] are good students,” Perse said. “...I’ve had some extraordinarily strong minority students and some weak minority students.” “I think a major gap comes from students who…do well at their schools in [other school districts] and come [to Beachwood] and don’t do well here,” he added. English teacher Casey Matthews, who teaches College Prep and Honors English for freshmen as well as African American Literature, emphasized the need for more African-American students in accelerated courses. “I’ve been teaching Honors for five years, and the percentage of African American students in Honors English has consistently been lower than the percentage of African American students in the school,” Matthews said. “There are 24% African American students in BHS, but only 7-8% of those students take my Honors English class,” she said. Senior Abby Adams has noticed the low numbers of African American students in her accelerated courses. “I only see about 5-6 black students in my classes per day,” she said. “Some teachers are very strict on the people of color in my class and either dumb things down unnecessarily like going over to them and asking them if they understand and some other things they would never do to me or anyone else in the class.” “They’re also made the main talking point whenever race comes up during class,” she added. Adams acknowledges discomfort whenever race or slavery is brought up in class. “But I’m not supposed to be comfortable talking about those things,” she said. “When certain people get comfortable, they become ignorant and begin to say things they shouldn’t such as the N-word and jokes about tragic historical events involving minorities.” Senior Nicklaus Buford-Hullum echoed the discomfort of talking about black history and the n-word. “The only time it played a part was when the conversation went to racial discussions, like when we covered Huck Finn,” he said. Hullum spoke sarcastically about another incident in his sophomore English class. “It was the same way sophomore year there was a fun moment, only for me, when Mr. Butler asked in a discussion if it was ok for Afican Americans to say the n-word. The class was silent and I had to break the silence.” However, he felt that he wasn’t treated any differently than his peers and had a positive experience. “I never felt as though my opinion was being discarded or not considered into the conversation,” he said. Abdul Elepele, class of 2019, believes it begins with the student. “It’s mostly just that students have to be motivated and just push forward on what they learn,” he said. “[Students are deterred by] the impression that being a minority in an AP or Honors class will be awkward, which is not always the case.” Discipline BHS has 608 enrolled students, according to the 2017-18 school report card. 377 of those students are Cau-

casian, 146 are African American, 55 are Asian, 6 are Hispanic, 1 is Hawaiian Native and 24 are mixed race. Out of these 608 students, an average of 37 students receive a suspension each year. Of these 37 students, 16 are Caucasian and 21 are African American, according to public data published by Even with a 5-student deficit, this gap proves to be detrimental. Given these numbers, an African American student at BHS is 31% more likely to get suspended than a Caucasian student. According to national data, “While 6% of all students received one or more out-of-school suspensions in the 2013-2014 school year, the percentage was 18% for African-American boys and 10% for African-American girls.” Officer CJ Piro has made it his goal to prevent fights and make Beachwood safer. “One of my goals is trying to stay connected to students and try to nip problems in the bud before they escalate,” he said. “I always try to touch base and check in on students and their parents frequently to make sure they’re okay and staying out of trouble.” “I value students’ safety and their courage to come and talk with me,” he added. Formerly, when a student was suspended from anywhere between 1-10 days, any assignments that they were to receive or tests they have to take are automatically put into Infinite Campus as zeroes. According to Janet Rosenbaum, an epidemiologist at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, “Suspensions predict greater risk of arrest, conviction, probation, and lower educational attainment.” Considering that each quarter is around nine weeks, this means that in the most extreme cases, students lose up to two weeks of school time they can not get back, which leads to a dramatic GPA drop. Under Ohio House Bill 318 enacted in Nov. 2018, there have been momentous changes to suspension and disciplinary action in schools all over the state. A school district is now required to allow students to complete classroom assignments to recuperate points lost during the suspension period. Also, schools are prohibited from issuing suspensions to students from kindergarten to third grade. However, despite this new legislation, suspensions can still lead to damaging grade drops, which take a toll on students’ GPAs. Individual 1 was suspended for ten days during his sophomore year prior to this new legislation for fighting, but appealed it to the board and had it reduced to seven days. Even so, his first semester GPA was a 3.3 prior to the suspension, and after the suspension, his GPA dropped to 2.7. Individual two, a former BHS sophomore, was suspended on two separate occasions during the 20182019 school year. His first semester GPA was a 3.0 but after these suspensions, it dropped down to a 2.3. Individual 3, A BHS freshman last year, was suspended for 5 days during the 2018-2019 school year. His first semester GPA was a 3.4 but after the suspension, he went down to a 2.9. Significant GPA drops like these can interfere with college applications and even make it more difficult to transfer to a different high school. According to PrepScholar, the national average GPA for African Americans is 2.7 while Caucasian GPA average is 3.1. Students Moving Into the District Beachwood is home to 11,953 citizens as of the

Photos by Elizabeth Metz

2010 census. A majority 9,240 of these citizens are white and 1,638 are black. In 2000, Beachwood was only 9.08% black compared to 86.5% white. However, from 2000-2010, there was a 4.6% increase in Black residents. This increase of African American families leads to an increase in African American students. While this increase leads to diversity, the transition into Beachwood can be demanding, especially when students come from schools with lower academic expectations. Kendyn Wiggins, an African American junior, transferred into Beachwood during his 2017-2018 year from Benedictine. He describes the transition as rough. “At Benedictine, I was doing really well, but when I came to Beachwood, the curriculum was very ahead of Benedictine’s,” he said. “So when I got here, I didn’t understand what was happening.” “I never had any groups or mentors to help me transition and help me catch up on the curriculum, which is a main reason why I fell behind last year,” he added. Nadia Hall transferred into Beachwood from Riverside High School during her 2018-2019 year and also found it difficult. “I struggled with making friends and trying to fit in when I first moved here,” she said. “Beachwood is kind of cliquey, and people always make assumptions based off what others say, which makes it even harder.” “Also, at Riverside, we learned math a certain way, but when I came to Beachwood, I had to relearn it another way, which set me back,” she added. However, Kye Johnson came to Beachwood in 2016-2017 year from Garfield Heights and didn’t struggle that much at all. “The education was pretty much the same,” he said. “The only real difficulty I had was science, but I haven’t been very good in that subject throughout my high school career.” Guidance counselor Meghann Sullivan acknowledges problems. Several years ago, she and then-TV production teacher Kevin Houchins, who has now been promoted to director of Equity and Community Engagement, initiated a program to address the issue. “During the 2017-2018 year, I helped plan and implement a new student group to support new students as they transition into Beachwood and need to learn ‘how to Beachwood,’ which can mean anything from understanding our schedule, Infinite Campus and Chromebooks, to meeting teachers in a less intimidating setting where they can ask questions without fear (whether real or perceived) of being judged by others,” Sullivan wrote in an email.

The Importance of a More Diverse Staff A contributing factor in the achievement gap is the lack of diversity among staff and administrators. 89% of the school district’s teachers are white and 70.3% of those teachers are white females. There are no Hispanic teachers and only four Asian teachers in the whole district. 7.7% of Beachwood teachers are black. The school board currently includes two white men, two white women and one Asian woman. There are currently no African American school board members. According to a study published in 2017, one black teacher in elementary school can make a significant difference in the lives of low-income black boys, reducing their chances of dropping out by almost 40%. Katheryn-Anne Barney, an African American social studies teacher hired last year to teach U.S. History and World Studies, has demonstrated the impact that an African American teacher can have. Many African American students, especially African American males, visit Barney’s class daily to vent, destress, play dominoes, or just to get help on their homework. “I just remember what was important to me at that age and how teachers made me feel important,” Barney said. “I’ve created an open door policy for students to come and talk to me about anything. I give them an outlet. I think it makes them feel wanted.” Sophomore Ralph Herkley is grateful for Barney and acknowledges the lasting impact she has had on him. “She’s like my mom,” he said, chuckling. “She puts me in check and keeps me on top of the things I need to do.” “She’s the only teacher I’ve felt a connection to,” he added. “I go to her room almost every day and she always welcomes me with open arms.” “I believe increased diversity among the staff would be beneficial to the school because it would help students better connect and feel comfortable coming to them with incidents or situations they can relate to,” he said. Ogilvy agrees. “Diversity elevates groups of people, and the same can be beneficial in an educational environment,” she said. Perse recognizes the importance of diversity, but also the importance of relationships between teachers and students of different backgrounds. “Connections can be made without the race, gender and age similarity,” he said. Contributing Factors Researchers have identified a variety of factors that contribute to the achievement gap. Perceptions about acting white: Minorities, especially African Americans, may stop trying in school because they do not want to be accused of “acting white.” Acting white is defined by some as getting good grades, speak-



