The Tiger Print — October 2023

Page 1


blue valley high school | volume 54 | issue 2 | october 2023 | | overland park, kansas


REDACTED first amendment violations ca concerns for students, staffuse read more on page 14



Contents 6


PERFECT POLICY? New attendance policy raises questions among students


10 SECRET SKILLS Teachers disclose unknown personal facts



Students debate recent show characters


“The depth of field in this photo is definitely my favorite part and what I think makes it so interesting. The football players in the background and on the sides pull your eye to the subject.” photo by ava mcniel

29 HOW EARLY IS TOO EARLY? Staff writer discusses school start time



Staff writer shares views on what Senior Aubrey Hudkins goes on makes a certain snack superior summer medical mission trip

2| contents

october 2023

design by ava mcguire


Check out photos of recent events around Blue Valley

rief round a iews

lue alley



The art department has many exciting opportunities coming up this semester. Each year, the art department makes a mascot of the rivalry Homecoming football team. Other opportunities are shown through competitions and idependent study. Competitions and art shows happen throughout the semester. These allow art students to show their talents to many people. “I chose to do independent study because I am able to do my art my way,” senior Evelyn Burgess said. “I set a plan for myself and have stuck with it.”



Choir teacher Sam Dollins decided to change show choirs at Blue Valley. In previous years, BV had three show choirs: all male, all female and mixed gender. The change has created a varsity mixed and junior varsity mixed show choir. Many show choirs in the midwest have shifted to this style. Dollins decides to follow suit. “I wanted something different,” he said. “I want to change where we go to competitions and the way groups are made up depending on what fits our department.”



A Kansas law and Blue Valley policy since 2002 prompted the immediate daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance beginning Sept. 22. Because no one sheds their First Amendment rights upon entering the school building, students and teachers alike are not compelled to say the Pledge, though it is a solemn moment calling for respect. Teachers may be projecting a digital image for the Pledge since many classrooms do not currently have a physical flag. october 2023


words & design by ashley brixey-thatcher


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Tardy Slip

Time On The Line Blue Valley community talks about new 5% policy Excused Unexcused

nikoo tahmasebi | staff writer hile brainstorming ideas to prevent the rise of absences and tardies that occurred after Covid-19, the teacher leadership team implemented a new policy. Students will receive an extra 5% on their final if they have five or fewer absences, as well as another 5% if they have five or fewer tardies. Although created to boost morale and attendance, this policy wasn’t received with the unanimous open arms initially hoped for. “It was kind of shocking to me because what if you’re sick, or you have a family situation happening,” sophomore Soni Ray said. “How can something [you can’t control] disqualify you from earning extra credit?” The announcement of the policy coming from principal Charles Golden at the first class meeting of the year made an impression on the students. Finals can stress a majority of students in the last few weeks of the semester, so the introduction came as a big shock to most. Science teacher Azie Pickert and ELA teacher Casey Engel, who are Last year both members of the leadership team that drafted the policy, looking at my never intended a stressed attendance response. “I thought it was a heavier screen, there bonus until the math teachers were just as did the math for me, because many students I can’t do math,” Engel said. “Ultimately, it’s maybe a 1% absent as those bonus.” The lack of impact on present. grades sadly does not soothe the casey student body at Blue Valley, with engel, 53% of students who believe the ela policy either has no place at BV teacher or needs revision according to a


6| news

october 2023

design by nikoo tahmasebi

Do you agree with the 5% policy? Yes 37% No


Needs Revision 16%

survey of 245 students. Main concerns become attributed to viewing the policy as a punishment instead of a small bump at the end of the semester. “The goal was never [to stress the students] — you should be coming to class but [it] couldn’t be where everybody gets bumped up a hill,” Pickert said. “It was enough to matter, but not enough that it would be ridiculous to somebody.” The main motivator behind the policy came from the attendance concerns. Covid learning has impacted attendance in schools, with Blue Valley being no exception. “Last year looking at my attendance screen, there were just as many students absent as those present some days,” Engel said. On its own, the 5% might not be the sole solution to attendance issues. However, Engel believes the focus of teachers should not be surrounding this end-of-semester policy but instead on how to help the student body as a whole. “If we’re fixated too much on a 1% advantage on the final, we [fail] to look at other milestones along the way,” Engel said. “Every couple of weeks, [we need to ask students] ‘Do you need some extra support to get you to the grade that you want, regardless of the bonus that may or may not happen for you?’”

cut astrophe

soccer players discuss cuts, new coach

michael leach | staff writer With the start of the school year comes the start of the new soccer season. With this soccer season also comes a new head coach. It seems that so far this coach has some different approaches for team sizes, including making only three cuts. “If anything, [team arrangements] was too fair,” sophomore Kevi Dhakal said. “It gives the team less meaning because now we have 22 people and everybody gets less playtime. It’s significantly less significant.” This is Dhakal’s second year on the soccer team, and he saw a strong contrast in the number of players cut in comparison to last year. Dhakal feels like the cuts and team placement could have been done better. The more people on one team, the less playtime each individual player on a team has, which Dhakal said is not preferable to returning players. “We had to drop 17 new incoming freshmen [last year],” Dhakal said. Despite the change in team arrangements, Dhakal said the new coach has been managing the team well. The team has had events outside of practices and games and has had no trouble bonding and cooperating with new teammates. “We already had a team dinner,

bringing the team together,” Dhakal said. “The morale is high and the practices are serious but also fun.” Sophomore Liam Duckworth offers a different perspective. Being previously cut from the soccer team in the past year, and then making it this current school year, gave Duckworth a unique experience with soccer on the high school team. “I think [team arrangements] were pretty fair, as far as they could possibly be with a couple of coaches and like hundreds of kids,” Duckworth said. Although he did not make the soccer team last year, Duckworth played club soccer at a high level. “I would hope to be on a better team, but you have to make good with what you have,” Duckworth said. “I’m on C-team, so I’m going to do good with that.” Dhakal and Duckworth shared the same opinion on how this new coach is handling things. “He’s managed [the teams] well,” Duckworth said. “Every team has GroupMe’s set up with all the schedules, so I think it’s doing pretty well.” No matter how well a person performs in a tryout, no spot is guaranteed. Both Duckworth and Dhakal claim to be very strong players; however, Duckworth said “the coach doesn’t always see that.” “There’s over 100 kids and only three coaches,” Duckworth said. “They can only see so much.”

october 2023


design by michael leach


EXEMPLARY EDUCATORS Administrators discuss teacher-retention, hiring gaby ayres | staff writer Hiring and retaining teachers has been difficult for schools across the country. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019-2020, 4% of bachelor’s degrees issued were in education, compared to 19% in 2000-2001. Heavy workloads, staff shortages, lack of education funding, low salaries and safety concerns are all issues potential teachers consider when deciding whether or not to enter the field. According to Eric Punswick, the Chief Human Resource Officer for Blue Valley School District, the retention rates of teachers has stayed steady in comparison to trends from 5 to 10 years ago, but there has been a noticeable change in hiring. “With fewer teachers enrolled in teacher education programs in our nation’s universities and colleges, we have seen a decline in the number of applicants,” Punswick said. Assistant Principal Brad Page notes that because of the lower number of applicants, finding teachers who specialize in certain subjects can be even more difficult. “It’s no secret that science teachers are hard to find,” Page said. “Good science teachers are really, really hard to find.” Even with the shortages, Blue Valley still has high standards for its staff. According to the American Educational Research Association, teachers are 20% more likely to feel symptoms of anxiety in comparison to office-workers.

