THE STANDARD blue valley southwest | volume 11 | issue 3
A Shot Of Hope Everyone should get the COVID-19 vaccine so society can function again opinion | pages 11-13
2 | contents / the standard / feb. 2021
5 | Bringing the heat 14 | Coding community 24 | New precautions, new traditions
8 | Hooked on hunting 20 | Let’s taco bout it
11 | A shot of hope 16 | Looking past the stigma 18 | Drop the shop
Sports 22 | Winter sports update volume 11 / issue 3 bvswnews.com @bvswnews on Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat
18 Fashion Feature Flare Teacher 5 8 Hooked on hunting on the cover
A COVID-19 vaccine vial with COVID-19 molecules and mRNA floating in the background pages 11-13
photo illustration by Siri Chevuru Photo: Arne Müseler / arne-mueseler.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / https://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.de
14 Coding Community 22 Winter Sports Update 24 Quarantine Craze new Letâ€™s beginnings Taco Boutand It sad goodbyes
4 | editor’s note / the standard / feb. 2021
think this is one of the hardest parts of the year. It’s cold outside and in the dead of winter, there’s not much any of us can do to get out and enjoy ourselves. Add a pandemic to the mix, and the dreary February weather is just one more thing. Many of my peers have already written off the school year and put all of their hopes into next year. That’s one way to do it. I don’t think it’s the right way, though. We’re only in high school once, and, sure, this isn’t what any of us wanted, but that’s no excuse to just quit. As I was trying to pass the time during one of these cold February days, I came across one of my all-time favorite movies. For anyone who doesn’t know Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it’s the story of a high school student who takes the day off from school with his friends to enjoy one of his last days in high school before he graduates. It’s not the kind of movie you’ll find yourself analyzing in English class, but if there were ever a time to sit back and do some of our favorite things, it’s now. We’ve all seen just how quickly everything can slip away. It’s been almost a year since the first COVID cancellations began. Here we are, and not much has changed, but we do have the much-anticipated vaccine, which may be the light at the end of the tunnel. In this issue, you will read about the safety of that vaccine, while also reading about some students’ passions for hunting, and a review of some of our local Mexican restaurants. Just remember Southwest, as Ferris Bueller will tell you, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The Standard editor-in-chief keithan sharp online editor karley kent design editor siri chevuru social media manager sahar baha business manager rebecca suku staff writers ellie phillips erica peterson maleena baha adviser rachel chushuk
The Southwest Standard is published seven 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 administration 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. The Standard 17600 Quivira Road Overland Park, KS 66221 Website: bvswnews.com Email: email@example.com
news / the standard / feb. 2021 | 5
bringing the he t Fire station on school campus scheduled to be completed this fall
6 | news / the standard / feb. 2021
“There’s a number of reasons s of mid-December 2020, progress we chose this location, however, began on the construction site the most prominent being that the for the brand new fire station on response times for fires and other the school campus. Originally, this emergencies in the newly developed building was intended to be built on the cross country course, but has since areas of southern Overland Park were not adequate,” Slovodnik said. “They been relocated to the area in between approached the district and worked the school and its neighboring middle with us on some land in return with school, Aubry Bend. this fire science program.” Although the physical location of the station may have little impact on the school community, district executive “I would describe firefighters as for career ready programs functional career athletes. Katie Bonnema said this The qualifications we are building will bring interested students many opportunities looking for in a student right to learn about the science of now is a person who is fighting fires and explore a intelligent and excels when new career path. “We are partnering with working with a team, along the Overland Park Fire with just a general interest in Department to offer a fire emergency medical response or science program that will hopefully be available to fire fighting.” students all over the district | district executive for career by [fall] 2021,” Bonnema said. “The program would be very ready programs katiebonnema similar to our CAPS program in which eligible students would spend half of their school day News of this fire station reached at the training facility.” students during the 2019 fall semester District director of facilities and before the COVID pandemic delayed operations Jake Slovodnik said the construction. Junior cross country city has been searching for a large runner Drew Dombrosky said he plot of land to build a station for was originally worried the station some time now and logistically, would interfere with the team’s future the construction is projected to be practices. complete by the beginning of the fall “I’m pretty glad they decided to semester.
move the location of the station away from our course,” Dombrosky said. “It would’ve really had an impact on the season and I would hate to travel just for practice.” After making the transition into the hybrid learning mode, Dombrosky said many of his peers, including himself, were surprised to see the progress on the site after ending the first semester online. “I drove up on the first day back and as soon as I saw the giant pile of dirt I figured it was the fire station that was being built,” Dombrosky said. “I think the new program will be something that makes Southwest unique.” Slovodnik said an initial concern with the location of the project was how it may impact the schools, since it is so close. However, the construction team has managed to keep it confined. “I don’t think the actual construction will be affecting students at all,” Slovodnik said. “We have tried to be mindful that all deliveries for building materials have been processed to show up on the site at a time that doesn’t conflict with student drop off or pick up times.” Now that construction is successfully underway, several students, including junior Madi Turner, are curious about the new program and how they can get involved.