vement Gap in Beachwood and Beyond ing “properly,” or could be based on the students (white students) a black person associates themselves with every day. Environment: Some African American students come from high poverty, gang-affiliated neighborhoods. Because of this, they do not have the core foundation or the proper motivation to do well in school and seek better opportunities than their current environment. Access to social and health services: If a student suffers from depression, anxiety, or more mentally/ physically debilitating diseases, this could hinder their chances of staying in school. If a parent does not have a stable income or quality health insurance, they may not be able to meet students’ medical needs. Low Expectations Being Expressed Early On: If an African American student does not meet expectations early

on, they may be placed into remedial or regular level classes, which means fewer qualified teachers, a less challenging curriculum and frequently no way for these students to advance to higher tracks. Being placed in a low track makes some students feel like they are stupid or “slow” which could lead them to stop trying. When children who continue to struggle continue to receive negative feedback or low grades, it creates anxiety, demoralization, and a sense of loss of control which undermines performance. Preschool Education: While African American kids are more likely to attend preschool, they may attend one with low quality care. According to Edweek, if a student falls behind in early education, they will stay behind. Home Environment and Motivation: Students are often victims of their own environment. If a student is surrounded by gang violence, poverty, or abusive guardians, they will often lack the motivation needed to complete school work and study. Personal Responsibility: Some students do not comprehend that they in turn are responsible for their own education and their futures. On top of this, some students’ parents might not care if their child makes it to school or not which feeds into the student’s unaccountability for their actions. “Critical Mass”: Claude Steele, an African-American social psychologist and a provost for UC Berkeley, developed a theory called critical mass. Essentially, if a person of a minority group walks into an Honors or AP course classroom (and likewise for academic extracurricular), if they see a certain number of that minority in the room, they will feel that their identity is valued in that room and they will be more engaged and function effectively. If that person sees that there is a limited number of diversity in the room, they might be more reserved or develop feelings of inferiority and not be as proactive. When students and teachers were asked about different causes, some added their own. “Preconceived notions and expectations concerning school could be a contributing factor,” Perse said. “If a student comes in from Warensville, the quality of education there may not be on par with the education here.” “Also, a teacher’s reputation travels, so if a student hears a story, rumor, or anything about a teacher, it may discourage them from taking that class, which is too bad because what one student thinks is different than another student’s thinking or perception,” Perse added. “I think that in any school system that there is an achievement gap, [we] have to look at curriculum choices,” Matthews said. “Teachers should also examine whether or not they are consciously or unconsciously becoming an obstacle for some students.” “[Schools should also look] at student motivation and if students of color are feeling uncomfortable,” she added. “[Then one should be] proactive in removing that discomfort.” An Expert’s Advice Dr. Paul James, who consulted for Beachwood City Schools from 2015-2017 on matters of diversity management and intercultural awareness, noted some of the disparities in Beachwood’s data. “Black students are disproportionately disciplined at a rate that outpaces their percentage within the entire Beachwood City Schools system, more specifically black male students,” James wrote in his consultant report. He also noted that African Americans students are heavily underrepresented in honors and accelerated courses, and he feels that potentially if they are under-

represented in these courses, they could be overrepresented in detention and suspension rates. James also spoke with Beachwood students about these inequities. “[Students said] the curriculum is bland with little attention paid to diverse students,” James wrote. “Teacher-student interactions are occasionally odd and content areas prominently highlight European and European Jewish stories and narratives.” “Moreover, students felt strongly about teachers having low academic expectations for black people,” he added. James found that students felt a negative impact from being racially isolated in Beachwood’s academic community, and this isolation leads to a great imbalance of cross-cultural relationships and community building. When discussing what Beachwood could do to alleviate this gap, he made the following recommendations: Hire more black and brown teachers Teaching race and ethnicity in the classroom without making students the target of the lesson Recognize that no matter what environment or setting, African American students are implicitly thinking about race on a daily basis and how it affects them Introducing a co-curricular that includes history and language from all races, promotes racial intersectionality and intercultural congruence. Potential Solutions for Alleviating the Gap Researchers have identified a number of effective measures to address the gap, including: Support students via mentors, tutoring, peer support networks and role models Hire staff from the community who speak families’ home languages Use testing and other information on student’s performance on instructional planning Make closing gaps a schoolwide and district responsibility and priority Decrease class sizes Be accommodating of students’ home lives. Steps Beachwood Has Taken Paul Chase, the new BHS Principal, has said that he will make it a priority to address racism in the school. “I do not play games when it comes to racism and bullying,” he told the BeachImage by Amy Chen


comber in May. “It will not be tolerated.” Chase also made it clear that he plans to establish a sense of belonging for all students and to generate a more inclusive spirit at BHS. Additionally, a committee to combat the achievement gap was established last year, chaired by Asst. Superintendent Dr. Ken Veon and Diversity Matters In Beachwood President Pete Smith. This committee includes parents, students, administrators, and a representative from the Board of Education who meet at the high school library on the second Thursday of each month. Furthermore, the district created a new administrative position last spring to help the district address the achievement gap and access Beachwood’s potential in equity and inclusion. Former TV Production teacher Kevin Houchins was hired in June for the position of Director of Equity and Community Engagement. “I believe my new position will benefit the district because I will be prepared to give voices to all the stakeholders, which are students, parents and teachers,” Houchins said. “A core aspect is identifying barriers to equity and being proactive is another big thing.” Houchins has also been working behind the scenes to recruit minority staff. He believes Beachwood is everchanging, and students need to see people who look like them throughout their school careers. He also commented on the lack of Hispanic and Indian teachers. However, he had no comment when asked if black students have received the same education historically as white students. “I believe that African American students have received the same education but some do not take advantage,” said Craig Alexander, who has taught at BHS for 18 years. “The same opportunities are offered to everyone but some people have different priorities.” The district has also implemented an ACT Bootcamp to help students who do not have access to a tutor. The course covers studying tips and a practice exam. While Beachwood has a long way to go, so do most schools. The achievement gap is a nationwide problem that schools have been battling for decades. BHS is not alone in its efforts to find strategies that work. Superintendent Dr. Bob Hardis and Principal Paul Chase did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this article.




Students Weigh-In on 2020 Election

By Joe Spero Sports Editor

Although the 2020 election is over a year away, many students are already engaged in the process. “There is a really great field [of candidates]” sophomore Greg Perryman said. “There and a lot of talented people whom I can see as our president,” he added. “It’s really exciting because they all have a lot of great ideas, but their ideas are all unique.” Perryman believes that the Senate election in 2020 is just as important as the Presidential election. “If the Senate is not flipped to the Democratic side [of the aisle], we’ve seen what Mitch McConnell does with the Senate,” he said. “He makes it immobile. Nothing can happen in this country, no change can happen unless the Senate is flipped.” Perryman is one of many students who have been watching the Democratic debates. The debates do not only interest Democrats. People on all sides of the political spectrum are watching, as one of the people on stage could become the next Commander-in-Chief. Senior Tal Yankevich identifies as a “moderate conservative,” but is very critical of President Donald Trump’s rhetoric. “A lot of the things that Trump says and does… I can not tolerate,” he said. Yankevich appreciates Pete Buttigieg. “He is very professional and presidential,” Yankevich said. Buttigieg, the 38-yearold mayor from South Bend, Indiana is admired by many BHS students, as he is a US veteran, a millennial, openly gay and a polyglot who speaks English, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Dari Persian, and French. Several Republicans have announced challenges to Trump’s nomination, including former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. According to Harris Interactives Polls, Donald Trump is supported by 76.0% of Republican respondents. Senior James Flowers, who is a Republican, says his views have evolved since the 2016 election. “The 2020 Election is very different than the 2016 election for many different reasons, and my views are very different… now,’’ Flowers said. “Donald Trump has not done anything bad

