The Tiger Print — October 2022

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| DESIGN BY AYESHA KHAN DIGITAL DIGITAL As schoolwork becomes more digital, students and teachers discuss benefits, downsides of blended learning. Read on to pages 16-19. World THE TIGER PRINT blue valley high school | vol. 54 | issue 2 | october 2022 | | overland park, kansas Learning in the |PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AVA MCGUIRE |DESIGN BY AYESHA KHAN

Meet the most recently hired teachers at BV

students discuss experiences in the United States

the snapshots

life at Blue Valley.

Students share, submit photos from new social media app

Regan Byrnes

Staff writer Ashling Bahadursingh criticizes book-banning






“The Tiger Print” is an official publication of Blue Valley High School, an open forum distributed to all students six times a year. This publication may contain controversial material. Kansas law prohibits the suppression of a student publication solely because it may contain controversial matter. Blue Valley Unified School District No. 229 and its board members, officers and employees may disclaim any responsibility for the content of this publication; it is not an expression of school policy. Student authors and editors are solely responsible for the content of this publication.


to the editor are

to edit all








Tiger Print” reserves the

both language

should be submitted to

518, emailed to

mailed to:

Tiger Print

Valley High School

W. 159th St.


OPINION Forbidden Book Marks Contents NEWS 8 New Tigers FEATURE 12 Across the Pond ENTERTAINMENT Keeping it Real25 30 editors-in-chief Ayesha Khan Charley Thomas web editors
Brynn Friesen publication editors Isaac
Ava McGuire Rhylan Stern staff members Ashling Bahadursingh Jackie
adviser Michelle
publication. “The
submissions for
Room or
KS 66085
FEATURE A Frozen Glimpse into the Future A&E I’m Worrying, Darling @bvtigernews THE TIGER PRINT WEB @bvtigernews BeReal. You’re Banned.

lue iews alleynd




The new school year brings a significant change with it: Class colors will now fit the color scheme. Student body president senior Amber Briere has been a part of this change.


“One thing I’ve heard is that we changed them because Dr. Golden wanted to have more school spirit within our school,” Briere said.

Along with the adjustment, spirit weeks will no longer have class color day to avoid similarity to the black and gold theme on Fridays.


As safety measures increase, BV will implement a new badge during second semester that will have a button to alert the SROs of a classroom issue.

“If it’s an emergency where law enforcement has to get involved, press it nonstop and we’ll get an alert that it’s a huge emergency,” SRO Nate Schmidt said.

This also makes the SROs’ jobs easier.

“It’ll be used for minor and major things,” SRO Trevor Burgess said. “If we’re needed for a medical issue, they can hit it and we’ll know exactly where we need to go.”


Junior Noor Haideri is in the top 15 of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a science event in which she sent in a video describing an idea in the scientific field.

If she wins, which will be found on their website, she will receive scholarship money and the school will receive an expensive lab. Haideri, though, is more in it for the enjoyment.

“I love science. It’s been one of my passions,” Haideri said. “It’s a fun thing to do over the summer when you’re bored — just research something and make a video.”

24 TIGERS 26

Prices are going Up! Up!

Tigers Inc. has not been fortunate enough to avoid the rise of global inflation, senior Julia Walsh, the coffee manager, faced many obstacles reformatting prices in apparel and the coffee shop.

“It greatly affected the coffee shop — we’ve raised almost all of our prices. Last year, we were selling iced coffee at a whopping $2, and now we’ve bumped it up $1 to $3 because things like creamer have almost doubled in price and we buy the bigger creamer sizes [now],” Walsh said. “In order to cope with that, we had to raise our iced coffee prices because we noticed that although we are still generating revenue, [new prices] can really add up.”

Walsh has found the best way to combat this problem is to constantly catalog products and how customers react to these new prices.

“We’re also a lot more strict on keeping inventory and keeping track of what is being sold — how much we’re paying for it, how much money we’re making on each transaction, factoring in the credit card fees, staying organized and talking with our financial team about making sure we are still making enough profit and revenue to keep the store open and running,” Walsh said. “My solution is keeping track of everything and not letting a cent go by unnoticed.”

Outside of school, Walsh takes the time to observe public prices and how those may reflect on Tigers Inc.

“When I’m grocery shopping, I realize a lot of prices have been going up,” Walsh said. “Even Starbucks has gone up, so it’s definitely taught me to be paying attention to these factors and what I can do to change my order to save a little bit of money.”

Along with Walsh, business teacher and facilitator of Tigers Inc. Kathy Peres said global inflation has affected their business.

“We started looking at our prices over the summer,” Peres said. “Due to the inflation we’re

experiencing in every walk of life right now, the cost of our inputs for everything from creamer to cups to lids, anything that goes into making a cup of coffee has risen including the price of beans.”

Compared to other schools, Peres states that she does not collaborate with other school coffee shops or businesses because of their vastly different clientele.

“Every school’s coffee shop works individually — their students make the decisions,” Peres said. “Also, school by school, we operate a little differently because we are customer-based and our clients are a little different. We don’t sit down and say, what are you charging? We’re not apples to apples, per se.”

Though Tigers Inc. has encountered and tackled some major obstacles in the past year, it has given the students more experience through economics and marketing. As well, Peres is eager to see how well the coffee shop and apparel business will do this year.

“[The] coffee shop here has never been something we’re trying to make a ton of mon ey on,” Peres said. “I love it as a service for the kids [and] love having it available for the students. From day one, we were very careful to try to keep prices very reasonable.”

regan byrnes |web editor
Up! Inflation seriously impacts Tigers Inc. business Coffee Club22-23 B V Coffee prices have risen 7.6% since last year to make the average cup $4.90 now. -Business Insider Apparel prices have risen 5.2% since last year. -CNBC Overall, inflation of all products has increased 8.3% since last year. -Bureau of Labor Statistics 4 news october 2022 design by regan byrnes

Being Purposeful.

BV implements new rules

jackie chang |staff writer

Starting the school year strong, Blue Valley is keeping its Tigers in check with new rules.

Principal Charles Golden wants these changes to make this

a purposeful year — be where you are supposed to be, use time wisely and keep the school safe by following through with the rules.

Here are two of the primary rule changes.

Academic Support Passes No Holding Doors

The added supervision of hall passes keep track of the number of people in the hallways and controls the “wanderers” in the building

Last year there was an unwanted amount of students roaming around during AST and being in places they shouldn’t. AST is a set time of getting work done, and teachers wanted to allow students who need the time of AST to be able to focus in a quiet room.

In order to visit another class during AST, students have to have a pass previously given from the teacher they are visiting.

“One of the things we’ve got to safeguard is the people who need to be getting help [and] doing some work have got an environment in which they can do that,” Golden said. “[The passes do] limit freedom a little bit, and I don’t like that, but I do like the reason why we’re doing it.”

With the new rules in place, improvements are being seen.

“Fewer students than before will leave a class and just wan der around for 20 minutes, and that’s not good for learning,” Golden said. “More teachers [also] feel that when they need to help students learn, they have an environment in which they can do that.”

“Even if it’s cold and rainy and they’re saying, ‘Please let me in’ — you shouldn’t let them in,” Golden said. “I would feel guilty about that too, but they need to go to one of the approved entrances where they can ‘badge’ in their ID cards. Our purpose is to keep everybody safe.”