“My dad is a firefighter so I’ve always been exposed to the dangers and the rewards of working in public safety,” Turner said. “I think it’s so exciting that they are building a station so close and it would be an amazing opportunity for me to explore something like that.” Bonnema said although this program is still in development, the district has plans to work with Johnson County Community College so participating students are able to receive partial firefighter certification at the conclusion of the class. Along with the academic benefits, there are many reasons students should acclimate themselves with all the different aspects of fighting fires. “I would describe firefighters as functional career athletes,” Bonnema said. “The qualifications we are looking for in a student right now is a person who is intelligent and excels when working with a team, along with just a general interest in emergency medical response or fire fighting.” Throughout this series of classes, students would be taught not only how firefighters protect and rescue people from emergencies, but also how to provide emotional comfort in those times of distress. “Probably the thing that I am most looking forward to about the program is helping others and learning to give back to my community,” Turner said. Bonnema said certain personality
fire station location
traits are important to have when it comes to working in public safety. Students would be expected to have a strong sense of empathy in order to find success in the program. “Not only are there physical demands present when fighting a fire, students must also acknowledge the psychological impact that highrisk situations can bring to the job,” Bonnema said. “We discuss the mental health of our students quite often as a district, and it is important to note that a student would have to have that same awareness and ability to deal with others in the event of a crisis.” Regardless of whether or not a student may have direct interest in becoming a firefighter, this property will be providing new opportunities for the district to grow their unique
and experience-based career preparation programs. “In my mind, high school is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore potential career interests,” Bonnema said. “By doing this program we are not signing kids up for a lifetime of fighting fires, but rather letting them explore in a really hands-on, beneficial way.”
8 | feature / the standard / feb. 2021
let's taco Reviewing local to-go Mexican and Tex-Mex food options
~~~Mi Ranchito~~~ Overall, I was very pleased Customer Service with Mi Ranchito as a whole. Their customer service was very efficient, Prep Time but kind and patient to their customers. There was also an adequate preparation time of 20 minutes. I was also satisfied with their Price Range pricing. My total came to $13.08, which I consider a reasonable price. When I got home, I would say the Food temp food was warm and still fresh. I appreciated their chips and salsa greatly. The chips were fresh and Chips and Salsa the salsa had a wonderful taste to it.There is also a curbside option. It was a great experience.
5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5
Mi Ranchito’s Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
Jalepenos’ Street Tacos
Jalapenos’ street tacos Customer Service never disapoint. I happened to go on a weekend night so the staff was fairly rushed, however, they made sure to Prep Time get my order right. Since it was one of their more busy nights, their preparation time was 45 minutes. I appreciPrice Range ate their price range as my total was 12.95, which is an adequate price. When I got the food home, the food was Food Temp perfectly ready to be eaten and was a good temperature. However, their chips can be compared to taco shells with no good flavor. Chips and Salsa They do not have a curbside option. Overall, though, it was a pretty great experience.
bout it ~~~Jose Peppers~~~
Customer Service My experience with Jose Peppers was not up to their usual standards. I had called to place my Prep Time order and I waited on the phone for 10 minutes before I decided to place my order online. However, Price Range they turned it around with their 20 minute preparation time and their price range. My total was $10.99. The Food Temp temperature of the food was decent; it ended up being lukewarm when I got home. Their chips and salsa Chips and Salsa was very good and fresh. They also have a curbside option. It was not a terrible experience, but I have had better there.
2/5 5/5 5/5 3/5 5/5
Jose Peppersâ€™ Flauta Platter
Customer Service This was my first time trying Casa Amigos and I was thoroughly impressed. Their staff Prep Time was very attentive and friendly. Their preparation time was only 10 minutes and the food was fresh. It was a reasonable price Price Range range with my total being $10.99. The temperature of the food was hot and ready. Their chips and Food Temp salsa were fresh and tasty. Their salsa was almost sweet, which Chips and Salsa I enjoyed. There is no curbside option, but it was a great experience and I will be returning.
