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Oct. 11, 2013

APS BOARD CANDIDATE FACES ACCUSATIONS By Archie Kinnane and Josh Weinstock n March 18, the Young Middle School Local School Council claimed that current APS Board of Education candidate Shawnna Hayes-Tavares never reimbursed Young Middle School parents a total of $970 the parents had given her for uniforms during a summer camp. Hayes-Tavares, previously banned from the Young Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association by the Georgia PTA for alleged financial misconduct which occurred during her presidency, is in the midst of a campaign to replace Yolanda Johnson as the District 6 representative. Johnson is not seeking reelection.


Johnson has defended Hayes-Tavares and believes she is the most accomplished candidate to replace her on the board. “She has 15 to 20 years of experience doing the work the board is supposed to do as a parent and an advocate,” Johnson said. “She is by far the best candidate.” Johnson said the claims Young Middle School LSC have brought against Hayes-Tavares are “unfounded allegations.” MISSING MAJORETTE MONEY Hayes-Tavares held a majorette camp at Young Middle School from July 23 to July 27.

On the camp’s flyer, obtained through a member of the Young Middle School LSC, parents were instructed to make out a $150 check to Shawnna Hayes-Tavares for uniforms. According to the March 18 Young Middle School LSC minutes, Hayes-Tavares collected $970 in full or partial uniform payments from the parents. Hayes-Tavares, however, claims that only four of the 15 girls at the camp paid for uniforms, which would equal $600 if those girls paid in full. After the majorette team was annexed by the After School All-Stars—a program with grantprovided funding for after-school activities— uniforms were no longer needed and Hayes-

Tavares said she did not purchase them. Parents asked for a refund, according to the minutes from the meeting. Although Kelvin Griffin, the Young Middle School principal, asked Hayes-Tavares to return the $970, she had yet to refund the parents by the meeting on March 18, according to the LSC minutes. Griffin and Young Middle School decided to make the parents financially whole and reimbursed them. In an interview with The Southerner, HayesTavares said she has doesn’t know why Young see CANDIDATE, page 7


Teachers handle challenges raising kids of their own while instructing students By Eli Mansbach atin teacher Scott Allen spends an hour every day with his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, just letting her sit in his lap after he picks her up from her nanny or when he gets home from work. Allen says that this is his favorite part of the day and is something he looks forward to while at work. “We have this little routine where as soon as I get home from 4:154:20 to about 5 o’clock, I’ll hold her in my lap and she will just look up at me and laugh and coo and talk to me and it’s just the sweetest thing ever,” Allen said. While having kids or adopting kids can bring joy to parents, they often find it difficult for them to raise and care for a small child while maintaining a job that can provide for the baby. One tiny fraction of those new parents teach at Grady and deal with the same challenges, whether it be how long they can afford to take off for maternity or paternity leave or how much sleep they get at night.

CHARTER = SMARTER? Fifth-graders take a test at KIPP West Atlanta Young Scholars Academy, a charter school. “Our focus is on college access, and college preparation, which starts when our kids enter kindergarten,” KIPP Metro Atlanta Executive Director David Jernigan said.

Court ruling continues debate about charter schools’ finance By Quinn Mulholland tlanta Public Schools’ charter schools cleared a major financial hurdle on Sept. 24 when Georgia’s Supreme Court ruled that they don’t have to help the district pay off its pension obligations. The decision is a setback for Superintendent Erroll Davis and the district, which had appealed the case after Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob ruled First in last December in favor of charter schools. The decision is another victory for charter school proponents, less than a year after Georgia voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment allowing for a state commission to review


charter schools if local school boards reject them. Not everyone, however, was pleased with the ruling. “We are disappointed in the decision because it perpetuates a funding inequity to the detriment of traditional school students,” Davis told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Atlanta Public Schools will continue to pursue other options to resolve this growing disparity in a series funding for our school district.” This disparity has been the subject of contentious argument in recent years, with both charter schools and traditional public schools

Charter Schools:



The Atlanta Bike Coalition proposed a plan to add a crosswalk and a police officer at the 10th Street entrance to help student bikers get to school safely.



12 lifestyle

Across the street from Grady, the annual music festival, Music Midtown, filled Piedmont Park with the sounds of artists from far and wide.

see BABIES, page 16

Infograph by Eli Mansbach

Quinn Mulholland


Information from The International Labour Organzation


Grady’s restrooms are notoriously filthy, with toilets that don’t work, holes in the wall, graffiti on every available surface and nonexistent mirrors.

Get a glimpse into various Midtown residents’ lives in “Humans of Midtown,” a new feature on The Southerner’s Facebook page and website.



t heSoutherner

Editorial Board J.d. Capelouto Orli Hendler Archie Kinnane Eli Mansbach Quinn Mulholland Ryan Switzer Olivia Volkert Alex Wolfe

Flip side of success This year 85 high school students from APS have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on AP exams this past year. Amazingly enough, 80 of these students were from Grady. The other five recipients came from Carver School of the Arts and South Atlanta School of Law and Social Justice. In addition, of all APS schools, Grady’s average composite SAT score this year was the highest at a 1515, while the Georgia average was 1452 and the APS average was 1331. While these are wonderful statistics on Grady’s part, we are left to wonder what these say about other schools. It is important to look at this fairly large disparity in performance critically and understand that this might not be an issue of students failing their AP exams or bombing their SAT’s. One reason for this gross difference in schools’ performances may be the failure of many schools to provide their students with educational programs, such as Advanced Placement, gifted and talented programs and SAT/ACT preparation opportunities. Grady offers 19 AP classes and a variety of different SAT prep classes so that a greater number of students can take advantage of these opportunities and increase their chances of success. It is also important to note that North Atlanta High School does not offer many AP classes because it has the IB program. If the AP and SAT participation rates at a school are high and students are being provided with preparatory opportunities, APS high schools should consider other reasons for this disparity, such as a lack of effective teachers, attention from the school or sufficient funding for these training programs. Whatever the reasons are, we hope that schools are able to address them in a manner that is efficient and inclusive of the student body. We hope that it isn’t just one APS high school that produces 94 percent of the AP Scholars in a year or scores significantly higher on the SAT than the systemwide average. And Grady, after celebrating the successes we experienced as a school this past year, we encourage you to consider the other side of the coin and how the other 13 APS high schools can be improved. p

New bike lane brings less pain, primarily gain Dear editors, I was very interested to read Allison Rapoport’s recent comment “Bike Lane Brings Pain Instead of Gain (Sept. 4, page 3).” I agree that there is a learning curve for Grady student cyclists, drivers and the general public when it comes to the 10th Street cycle track. But I think it’s a huge gain for Atlanta. Here’s why. Tenth Street is an important connection between the BeltLine and Midtown Atlanta and cyclists coming off the BeltLine need a safe route to Midtown. Once complete, the 10th Street cycle track will connect to various bike paths in Midtown. Rapoport is correct that cyclists could ride in Piedmont Park, but it is important to understand that the paths in Piedmont Park were not built to accommodate cyclists who are commuting at rapid speeds and putting cyclists on the same path as walkers, runners and other rec-

For the third year since it took a six-year hiatus, Music Midtown resounded through Piedmont Park, bringing famous artists from across the world to play across the street from Grady. And, just like each of the two previous years, as the dust settles and the giant stages are dismantled and wheeled away, we are rewarded with a field of trampled grass that looks near death. In the days following Music Midtown, the Piedmont Park Conservatory set up rings of black tarp fences surrounding large swatches of dead grass and dried mud that still bears the scars of tens of thousands of feet beating down on it. When viewed from the second floor of Grady, they look like circular scars dotting the field. This year, the fenced-in areas are exceptionally large due to the heavy rain on Saturday, Sept. 21 that turned the field into a giant, muddy marsh. The amount of trash that accumulated on the edges of 10th Street and our new bike lane was astounding, and the workers that we could see picking up trash the Monday after Music Midtown didn’t seem to be able to make a dent in the pile. What is more worrying is the effect that the trampled grass has not only on the aesthetic of the park, but on the ability of Atlantans to use the park as a place of fun and exercise. Since the whole field is fenced off, the Grady cross-country team has been unable to run through that area, and the people that usually bring blankets to picnic on the edge of the field are nowhere to be found. The inability to use the field will last for a couple of weeks until the new grass grows in. Live Nation, the sponsor of Music Midtown, promises every year to pay for the full cost of remediation, including cleanup, fencing, re-sodding and mulching. This year, Live Nation has had more fences and sod to pay for than ever since the heavy rain and the addition of another stage resulted in more damaged areas. We can only hope that the weather is favorable and the new grass grows in quickly so that we can once again enjoy what Piedmont Park has to offer. p

reational users is not necessarily ideal. In fact, in the city of Atlanta, it is illegal to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk unless you are under the age of 16. The law is designed to pevent collisions. Note that the bike path works fairly well on the BeltLine, but that path is 12feet wide, much wider than our sidewalks and park paths. Rapoport is correct that the City may not have considered the impact of the lane closure on the traffic turning into Grady and subsequent backups that are caused by other cars needing to wait for the turn to be made. A group of concerned parents recently met with Joshuah Mello, assistant director of planning-transportation for the City of Atlanta to discuss some options. A few areas being considered are adding a turn lane and eventually a refuge island so that there will be a safer way to cross the street and cars will have a place to wait to make the left without blocking traffic. In the meantime, we are working to ensure an officer is at the entrance during drop off and pick up to get cars and cyclists into school safely. So yes, we all have a lot to learn


Music Mud-town

Oct. 11, 2013

about living in a city where cars, pedestrians and cyclists can coexist. This is not something that Atlantans have a lot of experience with. But the BeltLine is forcing us to learn how it can work for the better. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is monitoring the use of the cycle track and has already seen a significant increase in the number of cyclists coming across 10th Street. More people on bikes means fewer people in cars. And ultimately, less traffic. I’m all for seeing our city head in that direction. So I’m willing to put up with a little pain for a big gain. Jodi Mansbach Grady parent and urban planner for Green Street Properties

We want to know what you think! Love an article? Hate one? Find an error? Tell us about it! The Southerner welcomes letters from any and all of our readers. Contact us at

f the month

What is the craziest rumor your student has told you about Grady?

That they sleep on the roof of the building to watch concerts.”

Sonya Jordan, sophomore parent

That on the first day of school during dragging, they would attach hooks to your backpack and pull them off your back.” Joe Bannon, freshman parent

There was a designated classroom where students would go to have sex. ...”

“It was literal sex-ed!” Sean Link and Nayada Cowherd, sophomore parents


My kid doesn’t talk to me, so I haven’t heard anything.” Jane Chisholm, junior parent

In the story “ATLiens Ultimate Team Abducts National Title” (Sept. 4, page 20), Brandon Kleber was listed as a Grady underclassman. He is a junior.

Southerner Staff 2013-2014 Editor-in-Chief: J.D. Capelouto Managing Editors: Archie Kinnane, Eli Mansbach Associate Managing Editors: Orli Hendler, Quinn Mulholland, Olivia Volkert Design Editors: Ansley Marks, Rebecca Martin News Editors: Allison Rapoport, Josh Weinstock Comment Editors: Ryan Switzer, Alex Wolfe Lifestyle Editor: Caroline Morris Sports Editors: Ryan Bolton, Ben Searles Photo and Social Media Editor: Mary Condolora

Staff: Anna Braxton, Chris Brown, Nick Caamano, Emily Dean, Riley Erickson, Elizabeth Gibbs, Molly Gray, Carter Guensler, Ike Hammond, Griffin Kish, Brandon Kleber, Gabe Kovacs, Billie Lavine, Lucy Lombardo, Hannah Martin, Katherine Merritt, Mary Claire Morris, Maxwell Rabb, Jenni Rogan, Koya Siebie, Ben SimondsMalamud, Jennifer Steckl, Margo Stockdale, Madeline Veira

An upbeat paper for a downtown school Advisers: Kate Carter, Dave Winter

To our readers,

The Southerner, a member of GSPA, SIPA, CSPA and NSPA, is a monthly student publication of: Henry W. Grady High School 929 Charles Allen Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

The Southerner welcomes submissions, which may be edited for grammar, inappropriate language and length. Please place submissions in Mr. Winter or Ms. Carter's box in the main office. Subscriptions are also available. For more information, please contact Mr. Winter, Ms. Carter or a member of the staff.


Oct. 11, 2013

Teens ‘tumbling’ down slippery slope Tumblr, a popular social media site, hosts 139.4 million active blogs as of Oct. 1. That means millions of those individuals see the disturbing entries glorifying anxiety and depression on a regular basis; posts including phrases like ‘Once they stop talking to you, they start talking about you’ and ‘I don’t need a reason to Hannah Martin kill myself, I need a reason not to.’ Teenagers who have never experienced depression before are jumping on the bandwagon and diagnosing themselves as depressed or anxious, all just to fit in with a community of people on the Internet. These users harm both themselves and others by posting graphic narratives and images and encourage the attitude that everyone is out to harm one another. Tumblr has reportedly taken action against these posts by banning them from the site, but the ban is seldom enforced. It’s truly frightening for someone with anxiety to read these posts on a regular basis, and the posts shouldn’t have to be tolerated by anyone. A study conducted by Nutrociência, a nutrition-based organization in Portugal, indicated that depression rose as Internet usage increased among youth with a perceived “low friendship quality.” You would think people would use the Internet to support each other through struggles with depression and anxiety, but instead, it has been morphed into a medium of self-loathing glorification. So why the negative attitude? It can’t be that every single person who falls under this self-diagnosing identity has been raised to want to be anxiety-ridden. It can’t be that they don’t want to

flourish and/or help one another; every human wants to enjoy life. I think it’s time for serious reform on websites like Tumblr. One anxiety blog post reads: “Do you ever just sit there, and realize how alone you really are? Realize that you can’t really rely on your family, and you don’t really have anyone you can call your ‘best friend’ or someone who you can trust with your life. At least I have my cat.” This post is a perfect example of the horrible identity being promoted by thousands of teenagers today— the awkward, cat-loving, friendless girl who’s just waiting to be discovered. It’s not cute or funny to try to adopt this miserable persona, and there’s no reason why anyone should want to. To be perfectly honest, I feel that many entries written about anxiety and depression are by authors who have nothing above the average level of teen angst, worrying about petty little things like relationships and homework (not to say that some of them aren’t authentic). The conditions are being used as a mask for youth to hide behind and as an excuse for seemingly awkward everyday happenings that, truth be told, most people experience as they mature. It’s humiliating for people with serious conditions to be forced to identify with a bunch of wannabe kids who want to seem like some disturbing form of a hidden, antisocial treasure. Teens (not to mention Internet users of all ages) should be free to enjoy their lives and pursue happiness without the pressure of negative posts bringing them down. p For more coverage on the negative effects of social media see “Social media phenomenon inspires low self-esteem” on page 15.

Axel Olson

Teachers with rifles will stifle security It is time to face the harsh reality of the society we live in today. We live in a world where we are surrounded by crime, poverty and violence. Recently, Ryan Bolton however, we have been reminded once again of the consequences of firearms being in the wrong hands, such as when an armed gunman entered the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 16, taking 12 lives before being killed by local police. The severity and frequency of senseless and tragic gun violence is increasing. Violence has taken its toll with a vengeance in cities across this nation, even in places presumed to be the safest of all: our schools. The saddest truth is how the presence of guns in our schools has become somewhat of a “new normal” in America. Men and women yielding guns—boys and girls even—have wreaked havoc or created disturbances in places such as the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Century movie theater in Aurora, Colo., McNair Learning Academy in Decatur, and even Atlanta Public Schools’

Price Middle School and our very own Grady High School. Here’s a statistic to consider: Guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens, and the No. 1 cause among African-American children and teens, according to the Children’s Defense Fund. Despite this reality, groups such as the National Rifle Association have called upon school districts to arm teachers in case of an emergency. If you consider this idea to be inconceivable, think again. According to the Associated Press, the Arkansas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies not only voted to allow each of the state’s 13 school districts to arm their teachers but also to train them as volunteer security guards so that they can be licensed to carry concealed weapons. An idea of this caliber is foolish and a mockery of the true meaning of safety in schools. Not only will arming teachers not solve the problem of guns in schools, but it could also potentially worsen the issue. Arming teachers with firearms would require training for all teachers at an additional expense, while also increasing the number of guns in schools. Providing guns to teachers would make guns more accessible to anyone with negative inten-

tions within the school, thus creating a more dangerous environment. After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary when 27 innocent children were killed out of spite, President Barack Obama posed a set of questions to the families of the victims, as well as the American public as a whole. “This is our first task: caring for our children,” Obama said on Dec. 16 during a prayer vigil for the families of the victims. “It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged. And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?” Unfortunately, the answer to each of these is no. The number of gun incidents since Sandy Hook, since Aurora, since Columbine even, is proof that we are not meeting our obligations, and we are not doing enough as a country to keep children safe. Arming teachers will not and will never be justified until gun control is enforced and our gun laws are reviewed as a whole and improved significantly, even if it takes just one step at a time. p For more coverage on guns in schools see “Local schools will vote on rifles and safes” on page 6.


