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Standard outhwest

Vol. 3 Issue 6 January 2013 Overland Park, Kansas

Check out the Best of 2012 pg. 16

Inside this issue:

School violence Pgs. 8–9

Meaning of dreams Pg. 13

Gun control Pg. 15




PrintEdition: n







School Violence -doubletruck

Instagram -special sections

Guns -opinion

Sportsmanship -editorial

5 Cover photo: The student section erupts as Southwest begins to pull ahead at the varsity boys basketball game vs. Blue Valley West on Dec. 7. Photo by Anna Glennon.


by meg huwe editor-in-chief

ur nation has seen shootings in its history. Each act of violence, whether at a high school, college or movie theater was unbelievable. Then, a little over a month ago, our nation watched an unthinkable tragedy unfold in a place that should be immune to such atrocities. Elementary school children and the staff went to school like it was any other day. Twenty six of them had their lives taken away. I don’t want to take the time to acknowledge the individual who did this. That act deserves no recognition. The 26 victims who lost their lives at such an early age, do. There were many heroes within the school that day. In particular, firstgrade teacher Victoria Soto, hid her students in the cabinets and closets, and lied in order to protect them. She saved their lives, but lost her own. Her sacrifice, as well as sacrifices throughout the community, are ones we should learn from, not something that should be forgotten. No, we do not need to find any opportunities to sensationalize this topic any more than it has been. No, we don’t need to dwell on who did this. But we do need to do something. Unfortunately, it’s evident that no environment is immune to these acts. That’s not to say we should live in constant fear, but we need to be prepared. That is why, this month, the Standard wanted to inform the student body about how they can help prevent acts of violence. We want you to know how Blue Valley handles these acts and how they are reevaluating the current plans in light of what happened. It’s been challenging to find staff members willing to talk about this because nobody wants to say the wrong thing. However, that was no reason to shy away from a risky topic because we need an informed public. We have to make ardent efforts to avoid anything like this happening again.

OnlineEdition: Rumors



Photo Gallery

Pst. Have you heard about the story on how rumors spread? Check the web for more.

Don’t forget to like the BVSW News Facebook page.


Follow us @bvswnews for up-to-date sports scores and events.

Check out the online photo gallery of the BVSW vs. Gardner Edgerton varsity boys basketball game.

january 2013


briefs news

Two seniors receive Presidential honor Established in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Presidential Scholar program means to honor and recognize superior seniors in a high school setting. Seniors Megan Rowe and BumJin Jung have been chosen to compete on a national level for the possibility of becoming a Presidential Scholar. Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an all expense-paid trip to Washington, D. C. in June and a U.S. Presidential School medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House. While in Washington, students are allowed to meet with important national and international figures, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians and scientists. Scholars are also given the opportunity to struggle with issues that concern America, to participate in community service, attend receptions

by grant laster & royan black staff writer

Preparing for Prom

Headed by biology teacher Dianne Dunn, the Prom committee is comprised of junior leaders from Student Council and serves to plan the end-of-year dance for upperclassmen. Counselor Kevin Halfmann hands seniors Bum Jin Jung and Although Megan Rowe their awards during the winter sports assembly Prom is months on Jan. 10. Photo by Anna Glennon. away, junior prom and ceremonies held in their these students must have planners have honor and visit important proven to have overcome been working to landmarks and memorials in significant obstacles or raise funds and challenges or to have done Washington D.C. solidify details. something remarkable while Backed by funds Jung and Rowe were still achieving high academic from Homecomchosen as two out of six in the State to be nominated success. These students must ing ticket sales’ have demonstrated service, for the Presidential Scholar profits, “Split the program. character and leadership. “I’ve always worked hard Application to the Presiin life, and I’ve always had dential Scholar program is really good academic stanby invitation only. Students dards, so it felt good to put are invited to apply based on everything down on paper.” their ACT and SAT scores, Jung said. or if they are recommended According to counselfor invitation by a Chief ing chair Kevin Halfmann, State School Officer.


online editor

56 days until Spring Break

Pot” raffles and rollover money from previous junior classes, the prom committee booked the Camelot Ballroom in Stanley. Junior Nick Edwards has been a major driving force for the committee and has headed a project to provide junior class Tshirts. The Prom planning group meets at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays in room 203. graphic by brianna bogdan

Debate season ends with a second place finish Since school resumed, the debate program has prepared for both Novice State and Varsity State. “When we prepare, we have to find articles and evidence for our arguments and figure out how to answer arguments other teams will make; those answers require evidence too,” junior Katherine Super said. “We also give practice speeches and do practice rounds that Zuckerman, or our assistant coaches, will critique.” Novice State took place on Jan. 4 and 5 at Wichita East High School. The State tournament took place on Jan. 11 and 12 at Hutchinson. Senior Jake Novicoff and juniors Connor Davis, Tristan Locke and Super competed in the four-speaker tournament. They ended up placing second with a 13- 3 record after losing to Emporia.


