2013-2014 Star Staff Sue skalicky advisEr
Letter from your editor
Ally Krupinsky editor Lexi Jorgenson
carissa martin design editor chase geer business manager taylor thompson
blake chase staff member kacey peterson staff member Kayla daffinrud staff member nick westermeyer staff member Suzie cox staff member ABigail WU staff member
star newsmagazine policy The Star policy is a document that covers everything from our purpose to our plan of action if something goes wrong. It’s the staff ’s guideline as to how our decisions are made.
The Star is a student-generated newsmagazine published through the efforts and decisions of its editorial board and staff without any prior review. It is produced, edited and maintained by students. It is an open forum for student expression and the discussion of issues of concern to its audience.
The Star and its staff are protected by and bound to the principles of the First Amendment, made possible by the Constitution and various laws and court decisions implementing those principles.
After I was done interviewing Bismarck Public School District Superintendent Tamara Uselman for this issue’s main spread, she asked me what I thought of the school resource officer program. Caught off guard, I immediately mentioned Mr. Azure from Simle Middle School. I told her that many of my classmates knew him by name and liked talking with him; I remember him as funny and easily-approachable. Until I started conducting these interviews, I really had no idea that what I had shared was the whole point of the SRO program. Personally, I think what they do is taken for granted, or at least underappreciated. I would trust any of them in an emergency; I believe they are good, professional people with a passion for their work.
Unfortunately, my reporting has also revealed some flaws of the program. While I’m in no way discrediting their quality of work, I believe the SRO coverage is fairly limited. Whose fault is that? Who knows. But I know we could use some additional manpower, and several sources have shown the same view. As Bismarck grows, I hope the program can grow with it. My goal in writing this story was not to blame any one particular party for the program’s weaknesses, or influence any of my readers to do so. I am hoping, however, that I can raise awareness in the community. Everyone is affected by it, and therefore I believe everyone should know more about it.
The Star staff will strive to report all issues in a legal, objective, accurate and ethical manner, according to the Canons of Professional Journalism developed by the Society of Professional Journalists. The Canons of Professional Journalism include a code of ethics the Star staff is encouraged to follow. The Star publishes itself and covers the budget costs entirely through advertising sales, subscriptions and fund-raising projects.
high school wrestlers undergo hydration tests to determine the amount of weight they can safely lose without dropping below 7 percent body fat. “There are certain rules in place now that don’t let kids cut a bunch of weight,” Gilliss said. “I think it’s been really good with these hydration tests.” Century head wrestling coach Jerald Lemar agrees that the hydration tests are a positive change.
“I think now with the hydration test and telling them the lowest weight they can wrestle we aren’t encouraging massive weight loss,” Lemar said. Along with hydration tests, weight cutting is recorded and regulated by a Web site through the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
“I think one of the common misconceptions is the dieting,” Lemar said. “It’s not just crash dieting, we try to regulate calorie intake.” Though weight cutting is regulated so wrestlers don’t lose dramatic amounts of weight at one
time, many still may go days without eating. Senior Shawn Greenwood has wrestled for the past 10 years. If he could change one thing about wrestling, it would be cutting weight.
Gilliss coaches wrestlers at St. Mary’s Central High School and believes there should be less emphasis on cutting weight to compete in a lower weight class for teams to fill each class.
The Century wrestling team practices daily each week for the four month season, according to Lemar.
“[Cutting weight is] really hard, but the hardest part is skipping meals,” Greenwood said. “Everyone kind of cuts weight their own way, but you don’t eat for like two days before weighing in.”
“I think there’s a lot of pressure put on kids to cut weight,” Gilliss said. “A lot of times kids think that they will do better if they cut weight and are big for the weight class.” After high school, Gilliss went on to wrestle in college at the University of Iowa. He wrestled at 142 pounds and was the 1997 NCAA Division one All-American and as a freshman his team won the
While wrestling in college, Gilliss witnessed the dramatic effects that can come from cutting weight.
“While I was wrestling in college there were actually two wrestlers that died that year from cutting too much weight,” Gilliss said. “It led to a lot of the rule changes that you are seeing now.”
“I think the hardest part is the grind of it,” Lemar said. “The length of the season can wear on a kid, especially a younger athlete.” Despite the negative effects cutting weight can have, Gilliss believes wrestling teaches many valuable skills.
“I think wrestling does a really good job teaching discipline,” Gilliss said. “And that translates to later in life.”