Foreign Language department devoid of ‘je ne sais quoi’ Since kindergarten, I have learned quite a few lessons that have contributed to my ascent through elementary, middle and high school, and the age old axiom “you can pick your nose, you can pick your friends, but Margo Stockdale you can’t pick your friend’s nose” has probably proved to be the most useful. Few classes, however, have made the transition all the way from kindergarten to high school. Leaving behind African-American music studies, “extended learning time,” and an art class puppet named Pablo, the only classes that have continued since kindergarten are math, language arts, and foreign language. After 11 years of foreign-language classes, I have somewhat capably completed the graduation requirements for foreign language in the state of Georgia. My dilemma, however, is I feel I have not adequately grasped many basic concepts of the French language. I know I am miles away from the 85 percent proficiency required by the state standards, let alone fluency. The problem lies neither with the teachers nor the students, per se. It is the lack of overall global awareness that plagues many American students. In America we are relatively isolated, so language classes are not treated with the same sense of importance as, say, math. As the world merges together and interconnectivity increases, I believe that foreign language is becoming increasingly important. It is so easy to communicate with people in our technologically centered society, and a lack of language comprehension is an extraordinary barrier. We do not have any excuse to contribute to this ignorance. Education is compulsory in America, and nearly all states require some form of foreign language. Many school systems, including APS, start this education as early as elementary school. At my elementary school, Spanish was my least favorite class, and in both middle and high school when I enrolled in French, my attitude towards foreign language continued. It seemed that, especially in high school, no one wanted to be there. When my teacher, Ms. Monye, tried to start a new lesson or give a test, the class would break into a collective groan or argue that she “never taught us this,” regardless of whether or not that was true. Perhaps those who truly do not wish to be there would be weeded out if foreign language was not a requirement, but I don’t think that necessarily solves the problem. Some schools in Georgia, including South Forsyth High School, have initiated after-school foreign language training so students can get ahead in the job world right after high school. These types of programs are effective because they offer an array of languages that may not be an option in traditional classrooms. The Georgia Foundation for Public Education Partners hopes to expand the program statewide by next year. The most advantageous solution, however, would be to promote students to the next language class based on understanding rather than grade level. This may hold some students back, but it would also encourage students to try harder in the language, or treat it like an actual class in order to pass. As globalization increases, education needs to not only increase in core areas, but also in crucial life skills such as foreign language. p

EXCLUSIVELY @ Breakfast restaurant opens in Inman Park Until about a week ago, I had never enjoyed grits. That all changed when I paid my first visit to Folk Art. Open since mid-August, Inman Park’s new restaurant is a hip destination for breakfast, lunch, or brunch on any meal between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. It is on the corner of North Highland and Colquitt Avenues. It was a crisp September ...

Grady alum offers perspective on March on Washington From her first day of high school to her commencement at the University of Michigan, Barbara Feinberg watched in awe as the world around her changed forever. In eight years, she witnessed the Civil Rights Movement that integrated schools across the nation transform into a nation full of young people with thoughts about movements ...



Mainstream media a bunch of twerks

Women bear burden of their own portrayal by Isabel Olsen

by Preston Choi

Miley Cyrus’s butt. That is the image that comes to mind when we think of women in the news recently. Before that, we thought of the naked models in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines music video. Very few people think about the Saudi Arabian women working to remove the driving ban placed upon them. In the media, we choose to portray women who fail to meet certain standards or who are sexualized for attention instead of those who are working to advance the rights of women and bring down unjust treatment. When we focus more on the failures of women rather than their successes we are not doing justice to all of their hard work, and we choose to let what is wrong become more important than what is right. The craze following the 2013 Video Music Awards has overshadowed more important news; in Saudi Arabia women have been putting a campaign into action to remove the ban on women being able to drive. A cleric tried to counter this by asserting he had found evidence that driving negatively affected the women’s pelvises and ovaries. In response to his statement, the hashtag #WomensDrivingAffectsOvariesAndPelvises was created to point out the ridiculousness of this sentiment. More than 10,000 women have signed a petition to promote the idea that there is no clear justification for this religious edict. While these actions are heroic, the media coverage of them has been slight. Sadly, more people seemed focused on the physics of Miley’s twerking and grinding than on the mistreatment of women in Saudi Arabia. Even before the VMAs, Blurred Lines swept the nation, causing outcry against the sexualization of women by men. Robin Thicke showed his opinion of women through his song, and though it is empowering for women to take control of their sexuality, it is distasteful for their sexuality to be the only thing given importance. No matter how much artistic vision or liberties you attribute to the video, naked women slinking around men in suits gives a pretty clear message. In response, a group of women, the Law Revue Girls, created a parody called “Defined Lines,” reversing the genders of the original video and stating their opinions of how men view them. The backlash was enormous; scores of men commented how the women who created the video were just as bad as Thicke for showing scantily clad men fawning over women, though those kinds of comments on the original video were often ignored. Focusing on the failures of women is much easier to sell. It’s much more fun to gossip about someone’s mistakes rather than their accomplishments. We make it seem that shining a spotlight on the women working against what their predecessors have worked for is better than dismissing it for what it is: the misguided actions of a few. Even when women speak up for themselves in regard to these situations, there are countless responses stating how they are overreacting and beating a dead horse. It may seem feminist to allow it to keep happening as if we were above it, but we are obviously not. We love to show how women shouldn’t behave nowadays, and though it is important to make these stereotypes less glamorous, it is more important to show what women are doing to stop this treatment. p

e h T

Oct. 11, 2013

After the distasteful music video Blurred Lines and the horrific performance by Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Video Music Awards, it seems women are being viewed in a bad light. Many women are being looked down upon in today’s mainstream media, for their sexual portrayal, drugs or anything else with a negative connotation; however, there is no one to blame for their actions but themselves. Miley Cyrus, along with her many unique backup dancers, put on a performance at the VMAs that was tasteless, but by no means shocking. It isn’t just Miley who is to blame. After all, Robin Thicke was involved in both the Blurred Lines video and the VMA performance. Unsurprisingly, it has been said that the VMA rehearsal for their piece was not the same as the actual performance, that Cyrus did some improvising. Even if this is the case and Thicke did not plan for a performance that went to that level, he still produced the music video with similar content. Nevertheless, it was Cyrus’s decision to play that role, and it ended up making her look bad because she was the one acting inappropriately. That is her fault alone. I have never felt that women should be treated differently from men, but I also am passionate about women portraying themselves in a respectful manner. This, of course, should apply to men as well. Right now, the situation women face is how they are discriminated against throughout the world. The level of discrimination against women is less than it has been in the past, but it is still an unfortunate reality. Because this, it is the responsibility of women to do their best to uplift their image. Women should portray themselves with dignity and self-respect. Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce may be cut-throat, that does not mean women or men should be rewarded for actions and parts that are shamelessely inappropriate. There are plenty of women in today’s media that portray healthy, empowering figures, such as Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce. It may be hard, but it is possible and respectable for women to act as role models. It is also incredibly dangerous, discrimination is still endemic, to assume that just because some performers try to push boundaries, that all women wish to do so. Women outside of show business and the relating careers are not associated with those committing the inappropriate acts, and should not be compared to them. Just like Thicke’s video, the problem with feminism today is that the lines separating the stances have been blurred. I personally believe in the idea that women can take care of and take responsibility for themselves. Independence and accountability are the truest forms of feminism. Woman choosing to act in these negative ways must not only be held to their own actions, but also change the non- verse message they communicate when they perform. If young girls are consistently bombarded with heteronormative standards for women, at some point these standards become internalized. With this in mind, it is also important to remember that women not associated with the mainstream media’s coverage should not be compared to those who are. The cold truth is if women expect to get equal standings in this world, they must rise above expectations, especially if they are in the spotlight. p



Is the mainstream media unfairly portraying women?

Irritating checkout process worth the inconvenience Grady has once again added another obstacle to dodge in the midst of our busy lives: our new checkout process. Doctor appointments, illnesses, family emergencies and funerals are all among the possible reasons why a student might need to check out of school. The Katherine Merritt new checkout procedures no longer allow a student to leave for any reason, unless their parent comes to Grady to check them out of school in person. Last year, a student who was 17 or older could check themselves out. The new policy is inconvenient and unpopular among the students, but it’s also safer and better for the school. Most students strongly oppose the new procedures for

valid reasons, but their concerns are less significant than improved safety, the new policy achieves. Those with parents who work full-time worry that they will not be able to leave school if they feel sick during the school day. Others feel that it is unnecessary for their parents to escort them to their appointments. “It’s more stressful because your parent has to come just to sign you out, while you can just go by yourself if you’re driving,” junior Emma Kohanowich said. The new procedures are inconvenient for those Grady parents who work full-time. With everyone’s busy schedules, it may seem unreasonable to make an extra commute to Grady to retrieve kids who are fully capable of driving themselves, but it’s the only way the school can guarantee the parents are notified of their kids whereabouts. “Safety has been a problem, because I don’t know who’s on

the phone,” said Jurea Harris, who works in the attendance office. “Let’s say someone is pretending to be your mom and they’re not. You could leave with someone and end up in the trunk of their car.” She has a point. There is no telling what could happen, and the procedures eliminate that potential danger. The Urban location of Grady brings along an increased risk of danger. “We are in the middle of everything,” speech and debate teacher Mario Herrera said. “It’s a cool place, but you also have to be careful.” The heavy traffic and busy community can be overwhelming and hazardous. It is best that a parent is aware of their kid’s whereabouts, especially after checking out of school. Although the cons of the new procedures are plentiful, the issue of safety is far more important. p

Oct. 11, 2013



Teens’ rebellious spirits set adrift from lack of draft In the 1960s, the escalation of the Vietnam War resulted in mass protests and the beginning of the counterculture movement. Since that time, young people in America were rebellious and willing to fight for what they believed in. Until now. Even though our nation fought in Chris Brown two wars for more than half of the lives of most Grady students, our generation remains apathetic towards our government’s foreign policy. Gone are the days of the Vietnam War protests, when students across the nation united in order to express their dissent about how the government was handling social issues and military conflict. In some cases, young people were ready to give their lives for their cause. The largest protest in American history, the Peace Moratorium, a march of more than half a million protesters on Washington, D.C. in protest of the Vietnam War, occurred on Nov. 16, 1969. This protest was led by newly minted student-run organizations, such as the Students for a Democratic Society. During the Iraq War, however, the largest demonstration held included a mere 200,000 protesters. The vast disparities between student involvement in protest and activism against the Vietnam and Iraq wars beg the question: What happened

to the rebellious spirit of America’s youth? The answer, while simple, is disheartening. As the war in Vietnam progressed, the shadow of the draft loomed over many male teenagers and twenty-somethings, who feared that at any time they might be selected to be sent to fight and possibly die in a war in which they did not believe. Between 1965 and 1973, more than 1.72 million men were drafted into military service, and these draftees accounted for approximately 30.4 percent of the casualties that occurred during the war. The implementation of a draft caused widespread discontent, particularly within the draft’s target age groups (men between the age of 18 and 26). The draft was discontinued in 1973 by President Richard Nixon as the U.S. transitioned to an all-volunteer military service policy. Young people were so adamant in their opposition to the Vietnam War because of the war’s potential direct effect on their well-being. The young Americans’ voices coalesced into a firestorm of self-preservation that burned the hands of all who tried to put it out. Conversely, youth opposition to the Iraq War has been all but nonexistent since our generation was never faced with the possibility of involuntary participation. We share the discomforting trait of not caring about what happened to others, as long as the effects did not and could not reach us. Therefore,

many of us were simply not motivated to fight for our beliefs regarding the war. The presence of youth activism shouldn’t rely on how directly a policy affects a protester. As the future of this nation, our actions and ideals are the most important. We cannot continue to be content and aloof as decisions are made for us. In a society sped up by social media and technology, young people are now more able than ever to organize large-scale protests and activist movements. Young people put these tools to good use during the Arab Spring, where millions of people were brought together in protest through social media outlets, primarily Twitter and Facebook. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that 95 percent of American teens (14-17 year olds) go online, while more than half of those teens (55 percent) use some form of social networking. The Vietnam War was an important event in our nation’s history. Young people proved they had a voice in government, and an influential one at that. Despite their reputations as “hippies,” the young people of the 1960s knew what they stood for, and they made sure Uncle Sam knew too. Times like these present a rare opportunity, an opportunity for us to learn from those who came before us. If we are willing to speak out even when we aren’t directly at risk, we might even be able to transcend them. p

Decisions, decisions: just don’t lose sleep

Madeline Veira

Indecision plagues us all. Sometimes we have difficulty with the simplest of things, like choosing between buying a taco or a burrito, or whether to wear a blue or a green shirt. But sometimes a choice can seem almost too challenging to answer, a fact that I learned the hard way over Labor Day weekend when a 10-yearold demanded I answer the following question: Alex Wolfe Would You Rather a) have extremely noticeable orange dandruff all over your head every day, or b) have a booger perpetually hanging out of your nose? I eventually chose a, but not before being thoroughly grossed out and concluding on a different matter entirely: “Would You Rather” poses awful, yet important, quandaries. For those of you who have never attended a sleepover party or been in the presence of kids under the age of 10, “Would You Rather” is a game that presents two equally unappealing or equally desirable choices that you must choose between. A standard example usually sounds something like: Would You Rather a) have the ability to fly, or b) have the ability to read minds? (My choice: a.) More complex examples are harder to answer, like: Would You Rather a) go to one of the top colleges in the nation for tons of money, or b) go to an “OK” college for almost nothing? Oh, wait a second; that’s not a “Would You Rather” question, that’s just one of my many constant internal dilemmas. As a senior in high school, my life seems like an endless game of “Would You Rather.” On a daily basis I am forced to make hard choices, like a) hanging out with my friends or b) participating in one the many extracurriculars I need to pursue in order to get into college (my choice: b), or a) finishing all my homework or b) sleeping (my choice: a.) These everyday decisions force me to constantly choose between the lesser of two evils. On the other end of the spectrum, the day when I essentially select what path my future will take is looming ever nearer. I will need to decide which college I want to attend from my (hopefully) long list of acceptances. This choice will be insanely difficult not because I don’t like any of my options, but because I like them too much. It’s similar to picking only one breed of puppy to love: how can you possibly choose only one? In the end, the choice is less important than how you react after making it. My choice is to make it work. Yes, having orange dandruff is a fate equivalent to social death in high school, but instead of moping around about it, just put on a hat. Find some way that can drive your “impossible” choice in a new and better direction. Even our 67th secretary of state agrees that you can’t let a difficult choice overwhelm you. “I can’t stand the kind of paralysis that some people fall into because they’re not happy with the choices they’ve made,” Hillary Clinton said in October 2012. Though she was addressing women who feel they must make a choice between work and family, her message can still apply to all situations. You can’t allow yourself to fall into “paralysis” because of indecision, or worse, due to the aftermath of making a decision. Even when it seems like you are living one big game of “Would You Rather,” you must learn how to live with the choice you have made. Would You Rather a) agonize over a choice you have made and never truly accept it or b) make your choice work for you? (My choice: b). p

Davis can’t quite make the grade The end of the current fall semester is not only a milestone for students but also one for SuperinMolly Gray tendent Erroll Davis. And while he won’t receive a carbon-copied report card from APS, he’s going to earn a progress report from yours truly. Davis is going to be tested against the standards in three major areas of performance: correcting the effects of the cheating scandal, re-districting, and school security. Let’s hope he doesn’t cheat.