Although students may recognize the locked-out stu dent from their ELA class or from the hallways, do not to let them in for safety reasons. If someone opens the door to the outsider, conversations and consequences will follow.

“We’ve already had that conversation with actually more than one student, and every time we find somebody doing that we are going to stop them and have those conversations,” Golden said. “If they do it again, we are going to give them fines and school consequences because everybody’s safety is important.”

There are differences in rules this year, and Golden hopes students will respond positively.

“I hope students who need to use [AST to] get things done feel like it’s quiet enough that [they can],” he said. “I think that’s important.”

news october 20225 design by jackie chang


Teachers join BV family

Brad Page

Years as administrator: 5

Years as teacher: 9.5 in special ed Excited for: “Meeting new students, meeting faculty, embedding myself in the Blue Valley culture and traditions — that’s something that Blue Valley is known for.” Nervous for: “I’m not nervous about anything. Everybody’s been so welcoming and ready to go.”

Brooke McCullough

Years as teacher: 3

Subject: Special Ed Most excited for: “I’m excited to make relationships with my students.”

Nervous for: “[I’m] nervous about not being able to offer the right advice — I’m still so young and [might] not know what to say.”

Brooke Helpley

Years as teacher: 1.5

Subject(s): ELA 9, ELA 12

Most excited for: “The spirit of a high school because I was teaching sixth grade, and they don’t have sports or clubs or anything fun.”

Nervous for: “How many times I’ll get lost in the building.”

Katy Fields

Years as teacher: 8

Subjects: ELA 11, Honors ELA 10

Jodi Johnson

Years as teacher: 31

Subjects: French 3, Honors French 4 Most excited for: “I am most excited about getting to know myTiger students because right now my classes have been so nice and really participating well, and so I’m excited to get to see [and] to know them. Nervous for: “I’m not really nervous about anything. I mean, I’ve kind of been around a really long time, so I’m not really nervous about anything.”


Years as teacher: 7

Subjects: Spanish 1 & 3

Most excited for: “The energy that Blue Valley has. I’ve heard so much about the energythe students [and teachers] have.

I’m really excited to integrate myself into

Most excited for: “I’m most excited about getting to know the students and the school’s culture. I’m having fun learning what it means to be a BVHS Tiger.”

Nervous for: “I’m most nervous about standing in the hallway at 2:45 p.m. People are ruthless getting to their cars or rides.”

Nervous for: “Not knowing how the schedules work and not knowing where anything is in the building. I basically know as much as the freshmen do because I don’t know what’s going on.”

6 news october 2022

Brooke Poskin

Years as teacher: 1

Subjects: Business Essentials, Marketing, Emerging Technologies

Most excited for: I am most excited this year to learn. I am learning right along with my students, and I hope to build great relationships with the students in my classes.

Nervous for: “EVERYTHING — just kidding — learning the ropes of new classes and teaching, but that’s also what I’m most excited about.”

Jason Robertson

Years as teacher: College for 10, high school for 5

Subjects: AP Statistics, Geometry

Most excited for: “The culture of the building. I’m excited to be part of a more positive and forward-thinking culture.”

Nervous for: “The newness of it. Anytime you’re in a new place where people don’t know you, you’re trying to figure things out a little bit.”

Lauren DeBaun

Years as teacher: 18

Subject(s): APUSH & MWH

Grace Wright

Years as teacher: 11

Subject(s): Bio, Honors Bio

Most excited for: “I am reallyexcited about learning allthe fun traditions here. I lovegetting to know students.”

Nervous for: “I had a lotof the same worries most freshmen have whenentering high school. I was afraid I would get lost inthe halls, nervous about the types of people I wouldhave in my class, and intimidated by switching to aMacbook after years of teaching from an iPad.”

Nikki McCarthy

Years as teacher: 25

Subject: Special Ed

Most excited for: “I am excited to be at BV working with my daughter, Ms. Jordyn, and my husband, Mr. McCarthy, the school psychologist. My younger daughter, Jessica, is a junior here, too. It is fun all being under the same roof and part of the Tiger family.” Nervous for: “I was nervous about changing from elementary to high school but have enjoyed this change. Staff and students have been so welcoming, and I truly appreciate it.”

Most excited for: “All of the firsts. Although I’m not new to teaching, I am new to the district, and I’m so grateful [to be here].”

Nervous for: “I’m not nervous about much; I can tell I’m a part of a great team and community.”

Audrey Denges

Years as teacher: 1

Subjects: Biology and Honors Biology

Most excited for: “I am most excited to build relationships with students and staff here at BV. I am pumped to start my coaching experience here with the softball team as well.”

Nervous for: “The thing I am most nervous about is not living up to my own expectations of myself as an educator. I want my students to feel like my class is worth their time — not just in the sense of biology, but relationally, too.”

Linda Hardy

Years as teacher: 16

Subject(s): Spanish

Most excited for: “I’m most excited for my kids to speak more Spanish.”

Nervous for: “I’m mostly nervous about being the best teacher I can be.”


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Every year, junior and senior girls participate in Powder Puff football games. To join in on the sport, junior Mattie Thornton played with her fellow classmates.

“I thought it would be a fun experience to have with the upper class girls at Blue Valley,” said Thornton. “Overall, it was really fun – the guys coaching my team were taking it [seriously] and they wrote up a lot of plays for us.”

For junior class president Maggie Richardson, one of her most looked forward to traditions at BV is the Homecoming bonfire, which includes pre-football game rituals such as burning the opposing team’s mascot.

“The bonfire tradition is a way of uniting everyone and creating a competitive spirit between classes in the competitions,” Richardson said. “[Spirit week] lets the underclassmen know, from the excitement of the upperclassmen, that school spirit and getting hyped for the football game and Homecoming is cool, and that you should do it, too.”

8 news october 2022 design by ava mcguire & rhylan stern


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school spirit to a new level.

“Every game day we’ve been doing a new thing — [we] painted letters on our chests to spell out ‘TIGERS’,” Zuba said.

Zuba, pictured to the left, and his fellow seniors “run” the student section at sporting events.

“We were running around at the bottom, starting chants, and getting the student section going.” Zuba said.

Tiana Simmons had her younger sister [there]and put her on my shoulders,” Zuba said. “It was really fun to have her see the student section, especially at such a young age.”

news october 2022 9
design by ava mcguire & rhylan stern

Every year, cross country competes at a difficult course called Rim Rock.

“The landscape was gorgeous,” junior Brody Wingrove said. “The hills were daunting at first, but in the thrill of the race, it was fun. As a runner, the finish line was all I could think about during the race.”

While Wingrove enjoyed the meet, freshman Oliver Ramsey liked Rim Rock even less.

“The course was really beautiful but the hills were awful,” Ramsey said. “It was a really great experience if you ever get the chance.”

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|PHOTOS BY EMMA MCATEE & KATIE KENNEDY 10 news october 2022 design by ava mcguire & rhylan stern

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Berlini is among the many foreign exchange students to come to BV.

“[I am excited for] learning as much stuff as possible, like culture and traditions,” Berlini said.

Berlini is from Verona, Italy. She will be in the United States for 10 months, during which she will experience all things American such as football games, school dances and many other traditions.

“I have always grown up with the American Dream, [going to] Prom [and being a] cheerleader,” she said. “I wanted to see if it was real.”