“We look for exemplary educators,” Punswick said. “They must hold a valid teaching license and be the right fit for the role.” Besides the obvious requirements, BV also looks for teachers who are interested in the community. “We want to have teachers that want to get to know our students and want to create really strong relationships,” Page said. “We want candidates that want to have a sense of community so that they’re going to be here for a long time so that they’re not just jumping back and forth from different jobs.” BV has started a New Teacher Academy in order to help new teachers adjust to their often-overwhelming start. Each new teacher has a teacher buddy to help with tasks around the building. “We want to set up something so that our teachers are going through an orientation process that isn’t disorienting,” Page said. “We can show them our community. We can help them every step of the way in their first year.” Fortunately, the school is recognized for being a good place to teach, with Page crediting that to the students and staff. “People know how special of a place it is — our students are overwhelmingly kind, engaged and really high achievers,” Page said. “My first year, I felt so welcomed by our kind staff and I was like, ‘Wow, this place is different.’” PERCENT OF STUDENTS THAT HAVE HAD # OF TEACHERS LEAVE BVHS



one to two teacher zero teachers

26% 36%


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october 2023

design by gaby ayres

New Place, New People Foreign exchange students share their thoughts about the start of a new school year

Filipe Mizusaki Rezende de Lima | Junior - Brazil Q1 - “The biggest difference is the classes because in Brazil, every student does the same classes with the same people.” Q2 - “I have an uncle that has come here. I also want to come here and learn English and make some friends.”

With the start of a new school year, new foreign exchange students have given their thoughts when asked these questions: Q1 - How is school in America different from where you’re from? Have you enjoyed it? Q2 - Why did you decide to become a foreign exchange student and move here?

Ida Frolund | Senior - Sweden

David Gomm | Junior - Germany

Q1 - “We have the same people in every class, and we don’t have any sports in school, so we don’t have any school spirit.” Q2 - “It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do — it just seems so fun and different.

Q1 - “It’s way more open and easier, but you can also choose to take harder classes. In Germany, you don’t have a relationship with the teacher, and you don’t talk to them. It’s all very strict and professional.” Q2 - “I’ve known [my host brother] AJ Vasa for a long time, and I wanted to visit him as well as just experience something different.”

Emma Kautz | Senior - Germany

Olivia Schiavon | Senior - Italy

Q1 - “It’s really different than where I’m from. It’s way more fun. The teachers are also a little bit more understanding here.” Q2 - “I wanted to experience the culture and the high school spirit within America.”

Q1 - “All the teachers are a lot more friendly with the students, and they in a way, want to be friends with the students.” Q2 - “I wanted to be able to experience the ‘American’ life with the fancy high school that I’ve seen in the movies.”

october 2023


design by andrew sharber


Educators reveal classified, mysterious, perplexing fun facts

Name: Nathan West Classes: HELA 9, ELA 10 What is your hidden fact? “I prefer peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches [instead of] peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Ketchup has some slight sweetness, but it’s not overwhelmingly sweet like jelly is, and it has a saltiness and vinegar that pairs well with the saltiness of the peanut butter. It makes it a more satisfying savory meal, as opposed to a dessert that peanut butter jelly tends to turn into.” How did this start? “When I was in grade school, I was desperate for attention and put ketchup on literally everything, including in my milk. It was like ‘look at me, look at me’ as a 10-year-old.” Favorite memory: “Usually how uncomfortable it makes everybody.” Tips and Tricks: “Eat it right when you make it, and don’t go overboard on the ketchup — a little goes a long way.” KETCHUP



Name: Trevor Burgess Job: SRO What is your hidden fact? “I used to travel and play music for a living. I would play with the full band on the weekend, and I would play by myself [for the rest].” How did you start? “In high school, I sang in church and realized people didn’t hate it. I was also inspired by my dad, who toured for 10 years, traveling and playing music, so it’s kind of in the family.” Favorite memory: “Getting to see different towns and communities. I had never been to the ocean or anything like that, and I got to go to beaches when I was playing in South Texas. Also Northern Iowa, especially [Clear Lake], really appreciates music. A lot of places I would play, and sometimes it was background music, but up there they always listened and were very attentive.” Tips and Tricks: “When I was doing music, I just wanted to keep it a business, so I always had that mindset of, ‘This is what I’m doing to make money.’”

Name: Kim Thompson Classes: AP Human Geography, AP Government What is your hidden fact? “Among my many, many talents, one of them is that I probably take the longest poops in the world, every morning, between like 45 to 55 minutes. I’m pretty sure this is why they gave me a first-hour plan period. I just like to be thorough — it’s very important to complete the digestive process.” How did this start? “I found out I could do this when my foot fell asleep. Also, on parent-teacher conference days when we’re here for 12 hours — that’s challengemode for me.” Favorite memory: “My kids thought I had left the house when I hadn’t — I was just upstairs in the bathroom. I also read a lot of Wikipedia while doing this, so I go down many Wikipedia rabbit holes. I’ve done grocery orders, and I’m sure I’ve graded some stuff.” Tips and Tricks: “Bring reading material, have a little stool to rest your feet on, lock the door, have a fully charged phone, wash your hands thoroughly, eat a lot of fiber and bring snacks.”

Name: Moses Manga Classes: Health and Wellness, Group Exercise What is your hidden fact? “I ran for public office. In 2020, I served as a precinct committeeman for my neighborhood in Overland Park District Two.” How did you start? “I thought about [running for office] in 2018, but I had little kids and I was in my master’s program, so it wasn’t a great time. I decided to pursue it with the political environment we had in 2020. I felt like I needed to do more than just vote, so I got involved.” Favorite memory: “I would have my son come with me [when I went] door-to-door to share information with the neighborhood, so taking those walks with him and having him be involved in that political process, even though it’s very small, local politics.” Tips and Tricks: “Talk to people who have done it and realize anyone can run for something. They need people to be a part of the process and fill those positions, so if you want to do it and you apply, you’re probably going to win that position. Starting out in a low precinct committee was a good entryway for me.”

Name: Angela Greer Classes: Special Education What is your hidden fact? “I have a Facebook page called Free State Guinea Pig Rescue. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people got pets and then decided they didn’t have time for them anymore. I’m taking in more guinea pigs than I’m adopting out, but I usually have about 17 guinea pigs at a time.” How did you start? “I really love animals — I have a horse, four cats and a dog. My dad was also a small animal veterinarian, so it just seemed like a natural thing. I wanted them to have a safe place to go because there are not a lot of places in Kansas City that take them. Instead of them being put out into forests or parks, they come to me.” Favorite memory: “My very first guinea pig, named Gilbert, came from the Kinsley Market downtown, and the guy sold geese, ducks, chickens, rabbits and more.” Tips and Tricks: “My biggest rule of thumb is that I try to encourage people not to get guinea pigs as pets that are just for fun. They’re a lot of work and they have special healthcare needs. Do your research before you take a guinea pig in.”