5/5 5/5 5/5
Casa Amigosâ€™ Chiptole Enchiladas
DIVERSITY CLUB DIVERSITY CLUB DIVERSITY CLUB Black History Month
Diversity Club is selling stickers! Show Off Your Culture: Activity
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Take a picture of you with something that represents your culture Submit by February 14th There are prizes!
Join our family GRADES MASKS
SOCIAL LIFE HYBRID ACT
SOCIAL DISTANCI TIRED
ISOLATION VIRTUALPANIC INABILITY ONLINE BURNOUT
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BURNOUT PROM STRESS VIRTUALMASKS SICK ANXIETY WORK VIRUS VIDEO SICKNESS
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Students and staff discuss the effects of COVID-19 on mental health Pages 11-13
the standard blue valley southwest | volume 11 | issue 1
21st Century Journalism Earn a technology or visual arts credit
opinion / the standard / feb. 2021 | 11
A shot of HO P E
12 | opinion / the standard / feb. 2021
Everyone should get COVID-19 vaccine so society can function again
s the vaccine for COVID-19 is distributed, many people are rejoicing in the triumph of science and a potential end to the global pandemic. However, even among the good news, many are skeptical about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Conspiracies and myths float around the Internet and a number of people are still unwilling to take the vaccine. This vaccine is the only way out of the Coronavirus pandemic. The economy can’t open without it; schools won’t open without it; fans can’t pack into stadiums without it. It is the responsibility of every American to get the vaccine as soon as they are able so that everyone can return to living normal, safe lives. Dr. Chris Jenson, Blue Valley school district's medical adviser, said he has full confidence in the safety of the vaccines and would urge everyone to receive it. “So far the vaccine has proven to be very safe, both in clinical trials and phase one, two and three, as well as the earliest information from the CDC,” Jenson said. “No vaccine will ever be flawless, but this vaccine is performing extremely well.” Senior Mira Hentschel said misinformation is driving the resistance to the vaccine, and education and informing one’s self is the first step to making an opinion. “I want people to remember the facts and to not just take information off TikTok and take information off Instagram or someone's Snapchat story," Hentschel said. "Although everybody is entitled to their opinion, I think it's important that if you're going to have an opinion, it should be researched and you shouldn't express false information.”
Jenson said as more people receive the vaccine, more data will become available about the safety of the vaccine beyond the trial participants. “Instead of just looking at the results and side effects of 30,000 people in the trial, now you're looking at 4.5 million, and our country is sharing our information with other countries and vice versa,” Jenson said. “We're tracking as we go to make sure the info we were told is, in fact, true.” Hentschel said she doesn’t think schools should open until cases decrease, which is unlikely to happen until the majority of the community is vaccinated. She also said she would stay away from large events and social gatherings until public health officials recognize it is safe to attend. “I'm going to have to be able to look at the data and see the cases go down, especially our area,” Hentschel said. “It would probably be until schools open back up that I wouldn't be going to anything big because if I can't go to school, why should I be going to a concert?” Sophomore Braden McNeill echoed Hentschel, saying he would be hesitant to be in large crowds until the vaccine roll-out is further along. “If you don't have a vaccine, you definitely should not attend [large events] because you might still have [COVID-19] or get it,” McNeill said. The district is coordinating with other school districts in the area in conjunction with the Johnson County Health Department to ensure all students and staff have access to the vaccine if they cannot receive it through a primary care provider. Even though schools are thinking about a return-to-school plan, Jenson said it may
take more time than many expect before classrooms are back to normal. “I believe we are marching down the path to being a lot more like normal, and I'm happy that this is happening a lot faster than some health experts thought it would,” Jenson said. “I do want to caution that I think it’s a while before we’re totally out of the woods and back to normal school as we perceive it.” One of the most important things to remember is that even after vaccines are distributed, masks and social distancing will still be mandatory under Governor Laura Kelly’s Executive Order No. 20-68. “We could have done a lot better in addressing [the pandemic] head-on earlier and initiating mandates and distancing and masks a lot earlier than what we did,” Hentschel said. “We’re still dealing with it after so long because we didn't do that.” McNeill said having a vaccine shouldn’t change how people act until the data reflects fewer positive cases. He said people should still be wary of public spaces, even after they are vaccinated. “I feel like we could do better, and restaurants need to be a little more online rather than sit-down without a mask and everyone in the same room,” McNeill said. No vaccine has been tested in children under the age of 16, causing some to be fearful of vaccinating children until further data is available. Jenson said the overwhelming demand for the vaccine caused pharmaceuticals to delay pediatric trials, but he anticipates positive results when they do occur. “I suspect the reason the vaccine companies did not trial it on kids is because it would have lengthened the time to get