She found out about the opportunity when she was 11 years old and instantly knew she wanted to come to the United States. Berlini said the process was long.

“I started filling out stuff to become an exchange student in January, and it was pretty late,” she said. “A normal exchange student starts to fill out documents in September [of the prior year].”

She went through an agency called YouAbroad, an Italian foreign exchange program. Once the program was decided upon she began the paperwork process.

“[YouAbroad] had to see my English level, and they had to find a family. I then had to choose the state from the United States,” Berlini said. “I chose Kansas, in the middle of the United States, so I came here.”

Although excited to be in the United States Berlini struggles with being away from her family.

“I miss them — I think it’s normal,” she said. “We try to stay in contact through video calls and messages.”

Berlini is eager to learn more of the language.

“The fact that here you speak English all the time, I have to concentrate — it’s very difficult for me,” Berlini said.

She is also looking forward to the new people she is going to meet in the United States whether it’s through joining new after-school activities or clubs or just from the classes she has.

“In a year, I can mature through the people I find here,” Berlini said. “They can be a part of my life that I can bring with me forever.”


Students share foreign exchange experiences

Mateusz Sawicki

Although Poland may have been senior Mateusz Sawicki’s home prior to his arrival in the U.S., he intends to stay here even after his time as an exchange student is complete.

“I plan on studying at a university in America so I wanted this year to be an introduction year for me so I can learn to be more fluent with the language and familiarize myself with the culture,” Sawicki said. “My dream university would be Princeton — they have a really good level of computer science there, and that’s what I would like to study.”

Besides jet lag, he has had a smooth transition to American living and is excited to make the most of his time here.

“I look forward to getting involved with school life,” he said. “I also hope to do some volunteer work here and experience America to the fullest.”

Sawicki is thankful for the “kind and fun” classmates and teachers he has met so far who have made his experience enjoyable.

“Honestly, it’s even better than I imagined it to be,” he said. “The food’s great, the people are great, so I’m happy.”

Davide Bacchini

Similar to his foreign exchange student counterparts, senior Davide Bacchini is eager to gain knowledge and experience during his time here in the US.

“[I’m most excited to] discover new cultures, new people, and improve my skills in English,” Bacchini said.

As a member of the Blue Valley Soccer Team, Bacchini enjoys the atmo sphere that this sport and others provide.

“I love playing soccer, and the foot ball games are very fun,” he said. “The people here are very nice—I like this school.”

feature october 2022 words


This year, Blue Valley has five students from Europe who are studying here for their senior year. Three are foreign exchange students — their primary purpose of studying here being the cultural experience. The other two are visa students, which permits them to receive a diploma at graduation.

Mats Kappert

German foreign exchange student senior Mats Kappert is following in his father’s footsteps by studying in America.

“My dad did the same thing when he was my age, and his older [host] sister is now my host mom,” he said. “They lived in Wisconsin, and now they live here.”

Kappert went through the same program as his father to come to the United States. AFS, American Field Service, is an intercultural program that equips young adults with the skills and knowledge of other cultures to make a more “just and peaceful world,” according to their website.

Kappert explains the extensive process to come to America.

“You apply for it, then you have to fill out some forms, then I had to apply for a visa,” he said.

After applying for a visa to live in the United States he went to the Embassy in Germany to fill out paperwork. Lastly, he was required to go to the doctor and receive vaccinations.

“I started the process in November [of 2021],” Kap pert said.

He arrived at the beginning of August and will be in the United States until the end of the 2023 school year.

“[The hardest part of being a foreign exchange stu dent is] talking in English all of the time and trying to be funny and interesting in a different language,” he said.

Kappert looks forward to getting to know new people and gaining new experiences.

“[I’m excited for] , different cultures and fast food,” Kappert said. “I like Chipotle — we don’t have Mexican food [in Germany].”

He is also excited about the courses BV offers.

“[I’m] trying out new things,” he said. “[There are] a lot more elective classes and I’m taking ceramics.”

Cloe Racca

Drawn to America because of its culture, senior Cloe Racca will spend 10 months in Kansas as a foreign exchange student originally from Italy.

“I’ve always had this American dream since I was little, watching American high schools in films,” Racca said. “Of all countries like Australia or the UK, America, for me, was the dream. I wanted to see if it was like this in reality.”

From September 2021 to May 2022, Racca completed an extensive application process to be accepted for this program.

“I had to be interviewed to see if I was qualified for this, and then I had to write some letters to be accepted,” Racca said. “After my acceptance, I had to borrow from my parents a lot of documents to share with my agency and create my profile. Then I had to wait for a family for four months. Around mid-April, they chose me. After that, there are some exams to take to see your English level.”

The most difficult part of this experience for Racca is missing the affection she had from family and friends.

“I’m allowed to call and text them, but it’s up to me to say ‘Focus on things here and don’t think too much [about things] there,’” she said. “For me, calling them every day makes me sad, so I try to avoid them, and maybe once a week I call everyone, but then that’s it.”

Racca, instead, tries to focus on moments that remind her how grateful she is to be here.

“Sometimes I think [about the fact] that I’m here or I’m doing cross country, and it’s been something that makes me very hap py,” she said. “Also, when I went to the stadium to see the Royals, just being there and singing the national anthem made me emo tional because those are the moments where you say ‘I made it.’”

Although her journey as a foreign exchange student has not been linear, she is excited to adjust to her new life here.

“I describe my experience as a roller coaster for now,” Racca said. “I have some days when I’m really down — just thinking that one day you take everything you have, you go on a plane and the next morning, you are on the other part of the world alone with a family you don’t know in a city that you don’t know. It’s hard, but it’s rewarding because I’m so happy for all the people I’m meeting.”

feature october 2022 13 design by kylee thompson


feature october 2022 design by emma mcatee


last-minute opportunity leads to memorable experience

ava mcniel |staff writer

Every summer brings unexpected opportunities. Never imagining being a part of a pageant, junior Lindsay Cho participated in one this last summer.

Because Cho didn’t expect to be chosen for this oppor tunity, she felt really hesitant at first.

“It was mainly through my aunt. She wanted my cousin originally to do it, but she was out of the age limit. So she had me do it.” Cho said. “It was hosted in LA at a beauty salon, and I had to fly there during my summer.”

Cho flew by herself to Los Angeles and stayed for three days with her aunt and cousin. After arrival, Cho was interviewed by a staff member after previously getting accepted by creating a video on why she should be in the pageant.

Being part of this pageant, individuals involved must look their best. Taking time to get everything perfect before the walk is very important.

“I had to be there by 7 a.m. to get my hair and makeup done, and I was done around 10,” Cho said. “Then we practiced walking for two hours, and my feet hurt so much.”

Unlike other outrageous and known pageants, Cho’s was more chill and personable. She didn’t feel over whelmed but felt like all of the staff knew her.

Although her pageant was laid back, Cho’s pageant included a talent show. Feeling hesitant at first, Cho didn’t know if she wanted to participate but ended up deciding on an instrument perfor mance.

“We each had to present something so I played the flute,” she said. “I played a piece by Mozart.”

Despite not wanting to do a pageant again, Cho had a memorable experience this summer and clicked well with all the new friends she met.

