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Special Technology Edition 3D trend makes way to television page 2

blue &

Wii Fit offers fun work out

& gold

Teenagers face online attacks

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Volume 87, Issue 6 Friday, March 26, 2010 Findlay High School, 1200 Broad Ave., Findlay, Ohio, 45840

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Sexting can create legal problems page 4

New schools will include up-to-date technology n

By Emily Rivest

Ground breaking for the three new buildings may occur in 2011, with Millstream being completed in August 2012 and Donnell and Glenwood ready in December the same year. All three buildings will have the latest technology for teachers to use with the students. Each new middle school will have two computer labs and a media center, which will be larger, allowing for more computers. “It will give students greater access to the computers,” Michael Stoner, computer technician at Glenwood Middle School, said. “One of the problems now is that they don’t have enough computers available, so more computers will certainly be a benefit.” Classrooms could have more computers as well because of the “latest cabling infrastructure,” allowing for more hookups. “There will be more computer flexibility,” Technology Coordinator Martin White said. “If you want to have more computers in a classroom, it will be easier. You’ll have additional jacks in the rooms so you won’t have to rewire.” All new schools, including Millstream, will have interactive white boards, like the SMART Boards in the high school. “That opens up a lot more for the teachers to present info in multiple ways,” Stoner said. “Some people learn better by hearing and some by seeing. Students who learn in different ways will have the opportunity to learn more effectively.” Audio and video will be used in new ways.

“We’re looking at putting video on demand in the schools,” White said. “It’s all going to work on the computer and the teacher can either display it on the computer or on the projector. You don’t have to have TVs, VCRs or DVDs. All they would have to do is select the video to show it. “There will also be audio reinforcement speakers in the ceiling. The teacher can be miked so you can hear easily at the front of the class or the back of the class, wherever you are in the room.” All of this technology will help prepare students for the future. “Even though people make assumptions that the younger generation knows how to use technology and computers,” Donnell Middle School principal Don Williams said, “through surveys we know that not as many kids have computers as some think. This provides more opportunity for kids to prepare for getting jobs or going to college.” A different type of technology will be used to heat and cool the buildings. To save money, they will use geothermal technology and possibly solar power. Wells about 300 ft. deep will be drilled under each school where water can be kept at a constant temperature. “It’s a different way of providing heating and cooling,” Facilities Director Dennis McPheron said. “It’s a lot more cost effective. Instead of heating your 40 degree tap water to 70 degrees for the boilers, you might only have to heat 58 degrees to 70 degrees. “You don’t have to use as much energy.”

PROGRESS

Board member Barbara Dysinger and superintendent Dean Wittwer discuss plans for the new middle schools and Millstream building at the board work session. The new schools will be equipped with the latest technology, including more computers and interactive white boards. photo by Katie Trinko

proposed site elevation for Donnell Middle School

Connected

Teachers use Turnitin.com to improve writing n

By Emily Rivest

To help students with the writing revision process, 10 English teachers are currently using Turnitin.com with their classes. Students submit their papers to the site and receive an originality report, which tells how much of their paper comes from other sources from the Internet, academic journals, books or other student papers in the database. The site has over 120 million student papers alone to check against. “FHS (Findlay High School) isn’t using it as a ‘gotcha’ but instead using it as a teaching tool to show how to incorporate sources accurately,” English Department chair Becky Pfaltzgraf said. “It avoids accidental plagiarism.” Many don’t realize they plagiarized in their papers until they receive an originality report. “For example, commonly used words or orders of words that could show up in other papers could be accidental plagiarism,” English teacher Barb Tardibuono said. “It also could include when they’re trying to paraphrase or summarize and not realizing they need to cite it.”