Photos [Left and above]| Century alum kasey gilliss wrestles for the university of iowa. gilliss was the ncaa division one all-american as a freshman in 1997. “Most guys that are cutting a lot of weight do feel miserable. It is a terrible feeling and so unhealthy,” Gilliss said. “in college you learn to eat better and you’re more disciplined because you are more mature.” Photo [Right] | Senior shawn greenwood wrestles his opponent. Greenwood has been wrestling since he was 10. “All my friends did it and it seemed like a good idea at the time,” Greenwood said.
Crazy Holiday Traditions Christmas and Thanksgiving get freaky
Photo and Cartoon | Taylor Thompson “We prank call Morgan Freeman but we have to do it quick before his voice turns the phone to gold.” -junior Dom Davis “Our annual snow fort mansions.” -junior Claire Wiseman
“Skinny dipping and throwing discus with large pizzas.” -junior Trevor Griffin “My whole family goes to the movies on Thanksgiving.” -sophomore Sarah DiDonna
“Going to the 2013 New Year’s party and waking up and it is 2015.” -junior Kasey Ward
“Eating buffalo at Christmas.” -junior Lexi Hoffman
paper predictions Students share their own fortune cookie ideas Photo and Short | Suzie Cox “Have a good day.” -freshman Abby Bourgois
“Hakuna Matata.” -freshman Kaitlyn Peterson
“Dessert CAN make you happy!” -sophomore Riley Smith
“Forget the haters, cuz somebody loves ya.” -sophomore Lynnae Ryberg “Laugh, because you’ll live longer.” -junior Maggie Schwarzkopf
“Never tease an armed midget with a high five. My life in a fortune cookie.” -junior Sara Huft “That wasn’t chicken that you just ate.” -senior Sadie Betting “Save a horse, ride a lawnmower.” -senior Eric Schmidt
plan for politics
If you could be a politician, what would be your first priority and why? short | Carissa Martin
“Solve the issue of YouTube buffering, put Starbucks in every high school to help end national debt and create a plan in case the Fire Nation attacks.” - senior Tanner Anderson “I would probably work to initialize stricter bullying policies in schools, because I know there are policies in place, but it still goes on.” - freshman Katie Leary
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“Nominate Miley as president and teach people how to twerk in preschool. It helps the lumbar.” - junior Brady Jochim “To legalize jaywalking, because it takes too long to go to the crosswalk.” - sophomore Hailey Engbrecht
“[I would be] Wayne Stenehjem. He’s my uncle and the attorney general. My first priority would be the schools and making sure every child gets a good education.” - sophomore Mason Stenehjem
“Legalize prayer in school. Then we’d be allowed to pray any way we want.” - junior Kristi Reuer
“Mr. Hilzendeger, he is really fun and awesome.” - sophomore Taryn Thiery “Mrs. Van, she is my favorite English teacher.” - junior Evan Butland “Mr. Lee, he is a Dakota Ranger.” - senior Isaac Schwartz
“Mr. Metz, he is an awesome teacher.” - sophomore Michael Hantke “Mr. Ziegler, he’s my boy!” - senior Austin Emineth
“Mrs. Van, she’s an awesome person and teacher.” - junior Chase Damschen
“Mrs. Feickert, she is really energetic.” - freshman Caitlyn Inman
Which Century teacher would make the best president?
Short | Nick Westermeyer
hey’re familiar faces. They’re a source of security. They’re in the community, schools and sporting events. They may be in uniform, but often it’s their mere presence that is enough to make a difference in the lives of young people.
The Bismarck Public School District’s school resource officer program has been in place since 2001. Currently, there are four SRO’s who cover the three middle schools and three high schools, as well as intervene in elementary schools when needed.
“As a squad of SRO’s, they do a wonderful job,” Bismarck Public School District Assistant Superintendent Mike Heilman said. “The SRO program that we have really works well.” The primary purpose of the SRO program is to build relationships with students, not act solely in a disciplinary fashion. Heilman believes presence and prevention are key elements of creating a safe school environment.
“They’re the people that can really help [the students] in a number of ways,” Heilman said. “And to me – if it’s good for the kids, it’s good for the community.”