“Go out for new things; you never know if you’ll enjoy them,” Cho said. “I never imagined I would have enjoyed a pageant, but I learned more about myself and gained confidence.”

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Even before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, education in the Blue Valley School District saw a shift to digital learning. Throughout 2020, students experienced total online or hybrid learning. It wasn’t until the 2021-2022 school year that students were able to return fully in-person to school and learn like they had prior to the pandemic, with more paper and pencil assignments.

This constant switching back and forth between digital and traditional learning has sparked debate within schools about which is better or worse for students. Some prefer to take notes by hand and have all of their assignments be on paper, while others would rather do all of their work through Canvas and Google Drive.

There is a wide range of opinions on the subject, but many of them boil down to how staring at a screen for long periods of time can affect students’ physical and mental health, and whether the benefits of either method outweigh the negatives.

mixture of digital, traditional learning styles provides high-quality education for all students
16 on the cover october 2022 design by ava mcguire

Due to the pandemic, education at Blue Valley — and education in general — saw a notable shift to online, digitized learning. For students’ academic lives, technology provides access to online information and resources, and the establishment of digital learning environments has evident positive and negative aspects.

A common assertion of the positives is that, with the intro duction to digital schooling, students will improve their future career skills, namely online communication and collaboration.

According to web development company Go1, digital learning is “creating a smarter, more productive civilization, but also one that is well-informed about new technologies and able to stay on top of emerging trends.”

Technology has an ever-growing presence in society, so it was only a matter of time until it spread through general education. Many pro-digital learning advocates argue that exposing students to technology through their education will motivate them to learn because, in this generation, students are already comfortable with technology. Alternative methods of education can be used to show students who otherwise

Controversy with Technology Digital Debate

Over the last two decades, digital technology has rapidly expanded to influence nearly every part of life. Schoolwork, for Blue Valley and various other educational institutions, is no exception to this growth. Junior Mattie Thornton and senior Phoenix Smith both have first-hand experiences with this trend.

“Teachers have put most assignments on computers,” Thornton said. “We have to pay attention to due dates [online] a lot more.”

Though digital deadlines appear to be rising in popularity, Smith noted there is a newfound balance of learning methods at BV.

“Last year, it was like we just showed up to class and did online school,” she said. “This year, I feel like they’re integrat ing a lot more like paper assignments and discussions in class.”

Along with changing the logistics of specific assignments, digital learning prompted many teachers to pursue a “flipped classroom” structure. This approach is characterized by the learning of subject matter outside of school and the completion of homework while in class. Though it may benefit some, the teaching style is not for everyone.

“I don’t like reverse classes,” Thornton said. “They con fuse me, and I like being with the teacher when the material is being taught instead of at home.”

Even when flipped classrooms are not implemented, digital schoolwork offers a unique set of challenges for certain students.

struggle in a traditional classroom that there are different ways to learn, rather than the “one size fits all” method.

Contrarily, technology in learning can lead to adverse effects, such as a decline in student-teacher connections, excessive screen time and negative cognitive development. Too much technology exposure can affect children’s cognitive process and their developing sense of reality.

As mentioned in an article from, online and tech-centered learning can cause social isolation and limited feedback opportunities and is “inaccessible to the computer illiterate population.” Digitized learning has proven to be highly effective in the classroom and improves academic performance; however, technology also opens an easy gateway for cheating.

Another concern of the shift to digital learning is that not all areas of study can be effectively digitized. This shift to digital learning has proven to be a controversial subject, with many arguing that technological education is the future and others arguing that it will be the downfall of productive traditional learning practices.

“My eyes hurt after being on my computer for a long time,” Thornton said. “[On the computer], I’m going to get distracted. I can go into different tabs and start online shopping, and nobody’s going to know. There’s no one keeping me accountable other than myself, and I’m not good at that.”

While Thornton holds a less favorable view of digital learning, Smith outlines a key benefit.

“Doing stuff online helps me a lot because I struggle with organization,” Smith said. “When the assignments are online, they get put into Canvas automatically, and I can just look at the to-do list. Also, I can’t lose a physical paper when it’s in my Google Drive.”

At the heart of many digital education debates is its efficacy in getting students to absorb material. For Thornton, computers don’t usually suffice.

“I would rather do it on paper,” Thornton said. “I like writing 100% [more than typ ing]. Writing it down

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18 on the cover

just goes in my brain better instead of pushing buttons.”

Though computerized learning struggles to compete against traditional methods in some aspects, its efficiency is a compelling argument for its use.

“In schools where technology is already implemented, it can be a lot cheaper for them to have assignments online because they already have the resources they need and they’re very reusable,” Smith said. “For teachers who know how to use the technology, it can be a lot easier because they’re able to put most of their assignments in the same format.”

All things considered, both Smith and Thornton deem the rise of digital learning to be primarily beneficial and cite organization as a major factor.

“For me, it’s definitely a positive shift,” Smith said. “It’s just easier to have everything in one place, but I know for a lot of people it is more difficult because they have trouble focusing when everything’s on a screen.”

Smith and Thornton agreed the current mix of online and traditional methods is the best option moving forward.

“[Blended learning] should be kept how it is this year because there’s a balance, and it’s something that works better for some people than others,” Smith said. “Everybody’s able to get classes that are what they need.”

Flipping the Norms

Although digitized learning has been on the back burner for years, the pandemic recently pushed it into the spot light. Caden Laptad, a teacher of three math classes, is one of many at BV who has turned his classroom into a digitalized learning environment.

“Students have the potential to achieve greater success in a flipped classroom,” Laptad said. “Once they see a teacher use digitalized learning effectively, it’s pretty hard to want to go back.”

Altering the way lessons are being taught in the classroom has come with many benefits.

“Digital learning allows us to break instruction out into strategically designed videos [that let] students move at their own pace,” he said. “For example, in a normal live lesson, one student might have a very pertinent question but the other students could already have knowledge of or are not interested in the answer. This would add time to the lesson and become a distraction from the focus of the learning process.”

an estimated 70% of total student population worldwide went to online learning after Covid-19 it’s estimated that more than 30% of American students are enrolled in at least one online course

52% of grad-students found their online college-level education to provide better learning experience than college-level classroom education

Grading, which typically consumes an enormous amount of time during the week, has also become a much faster process.

“Students can sometimes forget that if we have given a test in our classes, we might have 60 of those to score,” Laptad said. “If there are 20 problems on a test given to 60 students, that’s 1,200 problems we have to grade. This, [unfortunately], results in time lost in the evenings that we can’t spend planning or reacting to student feedback.”

Despite the advantages of turning to electronics, there are certain things that work better on paper. Even with a prefer ence for the digitalization of education, Laptad said a blended

october 2022 design by ava mcguire

format works best for his classroom.

“Paper tests and quizzes are often the best way I can know how my students are learning,” he said. “I can see their work, the way they’re thinking and the places they’re likely to make mistakes.”

Furthermore, digital learning can be harder than traditional classrooms, as it can only work if the instructor applies it practically.

“Providing a 30- to 40-minute video to watch every night and then expecting students to do homework without any help isn’t very effective instruction,” he said. “But if students have videos that are 15 to 20 minutes and only focus on the core essential pieces, they’re more willing to get information. [I’ve found that] they tend to be more focused, attentive and thinking more critically during bell ringers or daily practice assignments.”