An act of public service? Davis stepped into scandal-ridden shoes when he became superintendent; therefore, to assess his performance, I must examine how he dealt with the demons of APS’s past. The only radical changes I witnessed were security increases during standardized testing. Aside from offering only one year of remedial courses, Davis has done nothing to reeducate, thus allowing for an entire generation of APS children from 44 different schools who are not prepared for new levels of learning and content. NPR tells the story of one new

student at Cascade who was horribly affected by the scandal. She exceeded on her CRCTs but as a ninth-grader, could only read at the fifth grade level. Her parents moved districts because they did not find acceptable support and reeducation within APS. You earned an F on dealing with the cheating scandal, Mr. Davis.

Pacifying the masses One of the most interesting visuals created in Davis’s tenure has got to be the picture of him as a KKK member, Photoshopped by angry Atlanta citizen Nathaniel Dyer, who has no children of his own. The propaganda implies that Davis was racist in his closure of predominantly black schools, but this accusation isn’t really true. Davis shut down schools that were money pits because they were completely underpopulated. When it came to re-zoning, even though parents zoned for Grady didn’t make accusatory graphics, they certainly made the most ruckus. Mary Lin parents wouldn’t even think of the possibility of sending their children to Jackson High School, while Morningside and SPARK parents couldn’t make any suggestions about fixing overcrowding without sounding elitist and classist. Davis rightfully turned the other cheek to this downright nasty bickering, but

he certainly didn’t listen to their valid concerns either. You earned a B-minus for rezoning. I probably would have done the same. Sometimes it’s hard to listen to angry parents trying to protect their children.

Concrete garden and gun After the tragic Newtown, Conn. massacre, it felt as if schools were walking on half an inch of ice. When a gun was fired at an APS middle school, it felt as if we were walking on only a quarter inch. After a Grady student accidentally shot herself in the leg, it felt as if we had fallen in. Even though Davis had said in a press conference that “schools are not fortresses,” Grady has no doubt cracked down on security. Whether those changes came from our administration or from the central office on Trinity Avenue is unclear, and now that a new school year has started, teachers appear to be slacking in their bag checking duties once again. As no other incident has happened, you earned a solid B for your efforts, Mr. Davis. So all in all, Davis’s tenure was an average C performance. Things could have been better, but they could have also been a whole lot worse. Thanks, Mr. Davis. I wish you the best of luck wherever you go next. p



the Southerner

News Briefs

Oct. 11, 2013

Gainesville schools to vote on rifle safes

Violence in schools is a pervasive problem that cannot be solved by arming teachers. Comment on Page 5.


Do you favor strategic placement of semi-automatic rifles in schools for use by School Resource Officers, if needed? 4% 16%

On Sept. 16, Howard “Gene” Taylor rescinded his resignation as principal of North Atlanta High School. In a Undecided letter to the North Atlanta community, Taylor wrote that APS Superintendant Erroll Davis agreed to address his concerns. He also added that principals No should not be hired to achieve the results of a CEO but “function as a micromanaged middle level manager.”


Author series garners alumni participation


By Ben Simonds-Malamud Administrators at three Gainesville City Schools will vote later in October on whether to purchase three AR-15 assault rifles and biometric gun safes for their schools. The schools’ governance councils, bodies at each school that will make the final decision, have been considering the plan since early September. The Gainesville Police Department proposed the $6,000 plan in a Board of Education business meeting on Sept. 3. If approved, the district will place one rifle each at Gainesville High School, Gainesville Middle School and Wood’s Mill Academy, an alternative school for grades 6-12 with 100 sudents. Cpl. Joseph Britte of the Gainesville Police Department’s community relations department said the proposal had previously been tabled, but resurfaced after an August shooting at McNair Elementary School in Dekalb County. “What we’ve done is added more firepower,” Britte said, expressing the difficulty of responding to an armed intruder with only a pistol as defense. “When you see these school shootings, the perpetrator has more powerful weapons than us.” The national gun control debate has touched on the issue of assault rifles in schools. The National Rifle Association is a leading advocate of guns in schools; its National School Shield task force released a 225-page report in April, which proposes arming teachers and other administrators in addition to School Resource Officers (SROs). In January, President Barack Obama issued 23 executive actions on gun control, one of which proposed better training for law enforcement officers, school officials and teachers that could be involved in a school shooting. Obama, however, ideologically opposed to the NRA, has not endorsed more powerful firearms in schools. The Gainesville Police Department is in charge of all security for the Gainesville City School System, which is composed of eight schools. The three schools where gun safes are proposed are the system’s largest and house its oldest students. The other five are elementary schools. Since all Gainesville City Schools are charter schools, each school’s governance council will decide whether to install the safes. The school board held a public forum to discuss the proposal on Sept. 30, but only governance councils will vote on the policy. Mo Canady, the executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers

Principal returns to North Atlanta HS

The Writing Center kicked off its 2013-2014 Author Series with a visit from novelist and Grady alum Amanda DeWees on Sept. 16. Various authors who have penned literary works will speak monthly in the media center or Black Box Theater. In January, the Writing Center will feature Grady alum Gabrielle Fulton Ponder, a playwright with the Horizon Theater. The media center distributed a flyer with the full schedule.



No Undecided from an access north georgia survey of

(NASRO), said more schools are ramping up security in response to school shootings. Canady said NASRO has worked with the agencies that install the safes, and that they rarely pose risks. “In those particular lockers, the only risks would be if someone got control of the combination or the key to the locker,” Canady said. Sammy Smith, a member of the Gainesville school board and a graduate of Gainesville High School, said Gainesville’s safes will be more advanced, secured with measures like fingerprinting and eye recognition. In the event of an extreme emergency, only SROs will have access to the gun safes. Britte said the officers will lock the rifles in their cars every night. The school system has just three SROs, who are also in charge of security for the district’s elementary schools. Currently, each officer is armed with a handgun. Britte said since officers must “rove” around to multiple schools, there is not always an SRO in every school, and elementary schools get the least coverage. Canady said that, as a result of funding shortages, many schools are often left unmanned. Delores Diaz, the vice chair of the Gainesville Board of Education, said the plan was not a response to problems in Gainesville schools,

1,780 people.

but was put forward as a precautionary measure because of incidents in Georgia and across the country. “We haven’t had any problems locally, but we want to be proactive,” Diaz said. Smith expressed similar thoughts. “There are no major security problems [in Gainesville schools] that I can recall,” Smith said. “An occasional fight between two students. I recall two incidents of graffiti.” Smith also said he believed having assault rifles in safes was a fairly common security measure for schools to take. Canady was unaware of specificities but has seen gun safes installed elsewhere. “I don’t know that [having a gun safe is] overly common, but it’s not uncommon either,” Canady said. Diaz’s main goal is to make schools more secure, especially since her grandchildren attend the schools in which rifle safes would be placed. “I’d prefer to have a weapon in the hands of a trained officer,” she said. “I definitely don’t support anyone else in the building being armed.” While the vote on the Gainesville Police Department’s plan has not yet taken place, its widespread support may indicate a strong future for assault rifles in schools. p

Coffeehouse visitors get their just deserts On Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., the Grady Thespians will host their second coffeehouse of the year in the Black Box Theater. The November theme is “The Undergrounds: A Hipster Coffeehouse.” Tickets are $5 at the door, and viewers get unlimited coffee and desserts. All proceeds will go toward funding drama productions throughout the year. Screenings to perform in coffeehouse will be held on Nov. 13 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gas leak near Grady results in evacuation On Sept. 23 during fourth period, a gas leak was discovered next to the Grady gymnasium. Students were required to evacuate the campus, and 10th Street was blocked off. As administrators gathered by the trailers, multiple firetrucks arrived on the scene. Although no damages were reported, all after-school activities were canceled for the day.

Hall Monitor: APS Trial Update

Hall’s illness could change results By Allison Rapoport In the month since the last Hall Monitor update, not much has occurred in regard to the APS cheating trials. Trials like this, on such a large scale and with so many defendants, proceed slowly. In August, 34 defendants presented a Garrity motion (which involves the defense claiming that the evidence acquired by the prosecutors to indict the APS officials was gathered unjustly) to the Georgia Court of Appeals. The motion is still being reviewed by the court, which will decide whether or not they will hear the appeal before the trial (appeals are usually heard after the trial, but the Garrity motion is a special circumstance; explained

in depth in the last Hall Monitor update). Willie Davenport, one of these 34 defendants, passed away due to breast cancer. Davenport was the principal of D.H. Stanton Elementary School until she was indicted in the cheating scandal. Richard Deane, an attorney from Jones Day, the firm representing Beverly Hall, also recently released to the press that Hall has breast cancer. The press release from her attorneys says that Hall still plans to proceed with trial and hopes for an acquittal. The release, however, failed to mention the severity of Hall’s cancer, saying that, “As a matter of her personal privacy, Dr. Hall does not choose to say more.”

Don Samuel, one of the defentants’ attorneys, explained the effect that this could have on the cases. He said the announcement of Hall’s condition may motivate the prosecutors to move forward more quickly because they want to try her before she becomes too ill to stand trial. It could also make her case easier to resolve because she may be given a plea deal now, whereas before the District Attorney would have tried to prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law. This could also make it harder for the other defendants to get lighter sentences, he said. p

Second in a series

a ps board ele ctions

Oct. 11, 2013


Past board members challenge at-large incumbents By J.D. Capelouto

At-Large Seat 7 Every Atlanta voter will have the chance to cast his or her ballot for the three citywide school board seats. The current board member for Seat 7, Courtney English, is seeking reelection and is being challenged by Nisha Simama, a counselor at The Paideia School, who has also had experience within APS. She served as an interim Board of Education member for District 2 for about six months in 2011 to fill the remainder of Khaatim El’s term. “I think that the Board of Education is a little broken and that we need to have people on that board that really know education inside-out,” Simama said. “I’m running because I know education.” Simama believes she can avoid repeating contentious situations within the board. “This whole divisiveness that occurred on the Board of Education between the various groups is something I thought was unconscionable,” Simama said. “And my opponent was clearly a part of that.” At-Large Seat 8 Board member Reuben McDaniel drew a lot of competition for his at-large seat on the board. A host of notable challengers include Mark Riley, who held the seat for eight years from January 2002 to the end of 2009. Riley said he decided to run again in this election because of the poor job he believes McDaniel has done. “I could be a stabilizing influence and provide seasoned leadership where it’s needed,” Riley said. “Reuben McDaniel has just been a real disappointment in terms of the lack of maturity and the micromanagement that he has engaged in with North Atlanta High School.” At the candidate forum, McDaniel spoke to the constituents about what matters to him and why he should return to the board. “I understand we have a lot of work to do, and I am committed to making that happen going forward,” McDaniel said. p

On Sept. 18, the Inman Park and Virginia Highland neighborhood associations hosted a candidate forum for all of the at-large candidates. English began by telling a story about how his mom worked hard to get him the right education within APS. “No parent should [have to] fight like my mom [did] to give their kid a good education,” English said. p

No matter the results, this year’s Atlanta school board elections on Nov. 5 will end with major changes across the board. Of the nine current board members, only five are seeking re-election. The Southerner fills you in on the most notable and relevant district elections. District 3 Grady alumnus and Carver social studies teacher Matt Westmoreland is running unopposed to fill the spot currently held by Grady parent Cecily Harsch-Kinnane. Westmoreland, 24, has high hopes for Grady’s district. “I want an APS where every child is receiving the excellent education that opens up real opportunity and choice in life,” he said. Westmoreland believes the future of APS starts with electing a board with a “vision for where we want this district to go,” and is excited for his time as a board member. “I wouldn’t be leaving my kids and colleagues at Carver, who I’ve become very close to, if I didn’t think we have the chance to do some really transformational things in APS over the next four years,” he said. p District 1 Brenda Muhammad, who has served on the APS board for the last 14 years, is seeking another term for the District 1 seat and is being challenged by small business owner and APS parent Leslie Grant. Some Grady students and parents will vote in this district election. Muhammad told The Southerner that she is running because there is some “unfinished business” confronting APS. “There are some things that we have not done that really need to be done to address some of the problems that we have,” Muhammad said. Grant agrees, but feels that it’s time for new representation within the district. “I don’t think that we have another term to wait for change within APS,” she said. “It’s very necessary that we get different leadership for this seat.” While Grant said she is able to be more in touch with the community because of her close involvement with the district over the years, Muhammad thinks her leadership experience on the board makes her the best candidate. “We have too many pressing, important issues before us, and it’s not the time for learning on the job,” Muhammad said. p

Atlanta School Districts Map

CANDIDATE’s monetary management questioned continued from front page

gia PTA official, emailed Griffin. “It is the opinion of President Cushman and Middle School is under the impression the par- District Director Perrino that no previous ofents were not refunded. ficer or current officer of Jean Childs Young “The girls who didn’t receive uniforms re- Middle School PTSA should hold a position in ceived their money back,” she said. “They re- any PTA/PTSA until the matter has been comceived refunds.” pletely satisfied,” Perrino wrote to Griffin. Hayes-Tavares did not respond to an email A Young Middle School LSC member who asking her to clarify who refunded the parents. requested anonymity told The Southerner that A parent whose at the beginning children went to By lying, she was allowed to be of the 2011Hayes-Tavares’ camp 2012 school year, put in a position of leadership Ha ye s - Ta va re s and spoke on the condition of anoclaimed there was and access to money.” nymity said she paid a Georgia PTA letHayes-Tavares a total ter which cleared anonymous Young Middle her to serve again. of $300 for uniforms her children never reSchool LSC member Shortly after ceived. When asked this claim, Hayesif Hayes-Tavares reTavares collected imbursed her, she said flatly, “No, she didn’t.” gift certificates to be given to teachers for The parent said Griffin was the one who re- Christmas, according to the March 21, 2012 funded her $300. LSC minutes. The gifts, however, never made The name Shawnna Hayes-Tavares was it to the teachers. not mentioned on any documents obtained “[Hayes-Tavares] said she left them on a through an Open Records request asking for desk at the school and they were stolen,” documents showing repayment to parents. the LSC minutes read. After this incident, the LSC decided to look PTA PROBLEMS? closer into Hayes-Tavares’ alleged PTA exoneration, the LSC member said. This is not the first allegation of financial In response to the inquiry, Sandra Perrino, misconduct made against Hayes-Tavares. the 10th District director of the Georgia PTA, When she was president of the Young Middle sent an email on June 14, 2012, which listSchool PTSA, the Georgia PTA began to in- ed the results of the 2007 audit. The email, vestigate the association’s finances. According which an LSC member gave The Southerner, to the LSC minutes, however, the fact that “all showed the findings included deposits coming the [Young Middle School] PTA books/records up short and inappropriate use of petty cash, were stolen” complicated the audit. among others. The letter also clarified HayesOn Aug. 31, 2007, Leslie Cushman, a Geor- Tavares’ standing with the Georgia PTA.

“Further, Georgia PTA is not aware of a letter exonerating Hayes-Tavares at this time,” Perrino wrote. The LSC member said if the council were aware there was no letter exonerating HayesTavares, she would not have been allowed to handle the gift cards. “By lying she was allowed to be put in a position of leadership and access to money,” the LSC member said. Hayes-Tavares addressed the audit under a Frequently Asked Question on her campaign website, which was removed by press time. “Although this occurred in 2006 and although before that time and after that time for a total of 14 years, I had a pristine PTA leadership record, a few people have made it their mission to use it against me to pay forever for trusting other volunteers to do their jobs as I was trying to do mine,” Hayes-Tavares wrote. On July 29, 2013, Hayes-Tavares also wrote an email to William Scott, director of the Office of Internal Compliance for APS, in which she claimed that since the audit was completed, the members of the 2006/2007 PTSA should be allowed to serve again. Hayes-Tavares did not respond to several requests for comment about the PTA ban. CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS After Atlanta Progressive News editor Matthew Cardinale posted a story about the LSC’s accusations against Hayes-Tavares, three comments were posted to the online story within 50 minutes defending Hayes-Tavares. One of the comments was signed “YoungMS Teacher” and the third was signed “Terry” a resident of District 6.