Name: Dalton Watts Classes: AP Physics 1, Astronomy and Meteorology, Earth and Space Sciences What is your hidden fact? “I know how to fly a plane.” How did you start? “In my high school senior ELA class, we had a project where we had to learn a new skill and we had to have a mentor. I chose to get my pilot’s license, although I didn’t ever finish. Favorite memory: “I took off from the Wichita city airport, my first time in a mid-continent airport, and we were flying right over the McConnell Air Force Base. [My instructor and I] see this plane take off right beneath us, come around and go beneath us again. It was a massive tanker, the plane that’s in charge of refueling jets. It was cool too because my instructor was literally in school to join the Air Force and fly those exact planes.” Tips and Tricks: “It’s pretty easy to get into, and you don’t have to have any education training or previous piloting experience whatsoever. I don’t even think I had my driver’s license — but it’s expensive because you have to rent the plane, pay the instructor and pay to take the actual test for a license, which I never ended up doing.”

october 2023


design by ella lim


There’s no better friend than a sister Student copes with older sibling leaving for college emma mcatee | staff writer Going to college can be a big change, especially for younger siblings. For junior Rylie Marquardt, her sister leaving home was a big adjustment. Marquardt’s sister, Carson, now attends Texas Christian University (TCU) and left at the beginning of August. Growing up with an older sister shaped Marquardt to be the way she is today. “When we were younger, we definitely fought more about stupid things,” Marquardt said. “She’s a big part of how I grew up — everything she did, I did.” Despite childhood fights being in high school at the same time made the sisters bond closer together. “We started having the same interests and did a lot more together,” Marquardt said. “Once we got to an older age, we realized we shouldn’t fight as much and have an opportunity to be better friends versus just sisters.” Regardless of trying to call and text every day, not having her sister at home has been an adjustment. “It’s weird because I’ll have a funny story to tell,” she said. “I have to wait for her to answer my Snapchat instead of just

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october 2023

design by emma mcatee

running into her room to tell her.” Even though the transition is tough, having a younger brother helps cushion the loss. “If I was an only child, it would definitely be harder and I don’t think I would be used to that yet — [but]my relationship with my brother is way different than my relationship with my sister,” Marquardt said. “I don’t tell my brother as many things as I tell my sister just because we’re not as close.” Although she truly misses Carson, Marquardt loves catching up with her and is excited for the new experiences her sister will have in college. “I’m not as sad as I thought I was going to be because she’s having so much fun,” Marquardt said. “I’m so excited for her, but it’s hard for me because obviously I wish she was here instead of so far away.” | PHOT RYLIE MOS SUBMITTE D ARQUA RDT BY

Future is Female Senior brings new club to BV emily kozlowski | staff writer For many years, women have had an uphill battle regarding their rights and autonomy. There have been countless groups and organizations created for women to have solidarity and support while struggling with oppression and inequality. That is what the national Future is Female Club is all about. Senior Aliya Siddiqui is the one who helped create a chapter of Future is Female at Blue Valley after hearing about it from her friend who attends Blue Valley West. After participating and volunteering in a few of their fundraisers, she decided to share these opportunities with her fellow Tigers. Siddiqui is the student leader of the Future is Female Blue Valley chapter and the social media manager for the organization. “[We’re] trying to unify a group of women and raise awareness about some of the problems that women face,” sponsor Kylie Thompson said. “[We’ll be] hosting events to combat those issues and educate people on those struggles.” Thompson described the club as “making a difference in a fun, easy way,” and encouraged students to get involved.

“Some of the underlying struggles of women go unnoticed,” she said. “[The club] impacts our high school community in a positive way of raising awareness [about] what the future of women looks like.” With these experiences, Siddiqui has learned that talking to others can expose you to new ideas and points of view. “It’s really made me appreciative [of] my lifestyle and the privileges I have,” Siddiqui said. “It really opened my eyes.” The Future is Female Club has made impacts on the world by organizing fundraisers, protests and assembling hygiene kits for women in shelters. “My favorite thing was probably the [Roe vs. Wade overturning] protest because multiple people from different schools made signs and went downtown on the road,” she said. “We were chanting and people were honking for us.” The Future is Female club is open for any woman to join. However, you don’t need to be a part of the club to participate in its fundraisers and protests. They announce all of their events on their Instagram if you are interested. “I would recommend the club to anyone who is interested in just being able to make a difference in any capacity,” Thompson said.

Future is Female Instagram

october 2023


design by emily kozlowski


censorship of journalist

did ccoe eunn sariiol n co ty re rd ra m

local and attacks on es ri ra lib l oo our h sc urnalists play in jo g of books from in at n th an le b ro e t id n w ves tryporta hool shelves pro Amid the coun light on the im sc g h in ig d h ed om sh fr is nsorship e truth. pulling books newspapers, ce newscasts and e foundation: th g on n ri to so n n ow ce d l of cle ill always boi society. The cy at journalism w th n ai Kansas, ag d an again arion County, M in er ap sp y. ew ts at Blue Valle e raid on the n en ic d ol u p st e ts th t ec ou aff n more ab ow censorship Read on to lear ions Act and h at lic b u P t en d the Kansas Stu emiss, B h, Dayna ger, adursing olton Fie tern h C a , B g g n a in h l C h S s ie A n k a y c l B . er, Ja d Rhy Guire an y Thatch c e M ix r a B v A y es, Ashle rris Jon dson, Ha Isaac Hu

14| on the cover

october 2023

design by ava mcguire & katie kennedy

marion county details


n Aug. 11, Marion County, KS police raided the local newspaper's office and took belongings such as computers, phones and hard drives to use as evidence for a supposed DUI case. The raid, led by Marion Country Police chief, Gideon Cody, formerly the chief of the KCMO police, was trying to illegally investigate the computer of one of the Marion County Record's reporters. The police also raided the home of the co-owners of the paper, 98-year-old Joan Meyer, who passed away from sudden cardiac arrest the next day, and her son, Eric Meyer, who has since spoken out about the attack on his publication, saying, "We can't allow police to come running through newsrooms and seizing things."

A reporter for the Marion County Record allegedly lied to gain access to a restaurant owner's driving records, so the Sheriff's department created electronic copies of private Marion County Record files belonging to the newspaper. Days later, a county attorney proclaimed there was not enough evidence to show just cause for the raid, and the police were given a court order to return the confiscated items, which they did but also kept an electronic copy of the files they secretly made. "An attack on a newspaper office through an illegal search is not just an infringement on the rights of journalists but an assault on the very foundation of democracy and the public's right to know," said Emily Bradbury, executive director of the Kansas Press Association.


Not just a paper


arol Williamson, a citizen in Marion County, shares her personal experience with the issue. Williamson is the grandmother of freshman Cady Reynolds. "My grandma was really passionate about stuff like that," Reynolds said. "She texted me and then I also saw it in the in headlines. I didn't really know what it was until she like kind of exploded it." Once she found out about the raid, Williamson knew she needed to do something since feels a personal connection to the town and the Marion County Record, having been raised there. Living in a small town, the newspaper is important. It not only shares news to bring the community together, but it also gives a small town a closer feel. Regardless of how someone feels about a particular topic, Reynolds said the freedom of the press shouldn't be taken away. maybe? "I understand why you might not want to [cover particular have topics] because they're either very controversial or they would cause a riff in the student body," Reynolds said. "If you start talking politics a lot — I understand why that's something



that you would stray away from, but generally [everything's] all OK." After the raid, the community of Marion knew they needed to help; this included Williamson. Shortly thereafter, she started volunteering at the small organization. "News serves an important purpose in our society," Williamson said. "If there's someone in government or higher power that is either abusing their power or neglecting their duties, it causes issues for everyone. I think that's one of their responsibilities — to celebrate the community and to help people be better connected." By supporting your small town newspaper, citizens not only help the paper grow, but they help build a of students better community. Williamson said the Marion said they County Record is not just a hadn't heard publication, it is a place of anything community for the residents. about the "The stories tie people Marion together," Williamson said. County "It's not just about who won the newspaper football game and the honor roll raid of the kids in high school. It's about sharing news in the community and knowing what's going on in the world."