Turnitin.com determines what percentage of a student’s work came from another source. Pfaltzgraf requires that her students only have 20 percent or less from these resources. This percentage can include any phrases found in other works in the Turnitin.com database, including quotes. “The students have really loved it,” Pfaltzgraf said. “That was really exciting to hear students come back and say, ‘Wow, 80 percent of that was my ideas in there.’” Students also agree the program is helpful, although they do see some drawbacks. “There can be technical glitches like a teacher may not receive it or it may not submit right,” sophomore Katie Klein said. “It’s not as foolproof as handing an actual copy in.” Even though she sees the problems, Klein still believes the program is worth it because of the comments her teacher can leave. “The comments are all there online so I can go through and give them overall comments,” Tardibuono said. “They can do a rough draft and a final so they can see if they are missing the same thing over and over.”

Latest news always available n

SUBMIT

Junior Larissa Van Der Molen signs in to her turnitin. com account. Students submit essays to the site where teachers can check for plagiarism and leave comments.

photo by Taylor McGonnell

Web site receives award, nomination n

WIN

Staff members accept the Silver Crown for blueandgoldtoday.org. The site received the award in New York City from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

photo by Katie Trinko

Saturday

Sunday

By Emily Rivest

Blue & Gold and 2aToday members received an Online Silver Crown for www. blueandgoldtoday.org from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association March 20 in New York City. The Web site was also recently nominated for a Pacemaker, the highest award given by the National Scholastic Press Association which is awarded April 17 in Portland, Ore. Judging for both awards occurred just weeks after the site launched in December. “Winning the Silver Crown is really exciting and the Pacemaker is the highest award in scholastic journalism,” editor in chief John Sisser said. “The crown is also our first award

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for the Web site so it’s incredible to get this so early in the game. Adviser Jim McGonnell attributes the Web site’s success to the variety of media available on it. “The video and sound slides proponent of the Web site has given us more of an attraction,” he said. “Students want to keep coming back to see what’s new.” Students chose to create the Web site in order to converge the paper and news broadcast. “Journalism really is moving in the digital direction, it’s not just newsprint anymore,” Sisser said. “We’re adapting to the web to be more modern and it’s giving us a better learning experience.”

things to make you look smart today 1. Nintendo will release a 3D game console that will not require glasses. 2. CantYouSeeImBusy.com offers video games that look like spread- sheets for sneaky office workers. 3. Samsung announced their new laptop with a transparent screen.

High: 56 Low: 37 Mostly Cloudy

High: 52 Low: 44 Cloudy

4. iTunes’ latest feature allows users to send apps as gifts directly to another iPhone. 5. A 64 GB diamond-covered iPad will be available for $20,000.

By Leah Cramer

Cell phones and the Internet are making it possible to keep up to date on the latest news faster and easier than before. Several newspapers now have Web sites, making breaking news available right from your computer. “The challenge for the newspaper industry at this point is how to earn enough money from the Internet and other electronic sources to support the number of reporters and editors needed to cover the news well,” The Courier editor Peter Mattiace said. “There will always be a Courier, it’s just a question of how you will read, hear or see it.” One new way to read the news is through updates right to your cell phone from stations such as CNN and ESPN. “I get a text whenever there is big news in the sports world,” senior Austin Miller said, “so I can always know what’s going on even when I don’t have access to the TV or the Internet. “You can sign up to follow your favorite teams and when they have a game, you get sent a text with the scores right away, which is more convenient because you don’t have to get online and look it up.” This technology allows news to come straight to people, without them searching for what they need to know. “News will become more immediate,” Larry Hatch, Professor of Visual Communication and Technology Education at Bowling Green State University, said. “Electronic media also allow the customer to individualize the news they want to receive. “Google desktop, for instance, allows you to get news feeds on exactly the area you are interested in.” For news on school delays and cancellations, WKXA will send text message notifications. “It’s good because usually the text comes when I’m still asleep, so when I wake up, I just turn on my phone and can find out without having to get up to check the TV,” sophomore Carmen Gerschutz said. “It makes the information really easily accessible.” Cell phones are not only useful for updates, they can also be used to access Twitter to quickly spread information without going through the medium of news reporters. “Citizens have become the reporters,” Hatch said. “Twitter has allowed stories to be told by average citizens in countries that tightly control their media.  “The cell phone has put a camera in the hands of millions and the ability to capture events in nearly real time.”