approval, and the world at large needed this vaccine fast,” Jenson said. Skeptics of the vaccine have also pointed to the rapid speed at which the vaccines were developed as a reason to be suspicious, but Jenson said the speed is due to a global mobilization toward vaccine development. The entire world was in need of a vaccine, so the scientific community came together to dedicate money, time and resources to one project: the COVID-19 vaccine. “I believe that the vaccine has been appropriately developed, researched aggressively, treated with care and one thing I would share with folks who are suspicious about the vaccine is that I'm not so sure there's been a moment in the last 150 years that something in science hasn't been scrutinized or put under a microscope more closely than putting this vaccine together,” Jenson said. “So someone who wanted to do something nefarious, gosh would it be hard because this has been watched by the whole world. There are leaders, there are regulatory agencies, there are top scientists, and I would have to believe someone would speak out if something malicious was going on.” At the end of the day, how quickly the world reopens will depend on how quickly the vaccine can be distributed and how many people choose to be vaccinated. People should take the initiative to research the vaccine and ask questions, but the data so far shows one overarching theme: the vaccine is safe and effective. “I think it is important that if you can get the vaccine you should,” Hentschel said. “I think it will help [eliminate] the public fear a lot.”
The greatest abnormality about this vaccine has nothing to do with its contents or the time frame in which it was developed. It is that everyone, from the government to the pharmaceutical companies to the scientists, were able to collaborate and work on the same page. “We have done diligence, the scientific community, and we have not rushed the trials,” Jenson said. “And the things that normally lag are funding and approvalpaperwork. It was the paperwork that went lightning fast — the science went at a normal speed.”
By the numbers 3.8 million Americans fully vaccinated 11.1 severe allergic reactions per 1 million doses 8.9 doses administered per 100 Americans 5.8% of Kansans have been vaccinated the Pfizer vaccince is 95% effective one week after second dose the Moderna vaccince is 94% effective two weeks after second dose *information according to the CDC and Kansas DHE as of 1/31
14 | news / the standard / feb. 2021
coding community Computer science club & honor society added to school’s extracurricular offerings
ithin the first month of school, senior Kristina Wu decided to start a new Computer Science club. She said she was inspired by the Girls Who Code club at Aubry Bend Middle School and wanted to bring a similar activity to the high school. “I was interested in just making a mentorship program with the middle school girls — the Girls Who Code club — [so] we decided to make one that was more focused on high school and then working with [middle school students] through [the club],” Wu said. The idea of gearing a Computer Science club toward mentoring is something Wu said was an original concept. “Other schools do have the Computer Science honor society, [but] the Computer Science club, I don’t know if other schools have it. That was kind of an original idea between Ms. [Haley] Slade and I,” Wu said. In addition to the club, Slade, who also teaches business and computers, decided the Computer Science Honor Society would be beneficial to incorporate into the school. However, the lengthy process posed lots of doubts. “There’s a lot of stuff that you have to do behind the scenes, especially for an honor society,” Slade said. “You have to get approved with the organization nationally. And we didn’t know whether or not our district was allowing new clubs or not for a while. So we kind of had to wait for them to approve that. Once it all got approved, I was really excited.” Wu said the honor society is an incentive to explore the field.
“The Computer Science Honor Society works on projects with elementary and middle schoolers, and Computer Science Honor Society is our way of reaching out to all students in the school who are interested, but maybe not committed enough to take a class.” Junior Ethan Houseworth said he first heard about this club through Slade, who is his honors Java programming teacher. He said the opportunities presented in the club and honors society excite him. Not only can he learn more about programs and Computer Science, but the club presents ways he can express his knowledge. “I’m excited for what we’re going to do in the community,” Houseworth said. “I think we have some good things coming up.” Wu plans to go big for this club. She said she plans on writing a proposal to KSHSAA requesting for them to add a district and state coding competition. However, the proposal to KSHSAA is only the tip of what she plans to bring to the club. “I definitely want some opportunities like seminars with women in the workforce, or just people in the workforce in general,” Wu said. “Perhaps job shadowing or internships, I don’t know if that’s possible, but I know CAPS students are open to internships at local schools. So if that can be extended to the high school club, that’d be amazing. But also just opportunities for people to compete within the school for Computer Science.” Although activities are restricted due to the pandemic, Slade said she is optimistic about the future of the club.