“MY child was a student at [Young] when Ms. Hayes-Tavares was the PTA president [and] she was a knowledgeable, committed, and passionate LEADER,” username T. Madhi commented, in addition to other statements. Cardinale saw that all three of the comments had the same IP address, meaning that they all came from the same computer. He found it to be Hayes-Tavares’ computer, because it had the same IP address as a comment in which HayesTavares wrote in first person. Hayes-Tavares said she was picking up her children when the comments were posted. Since her house is her campaign’s headquarters, it is possible campaign volunteers posted the messages from her computer. Cardinale did not find Hayes-Tavares’ claim to be credible. “APN also sent emails to the [usernames’ emails],” he wrote. “One ... bounced back. The other two emails have seen no response.” ‘I’M A PARENT, I’M NOT A POLITICIAN’ For her campaign platform, Hayes-Tavares has focused on improving special-needs programs and increasing parent involvement. Hayes-Tavares’ campaign expenditures, obtained from the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commision, reveal that of the $4,970 spent by the campaign, almost $2,000 was paid to members of her family. The campaign paid over $1,500 to her husband for management and $400 to her daughter for ‘field operations’.Hayes-Tavares defended her record as an active APS parent. “I just want to say that I’m a parent, I’m not a politician,” she said. “I am a product of [APS]. I have four children in [APS]. Again, I am not perfect … but I’ve been a perfect servant.” p



Oct. 11, 2013

CHARTER SCHOOLS win victory in debate over funds insisting that they aren’t getting their fair share of funding. Allan Mueller, APS’s executive director of innovation, explained Davis’s position in an email. “The Superintendent’s position is that this long-standing [pension] debt impacts all public schools in the district,” Mueller wrote, “and if charter schools do not pay their share of the liability, they will receive more funding than traditional schools receive, creating a disparity that is not only untenable and unsustainable, but is neither in the spirit nor the letter of the law, which seeks to create an equitable funding model.” Kelly Cadman, the vice president of school services for the Georgia Charter Schools Association, disagrees. Cadman argued that charter schools’ debt can’t get transferred to the district, so the district’s debt shouldn’t be transferred to charter schools. David Jernigan, the executive director of the Atlanta branch of KIPP, a national network of charter schools, believes that charter schools shouldn’t be asked to assume debt they did not have a hand in creating. “Charter schools that were not around when this pension liability was created should not be expected to pay into that liability,” Jernigan said. Mueller, however, insisted that it is unfair to force only traditional schools to help pay off APS’s pension obligations. “While some might argue that it is unfair to ask all public schools in the district to pay this old debt, it is even less fair to ask only some schools to pay it,” Mueller wrote in the email. APS Board Member Cecily Harsch-Kinnane, who represents Grady’s district, agrees, arguing that as more and more students transfer to charter schools that don’t have to help pay off the pension liabilities, traditional schools will have to pay more. “The students left [in traditional public schools] will be paying a bigger and bigger price,” Harsch-Kinnane said. Jernigan, however, argued that charter schools actually receive less per-student funding than traditional public schools. “It’s been suggested in this whole Supreme Court case that somehow charter schools are getting more than APS traditional public school students, and that’s not the reality,” Jernigan said. Robert Stockwell, who analyzes APS finances on his blog Financial Deconstruction, said, under the current budget, APS spends almost $4,000 more per student on traditional public schools than it spends on charter schools. Jarod Apperson, however, who analyzes metro Atlanta education data, pointed out several reasons why this funding gap doesn’t reflect any inequity. First of all, Apperson argued, since the traditional public schools in APS have been around longer, they have accumulated a reserve fund to be spent during economic downturns. The reason APS spending on traditional public schools is higher, Apperson argued, is in part because the traditional schools are able to spend their reserve funds while the charter schools are too new to have reserve funds. “The fact that the traditional schools saved some in the past, and they’re now spending it, that isn’t creating something unfair, necessarily,” Apperson said.

photos by Quinn Mulholland

continued from front page

PUT YOUR THINKING KIPP ON: A KIPP WAYS flag (left) is flown under the stars and stripes in front of the West Atlanta Young Schoolers Academy, which focuses on college readiness. An eighth grader (top) teaches a class of fifth graders a dance routine. A sixth grader (right) asks his science teacher, Peter Szeremeta, a question,while other sixth graders (bottom) work ontheirassignment,creatinganewsarticleaboutanearthquake.

Apperson said another reason for the difference in funding is that the formula mandated by the Georgia Department of Education for how much funding traditional schools and charter schools receive depends on student characteristics that vary between the two types of schools. Mueller echoed this point. “The funding a school receives may differ depending on the characteristics of the population they serve,” Mueller wrote in an email. “A charter school serving fewer children with special needs, or fewer gifted students, for example, may receive less per-pupil funding than a traditional school with similar enrollment numbers.” Another factor—the experience of the faculty—further skews the comparison in favor of charter schools. Because charter schools are more likely to have younger, less experienced teachers, Apperson said, the teachers earn less income on average than teachers at traditional schools. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s an inequity, because if [charter schools] chose to hire the staff with more years of experience and more degrees, then they would get that extra money to pay those staff the higher salary that they earn for those experience and degrees,” Apperson said. One aspect of funding in which Apperson did recognize an inequity is SPLOST funds, which charter schools can’t access. As a result, Apperson said, charter schools have to pay for such expenses as building repairs and new furniture out

of the money allotted to them by APS. Mueller acknowledged that charter schools don’t usually receive the same amount of funding for facilities as traditional schools do, though this disparity is offset by the fact that most APS charter schools use APS facilities rent-free. Apperson also said that the fact that charter schools don’t have to help APS pay off its pension debt obligations helps counteract the effects of not receiving SPLOST funds. “If we wanted to create something that is really fair, the charters should participate in paying off the pension, but they should also earn a portion of the SPLOST dollars to help cover repair costs,” Apperson said. Even so, Cadman said that she has “never run across [a funding scheme] where it was to the favor of the charter school.” “[Charter schools] are more efficient, and they buckle down, and they cut administrative costs, and they share services and they’re creative and they operate on less most of the time,” Cadman said. Jernigan said the KIPP charter schools in Atlanta that he oversees have to do a great deal of fundraising to pay for the expenses that APS doesn’t cover. “We lean heavily on the philanthropic community to support our efforts here in Atlanta,” Jernigan said, “and they’ve been very generous and have really supported and invested in our growth here.” p

Information from Consumer Reports, lookout, and the FCC

InfoGraph By Allison Rapoport

Students robbed after Decatur football game By Allison Rapoport At 10 p.m. on Aug. 30, while most Grady students lamented the Knights’ 7-6 loss to Decatur High School’s football team, the majority of Decatur students were likely celebrating their triumph over one of their rivals. But for three Decatur students, the night ended on an extremely negative note. According to City of Decatur Police Department incident reports, all three of the students were robbed of their iPhones while walking away from the game. The first student was confronted at 10:05 p.m. while walking by the school’s JROTC room with his friend. The student and a friend were approached by two males who asked for the time. One of the males was described as wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. The victim pulled his iPhone 4S out of his pocket and stated the time. They then walked in the direction of the victim’s friend’s house. When the two reached Renfroe Middle School, across the street from DHS, the victim and his friend were assaulted from behind by the same males. The victim felt an unknown object in his back, and one of the male assailants demanded his phone. The victim handed it over and was then pushed to the ground as the two males ran away. The victim reported seeing

one of the thieves carrying a silver, semiautomatic firearm. Approximately 20 minutes later, at 10:26 p.m., a female student was walking to the school’s upper parking lot on McDonough Street. As she was ascending the stairs, the victim was ambushed by two males according to an incident report. One placed what the victim believed to be a gun to her neck and forcefully took her iPhone 5 from her purse, while the other suspect pushed her to the ground. Although she felt something placed on her neck, the victim never actually saw the gun. The two attackers were both described as wearing dark jeans, one with a black shirt and the other with a gray sweatshirt. The third robbery occurred just minutes later at 10:52 p.m. on the sidewalk directly in front of the school. The victim was walking with four of his friends near the intersection of McDonough Street and East Maple Street when he noticed three males approaching them. According to the incident report one of them asked him what time it was and, when the victim pulled out his iPhone 4, the male said, “Yo, give me that phone.” Before the victim could respond, one of the other suspects placed a gun to his neck. The victim gave up his phone and the three sus-

pects walked away. The four friends who witnessed the crime confirmed the victim’s story, but none could provide a description of the gun. They did however, provide a description of the suspects: one was wearing a long-sleeved black shirt and black shorts; the next had on a red jacket and black shorts; and the last was clothed in a red shirt and blue jeans. While it may seem unlikely, the three robberies appear to be unrelated based on the descriptions of the suspect, who were all seen wearing different clothing. The anonymous victims all declined to comment. To avoid situations like these, Grady resource officer Antwan Denson suggests walking in groups. “I wouldn’t advise females to walk alone, but just to have a male companion,” he said. “Or if you are walking alone make sure you stay on the phone speaking with someone, you know, talking to them as they get to their vehicle.” Even after hearing about the robberies after the Decatur game, Denson still feels football games are safe. “There are a lot of police officers inside and outside the stadium, in the parking lots, coming to and from the games,” he said. “So yes, I do believe that the football games are a safe environment.” p


Oct. 11, 2013


By Maxwell Rabb English teacher Lisa Willoughby’s first day could have been her last. At the beginning of the 1984 fall semester, she was waiting to hear from the district if a job position would be secured. Dr. Thomas E. Adger was principal at the time of Willoughby’s hiring. While waiting for official word on her hiring from the APS central office, Adger drove Willoughby to the central office and waited with her until she was hired. On Sept. 26, Dr. Adger passed away. Adger was the principal at Grady from 1981 to 1991. During his time at Grady, Adger reestablished the school’s reputation by creating programs that continue to be prosperous and by creating a new environment for future generations of students. Willoughby describes Adger as a large and imposing presence that became a huge part of the school. She recalls that although he was a quiet man, he always embodied a great deal of authority over the faculty and students. “He wanted to foster a sense of excellence within Grady,” Willoughby said. “He turned this school around.” Pat Kelly, a former teacher who was at Grady during Adger’s time and also the namesake of the annual Marion P. Kelly award, saw that Adger made it his mission at Grady to pick the school up off the ground. “A lot of the community had lost confidence in the school,” Kelly said. “He wanted to restore confidence.” Under Adger, Grady launched the journalism and communications magnet program

and the speech and debate team, which has grown into one of the best in the country. Kay Earnheardt, who was hired by Adger, was the driving force behind the growing communications magnet. Together, Adger and Earnheardt steered the school in a different and improved resurgence of education within Grady, improving the opportunities given to students and optimism about the school’s potential. As the communications program grew into what it is today, Adger immersed himself in student life and activities, whether he was adding extracurriculars or new classes. Along with hiring Earnheardt, Adger also hired James Tillman to better the school and the level of education that Grady provided. Tillman promoted and pursued the implementation of Advanced Placement classes. “[Tillman and Adger] wanted to try new and different courses,” Willoughby said. Before then, Grady’s course list was significantly smaller. Tillman, during his time at Grady, increased the amount of AP courses that were offered at Grady. Former student and current teacher at Grady Paul Nicolson was enrolled while Adger was principal. He viewed Adger as a large presence at Grady. “[Adger] was an ally and a friend to parents,” Nicolson said. “He was very supportive whenever I needed the support.” When teachers were told to get their students involved in activities, teacher Naomi Grishman formed the first debate team in Grady history. In its first year, the team came in second

Southerner Archive

Former principal remembered for restoring integrity

MAN OF THE HOUR: Dressed in his Grady best, a white jacket and Grady T-shirt, Adger (left) discusses plans for the future of Grady with parents. During his 10 years at Grady, Adger saw many changes added to the school. place at the varsity state tournament. “He was so supportive of the kids,” Willoughby said. “[Adger] was so excited to hear that debate came in second.” Adger played a huge role with the student body. His main efforts were directed at benefitting the students. He strived to improve the environment that Grady had then and for the future. Kelly also remembers Adger’s tendency to put his students first. “[Adger] was the most caring person I’ve ever known,” Kelly said. “He genuinely cared about the students. He truly wanted them to succeed.” This made the transition of principals in 1991 from Adger to current principal Vincent Murray difficult, Murray said. On a teacher and faculty level, no one ever questioned Murray’s authority. The students, because they were so fond of Adger, saw the transition differently.

“The students vented on his leaving by booing at the assembly,” Murray said. “I was faced with a great deal of angst.” Murray saw the bond Adger had with the student body not as intimidation but as an incentive to aspire to be as good a principal. After revamping Grady, Adger went on to become an assistant superintendent for APS and was, at one point, an interim principal at North Atlanta High School. Adger left behind a legacy at Grady. With the help of the faculty members he hired, he created new programs opportunities for future generations of students at the school. Adger developed new organizations, but more importantly, he created a relationship with his student body. To him, being principal of Grady was not just a job; it was an occasion to make future generations better. “He treated them as his own children,” Willoughby said. p

By Brandon Kleber Each morning when he bikes to school on 10th Street, sophomore Conor Downey hopes that he doesn’t get hit by a car. He waits until a car is turning and sneaks across just behind it in order to enter the school. One morning, however, Downey didn’t make it. While attempting to turn into Grady, Downey was hit by a passing car. Downey’s back tire was hit and bent beyond repair and he skidded out of control into the Grady student lot. Even though no serious injuries were inflicted upon Downey, this accident may have been avoided if the City of Atlanta had not created the bike lane of 10th Street. The addition of this specialized bike lane has created gridlock and compromised the safety of students trying to bike or walk into the school entrance each day. “I definitely think that the addition of the bike lane creates a bad environment for both bikers and car riders, mainly because of the dangers merging in and out of the bike lane, and trying to cross into Grady,” Downey said. Given the volume of pedestrian traffic on 10th Street without a crosswalk, signage or traffic signals, some concerned parents fear another accident is imminent and that the next pedestrian hit might not be as lucky as Downey. “I think [the safety of bikers] is a serious issue that we need to address,” Grady parent Jodi Mansbach said. “As you know, people arrive at Grady in a number of ways: bus, car, bike and walking. We need to make sure everyone arrives,


Safety concerns cross paths with ATL bike coalition

GRADY AT A CROSSROADS: Sophomores (left to right) Kyle Mulholland, Will Taft and Jack Erickson, along with other bikers and walkers, have a difficult time crossing 10th street in order to enter school. The new bike lane has caused more problems than benfits for students. and leaves, safely.” Mansbach is working closely with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition on this project to determine how to best serve cyclists who will be coming and going on the cycle track. “As you know, we are very concerned about the potential for serious accidents given the challenging conditions that already exist on the new cycle track,” Mansbach said. Nora Schmitz, PTSA saftety chair, agrees with this assessment. “As a parent, I am concerned about biking and walking safety around the school,” Schmitz said. “Right now, Grady students have no official crosswalk coming out of the Grady entrance on 10th, and many don’t walk all the way to Monroe or

to the Piedmont Park entrance to cross at a light.” On the morning of Aug. 29, Nancy Habif brought together a group of these concerned parents to meet with the cycle track city planner, Josh Mello, with the purpose of observing the traffic patterns around Grady. Based on what they saw at 8:15 that morning, the City of Atlanta Department of Planning is now working on a Phase II of the cycle track improvements, which could possibly include a refuge island for pedestrians, a crosswalk with lights in front of Grady, and the creation of a turn-only lane in the middle of 10th Street. Along with these plans for the future, the ABC also wants to edu-

cate Grady students and the broader community on how to use the new cycle track. Mansbach stressed that all parties—pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers—must learn to coexist on the roads. “I think we are at a critical moment in Atlanta’s development of a city where we all need to learn how to make this work,” Mansbach said. “It’s going to take some time to get used to.” Josh Mello, along with the ABC, proposes that a pedestrian path be put into place across 10th Street. It is a work in progress, but Mello plans to meet again in the future with other city planners to work on this issue and discuss other solutions. “Getting into the parking lot is

probably the most dangerous part of my commute,” sophomore Bailey Kish said. “I don’t think there is a perfect solution without making it harder for everyone to get to school.” Jett Marks, Grady parent and cochair of the ABC’s marketing and outreach committee couldn’t agree more. He is eager to get involved in this initiative and will be helping to organize the upcoming Grady cycle safety campaign. “This effort is exactly the sort of thing we’re trying to encourage— neighborhood involvement in making cycling safer and more attractive—all in support of the mayor’s goal to make Atlanta a top 10 cycling city by 2016,” Marks said. Alex Wan, city councilman for Grady’s district, is also advocating on the school’s behalf. Janet Kishbaugh, another Grady parent on the safety committee, is pleased to announce Wan had a productive meeting on Oct. 1 with Mello on the proposed design for Grady’s 10th Street entrance. “The city is planning to incorporate all the pieces we talked about into their plan,” Kishbaugh said. “This is great news.” Leslie Caceda, the program manager for the ABC, believes the safety of the city’s residents and visitors should always be prioritized over how quickly cars can get through the city. “Henry Ford believed that with mobility comes freedom and progress,” she said. “I agree with him, but, I believe mobility and in turn, freedom and progress can be improved by adopting solutions beyond the car.” p


Blowing off steam


of high school students had smoked e-cigarettes as of 2012, a increase from 2011



National Youth Tobacco Survey performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2.5 million

of of U.S. high school studentspeople in 2012 had used e-cigarettes who people smoke tried e-cigarettes quit e-cigarettes smoking within in the U.S.