Hats Off Seniors Kieffer Gray, Caleb Helms, Adam Arico and Zach Boyce built a rocket for a Millstream Skills USA project. The team placed first at the Ohio Tech Prep Showcase and will head to state in April. Helms “The project is supposed to show business skills along with technical skills, like math and engineering,” Helms said. “We’re supposed to reach the speed of sound with it.”


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“I would definitely consider buying a 3D television because it would make viewing more realistic and more fun to watch. ” senior Ryan Travoli

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techtrends

live sporting events will broadcast on ESPN 3D in the channel’s first year

Friday, March 26, 2010

Technology brings new dimension to TV n By John Sisser

Whether it’s scenery in Alice in Wonderland or a fire-breathing monster surging forward in How to Train Your Dragon, 3D effects can turn any flat movie into an eye-popping cinematic adventure. Until now, the only way to catch these effects was at the movie theater, paying an extra $2 for a pair of flimsy red and blue glasses. But Samsung, Sony and Panasonic have all released 3D televisions or plan to this year, bringing the excitement of the movie theater home. “The in-depth experience of 3D is going to make people feel like they are actually there,” Best Buy employee Josh Butler said. “It (the effect) will be about the same quality as in the movie theater, but a lot of that will depend on the size of the television screen.” According to informationweek.com, 4.2 million 3D televisions will be sold this year worldwide and 78 million by 2015. However, one factor that could have an effect on sales is the price. Samsung’s 55-inch television sells for just under $3,000 while Panasonic’s 50-inch model is available for around $2,500. Along with the television, 3D disc-players and glasses will also be a necessity. While each pair of rechargeable glasses will sell for up to $150, Butler believes consumers can expect more than the flimsy movie theater brand. “The glasses will be more durable since they will be designed to last quite awhile for in-home use,” he said. Perhaps a more pressing issue facing 3D television sales will be the lack of material available to watch. To combat this, companies like Dreamworks are producing more 3D DVDs and Blu-ray disks for animated movies like Monsters vs. Aliens and the Shrek films. Other major television channels, like Discovery and ESPN, announced they will begin broadcasting in 3D. ESPN will create a channel devoted to the new technology this summer, in time for the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament. Direct TV customers will be eligible for a free software upgrade in June to receive these channels if they have 3D-capable televisions. Even gaming companies are getting in on the action. Owners of Sony’s PlayStation 3 will be able to purchase a software upgrade this summer to make the popular console 3D-capable. While 3D opportunities are popping out at consumers, others are still apprehensive of the new technology. “3D is just too disorienting at times,” junior Jon Cox said. “There are too many levels of depth. If I had the money, I would maybe splurge and buy one, but I’d rather wait to see if the technology stays.” While there are several issues facing the 3D trend, Butler hopes the new technology catches on. “3D technology kind of flopped at first,” Butler said, “but the big companies have been perfecting it. The LED technology, which is just the newest technology for 3D televisions, will definitely catch on and I hope 3D will too because it really is a cool experience.”

in your face

by the

numbers 15

Percent higher costs to make a 3D film

11

Percentage of United States/Canada box office profits attributed to 3D films

experience

2011 Discovery, Sony and IMAX will launch Discovery 3D

June 2010 Direct TV will offer free 3D software upgrade

DOWN THE LINE

April 2010 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs will be available with Panasonic 3D televisions

June 11, 2010 First match of soccer World Cup tournament airs on ESPN 3D

Increase in 3D films leads to mixed reactions among moviegoers n By Michaela Marincic

Walking into movie theaters, people may be overwhelmed by a wave of posters advertising 3D films and bespectacled moviegoers. Since the success of the full-length 3D film Avatar, multiple studios plan to take their movies to the third dimension. “3D should be increasing vastly, with at least 20 movies in 2010,” Carmike 12 assistant manager James Dickman said. “We probably won’t go one week without at least one 3D movie