“It’s kind of hard with COVID right now, but we definitely want the kids to be getting more involved — more competitions, more impact on the school — we definitely would like to grow it,” Slade said. “Hopefully, when things kind of get back to normal, we can do a member drive and get more people interested in coding and Computer Science.” Slade said the club is something anyone can do and acts as an outlet for students to develop their knowledge and intrigue their curiosity. “The CS club is an opportunity for students to explore everything that Computer Science is. It’s anything from people who have experience and people who don’t, they can explore different programming languages and go to competitions,” Slade said. “And really, it just creates an atmosphere of people that have similar interests.” Wu emphasized the club being a way to introduce oneself and explore the world of Computer Science. “I think that people should join this club, because it’s always good to try new things. And personally, for me, I never really knew I had an interest in Computer Science until I started taking the class. And I thought it was really fun,” Wu said. “If any kids like problem solving, I definitely recommend it. It’s challenging, but it’s a lot of fun. And it’s really fulfilling when you’re able to solve the codes. And you see your program running.” Houseworth said he hopes the club will expand his expertise in the field. “I hope to grow my knowledge of programming and different programming
languages and become more fluent in them and just broaden my knowledge on Computer Science,” Houseworth said. Many stereotypes surround Computer Science and one of them Wu addressed was how people perceive it to be boring and easy. But Wu said there’s a lot more excitement to it. “I think when people think of coding, they think of it just like the black screen with a bunch of letters,” Wu said. “People just typing away really fast. But it takes a lot more thought. And it’s really good for people who definitely want that problem solving challenge.” Another more prominent stereotype is formed around the underrepresentation of women in STEM. Wu said she intends to use her position as the president and founder to encourage her fellow peers to begin their journey through the maledominated field. “I don’t know about other classes, but there are only two girls including myself,” Wu said. “And I wanted to make the club as a way to incentivize other girls, especially through seeing leadership positions filled by girls. I thought that it’d be a good idea for encouraging them to see that we can succeed within a male-dominated field.” Slade hopes to use her position as a female teacher and her knowledge of
coding beyond the high school bubble to encourage more girls to join her classes and eventually the field. “There’s a really small percent of girls that are in coding classes and stuff. But, when you go out in the real world, there are a lot of women that are in Computer Science and coding,” Slade said. “And I feel like women in general are underrepresented in Computer Science, professional level and the high school level. So I really would like to get more girls involved.” Slade said Computer Science, although only commonly associated with its field, is useful in many ways. “I think that Computer Science is something that anyone can use. I think whether you want to go into business, or you want to go into something medical, I think it looks good,” Slade said. “Coding is used in all realms, music, sports, art. So I think it’s really important that people have at least a little bit of knowledge of it that way. They can go into the world knowing like, ‘Hey, I have this and I can use it in the future.’” |sirichevuru
Computer Science Club members pose for a photo during a meeting Photo courtesy of sponsor Haley Slade
16 | opinion / the standard / feb. 2021
LOOKING PAST THE Societal stigmas build frowned upon stereotypes regarding mental illness
ith half of all mental illnesses being diagnosed by the time adolescents enter high school according to Mental Health First Aid, it is commonly acknowledged that negative attitudes prompted by stigmas will only have a negative impact. The stigmatization surrounding mental health holds an infamous reputation and with the stereotypes the stigmas create, reaching out for help is discouraged. Despite all the notions present to combat this issue, these social stigmas are emboldened by the negative normalization of not accepting those who present mental illness. School psychologist Emily Demo defined mental health as the cognitive, behavioral and emotional well being of a person. Demo said she has noticed the impact of societal stigmas and said that it stems from the unwillingness to understand. “[Stigmatization is caused by] the lack of understanding or lack of being interested in understanding more or learning more,” Demo said. “I think that that’s harmful and makes it hard to reach out.” With mental help being such a frowned upon topic because of the negative attitude we see present surrounding it, help seems out of reach. “Maybe it’s not something to talk about, or think about,” Demo said. “Which makes it harder for people to get access to
care if they need it … and support if they need it.” This fixed mindset claiming mental health as a flaw causes the red flags and symptoms to go unnoticed. Junior Jack Newlin said he notices how things are overlooked and how leaving mental illnesses untreated can have harmful implications. “Some people think it’s not as important,” Newlin said. “Some parents will just think it’s just teenagers being moody or going through puberty and stuff like that, when in reality, there could actually be something wrong.” Similarly, senior Caroline Hoggatt said mental health has yet to be normalized by society and people are still caught up in thinking that mental illness is an evitable defect. “I think that people are honestly just scared,” Hoggatt said. “Especially with a child, [parents will] probably feel like they messed up somehow and then they feel guilty.” The entirety of this societal stigma is based upon misconceptions and the inability to reform and support a situation that is difficult to understand. Demo said a lack of education increases that stigma gradually and brings about negative energy. “It makes it much more difficult for people who actually have [mental illnesses] to be found,” Newlin said. “It is hard for