6 months

Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association

Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association

Rise in teen e-cigarette smoking rate leads to cloudy campus


of respondents to a smoking-cessation survey reported a


in the number of cigarettes they smoked after using e-cigarettes A survey from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

By Jennifer Steckl After a long second period, as students head out to the courtyard for lunch and stroll by the different groups of people congregating, they might spot a quickly disappearing cloud of vapor rising over some students’ heads. The cloud appears to be cigarette smoke yet surprisingly doesn’t smell like tobacco. This occasional courtyard phenomenon reflects a recent trend: the increased use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students. During the 2012 calendar year, high school students doubled their use of electronic cigarettes according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The surging popularity of this unregulated product has prompted many government officials and health experts to question whether electronic cigarettes are safe and sufficiently regulated. E-cigarettes, or “vapes,” are electronic inhalers meant to substitute for tobacco cigarettes. An e-cigarette generally uses a battery-powered heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some vapes release nicotine, while others merely release flavored vapor. E-cigarettes do not smell or cause any form of secondhand smoke because the smoke is made up of water vapor. E-cigarettes can be smoked in public places where tobacco cigarettes have been banned (such as libraries, airports and restaurants). One Grady senior said that e-cigarettes have made it possible for him to smoke on the Grady campus without being detected. The senior, who spoke with The Southerner on the condition of anonymity, had been suspended on two different occasions for smoking cigarettes in school. Because e-cigarettes are much less detectable, he said that he is able to smoke on school grounds in places such as the courtyard and near the trailers without the fear of getting caught. “[There is] no smell,” he said, “and the smoke disappears really quickly.”

The senior started smoking rolled paper with classmates in elementary school and was influenced to smoke cigarettes by family members and close friends who were smokers. Two years ago, he tried his first ecigarette because a friend told him it would help him quit cigarettes. “It didn’t bring the same feeling a normal cigarette would bring,” he said. “My first experience was that I was literally smoking air. It was weird.” According to recent data released from the CDC, middle and high school students have doubled the use of e-cigarettes from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31 of the same year. A report from the National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that the percentage of high school students using e-cigarettes rose from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012. Darryl Konter, a health communication specialist for the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, said there is concern that e-cigarettes are not serving their intended purpose. Instead of reducing smoking, vapes might instead be increasing it. Konter fears that many young people are smoking both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. Even more troubling, he said, there are currently no state or federal regulations governing the use of e-cigarettes. “Our study found that a significant proportion of middle and high school students who had tried e-cigarettes had never tried conventional cigarettes,” Konter said. “Because nicotine is so highly addictive, it’s possible students who use e-cigarettes could get addicted to nicotine, and eventually start using conventional cigarettes, too,” The CDC reported that 90 percent of all smokers started when they were teenagers. “E-cigarettes are made with all kinds of candy and fruity flavors, which are directed towards the youth rather than adults,” Konter said. “Then there are ads that portray e-cigarettes as something that’s cool, glam-

orous or sexy, just like [traditional] cigarette ads did 40 years ago.” Assistant Principal David Propst said he has never seen an e-cigarette on Grady campus. “I really don’t know anything about them,” Propst said. “If anyone asked me about them I would not know about them. I have never seen [them], or have had to deal with [them].” Although Propst has never had to deal with e-cigarettes, he said the school policy toward them is the same as with other banned products. “Contraband is contraband,” he said. “This a government building and like any government building you can’t have it.” The school policy for banned substance calls for confiscation of the item, return of the item to the student’s guardian or parents and suspension or even expulsion based on the offender’s prior disciplinary records. James Henderson, an ex-cigarette smoker, works just 3.6 miles from Grady at Vaperite, the nation’s first vape bar. Henderson said that he doesn’t condone any use of underage smoking. “If you are under 18, [smoking] is against the law,” Henderson said. “You shouldn’t do it, but people do. I wouldn’t sell it to them but I would rather they [smoke e-cigarettes] than cigarettes.” On Sept. 12, the crowd at the Vaperite Store and Bar, located on the corner of Cheshire Bridge and Lindbergh, included many different groups of people smoking e-cigarettes. Even though the smokers produced large clouds of vapor, there was no hint of tobacco odor in the air. “It’s different than a cigarette,” Henderson said. “You can do all sorts of flavors. ” Henderson said their products contain propylene glycol and glycerol, which create the vapor, different levels of nicotine ranging from 0 to 26 milligrams and different types of flavors such as watermelon and grape.

E-cigarettes began as a smoking cessation program and because the Food and Drug Administration restricted flavored cigarettes. For those who want to stop smoking, the electronic cigarettes have become a way to reduce nicotine intake in a controlled manner. For people who wanted to continue smoking flavored nicotine, e-cigarettes have provided a means to do so. Another Grady senior who requested anonymity, a girl who began smoking at age 15, hoped that e-cigarettes would be a good alternative to smoking without “killing my lungs.” But she says she is not a fan of switching to electronic cigarettes. “I prefer the real one,” she said. “They are more satisfying and relieve stress better. Also e-cigs make my throat hurt.” That view bucks the trend clearly on display at Village Smoke, located less than half a mile from Grady, on Monroe Avenue. Like Vaperite, Village Smoke also has a wide variety of both disposable and rechargeable ecigarettes. A large “No One Under 18” sign hangs above the door. Erin Griffin, an employee of Village Smoke, said the e-cigarettes do not emit secondhand smoke and represents a fast-growing industry. “I see these as the cigarettes of the future,” Griffin said. “I think it’s a huge trend and not going anywhere for a long time. I think they are only going to get stronger.” However, Griffin did express some concern about the safety of the drug. “There are no signs saying they are completely unharmful so far, but they are definitely better than cigarettes,” Griffin said, “Nonetheless we don’t know of any long-term risks.” Konter agrees that there is no way to know for sure what is in e-cigarettes. “There are more than 200 different e-cigarette makers out there, and there is no regulation in place to make sure you know what’s in the e-cigarette you use.” p


Blowing off steam


of high school students had smoked e-cigarettes as of 2012, a increase from 2011



National Youth Tobacco Survey performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2.5 million

of of U.S. high school studentspeople in 2012 had used e-cigarettes who people smoke tried e-cigarettes quit e-cigarettes smoking within in the U.S.


6 months

Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association

Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association

Rise in teen e-cigarette smoking rate leads to cloudy campus


of respondents to a smoking-cessation survey reported a


in the number of cigarettes they smoked after using e-cigarettes A survey from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

By Jennifer Steckl After a long second period, as students head out to the courtyard for lunch and stroll by the different groups of people congregating, they might spot a quickly disappearing cloud of vapor rising over some students’ heads. The cloud appears to be cigarette smoke yet surprisingly doesn’t smell like tobacco. This occasional courtyard phenomenon reflects a recent trend: the increased use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students. During the 2012 calendar year, high school students doubled their use of electronic cigarettes according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The surging popularity of this unregulated product has prompted many government officials and health experts to question whether electronic cigarettes are safe and sufficiently regulated. E-cigarettes, or “vapes,” are electronic inhalers meant to substitute for tobacco cigarettes. An e-cigarette generally uses a battery-powered heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. Some vapes release nicotine, while others merely release flavored vapor. E-cigarettes do not smell or cause any form of secondhand smoke because the smoke is made up of water vapor. E-cigarettes can be smoked in public places where tobacco cigarettes have been banned (such as libraries, airports and restaurants). One Grady senior said that e-cigarettes have made it possible for him to smoke on the Grady campus without being detected. The senior, who spoke with The Southerner on the condition of anonymity, had been suspended on two different occasions for smoking cigarettes in school. Because e-cigarettes are much less detectable, he said that he is able to smoke on school grounds in places such as the courtyard and near the trailers without the fear of getting caught. “[There is] no smell,” he said, “and the smoke disappears really quickly.”

The senior started smoking rolled paper with classmates in elementary school and was influenced to smoke cigarettes by family members and close friends who were smokers. Two years ago, he tried his first ecigarette because a friend told him it would help him quit cigarettes. “It didn’t bring the same feeling a normal cigarette would bring,” he said. “My first experience was that I was literally smoking air. It was weird.” According to recent data released from the CDC, middle and high school students have doubled the use of e-cigarettes from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31 of the same year. A report from the National Youth Tobacco Survey shows that the percentage of high school students using e-cigarettes rose from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012. Darryl Konter, a health communication specialist for the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, said there is concern that e-cigarettes are not serving their intended purpose. Instead of reducing smoking, vapes might instead be increasing it. Konter fears that many young people are smoking both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. Even more troubling, he said, there are currently no state or federal regulations governing the use of e-cigarettes. “Our study found that a significant proportion of middle and high school students who had tried e-cigarettes had never tried conventional cigarettes,” Konter said. “Because nicotine is so highly addictive, it’s possible students who use e-cigarettes could get addicted to nicotine, and eventually start using conventional cigarettes, too,” The CDC reported that 90 percent of all smokers started when they were teenagers. “E-cigarettes are made with all kinds of candy and fruity flavors, which are directed towards the youth rather than adults,” Konter said. “Then there are ads that portray e-cigarettes as something that’s cool, glam-

orous or sexy, just like [traditional] cigarette ads did 40 years ago.” Assistant Principal David Propst said he has never seen an e-cigarette on Grady campus. “I really don’t know anything about them,” Propst said. “If anyone asked me about them I would not know about them. I have never seen [them], or have had to deal with [them].” Although Propst has never had to deal with e-cigarettes, he said the school policy toward them is the same as with other banned products. “Contraband is contraband,” he said. “This a government building and like any government building you can’t have it.” The school policy for banned substance calls for confiscation of the item, return of the item to the student’s guardian or parents and suspension or even expulsion based on the offender’s prior disciplinary records. James Henderson, an ex-cigarette smoker, works just 3.6 miles from Grady at Vaperite, the nation’s first vape bar. Henderson said that he doesn’t condone any use of underage smoking. “If you are under 18, [smoking] is against the law,” Henderson said. “You shouldn’t do it, but people do. I wouldn’t sell it to them but I would rather they [smoke e-cigarettes] than cigarettes.” On Sept. 12, the crowd at the Vaperite Store and Bar, located on the corner of Cheshire Bridge and Lindbergh, included many different groups of people smoking e-cigarettes. Even though the smokers produced large clouds of vapor, there was no hint of tobacco odor in the air. “It’s different than a cigarette,” Henderson said. “You can do all sorts of flavors. ” Henderson said their products contain propylene glycol and glycerol, which create the vapor, different levels of nicotine ranging from 0 to 26 milligrams and different types of flavors such as watermelon and grape.

E-cigarettes began as a smoking cessation program and because the Food and Drug Administration restricted flavored cigarettes. For those who want to stop smoking, the electronic cigarettes have become a way to reduce nicotine intake in a controlled manner. For people who wanted to continue smoking flavored nicotine, e-cigarettes have provided a means to do so. Another Grady senior who requested anonymity, a girl who began smoking at age 15, hoped that e-cigarettes would be a good alternative to smoking without “killing my lungs.” But she says she is not a fan of switching to electronic cigarettes. “I prefer the real one,” she said. “They are more satisfying and relieve stress better. Also e-cigs make my throat hurt.” That view bucks the trend clearly on display at Village Smoke, located less than half a mile from Grady, on Monroe Avenue. Like Vaperite, Village Smoke also has a wide variety of both disposable and rechargeable ecigarettes. A large “No One Under 18” sign hangs above the door. Erin Griffin, an employee of Village Smoke, said the e-cigarettes do not emit secondhand smoke and represents a fast-growing industry. “I see these as the cigarettes of the future,” Griffin said. “I think it’s a huge trend and not going anywhere for a long time. I think they are only going to get stronger.” However, Griffin did express some concern about the safety of the drug. “There are no signs saying they are completely unharmful so far, but they are definitely better than cigarettes,” Griffin said, “Nonetheless we don’t know of any long-term risks.” Konter agrees that there is no way to know for sure what is in e-cigarettes. “There are more than 200 different e-cigarette makers out there, and there is no regulation in place to make sure you know what’s in the e-cigarette you use.” p

a & e Rent your seats now for Thoroughly Dogface-d Tale-s 12

Photos by Lucy Lombardo

By Lucy Lombardo The drama department at Grady is gearing up for its annual fall and spring productions. The plays scheduled for the Grady stage this year range and will demonstrate everything from dramas to musicals, from boisterous dance numbers to poignant, tear-jerking scenes. The rehearsal schedule to put on these performances is relentless, requiring actors and techies to stay after school every day during the weeks before each performance. This fall, the Theater Department will be busier than usual, as they rehearse three major productions. “This is one show more than we normally do,” senior Eliza Renner said. Renner is playing the lead roles in two of the performances, Dogface and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Although Thoroughly Modern Millie won’t be performed until January, the majority of rehearsals will take place this semester. Lee Pope, the director of Millie, is producing the show out of the advanced musical theater class. Normally, the production that comes out of this class is also the one-act competition piece, but this year Dogface, produced by drama teacher Jake Dreiling, will be going to competition. This competition includes dozens of high school one-act plays performed at the district and state levels. “Dogface will be the first time we’ve ever brought a straight drama [to competition],” senior Preston Choi said. Choi is acting in Dogface, working as a stage manager for Thoroughly Modern Millie, and helping with set design for The Winter’s Tale. Dogface is about a young woman and how she navigates her new life with a severe physical deformity. Conversely, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a splashy comedy with lots of singing, laughing and, of course, dance. “It is typical 1920s,” director Lee Pope said. “You have the over-the-top, silent film actor types … with a stereotypical Broadway female lead.” The Winter’s Tale, a play by William Shakespeare, combines both tragedy and romance into a central idea of offense and redemption. Director Lisa Willoughby thinks her production will provide a challenge for her actors. “I think that students deserve a chance to wrestle with the language that Shakespeare uses,” Willoughby said. These three plays are not the only productions the drama department has in store for this school year. They will also produce a spring musical, as well as a collection of coffeehouses, three-day plays and the senior one-acts. “The senior one-acts will be really fun to watch,” Choi

Oct. 11, 2013

TEEN DRAMA: Grady’s drama department has a lot on its plate for the school year. “[The student body] will get to see a lot of very challenging and entertaining theater,” said literature teacher and director Lisa Willoughby. Clockwise, from top left: tech theater students work on set pieces that will be used in Dogface; senior Eliza Renner practices a scene from Thoroughly Modern Millie; and dancers rehearse steps for Thoroughly Modern Millie.

said. “It allows the seniors to put on their own small shows and show their personalities through that.” In these fall productions, dance lovers can see expressive tap numbers, literature seekers can revel in the words of Shakespeare, and those who want a good bit of drama can find it in Dogface. “[The student body] will get to see a lot of very challenging and entertaining theater,” Willoughby said. Of course, the production on everyone’s mind for next semester is the one and only Rent, the musical drama about eight young artists living in New York during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Dreiling will be directing this performance. He believes Rent is timely but also historical because the homosexuality themes in the play have become less controversial. “It’s definitely a show I’ve wanted to do for a long time and could never do,” Dreiling said. “But it’s time.” “Competition will be fierce,” said Alexis Lopez, the freshman understudy for Dogface. “Everybody seems to be such amazing singers.”