Kansas Student publication act states that... The liberty of the press in student publications shall be protected. School employees may regulate the number, length, frequency, distribution and format of student publications. Material shall not be suppressed solely because it involves political or controversial subject matter. Review of material prepared for student publications and encouragement of the expression of such material in a manner that is consistent with high standards of English and journalism shall not be deemed to be or construed as a restraint on publication of the material or an abridgment of the right to freedom of expression in student publications.

just a few minutes away


ome high school news publications are censored by their school's administration, which means that articles have to go through a screening in order to be published. Students' work can be deleted for the information in it or the story it told. As a result of several censorship disputes in surrounding states, such as the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court case, the Kansas Student Publication Act was put into effect in 1992. The Act protects the right to free press for students at public high schools and is one of the strongest open record laws in the United States. "Students have the right to publish even 'controversial' content in their school publications, according to the law," according to the website of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association. Being allowed to publish raw and true stories, students are also civilly responsible for their work. Kansans have had this publication protection since 1992, but in just a few minutes' drive away, Missouri is hopeful for the freedom that might come with the Cronkite New Voices Act. The New Voices Act is similar to Kansas's but still allows administrators to deem a topic too controversial. The pending Missouri Act states that "[school districts] may also restrict speech that is offensive or threatening." In response to the act, Missouri high schools have relaxed their grip. In St. Louis especially, schools have found a way to practice true journalism. "Some school districts around St. Louis have passed their own rules prohibiting school officials from conducting prior review," according

to the St. Louis Public Radio, a division of NPR. A journalism student at Clayton High School in St. Louis, senior Rachel Chung spoke on how her school manages their freedom of expression. "Our newspaper doesn't go through any members of the administration, the principal or anybody," she said. "It's funded by members of the community and it's not funded by the school. [We] make sure to not have any ties to the school, and in doing so we don't have too many censorship [restrictions]." Clayton's newspaper class is considered a zero-hour, where it almost acts like a club, and the students meet before school. This may be due to the fact that the publication cannot have any ties to the school. Although their newspaper tries to run separately, the office also tries to moderate what is being published. "Recently we tried to do a story about Wi-Fi but the administration tried to be like 'Hey, you can't say this sort of stuff about how restrictive the Wi-Fi is,'" Chung said. "We just published it anyway." Students in Kansas are fortunate to be protected by the Kansas Student Publication Act. Here at Blue Valley, students in journalism have the freedom to share their voices on topics they care about. They have the freedom of students maybe? to determine the said they content in the issue don't know and learn the impact about the raw journalism can kansas have have.

60% 17%


student jounalism freedoms

Seized but never silenced


n light of the recent raid on the Marion County Record, discussions of censorship in the news and media have picked up. Junior Ava Aslinia, senior Mackenzie Franco, and KSPA's executive director Eric Thomas shared their thoughts on the raid and censorship as a whole. "My first reaction was just shock because you just don't hear about these kinds of incursions against professional newspapers in the United States," Thomas said. Aslinia felt similarly about the subject. "Journalism is a chance for people to express their ideas," Aslinia said. "It's important to be able to have free press because that's where ideas can most easily be written out and spread so people can kind of hear those different perspectives." Franko, one of the editors-in-chief of BV's yearbook, also had insight to share. "Censorship limits some people's knowledge of information," she said, "If it's not getting written about or posted, of students then they aren't said they going to know have been about it." affected by Within the censorship past several years, haven't



the First Amendment has been continuously brought up in the news as free speech rights continue to be infringed upon. "It almost feels like a history lesson when we're talking about the foundations of free speech — so much of what we take for granted as American rights are have been established since the 17th or 18th century," Thomas said. "The founding fathers [wrote] the ideas of freedom of speech, [but] those ideas are so old that we don't even have pictures of the people who came up with [them]." These kinds of attacks on free speech affect citizens of all ages. "People from the age of 15 to 25 are encountering a totally different landscape than what the generation before it encountered," Thomas said. "It's probably is different from most any generation since the 1960s, The consensus between Franko, Thomas and Aslinia was that journalism is about truth. "You should go at it in a neutral position and try to present the facts as best as you can," Franko said. "I don't think any [topic] should be off limits." Censorship acts as a severe detriment to the people of this nation and students alike. "It decimates our ability to debate with one another and exchange ideas we don't agree with," Aslinia said. "If we just don't listen to anything we disagree with, then we don't know how to defend what we believe is true."

censored october 2023

on the cover

design by ava mcguire & katie kennedy


Protect the Standard Football players discuss season


miranda henry | staff writer After ending the 2022 season in the second round of playoffs, the football team has new goals to be made this season to help them become this year’s State champion. Last year, after having an overall record of 5-5, captain senior Mana Faagutu, as well as players junior Dawson Merritt and sophomore Taft Stueve discuss the improvements and motivations to have a better season. Being on varsity for his second year, Merritt believes this year’s team has made major recoveries from last season. “The leadership role between the players and the coaches has improved,” Merritt said. “The seniors have been a lot better compared to last year and the coaches have taken [the season] more seriously.” With new seniors leading and more serious coaching, Faagutu said the team has locked in on their targets. “Mentally, we always have our goal in our mind,” Faagutu said. “We’re always trying to evolve to the standard of what Blue Valley has set.” With all these preparations before the season started, the BV football team was ranked 12th in Kansas by MetroSports. The team took this ranking into consideration and want to increase their ranking by the end of the season. “We’ll definitely be in the top five by the time we win a couple games,” Merritt said. “We have high expectations for ourselves to get the job done and do the best we can do.” With the new season, the motto “Protect The Standard” represents the current team. Faagutu explained what protecting the standard means to this years team. “Last year, we didn’t really care about beating teams and winning wasn’t really a big deal for us — but also, we could see it in the way our coaches were talking to us and training us — you could tell not everything was 100% mentally, physically and emotionally,” Faagutu said. “The Tiger football team is back in check and telling us this is how we roll up. If you’re not worth it, you can leave the team. We’re going to uphold it, so it doesn’t really matter” Although the team started with a loss, the BV football team continues to fight for the State title and hopes to continue to Protect the Standard. “[It’s] more about what you’re doing on and off the field, not just how you play the game,” Stueve said. “What you’re doing in the community and what you’re doing for your school, not just football — it’s about everything you do in life.” | PHOTOS BY MIRANDA HENRY