kids to go to the parents or their counselors, their teachers or the adults in their life and say, ‘Hey, I’m having these feelings. I’m having these symptoms, and I don’t know what it is. Can I have some help?’” Social stigmas are oftentimes disguised by unjustified judgment — labeling an individual as a condition or feelings of embarrassment and shame. These stereotypes and notions are extremely harmful in following the path to recovery and can prompt an internalized shame known as self stigma. “I think that there’s definitely this sort of shame,” Newlin said. “Like I shouldn’t talk about my mental health because that’s inappropriate.” In an effort to combat the stigma and break the barriers of society, normalizing mental health while still acknowledging its severity is the best approach. Hoggatt said in hopes of normalizing, she likes to stay positive and be supportive. “You just have to be positive, so people will feel less alone,” Hoggatt said. “They will feel like they have other people to talk to, and it’ll be easier to not feel judged and get help.” With mental health slowly being more widely recognized, reaching out for help has been more accessible. Regardless, finding the strength to speak out is the first step in recovery. “[Mental health is] becoming a much more serious topic now,” Newlin said. “A lot of the times it requires the victim of the illness to be brave enough to speak up or for other people to notice and take action.” Hoggatt also said being able to differentiate the romanticization and normalization of mental health is important. “I think that normalizing it would be just making people feel not alone,” Hoggatt said. “While romanticizing it is kind of,
like ‘13 Reasons Why,’ where they are making it a mystery or a game.” Newlin said he suggests being confrontational and open about mental health to combat stigmas claiming that it isn’t real. “Mental illness — just like any other illness like the cold, the flu, the Coronavirus — it’s a problem that can be treated and can be fixed, and likes lots of diseases, it doesn’t fully go away, it can still linger and come back a lot harder,” Newlin said. “But it can be treated, it can be worked on. There’s medications, and there’s specialized doctors for that sort of thing. I just think a lot more people need to understand that mental health isn’t just like someone’s basic emotions, and that it’s more complicated than that.” To eradicate the impact of social stigma and recover from the harm of stereotyping, we need to have conversations and encourage openness to the topic of mental health. This will prompt healthier mental habits. “Breaking down that stigma is so important,” Demo said. “[We need to] increase the knowledge, increase the conversation and just the awareness of mental health and mental illness and how we can support and treat that.” Mental illness is very real and with advancing technologies, treatments can do a lot more now than they could before. Finding people to reach out to in confidence and seeking help is vital to making a full recovery and with accessible resources like school counselors and psychologists as well as virtual programs. This overarching societal stigma might not ever be fully eliminated, but with social reform and the spread of awareness, one can hope that it will get easier in time.
18 | the standard / opinion / feb. 2021
Drop the Shop Fast fashion is harmful because of its major violation of human rights and severe environmental impacts
ast fashion is a large-scale practice that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is a strategy many retail giants have implemented to constantly cycle through the latest trends. Numerous clothing brands, such as Zara, Forever 21, H&M and Urban Outfitters, have flourished in sales because they can replicate chic, luxury pieces by overlooking environmental consequences and outsourcing cheap labor from other countries, according to Vox.com. Senior Hannah Young said fast fashion culture manipulates people into frequently restocking their wardrobes due to accessibility, affordability and the desire to stay up-to-date on their fashion choices. “In the mall, you find clothes in fast fashion stores that are adorable, but then a month later, they’re not trendy anymore so you throw them away,” Young said. “This is an everlasting cycle and it is so wasteful.” The rapid growth of fast fashion can be primarily attributed to social media. Social media has expanded brands’ marketing outreach and strengthened their projected image, allowing millions of people to quickly skim through collections and make purchases in a couple of clicks. Countless advertisements for online stores appear every couple of seconds when using a social media app, enticing viewers to make a quick detour. The impacts of the fast fashion industry on the environment are especially harmful. According to the UN
Environment Programme, 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions are produced by the fashion industry. Large amounts of energy are consumed due to textile production and the transportation of goods. The process of dyeing and creating fabrics also consumes trillions of liters of freshwater and contributes to waste pollution. Biology teacher Deborah Cash is the sponsor of the Environmental Club and said the limited use of sustainable alternatives and relaxed federal enforcement of environmental regulations allow for fast fashion to thrive. “There are more pieces of clothing in the trash than you can ever imagine and they don’t break down in landfills,” Cash said. “Things that are biodegradable or recycled can be used again instead of completely starting from scratch, but that would make the cost go up and that is the hitch for everybody.“ The unethical nature of the fast fashion industry is evident by analyzing its foundation alone: the exploitation of foreign workers. According to Forbes.com, the laborers are forced to work long hours in grueling conditions and an overwhelming number of them are children. Freshman Sunshine Pickering said the workers are facing injustice as they are barely able to survive off of their wages and are forced to sacrifice their time and health to meet demands.