September Debate

Above: Democratic canidate Pete Buttigieg announced his canidency in April. Photo by Gary Riggs via Wikiamedia Commens Below: Elizabeth Warren announces her candidacy in Lawrence, MA in Feb. 2019. Photo from the Warren Campaign, via Wikimedia Commons.

for this country yet, but some of the comments that he has made have been very unpresidential,” he said. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” he added. “It seems like the Democratic candidates all argue over who hates Donald Trump more. And it seems like some of them want the country to fail, just to prove that President Trump is bad.” Flowers believes that it is important to always have a commander-inchief who is a veteran. “I think all presidents should have some sort of experience [in the military],” he said. That’s why, if he had to pick a Democratic candidate, Flowers would pick Mayor Pete Buttigieg. For Flowers, it will be a choice between Buttiigieg and Trump. Freshman Joshua Jones had some thoughts on President Donald Trump. “I don’t agree with his beliefs,” Jones said. “Some people call him racist towards African Americans, but he is towards other cultures as well, and that’s why he should not be President of the United States.” “Trump drops a lot of stereotypes towards different cultures, and people are obviously going to listen to him, being the president with such high power.” He added. “Our country’s diversity is shown with all these people running against Trump in 2020.” Junior Amanda Bendis likes Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. “[Based on the interviews I have seen, Harris seems very personable, and she is very educated,” Bendis said. “I also like that she has a legal background.” Bendis is impressed by Harris’ background as District Attorney of San Francisco and Attorney General of California. Bendis also admires Senator Warren. “She is consistent with her policies, and she has

“There are a lot of talented people whom I can see as our president. It’s really exciting because they all have a lot of great ideas, but their ideas are all unique.” -Sophomore Greg Perryman a plan for everything,” she said. This is a historic election because there are more women in the race than ever before. Bendis finds this very inspiring. She is particularly pleased that women candidates are being judged based on their policies, as opposed to their gender. Many conservative BHS students do not feel comfortable openly voicing their opinions. They feel that the majority liberal opinion at BHS is constricting to their free expression. Junior Josh Kaplan feels that students should be more open-minded to hearing conservative points of view. “[Trump] says a lot of controversial things, but the good things about

Trump are not displayed on social media,” Kaplan said. “Americans should look at both sides of the political spectrum and not just watch CNN but also watch channels like FOX News.” Kaplan and others feel that there is a stigma against the president at BHS because the majority of the student body is predominantly on the left side of the political spectrum. One senior who wants to remain anonymous understands how Trump’s rhetoric could be harmful, but also feels that the president is not treated fairly by the media. “Trump is a mean dude,” he said. “He is not a nice person by any means. He speaks his mind and is incredibly

The top 10 polling Democratic candidates took the stage on the evening of Sept. 12 at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas for the 3rd Democratic Debate. Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke demanded mandatory buybacks for weapons like AR-15’s or AK-47’s. “We’re going to take your AR-15 [and] your AK47,” O’Rourke said. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders demanded Medicarefor-all to cover more Americans than ObamaCare. “I know what’s broken,” Warren said. “I know how to fix it. And I’m going to lead the fight to get it done.” Former Vice President Joe Biden wants to “restore the soul of this nation” and emphasized his moderate views and his electability against Donald Trump. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was very open about his personal life. He talked about his deployment to Afghanistan and how when he came back from Afghanistan, he realized he had to be true to himself and come out as gay. “I came back from the deployment and realized that you only get to live on life, and I was not interested in not knowing what I was like to be in love any longer, so I just came out,” Buttigieg said. “And after I came out, it was an election year, and I won re-election with 80% of the vote.” Buttigieg said he will ‘make real change in the Oval Office.’ Entrepreneur Andrew Yang made an “unprecedented” move by vowing to test out his plan for UBI (Universal Basic Income) by giving 10 families $1,000 a month for the next year. California Senator Kamala Harris and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, both moderates, emphasized the importance of making sure that Donald Trump is not a two-term president. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker emphasized that he would make a change in urban America. Booker is sick and tired of the legacy of crime and racism in inner cities. “Racism exists,” Booker said. “The question isn’t, ‘who isn’t a racist?’ It’s ‘who is and isn’t doing something about racism?” he said. And lastly, Obama Administration HUD Secretary Julian Castro was very clear that he thought Biden was told old to be president. “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro said to Biden, a comment which seemed to question Biden’s age and memory. Many journalists have called Castro’s comment a “cheap shot” at Biden and argued that it crossed a line. Castro also pointed out that Biden wants credit for Obama’s most popular accomplishments and wants to distance himself from the less popular elements from Obama’s legacy. “Whenever something good about Barack Obama comes up, he [Biden] says, ‘I was there, I was there! That’s me too!’ And then every time somebody questions part of the administration that we were both part of, he says, ‘Well, that was the President’. He wants to take credit for Obama’s work, but not have to answer any questions [about Obama’s failures].” The 4th Democratic debate will be held in mid-October at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. There is no Republican Primary Debate scheduled in the near future.

honest and sometimes that’s viewed very negatively, which is completely understandable.” “But, every single news outlet that covers him takes what he says out of context,” he continued. “People don’t like a mean person at the top, because we live in a very progressive society. But honestly, news outlets are being unfair to the president.” Liberal students have a variety of candidates to choose from, but one stands out to Junior Avery McShepard: former Vice President Joe Biden. “He might not be perfect, but when he was Vice President to Barack Obama, I was like ‘he should run for President and keep this moderate Democrat vibe moving

forward.’” McShepard said. Freshman Emily Clar believes that Trump should not be re-elected. “I don’t agree with a lot of the things Trump has done with immigration.” As a Freshman, Clar is not able to vote in the next election, but she thinks it is very important for young people who can vote to go out and do so. “It’s very important because we also live in America,” Clar continued. “Obviously we can’t vote, but I also feel like the younger kids should have more of a say. I have an opinion and it matters.” As the field narrows, no doubt Beachwood students will become even more excited about the next election.




Culture Highlight Photo by Vivan Li

Ohio Considers Changing Temps Rules By Miranda Desatnik with additional reporting by Bridgitte Feldman Teens in Ohio may have to wait an extra six months to get their temporary driver’s permit. A temporary driver’s permit, otherwise known as ‘temps’ can be earned when a person is 15 ½ years old. Currently, the requirement is that teens wait six months to earn their license. However, that requirement could change. Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would extend the requirement for teen drivers to have a temporary permit from six months to a year before getting their licence and would push the age for getting a license to 16 ½ . “I can see why they would because they think that young drivers are reckless and irresponsible,” sophomore Alice Anastos wrote in a text message. “But it’s not fair to punish all young drivers for just a few people’s mistakes.” The motivation behind House Bill 293 is to reduce the number of crashes involving teens. The bill could include an earlier curfew of 10 p.m., with driving allowed later only with a guardian in the vehicle. The current curfew is midnight. “I feel there wouldn’t be much of a benefit to increasing the age limit,” freshman Megan Harlan wrote in a text. “Teens who can drive at sixteen are allowed to drive because they passed [the tests], so they are obviously trusted to drive.” Beachwood Schools’ Director of Security Officer C.J. Piro believes that there is a more effective way to reduce crashes. “I’d rather there be stricter training laws,” he said. “Eight in-car hours with an instructor is barely anything, he added. “I do think that stricter rules would help, but it shouldn’t just be for younger drivers,” Harlan texted. “If more rules are going to be implicated then everyone should have to follow them.” The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that changing the curfew could