18| feature

october 2023

design by miranda henry

dancing queens Tigerette seniors discuss overcoming challenges, new season ava mcguire | editor-in-chief fter a season filled with countless hours of practice, a thrilling run at both the State and National competitions and great memories made, the members of the BV Tigerettes Dance team found themselves apprehensive about this year’s season. With no coach and no captains appointed after last year’s season ended in May, seniors Ava Wadman and Claire Younger felt stressed with their situation, yet confident that the team would find good matches. Thankfully, as the season’s beginning came closer, a new coach was introduced: Alyssa Waller.. Waller During their time on the dance team, the girls have had a new coach nearly every year. “It’s hard to switch from coach to coach because coaches have different preferences,” Wadman said. “Everyone’s working really hard because the older girls on the team are trying to keep what we had going on but also incorporate what’s new along with that.” Younger believes Waller arrived at a perfect time, as it felt like a “fresh start” for everyone. “We’re all trying to be like sponges and absorb everything she’s giving us and go with the flow,” Wadman said. After Waller was appointed as head coach, the matter of student leadership was to be decided. “It was tough to not have captains because none of the upperclassmen really knew where they stood as leaders,” Younger said. “We didn’t want to overstep boundaries, so I felt like we were all walking on eggshells. It gave us a chance to grow in our leadership abilities.” After much anticipation, Wadman and fellow senior Chanie Rankin were elected captains. “All the leaders that



I’ve seen on the team [have] been great,” Wadman said. “Trying to fill other captains’ shoes makes me nervous.” Despite her worry, Wadman is confident the season will go smoothly thanks to all the summer bonding the team participated in. “I’m really excited for [leading] the girls to success [and] to get closer as a team,” she said. “That’s the most important piece — you can practice forever and ever, but if our team isn’t close, we won’t do as well.” Younger is particularly fond of bonding events, being dubbed the “team bonding captain.” While Wadman hosted team sleepovers and scavenger hunts over the summer, Younger has planned similar activities like big and little “sisters,” ice cream dates and post-football game IHOP visits for the coming months. claire For both girls, Nationals is younger coming up hot on their radars 12 and they couldn’t be more ecstatic. “We’ve already gotten the Nationals bid from NDA camp we went to over the summer,” Younger said. “We got the bid from our Home and Team routine, and then we’ll go to Nationals in March and perform two routines — Game Day and Jazz.” A new aspect of this season will be that the Tigerettes’ Pom routine was cut from the competition lineup. “We’ll do really well because we’ll have a focus on those two routines instead of focusing on three,” Younger said. Wadman and Younger have a lot of hope for competitions, as they both attest to Waller being excellent at cleaning and perfecting routines. “I like to say that dance team — it’s kind of overlooked — how much we practice and even though we’re on the sidelines at a game, we put in so much work,” Wadman said. Although being a part of dance team can seem overwhelming at times, Wadman and Younger couldn’t be happier to spend their last year of high school with the Tigerettes. “I’m really excited,” Younger said. “We have a lot of talent this year, and we can go really far in our competitions.”

We have a lot of talent this year, and we can go really far in our competitions.

october 2023


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RUMOR HAS IT... Freshmen share rumors they heard about high school, seniors “spill the tea” about the truth

...That There’s A Secret Party Locker The best rumors come “through the grapevine,” which is just how Freshman Nate Hicks heard about this crazy rumor. “I’ve heard that in one of the lockers at this school, there’s a secret party room,” he said. “You basically open a locker, go in and then there’s just a big hangout area.” Just as most rumors come to surface from anonymous sources, Hicks doesn’t know the direct origin of the party room myth. “I heard it from a big group of people,” he said. “I don’t know who was there but they were just talking.” Hicks built on to the rumor and shared what he imagined would be inside the room. “I feel like there’d be like a whole bunch of lights and stuff, pizza, drinks [and a] few arcade games,” he said. Hicks has high hopes for this locker myth. “I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if [there was a secret locker],” he said. “I really do hope it’s true though.” The senior reacting to this freshmen rumor was Juju Mayers. “That’s extremely false,” Mayers said. “No one uses lockers and they’re all connected directly to a classroom or wall.”

Though she debunked the fantasy, Mayers also wished it did exist. “I feel like it’d be so helpful to just like to ease your mind [when] school gets overwhelming,” she said.

...That There’s Phantoms in The Toilets There’s always that spooky bathroom that makes you want to run in and straight out as soon as you can. For freshman Ella Whitehair, that’s the 200 hall bathrooms. “I’ve heard that the bathroom in the 200 [hall] is haunted, [and] yes I think it’s true,” she said. “Apparently there’s like screams in the toilet [from] ancestors that used to go to Blue Valley.” Although coming to that conclusion on her own would be understandable, the rumor started from the upperclassmen. “Well, I haven’t heard [the screams myself], I’ve just heard about it from the Tiger Mentors –– all of them, every single one,” Whitehair said. In response to Whitehair’s statement, Tiger Mentor senior Catherine Li added her thoughts. “I would [it’s] say partially true,” she said. “The 200 bathroom isn’t haunted, but the ones near the PE stalls are. [Freshmen] think it’s the 200 hallway because right next door is the anatomy classroom [where] they sometimes slice open bodies.” In contrast to what Whitehair testified about the Tiger Mentors, Li denied the statement. “I think the freshman is delusional and having visions,” she said.

...That BVH is The Drug School? The rumor that freshman Rameen Zaidi heard as she entered high school was that Blue Valley High was the “drug school” in the district. Zaidi said she heard it from a variety of sources. “[I heard] just from people at other Blue Valley high schools,” she said. “[And] my Tiger Mentor said ‘you shouldn’t use the 200 bathrooms — people use those to go do drugs.’” Zaidi does not use the restrooms at school and doesn’t plan on it. “I haven’t used any bathrooms at school — they’re gross,” she said. “[But] I would avoid the 200 hall [even if I did].” Zaidi said she does not know if the saying is true or not, but it seems the rumor would be debunked. She said, “No one’s ever come up to me and been like ‘do you want drugs’ so…” That is the rumor that Zaidi heard, but upperclassmen know that out of the BV district, BVH is not the one to worry about. Senior Lincoln Dahl gave a simple response to the freshman. “[Drugs] really aren’t that big of an issue here as it is in other schools,” he said. “Obviously, there are people that do it but not as prevalent.”

...That High School is Difficult

Freshman Clinton Hellwig was told one valid rumor that high school work is much more demanding than middle school’s. “[I’ve heard] it’s a lot tougher [and] harder than what you’re used to from my friends and their siblings and my siblings too,” Hellwig said. He said that currently, in the beginning of the school year, he doesn’t feel the rumor in full action. “So far [classes are tough] but also not really,” he said. “Some are harder, but some are a lot easier.” However, senior Bailey Tien verified the rumor and

said high school courses require more effort. “There’s a reason why middle school comes before high school,” she said. “High school is harder because there’s higher expectations [with] being a little bit older.” Tien picked one year that was the most difficult and shared her recommendation to manage school work. “Junior year was probably the hardest — that’s when we’re first starting our college path and a lot of people take more AP classes and get ready for the ACTs and SATs,” Tien said. “The best advice I can give [freshmen] is to not give up –– even though it’s cliché. There’s going to be a lot of challenges, but it’ll all be worth it.” october 2023


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Senior offers experience, advice on getting involved at BV isaac hudson | editor-in-chief or many students, extra- and co-curricular activities are a way to connect with other students and find a place to belong in the school community. Senior Eddy Jiang is one such student. “At heart, I am a musician,” Jiang said. “I started playing piano when I was 5 and violin at 8. Here in school, I’m the concertmaster of our Advanced Chamber Symphony Orchestra. Outside of school, I’m also the concertmaster of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City.” Aside from music and competing on the school’s swim team, Jiang is involved in several other clubs and honor societies. “I’ve been in Business Professionals of America since freshman year and DECA since sophomore year,” he said. “I am [also] the president of the Science National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society and the vice president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.” Based on a survey of BV, about 35% of students are involved in four or more extracurricular activities. With all those activities, it can be hard to find time to hang out with friends. “I find that the strongest lifelong bonds are created through these activities, through putting yourself out there — so even if I’m busy with all of these things, [I] can incorporate that social aspect into anything,” Jiang said. “I also make sure to set aside time for a true social life.” Not only is it hard to have time to socialize outside of school extracurriculars, it can also be difficult for Jiang to manage time in order to meet all his deadlines. “Believe it or not,



36 on the ACT



october 2023

design by isaac hudson

I’m a procrastinator, but you can procrastinate by [getting something else done] before you do that thing you’ve been dreading,” he said. “It’s what I like to call productive procrastination.” Throughout Jiang’s time at Blue Valley, he has found that the best way to engage with the student population is to be involved in as much as he can. “We’re all striving to fulfill ourselves,” Jiang said. “It’s really fulfilling to be able to do so much here but also give so much back to the school and to the community.” In the end, Jiang only has one recommendation for students who are thinking about getting involved in clubs or activities. “My one piece of advice I would give is: don’t lose yourself.”