“I am a little disappointed we didn’t get first, but still, second is really great,” Novicoff said. Juniors Jack Ayres, Greer Banks, and Emma Stewart and sophomores Jacob Hegna, Charlotte Davis, Elaine Schrag and Christopher Fry competed in the twospeaker tournament. Southwest was the only school in Kansas to medal every single student in the competitions. The State tournament concludes the official debate season, although there are Nationals for those who qualified in June. To prepare for Nationals, Davis, Locke, Novicoff and Super will go to tournaments in Dallas and Chicago. “We had two teams in the top 20 last year, so that’s probably the goal,” Novicoff said.

january 2013


briefs news

Student musicians put their playing to the test in Wichita On Jan. 5, over 1,000 Kansas students traveled to Salina Central High School to audition for Kansas Music Educators Association All-State groups. Among those who came to showcase their hours of practice and musical skills were seniors Steven Murray and Chelly Spahalski and juniors Clayton Fasenmyer, David Hu and Grant Laster. These musicians’ schedules on the day of the audition required them to leave from Southwest at 5:30 a.m., spend a day competing against the state’s finest high school musicians and then arrive back home after a three-hour drive. The All-State hopefuls qualified and performed at the Northeast Kansas District Band concert, an accolade that required them to learn excerpts


from various college-level solo pieces and perform them in front of a panel of judges. They found out their audition results on Jan. 8. “All-State is really important to me because of the sense of accomplishment you get from it,” Murray said. “Being in District band was an amazing experience on its own, and just the act of auditioning for State is pretty cool. To know that you are one of the best in the state makes you feel as if everything has paid off.” Murray and Laster have been recognized as the best musicians in the state of Kansas and will perform on Feb. 23 at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita.

southwest by meg huwe & grant laster editor-in-chief

staff writer

Environmental Club members announce recycled art contest winner

The Environmental Club held a recycled art contest during the first semester. Six people signed up to participate in the contest, and the first place prize was a $60 gas gift card. “After we did our sculpture last spring we were really inspired,”

senior Lauren Tobin said. Tobin helped create the rules and deadlines, however she credits much of the work to environmental club sponsor and science teacher Deborah Sisk. “Mrs. Sisk was instrumental in pitching the idea to the adminis-

Senior Lauren Tobin hands senior Kayla Yi her prize for winning the sculpture contest. Photo submitted by Lauren Tobin.

tration and to helping advertise,” Tobin said. Senior Kayla Yi won the contest by her submitted piece of a swan made out of clear melted plastic material. She made it over the course of three to four days in between working on homework and studying. “It fit in your hand and the intricacy was phenomenal,” Sisk said. Yi frequently submits other art projects around the Johnson County area. Most recently, she decided to enter Shooting Stars. “I’m always doing art stuff,” Yi said. “A lot of them are recycled art projects anyway.” Yi submitted her Shooting Stars entry on Jan. 10 and will receive the results in a couple weeks. “It always feels good to win something and having your work recognized,” Yi said.

january 2013


Respecting the game


New rules passed to promote sportsmanship by mariem towakoli sports editor


Top: Timmy the Timberwolf leans closer to the crowd as they practice chants for basketball games. Right: The cheerleaders lead the school in the singing of the Alma Mater. Left: Athletic director Gary Howard blocks senior Madi Kupchin as they play basketball while students fill the bleachers. Bottom right: Freshman Abby Yi, along with the other cheerleaders, helps lead the school in chants. Photos by Anna Glennon.

any adults and children have seen it. Just turn on “SportsCenter” and it’s there. A professional football player scores a touchdown and begins a taunting dance celebration in the end zone. A baseball player is hit by a pitch and charges the mound. A basketball coach does not like a referee’s call and begins yelling in outrage, stirring up the crowd. In situations such as these, how can good sportsmanship exist? All the above actions would not be considered sufficient sportsmanship. Good sportsmanship, or the “golden rule” of sports, can best be described as playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgement of referees and officials and treating opponents with respect. District athletic director Richard Bechard held a Sportsmanship Summit to make sure sportsmanship is followed through all the Blue Valley schools on Nov. 1. Twelve students from each of the five Blue Valley schools were selected. These students helped create chants and new ways to promote sportsmanship at the games and make school events more enjoyable for everyone who attends. Athletics director Gary

Howard has helped with promoting sportsmanship and enacting the new rules. “We want events to be a positive experience here at Southwest and at the other Blue Valley schools,” Howard said. “We want to be the best league out there and treat other schools with respect and dignity so it’s enjoyed by everyone.” Howard encourages students to be enthusiastic, supportive, creative and to have fun at sporting events, but leave the cursing and bad comments away from the court. “Everyone has been great role models about the new rules,” Howard said. “The games are still very enjoyable and we want everyone to be in a fun environment without the negativity.” Senior Scott Anderson has enjoyed the impact the new rules have had on the games and the fans. “It’s made a more positive atmosphere for everyone involved,” Anderson said. “It makes everyone, including the staff, enjoy the games more.” With the rule changes, students have still been able to enjoy attending sporting events and cheering on their team. Freshman Cassidy Winsor has also appreciated the change and the spirit among the wolfpack crowd. “I think, as a result of the new rules, it makes us look like we have a lot of pride throughout the whole school,” Winsor said. “We seem very respectful and united and that Southwest is a great place to be.”

SOUTHWEST GAMEDAY Girls Basketball JAN. 18 vs. Bishop Miege @ HOME, 7 p.m.


Boys Swim&Dive JAN. 19

Timberwolves Invitational

@ HOME, 1 p.m.

Boys Basketball JAN. 22 vs. BVNW @ HOME, 7 p.m.