Flipped learning also puts responsibility and self-discipline

on the student’s shoulders, as negligence can cause them to get less learning out of the process.

“The advantage of having flipped videos can only be realized if students ask good questions when they have time to work with one another and with the instructor. As long as they’re asking questions, navigating through difficult problems and really seeking the learning provided, being flipped is just as much hands-on as long as they’re in the right environment,” Laptad said. “If they don’t do these, students can get into some bad habits in their learning.”

In spite of the work that goes into a flipped classroom, Laptad believes it provides an opportunity for students to learn better than they would in a conventional learning environment.

“This is a really important conversation that I hope more teachers are thinking about,” Laptad said. “Digitalization is the power of individualization.”

Integrating Technology

For many students within our school, technical difficulties have always been a problem; but for Technology Information Specialist Keil Pittman, he knows they will always be a part of life and the only way to help students grow in their learning is by embracing how little or how much technology will be a part of the school’s environment.

While some students prefer learning physically with paper and pencil, today’s environment has slowly gone online over the past 10 years.

“I’m not a fan of increasing screen time for anyone, but the world is moving in a digital way,” Pittman said. “The more heads’ up we can give our students, the better off they’re going to be in the real world.”

Because of the way things have evolved over the past years, U.S History teacher Tony Scardino noticed the little effects of going online.

“The negative is not being able to connect with your kids in any way, shape or form — even when we were in hybrid, you had half of the kids here, yet they’re in masks,” Scardino said. “That was something that separated us [and] it was interesting because you start to have kids coming up with headaches and eye problems and I never would have foreseen that.”

Even with the disadvantages of online learning, Pittman has an idea that will help the environment and also students.

“I would love to empower our math and science, not just teachers, but students with the ability of digital writing, to actually put a digital pen to an iPad, so they can work through formulas,” he said. “In my position, when I first came in to look at the amount of paper that we were using and how much that was costing us, it’s a reasonable jump to go digital [to save] funds that could be used for other things. Not that the paper was killing us, but we were budgeting a

Do you consider digital learning to have a more positive or negative impact?

53% say positive

133 students surveyed

47% say negative

certain amount and [using] twice as much.”

Along with Pittman, Scardino knows the positives and negatives of technology, but he also prefers to use less of it in his classroom.

“I don’t like reading with a Kindle or anything like that. I want my book — I’m just old-fashioned. I like the tactile thing of holding a book and I think that there are lots of kids that are that way,” Scardino said. “In social studies, in particular, we’ve tried hard to do the things that are going to help you when you move on and go to college because you’re going to have to write. We’ve changed from being totally content-driven to focus more on 21st century skills.”


Senior discusses unique rowing experience

Although it’s common for students in high school to participate in sports and athletics, senior Tess Vanberg participates in one that most Kansans have only heard of in the children’s nursery rhyme, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

“I started rowing the summer between my freshman and sophomore year,” Vanberg said. “My mom [and I] were looking for sports to try, and she heard we had rowing in Kansas City. I’ve always thought that was really cool.”

Vanberg was hesitant at first to try out the new sport. However, after multiple one-on-one classes with her coach during the summer, she decided to join the Kansas City Rowing Club. As a juniors team that had other rowers her age, KCRC was a new yet exciting experience.

“When I entered the juniors team, it was still COVID — we were only allowed to take out singles, [which I had never done before,]” Vanberg said. “I flipped on my first day of practice — it was great.”

Her first few scrimmages and regatta races were both enjoyable and motivating.

“The first race I did was a really small, small, scrimmage, and I placed first,” she said. “Then I went to the Prairie Sprints, and I was rowing against collegiate athletes. I came in very dead last, but it was really fun.”

As KCRC’s junior team started to grow in members and Vanberg improved her skills, the coaches asked her if she wanted to be a coxswain, one of the most important leadership roles in rowing.

“I’m really a coxswain and singles kind of kid,” she said. “Those are what I mainly focus on.”

In addition to the great leadership position, Vanberg also loves the amazing team she is surrounded by.

“KCRC is great — I really, really love the team environment. That’s my favorite part,” she said. “Last summer, we all had to flip our singles [for a flip test].

We were all chilling out in the water, and our coach brought pool noodles. So obviously, we had a pool noodle fight.”

Rowing brings not only memories to look back on but also positive learning opportunities.

“You get a lot of spatial awareness experience, which you wouldn’t expect,” she said. “When you’re moving massive boats and trying not to hit things, you learn where to go, how to communicate with people well and how to give directions without being mean.”

Despite the plethora of advantages that come with rowing, there are a couple of disadvantages. One of them, evidently, is a nightmare for almost every teen out there.

“6 a.m. practices — getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning on a Saturday or during the summer? That sucks, and it’s cold,” she said.

Regardless, rowing has taught Vanberg the significance of consistently believing in herself and persevering. As a result, she hopes to continue rowing in the future.

“I’m trying to communicate with coaches and get on a team as a coxswain [because] I’m hoping to grow [even further] in college,” she said. “You can never be perfect at rowing. You’re always improving your technique, which is applicable both in the sport and in life.”

What are Coxswains?

Coxswains are the individuals who face the rowers, steering and navigating where the boat is going. They use different strategies to get the boat to move faster, better, and smoother while instructing the rowers on what to do.

Although they aren’t the ones rowing, they are mostly responsible for where the boat goes and how it moves.


ella lim |staff writer
feature october 2022 design by ella lim

Student helps at farm during summertime

At 151st and Metcalf in front of Jersey Boyz, for about four weeks in the summer, you can find junior Grace Wagers selling her neighbor’s corn.

“They grow corn and I sell it,” Wagers said. “I primarily sell corn with their daughter. We’ve been neighbors as long as I’ve been alive, so she’s a good friend of mine. I’ve worked with a few other people who fill in throughout the season as well.”

In sales positions, you can meet many types of people. That fact can be what turns some away from positions like it, but not Wagers.

“My favorite part would definitely be interacting with different people — I really enjoy it,” she said. “You talk to so many different people all day. It’s different. It’s exciting.”

Despite her love for the people she meets, she is not the biggest fan of how early she has to see them.

“It’s not as hot at 6 o’clock in the morning in July,” she said. “But, the early mornings are the hardest part.”

Even though starting at daybreak may be difficult, Wagers loves this job.

“Now they call me a saleswoman all the time because I try to talk people into buying more corn than they want to,” she said. “My day is over when all the corn is sold, so you’ve got to be a good marketer.”

While she may be biased, she recommends farm work for others, thinking it not only gave her skills, but it could provide others with those same skills as well.

“It has taught me a lot about communication,” she said. “You interact with so many different people. You learn a lot about the financial side of things and all the different aspects that go into it — it’s a very cool experience.”

BY Grace Wagers
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Students discuss BV’s learning environment after home-school, hybrid experiences

ayesha khan |editor in chief

Blue Valley’s student body is not only composed of students from neighboring feeder schools — the Tiger family also houses students of various learning backgrounds, including home-school and hybrid learning with online organizations.

Freshman Harrison Grant is attending his first ever year of public schooling, while junior Bella Schneweis is returning to a full in-person schedule after two years of hybrid learning with a private online high school and classes at BV.

Grant, whose mother had an unpleasant public schooling experience, received his education through home-schooling growing up.