BPA National Champion in Intermediate Word Processing

1600 on the SAT

partners in crime school resource officers reveal friendship

amira dvorak | staff writer It’s no secret that School Resource Officers Nate Schmidt and Trevor Burgess are rarely apart. From the halls to the golf cart to the field, they always seem to be within spitting distance of one another, so much so that it’s highly unusal to see one without the other. Their tendency to always be together raises many rumors about their relationship — is it purely superficial or are they actually friends? Burgess changed the topic to avoid the question. nate “[Schmidt] was interviewing to be the other cop in the school, and schmidt, sro I was already here,” Burgess said. “I sat in on the interview — that’s the first time we ever saw each other.” Even though their friendship was born along the lines of the forcedproximity trope, the two found they truly do enjoy each others’ company. “We have a love of sports and music in common,” Burgess said. “And comedy — he thinks I’m funny.” “Sometimes he’ll say something that’s not funny, but I laugh anyway because I know the next thing will be funny,” Schmidt said. “Like, keep trying, buddy — you got it.” After spending all day with each other year after year, it surely must seem like they might need a break from each other, but they seek each other out even away from work. “We’re married — not to each other,” Schmidt said. “Our little girls are the same age — they’re both in fourth grade,” Burgess said. “We coach their basketball team together.” Though many students claim to be unable to tell them apart, Schmidt and Burgess insist there is one key difference between them. “[Schmidt] is the most punctual person ever and has to be on time,” Burgess said. “I’m never in a hurry — that’s probably where we’re most different. I get so sick of him being so dependable and on time.” “[Burgess] will leave to go to the bathroom or something, and I’ll find him half an hour later talking to someone in the office,” Schmidt said. “I’m like, ‘Come on — we have things to do.’” Even though they disagree over time management, neither holds it against the other. In fact, they both agree they are, at the end of the day, “true besties.” “I know I’m his best friend,” Schmidt said. “I’d say he’s mine.”

We’re married — not to each other.

october 2023



design by amira dvorak



There’s still time to visit the Renaissance Festival Hours: 10 a.m. - 7p.m.


“My favorite [event] would have to be the jousting, because it’s these two dudes who are dressed in full regalia, like full body armor on two ponies. They have actual jousting swords, and they run toward each other on the ponies — 10 minutes later, when one of them falls, they get off [the horses], crack open a Dr. Pepper, get a cheeseburger and the whole crowd is watching this like ‘what just happened?’” -Ramsey Browne, 11

Weekend Events: Sept. 2-4 Swashbucklers & Sirens

“[Get] the turkey leg. It is huge. It is gross. I am a knight And it is the best thing I’ve had in my of the King, entire life. I’m not a big meat fan, but I saw Sept. 9-10 that thing, and I ate it to the bone — I was presenting the Highland Fling standing there in my little cutesy fairy fit just Kansas City holding a bone essentially.” -Browne Sept. 16-17 Renaissance Wine, Chocolate & Festival on His behalf. Romance His royal Highness Sept. 23-24 has found a few select Shamrocks & students belonging Shenanigans “Ren Fest is really open to people to the kingdom of just coming in to take pictures. I love Sept. 30 - Oct. 1 “Blue Valley High photography, and the actors love it as well, Heroes & Villains School,” whom he so I just go [take photos of whatever] I find interesting.” -Amelia Hooper, 10 Oct. 7-9 has entrusted with Barbarian Brew Fest the duty of spreading “[My favorite Ren Fair event was] the race of dogs — a corgi race. The corgi Oct. 14-15 this message.


Haunted Huzzah!

24| a&e

[I was rooting for] won; his name was Bartholomew. -Max Nelson, 11

october 2023

words & design by katie kennedy


Team Conrad or Jeremiah? Students debate over which Fisher brother should end up with Belly from “The Summer I Turned Pretty” “Conrad is better for Belly because he puts her first. He wants her to be happy, and that’s why he let go of her, even though he clearly still loved her. You can tell by the way he looks at her and the way he acts around her. She’s always loved Conrad, and I feel like it’s really hard to get over first love. I like Jeremiah and I really do like his character, but I just don’t see the massive romantic side of [their relationship].” -Rebecca Schmidt, 11


“I’m anti-Belly because she’s constantly switching between Conrad and Jeremiah. It seems like she doesn’t really show any commitment toward one or the other. Everything they do is for her, and they’ve never turned her down when she needed something. They’ve cared about her and her brother their whole lives, and she’s never really done anything for them. When Steven calls her out on it at his grad party, she just cries and says it’s not her fault.” -Akhil Reddy, 11

“Belly honestly just needs to figure it out and not ruin their family by dating them.” -Carol Portela, 12

“Jeremiah is always supportive and positive. I’ve never seen Belly upset around Jeremiah except for in sad moments. He’s just way more fun [and] way better looking. [Conrad] is ugly. He’s moody. He was doing drugs and alcohol in the beginning. He was always bummed out and not fun to be around. [Jeremiah and Belly] would have a fantastic life together. They would live in their beach house, have gorgeous children and it’d be happily ever after.” -Claire Hannasch, 12


Team Conrad

Team Jeremiah

“Conrad’s him.” -Rasheed Mantara, 11

“Conrad needs therapy.” -Savannah Stoltman, 12

“Steven is team Conrad so obviously you should be team Conrad. Jeremiah is cringy.” -Lily Osterhaus, 9

“She’s the problem.” -Ava Scharping, 10

“Conrad’s personality is trash; he abandons Belly and then as soon as she gets over him he wants her back again. Jere is also way finer.” -Caroline Gordon, 10


october 2023


design by dayna bemiss


TEXT iquette students discuss opinions over unspoken texting rules Kaitlyn Gravitt, 12

Morgan Wolfe, 11

Olivia Zullig, 11

Does using periods in texts come off more harsh?

Opinion on people leaving others on delivered?

Opinion on double messaging/snapping?

“I only [use] them when I’m mad or talking to someone older than me.”

“Sometimes I just don’t know what to say. I don’t do it on purpose.”

“Double and triple snaps — that’s just embarrassing.”

Most used emoji?

Most used emoji?

Most used emoji?