Students are already talking about auditions for Rent. In fact, actors are already staking their claims on knowing the most about Rent. “I’ve been listening to the music of Rent since I bought the movie soundtrack at a yard sale in sixth grade,” Renner said, “but I was a little shocked to find out we were putting on such an ambitious play.” Though students are already enthusiastic about next semester’s drama opportunities, drama teachers have been more low-key about the upcoming spring musical so far, talking about the program itself in more general terms. “I’m always excited by the growth of the program,” Willoughby said. Dreiling echoed this remark. “Seeing what the new ninth-graders bring to the table, the newness, is what I like,” Dreiling said. Either way, Pope believes the Drama Club will be putting on plays that will cater to the whole student body. “There’s a little bit of everything for everybody,” he said. p

Atlanta comes alive with sound of Music Midtown orli hendler

orli hendler orli hendler josh weinstock

orli hendler

Elizabeth gibbs

MUSIC IS IN THE AIR: The melodies of Music Midtown floated out of Piedmont Park to serenade Atlantans and visitors alike on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21. Grady students flocked across the street, finding the best vantage points in and around the park to listen to the music and enjoy the bands’ performances. For the second year in a row, the tickets were sold out at all levels, according to a Music Midtown press release. Despite the rainy weekend, thousands showed up (top left). A line of eager concert-goers stretched down 10th Street from Charles Allen to Monroe (bottom left). Because of the rain and the trampling feet, the park filled with mud puddles (center).Twenty-two bands performed from 4:15 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday and 12:45 p.m. until 11 p.m.on Saturday,including Imagine Dragons (bottom right) and Kendrick Lamar (bottom center). In addition to the performances, attendees enjoyed numerous food and drink stands (top right).

a & e Staffer Condolora goes to 65th annual Emmy awards 13

Oct. 11, 2013

PHOTO By Mary Condolora

A few months ago, my dad asked me if I would join him at the 65th annual Emmy Awards. “Duh,” I responded. My dad was able to get tickets to the Mary Condolora Emmys because he has been in the entertainment industry for many years and votes for the Emmys as well. Weeks before the Emmys, my excitement grew and grew. I repeatedly tried on my gown, imagining myself walking the red carpet. When I finally arrived in Los Angeles and took my first step on the red carpet, the night started to feel very surreal to me. The red carpet was huge and packed with people. There were double velvet ropes and security guards in between to divide the celebrities from the non-celebrities. On the celebrity’s side, there were a few TV channel boxes for celebrity interviews. The non-celebrities were packed onto the smaller side of the red carpet, and were asked to continue their way down to the theater because the show was about to begin. Because of the rush, I managed only to glimpse Alec Baldwin, Julian Hough, the cast of Veep and get one picture of my dad and I “working the red carpet.” Inside the theater, I found it amusing to see both celebrities and non-celebrities hustle to get to their seats before air time. The impatient announcer made a few snippy remarks, such as “Stop taking selfies and please sit down, three minutes until air.” Needless to say, that part was not as glamorous as I expected. Then it was show time. Neil Patrick Harris did an excellent job of hosting the show; it was not overdone at all. But I’m not going to tell you what happened during the show, because you can simply turn on your DVR for that. But what you don’t know is what happened during the commercial breaks. Everyone whipped out their phones to text and take pictures of the event. Celebrities in the

HANGING WITH THE STARS: The entrance to the Emmy awards opens up to the red carpet, where A-listers mingle before entering the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. front rows left the theater via a separate exit what I could observe, the cylinder mostly cause seeing them act like normal people, for drinks and bathroom breaks. Occasion- hosted the Game of Thrones cast and other and they are just people, made me rethink ally, the producers would put on old clips of A-list celebtrities. Closest to the cylinder all the hype around them. Or maybe it was previous Emmy winners’ acceptance speeches. were other celebrities from HBO shows and because I realized that most celebrities are acIt was all fun and exciting, even though the other networks. Furthest from the cylinder tually really short in person, which made me cameras weren’t rolling. were the non-celebrities, or as my dad and I feel extremely tall. I spoke with David Spade After the show, my dad and I went to the joked, the “insignificants.” while grabbing desert, and I practically towHBO after-party at the Pacific Design CenAfter scoping out the beautiful venue, my ered over him. Those misconceptions about ter. I was thrilled to go see such an extrava- dad and I took a few laps around the cylin- celebrities, the fact that they all are so tall gant the venue was, to eat such delicious der to say hello to his work friends as well as and thin or that they aren’t “normal,” were food and to “party” with celebrities. The to scope out the celebrities. After three loops very entertaining to me when I realized that party was 70’s themed, with funky prints around the cylinder, I was a few feet away they were false. and kaleidoscopey moving images project- from Michael Douglas, Lena Dunham, the It was an incredible night, and I feel fored on the surrounding buildings. The food cast of Veep, Will Arnett, James Cromwell, tunate to have been able to attend the Emconsisted of various small appetizers that the cast of Portlandia and many more. It was mys and the HBO after-party. If I had to boil were displayed so beautifully I just wanted exciting to see these talented actors and ac- down the night into two highlights, it would to take a picture of them and not eat them. tresses up close and interacting like “normal be Will Farrell bringing out his kids onstage The center of the party was a tall metal cyl- people.” I usually get jittery and nervous in in sweats, and seeing how terrible Will Arinder with seating on the inside, and was re- the presence of a celebrity, but at the HBO nett’s spray tan was in person. Hollywood is served for the upmost elite celebrities. From party I felt comfortable. Maybe it was be- always entertaining, even off camera. p

Netflix streamlines shows, leads to unhealthy habits 73% of 65 Grady students surveyed admit that they have “binge” watched a show. sion is quickly surpassing the film industry as the dominant form of visual entertainment. A blog post on the FanSided website outlines the shift from theaters to the couch: “There are countless TV shows that treat audiences like adults, while the film industry constantly tries to dumb down its material for the wide audience.” Filmmakers must pander to several demographics if they want to sell tickets and turn a profit, but television has a broad range of shows that appeal to wider audiances. Netflix alone has garnered a whopping 35 million subscribers, while other streaming services such as Hulu Plus have also collected an

impressive amount of users. Also On Demand, a service that lets users pay for access to hundreds of movies, is standard in many television packages like Comcast and AT&T U-verse. Netflix provides an affordable and accessible way to watch many of the most popular TV shows and has begun premiering television shows that are exclusive to users. These new series include House of Cards, a political drama series, and a brand new season of Arrested Development that continued the storyline from the popular show’s termination in 2006. Despite not premiering on mainstream television, both shows have exceeded expectations. House of

Illustration by Riley Erickson

By Ike Hammond Dinner and a movie have always been the go-to date, but nowadays couples are finding it much easier to come home and watch a movie. An article published by Variety Magazine, a weekly entertainment magazine that focuses on television and film, lists the average price of a movie ticket in the United States in 2013 as $8.38. That’s the highest price it’s ever been to go see a movie. As a result, it’s becoming harder and harder for people to go out to a movie every week. Revolutionary media outlets over the past few years like On Demand and Netflix have changed the game completely. Rather than spend $30 on a movie for two people, couples can stay in and enjoy their favorite movies at an affordable price, all from the comfort of their own home. For the modest price of $12 per month, four Netflix users on one account can stream their favorite shows and movies concurrently. Subscribers would argue that this is a meager sum to pay, as Netflix offers unlimited streaming of popular shows, including Breaking Bad and Mad Men. With streaming services so inexpensive, it’s easy to see why televi-

Cards received nine Emmy nominations and Arrested Development was nominated for three. House of Cards would win two Emmys. The variety of television programs gives people an array of entertainment that they’ve never had access to before. The eclecticassemblage of shows caters to every demographic, meaning that viewers can pick and choose the shows that they find the most interesting. There are some negative connotations, however, that come with this viewing power. The combination of streaming sites has resulted in a new fad that many refer to as “binge watching.” Binge watching is when people sit

down to watch their favorite show or explore a new one and end up watching many episodes or entire seasons at a time. Many television shows leave off an important detail or a crucial scene at the end of an episode, begging viewers to watch the next episode. With the ability to continually watch the next episode at the click of a mouse, people find time slip away as they lose themselves in their favorite programs. With shows today becoming more and more realistic, it’s hard for some people to realize how long they’re actually spending on these programs. They’ll tell themselves over and over again, “one more episode,” which leads to marathoning through several seasons of a show in the course of a week. It’s become an internal conflict for people, as they know that beginning to watch a new TV show will make them want to watch the whole way through as fast as possible. With all of the new media out, it’s important to try and limit yourself. While some find it hard, others have no trouble pacing themselves. Before you begin watching a new television show on Netflix, ask yourself if you have the time or the patience to manage your viewing schedule. p



Oct. 11, 2013

Tender loving: gobbling chicken on the cheap Second in a Series Chick -fil-A

graphic by Ben Simonds-Malamud

No food has more potential for goldenbrown, crispy deliciousness than chicken. When cooked correctly, chicken is succulent, juicy and full of flavor. Best of all, it can fill Ben Simondsyour stomach without Malamud emptying your wallet. On my quest for the best cheap chicken, I sampled the best Atlanta has to offer, all while staying within a mile of Grady. With five chairs, a counter and a small kitchen, Best Wings (463 Ponce de Leon Ave.) runs a compact operation. The takeout and delivery restaurant sells chicken wings in orders of up to 100 pieces, doused in exotic-sounding sauces like Jamaican Jerk, Texas BBQ and Cajun Teriyaki. The owner of Best Wings served up my wings ($4 for six pieces), but preferred to remain anonymous after grumbling, “I don’t like Grady High School.” He said Grady students are his worst customers, estimating that about 30 students who ordered chicken from Grady did not meet their delivery. The chicken told a similar story of disappointment. The hot buffalo sauce knocked me backwards with a punch of real hot pepper, but the watery blue cheese dressing failed in its only job: adequately contrasting the sauce’s saltiness. The wings, made to order, benefitted from spot-on crispiness, but the problems with Best Wings—including the animosity towards Grady students— forced me to continue my search for the best cheap chicken elsewhere. The wings improved a few doors down at the recently christened Zaxby’s (425 Ponce de Leon Ave.). The Wings & Things plate ($7.59) soothes every primal need the chicken-eater might have. This mountain of chicken tenders, wings, crinkle-cut fries and Texas toast encourages sharing.

Chick -fil-A

Grad y Scho High ol

Besntgs Wi y Zaxb

The lightly seasoned batter clung to the chicken tenders, which were indeed tender. Zax Sauce, a combination of ketchup, mayonnaise and spices, complemented the chicken well. On the wing side of the equation, the Tongue Torch sauce packed a peppery, deep and smoky punch. The Kickin’ Chicken Sandwich ($5.59 with fries and a soft drink), which features chicken tenders covered in Tongue sauce and ranch dressing between two pieces of Texas toast, combines the best Zaxby’s has to offer. The posters adorning Zaxby’s walls display various preparations of our choice bird, making every booth an altar to the poultry gods. Zaxby’s, though slightly more expensive than its fowl-cooking counterparts, prepares chick-


Pope ye’s

en with unmatchable pizazz. Eaters armed with a Grady Knight Card, which are sold by the football team, will receive a free soft drink with any “Most Popular” menu choice. The culinary colosseum of cheap chicken would be incomplete without the next restaurant as a contender. Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen (683 Boulevard) was born in New Orleans and offers Louisiana-style fried chicken and shrimp with Cajun spices. Given the reputation of the hyper-flavored side dishes and whimsical sauces (e.g. Mardi Gras Mustard), the chicken lacked energy. Each of the six nuggets ($4.79 with a side and a soft drink) was chewier and more rubbery than any other meat I tasted. Crispiness was spot on at Popeye’s; unfor-

uest for the Best

tunately, in the world of chicken, beauty is more than skin deep. The fried chicken, while more expensive, is a better choice. The Knight Card also includes a deal for Popeye’s: buy a three-piece meal with a medium drink and receive a free two-piece meal. Equipped with a more veteran palette, I trudged on through the calories to reach inexpensive chicken’s final frontier. The kingmaker of chicken politics and the chain that has emerged as the most controversial poultry purveyor on the scene is Chick-fil-A (You know where one is). It seems Chick-fil-A cannot be dethroned as the supreme leader of cheap chicken. The breading creates thousands of nooks and crannies that translate into the signature crunch of the Chicken Sandwich ($2.95 by itself). The chicken brought delicious taste and texture, but not poultry perfection. At busier locations, sandwiches are not made to order, and may sit out for around five minutes; this leaves enough time for pickles to make the bottom of the chicken breast soggy. Once the train wreck has started it cannot be stopped. The bread is rendered useless, putting a damper on the entire experience. For traditionalists, Chick-fil-A is a safe choice. For those who favor a different experience, Zaxby’s serves top-quality chicken with slightly more adventure. If you want to order from Best Wings, just pretend you are from out of town. p

By Anna Braxton A dark brown building lined with wood panels sits abandoned on the corner of North Highland and Blue Ridge avenues. The once-bustling restaurant is now home to a construction site as renovations to the former HD1 are underway, making room for a new FLIP burger boutique. HD1 closed its doors on Aug. 18. Opened in 2011 by chef Richard Blais and his partner Barry Mills, the “Haute Doggery” was an interesting concept that didn’t take off in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood. HD1 dubbed itself a gourmet hot dog restaurant with one-of-a-kind hot dogs, like the classic Red Haute Dog with brisket chili, pepper jack foam and vidalia onions, or the more daring Chicken-Apple Sausage topped with herbed creme fraiche, walnuts and a sour grape relish. The hot dogs ranged anywhere from $4-$10, a relatively high price for a hot dog. The dark walls and high tables provide an atmosphere that is unusual for a small, low-key hot dog joint. “I liked it, but I thought it was expensive,” sophomore Meredith Fossitt said. “I’m not very sad to see it go.” Blais is replacing HD1 with a fourth location of his other restaurant, FLIP burger boutique. The new addition will provide Poncey-Highland with a high-quality, gourmet burger joint with a lively atmosphere. With locations in Midtown Atlanta, Buckhead and Birmingham, Ala., FLIP burger boutique has proven to be a hit. “We are fully committed to growing the FLIP brand and expanding our strong reputation for innovative food in a high energy and fun environment,” Mills said in a press release. “Moving forward, FLIP burger boutique will be our primary focus.” The menu is diverse, ranging from a classic burger to items like the Chorizo, a pork burger topped with hash browns, a fried egg, almond romesco and much more. The burger restaurant also prides itself on its liquid nitrogen milkshakes

Anna Braxton

Dog gone: HD1 to become FLIP burger boutique

FLIP-FLOP: HD1 closed its doors on Aug. 18. After 8-10 weeks of renovations, the former Haute Doggery will re-open as a new FLIP burger boutique. that come in a variety of flavors like Krispy Kreme, Nutella and Burnt Marshmallow, and Foie Gras. "It's an exciting period of growth for FLIP and the demand for gourmet burgers is at an all time high," Blais said in the press release. "At the Poncey-Highland location we will infuse our signature burgers, shakes and sides

to the menu while paying homage to the best-of-the-best in HD1 hot dogs.” The building will undergo renovations in the next few months. The renovation plans include a long-awaited rooftop patio where guests can enjoy the cool vibe and eclectic burgers while enjoying views of the neighborhood. p

Oct. 11, 2013



Social media phenomenon inspires low self-esteem without looking up some pro-ana site or else search it on Tumblr,” disenchanted-skeleton said in an interview with The Southerner. “Although I find them extremely triggering, it’s almost like I get a buzz from looking at them. One single photo on one of those websites is enough to drive me even further into my depression and eating disorder; it immediately makes me feel disgusting and revolting but it motivates me to keep going.” Junior Rachel Starks was first exposed to thinspiration while using Tumblr. “I thought, ‘Wow that’s really stupid,’” Starks said. “It makes it seem like you should look up to skinny people.” Freshman Julie* started using thinspiration via Tumblr in middle school. Julie did not have a Tumblr herself, but used the site to search for images using the tags “thinspo” or “thinspiration.” “For years, since like preschool, I always saw myself as big,” Julie said. “I didn’t like the way I looked, and I wanted to be thin.” Julie is not alone. Eighteen percent of the 115 Grady students who responded to a Southerner survey indicated that they do not like their bodies and over half of survey respondents wish to change something about their body. In a 2010 study entitled The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report researchers found that only 4 percent of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. According to a global survey, twothirds of women think that “the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve.” Starks agrees. “Through magazines, TV, everything women are shown how they’re supposed to look, how people are supposed to look,” Starks said. In fact, the CDC calculated that