Wrestling JAN. 23 vs. Gardner-Edgerton @ HOME, 6 p.m.

Boys Basketball JAN. 25 vs. Bishop Miege @ HOME, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball FEB. 4 vs. BVH @ HOME, 7 p.m.

january 2013



Legislative bill shapes school sports

Title IX maintains gender balance in high school athletics


by mark maas opinion editor

undreds of student-athletes have the privilege and joy of playing sports, and hundreds more have the privilege of watching them succeed. What many members of the student body don’t know, however, is that half of athletic teams wouldn’t even be around if it weren’t for a legislative bill passed in 1972: Title IX. The bill, at its time of creation, stated that both male and female teams in publicly funded high schools and colleges must receive equal funding and equal opportunities. Additionally, this means that there must be an equal number of boys and girls sports teams. While this sounds like the legislature would be unanimously accepted by students, even today, some individuals think that the bill has some unfortunate implications. Senior Cord Trees is a girls volleyball manager. He enjoys managing for the team,


but says that a dedicated boys volleyball team would be more enjoyable. “I definitely wish there was a boys volleyball team,” Trees said. “I kind of feel it is unfair for us.” Unfortunately for Trees, however, Title IX and its regulations prevent a boys volleyball team from forming. Southwest already has an equal number of sporting groups for both genders; there are ten teams for each gender. As such, if funding was available to add new athletics, a girls team of some sort would have to be added in addition to boys volleyball. According to athletics director Gary Howard, there must be a certain amount of support and popularity for a new sport in order for it to receive funding from the district. He says that maintaining our current sports at a reasonable quality is a higher priority than implementing new sports. “I am in favor of new activities,” Howard said. “But, I want to be sure that we can fund the activities we do have already. The question is, do we have enough funding and enough students to make it worthwhile.”

Trees thinks that the support for boys volleyball would be there. “I think a lot of kids would try out,” he said. “But, there are only a select few I know that play volleyball competitively.” Regardless of whether the support is there or not, Howard said that the Blue Valley School District athletics are governed by the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), which does not sponsor boys volleyball. Howard would be happy to see male students start up a volleyball team, but it would not be official. “They can still make a club for [volleyball],” Howard said. “They would not have access to school equipment, so each athlete would be responsible for getting their own equipment.” As such, an official boys volleyball team has little hope for implementation without widespread KSHSAA reform. It’s worth noting that KSHSAA, according to its website, has an equal number of female and male sports that they sponsor. Thus, Title IX is likely, ultimately, responsible for the lack of a boys volleyball team, a boys bowling team or a girls wrestling team at Southwest. Title IX certainly granted girls access to sports back in 1972, but, according to some critics, the bill is no longer doing its job entirely properly. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, gaps between girls and boys athletics are still extremely prevalent. Female high school athletes received $183 million less in NCAA scholarships for college in the past five years than boys did. Both Howard and Trees agree that the

Title IX and Today -Female high school athletes receive 1.3 million fewer athletic participation opportunities than their male counterparts -Female athletes receive 63,000 fewer opportunities at NCAA Institutions -Female high school and college athletes receive less funding for equipment, uniforms and facilities Statistics courtesy of Women’s Sports Foundation. home/advocate/title-ix-and-issues/

bill needs some sort of revision for today. “Title IX was created to get exposure for womens sports, and was made to get more rights for women,” Howard said. “I think it needs improvement, but there also is a need for improvement for mens sports.” Trees thinks that the bill has done its job already, and that it hinders new team creation today. “I think [Title IX] should be revised,” Trees said. “Any sport that is out there, other than extreme sports, that is doable, should be in the school.” Regardless of the law’s former or current efficiency, the number of teams at Southwest will remain stagnant as long as the bill remains as it is. Students want fairness, but at the same time, some are unable to pursue their passions in sports as a result.

january 2013



In the spotlight:

freshman athletes in action

underclassmen sports

Top left: Under the mat light on Jan.9, freshman Jake Willson gets a firm hold on his opponent seconds before lifting him up and throwing him down on to the mat at a dual against the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies on Jan. 9. Photo by Anna Glennon. Top Right: With an opposing player behind him, Alex Henke searches for a teammate to pass the ball to during the freshman basketball game against the Blue Valley North Mustangs on Jan.7. Photo by Anna Glennon. Bottom left: Eyes forward with the ball in hand, freshman Shelbey Thomas searches for a route around her opponent during the freshman basketball game against the Blue Valley High Tigers on Jan. 10. Photo by Lauren Zahner.

january 2013




p s ke

a t t tric by meg huwe editor-in-chief

taken to avoid the injurious consequences — and the occurrence — of these events. Over the summer, crisis teams go to training where they talk through hypothetical scenarios and go through shooter training by bringing in police officers. Crisis teams are exposed to semi-realistic conditions and learn how to react. But simply training members of the Blue Valley District would not suffice without first knowing what to train for. Typically Carney and his staff will use past events and experiences around the nation to form the basis of their plan.