Lucas McNiel, 10

What’s UR opinion on read receipts? “I’m for [read receipts] because if you are asking someone where they are, and you don’t see they read your message, they could have died.” Most used emoji?

poll based on 245 students Are there any unspoken texting rules that should be addressed? When texting someone, you should try to keep a nice atmosphere unless it is a more serious conversation. Correct punctuation = you’re in trouble. Match. The. Energy. It bothers me when you put your and you’re in the wrong context .

26| a&e

october 2023

design by ava mcniel

Nadia Moiny, 10 What do U think of autocapitalization? “[I would] rather have everything be all lowercase — if I see some things capitalizing, it’s serious.” Most used emoji?

“It gives Mr. Deffer a notification of how many times it’s been counted, and when it is hit for the millionth press, he’s going to unleash his secret plan.” -Evelyn Burgess, 12 “I think it explodes.” -Rowan Lloyd, 10

DO NOT PUSH physics teacher shares input on button located directly outside his classroom

“Someone stopped me and told me the fire alarm would go off because it’s for chemistry emergencies.” -Avery Strnad, 10 “[It] turns on a light in the room next to it.” -Brandon Lovell, 12 “It controls the music in the sophomore hall.” -Josh Dyches, 9 “[It] drains the pool on top of the roof.” -Ava Poland, 12 “It delivers ready-to-use chainsaws in a helicopter.” -Benjamin Werner, 9 “[It] opens a hidden door.” -Grace Wilson, 10


of students have pushed the button before


callie dyches | staff writer he giant red button at the end of the 200 hall tempts BV students daily. The large-print, bold “Do Not Push” sign only serves to add appeal to the thrill of pushing the forbidden button. Physics teacher Nicholas Deffer watches students’ reactions to the button, which has been there for the past three years, as they pass his classroom each day. “It is constantly pushed at this point — I wouldn’t even necessarily want to touch it because of the number of people that walk by and actually push it,” he said. “Some seniors literally push it every time they pass.” Many students have come up with theories to make sense of the mysteriously conspicuous button. “I’ve heard people say it’s an experiment designed for the AP Psych class wanting to see if people will push it or not,” Deffer said. “I’ve had people say the button is tracking how many people actually push it.” In addition to trying to figure out the real purpose of the button, a few people have come up with some “wild stories” to mess with their friends. “Some kid was ribbing another


one of his friends and said, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s connected to a light somewhere randomly in the building that turns off and on every time you hit it,’” Deffer said. Despite the prevalence of these theories, many students believe the button doesn’t do anything. However, it once had a very clear-cut purpose. “There used to be doors right here that went outside, and so that is the old handicap button that opened up those doors,” Deffer said. “As they took those out, they just didn’t remove the button.” At first, the button remained just the same as it was when the doors were removed, but one day when Deffer got to school “all of a sudden it was red.” Because the button has a very obvious history, it seems clear that the button must not do anything — yet Deffer proved it is still very functional. “The funny part is, the mechanism or actual hardware is still inside it, so when students push it, it does transmit a signal,” he said. Where this signal is sent or what it’s used for remains a mystery, which only encourages people to invent more outlandish theories and to continue to press the button every time they pass. october 2023


design by callie dyches


Classics? Lit Student discusses reading classics ashling bahadursingh | staff writer Most of my experience with classics is pretty normal. I read them for school and didn’t hate it, but if I didn’t have to read one, I wouldn’t make the active choice to. That is, until last year, my sister joined a club and because she’s my ride home, I more or less joined the club, too. Classic Literature Club. I like to read, and I’d have to be at all the other meetings anyway, so I figured why not just join the club and read the book? At first, I kind of regretted my decision. The first book I was given to read was “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which is this big, dense book that is deeply uncomfortable to read and absolutely not what I would recommend to anyone looking to get into classic literature. I would be reading the book (very, very slowly) and tell myself that, “Today was the day I’m going to put this book down and forget about it.” My friends started joking about how I carried the book around and never seemed to make any progress in it, which, to their credit, wasn’t a complete lie. But I’m stubborn, and by that point, determined to finish it — and that’s what I did. It was an exhausting read. It was exhilarating. It was horrible. It was beautifully written, yet I didn’t enjoy reading most of it. It was the only thing I could think of for the next few weeks after I finished it. I’m sure this isn’t doing much to convince anyone to read it, but it was everything you could want from a book. More than anything, it was a story, a full view into a world created by the author’s mind that I got to experience.

28| opinion

october 2023

design by ashling bahadursingh

Obviously not all good books are classics, and plenty of classics are not necessarily good books. And there’s little I can personally say about classics that I can’t say about books in general. One thing I can say though, is that reading these books has a way of connecting people that most books can’t. Millions of people have read classics, so reading one of them yourself establishes a connection with them. Even if you never meet them, you all met the same characters, felt the same emotions and followed the same story, which is a connection that’s both impossible to really measure and impossible to deny. For me, reading old books that I can only understand if I’m giving it my full attention is a much more involved experience than reading a book I don’t really have to think about because reading classics requires my full attention. I get invested and wrapped up in a way that I rarely experience with the other books because personally, reading classics just takes so much effort. And it’s all that effort that makes it so engaging and so ultimately satisfying. I’m definitely not the best person to speak on classics — I haven’t read nearly enough for that — but I can speak on being scared by classic literature and learning not to be. Classics had this reputation to me of being some epic tales that take advanced minds to fully understand and that those advanced minds would reach enlightenment upon reading them. But these books are better than that because they’re stories, worlds, lives and ideas that are written by, read by and connecting people.

7:40 last year, 7:35 this year? later start times would benefit students, school audrey erickson | staff writer Over After laying awake in bed, not being able to fall asleep, I started to wonder if my peers have this problem as well. It turns out that a lack of sleep is more common for teens than you might think. For most teens, their body starts producing melatonin, the hormone that tells your body to go to sleep, around 11 p.m. making it difficult to fall asleep before that. The CDC recommends teens get 8-10 hours of sleep each night, and that simply isn’t possible if school is starting too early, especially because most kids need time to get up and get ready for the day before they leave for school. The obvious answer to this problem is pushing back the start time of school, not the other way around as BV did this year. In a poll of 245 students, 53% of them feel that they don’t get enough sleep, and 25% feel they only get enough sleep when school starts an hour later than normal. Almost every study done on students getting better sleep says that school should start later. Despite popular opinion, teens going to bed late is not a “rebellious attitude” but actually our bodies telling us it’s just not time to sleep yet. According to “UCLA Health,” before puberty a student’s body produces melatonin around 8 or 9 p.m. when the sun is fully set, but after puberty, that shifts to 11 p.m. This is called “sleep phase delay.”

do you get enough sleep?