This past August, the National Association of School Resource Officers taught a class in Bismarck for school resource officers, as well as school administrators and others involved in the program. The class covered the concept and mission of the SRO program, and how law enforcement and administrators should work together for the benefit of it. Assistant principal Lee Ziegler, who attended the course, said they also spent a lot of time on improving communication between those involved in the program. “They try to bring schools and the SRO’s together so that you have a better working relationship,” Ziegler said. “The whole goal was to make the SRO program better. There aren’t many times when we get to sit down as a group and share ideas back and forth.” Although Heilman is satisfied with the current influence that the SRO program has, he wishes to see it become stronger and more closely resemble NASRO standards.
“As we grow and expand we should also consider the expansion of the SRO program,” Heilman said. “We probably have enough SRO’s now based on the program that we have, but if that program were to change significantly, if we were to develop a more intensive SRO program, then we might not have enough.”
Assistant principal Mark Murdock is also in favor of improving the SRO program. He believes that any program should be evaluated periodically to see how it can be better utilized. “I think there could be some real benefit to the students if it was to add additional officers or if we were able to. Certainly we’d have to look at how we are utilizing the SRO’s within the school,” Murdock said. “If we could get into the education piece of it, be a little more proactive versus reactive.”
Director of Police Youth Bureau and leader of the SRO program Lt. Mike Arnold feels differently; he does not think the national model is necessarily the best fit for Bismarck. “I strongly think we need to work with what works for our community,” Arnold said.
Every year around June, the SRO contracts are evaluated to see if any changes need to be made, funding or otherwise. This year, the city expressed a desire to take a closer look at current funding agreements and determine if changes were needed. Currently, the city and the school district have a 50/50 split agreement for funding the SROs’ salary and benefits. “There was interest on the school district’s part as we grow to maybe expanding the SRO force, especially if we add an additional high school,” Heilman said.
Since then, the city and the district have met to negotiate, but an agreement has not yet been reached. The city would like for the district to pick up more of the costs, while the school district would like to see the agreement stay the same at a 50/50 split.
“We like our SRO’s, we love the work that they do for us. We appreciate the work they do, and we like the agreement that we have and we’d love to keep it in place,” Heilman said. “And I think we’re going to try to convince the city that it is that and that it works for everybody and we should leave that agreement as it is. It may come out that way or it may not.” Bismarck City Commissioner Parrell Grossman wishes to see changes made to the current funding agreement because the 50/50 split only covers salary and benefits, not other expenses like SRO gear and computer equipment. According to Grossman, a 60/40 split on salary and benefits between the district and the city would more accurately represent half of the total cost being shared by both parties.
“We like our SRO’s, we love the work that they do for us. we appreciate the work they do, and we like the agreement that we have and we’d like to keep it in place. and i think we’re going to try to convince the city that it is that and that it works for everybody and we should leave that agreement as it is. it may come out that way or it may not.”
Each SRO has a primary school in the district that they try to respond to as often as their schedule allows. Each officer also has a secondary school, so they can try to cover any need of a school if the primary officer is otherwise preoccupied. Arnold says the police department tries to keep the officers involved with the schools as much as possible. One obstacle the officers have to work around is the current procedure for writing reports. If any report needs to be written, it must be done at the police station; there is no portable option for the SRO’s to utilize at this point in time. Arnold says the department is trying to work through this issue so the officers are able to spend more of their time in the school buildings. “The ultimate goal is 70-75. What it actually is I couldn’t tell you; I don’t track the officers. I hope that they’re there that 70 to 75 percent of the time, but I couldn’t give you an accurate number,” Arnold said.
Heilman says it is a goal of the district to provide both office space and office supplies for the SRO’s in the next year, in hopes of making it easier for them to spend more time in the buildings. “We really want to spend more time and have our SRO’s spend more time on that preventative side and the best way to do that is to have them in our buildings more often,” Heilman said. Arnold would like to see the addition of more SRO’s into the school system, but that will depend on the results of negotiations.
“You have to look at what your community can adequately supply as far as monetary amounts: the city and the school. My dream world for SRO’s would be for every high school and then have an SRO for every middle school,” Arnold said. “I would love to see six SRO’s, but you know it’s all about money.” The current SRO contracts expires Dec. 31. If an agreement is not met by then, and new contracts are not decided upon, the program could potentially disappear altogether. Arnold says in this situation a limited program would be implemented in the schools.
“The city sees its value and the school sees its value, so I think there would still be some type of program,” Arnold said. “Would it encompass what we have right now? Probably not.”