u a c re

istorically, the Blue Valley district has always taken precautionary measures to guarantee that students, staff and parents feel comfortable in its public schools. This applies not only to extreme situations, such as shootings or acts of violence, but also includes dealing with fires, chemical leaks, student injuries and more. Responsible for all of that is the district’s director of safety and security Dan Carney. Carney previously worked for the police department, and, through the department, he had already helped both the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission districts. To him, moving to his current position seemed like the logical next step. Carney’s responsibility – based on his job position – is to ensure that members of the school district feel safe. This entails making various preparations to ensure student and faculty safety. “First thing is to plan for the whole district,” Carney said. “What are all the things [that] could potentially bring harm to schools, events, etc? We plan for each one.” Planning takes place through the comprehensive crisis plan formed by a team from each school. The crisis team meets within its respective school and later extends its information to the rest of the district’s crisis teams at an afternoon meeting over the summer. One particular crisis that is addressed by these teams is school violence. There are many preventative methods

Emotional toll of school violence

u s ea

m y r

a n tio


students are a cry for help. [We] just need somebody to step in and help them out.” In the instance that a student hears a peer talk in this manner, he or she should pass that information along to a trusted adult. From there, the adult can handle the situation as they have been trained to. “The best prevention for school violence is to make sure that all students are connected in some way with the school,” Principal Scott Roberts said. “That, as a school community, we build positive relationships with all students. It is also important for students to communicate concerns or troubling information to staff members or use the district’s safe schools hotline at 913-239-HELP. ” The responsibility does not just fall upon the shoulders of one particular group, though. “[We] need everyone to participate in business of security in schools,” Carney said. “Every student, staff member, parent. Every community member should participate in keeping the school safe. Then we’re well ahead of it. [If ] we get ahead of the problem, then that’s when everybody wins.” However, in light of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the district members have been forced to reevaluate their approach to school violence because the shooter did not attend the school. “The incident in Connecticut is unique,” Carney said. “So that raises new concerns and new questions. We are currently reviewing safety protocol.” The district has not made any concrete decisions but has lots of ideas from parents, staff and the police. They’ve met with the police already and will continue cooperate with them until a plan is solidified. “[It shows] the importance of precautions,” Carney said. “[It’s] always good to have a plan. Don’t realize how great that is until something happens.” These precautions are perhaps the only way of mitigating the effects of a possible violent occurrence. “I’m hopeful and optimistic and confident we’ll never have to deal with something like Connecticut or Columbine,” Carney said. “Statistically, it’s improbable we’ll have to deal, but we’ll prepare as if it would happen eventually. We prepare as if it’s going to happen, and it keeps us on our toes. I’m hopeful it will never happen, but I’m ready to respond.”


southwest standard

It’s always good to have a plan. Don’t realize how great that is until something happens.” Director of Security and Safety Dan Carney

“It’s important to make sure school violence looks at the whole spectrum over the years,” Carney said. “[There are] certain trends. What have we learned? Most recent events can make us lose sight of all that other things have taught us.” A trend that those preparing for outbreaks of school violence have noticed is that most perpetrators of such acts make mention of their intentions at some point before taking action, whether it be via social media or mentioning it to a friend. These informational slip–ups should not be taken lightly because they can, in fact, prevent tragedies from occurring. “Most times, a person will rationalize it,” Carney said. “‘So–and–so talks like that.’ Or they fear retribution. [They] didn’t want to get him in trouble, so the information flow stopped. Sometimes these

by grant laster staff writer



of American students did not go to school out of concern for their safety


nonfatal victimizations of children at school occurred


of American students have brought a weapon to school


of American students have been threatened with a weapon on school property


Purpose: Practice drills which happen twice a year to prepare in case of an emergency situation. There are two different kinds. Lights out • Teachers continue teaching in classroom and lock doors. • In case of a medical emergency.

iolence is everywhere. It does not hide itself. Private residences, parks, streets, sidewalks, neighborhoods, cars and prisons are all settings where people fall victim to violence. However, for the longest time, there was always one place that seemed to be relatively immune from shootings, beatings, and vulgar acts, a veritable bastion of safety: schools. The recent trend has disproved this long-held popular belief, as schools have seen countless unfortunate events like Columbine, Virginia Tech and Newtown shootings grow more numerous and less sparse. According to the New York Times, since 1994, school shootings alone amount to 46 and have yielded 207 fatalities. Compared with the 31 school shootings in the 218 years before 1994, it seems obvious to junior Connor Davis that America is facing an outburst of attacks and shootings. “Every school shooting is awful,” Davis said.

“However, I think some anger is misplaced. Instead of sensationalizing the shooter’s actions, we should look for a solution. There are lots of options on how to respond; we could stop bullying, that way there are no messed-up adults. We should cut it off at the source.” Behind all of the bruises, blood, damage and distress, there are many emotional complexities associated with incidences of school violence. The most recent example, in Newtown, Conn., displayed feelings ranging from tense, angry, heartbroken, confused and accusatory. Although only a few of its examples are highlighted by the media magnifying glass, school violence is more common than one would think. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s yearly research conducted on violence in the school setting revealed that the 7.8 percent of students who experience this malice firsthand suffer at the hands of people who have had negative relationships within their home, school, community and self. School

Lock down • Doors are locked and students and staff hide. • Nobody is allowed in the halls. • In case an intruder enters the building.

psychologist Cathy Kerr thinks that, despite the complex array emotions a perpetrator of school violence experiences, the feelings of witnesses are just as strong. “Probably one of the biggest results of school violence is the disillusionment of innocence and the assumption of safety,” Kerr said. “Shootings, like the one in Connecticut, scare everyone, make it difficult to send kids to school and cause us to look for blame and reasons. In my opinion, the only blame can be placed directly on the shooter.” It also has occurred to Kerr that people tend to have widely varied reactions as a result of school violence. “One of the few things all Americans have in common is some type of schooling,” Kerr said. “That makes everyone an ‘expert’ on schools and education. We all start with the model of our own experience and make judgments from there. This affects school standards of discipline, curriculum, school schedules and expectations. Everyone has an opinion and suggestions. The thing we can all agree on is that gun violence has no place in the schools.”