reduce the number of fatal crashes by 5%. Additionally, the Institute estimates that increasing the age for a licence to 16 ½ could decrease the fatal crashes by seven percent. “Personally I think [the laws] are okay because they are [intended] to keep all of the newer drivers safe” sophomore Abby Cherian wrote in a text. In North Carolina, the curfew was changed to 9 p.m. in 1998. As a result, the number of crashes involving 17-year-olds has decreased by 13%, with a reduction of 30% for 16-year-olds. Ohio lawmakers estimate that there will be a 39% decrease in fatal crashes if the new bill is implemented. Teens in Ohio ages 15 to 17 have been at fault in 67,000 total crashes in the past five years, including 150 fatal crashes and 1451. Although teens aged 15-19 make up about 5% of the population in Ohio, they consist of a whopping 15% of crashes. This is why many people believe that most teens should get more practice on the road before they get their license. Furthermore, some hope that by changing the age to 16 ½, teens will learn to drive in all four seasons. With the current temporary license policy, teens only have to wait half a year before testing for their license and may not get experience in tough driving conditions. By forcing teens to drive with temporary licences in all four seasons, lawmakers hope to decrease crashes. Even though many people support Bill 239, some believe that age is not the main factor behind teen crashes. Some concerned adults blame texting while driving, or believe that there is not much difference in maturity between a 16-yearold and a 16 ½-year-old. “Even with adults, not paying attention, looking at your cell phone, being distracted, is a big problem, and it’s extremely [dangerous] for someone who is just learning how to drive to deal with [their cell phone] and possibly other kids in the car distracting them,” Piro said.

With about 539 students enrolled at Beachwood High School and o er t el e religions represented in Beachwoo , ort district celebrates and elcomes di ersit ! Here are just a few xamples of the fall holidays celebrated by different students at Beachwood schools.

Chuseok Sep 13 A three-day harvest festival celebrated in Korea in which many go back to their hometowns and spend time with family and friends. They honor their ancestors by visiting graves and eat delicious food

Sep 13

Mid-Autumn/Moon Festival

Celebrated in China, Taiwain, Vietnam, Singapore and other Asian countries, this holiday involves gathering with family and celebrating the moon during the time of harvest. Mooncake, a round dessert, is shared with family to represent reunion.

Sep 29 - Oct 1

Rosh Hashanah

Meaning “head of the year”, this holiday is the Jewish New Year. Observers celebrate through prayers, personal reflection, and hearing the shofar.

Oct 2

Diwali / Tihar

Oct 8


This festival of lights is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Newar Buddhists. The main festival day coincides with the new moon of the Kartika month on the Hindu calendar. Celebrations include prayer, traditional foods, and lighting many candles around ones house.

This is a great harvest festival celebrated in Nepal. It is a time for family reunions, exchange of gifts and blessings, and elaborate pujas/prayers .

Yom Kippur Oct 8 Oct 9 Known as the "Day of Atonement", this is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance, and is observed through fasting and synagogue services.

Oct 31


Also called Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, this holiday's original purpose was to remember dead saints and martyrs. Now it is celebrated with trick-or-treating, costumes, and candy.

Oct 31 - Nov 2

Dia De Los Muertos

Translating to "day of the dead" this holiday is celebrated in many Spanish speaking countries. Relatives of lost loved ones honor their memory through shrines and celebrations.

Nov 13

Lai Krathong

Nov 28


Celebrated in some Southeast Asian cultures, this festival involves floating a decorated basket that contains a candle down the river. The baskets represent new beginning and people make a wish as they release them.

Recognizing the harvest and other blessings of the past year, this holiday is a time to be with family and friends. It is celebrated through giving thanks and elaborate feasts eaten with those close to you.

By: Priyanka Shrestha

Arts & Life By Joey Lewis Arts & Life Editor



Build an Empire, Face a Climate Crisis in Endless Legend

In this brand new column, I will be reviewing niche and lesser-known games. Endless Legend by Amplitude Studios is a 4X game released in 2014. This imaginative strategy title inspired by Sid Meier’s Civilization challenges the player to build an empire on the lost planet of Auriga. As a player, you assume the role of a powerful monarch tasked with leading your people to a bright future as the planet slowly succumbs to a freezing climate crisis. With the recent announcement of Amplitude’s so-called magnum opus Humankind, which appears to be a spiritual successor to Endless Legend, it seems appropriate to visit this game of exploration, expansion, exploitation and extermination. Players will immediately notice the game’s glamorous art style. Graphically speaking, Endless Legend isn’t very impressive, but it presents itself with a vibrant range of colors, with imaginative fantastical creatures, not to mention the unique design attributed to each faction, which I will get into later. Additionally, just about

every technology, building and quest in this game has a beautifully-painted image attributed to it. These act as a window into the game world, a breath of fresh air from the constant view of the hexagonal map. While we’re still on the topic of the game’s cosmetic presentation, the soundtrack of Endless Legend is absolutely phenomenal, sporting flutes, choirs and what I believe to be cello. As music is hard to describe, you can sample the music on YouTube. The game is composed of hexagonal tiles on which stand the cities, plains, valleys and forests that make up the game. That is where the differences with the aforementioned Civilization end. At the core of Endless Legend are five resources: food, industry, dust, science, and influence. Food and industry are consumed by the same city that produces them; they cannot be “exported”. They are used to maintain/grow populations and build infrastructure, respectively. Science, dust and influence are available empire-wide. As one might expect, science is used to research new technology, while dust is the game world’s common currency. Influence is also a currency, but is spent on

diplomatic actions such as peace treaties, war declarations and the like. Alternatively, you could save your influence for the “Empire Plan”, an event that occurs every eighteen turns, in which you institute policies that provide empirewide benefits. Each hexagonal tile contains some combination of these resources. A city’s productivity per turn is determined by the resources that exist in the surrounding tiles. Resource production can be boosted by assigning workers; each unit of the population in your city provides a worker that is represented in the user interface, and these workers can be reassigned to enhance output. For example, workers in the food column will boost food production by X amount per worker. Cities can be expanded with each additional two population units, extending the reach of the city to access more tiles and resources. Another thing that makes this game stand out is the winter. It comes every ten turns or more, and the game gives only a rough estimate of when it will arrive. During the winter, resources are scarce, vision is limited, and troop movement is reduced by a quarter. As the game

goes on, winters become longer and harsher. The winter shakes up strategies, giving war plans a window of limited opportunity and forces players to stock up on resources. This effectively urges players to achieve victory before the length of summers shrink, ushering in an eternal winter. Every empire needs a means of defending itself, and of course Endless Legend has systems to simulate warfare. While the rest of the game’s mechanics are good, combat feels long, drawn out and rather unimpactful. In manual combat, the competing armies, which will usually be stacked onto one tile, will unpack onto a roughly 10×10 hex area. The player issues orders to each of their units, such as attack and move, then watches it happen. These units will go in an order determined by their initiative stat, resulting in a series of soldiers advancing, retreating, and repositioning one after another. The reason this system is so tiresome is because even though you get to choose what your troops do, the success or failure of their attacks relies too greatly on randomness. You can win Endless Legend in several different ways, such as making the most profit, complet-

Endless Legend presents a vibrant range of colors, with imaginative fantastical creatures. Screenshot of Endless Legend by the author

ing the victory quest, building a temple at the center of the planet, having the most diplomatic ties for longest, having the most territory, developing the best technology, being the last empire standing, capturing all capital cities or simply having the best overall score by the turn limit. The best part of Endless Legend is not in its mechanics, but how they are subverted by the diverse roster of factions. Some factions are a bit more tame, which is good for new players. Others, however, will force you to take a completely different approach to how you play. The Cultists, for example, only get one city. They expand by converting villages that dot the countryside. The Broken

Lords have the same capabilities as any other faction, save for the fact that they do not subsist on food, only dust. If you feel yourself more of a warmonger, you can overpower empires as Necrophages with swarms of hungry bugs. And that’s just three of the eight factions of the base game, with more added in expansions. And that is not even all the features, as Endless Legend has more complex systems that I did not get to touch on, such as strategics, luxuries, heroes, quests and tribal diplomacy. Overall, it’s one of the best strategy games out there, and I’m excited to see Amplitude Studios implement the lessons they learned from developing it into Humankind. I give Endless Legend a 95/100.