(currently in theaters).” 3D fan junior Jared Manning anticipates this new trend will improve the movie-going experience for everyone. “I like the newer 3D effects that look cooler,” the movie buff said. “Companies have made 3D less cheesy, instead of when they had things popping out just to scare you. Now it’s like you’re actually there.” Despite the attraction of 3D, sophomore Ellen MacDonald does not look forward to don-

ning plastic glasses, saying the special effects make her nauseous. “They (3D movies) make me dizzy and give me headaches because of the glasses, but I can’t watch the movie without them,” MacDonald said. “I don’t want to see movies in 3D because I know it (illness) will happen and it’s not fun. “Unless it’s a really good movie, it’s not worth the headaches.” She is not alone: according to a MSN health

article entitled, “Why Avatar can make you sick,” viewers worldwide claimed nausea or motion sickness after seeing the 3D film. Unaffected by the 3D graphics, Manning anticipates taking advantage of this opportunity for enhanced entertainment. “It (3D) adds more fun to movies because you are able to see objects coming toward you through the screen,” Manning said. “3D brings you into the environment and puts you into the movie.”

Apple followers cannot wait for iPad tablet release date n By John Sisser

Apple lovers have their calendars marked for next Saturday, April 3, when the electronics company releases the highly anticipated iPad tablet computer to stores worldwide. After unveiling the device at a Jan. 27 press conference, tech analysts are anxious to mea-

Apple’s iBooks app featured on the iPad Full on-screen keyboard on the iPad

sure the tablet’s success. Sophomore Danny Pfaltzgraf, a loyal Apple customer who already pre-ordered the gadget, can’t wait to get his hands on an iPad for his favorite feature—the e-book library. “The iBooks app is one of the most magical pieces of the device,” he said “It gives you elegant, animated page turns, with settings to adjust the size and font of the text. “It uses a neat virtual bookshelf to navigate and purchase books. It’s truly remarkable.” Pfaltzgraf isn’t the only one excited. The tablet’s e-reading features are so extensive, many are considering it Apple’s answer to popular e-readers like the Amazon Kindle. Apple even signed deals with Harper Collins, Macmillan and Penguin publishing firms to directly download books to the iPad. Owners will also be able to read magazines and newspapers with specific apps, like the New York Times or GQ. Along with e-reading capabilities, the device will include iTunes, the App store, photo galleries, videos and Wi-Fi connection, all on a touch screen. The tablet is just a half an inch thick,

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weighs a pound and a half and flaunts a 9.7inch screen. For sophomore Megan Peterson, the iPad’s sleek exterior will be its major selling point. “I really love its design,” Peterson said. “I like how it is really a bigger iPod touch and I like the software on it and how you can flip through the books and everything.” However, while some experts are hailing the iPad as a revolutionary device, Pfaltzgraf sees some flaws. “I only have two complaints about the iPad,” he said. “First, there is no camera when it is clearly needed for video conferencing, and cameras are just standard features on everything anymore. “Also, the lack of USB ports hinder the ability to multitask. However, a tablet is more for web-surfing and media instead of doing heavy number crunching in Excel.” These flaws haven’t stopped him from raving about the latest gadget, though. “It (the iPad) is revolutionary because it is the first time anyone has ever applied multitouch on such a large scale,” he said. “No one has done anything like this to this degree.”

by the

numbers Got to have Apple’s latest tablet computer? It’ll cost you. $499

16 GB iPad with Wi-Fi

$599

32 GB iPad with Wi-Fi

$699

64 GB iPad with Wi-Fi

$12.99-14.99

Price per e-book on the iPad

$20-30

Potential New York Times iPad app price

Bring in coupon for:

$6.50 Large

1 Topping Pizza Juniors Brittany Deuble and Sarah Thomas


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“I like the dance step games on Wii Fit because they are fun and I am a natural dancer so it helps me practice and stay in shape for my dance classes and recitals.“ freshman Sarah Yeo

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sports

Friday, March 26, 2010

percent of children and adolescents between ages 12 to 19 are overweight in the United States

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Light therapy helps speed up recovery n By Michaela Marincic