Heilman disagrees. He says that if negotiations weren’t resolved by the Dec. 31 deadline, the SRO role would be gone entirely. “Policing is always the responsibility of the city. The city will always provide schools with policing, so if we were to call and need the assistance of officers, I have no question that we would get a response. They’ve been fantastic for us and they always will be,”Heilman said. “But, there wouldn’t be an SRO program, it would not be an SRO that is travelling the building frequently, spending time in the buildings, doing some of the things that are defined in that SRO model. It would be more of a response to a need rather than a preventative program.”
Recently, the Bismarck Police Department was notified that they have been accepted for a $250,000 COPS grant, which would go towards hiring two more school resource officers - one for public schools and one for private. This grant can only be used in addition to the current number of SRO’s, so if funding negotiations can’t be reached, the grant will have to be turned down. The department has until Dec. 31 to either accept or deny the three-year grant.
“It all depends on what the needs of the community are. They’re still in negotiations,” Arnold said. “The grant can only be used to add more SRO’s, so if the schools and the community say, well, we don’t really need any more, then we’re going to turn the grant down.”
All parties have expressed a desire to resolve the funding disputes before the Dec. 31 deadline, but, so far, little has been decided upon. Both the city and the district recognize the value in the SRO program, and say they wish to see it continue. Until the funding and roles of the SRO’s can be more clearly defined and agreed upon, however, the schools will potentially face a situation in which they are without a preventative, law-enforcing program. “I always go into negotiations believing that it will be solved; it must be solved for the greater good,” Uselman said. “And if the community is hungry for school resource officers, then they won’t allow the negotiations process to fail.”
“I always go into negotiations believing that it will be solved; it must be solved for the greater good. and if the community is hungry for school resource officers, then they won’t allow the negotiations process to fail.”
Catch me if you can If the purge was real, what would you steal? Short and cartoon | Taylor Thompson
“Steal a puppy from a pet store.” -junior Jaiden Schuette “I would steal two puppies.” -junior Annie Klusak “Kidnap Justin Bieber.” - junior Maddie Rants
“I would steal Joey Felton’s pants.” -sophomore Jamison Dietrich “I would definitely rob a bank.” -sophomore Natalia Condic
“I’d steal every piece of clothing from every store.” -sophomore Lexi Brown “I’d steal a candy bar.” -freshman Hannah Richter
The Christmas Jar It’s the little things that mean the most Column | Alex Skalicky
photo | submitted
I’ve seen tears in people’s eyes and the joy of a
random act of kindness.
nowflakes settle on the already frozen ground, icicles hang from drooping branches, and the scent of hot cocoa hovers throughout the warm house. Winter can be the worst part of the year, but for me it’s probably the best. For one, I love snowboarding, so when the snow starts falling, I’m all geared up and ready to go. And having an excuse to drink Starbucks every day is definitely a plus as well. But one thing I truly love about winter is Christmas. I love the smells of candles always burning, cookies in the oven, probably burning too, and the energy of everyone trying to find that one last present that their loved one will adore. I love being around family too, even though my family is completely bonkers, the holiday season is always fun and crazy.
Something my family has done for quite a few years is a Christmas Jar. We do presents and big dinners and all the classic Christmas stuff, but how I was raised, that’s not all Christmas is about. The Christmas Jar is a book my mom read a few years back and the gist of the story is to save up money in a jar and on Christmas day go out and find someone who looks like they could use a little help and give them the
money that has been saved up. In the past years, I’ve seen a smile on some people that would put any gift to shame. I’ve seen tears in people’s eyes and the joy of a random act of kindness.
One year, we went out to Wal-Mart late at night and we found a family that looked a lot like ours did, probably 10 years ago. Little girls hanging on the cart, dad pushing and mom stressing over some minor problems. We weren’t sure how to go about giving them the Christmas Jar money, until my sister grabbed it and walked right over, held the mom’s hand in hers, laid the money down, said Merry Christmas and walked away. They stared at each other, then back to us as we walked away. Another year we spent New Years in New York and so we saved the money for when we went there. We carried it around day to day and couldn’t find the right person to give it to. It wasn’t until a few hours before our flight home while we were waiting for the subway that I grabbed the money and gave it to someone. It was an older man sitting on a bench with some singing equipment to perform to the New Year’s Eve crowd
grumbling as they drug themselves home after standing in Times Square for 12 hours. As the doors opened to board the subway, I snatched the money, turned around and handed it to the man and tears started streaming down his face as he thanked me.