Orange High School Alum Stars in Broadway Tour of Book of Mormon

By Bridgitte Feldman Enterprise Editor

his backyard with instructions for this religion on them, but that God didn’t want anyone “Look at these reviews: a to see the golden plates so they satiric masterpiece, a surprise would have to believe in it just smash! It was shocking, outra- because. geous, insulting, and I loved every minute of it!” -Max Bialystock in Where Did We Go Right from The Producers (2001).

turns from the subjects of the songs to the characters who hold these views, suggesting that people who share these attitudes are in the wrong. “Have you heard the news?

“Somehow, by insulting ev-

The Book of Mormon ran at Cleveland’s Palace Theater from Sept. 6 until Sept. 15. The show features two 19-year-old Mormon missionaries (Elder Kevin Price, played by Liam Tobin and Elder Arnold Cunningham, played by Jordan Matthew Brown) who are sent to Uganda in hopes of baptising Ugandan villagers. Presenting a deeply satiric, ironic view of the Mormon religion, this ingenious musical manges to be offensive to potentially every single group of people. The song All American Prophet explains how the Mormon religion came to exist. It says that there was a man named Joseph Smith who found golden plates buried in

eryone, the show manages to achieve the level of a satiric masterpiece without sinking into mean-spirited vulgarity.” Somehow, by insulting everyone, the show manages to achieve the level of a satiric masterpiece without sinking into mean-spirited vulgarity. In addition to this, the show also has an extremely ironic tone which creates a distance from the offensive content. As each song insults a different group of people, the satire

Kevin was caught playing hooky. Now he’s back with all you Catholics and Jews, It’s super spooky-wooky”. -Spooky Mormon Hell Dream “Boys should be with girls, that’s Heavenly Father’s plan, so if you ever feel you’d rather be with a man, turn it off ”. -Turn It Off “And I believe that in 1978

Heavy metal band Sabaton comes to the Agora Theater on Sunday, October 27th. The tickets will cost you between $25 and $45.

The rapper, Logic, comes to the Wolstein Center on November 12th. Tickets start at $38.

God changed his mind about black people” -I Believe Jordan Matthew Brown, an alum of Orange High School, gave a spectacular performance as Elder Cunningham. He completely embodied the role and executed it flawlessly. From the very first scene he portrayed the complete essence of his character. In this scene, a group of Mormon Missionaries are going door to door attempting to kindly convey people to Mormonism, but Brown’s character lacks a social understanding of how this is supposed to work, which is made immediately evident. Brown is an alum of Playmakers Youth Theater and Playmakers camp at Fairmount Temple, where many BHS students, including this reviewer, have attended and worked as counselors. It was amazing to see someone perform in a Broadway Show who went to the same camp that I did and was a camp counselor to many of my friends. In addition to the acting, the choreography was absolutely

Image source: genius. There was a tap number during Turn it Off that was perfectly choreographed for the song, and it was a lot of fun to watch. The lights flickered at some point during the number and sparkly vests magically appeared on all the missionaries. Along with the choreography, the costumes were also well thought-out. They were especially great during the song Spooky Mormon Hell

Dream, when there were devils and ghosts of notoriously bad people dancing around the dreamer and tormenting his subconscious. The devils were dressed in sparkly, red costumes and they were doing a lot of upbeat but creepy choreography which made the scene a lot of fun. Overall, this show was incredibly done, and although it is for very mature audiences, almost anyone could have an

Bison Beat

By Michael Karpov Staff Writer

Find out about upcoming concerts in the Cleveland area that you may want to attend. If you have any feedback, lesser-known artists you want to see featured in the next issue or any other feedback, please send me an email at

The pop duo Missio comes to Cleveland on October 22nd. Tickets at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern start at $38.

Classic rock artist Elton John will be at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on November 11th. Tickets begin at 60 dollars.

Carrie Underwood, a country musician comes to the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 16th. Tickets start at $46.




An Open Letter to the President of the United States

By Joseph Berkowitz Staff Writer

To the President of the United States, Am I Jewish, or am I American? This is a false dichotomy; I am both. However, not everyone accepts this answer. You once again made hateful and exclusionary remarks. You accused American Jews of disloyalty to Israel because many Democrats support a Palestinian state. We are often said to have a loyalty to Israel and not to our home country, and your words imply this. But I feel American, and I am American. My loyalty is to the United States of America, though even as I feel safe here, I know all too well that it may be a false sense of hope. In Europe, we were blamed for the Black Plague because we were easy scapegoats. We were expelled from many nations, such as

England and Spain. In Imperial Russia, we were murdered in pogroms. In the early 20th century, we may have thought that we were able to live freely—in Germany, and indeed other areas of Europe, we felt like part of our nations. That was all about to change. The Nazis separated us from the rest of the population, dehumanized us and demonized us. They put us in camps and murdered six million of us. Six million. We have never recovered and we never will. Now, in the USA, where there is freedom of religion, I should feel safe. Here, people are supposed to be tolerant. In my personal experience, people have been. But when the president is clearly antiSemitic, I find it hard to believe that it will be safe forever. How do I know if history will repeat itself? The question “what if they come after us?” is not a good question.

Unfortunately, it is now “what do we do when they come after us?” White supremacists

and while a “tossed salad” metaphor would be better, it shows that diversity improves our so-

“Now that you have legitimized hate, it is hard to feel safe. You are not the first anti-Semitic leader to attack us, but I hope that you are the last.” have attacked institutions of minorities in acts of terror that you have refused to label as such. They have attacked every group that does not fit their bigoted vision of a homogenous society. I grew up hearing the song “The Great American Melting Pot” on Schoolhouse Rock,

ciety. However, our nation is severely crippled by intolerance. You say that American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal for voting for Democrats. You previously made comments regarding “Jexodus,” a forecasted flight of Jews to the Republican party. I don’t

think you understand why we don’t vote for you. Having been victims of bigotry for our entire existence, we vote for tolerance. When you make comments like this, it pushes us even farther away from your party. During your term, you have plunged the nation into ruin. You have normalized and incited hate. The American Dream has become a nightmare—a nightmare that never ends. You did not cause people to hate, but you gave them a voice. You said that neo-Nazis were “very fine people” after a woman was murdered in Charlottesville for standing against racism. It is appalling that you would believe this, but at this point it is unsurprising, especially considering the fact that you declined to disavow the KKK. You seem to think that all Jews are loyal to Israel. We’ve heard this before;

it is a common theme of anti-Semitic “rhetoric.” Now that you have legitimized hate, it is hard to feel safe. You are not the first anti-Semitic leader to attack us, but I hope that you are the last. I don’t understand why religion continues to divide. After tragedy, communities come together. I have gone to an interfaith service, and I wish they were held regularly instead of only after attacks. The majority of Americans do not agree with the hate you spew, and we must show our resolve by coming together in a show of unity against hate. Am I Jewish, or am I American? This is a false dichotomy; I am both. I am both because I choose to be, and they will never be mutually exclusive, just as one can be American and have any other facets of their identity. And while I know you will never read this, I hope other people will. There is hope.

How Extremism Threatens Civilization By Yoav Pinhsai Staff Writer

We live in a time where extremism is no longer news. Conspiracy theories, hate speech, fundamentalism, intimidation, separatism and countless other extremist practices across the entire ideological spectrum are thriving today in every sphere of life and every corner of the world. For instance, mass shootings and other terrorist attacks, whether in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, France, the United States or elsewhere, now occur with such devastating frequency that each ineffably stings and scares, but never truly surprises. It is no hyperbole to declare the startling evolution of extremism within many chauvinistic networks—from ideology to rhetoric to agenda to violence or power—complete or well on its way. In practice, the perverse sense of privilege and selfvictimization which

invariably motivates interpersonal hatred (and thereby invites extremism) arguably poses the greatest existential threat of our time to rationalism, empathy and civilization. Everywhere, alarmists are spared

The extremist psychopathy, therefore— the visceral, proclamatory sort of bigotry with which we are presently afflicted—endangers the very notion of a free and mutually tolerant society, as well as the lives of

ation—some fanatical, immaterial pseudophilosophy or other, the very stuff of extremism—literally catalyzed hundreds of homicides in the past decade alone, in this one nation of ours alone, discounting

For instance, not but a mile away at Fuchs Mizrachi School, Head of School Rabbi Avery Joel explained the impact of the rise of extremism on a Jewish educational institution. There, the proliferation of hatred in

“The extremist psychopathy, therefore—the visceral, proclamatory sort of bigotry with which we are presently afflicted—endangers the very notion of a free and mutually tolerant society, as well as the lives of an innocent many.” their efforts—panic persists and prevails irregardless. “We’ve seen it in history before,” said social studies teacher John Perse. “We start to lose the ability to understand freedom of speech, [and as a result,] we’ve gotten to a point where we do feel extraordinarily, personally entitled.”