Photo taken by Anna Glennon. Graphics by Morgan Vietti. Statistics courtesy of Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010 Survey.

school violence

january 2013


wintersports briefs

by caroline fronczak news editor

Swimming works together to achieve goals The boys swim and dive team is hoping to improve the number of qualifiers at the EKL tournament on Feb 1 and 2. With only a few practices left, the team reflects on the season. “This year has been a lot different than last,” sophomore Brandon Spitler said. “We have no senior on just the swim team this year, so the leadership position gets passed around a lot.” Despite the lack of seniors, the team has managed to qualify at least one person in every event for the State competition. “There’s a lot of pressure on us and our


coach this year,” Spitler said. “We all have expectations to meet at State this year. We may not get 4th like last year, but we sure will try.” The last chance to see the boys compete at home, before EKL, is at the BVSW Invitational on Saturday, Jan 19. The meet starts at 1 p.m. and the boys hope to finish the season on a strong note. “We need to come together as a team in these last few meets,” Spitler said. “We not only need respect and support from each other, but from the school as well.”

Girls basketball improves upon last year’s record The T-wolves have gone 4-2 as of Jan. 7 and are striving to have a more successful season than last year. “We’re really coming together as a team,” junior Lexie Logue said. “Everyone is selfless, which gives us an advantage on the floor.” Although last year the girls managed to go 4-15 throughout the whole season, this year has granted the girls with more senior

leadership and team unity. The next home game is against the Stags from Bishop Miege on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. The girls are hoping to redeem themselves after a loss last season. “One of our goals is to play our hardest every minute of every game and practice,” Logue said. “We strive to be our best and push each other to get there.”

Boys Basketball

Girls Basketball

Last year:


This year: (as of Jan 7)


Wrestling Last year:


This year: (as of Jan 7)

10th in 5A

Last year:


This year: (as of Jan 7)


Check out Boys Basketball online at

Sophomore Molly Hodges goes for a strike at practice. Photo by Morgan Vietti.

Bowling gathers prestige for second season With the second season already underway, the bowling team is looking to become more consistent and gather experience for the second year. “As a team I’d like to see us placing at all of our meets and winning a majority of them,” sophomore Madeline Fines said. “It would be really awesome if we had a State team.” Although bowling has a shorter season and a smaller team, the girls are thankful

to have returning seniors to strengthen the experience factor and push each other toward reaching the State team goal. “We work really well together and are always cheering each other on,” Fines said. “But it would also be really cool if we had people come and support us.” The next meet will be held on Jan. 25 at Mission Bowl.

Wrestling team aims for championships The wrestling season, compared to last years record of 12-5, has already improved, and the boys managed to win the JCCC Classic. “The team has trained very hard and is getting better every day,” sophomore Nathan Wood said. “We’ve improved a lot since last year.” With stronger senior leadership this


year, the boys are looking toward setting more records and hoping to finish with a strong State team. “Right now our focus is training for an EKL Championship,” Wood said. “We’d also like a Regional Championship and to bring home a trophy at State.” The next wrestling match will be away at Beloit High School on Jan. 18 and 19.

january 2013


S S O R C O T O M Graphics by Morg

an Vietti.