22% 53%


yes no only on even days

what time do you go to bed? 4%


25% 24%

<10:00 11:00 12:00 1:00 >2:00


Typically, melatonin production is controlled by the amount of light the eyes are taking in, so when the sun sets you should be getting sleepy, but sleep phase delay causes teens to produce melatonin a few hours later than normal. That is why we struggle with falling asleep earlier. The majority of BV students go to sleep around 11 to midnight, just like the average teenager. It is recommended that teens should get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, ideally closer to 10 hours. I know I don’t feel fully rested unless I get 9-10. According to the CDC, students who don’t regularly get enough sleep are more likely to have health problems like being overweight, not getting enough physical activity, having symptoms of depression or anxiety, having behavior issues and not doing very well in school. However, the CDC said students who get enough sleep have an easier time staying focused, better concentration, and do better in school overall. So what time should school start? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends school should start no earlier than 8:30, but I think it needs to start even later so I have time to get up, get ready, eat breakfast and make my lunch before I have to leave for school. School starting later would benefit both the students and the schools. Getting more sleep would greatly benefit the physical and mental health of students. This would benefit the schools because their students would be more energetic, have better concentration and be overall more productive and ready to learn. I know I would be way happier and do better in school if I was getting a decent amount of sleep.

october 2023


design by audrey erickson



Unions Stand Together and We Should Stand With Them an interview to NPR regarding the standstill on negotiations stating, harris jones “the only standstill is that I think that ON | assistant editor they’re not wanting to come to the table because they’re hoping that they can hold out longer than we can hold The Writers Guild of America or DEMANDS out, but that is not in the spirit of the WGA went on strike May 2. - increased residuals negotiation.” She went on to say the On July 14, the Screen Actors Guild - increased minimum pay for all areas studios’ greed and insatiable appetite — American Federation of Television of media for money is the real reason to blame and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA - increased contributions to pension for extending negotiations. joined them. and health plans Negotiations have been largely As of Monday September 25, our - strengthening in protection for unsuccessful apart from studios like paper sends to print, and AMPTP is A24 who quickly agreed to the terms writers meeting the WGA to come to a tentaof SAG-AFTRA and confirmed they - fair compensation for media during tive agreement. were not at all tied to AMPTP and got The last time the writers and actors and post production 39 projects greenlit by the union. went on strike against the Alliance of If independent studios such as A24, Motion Picture and Television Producers, or AMPTP togethamong others, can agree to the terms of writers and actors, er was 1960, and after more than 60 years without another large studios absolutely can but are simply unwilling. strike together, it’s about time it happened again. Many people forget with all the glitz and glam of HollyThe threat of a strike had been looming over Hollywood wood that many of the writers and actors behind the strike for some time with the rise of streaming. According to the are just everyday people trying to make a break in a nearly WGA’s report released on March 14, titled “Writers Are Not impossible industry. Keeping Up,” studios are using the transition to streaming to The A-List names you see standing out there at the picket cut writer pay and to keep writing separate from production. lines are largely there in solidarity for writers and actors who The report also states that “while series budgets have are not making a living wage — A-list’s aren’t there for better soared over the past decade, median writer-producer pay has pay. fallen.” They also point out that in regards to feature films Powerful and influential people siding with working people with an adjustment for inflation “screen pay has declined 14% is a good thing for the cause and will help raise up the voices in the last five years.” of those in need. Many demands the unions are making are things that It’s important to stand with those on strike to show solimany people believed that they already had. For example, darity for the common man; behind the faces of your A-List’s being paid for a show they worked on when it’s viewed on is your neighbor. Lifting up other working people will create streaming; because yeah, all those times you rewatched your better lives, and in this case, media for the rest of us. favorite show on Netflix, the writers and actors behind it were Never forget there’s a reason the saying, “boss makes a not being fairly compensated for that work. dollar, I make a dime,” exists. We may see Hollywood as a Many of SAG-AFTRA’s demands align with the writers, glamorized way to escape, but at its core, it’s still a business. except for a demand for rules regarding self audition tapes. WRITERS GUILD ON Following Covid, these became a standard in the industry. STRIKE! But, with most actors not being millionaires like the same ones you see every year at the Oscars, paying for good equipment to do a professional audition tape for a job you may not even land is unreasonable. Fran Drescher, current president of SAG-AFTRA, gave




30| opinion

october 2023

design by harris jones

TIGER PRINT STAFF LIST editors-in-chief staff members Isaac Hudson Gaby Ayres Ava McGuire Ashling Rhylan Stern Bahadursingh Dayna Bemiss assistant editor Ashley BrixeyHarris Jones Thatcher Isaac Burton web editors Amira Dvorak Jackie Chang Callie Dyches Ella Lim Audrey Erickson Colton Fieger photo editor Aspen Ava McNiel Gallentine Miranda Henry design editor Emily Kozlowski Katie Kennedy Michael Leach Emma McAtee adviser Andrew Sharber Michelle Huss Nikoo Tahmasebi

“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. Letters to the editor are encouraged for publication. “The Tiger Print” reserves the right to edit all submissions for both language and content. Letters should be submitted to Room 518, emailed to or mailed to: The Tiger Print Blue Valley High School 6001 W. 159th Street Overland Park, KS 66085


Proliferating attacks on 1st Amendment freedoms are troubling, need to end From the newspaper raiding in Marion County, Kansas, to book bannings in Florida, censorship seems to be at an all time high across the country. Within recent years, strategies similar to those used in the Red Scare in the ‘50s have cropped up. During the Red Scare, people like then-senator Joe McCarthy used fear-mongering tactics and public accusations to silence those practicing basic free speech rights. The term “McCarthyism” has been coined for people with similar practices of what McCarthy once did. It’s no secret that similar behavior is coming back to light. It’s things like this that create that sinking feeling in your chest — the human life is short, and with that, so is our memory. You can’t help but wonder is history doomed to repeat itself ? New fear, new enemy, same tactics. The Kansas Student Publications Act, which has protected students’ freedom of the press since 1992, allows our paper to function. If one of us took five minutes to drive to Missouri and tried to publish this article there, it could

be pulled for controversy and the criticism it places upon those in power. We as a publication staff are incredibly lucky to have our voices protected. Kansas is one of 17 to protect the rights of its student journalists. Acts like this are deeply important to raise voices needing to be heard. Censorship sows hate into the world; the less you allow disparaged communities to speak the more hate enters the world. In data collected by the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer, the number of hate crimes pursued increased by more than 4,000 cases from 2013-2015 to 2019-2021. This is just cases pursued — ­ it doesn’t include cases not pursued or not reported. The more censorship rises, the more hate does, and if we continue down this path, we will see the consequences. No one who quiets sensitive topics is your friend. Information is not the enemy, and it is unconstitutional to treat it like it is. | THIS STAFF EDITORIAL REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF THE TIGER PRINT STAFF.

october 2023

staff editorial cartoon by amira dvorak


In Memory of Kathryn Sanflé rhylan stern | editor-in-chief Over the summer, former Spanish teacher Kathryn Sanflé lost her battle against breast cancer. After being diagnosed in 2018, she continued to teach up until January 2022, when her cancer continued to spread.

Sanflé was a role model to many and impacted students, staff and parents inside and outside the Blue Valley Community. To honor her memory at BV, students share their favorite moments from Sanflé’s time at the school.

“She was always so understanding, so caring and just a great person overall.” - MAE BRIGGS, 12 “Senora Sanflé made such an impact on my life and the lives of so many others at BV. I had her for two years, and she quickly became a role model in my life — not just because she was a good teacher, but because of the kind of person she was. She really saw me for the person I am on the inside, not just what grade I had in her class. She showed me what it meant to live every day with a purpose and to have joy no matter the circumstances. Sanflé changed the way I approach life, and I am forever grateful for her, the legacy she left on Blue Valley and the impact she had on so many people.” - ABBAGAIL LOCK, 12



october 2023 design by rhlan stern

“My favorite memory would be when we walked the Homecoming parade two years ago [for Wigs Out]. It was really fun with her, and she was such a bright light.” - GABRIELLA RUPP, 12 “I loved doing pink out games for her and helping raise money for her. She was definitely a bright light to BV, and I can feel the loss in other people.” - LAUREN EDIGER, 12


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