“I think there were just a lot of stereotypes about schools, like private or public schools, and she didn’t really agree with them,” Grant said. “Over time, I think she realized they weren’t so bad.”

Formerly, Grant learned at co-ops, which he is now discovering had nowhere near the same rigor as a public school environment.

“There’d be homework, but it wouldn’t be every day — it’d be Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it wasn’t very hard,” Grant said. “It wasn’t actually getting graded or anything like that.”

The most predominant adjustment for Grant, however, was discovering how to navigate BV’s digital learning aspects.

“The only problem I’ve had is the technology — things like

Canvas and all that, it’s very confusing,” Grant said. “I haven’t really had to [previously use a computer] because it’s all just been my mom teaching me.”

Nevertheless, he is happy with his decision to switch to public school and finds his mother’s stereotypes did not apply in actuality.

“It’s a lot more fun than home-school, but I expected a lot more chaos,” Grant said. “Public school is not as bad as home-school families make it out to be — I have not witnessed anything terrible.”

Grant is most excited to make up for the friendships he missed out on during his time homeschooling.

“[I’m most looking forward to] making friends,” he said. “I’m a very social person if I can find the right people.”

Similar to Grant, Schneweis returned to a full in-person schedule after realizing the perks she missed out on during her time of hybrid learning at Stanford High School, a program affiliated with Stanford University.

“I wanted a chance to break away from the public school system and see what else there was,” Schneweis said. “I honestly just found it online, thought it was interesting and decided to apply.”

During this time of dual enrollment, Schneiwes took most of her classes at Stanford High with the exception of certain subjects and electives they did not have, including Anatomy and Psychology.

“I took two core classes [at BV] that were not offered at my online school as well as three elective classes,” she said. “My online school only had core classes, so they didn’t even have a Modern World History.”

It’s a lot more fun than homeschool, but I expected a lot more chaos. Public school is not as bad as homeschool families make it out to be. harrison grant 9
22 feature october 2022 design by ayesha khan

Although Schneweis ultimately decided to switch back to full time at BV due to cost and a lack of electives, her difficulty with communication was another contributing factor.

“It was so hard to get in contact with teachers [because] you had really limited opportunities during office hours, and you couldn’t really discuss with your peers since only four people lived in Kansas that went to that school,” Schneweis said. “Being able to easily ask questions or reach teachers and have them explain a problem instead of having to wait till office hours or days later [has been my favorite part about being back in-person].”

Even though Schneweis enjoyed having a mixture of online and in-person schooling, she personally would not repeat this experience and encourages others to consider all the factors before making the decision to partake in this learning route.

said. “Be able to answer problems on your own and problem

solve, and be very capable of doing all your homework in your house — take note if it’s going to be a loud environment or if you will be able to have a quiet space where you can study.”

With this being her first year of high school fully in-per son, there are various aspects of school Schneweis is still adjusting to.

“The socialization aspect has really changed — I’m going from spending seven hours in my room every day alone to being in a school around people for seven hours a day,” she said. “I haven’t been in a lunchroom cafeteria for two years, so that was kind of nerve racking my first day of school.”

Nevertheless, she is confident this is the right choice for her.

“I hadn’t been to a pep assembly before or anything like that,” she said. “I feel like I really missed a lot of opportunities to do cool elective classes and clubs my freshman and sophomore year, [and] it’s a lot easier to create connections in a public school in-person.”

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Stringing BV Together

Student talks about passion for orchestra

Most students within the school are a part of some kind of extracurricular activity, and for sophomore Koda Murphy, he enjoys being a part of the orchestra by simply being able talk to his friends and grow as a musician at the same time.

One thing many students don’t know is that the orchestra currently helps young musicians to progress during the school year by hosting “mock auditions” in front of the classroom with their other peers so that they can learn to face the fear of performing in front of live audiences.

“We start off with something small and easy [at the beginning of the school year],” Murphy said. “We are going to get more complicated and competitive later on.”

Not only does this teach many students in orchestra to overcome their anxiety of being “in the spotlight,” but it also provides them with the opportunity to be able to grow their knowledge

of music and get better at playing their instrument just by performing a piece in front of the class. While this may seem easy enough, it’s probably a lot harder to do than most expect to give them any credit for. But, with any thing in life, practice makes perfect and the only true way to master something is by simply practicing and giving it your all.

“I’ve been afraid of performing for my entire life,” Murphy said. “I’m very slowly getting rid of that fear, but it’s still there and it takes me a while to overcome.”

While there can be stress to classes such as orchestra, there is also a part of enjoyment in being able to be a part of something greater and seeing the end result.

“I really like the whole package that it comes with — you get to actually perform in front of people,” Murphy said. “It’s kind of nerve wracking, but it’s just so fun to hear everybody play together and hear how your part fits in.”

24 feature october 2022 design by andrew sharber


Students share their best BeReals

A new upcoming social media app, BeReal, has become very common among teens across the country. It is a way for people to share what they are doing exactly at the moment the

notification goes off with only two minutes to do so. Students at BV revealed their most important BeReals they have taken and what each one entails.

What is it: Second to last day at dance team camp at KU Who: Myka Beck, Molly Dubill, and other dance team girls

Why this BeReal: “It was funny because I surprised [Myka] and now we have an ongoing joke about surprising each other with BeReals.” Why do you like BeReal: “It connect[s] you and your friends. It doesn’t really matter if you’re late.”

Where: Music festival in Lee’s Summit


The situation:



Where: COIN concert

Who: Blackstarkids, Tyfaizon

The situation: “There were like one and a half people in front of us and the opening act was on. I put on my phone [and] typed it out on Snap chat. I held it up and he was looking at me, he was like, ‘OK.’ I turned my phone on to BeReal, passed it up, and he came down and got it.”


Where: Advisory Who: math teacher Laura Volz

Grandma and a
just roaming around so that’s why I took it.”
and her Tiger Time class The situation: “I had her take it and she was glad to do it, and it turned out great.” 62 % do 38% don’t Do you have BeReal? out of 133 students Do you post on time? out of 106 students 4% intentionally wait 26% never 29% sometimes 41% always
@noahsummers @abbyannetay @lillyrolando @cawarren a&e october 2022 25 design by brynn

Eatn’ Be Crepeful Eatn’ Be Crepeful

A review of BV-student-owned food truck

Over the summer, business has been booming for junior Karizma Nola who decided to take his love for cook ing to a new level when he bought himself a food truck last spring. Nola got the idea for his business — Krazy Crepes — over spring break when he ate at Crêpes A La Cart, a popular crepe stand in Breckenridge, Colo.

“I thought their crepes were really good, and it made me think about how we don’t have any crepe places nearby,” Nola said. “That’s when I decided I wanted to bring some crepes to Kansas.”

Nola purchased the food truck from a family friend who he had done catering for in the past. Because of this, obtaining the truck and adding decals the truck needed was easy; however, getting a license for the truck was not.

“Licensing was hard because I am not 18,” Nola said. “My mom had to do most of it and it ended up costing roughly $1,500.”

By April, Krazy Crepes went from a vision to reality. Nola’s main tools for advertising himself were social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, where his business received lots of attention.

“It’s not very hard to get business for food trucks because of the con stant need for food at people’s private events, birthday parties, festivals, and

catering,” he said. “We started to work at events around KC, and now usually we work every weekend.”