A study of more than

81 percent of 10-yearolds are afraid of being fat Graphic by: Margo Stockdale

By Margo Stockdale Anyone who has signed up for a new account, be it Facebook, Twitter or ESPN Fantasy Football, is familiar with the small box you must check to indicate that you agree with the “terms and conditions” outlined by the website. Equally well known is the fact that no one reads this long collection of vague legal terms indicating that if you “repeatedly infringe other people’s intellectual property rights,” your account will be terminated. Further investigation on blogging site Tumblr’s terms and agreements reveal that you must also agree to the website’s community guidelines describing what Tumblr is and is not for. One of these guidelines states Tumblr is not for the “promotion and glorification of self harm.” Despite these guidelines, Tumblr has become a center for the recent social media craze, “thinspiration.” “If you’ll gain just a little bit more weight, you’ll look like a pig,” reads a popular thinspiration post under the title You Will Get Fat If You Eat Today. “Models are the image of perfection and I bet you haven’t met a fat model,” the post continues. “To [sic] many people are obese. Fat people are selfish.” Thinspiration, or thinspo, consists of pictures and other forms of media depicting very thin women or men, or malicious text stigmatizing eating and gaining weight. It is posted by people who use the images as inspiration for weight loss. Thinspiration is a fixture on sites that promote eating disorders, called pro-ana or pro-mia. Tumblr user “disenchanted-skeleton” has been actively using thinspiration and pro-ana sites for three years. Struggling with body image all her life, she found the blogs to be motivating and became hooked on them almost immediately. “To be honest, I hardly go a day

1,500 participants found that viewers of pro-ana/

source: national association of anorexia nervosa and associated disorders

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness

the average woman is five-foot, four inches tall and weighs 166 pounds, while the average super model is five-foot-10 and 120 pounds. The disparity between the way models looked in thinspiration photographs and the way she looked in real life made Julie, as well as many other users of thinspiration, feel inferior. “You’re so far away from what they look like,” Julie said. “[Thinspiration] is almost addictive.” Julie explained that some social situations, not just mainstream media, made her feel self-conscious. Simply spending time around friends at the beach can be a devastating blow to a woman’s self-esteem. Denise Martz co-authored a report, featured in the June issue of the journal Body Image: An International Journal of Research, that concluded that women often put themselves down in social situations in order to forge relationships. Martz dubbed this “fat talk” and declares it a social norm for middle-to-highschool aged females. “I’ll go somewhere with my friends, and they’ll talk about how ugly they are,” Starks said. “You should love yourself.” Loving themselves is evidently

pro-mia web sites had higher levels of eating and body image disturbances than the control group

difficult for the 20 million women and 10 million men who suffer from eating disorders at some point during their life. The best known contributor for these disorders is body dissatisfaction, and the median age for adolescent onset of an eating disorder is 12 years old. “Anorexia and bulimia have become a fad,” Starks said. “It’s just because people haven’t found healthy ways to lose weight, so people turn to anorexia because not eating at all works.” Julie was diagnosed with an eating disorder and, while she has since gotten over it, there are still times when she doesn’t like the way she looks. Disenchanted-skeleton has attempted to recover from anorexia two times, but she attributes her failures to thinspiration. She is still using the tactic as a way to lose weight. “Thinspo is so powerful and triggering particularly to people who are in the deep end of an eating disorder, and it can have negative effects,” she said. “But I just find it makes me want to lose more and more weight, and I will look at thinspo whenever I feel hungry and that will sustain me even more than food does.” Eighteen percent of Grady stu-

dents surveyed said that they have heard of thinspiration. Only a small percentage, however, have used it as a means of weight loss, and 75 percent of those people confessed that using thinspiration was an unhealthy way to lose weight. Tumblr user “thin-beauties” claims to be unsupportive of anorexia, yet the blog is adorned with pictures of rail-thin women and posts describing her miniscule, and sometimes negative, net calorie intake. Thin-beauties sets her goal weight at 100 pounds, stating she thinks every size is good, but she prefers skinny for herself. Tumblr’s search easily makes thinspiration accessible to the millions of active blogs that use the site. Attempts have been made to contact Tumblr, but they could not be reached for a comment. The thinspo tag has a header that reads: “If you or someone you know is dealing with an eating disorder, self harm issues, or suicidal thoughts, please visit our Counseling & Prevention Resources page for a list of services that may be able to help.” This can be removed by simply clicking the“X.” p *Name changed at source’s request

Friends forge close bonds through mutual interests PHOTO COURTESY OF SALOME KAKALASHVILI

By Olivia Volkert The quintessential best friends story: seniors Salome Kakalashvili and Kathy Zakharova meet in the 7th grade at the bus stop on the first day of school, creating a friendship that causes them to sometimes be known as “the inseparable pair of Grady High School.” “When I look at Salome and Kathy, I can consider them the traditional type of best friends, almost like sisters,” Sopio Chochua, Kakalashvilli’s mother, said. “It’s more than friendship. It goes deeper than that.” Kakalashvili said because she was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and Zakharova is a first-generation Russian, they share a similar mentality and sense of values. Zakharova and Kakalashvili are also both members of the Technology Student Association, the girls lacrosse team and the speech and debate team. They have been Public Forum partners since their freshman year when Zakharova convinced Kakalashvili to join the team. “It’s been really good working with her because we think the same way,” Kakalashvili said. “You may think that’s not good for debate, but it really is. It helps us out because when we make speeches and when we compete, we are always arguing for the same things and there’s never any contradictions.” The pair was named junior varsity state champions as sophomores and varsity state championship as juniors. They also have qualified for the National Catholic Forensic League

DOUBLE TEAM: Kakalashvili and Zakharova are partners in Public Forum in addition to teammates on the Grady lacrosse team. The two girls show off their trophy afer placing first in the state tournament last year. tournament three times. “Usually if you talk to us separately and about the same subject, we will more than likely say the same thing,” Zakharova said. Just as Zakharova convinced Kakalashvili to join the debate team, Kakalashvili got Zakharova interested in lacrosse. Chochua said although Zakharova was initially interested in sports, for the love of being together, she joined. “They have been pushing each other over the years in a very positive way,” Chochua said. “When one does very well, it kind of promotes

the other one to do well too.” Living just a street away from one another in the Ansley area, Kakalashvili and Zakharova are always at each other’s houses. “[Being neighbors] gives us the added benefit of having two closets,” Zakharova said. Despite their similar hobbies, taste in clothing and association with one another, Zakharova said anyone who really knows them can also appreciate how different they are. While Kakalashvili is more outgoing and optimistic, Zakharova is down-to-earth and realistic.

In an example of of almost knowing each other better than they know themselves, when Kakalashvili was leaving Zakharova’s house at night, Zakharova warned her to not run home in the dark because she would trip. Ignoring her advice, Kakalashvili ran home, tripping and hurting her hand in the dark in the process. “Sure there are similarities between them in how they are as people, but I think there are a lot of differences between them too and that’s what keeps them being such good friends,” senior Jamie Reed said. Looking back on their friendship, Kakalashvili said they have both grown and learned lessons from each other. “All of our transitioning processes have been together, so we really know each other,” Kakalashvili said. “That’s helped us adjust to high school and make good decisions.” Zakharova feels similarly. “I know that high school friendships sometimes don’t work after high school, but I’m not really worried about that with [Kakalashvili],” Zakharova said. “I feel like we’re going in the same direction, and I’m pretty sure this is what our friendship is going to look like for a pretty long period of time.” Likewise, Kakalashvili said, “We have the same goals for life and what we want to accomplish. I think we want to go to the same colleges, and even if we don’t, I know we will always keep in touch and never lose the connection.” p



Oct. 11, 2013

Out-of-order behavior causes out-of-order restrooms A Photo Commentary by Orli Hendler

We all know Grady restrooms are not the tidiest places in the world, but recently their dirtiness has gotten a little out of hand. Although some problems can be attributed to the school’s lack of maintenance, such as holes in the wall (bottom right), the blame for most of the problems falls on the students. Broken

paper towel dispensers and trash on the floor (bottom left), broken toilets (top middle), graffitti (top left), and vandalized dryers (top right) are often the result of students’ apathetic attitudes. Restrooms are for all Grady students. Please be respectful and make an effort to keep our restrooms clean. p

photos by orli hendler and eli mansbach

pers or check his work email when he gets home. Allen has found that another issue he has had since his daughter was born is the amount of sleep he is getting. “I’m tired,” Allen said. “I’m wiped out. I don’t have the energy that I’m used to having and I feel like it has affected my teaching. I don’t feel like I am as effective a teacher that I have been over the last couple of years and that’s hard to accept.” Grady teacher Nadia Goodvin has taken a different path than some of her colleagues by adopting three kids from foster care. Goodvin said she wanted to adopt the children because she wanted to have kids, but there are already a lot of kids who don’t have families. She also wanted to respect her grandmother, who was adopted. Goodvin said the adoption process

Courtesy of Susan Salvesen

The Family and Medical Leave Act lets states decide what regulations employers must follow when it comes to paid leave and Georgia does not require employers of buissnesses with 50 or more employees to pay their employees who take maternity leave. In response to these facts regarding maternity leave rights for women, Iona University professor of political science Jeanne Zaino wrote two editorials that were featured in USA Today and Inside Higher Education, asking the public whether the U.S. government does enough for new mothers in the United States. “When it comes to federally mandated maternity leave, the U.S. is sorely out of step with the rest of the world,” Zaino said in an email interview. “A few years ago, Australia passed a parental leave law, leaving the U.S. as the only industrialized nation not to mandate paid leave for new mothers.” Though not a mother yet, thirdyear teacher Tamara Aldridge is pregnant and expecting her baby to be born on Nov. 2. Aldridge has had to make changes to her schedule and after-school commitments in order to prepare for her baby. Aldridge hopes her schedule changes will help her continue teaching while caring for her child. “I adjusted my schedule so that I have tutorial before school ... and I’ll leave right after school,” Aldridge said. “Hopefully I can have a good balance between work and my home life.” Susan Salvesen, who has had

three kids while teaching at Grady, also found that it was more difficult to teach her classes while she was pregnant. “It was definitely harder [because] you are so uncomfortable and the air in my room didn’t work last year,” Salvesen said. “I was really tired by fourth period because of the extra weight. It was tough.” Salvesen also said that though teaching while being pregnant is difficult, teaching while having to care for a baby is even harder. “You never feel like you do anything 100 percent.” Salvesen said. “It’s not like you can stay here till six o’ clock at night and get everything done and have everything done for tomorrow. “I have to do more work at home, but I have to wait until my kids go to bed so it’s a real hard balncing act keeping all the balls up in the air and making sure they don’t fall down.” Allen, whose daughter was born over the summer, tries not to take his work home with him and draws a line between his school and home life. He said that caring for his daughter was easier over the summer, but has become more challenging since the school year started. “I used to work a lot,” Allen said. “I would stay late after school [and] I would have tutorial quite frequently. “I think that it is really important that when I go home, I don’t work. From the point [that I get home] until I go to bed at night my sole goal is to take care of my daughter and be with my wife.” Allen said his new responsibilities make it harder to get his work done, but he still does not grade pa-

Courtesy of Nadia goodvin

continued from front page

Courtesy of Scott Allen

BABIES bring joy, trials to faculty doubling as parents

ROCK-A-BYE BABY: Latin teacher Scott Allen plays the piano to his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, in her home (left). Economics teacher Nadia Goodvin’s three kids, Kate (3), Aidan (6) and Anya (2) smile for a picture while social studies teacher Susan Salvesen’s new baby, Dale, does the same from his carseat (right). is long and involves many steps. “You have to go to an orientation and then start going to trainings for about three months once a week,” Goodvin said. ”Then after that, they come to your home and do a fullscale home study where they ask you about your childhood, they look at your house, they want to make sure your dogs have rabies shots [and] that your house is baby-proof for the age that you want to adopt.” She said that when she first got her kids, they were nice, but then the kids became difficult in order to test her and make sure that she “wasn’t going to throw them back to [foster care].” Goodvin stated that even though her kids have warmed to her, she still has a hard time keeping up with them and teaching at the same time. “[I get] no sleep,” Goodvin said.

“They get up at the crack of dawn; it doesn’t matter the day or what time you put them to bed. I used to be much more of a night owl and get up to go to work in the morning and be just fine, but I can’t function if I do that now because [I have] no down time after work.” Despite the challenges that Grady teachers have had trying to work and take care of their children, they have found that in some ways, it has motivated them to improve their attitude towards teaching. “Since having kids, it really makes you want to be a better teacher,” Salvesen said. “Now that Nora Ann is in kindergarten, I feel like teaching is so important. It makes me want to do better for my own kids and has sparked a new interest in a field I’ve been in for a long time.” p


Oct. 11, 2013


Students permanently portray personalities on skin minors] though,” Thomas said. “But we’re like, pretty legit over here.” Regardless of the legality, tattoos are popular decorations. “The popular stuff is usually a bummer,” Thomas said. “I’ll still do it, but it’s mostly like walk-ins, who typically want like a bird silhouette, some script on the wrist or like, an infinity symbol.” Thomas says he wishes that some of the cooler tattoos he has done were more popular. “My favorite pieces are usually larger. I did a great sleeve [full arm] design on my ex-girlfriend,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately it was on my ex-girlfriend.” But what is most important about getting a tattoo is the relationship with the artist. “Most people find an artist whose work they like,” Thomas explained. “Being comfortable with your artist is kind of a key thing. It’s like when chicks go to get their hair done: you have to be comfortable with the person. Getting a tattoo can already be an unpleasant experience so that can just make it worse.” Grady teacher Brian Leahy agrees. Leahy has 13 tattoos, all of which he got in the past four years. “I have a couple of good friends who are tattoo artists,” Leahy said. “So having a good relationship with the artist makes sense, but it can also backfire. Some of my friends will try and make it hurt a little more than it usually would.” While many people have tattoos, the reasons for getting their individual tattoos differ. “Most people think that the A tattoo is just for the Braves,” Ferris said. “It’s basically to just represent my city. It’s where I’m from. I’m pretty much obsessed with Atlanta, and I want to live here for the rest of my life.” Leahy had many reasons for getting his

photo by Griffin kish

By Griffin Kish Junior Nicole Williams is used to people staring at her arm. No, it’s not horribly disfigured, and no, it’s not scarred. Williams is one of a group of Grady students who have tattoos. Hers are an intricate band encircling her arm, a crossing feathers design on her upper arm, and a circular horseman design. “I got my tattoo because it’s Native American, like me,” Williams said. “I wanted something to show my culture and heritage.” Williams got all three tattoos without her parents’ permission or knowledge. “I tried to keep them a secret,” Williams said, “but it didn’t work out so well.” Senior Emily Ferris has two tattoos, one of a group of birds on her shoulder, and one “A” in the script of the Atlanta Braves baseball team behind her right ear. “I saw somebody who had the Atlanta A, and I really liked that,” Ferris said. “The birds, literally I saw it and thought it was cool, and so I got it.” Senior Demetrius McNeal had a slightly different reason for getting a tattoo of his initials on the back of his arms. “My friends thought I wasn’t going to get one,” McNeal said. “So I went first, because I had to prove them wrong.” Both Ferris and Williams would not reveal where they had gotten their tattoos, as tattooing a minor (any person under 18) is classified as a misdemeanor crime in Georgia. McNeal, however, said a guy who lives down the street from him tattooed him and his friends at his house. Ben Thomas’s interest in tattoo art started while he was in prison, and after getting out, he got a job as an artist at Liberty Tattoo, on Ponce de Leon Avenue. He said that Liberty Tattoo will not tattoo minors. “Some other places in the area will [tattoo

INKED UP: Junior Nicole Williams is just one member of Grady’s growing body of students with tattoos. multiple tattoos. “My first tattoo was to commemorate the Grady Mock Trial team winning the Empire Competition in 2011,” Leahy said. “Some tattoos are for superstition, some represent the different places I’ve lived, one is kind of an ode to my favorite sports team, the Buffalo Sabres and another is an Irish historical saying, meaning ‘Our Day Will Come.’ There’s a number of them that have different meanings to me.” McNeal says that he was very careful with his

tattoo choice. “You’re gonna get something that means something,” McNeal said. “It’s gonna be there forever, so you don’t want to get anything to play around with.” Williams said her tattoos are special because they represent permanently something about her that will never change. “I wanted something permanent,” Williams said. “Something that would always remind me of my history." p

Courtesy of the orator

DANCING (HOMECOMING) QUEENS: The 2012 homecoming dance only attracted about 100 attendees. Student Government adviser Kaye Myles attributes this low attendance to a lack of interest and school spirit.