d Students practice an ountr y compete in cross-c motorcycle racing


by ananda bhatia features editor

unior Joe Galamba steadies himself atop his Grant said. “You don’t have to rely on anybody else. Honda CRF250 as it comes to life. He examines You’re either going to do good or bad individually, by yourself.” the competition: about 25 other riders, just as Both younger Grant and Zach hear people argue anxious and on edge, waiting for their gates to drop. that motocross isn’t a sport, partly because it isn’t The starter raises the sign. 30 seconds. dangerous. However, injuries aren’t uncommon. The The whir of motors echo the buzz of adrenaline United States Consumer Product Safety Commisand anticipation building up. He breathes steadily, sion showed that in 1999, off-road motorcycle use but with heightened senses and an alert awareness. caused approximately 47,400 injuries that required Everything is sharp and focused. emergency room treatment. His breathing accelerates as the starter moves to “It’s underrated,” younger the box. Finally, the gates Grant said. “I get told motodrop. The roar of excitement I get told motocross isn’t cross isn’t a sport all the time. It is no longer overwhelming. a sport all the time. It deserves more respect. I think He jets forward. “Right before a race, I deserves more respect.” people think because you’re on a vehicle it isn’t that hard, but the think about the track,” Joe -sophomore first time I got on a real track said. “But after the gate drops, my mind goes blank.” Grant Wernicke was probably the scariest thing Joe started riding when he in my life.” was nine, after buying a bike from his neighbors. His In motocross, there isn’t much time to anticipate first race was in 2008 at Midwest Extreme Park in what’s coming. On a triple jump, the rider can either Merwin, MO. Since then, he’s jumped as far as 100 jump all three at the same time, each individually, or feet and won several races, including two in the Texas any combination of two and one, but the decision is Winter Series. made on the spot. His 13-year-old brother Adrian followed in “It’s a very mental sport--you have to think out his footsteps: he started competing at seven and is a lot of things before you do them,” younger Grant already looking to make the top 10 at the Loretta said. “The fear to me is just not knowing what’s comLynn Amateur National Motocross Championships ing next.” this summer, one of the best races to get noticed at by White flag. Last lap. Joe’s on a narrow strip of rollers with two other professional league members. riders. Dirt shoots through the air, but Joe manages “You can’t just get on [a dirt bike] and be good,” to make out the rapidly approaching turn. He thrusts Adrian said. “You have to learn how to use all the his weight forward and kicks his leg out, leaning to brakes and the clutch and the form you need to ride the right, taking the inside line. Shouts erupt, but with. That’s how you get better.” there’s no time to look back at the collision behind Focused on practice, the Galambas built a mock him. track in his grandmother’s backyard that has expandThe final jump is in sight; it’s almost always a ed over the years, gaining more jumps and obstacles. jump, just adding to the ecstasy of victory. He glides The Galambas aren’t the only motocross famthrough the air and lands with a thud, but all pain ily: sophomore Grant Wernicke Jr. rides with his evaporates in the thrill of the moment. 13-year-old brother, Zach. Grant has ridden for five “[Riding] was really scary at first; then it was years, and he also has a practice course, which is set cool,” Joe said. “I gained more confidence and started up two miles from his dad’s house. His dad, Grant jumping higher. When I hit a jump [now], I feel like Wernicke, began riding at age 10. He helped his kids I’m flying. It’s the greatest feeling ever.” learn how to ride, fix their bikes and find sponsors. “Motocross is more of an individual sport,” elder

Above: Leaning hard as he rounds the corner, junior Joe Galamba kicks up dirt as he makes his way through the course. Photo submitted by Joe Galamba. Right: Grant Wernicke lines up at at the Gardner Fair Race alongside his teammate Alec Mercier. “I wasn’t thinking at all,” he said. “I was just waiting for that stupid flag to go up.” Photo submitted by Ellen Wernicke.


o Variations of the sp

Freestyle Motocross (FMX) Performing acrobatic Supercross (SX) stunts while jumping Racing off-road motocross bikes. Riders are scored on style, level of trick difficulty, best use of the course, and crowd reactions


motorcycles on an artificially-made dirt tracks consisting of steep jumps and obstacles

Arenacross (AX)

A variant of Supercross performed inside athletic arenas with more spectacular jumps closer to the audience

Bicycle Motocross (BMX) Racing bicycles Endurocross (EX)

A mix of supercross, trials, and enduro racing held indoors over obstacles resembling a trials track

(designed for dirt and motocross cycling) in motocross style on tracks which use an inline start and obstacles

january 2013



@bvswnews on instagram

students can now stay connected and share photos of Timberwolf activities and athletics


n Nov. 30, the Standard staff decided to take on a new form of media: Instagram. One of the reasons in doing so was to connect students to Timberwolf activities and athletics, in a more timely manner, and on a more regular basis, as well as to go above and beyond the once a month paper issue. Within the first few weeks, Timberwolf super fans began following the

jessica skaggs managing editor

“@bvswnews” account, and “liking” the photos taken at games and assemblies. Sophomore Madi Dombrowski is just one of the 78 Instagram followers of @bvswnews. “I like being able to see photos from the games,” she said. “I think it’s really cool that our school has an Instagram account, because it’s an easy way to see what’s going on.” The second reason the Standard staff decided

to create and Instagram account, was to allow the students and faculty an opportunity to share photos of Timberwolves in action. Students are encouraged to post fan photos from games and activities, and tag @bvswnews or use the “#bvswnews.” In doing so, photos submitted can then have the opportunity to be included in the following issue as a “Fan Photo Favorite.”

fun facts:

Data collected from multiple fourth hours

Graphics by Brianna Bodgan and Matt Forster.

fan photo favorite: Photo submitted by super fan senior Daniel Rappard

Don’t have a smartphone, but want to be connected?

privacy policy panic


ate December, Instagram users across the world were in an uproar over the policy changes made in regards to privacy rights. Some of the new wording within the policy created the perception that Instagram would have the ability and rights to sell photos without the knowledge of the photographer. While some users have ditched the app completely, others have stuck around, and will continue to keep it in their regular social media usage.

Junior Cassie Johnson is one student sticking with the app. “I’m not worried about Instagram stealing my photos, and it’s not going to stop me from using it to edit and share them,” she said. Co-founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom issued an updated terms of service based on the feedback received from users. In it, Systrom issued an apology to users, as well as a re-affirmed commitment to keep the service at its finest.

special sections

“It became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities: to communicate our intentions clearly,” he said. “I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right.” While the policies are in the process of being made, users can rest assured, their photos are safe. “I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos – you do,” Systrom said.

Follow @bvswnews on Twitter and submit your story ideas. Don’t have an Instagram?