All of Nola’s crepes are made fresh from the truck, and he provides a variety of flavors that rotate weekly.

“Usually there’s about four sweet options and four savory ones,” Nola said. “The savory ones have meats and vegeta bles, and the sweet ones have fruits or syrups.”

You can keep up with Krazy Crepes by following @KrazyCrepesKC on Instagram or Facebook where dates, times and locations are posted for each weekend.

26 a&e october 2022 design by ava poland

Ava’s TakeAva’s Take


8/10 10/10

The Chicken Philly checks off all the marks for a satisfying and easy lunch. The tender chicken and gooey cheese create an amazing flavor that is balanced out by sauteed peppers and onions. This crepe is packed with protein and nutrients, and its portability makes it perfect for those looking to eat on the go.

This crepe has all the elements of a Dirt n’ Worms ice cream sundae: vanilla ice cream, Oreo crumbles and gummy worms. Although this crepe is delicious it is also melty and difficult to eat without making a mess. Additionally, I felt this crepe was lacking in chocolate, which is a major aspect of a Dirt n’ Worms sundae.

My favorite of the three crepes, the Krazy Apple
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My Body, Not Yours

Society needs to abandon outdated beauty standards

The Tiger Print Staff acknowledges that the content in this article may elicit unwanted reactions from those struggling with body dysmorphia. Please read at your own discretion.

regan byrnes |web editor

“Get your perfect body now!”

“Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!”

“This new diet will change your life!”

These types of articles have been spewed across the world before I was even born.

Though society encourages people to express themselves and stay true to who they are, people only like this if you conform to their idea of beauty, ranging from unrealistic eating habits to extreme workout routines that ultimately make you feel worse about yourself.

I know this because I was brainwashed and participated in this a few years ago. I was young and extremely insecure about my body and thought if I would lose weight and become skinny, I would like myself better.

This was untrue in the end. Sure, I had lost a few pounds, not in a healthy way may I add, and I had gotten slimmer — but I still felt horrible. Loving yourself and the way you look is a long journey, but this is a conversation for another time.

News outlets knowingly target people and their insecurities to try and negatively influence them to change their bodies to conform to society’s beauty standards. Though news platforms have adjusted to new societal rules and are focusing less on people’s bodies, some companies still participate in these toxic beliefs.

The “National Enquirer” continues to force these cynical ideals by publishing an issue called “This Year’s 50 Best & Worst Beach Bodies,” specifically calling out celebrities who made the front page.

This issue received many hateful comments from the public and the celebrities themselves regarding how these types of articles are not OK and are very damaging to a person’s mental health.

Though often known that these comments and negative advertisements affect women, people often forget they affect men and non-binary people as well. An article posted in “The New York Times” discusses the effects of bigorexia, a feeling of muscle dysmorphia, seen mostly in men, that is characterized by extreme weight lifting. It also can be noticed as not feeling strong enough and lowering the number of calories you eat to lose weight.

Sadly, because of social media, more men are prone to seeing content encouraging them to limit their diet, exercise, or engage in the trend of bulking, which when turned extreme, involves eating excessively and then participating in over-intensified workout routines. Though new generations, such as generation ‘Z,’ are trying to break the stigma of needing to be extremely thin or muscular to be seen as beautiful.

With the rise of these new ideals, a new campaign sprouted called the “Power of Plus,” which provides mental health resources for people who have been bodyshamed and information regarding the issue of fatphobia.

It will take society a while to adjust from these destructive beliefs to this newfound acceptance because it has been ingrained in us for many decades.

I hope many others will soon hold the same opinion that I do about body positivity.

You should wear that skirt, those shorts or even that really cute crop top because who cares what people think?

28 opinion october 2022 design by regan byrnes

Person Over Player

While this list does not come close to representing all of the student-athletes who have lost their lives to suicide in the last few years, it does highlight the fact that there is an issue needing to be addressed regarding the matter of student-athlete mental health.

Just in the last year, three high-profile female student-athletes have committed suicide. Their families remarked that they didn’t see it coming and that they saw no outward signs of struggle. Being a student-athlete means there is constant pressure to perform while also managing a personal and academic life. According to Athletes For Hope, 33% of young student-athletes, especially those at the collegiate level, struggle with symptoms of anxiety, depression, extreme stress, burnout, and other mental conditions. Only 10% of those individuals seek help for their struggles — but why?

The stigma. There is a stigma around mental health and seeking help, especially in the athletic community. It comes from the fear of being perceived as “weak” and the belief that student-athletes need to have “mental toughness” at all times.

In the last year, popular names in sports such as Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have taken steps toward breaking this stigma and starting crucial conversations about placing their mental well-being above athletic performance.

After both athletes momentarily stepped away from their respective sports in order to preserve their mental health, they faced massive amounts of harsh criticism. British broadcaster

Piers Morgan called Osaka “narcissistic” for withdrawing from the 2021 French Open, and Biles “selfish” for not participating in some Tokyo Olympics events.

This is the stigma I was talking about. These athletes showed bravery in taking actions to value their mental health, but were then persecuted for “being weak.”

If people who have platforms that large can openly chastise athletes for choosing what they think is best for their health, just imagine what coaches who value the wrong things in sports say to their own athletes.

This is not to say all coaches are like this and see their athletes as winning tools. However, athletes who have spoken up often say the crushing pressure to perfectly perform comes from their coaches and parents, according to a University of Denver report. Some of these athletes are so afraid of being seen as weak that they let the strain of balancing highperformance athletics and academics build-up, which can lead to serious mental wellness issues.

Lauren Bernett, Sarah Shulze, Katie Meyer, John Chambers, Tyler Hilinski, Morgan Rodgers.

These young athletes should still be with us today. We as a society need to do a better job at seeing people for who they are. People. Not just their occupation or sport.

We need to normalize the fact that sports can be mentally draining and that it is OK to admit you are struggling, but it is essential to speak up and seek help. If even professional athletes are criticized for taking care of their mental health, what chance do student-athletes have?

There needs to be a change in the way athletes’ mental health is perceived. And remember — just because others cannot see your struggle, that doesn’t mean it is not present.

focusing on athletes’ mental health is important Resources National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: +1 (800) 273-8255 Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 National Alliance on Mental Illness: @namicommunication or (800) 950-6264 The Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386 Mental Health Version of 911: 988 Morgan’s Message: ava mcguire |publication editor The Tiger Print Staff acknowledges that the content in this article may elicit unwanted reactions from those struggling with their mental health. Please read at your own discretion. opinionoctober 2022 29 design by ava mcguire


having shelf c ntr l

Banning books limits students’ world views

One could argue there is nothing more American than our freedom of expression. Another could argue there is nothing more American than silencing stories of real, important matters.

To a certain extent, both of these points are true. We praise and every day use our beloved First Amendment rights and yet, according to “The New York Times” the amount of banned books in school districts over the United States gets worryingly higher each year.

Even though the topic has only recently picked up steam in the mainstream again, book banning and challenging has been around for over a century. Although we don’t burn books (as much) anymore, trying to censor stories that people deem inappropriate is nothing new.

it discusses the appalling and often racist parts of American history? Too inappropriate when it stars a protagonist who strays from our norm of how someone should be? Too inappropriate when it includes actions or words we don’t all necessarily approve of? According to many parents, it is.