A serious sports injury could mean lights out on a player’s season. However, light therapy now helps athletes return to action by making the body regenerate tissue faster and speeding up the healing process. “It works tremendously for athletes for a quicker recovery time,” chiropractor Dr. John Coleman said. “Take a large scratch and put black tape over part of it so the light can’t penetrate, shine the light on it and that part (without tape) will generally heal two to three times faster.” As a football and baseball player, sophomore Jordan Widman received light therapy for muscle injuries multiple times, becoming familiar with the process. “They bring in the machine and put it on the sore spot or bruised muscle,” Widman said. “When they turn on the machine, a light comes on and repairs the muscles. I still feel a little sore, but it feels like the muscles are getting stronger.” Coleman now offers this treatment at Blanchard Valley Chiropractic, where freshman Melissa Dysinger has received therapy four separate times for a hip and three volleyball-related shoulder injuries. “I didn’t do (light) therapy for my hip (at first),” the volleyball player said. “But I did end up going to therapy for it later and I noticed my hip getting stronger a lot faster than when I wasn’t doing therapy.” The idea that a red light can help heal body tissue may seem outlandish. Coleman doubted it at first, but was convinced after learning more and seeing it in action. “I went to a seminar where they took a Petri dish with different cells inside of it—skin cells, muscle cells, nerve cells—and took a laser light and shined it down next to a cell,” Coleman said. “The cell would begin to shake, change shape and reach a little tentacle out to grab the light. “It would quiver and then let go, as if it filled up and then stopped.” That is the basic idea of the therapy: the cells fill up with light energy, then use it to grow and divide more rapidly, creating tissue to repair muscles and organs. Yet the simple process of absorbing the energy of red light is $25 per session at Blanchard Valley Chiropractic. Widman was out a total of about two weeks while receiving light therapy, which in some cases is combined with the additional cost of physical therapy. “It’s expensive, but it’s worth it,” Widman said. “If I didn’t have light therapy, I would have had to sit out longer, but it helped me get back in the game.” This process aided in repairing Dysinger’s fractured, dislocated and subluxed (less-severely dislocated) shoulder, which might have needed surgery if not for therapy. “They said if I hurt it again, I will probably need surgery (because the shoulder has been injured multiple times),” Dysinger said. “But with all the therapy I’ve done, I probably won’t hurt it again.”

RELIEF

Chiropractor Dr. John Coleman uses light therapy on freshman Melissa Dysinger to help repair her shoulder injury. Light therapy speeds up the recovery process by allowing the body to heal quickly. photo by Katie Trinko

Nike iPod Sport Kit charts running data

Wii Fit makes working out fun for teens n By Lexi Perrault

n By Leah Cramer

Athletics and technology collide in the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, created by Apple computer and Nike. A sensor is inserted into a special pocket on a pair of Nike+ shoes and then a receiver is connected to an iPod nano. The iPod touch and iPhone 3GS (a cell phone/iPod) have built-in support for the Nike + iPod, so they don’t require a receiver. After you calibrate it to fit your stride, the sensor then tracks your time, distance, pace and calories burned and sends the information to your iPod. “You can upload the information to software on the computer and it will even make a graph of your progress so that you can see when you’re getting lazy,” assistant principal and Sport Kit owner Greg Williamson said. It allows you to create playlists for customized workouts, such as one with calorie goals. A power song can also be programmed to play when you need extra motivation. “It (Sport Kit) will tell you how fast you are going, so it helps me get the workout I want,” library media specialist and Sport Kit owner Debbie Reynolds said.

Slalom skiing

Super hula hoop

sophomore Makayla Fitzpatrick

Tight rope walk

Unless you are an athlete, fitting in time for exercise can be a challenge, but with an interactive videogame called Wii Fit, teens are making time to workout. Nintendo’s Wii Fit allows players to calculate their body mass index, do as many as 50 different activities such as yoga poses and aerobic exercises as well as track their progress. Sophomore Makayla Fitzpatrick uses her Wii Fit frequently for exercises. “It really gives me a good workout,” she said. “I like using it because it’s an easy way to fit exercise into my week. “My favorite exercise is the hula hoop game because it’s challenging and I can feel it working my stomach and legs in the first few minutes.” Fitzpatrick believes the program is a good motivator to get teens to make healthy choices. “With the Wii Fit, I don’t have to get a ton of equipment out to do a work out that I don’t enjoy,” she said. “Wii Fit is fun because there are a variety of games to choose from and it is easy to do everyday. “After I work out with the program I feel the need to be healthier, so I make better choices.”