Editor-in-Chief Vivian Li Managing Editor Prerna Mukherjee Features Editor Carrington Peavy Enterprise Editor Bridgitte Feldman Opinion Editor Ian Stender

an innocent many. Indeed, according to a January, 2019 report from the Center on Extremism of the AntiDefamation League, “Over the past 10 years, 51% (216 out of 427) of domestic extremist-related murders have had a primary or secondary ideological motivation.” Mere sectarian affili-

all nonlethal incidents or incidents lacking evidence of ideology up to a strict standard of proof. That’s not to say that ideological extremism is unique to this generation; it’s to say that its current effect, though geographically and statistically dispersed, is palpably real.

recent years has necessitated everything from increased safety spending to limited entrance locales to parental ID tags to otherwise-obsolete drills and discussions. “There’s a little bit of a feeling,” he said of these inconveniences. “Almost like a loss of innocence that you don’t want to

have to think about when you’re dealing with children and school. It impacts [the community] culture a little bit—I hope it doesn’t take away too much in terms of the openness that we want to embody as a school.” The ramifications of extremism, then, extend far beyond concrete counter precautions and other necessary lifestyle adaptations—as Perse explained, they inevitably involve “that upward spiral of tension and escalation where we [question our fundamental identity]”. And so, as we fret about, lamenting the nature and future of extremism much as we do earthquakes, we circumvent our ultimate reality, our ultimate misfortune. It is this: until such a time as mankind reconciles privilege and liberty with community and coexistence in a true and final fashion, it shall remain stayed by, chained by, terminally plagued by its own intolerant factions.

Beachcomber Staff Arts & Life Editor Joey Lewis Sports Editor Jor Spero Adviser Josh Davis Layout Editor Claire Weaver

Editors at Large Elizabeth Metz Tal Rothberg Photographers Matthew Keyerleber Emily May Nakita Reidenbach Issue Staff Ruth Brown, Peter Soprunov, Hiba Ali, Roberto DeMarchi, Amy Chen, Joseph Berkowitz, Yoav Pinhsai, Miranda Desatnik & Michael Karpov

The Beachcomber is a student publication subject to prior review. This newspaper is dedicated to affording an opportunity to all BHS students to express their opinions on these pages. All unsigned editorials appearing in The Beachcomber represent the opinions of the editorial board. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the student body, the staff, or the administration of Beachwood High School. The Beachcomber welcomes all letters to the editor, whether critical, complimentary or informative. Letters deemed obscene, libelous or inflammatory will not be published. Letters should be sent to Editor-in-Chief Vivian Li at To contact Beachcomber adviser Josh Davis, email him at

Opinion 14 How the Dress Code Punishes Girls for Boys’ Behavior THE BEACHCOMBER

By Carington Peavy Features Editor

A 15-year-old came to school in a crop top and high-waisted jeans in Sept. of 2018. Her stomach wasn’t showing, but approximately 1/8th of her midriff was revealed. She was in the library with her friends doing homework and goofing around. Principal Tony Srithai called her name while she walked towards her honors English class. She immediately became uncomfortable and kept walking. He started to walk after her and called her name again. “I know you heard me,” he said. She immediately froze and turned around. “You know you can’t wear that shirt to school. Let’s leave it at home next time.” That girl was me. I felt extremely embarrassed and ended up borrowing a jacket from a friend. This frustrated me not only because I got dress coded, but because I was considered distracting enough to be followed down the hall. Mine is one of many stories of girls in Beachwood who have been made to feel insecure or stilted by the dress code. Examples such as these appear in the news every day from schools all over the country: students made to put duct tape over the holes in their jeans, students sent home for wearing tank tops, and in the most drastic of cases, students suspended and banned from graduation for dress code violations. There’s a common denominator in all of these cases: They’ve all been girls. The Student-Parent Handbook was changed this year. The Dress and Grooming section now includes specific dress requirements including that students must have shoes on at all times and must not wear crop tops or low cut tops. It also bans some peculiar things like pajamas,

“Not only is the dress code selective, it also seems oppressive... I’ve seen my female friends of color get dress coded for something that their white counterparts have been able to get away with wearing.” -Junior Stephen Fowler hair in curlers or rollers, and costumes or “extra items” like towels, capes or blankets. However, in a surprising turn, the school tries to do something daring: banning ripped jeans. “I feel it’s unnecessary,” said Malinda Creel, who wears ripped jeans frequently. “Ripped jeans are convenient, comfortable and not distracting. No one is going to look under desks in class to stare at someone’s jeans.” Dress codes are intended to establish “appropriate” expectations for students and staff. However, some students believe that the dress code is not emphasized enough. “If I’m being honest, I’m not even sure

when they want to.” Other students feel that the selective enforcement has racial implications. “Not only is the dress code selective, it also seems oppressive,” said junior Stephen Fowler, who has never been dress coded. “I’ve seen my female friends of color get dress coded for something that their white counterparts have been able to get away with wearing.” Sophomore Aaliyah Edwards, who has been dress coded for putting the hood of her sweatshirt up, brings up the rule against durags, or “wave caps.” “I think it’s unfair that durags are not allowed to be worn in schools,” Edwards said.

“Self control exists for a reason, so looking away and focusing on your work rather than telling a girl to cover up because you’re distracted makes more sense” -Sophomore Megan Wooley

what the dress code is,” said junior Teilah Simon, who was once dress coded for wearing a tank top. “I feel like there is no set dress code, but they kind of just tell people to change

Image by Andreas Wikström via The Noun Project

Some believe the dress code should be dropped entirely if it is not going to be enforced consistently. “I believe the dress code should treat everyone in the same [way] because either the dress code applies to everyone or no one,” sophomore Megan Wooley said. She has not been dress coded yet in high school. Another student believes that students with larger chests are more likely to be called out for what they are wearing. “A lot of the time, I wear outfits that would not fit the regulations stated in the dress code but because of the size of my chest, I can get away with it,” said one student, who has never been dress coded. Mariana, a student whose name has been changed because she does not want to be identified, was a sopho-

Image by Madeleine Bennett via The Noun Project

“Contrary to popular belief, girls do not wear revealing clothing to purposefully entice men.”