When we ban books for these reasons, it takes away valuable learning resources and opportunities. Books are a vital way to learn about previously unknown ideas and experiences in a way that allows us to see them in a multidimensional view.

On top of that, these bans tell children these topics are forbidden and that there is not a situation where reading about these things should be permitted.

It denies the very real history that still impacts people today.

In 2022, there have been attempts to ban or restrict 1,651 books.

On the surface, banning a few certain books might seem harmless. It’s valid that parents wouldn’t want their kids reading about ideologies that they themselves strongly disagree with. There are some dicier subjects that should obviously be kept out of classrooms and schools for younger students.

However, these “dicier” subjects are still important. When books are banned for having “inappropriate” material, the question of “where is that line drawn?” arises.

Is a book too inappropriate when

The Library Association recorded 1,597 books that were challenged in 2021, the highest number since the organization began tracking bans 20 years ago.

It tells children that something about who they are is inherently wrong, that it is something that should be hidden and repressed.

It silences anything that doesn’t confine to a limited viewpoint of a certain group of people, especially in the smaller, more conservative areas where books are most frequently banned and children probably won’t get many diverse interactions.

Banning books with the intention of protecting children really just hides the full picture, which is filled with different people and perspectives. It has been said many times that books are a portal into other worlds.

What is often forgotten is that books are a mirror of ours, only if we allow ourselves to look in.

In 2022, across the country, restrictions occurred in 138 districts enrolled with nearly 4 million students.


opinion october 2022 design by ashling bahadursingh

“We’re all adults here”

charley thomas |editor in chief

As a student, you hear it often. It echoes throughout classrooms, bounces down hallways and precedes new policy announcements.

“We’re all adults here” — a phrase that, ironically, is almost exclusively followed by rules or regulations that draw painfully clear distinctions between faculty and students.

Take the infamous phone “caddy” for example; any adult would scoff at the notion that his or her phone is best kept hanging on the wall for the duration of a staff meeting.

The fact is, school rules face the daunting task of attempting to govern 14- through 18-year-olds in a manner that is both effective and respected. De mand too little, and the student body is disorderly. Demand too much, and the entire slate of regulations gets tossed out the window by those it seeks to guide.

As of late, the policies at Blue Valley have unfortunately fallen on the latter side, focusing so much on discipline that valuable lessons of independence, responsibility and mutual respect are left unlearned.

Arguably the greatest shift in the rules this year comes with hall and bath room passes. In an effort to keep track of where students are at all times and ensure they aren’t wandering around the building, BV now requires students to have a pass anytime they leave a classroom.

In theory, this is neither impractical

implementation of school rules is unrealistic and ineffective

nor unreasonable, but in practice, the logistics just don’t work.

If I’m doing homework in a study hall and come up with a question for one of my teachers, I can’t swing by their room unless I have a hall pass written either a few hours — or even days — in advance. Thus, the rest of what should be productive time is spent sitting there waiting for my next class because I can’t move past the question or concept that confuses me.

As someone heavily involved in after-school activities, this makes many of my teachers highly inaccessible. Additionally, it seems comical that after building a spectacular new extension onto the building with plenty of collaborative space, students are seldom allowed to work in the hall.

Bathroom passes face a similar logis tical struggle in trying to control biology — if three students have to go, only one or two can leave at a time. Having an arbitrary number to limit restroom use insinuates students, some of whom are legal adults, can’t handle the responsibil ity of going to the bathroom.

How then, can these same students be expected to responsibly manage seven separate academic courses? How can they be trusted to drive themselves to school and park in the lots on property if they can’t handle the commute to the toilet?

Personally, I’ve never witnessed an adult being asked “Is it an emergency?” to determine the severity of their need to pee. It’s understandable that certain measures be taken to monitor students who have misused their independence in the past, but for the masses, strict

regulation like this is unnecessary.

Next up on the list is the elephant in the room — phone usage, or lack thereof, during class.

Policies vary on this issue from classroom to classroom, but it’s safe to say there is a good number of teachers who have enacted full bans. It’s true that phones are distracting, but locking them up in bags or displaying them in a phone caddy doesn’t give students the opportunity to develop virtues such as self discipline, independence or respect.

Each student learns differently. There are people who can be on their phones throughout lectures and remember every word, and there are also people who require 100% uninterrupted focus to absorb material. It’s up to the individual to determine how they are going to learn successfully. After all, the real world doesn’t have an iPhone task force to keep people in check.

While this has been a generally harsh critique, that is not to say all school rules must be abolished. Anarchy is not the solution. There are some policies, such as the one BV has put in place against door-propping, that serve to protect the safety of the school and everybody within it.

BV needs some form of regulation in order to protect learning experiences in the same way. We are not all adults here — not in actuality, and certainly not in the eyes of the school rules.

It’s about finding a balance between cultivating independence and maturity while still maintaining an orderly and productive environment. It’s about guiding, not controlling.

opinionoctober 2022 31

Digital, traditional learning approaches must be balanced

New or old, efficient or effective, computerized or handwritten, learning methods all hold their own benefits and flaws. Each student and teacher work differently, making it a nearly impossible task to pursue one sole form of schooling. Thus, intermixing both digital and traditional styles of education gives students more opportunity for success than investing entirely into one avenue.

Computerized learning, a phenomenon that rose significantly in popularity after the pandemic forced its implementation, is a practice both loved and hated. On the positive side, digital systems are excellent for organization and avoid the hassles of printing, filing, and losing various papers.

They allow for easier communication between teachers and students, and they also tend to expedite the entire learning, testing and grading process.

Unfortunately, online education is not all sunshine and rainbows. A 2021 study by Jama Pediatrics found that teenagers, on average, spend almost eight hours a day on screens. This time doesn’t account for digital learning.

Putting more assignments on computers only adds to this concerning statistic, potentially jeopardizing the mental and physical health of students and staff alike. Additionally, learning online opens the door to distractions like Netflix or Amazon shopping that simply don’t exist on paper.

Digital education, as can be seen in this brief reflection, has its merits and faults. To provide students with the best possible learning experience, schools must utilize the computer where it helps and abandon it where it hurts.

To fully understand the debate surrounding the application of these methods, one must also establish the general aims of education. School does not exist exclusively for career preparation, and by the same logic, it does not exist only for students to learn content.

Graduates of Blue Valley, and all other schools for that matter, will be expected to utilize both curriculum knowledge and workplace skills to succeed in the real world. When it comes to absorbing content, traditional, tactile methods emerge victoriously.

According to a recent study by Princeton and UCLA researchers, there are clear connections between writing notes by hand and committing them to memory. By this measure, “paper” learning projects like poster boards seem to be the more beneficial option.

However, business executives or medical professionals seldom present their proposals on a tri-fold. Digital applications, such as Google Slides, are much more commonly used in academic settings outside of high school and should therefore be likewise emphasized.

Through this singular example, one can see the need for both digital and traditional learning. Without the complements of both, aspects of a wellrounded education are lost.

All things considered, pencils and keyboards each have a rightful place in academics. Remove one, and you risk an entire facet of the educational experience.

In mixing these learning mediums, students and teachers alike can reap the benefits of a both efficient and effective style of schooling.

32 opinion october 2022
This staff editorial is the representation of the opinion of The Tiger Print staff.
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