There is the Biblical side to Christmas, and I believe that’s why there is a Christmas day, but nowadays, it’s about what someone will receive, not what they can give. For me, the holiday has become a search to better someone else’s day, whether it be the Christmas Jar or serving at the soup cafe. Everywhere during every moment there is someone who is in need. Someone who just needs a hand when they feel nothing can go right. Whether it’s around Christmas time or the middle of July, a little act of kindness can go a very long way.
Ideas of a Father
Family loss in military involvement Column | Madison Rud
photo | Submitted
How do you talk to a
stranger who calls you
here was a comment in my English class a while ago. The teacher had brought up the military and had said that that was a sacrifice. Many agreed with her. Then this comment was said. Now I assume he was joking, but that doesn't justify it. The comment was “Nah, that’s not a sacrifice. They get paid for that.”
From fathers to mothers to brothers or sisters, even uncles, there are people who give up their time, freedom and seeing their family to protect their country. Respect should be shown for those who serve, and most of the time it is.
There are instances where it’s not thought about, though. Whenever there is an Xbox turned on to play Black Ops or Gears of War it’s not. Seldom do people think about the actual war that these battles and tactics are taken from.
I always think of the person they were before the war. Maybe they have a strong love for cherry soda and the first thing they were going to do when they got back was crack back the metal tab of one and hang out with friends. This is trivial, but it’s the little things that cut deep sometimes.
My father’s in the military. I don’t like playing war games or watching movies that portray war realistically. My dad could eventually fight in something like that, and he might not be able to say good bye to his children.To have an idea of a father is better than to know your father is dead. Yes, he gets paid. However, that’s to take care of a family he rarely gets to see, and yet there are people saying, “Nah, that’s not a sacrifice.”
Really? I only see my dad once or twice a year. The feelings I have for my dad are because of the few memories I have of him. It's still hard to think of him sometimes. The day that he told my mom he was going to get divorced with her is one of the saddest memories I have. We were living in North Carolina at the time. My dad worked at Fort Bragg. When we got home from school that day I remember my mom saying she had some bad news. She was fighting bitterly not to cry. “Your dad and I are getting divorced,” she said. We still got to see him on weekends for awhile. One of the fondest memories I have of us was when we set off a bunch of fireworks together. The multi-colored smoke bombs
we had were placed inside of a discovered pathway lantern. The wide grins and yelling of admiration grew louder when it started to melt.
We don’t really talk to him anymore. We try to email him. Sometimes our commitment is lacking. How do you talk to a stranger who calls you their daughter? Other times he doesn’t have his computer, or can’t use a phone because they can be traced. I’ve always never really knew what having a real father would be like. I say real intending it to mean there. My dad is more of a distant relative to me. The one that you know is there, but really you don’t see or talk to. I don’t remember the last time we talked. There’s always a fear that something that had happened. Was that email the last one he’d read? He said he would be done with his required service when we were around 16. I don’t know if he’ll actually decide to quit then or not. Maybe he’ll never finish his term. It was his choice, his sacrifice.
92% OF THE STAR STAFF AGREES Every student knows about Columbine, and every student knows about Sandy Hook. We’ve heard the heartbreaking stories; we’ve grown up in an era where schools have been deemed unsafe, or at least at a higher risk of violence. We’re all aware of why our classroom doors remain locked, and we’ve all practiced lockdown drills. What we, the 2013-2014 Century Star Staff, would like to know is how many students are aware of the very program that was created in response to such tragedies. What percentage of our student body could identify all four school resource officers, and how often do we think of them? Do we truly understand their roles, and do we know if those roles are being fulfilled? Obviously, every person in the community could voice their opinion on why school resource officers are needed. But, how many of those people are aware of what their job entails and what the program looks like? Is our community satisfied with only four SRO’s? Do we feel they’re spending enough time among the student population?
As a staff, we are inviting the community to ask these questions and remain informed. We feel that with community support, the SRO program can grow as it needs to. Our current resource officers are excellent, we are in no way questioning their work ethic, but we also feel there is room for improvement. The current student to SRO ratio is staggering, and their time spent in the schools possibly inadequate. In reality, we feel that the employment of more school resource officers is necessary for the mission of the program to be fulfilled. It is for the benefit of everyone that more attention be paid to the SRO program. Not to criticize it or its officers, but to better ensure the safety of the Bismarck Public School student population.