more when she walked into her Honors Biology final wearing sweatpants and a crop top. “I wanted to be comfortable during the test and didn’t feel like being cute,” she said. She was reviewing with friends before the exam when a friend of hers walked up to her and gave her a hug. When he pulled away, he quickly squeezed her butt. Mariana was shocked and felt violated. She quickly moved to her seat. She told her friends, who were shocked as well, but quickly laughed the situation off. “Maybe you should cover up next time and then he wouldn’t have done that,” someone said. Victim-blaming behavior such as this, whether coming from students or staff, can make young women feel unsafe and unable to express themselves the way they want to. “Short tops” are the only clothing item that was specifically banned in last year’s dress code. The justification for this rule on crop tops is that they are potentially distracting, and the school is trying to prepare students for professional settings. But are they really setting their students up for greatness? Are crop tops distracting to students or more so to staff? Students have mixed feelings about the value of dress codes. “I think it’s a nice idea, but it’s badly written and enforced,” junior Ian Stender said, who has been dress

coded multiple times for wearing baseball hats and sleeveless jerseys. “There is no reason someone shouldn’t be able to wear a hat in school... Hats are personal expressions and cause no disruption to the learning environment,” he added. “Hats are mainstream and are not a security risk. If the 165 cameras in the school can’t spot someone’s face because they’re wearing a hat and/ or sunglasses, I would be very surprised.” Stender is the only boy of the many interviewed who has been formally dress coded. “Dress codes aren’t beneficial, because if someone is distracted, it really won’t stop them from learning,” Wooley said. “Self control exists for a reason, so looking away and focusing on your work rather than telling a girl to cover up because you’re distract-

ed makes more sense.” Wooley makes a great point. Contrary to popular belief, girls do not wear revealing clothing to purposefully entice men. If I find a cute shirt at a store and it shows a little bit of my stomach or is a little low cut, I might purchase it because I feel good in it—not because I am trying to dress that way for a guy. Patti said that he does not want the dress code to seem “punitive” to a student. Some students actually believe a dress code is beneficial. “Coming from a private school, it was nice having a strict dress code because I didn’t feel pressured to conform to current trends or have to look nice,” said Edwards, who used to attend a Christian private school. “However, I still believe Beachwood needs to be a little more ‘lax’ with the dress code because it truly isn’t distracting anyone as much as they think.” If we have to have a dress code, it needs to be more clear, it needs to be enforced equitably to all students no matter their gender, race or body type and it needs to be enforced in a way so that every student in Beachwood feels comfortable expressing themselves. When addressing students about their clothes, administrators should be sensitive. Speaking with a student one-on-one is more effective, and is less likely to make them feel uncomfortable. Most importantly, the responsibility of the dress code should not rest entirely on the shoulders of girls (whether covered or not). Boys also need to be held accountable for their appearance, and must learn to treat others with respect and courtesy, no matter how they are dressed.

Image by Llisole via The Noun Project




Volleyball Team is Unstoppable

By Prerna Mukherjee with reporting by Nakita Reidenbach

The Bison volleyball team has had a blowout season with a current record of 17-1. “...[W]e’ve just been giving 100% and zero excuses, making sure that we leave everything on the court and definitely working with each other as a team,” senior Cassidy Gilliam said. Coach Tiffany McFarland told the Chagrin Valley Conference online that the team plays at a high level with six seniors. “This is far from a Cinderella story,” she said. “The Beachwood volleyball program has struggled for a few years now, but now we can see the fruit from our labor as the coaching staff has dedicated so much time in developing girls and

becoming competitive. We are excited for the girls and the Beachwood community.” “Our offense has been led by our hitters Erion Gibson, Kyimani Miller and Damilola Aletor,” she added. “Beachwood setter Cassidy Gilliam has worked hard to set up our hitters for great success at the net. We wanted to establish a fast offense since the season started. They play great as a team and have great chemistry on and off the court.” Among other CVC teams, Beachwood defeated Hawken 5-0. McFarland later explained that the season’s improvement is a result of team dynamic. “They matured and gelled together… The chemistry is the best [we’ve seen in a while],” she said. “They work hard… they are a re-

Photo by Matthew Keyer-

lentless team, and they don’t give up.” “There’s no individual that [did] more than the other,” she added. “We’re really happy about our season; definitely a great start, but we’re trying to remain humble at the same time,” Gilliam said. The team has one more conference match at 6:00 p.m. on Oct. 10 at home against Perry.

Lady Bison Soccer Dominates By Prerna Mukherjee with reporting by Nikita Reidenbach

The Lady Bison soccer team is winding down their regular season. Beachwood shut out Akron North on Saturday, Oct. 5, bringing their record to a hard-fought 8-3-4. Senior co-captain Sophie Karl commented that the team has improved on offense. “Before we couldn’t get the ball, but now we can pass the ball around and have control,” she said. Karl added that the team still needs to improve in finishing and scoring. Senior co-captain Carly Petti added that teamwork has improved. “I think we improved technically, and we work together more. We have

a different bond than we did last year.” Junior goalie Madison Prince added that the team has improved in communicating and passing to each other compared to before. Sophomore Aaliyah Edwards explained that players have gotten closer through the season. “I think that we’ve go ten closer as a team, which made us work harder and communicate better,” she said. Players that have stood out this year include Prince, senior Ashley Perryman and sophomore Sydney Sarver. “Madison Prince has saved us multiple times,” Petti said. “When we are in a crunch she always makes a save. She always helps us. She’s a smart player.”

Photo by Matthew Keyerleber

“Ashley is an amazing defender. She’s helped us so many times,” Karl added. “She legally slide tackles people. Sydney’s ability to finish, she has the most goals this year.” The final game of the regular season will be 5:00 Oct. 10 at Laurel’s Butler Campus.

Owens & Fan Advance to Districts By Vivian Li Editor-in-Chief

The girls tennis team had a strong performance at sectionals on Oct. 2-3. Senior Anna Owens and junior Emily Fan finished 3rd in doubles and qualified for districts on Friday, Oct. 11. Doubles team senior Stephanie Yen and sophomore Grace Yan made it to round one of sectionals while sophomore Zilin Zhang made it to round two. Seniors Sabrina Machtay and Lali Ramadan individually advanced to the quarterfinals. Ramadan cited the team’s strong bond with one another as a reason for their success. “We constantly cheer each other on, and understand each other’s mindsets while we’re

Anna Owens & Emily Fan Photo by Matthew Keyerleber

playing,” she wrote in a text. “We’ve performed so well this season because all of us have worked so hard, I couldn’t imagine this season without my teammates there.” “The team didn’t change much, so we got really close… This is our second year of having mostly the same team and we’re all really good friends,” Fan said.

Fan is looking forward to playing at districts. “We’re really excited because… Our Beachwood team hasn’t really qualified for districts in a while so we’re really excited and nervous,” she said.

In the season opener, senior LeTraize Walker thought of his mother and the sacrifices she has made for him. Photo by Matthew Keyerleber

If Not Now, When? Bison Seniors are Holding Nothing Back By Elizabeth Metz Multimedia Editor When the Friday night lights illuminated Beachwood’s stadium and the first whistle blew for the opening kick-off, the only thing on Letraize Walker’s mind was his mom. He wears the number two with pride, written boldly in black across his gold jersey, a low number that he has earned through his performance on the field. Walker thought of the sacrifices his mother has made for him, and how with every touchdown he can help score, he brings honor to the Beachwood football program, his teammates and his family. The home opener on Aug. 30 brought new energy and hope for a successful season as the Bison defeated Orange, ending the Lions’ relentless 11-year winning streak against the Bison. The atmosphere in the locker room before the game was tense. As the Bison walked onto the field, there were knots in all of their stomachs—of joy, of fear, of hope and of determination. In the stands, a sea of students in white, as both teams called white-outs for the opening game. In the visiting bleachers, Orange fans roared as lions do. Nasty remarks were exchanged between players of both teams. At halftime, the score was anybody’s game. The scrambles were fought with such great intensity, it seemed the stakes were higher than a mere football game. When the team stampeded the field, once again, there was a new tone in the air. The players were ready to execute. With every attack the Bison made, the Lions did their best to push back. With every play the Lions made, the Bison tried to push back even harder. Who wanted it more? With 1:21 left in the final quarter, senior captain Antonio Roscoe took a breather on the sidelines. The perspiration on his face as if someone had dumped a few bottles of water on his head. There was a bit of blood on

his shoulder. “I almost cried when we were in the locker room, coming out here,” he said. “If we get this win, I’ll be screaming in my zone tonight.” “For now, it’s intense,” he added. “I can’t speak on it. I want to stop every run, every play they make. They need to know I’m here to win. It means a whole lot to be here right now.” By the time the clock hit 20 seconds, the score was 27-25 for the Bison. On the sidelines, the Beachwood crowd had figured there was no way for the opposing team to come back. There was excitement in every fan, but humility in every player. Nobody was screaming yet, but legs were shaking and fingers were tingling. There was an air of anticipation. Everyone on the sidelines questioned, until the clock read 0.0, whether or not the Bison had stopped the streak. With 5 seconds left, the players could help themselves no longer. People dropped their cameras. They dropped the water bottles and whistles. They just ran—filled with the feeling of victory over a rival that the Bison have not experienced for more than a decade. Taking a knee after shedding tears of joy, reality hit the senior players. It truly was their last season opener, but one they would never trade for the world. Head Coach Damion Creel told them this was only the beginning. “Do your work,” he said. “Do right in school, and do right in the community.” “It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take a dub (win) of two points any day of the week… Make great decisions tonight, and be great,” he added. These words meant a lot to Letraize Walker. He transferred to Beachwood from Benedictine High School in his sophomore year when he moved from the inner-city Buckeye neighborhood of Cleveland. Walker felt alienated when he transferred. “[Students] looked at us like we didn’t belong,” he said. Walker is one of the senior captains, along with his