This photo received 29 “likes” almost instantly after a varsity boys basketball team victory

Twit-Pic photos to @bvswnews for your chance to be the “fan photo favorite.”

january 2013



story and graphics by brianna bogdan staff writer


lthough the purpose of sleep and dreams remains undiscovered, there have been many

theories. “It recharges the brain and the body,” school psychologist Cathy Kerr said. “I think we have to remember that sleep deprivation is one of the things that they use to torture prisoners of war because it makes you feel pretty crazy. So if you go a long time without sleep you feel like you’re kind of going nuts. You’ll see things differently and maybe hear things.” It’s important that students get the most amount of sleep possible before school. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children ages 10-17 should be getting 8.5-9.25 hours of sleep and individuals older than seventeen should be getting somewhere in

between 7-9 hours of sleep. “I see students sometimes that look like they’ve got some sleep deprivation going on,” Kerr said. “And I say to them, ‘You’ve got to recharge your body and sleep. It’s good for you.’” Not only does sleeping keep you healthy, the activity also has the potential to solve real-life problems. Some dreams, if interpreted correctly, are said to offer great meaning or even artistic inspiration. Kerr warns against taking every single dream too seriously. She advises to look at them with a very broad point of view and to mainly focus on the ones that are connected to what’s going on in your life. “Sometimes dreams are just dreams, just your mind wandering,” freshman Tyler Howard

said. And sometimes they can be related to real-life events; advising the dreamer on how to better handle a situation next time, to revisit a pleasant experience, or even to help cope a traumatic one. “Apparently I thought about the shooting too much,” sophomore Marise Ibrahim said, “So, I had a dream about it; it was really scary.” Many of the things you do or see during the day can later be used as triggers for future dreams and nightmares. To read the rest of this article visit

What kind of dreamer are YOU?

1: How often do you remember your dreams?

A- Once a week or less. B- Several times a week, but only if they are important to me. C- Almost every single night.

2: What do your dreams look like? A- Very foggy or in black in white. B- Colorful and clear, I can see exactly what is going on. C- Whatever I want them to look like.

3: Do you have very strange dreams?

A- Not usually, most of the time the plot is pretty simple. B- All of the time, but I think they’re funny. C- Yes, when I have a strange dream it usually teaches me something.

4: How bad are your nightmares?

From the research of Psychologist Patricia Garfield, co-founder of the Association for the Study of Dreams

special sections

A- Not too bad, I can usually fall back to sleep. B- Very terrifying, and they almost seem real. C- My dream will change before it gets too scary.

If you scored mostly A’s then you are a light dreamer, more often than not you can’t remember your dreams and when you do the details are vague. Try keeping a dream journal to record what little you do remember each night and over time you’ll start seeing an improvement in your memory of them. If you scored mostly B’s then you are a vivid dreamer, your dreams are very clear and show bright colors. Your dreams may include people you know, places you’ve been, or activities you did that day. Next time you’re dreaming try to manipulate the dream’s scenario, this is especially helpful during nightmares. If you scored mostly C’s then you are a lucid dreamer, you create your own dreams and find great meaning in them. You probably already keep a dream journal or actively interpret your dreams. But try not to get too carried away by your dreamworld and remember that real life is important too.

january 2013



Graphic by Matt Forster.

Staffed:improving our sportsmanship


by anna welch

hree years ago, anyone could think to themselves, “hmm.. I only went to 3 football games this year.” Now, if anyone was asked the same question the answer would be much different. Only in the past year has our school really seen the crowds grow at all of our sporting events. Our only concern in the coming years is our crowds will not decrease. Sportsmanship is not just how a school treats the opposing team, but also how our own players and

special sections editor teams are treated in school, participate in games and the cheers we, as a school, have established. Sadly, it has taken two years for the student section to fill up, but our school is only going up from here. Tennis, golf, bowling and many other smaller sports need the cheering and excitement that a football game or a basketball game has. Our sportsmanship has grown more to our bigger sports but is lacking the student sections in smaller ones. This is what we need to work on in our upcoming years as a

student body. Through the guidance of upperclassman, we have seen tailgates before games, consistent cheers, and a majority of our students coming to games. We encourage that when the seniors graduate, our incoming upperclassmen step up. The junior class has big shoes to fill, but from our winning seasons this year, it won’t be hard to want to go to more than three football games or basketball games. Make our school known for supporting our teams whether they are big or small.

The Southwest Standard editor-in-chief meg huwe

features editor ananda bhatia

managing editor jessica skaggs

opinion editor mark maas

web editor royan black

sports editor mariem towakoli

news editor caroline fronczak

special sections editor anna welch

photo editor anna glennon


photographers matt forster kylie norcross morgan vietti staff writers brianna bogdan jordon fields grant laster adviser heather lawrenz

Why should students support less popular sports?

“ “


yes - 13 no - 0 your vote

Go online to It doesn’t matter how big a sport is. If to cast your they are students representing our school, vote for this then they need support from their peers.” month’s editoFreshman- Megan Price rial question. Read other student responses and comment on the editorial. Make Sportsmanship is important for every your voice sport because it shows support from heard at www. an entire school, not just the glorified sports on television. Every student or mention us needs their time to shine.” on twitter Perri LaTerza @bvswnews

The Southwest Standard is published ten times a year for students, faculty and surrounding community of Blue Valley Southwest. It is an open forum for student expression. Therefore, the opinions expressed within this paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrations of Blue Valley Unified School District #229. Letters to the editor and reader responses are encouraged for publication. The Southwest Standard reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content and encourages letters to be no more than 350 words. All letters must be signed and names will be published.