Gym teacher Jodi Garver has discussed implementing Wii Fit into her gym class curriculum. “There are good exercises for stretching and flexibility in Wii Fit such as yoga, and balancing but not so much for cardio workouts,” Garver said. “We have talked about getting a Wii Fit for physical education classes but when you have classes of 30 students it can make it difficult. “We would need more than one console and TV’s to go along with them. Storage and keeping the equipment safe is another issue.” If Wii Fit is not used at school, Garver believes it would be a beneficial program to have at home. “In gym, we try to get kids to think about lifetime activities and what they could do as they get older to stay fit,” she said. “The Wii Fit and other Wii games could fall into that category—it is better to do that than to be sedentary. “We need to change the trend of the obesity rate (one in five children are obese according to the Center for Disease Control).”

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“Someone on MySpace made a harsh comment towards me and everyone could see it. It made me mad because I didn’ t do anything to deserve it and I tried to stand up for myself.” freshman Sam Zoll

ft

feature

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cyber

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percent of teens have experienced online harrassment, according to a 2006 Pew Institute Poll

Bullies Online students are targets for attacks n By Kim Maples

i

junior Jordan Casat

There’s no sound except the clicks of a keyboard: no shouting, shoving or cheers from rowdy onlookers. Yet the bullying that is occurring on the computer is just as bad as, or possibly worse than, anything going on in the hallways. Cyberbullying is the term coined to describe bullying over the Internet between two minors, which can include anything from mean messages to hate groups. “A person who is mad at someone else will post something derogatory about the person,” guidance counselor Mary Burget said. “Then friends join by adding their own comments and it takes off, in a very negative way. “The person who posts the comments never takes responsibility for their actions.” Administrators have seen several cases of cyberbullying at the high school. “People are more brave when they aren’t face-to-face with someone,” assistant principal Greg Williamson said. “There’s more potential to cyberbully. “We recently had an inappropriate comment, derogatory name calling, posted on Facebook that was sexual harassment, but bullying is a hard thing to prove. It has to be over a long period of time.” The amount of time the bullying lasts separates it from being just an isolated incident. “Bullying is more of a prolonged event,” Williamson said. “It’s bullying if we can show that there’s a pattern. If it happens just once, then we treat it more as harassment.” But even if the bullying takes place outside school, administrators can still step in. The current policy in the student hand-

book addresses cyberbullying as “taunting, threatening, stalking, intimidating and/or coercing” by use of technology. “We typically will address something that happens in cyberspace at school,” Williamson said. “If a verbal confrontation happened here and went on to Facebook or vice versa, it’s an issue that has now been brought into school.” Disciplinary measures can be anything from a warning to suspension for cyberbullies. “It’s going to be based on the severity of it,” Williamson said. “It could be a day of ISA. If it’s threatening or frightening, then we’re talking three days of ISA to 10 days of suspension.” Police can even step in if the messages get too threatening. “If they’re harassing somebody, that’s a crime,” Seargent Mike Martien of the Findlay Police Department said. “Juveniles can go to court and the judge decides if they go to a detention center.“ In fact, proving harassment is easier for police when it’s done with technology. “Everything we type is being kept on record,” Martien said. “We can speak to the parents and we can get those records from the computer or service provider. “We can get texts from the phone company. That’s easier to prove than if someone said something and there weren’t any witnesses.” However, even if the bullying ceases, technology prevents the hateful comments from being erased for good. “These kinds of comments are posted for the whole world to see,” Burget said. “Once those words are out there, you can’t take them back. Sometimes the writer regrets what they have said, but by then the damage has been done.”