“brothers” as they call each other: Antonio Roscoe, Andrew Baker, James Flowers and Dawann Gray, Jr. All together, the seniors have formed a brotherhood they will never forget. This brotherhood changed Walker’s perspective and allowed him to become more involved in the school community. For many of the seniors, including Roscoe, their dedication to the football program means so much more than just participation in a varsity sport. “If the football program here has taught me one thing, it’s to overcome things and to face adversity with a greater mindset,” he said. Roscoe and Walker have faced the challenge of chasing success in Beachwood Schools following a challenging transfer from inner-city schools. “This program helped me transition by helping me realize the impact of my actions,” Roscoe explained. “It started with the coaches, when they taught me how to be the man I wanted to be. Not talking back, and stopping the disrespect I never realized I showed. I see [football] as a way to get me through school and get me to college. I don’t play just to play.” All of Roscoe’s teammates feel the same way. Coach Creel’s football program teaches more than a game. “Coach makes [this team] a support system, and it lets me honor my family,” senior receiver Jeshaun Minter said. “This program has taught me that life is short, and that it’s important to do the right thing—the little things are important—but always do what’s best and what’s right.” Roscoe summarized the mentality that he and his teammates share in their senior year. “Now that I see it’s my senior year, I know it’s my last ride. It’s almost over,” he said. “You’ll never recognize it until you’re in a senior’s shoes. We now look at it as: ‘If I don’t go out my best for this play, how many yards do I have to make it up? If not now, when?’”


Interviews and Photos By Prerna Mukherjee and Joey Lewis


BHS Welcomes New Teachers

Liuyi Liu

Math Teacher

Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Cleveland, and then a few years ago I had an opportunity in midOhio, so I moved there and taught for six years…But since my friends and family live in Cleveland, we finally decided it was time to move back to Cleveland. And then there was this…job opening at BHS, and that brought me back to Cleveland. If you could possess one superpower, what would it be?

A: I probably would like to fly, and I want to experience that.

“I always like to travel and just go to other countries and visit and experience their cultures.”­

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

degree in math. I taught at a local college as a math instructor, then I realized that I really enjoy teaching and wanted to become a teacher…

A: During my spare time I like to travel, so I’ve been to a few countries…last summer I went to Japan for about three weeks. During my summer time, if possible, I always like to travel and go to other countries and visit and experience their cultures.

What made you decide to become a math teacher?

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a teacher?

What is your favorite location that you have visited?

A: I have always wanted to become a math teacher, and my grandfather was a math teacher…after graduating from college [I] got my Master’s

A: The biggest challenge has been to really get to know the students and try to reach all of them…both personally and academically.

A: In the U.S., I really like San Diego, California. It’s very beautiful, [and] the weather is very nice over there.

What subject do you teach?

A: I teach math. Right now I am teaching Algebra I and Multivariable Calculus.

What was the best thing you remember from college?

A: I would say the best things that I remember from college would be the time I spent with my college roommates [and] friends… How has the school year been going so far? It’s been great, I really enjoy it. I mean it’s been busy, but it’s good. And I love my students. They’re awesome.

Carmela Mostardi Math Teacher

much as they can; same with manners and respect, little things like that. So I give everyone respect immediately, but I also know that respect needs to be earned.

Where are you from and how did your upbringing shape who you are today?

A: I’m from Avon, Ohio. I think it made me into a very understanding person, but it also made me have high standards for everybody, so I hold each of my students to a high standard and I try to help them achieve as

The staff is incredible, the students are great and it’s just a really nice atmosphere.

What made you decide to become a teacher?

What do you do in your spare time for fun?

A: I was a tutor from a young age and I realized that was what gave me my sense of pride and happiness—when I could see that I had helped students learn something that they thought they couldn’t do, especially with math. I know math is probably one of the least liked subjects, so when I can get a student to go, “You know what? I may not like it, but I at least understand it,” that’s a win for me.

A: I love to shop, but I also like to hang out with my friends and catch up and make sure I have my down time. What is your favorite vacation location?

A: Probably Costa Rica. We went on a family trip to Costa Rica when I was younger and we got to zipline and feed monkeys out of our hands, and the scenery was beautiful. We saw a

ton of wildlife, the pool was incredible, the resort was includible—it was a lot of fun. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?

A: I have anxiety and panic attacks. As a kid I had them ever since I could remember, so having to deal with that, trying to get through it and trying to get myself to be able to selfregulate versus having to constantly look to somebody else for help.

What words do you live by?

A: “This too shall pass.” If you could possess one superpower, what would it be?

A: Either the ability to reverse time or to pause time. Why did you choose to teach at Beachwood?

A: Well obviously, like you guys know, I got asked to sub here in the spring and I absolutely love it. The staff is incredible, the students are great and it’s just a really nice atmosphere. I felt at home. I had been in four other districts, and out of all of them, this one felt the most right.

Where did you get your degree, and what was the best thing you remember from college?

A: I got both of my degrees from Kent State. In my undergraduate degree, the best moment I remember was probably joining a sorority; that was a lot of fun. With my master’s, [the best thing I remember was] my student teaching; that was a lot of fun, and it meant that I was getting close to getting done with my degree. How has the school year been going so far?

A: It’s been going well. I’ve got a lot going on, but I think we’re starting to get in a good routine in all my classes and I think students are performing well and I’m getting positive feedback, so I think it’s going really well.

Marc Chalice

Video Production Teacher

Where are you from, and how did your upbringing shape who you are today?

A: I’m from Rhode Island. [M]y mom… worked in a school as a secretary, and then she went on to help kids who had trouble studying and focusing do that and accomplish their work,

and she suggested to me that because I was creative and I had an art background that I might enjoy being a teacher. But I didn’t believe her; when I went to school at Case Western Reserve University and got through the first chunk of it, [which was] all about theory and the history of education, I thought I had made a terrible mistake. But the second chunk was being in front of a class and presenting a lesson, and things went really well from there. I knew that I had made the right choice because it was magical, and I really enjoyed it, and the kids enjoyed it, so that’s what got me going

I really can’t wait for the response and the reaction from the cast and crew when they see what we’ve accomplished. What subject do you teach?

A: I’m teaching Video Production. It’s also called Television Studio because we have a small studio here, but I would say Video Production and Motion Graphics. What are you looking forward to in directing the Drama program?

A: I’m looking forward to the first time we run through the play

with all the pieces and parts where the actors have their lines and their blocking, where we have lighting going, where we have the special effects and sound. And I’m looking forward to the actors and the crew recognizing “this is all coming together”… and of course for other people to see it, but I really can’t wait for the response and the reaction from the cast and crew when they see what we’ve accomplished.

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

A: I have a wonderful wife and I have a one-year old and a six week-old, so my spare time is spent enjoying them, going on walks and playing and reading to them. If you could possess one superpower, what would it be?

A: Okay, now you’ve asked a very important question, and I feel like my answer should be related to teaching… However, my true answer of course is telekinesis so you can fly. How is the school year going so far?

A: The school year so far has been very busy

[teaching in] the classroom and getting familiar with the school… and then also getting the theater up and going. However, the staff [has] been really helpful and supportive, and the students make my job a lot easier because they’re making an effort and they’re just friendly and easygoing. Who’s your favorite celebrity?

A: This is so tough… I’m going to go with Robert Downey Jr. We just spent 10 years with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and it was great spending time with him.

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