Letters should be submitted to room 118, emailed to or mailed to: The Southwest Standard c/o Blue Valley Southwest High School 17600 Quivira Overland Park, KS 66085

The Southwest Standard also encourages guest photography. Photos should be submitted to room 118 with information pertaining to the photos.

january 2013


political panel: gun control R standard

Lauren Tobin Democratic Stance

ecently, a new law was passed by the Kansas State Congress that allows residents to carry an unconcealed weapon without a license. You read that correctly: without a license. This means one can openly carry a gun to parks, grocery stores, even restaurants unless otherwise prohibited by the establishment. Some individuals like to believe this will increase security; however, this new law places far too much trust in complete strangers. We cannot rely on faith to prevent a fatal shooting, especially when new laws are increasing their likelihood. The formidable truth is that we are currently living in a nation in which the sale of a motorized

vehicle is more regulated than that of a deadly weapon. According to a physician in West Virginia, Alan Ruben, who has published several editorials on the topic, gun related incidents are the second leading cause of injury death in America. To translate that, during the first seven years of the Iraq war, 4,440 American soldiers were killed. Almost as many Americans are killed every month from gun-related violence. Guns can be used as a mechanism to end another human’s life — there is no way of denying that. Owning a firearm is a huge responsibility, and one does not need to tote it around like the latest fashion statement.

Instead, the state of Kansas should be making it more difficult to obtain a firearm. If an individual purchasing said weapon is truly a “law abiding citizen” and does not plan to use it out of malice, they should have no problem complying with stricter laws. I understand the argument is that once a person secures a weapon, what they do with it is up to them. And this is true; no amount of legislation can prevent their course of action. But let’s focus on the root of the problem: if we can’t stop them once they get it, why not make it harder for them to acquire it in the first place? Take the shooting at Fort Hood for example. In 2009, a man gunned down 13 men and women and wounded 29 others at the

military base. To this day, it remains the deadliest attack ever to occur on an American military base. Those that were killed were not simply civilians; they were members of our heavily-trained army, yet they could not stop the shooter. People should realize that just because you own a gun doesn’t mean you will now have cat-like reflexes and courage comparable to Jason Bourne. To conclude that increasing gun freedoms would positively benefit the world is naïve and irresponsible, especially when it concerns the lives of others. Simply put, adding guns to the equation does not equal a safer world.

just the facts:

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Join the conversation. Scan the QR code, then leave your comments below the story.

overland park gun legislation


Jessica Skaggs Republican Stance


ou’re in class. You’re waiting to get back that huge test you took last week, and see if you pulled out a 100 percent. Your teacher takes forever to hand it back, but finally does. You got a 99 percent. One question wrong. Now, do you blame yourself for that one missed problem, or the pencil? Obviously you take responsibility for your mistake, and don’t blame the tool you used to make that mistake. For some reason though, when looking at guns, this simple concept is reversed.

The reality is, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. And more specifically, the problem occurs when bad people kill people. Which is an important point to keep in mind. Some individuals are in favor of gun control simply because they believe that fewer guns would equate to fewer gun-related deaths. However, violence would only increase because, unfortunately crazy people exist. Therefore, if they really want to, then they will always find a way to inflict harm on others, whether it be by a car, a knife, or by a homemade bomb. So with this being the case,

how do we stop these people from obtaining objects that will harm others, and maintain a civilized society? You take it away. But where do you stop? And at what price? Gun ownership is not only a constitutional freedom, but also the most efficient way to keep society safe. Depriving decent citizens the right to protect themselves, is not only morally corrupt, but also more dangerous. The shooting at Fort Hood is a perfect example of this. Gun legislation restricted trained personnel from carrying a weapon to protect themselves from a crazed shooter. Only the two cops on staff that day

were permitted to carry a gun. The best way to keep society non-violent, is to own a weapon. Mahatma Gandhi, often regarded as one of the most peaceful men to walk the earth, went so far as to say, “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest ... if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity.” Guns are just a tool. A knife is a tool. A vehicle is a tool. There is no solution to keep these tools from being used in a violent or uncivilized manner, that would not handicap law-abiding citizens.

january 2013



four photos capture moments from the first half of Southwest’s third year

Top left: Blue Valley West senior Joey Lillis reaches for the basket with Southwest senior Anthony Miller and sophomore Nash Bostwick at his sides during the BVW vs. BVSW varsity basketball game on Dec. 7. The Timberwolves ended with a victorious final score of 66-55. Bottom left: Juliet, played by junior Lauren Henke, meets Romeo, played by sophomore Caleb Jenkins, for the first time during the theatre department’s performance of Romeo & Juliet. Bottom Right: Head football coach Bill Lowe argues on a call with one of the referees at the varsity game against the Blue Valley West Jaguars on Oct. 19.Top right: With his arms raised high, senior Matt McWhorter receives applause from the student section after defeating the teachers in a pie eating contest at the first all-school pep assembly of the 2012-2013 school year. Photo Essay by Anna Glennon. Graphics by Matt Forster.

best of 2012

january 2013

Southwest Standard Issue 6  

Learn how prepared our school is against violence and managing editor Jessica Skagg's opinion on guns.

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