“The clothes and accessories are being made at the disadvantage of other people,” Pickering said. “Children in third world countries are put into labor and are only being paid a few cents.” Senior Chase Entwistle is a member of the Environmental Club and said significant reform will only occur with national guidelines and policies put into place, limiting the scale of outsourcing. “I think American policies should dictate that we have to pay all workers minimum wage and not base it off of which country they are from,” Entwistle said. However, individual action should also be taken to battle the repercussions of fast fashion and there are many ways to be more sustainable with clothing choices. Although powerful businesses and industries are almost entirely to blame, patronizing ethical fashion brands or small businesses to shop from is definitely a step in the right direction. Thrifting has become extremely popular recently and it is not only an affordable alternative, but an easy way to reuse clothes and reduce your waste output. “The most important thing you can do is shop consciously, so don’t buy into getting stuff for so cheap and buying a whole new wardrobe every six months,” Young said. “Think about what is going to last for a long time and something you can style in a bunch of different ways.”
20 | feature / the standard / feb. 2021
hunting students share their passion for hunting
aking up at the crack of dawn in order to make it to the “I started hunting because my dad and my older siblings blind by sunrise. Carrying heavy equipment up a ladder. were hunting so they got me into it,” Clark said. Sitting in the freezing cold anxiously awaiting a glimpse Being introduced to hunting by family is a common theme of an opportunity to shoot. Nervously taking a breath before with teenage hunters. Hunting traditions and teachings can be taking the shot. Trudging through the forest attempting to passed down from generation to generation. While for most find the animal after the shot has been made. While this does hunters, the pros outweigh the cons, there are some difficulties not sound appealing to many, the rush of the experience is to the sport that drive some away. something that has drawn students toward hunting. Senior “The fun part is when you get something and go to track Katelyn Kreimendahl said she began hunting in 2020 and her the blood and try to find the animal,” Cook said. “Being able to love for it has only grown. find the animal is fun, because you get to see how big it is and “My favorite thing is just sitting there; it’s kind of relaxing,” what you scored. The not so fun part is waiting for an animal Kreimendahl said. “You get to watch the view, the scenery. It’s to come out because sometimes you’ll sit out there for hours kind of cool. Especially bird hunting. You just get to watch. and leave with nothing.” Then with raccoon hunting, you get to see the stars at night.” Hunting tends to be a mixture of relaxation and excitement. While hunting can be a way to see beautiful scenery and Kreimendahl said she dislikes the walking aspect of hunting. connect with nature, it can also be a thrill-seeking experience. On the other hand, something that keeps Kreimendahl hooked Kreimendahl said both of these emotions come along with is the calmness of the night. hunting. “With raccoon hunting, I really like watching the stars,” “I mean, it’s all relaxing until you actually shoot something Kreimendahl said. “It’s so peaceful and quiet at night.” and then the adrenaline gets going,” In a world of diverse and contrary Kreimendahl said. “Especially with me, opinions, there are always people that will my first time hunting was this year, so it have negative things to say about people’s “With raccoon was new to me and the adrenaline would interests or hobbies. Some people disagree hunting, I really like with the concept of hunting. However, start going when I hit something because [I thought,] ‘how did I do that?’” believes that is vital to keep watching the stars; Kreimendahl As a beginner, each kill is exciting for balance in the ecosystem. Kreimendahl. The shot that was most “To me, it’s kind of just that raccoons it’s so peaceful and prideful for her was two ducks. She said and opossums are pests,” Kreimendahl said. quiet at night.” it was a defining moment because it was “They get into stuff. Deer are overpopulated unexpected and made her overwhelmingly and they carry diseases. So, it’s better to get happy. the diseased ones out; you can’t eat those. | seniorkatelyn seniorkatelynkreimendahl kreimendahl “I was duck hunting and it was probably It is better to keep them controlled to where the last hour we were there,” Kreimendahl it’s not overgrown.” said. “We were like, ‘we’re not going to Clark agreed with Kreimendahl’s opinion see anything. We’re not going to see anything.’ And all of a and said preventing overpopulation is a key reason for sudden, we saw some ducks so we started calling in and three hunting. He said the animal does not go to waste; it is used for came flying in and circled around us, and then we went up to meat and fur. Another positive thing about hunting is knowing shoot and we got two out of the three, which is better than how to obtain your own food. Kreimendahl said hunting is a none. But, I hit both of them, surprisingly, for my first time, good skill in order to be self-sufficient in case of an emergency. so that made me super proud. And I was so happy that I was Each hunter has a preferred weapon of choice. For Cook, this shaking.” is a Savage Model 99 M .308. Junior Kendyl Cook said she also experiences a feeling of “I either use a 12-gauge shotgun or a 65 Creedmoor rifle, adrenaline and excitement when hunting. The risk / reward depending on what game I’m hunting,” said Clark. nature of it provides an uneasy, yet admirable feeling for some No matter the gun being used, each hunter has their hunters. Cook said she has been hunting since she was young own approaches, strengths and weaknesses. Living in the on land in LaCygne, Kansas. Hunting is used as a bonding time Midwest, in a relatively spaced-out area, provides students for her and her family members. with opportunities that others may not be privileged to have. “My most recent kill was a 12-pointer buck,” Cook said. Among these three students, a common theme is the joy “And it was only about a month ago.” surrounding the sport and fond memories. The ‘pointing system’ for bucks is related to the size of “My favorite thing would probably be the feeling when it the antlers. Sophomore Will Clark hunts multiple types of happens all so quick,” Cook said. “It’s exciting. Especially since animals including deer, pheasant and bobcats. Clark said he you don’t know if you’re going to get one every time; it’s like has been hunting for seven or eight years. a hit or miss.” | elliephillips
22 | sports / the standard / feb. 2021
Winter Sports UPDATE Girls Bowling
Standings: Bishop Miege BVN BVW BV St. James BVNW BVSW Aquinas
Overall 8-0 9-1 4-4 6-5 4-6 8-0 6-5 4-8
District 1-0 1-0 1-1 1-2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0
Next Meet: Feb. 12 against BVNW and Aquinas @ Olathe Lanes East
Standings: Bishop Miege BVN BVW BVSW BV Aquinas BVNW St. James
Overall District 11-1 1-0 4-2 1-0 2-3 1-1 2-6 0-1 2-2 0-1 6-1 0-0 6-2 0-0 4-5 0-0
Boys Swim and Dive
Pulling the ball back, junior Grace Kemmer participates in bowling practice on Jan. 28. Photo by Marissa Cart.
Next meet: Feb. 5, EKL Championship
Sophomore Jared Barber glides through his lane for the boys swim team during tryouts on Nov. 16. *All statistics as of 1/31
1. Goddard 2. Mill Valley 3. Maize 4. Ark City 5. Aquinas 6. BVSW 7. Andover 8. Shawnee Heights 9. Bonner Springs 10. Newton
Looking across the court, sophomore Nyla Hale looks Senior Mack Hubbel wrestles against Washburn Rural. for an open teammate on Jan. 20. Photo by Marissa Photo by Siri Chevuru Cart
Bringing the ball across center court, junior Cooper Schweiger plays against Blue Valley West on Dec. 22. Photo by Sydney Meschwitz.
24 | news / the standard / feb. 2021
New precautions, new traditions Students received cowbells from the Fathers Club and PTO, as well as performances from the Emerald Regiment and the Glitter Girls on Howler Friday, Jan. 29.
Playing the tuba, senior Marshall Edwards performs the fight song for students as school dismisses.
Members of the Glitter Girls stand around the circle drive to celebrate Howler Friday.
Junior Jillian Ketner plays the flute through her mask, a new precaution taken for band students this year.
Students were given cowbells from the Fathers Club and PTO as they walked out of the school.
The drum line plays for students in front of the school.