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Students prep for future jobs in web design n By Maggie Malaney

Flipping from Google to Facebook, you have to wonder how the Web sites that make life so much more interesting are made. Chances are a student in Millstream’s Web Design classes could explain it. In Web Design II class, they learn to make online pages, calendars and create banners for staff sites. “It’s cool to put our own designs in different banners, or titles, for Findlay City School Web sites,” sophomore Katyayini Sharma said. “We can put our own style into the things we make for the sites. “It’s rewarding to see your own design up on the Web.” Besides periodically updating all Web sites for Findlay City Schools, other projects include making their own portals. “The Web portal is considered a content management system,” teacher Laura Julien said. “That means that the portals will allow the user the ability to manage their Web site online from school or at home.” Students also learn Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). “HTML is a programming code that is used to create Web pages,” Julien said. “It’s important for them to learn these codes so they can make their own Web sites.” Along with learning programming language, Web Design gives students skills they can use in the future. “I want to make Web sites for companies and start my own (Web site) so this class will really help me prepare for my future,” senior Austin Cornette said. Even if students don’t pursue Web design careers, the class is still beneficial. “The projects are interesting,” senior Dustin Vance said. “We create cool graphics and learn skills to make our own Web sites. We can really put our own style into the things we do.”

Revealing text pictures can land teenagers on sex offender registry n By Leah Cramer

She hesitantly removes her shirt and poses as she snaps photos of herself on her cell phone and hits the send button. This isn’t the kind of thing she would usually try, but she’s tired of doing what people expect and just wants to be noticed. Some use it to get attention, others are pressured into it, but few know the consequences of sexting. Sexting is a slang term for sending and receiving text messages with sexually explicit content, usually pictures. If pictures of another student, especially a minor, are found on someone’s phone at school, it can fall under the category of sexual harassment. Anyone who sends or receives such a message and doesn’t delete or report it can be suspended. “Over the last couple of years we have had four, five maybe six situations involving pictures that were taken outside of school, but got sent around enough that we discovered it on someone’s phone,” assistant principal Nate Sorg said. “Some were handled with suspension (usually three to five days), but some were turned over to the police and handled as a legal situation.” According to Lieutenant Sean Young of the Findlay Police Department, if the student in the picture is nude and a minor, it is considered to be child pornography, which is

a felony and any senders of the photo can be registered as sex offenders. The person who took the photo, anyone who sent it and anyone who received it and didn’t report it are all investigated and can be criminally charged. “They (the consequences) are something that can follow you for years,” Young said. “Anyone who does a background check for employment isn’t going to want to hire a registered sex offender or someone with a felony in their history.” While sexting may seem like a joke, it’s something that should be taken seriously. “My phone was confiscated for a month and a half and I was suspended for three days,” sophomore Ned (name changed to protect identity), who received a sext and did not delete it, said. “When you miss school for three days and everybody knows what you did, you can’t hide it and make up excuses when you get back. “It’s embarrassing because people won’t let it go and they still make fun of those who got the picture.” Since sexting is a fairly new problem, the policies vary on a case-by-case basis and there is some controversy surrounding the severity of the consequences. “I should have gotten in trouble because it was wrong,” Ned said. “But I don’t think the

school should have gotten involved. “It (sexts) should definitely be illegal because it really is child pornography, but unless you’re sending it to someone who is over 18, you shouldn’t have to be registered as a sex offender.” However, school administrators take a different view on the matter. “Even if someone just has it (the sext) on their phone and isn’t showing it to anybody or looking at it, it’s still possession of inappropriate, pornographic material at school,” Sorg said. “If it’s at school, it is interfering in the realm of education and is a school issue.” According to Young, a lot of teen sexting starts out between dating couples, but relationships don’t always last. Nude photos sent to a boyfriend or girlfriend can turn into ammunition for revenge after an unpleasant break up. “If you send a picture of yourself to a friend, you’re really trusting them, but once it starts getting sent around there’s always a chance that it could end up on the Internet,” Sorg said. “It has become a personal safety issue for those involved. “If someone gets sent a picture like this, they have an obligation to delete it or report it to a principal or parent so that it can be reported to the police.”

Blue and Gold - Special Edition - March 26, 2010  

Blue and Gold - Special Edition - March 26, 2010