Lack of student spirit leads to cancellation of dance By Elizabeth Gibbs Just two days before the annual homecoming dance, a brief announcement at the end of the school day informed students that the dance had been cancelled. Traditionally, homecoming is a time for students to celebrate their school and show their school spirit. At Grady, this is usually the case when it comes to the homecoming football game, but the homecoming dance is another story. With a school that has roughly 1,340 students, only about 100 students attend the annual dance. This sparse attendance has prompted many to question whether the dance is worth the time, effort and

money it takes to stage it. A Southerner survey conducted in September revealed that 48 out of the 80 students surveyed would not attend the dance this year, and six were unsure. Senior Emily Ferris said that last year’s homecoming dance was “a lot of fun” and well-attended. Program specialist and co-adviser of the Student Government Association, Kaye P. Myles, believes that staging the dance is very frustrating given the lack of student interest. “Everyone is so critical of what they don’t like,” Myles said. “Well then, why don’t you come and make it better?” Some don’t attend the dance be-

cause of the plethora of night time options available in Atlanta. “We’re an in-city school and many people have better things to worry about than a school dance,” Ferris said. “There’s so much going on here.” For the students that went last year, some did not have their expectations met. “I didn’t think it would be in the cafeteria,” said sophomore Grace Dines, who attended the dance as a freshman last year. “I expected it to be in the gym or somewhere nicer.” She also mentioned that it wasn’t decorated very nicely. It was kind of cheap looking, and it didn’t seem like there was a lot of effort put into

it, she said. Despite not being entirely satisfied with the dance, both Dines and Ferris planned on attending the dance again this year. “I guess I’m glad that I went, because now I know what it’s like,” Dines said. “It wasn’t that great.” Dines thought the best part was getting to dress up. Myles also mentioned that putting together a dance requires a lot of hard work and takes time, money and people to help out. If just a few students attend the dance, she said it may be unnecessary for the organizers to put forth the effort. Art teacher and technical advisor John Brandhorst said that “danc-

es are big endeavors,” and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Also, Ferris believes it’s especially imperative for the students, not the teachers, to promote the++ dance as much as possible. If the students generated the posters, banners, announcements, and simply talked up the event, more students may be persuaded to attend, she said. Myles referred to the homecoming dance as a classic high school tradition, and says if it’s going to continue to happen then students must take more ownership of the dance and help faculty members to hype it up as much as possible. A fall dance is being planned in its place. p



Oct. 11, 2013

By Rebecca Martin As varsity outside linebacker and running back DeMarcus Morgan cramped up during this year’s nail-biting 7-6 defeat to Decatur, five attentive students uniformly dressed in white polos and khaki shorts immediately rushed over to attend to his needs. These five students are part of Grady’s student trainer program. Female students who were interested in a career as a trainer initiated the program in 2005. At first, head football coach Ronnie Millen was apprehensive about it, concerned that it would be a distraction for the players. It was soon obvious to Millen that the program was not only beneficial to the team but for the girls, too. Although the football players remain the stars during Friday night football, the trainers put in just as much work. They attend practice Monday through Friday from 3:45 to 8 p.m., and even later on game nights. Sophomore Ariyan Braynon became involved with the program last year. Braynon works closely with Millen, listening to

Rebecca Martin

Student trainers help injured players, prepare careers

TO THE RESCUE: Outside linebacker and running back DeMarcus Morgan cramped up in the middle of Grady’s first game of the season against the Decatur Bulldogs. Student trainers promptly took action, coming to his aid. what needs to be done. “It gives me help, making sure the players are hydrated, and it’s an extra pair of eyes,” Millen said. The trainer’s role on the field consists of taping, stretching and checking for concussions. The head trainer, Maggie Dalton, who works with all of Grady’s athlet-

ics, advises the girls. The program benefits from the football program right now and prepares the trainers for their future. “That’s what I want to go to school for,” Braynon said, “sports medicine and physical training.” Kennedi Sylvester, who started working as a trainer last year for the varsity girls’

Hank Persons

ryan switzer


KICKING AND SCREAMING: Special teams coach Fred Chamblee talks to his players on Oct. 4. In light of recent crucial errors, Chamblee recognized the importance of special teams, which is often overlooked.

SPECIAL teams concern some loyal football fans continued from back page Knights lost 7-6. “You can’t just blame special teams on those games,” Head Football Coach Ronnie Millen said. But Chamblee accepts the blame. In fact, he believes the losses prove his theory on the importance of special teams and their role in football. And though he takes the criticism where it’s due, he has stated that no extra practice time has or will be allocated. “We work on it at the beginning of practice, but there isn’t much designated time,” Petersen said. “We work on [special teams] for 10 to 15 minutes, only on kickoffs. We don’t practice extra points.” Practice time or not, the focus of the Knights has definitely shifted. “Everybody is focused on special

teams,” Jenkins said, “even if you ain’t on special teams.” It’s an aspect of football that thrives on freak occurrences. Every kicker is expected to make every extra point, and every upback needs to be able to protect the punter. The only time members of special teams serve as tangible forces on the gridiron is when something crazy happens. It’s a collective that thrives on tiny victories and achieving seemingly insignificant but in the end crucial yardage. At the Knights’ late September game at Riverdale, it seemed the special teams misery would continue after Carter missed an extra point following a bad snap: a now frequent occurrence for the Knights. But when the game went into overtime, the infrequent occurred. Carter sliced the uprights in overtime to end the game. p

varsity cross country

Rob Reynolds junior

cheerleader, spotter

basketball team, also wanted to be a trainer because of her interest in pursuing a career in athletic training. She initiated the training opportunity by asking Athletic Director Kathleen Washington, and then doing an interview where she was introduced to the student trainer program. The trainers attend all freshman, junior varsity, and varsity games. There are seperate trainers for basketball and football. Sylvester said she is constantly learning how to look at bones in order to determine whether they are swollen, broken, or sprained, and wrap them accordingly. “It’s for [the players] too, but I’m learning a lot before I actually major in it,” Sylvester said. The program has recently blossomed, allowing students to educate themselves in their area of interest while assisting the athletic department. The football players are also appreciative of the hard-working trainers. “They do a great job led by Maggie,” Morgan said. “They make sure everything is properly prepared for all of us.” p

This is Persons’ second year ranked in Grady’s top seven runners. He said the team has improved greatly since last year, and that, in turn, has made him work harder to become better. Favorite athletes: Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Grady alumnus Zane Coburn Favorite thing about this season: set a personal record at a Conyers Invitational. Favorite tactic: “During races I enjoy running along someone either on my team or another team and encouraging them through the race and them encouraging me back,” Persons said.

Reynolds said the team is preparing for its upcoming Atlanta Public Schools Cheer Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 26 at South Atlanta High School. He also said the team is looking to improve its program at Inman overall. “I’m doing things on and off the mat to improve my skills and be a better team member,” Reynolds said. Favorite team: Alabama State University Hornets Favorite move: back-tuck and one-man Favorite thing about this season: “I improved my tumbling skills.”


Oct. 11, 2013


Ryan Switzer

By Ben Searles This time three years ago, Isiah Jenkins, then a freshman, told head coach Ronnie Millen that he would rather play JV football over varsity football. That was understandable—high school football is quite rough and fast paced. Many freshmen find that they aren’t quite ready for the competition. The following year, as a running back on the varsity team, he rushed for nearly 800 yards and scored 10 touchdowns; the year after that he rushed for almost 1,000 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. The obvious progression would suggest that Jenkins rush for more yards and more touchdowns this year, but the coaching staff for Grady had a different plan: Jenkins would move to quarterback. “Coach Millen kind of put it in my head that you’re going to play whatever I want you to,” Jenkins said. Jenkins noticed the difference between JV and Varsity football very quickly. “Even in practice it was so much faster when I finally got in my first varsity game, I could tell that the feel of the game was a lot different,” Jenkins said. The 2013 graduating class saw the exit of starting quarterback Kivon Taylor, leaving the team without a quarteback. The coaching staff figured Jenkins was the man for the job. “He was a pretty heady guy,” Millen said. “He has a pretty good knowledge of the game, so he was the obvious choice.” Both Millen and quarterback coach Carl Laurence agree that getting Jenkins to practice in the spring and summer as a quarterback was a no-brainer due to his superior athleticism, quick thinking and leadership abilities. “Isiah’s transformation from running back to quarterback shows how much of a team player he is,” senior running back Hakeem Todd said. “He is a great leader so the position fits him well.” Although he has primarily played running back throughout his career, he has had prior experience at quarterback. In practice, he played quarterback on the scout team—a practice team formed to mimic actual opponents for the starters in practice—and played quarterback in a scrimmage against Mays High School last year. He was also the third-string

Mary claire morris

Converted running back key to team’s new fortunes

ISIAH-MAZING: Jenkins (left) throws to a receiver in Grady’s 42-0 victory over Therrell on Oct. 4. This year, he became the starting varsity quarterback, but still uses his experience as a running back to run for touchdowns, as he did on Sept. 6 against North Clayton (right). quarterback for Grady last year. Jenkins is a running quarterback. Drawing on his running back experience, he runs the ball as much as he throws it. He still runs between 15 and 20 times per game, but he also is responsible for calling plays, handing the ball off to the running backs and throwing the ball 10 to 20 times per game. His pass completion rate is about 50 percent, but he hopes to raise that percentage. Coaches and players on the team know that Jenkins is vital to the team’s success. “If Isiah goes, we go,” Laurence said. “If he’s focused and he’s really determined and wants to sort of just take control, we go as far as he goes.” Jenkins attributes the start of his football career to his mother and brother. Currently, he sees Monique Jackson, his aunt, as his biggest motivator for football. “Football gave Isiah an opportunity to take part in something that’s enjoyable yet challenging,” Jackson said. “[Football] increases his self-esteem and sense of self-

worth and his ability to work as a team.” Jenkins took after his brother and started his football career as a 3-year-old playing on an under-6 team called the John F. Kennedy Rattlers. After his 10th birthday, he went to play for the Adamsville Vikings, one of 10 youth teams in the Georgia Division 1 League now known as the Atlanta Vikings. Jenkins came to Grady after attending BEST Academy, where his team won a middle school championship. He received an MVP award for the season. Though he has received no scholarship offers yet, Jenkins hopes to be recruited by a Division 1 school. Currently, Middle Tennessee State, Furman University and The University of Tennessee Chattanooga are recruiting Jenkins. Jackson would like Jenkins to receive a full scholarship to a university where he can earn a degree. Jenkins ultimately hopes to make it to the National Football League, but if that doesn’t work out, he plans on becoming a journalist. p


Senior Qri Montague spikes the volleyball in the championship match against Nor th Atlanta.The team lost, but placed second overall.

Region CrossCountry Meet


APS Volleyball Tournament

Photo courtesy of samantha bowie


By Ben Simonds-Malamud The cross-country teams will compete in what they hope is the penultimate meet of the season on Oct. 28. The region meet will take place at Marist High School at 5:30. The top four teams at this meet advance to the state meet at Carrollton High School on Nov. 9. Last year, the girls team came in second out of five teams and advanced to state, but of seven teams competing, the boys finished fifth and were the first team not to qualify. In this meet, the top seven runners of each gender will run in their respective division’s varsity race. The junior varsity race is open to other runners. Teams from the region include Marist, Redan, Stone Mountain and Chamblee high schools. Grady began competing in this region last year and has found it less competitive than its old region. Grady’s runners competed at Marist’s course at an invitational meet earlier this year. At the APS championship meet on Oct. 16, both Grady teams took second place to North Atlanta High School, one of Grady’s toughest competitors. Since North Atlanta will not compete at the upcoming region meet, runners expect a strong showing. p Ben Searles

By Olivia Volkert Championship game. Third set. Down to the wire. The Lady Knights volleyball team came close, but couldn’t catch their archrivals from North Atlanta, finishing second place in the Sept. 29 APS Volleyball tournament. The team played 13 games against nine APS high schools at Mays High School compiled an 11-2 record. After losing their first game to Mays, the girls re-evaluated and won their next 11 games. “We weren’t into the game mode yet,” senior Annie Mason said of their opening loss. The Lady Knights defeated Mays in the semifinals to advance to the final round. Mason said that despite the fact that the team was at a disadvantage going into the tournament because of the absence of one of their best players, sophomore Grace Dusenbery, they played hard enough to make up for it. In the final game, every member of the team scored and senior Qri Montague had several good blocks. The game was close throughout as both teams surpassed 25 points, with a final score of 28-26. “It was sad we didn’t get first but looking back on it, when our coach was talking to us, she wasn’t upset about the loss because The that was the best we Grady played,” Mason cross country said. p team runs in a pack during a meet at Grant Park, where most of the APS meets occur throughout the season.


the Sports section


Oct. 11, 2013


Nowhere to go but up for struggling special teams “The defensive series” he says, completing his thought. The special teams roles are far from the most glamorous positions in football. You can’t select a “gunner” for your fantasy team and, excluding the occasional kick returner, you never hear about special teams on Sports Center. The little chatter you do hear about the special teams at Grady is often critical. All three of the 2012-2013 team’s losses occurred almost solely on special teams miscues. The Riverdale Raiders defeated the Knights 28-14 after the Raiders scored touchdowns on kickoffs at the conclusion of the first half and the beginning of the second. In the 2219 regional championship loss to Carver, the Knights allowed a blocked punt and a kickoff to be returned to the end zone. Most notably, the Knights were denied a double overtime after a botched snap on an extra point in last year’s playoff game versus Monroe Area. These woes have carried on into the 20132014 season. Last month head coach Ronnie Millen had a chance to win his 100th career game against rival Decatur Bulldogs. “Before the game, Zac [Carter] and I decided we would split the kicks 50/50,” sophomore backup kicker Christian Petersen said. “Zac would do the kickoffs and I would do the extra points. Obviously, it didn’t work.” Peterson missed an extra point and the see SPECIAL, page 18

LACES OUT: Sophomore backup kicker Christian Petersen gets airborn for a kickoff in the Oct. 2 game against the Therrell Panthers. Despite having struggled in the past few games, Petersen successfully kicked six extra points in the Knights’ 42-0 victory at the Grady Stadium on Oct. 4.

ryan switzer

By Ryan Switzer The countdown begins and concludes with a whistle slicing the silence. The small weight room on the side of the gym may as well implode as the noise of pumping iron echoes against the walls. Angular, stainless steel equipment designed to turn mere high school students into gladiators lines every mirrored wall. Dumbbells are thrust into the air. Boxes are leapt upon. One sweat-drenched member of the Grady Knights football team screams in guttural, staccato bursts while he squats weights far exceeding his own weight. At this, Special Teams Coach Fred Chamblee just chuckles. “Why’s he shouting?” he asks. Though a few of these players have been assigned offensive and defensive positions, the majority of them are members of football’s frequently forgotten special teams squadron. “We keep the game rolling smoothly,” senior snapper and quarterback Isaiah Jenkins said. “I consider it a cheat, you can steal a couple of points.” This specialized group takes the field on all plays involving a kicker, a time when the average spectator will likely decide to grab a snack or hit the bathroom on a Sunday afternoon. But Chamblee doesn’t care. “Special teams is the most important facet of football,” Chamblee said. “We’re on at the start of the offensive series, we’re on at the start of ... hold on. HERE WE GO!” He interrupts himself and the whistles blasts.

Seniors rejoin old AYSA team to conquer and conclude that playing with each other has improved their own game. “I think the team has really strong chemistry because we all know each other,” Carter said. “It’s so much more fun on the field. You’re not thinking about winning the entire time.” Rodgers agreed their level of playing was improved by their familiarity with each other and their friendships. He also said that in Inter Atlanta FC’s history, there have been a larger number of groups of friends who stick “for the long-run,” which, in turn, makes the club better. “I’m honored to be a part of these guys coming to play for me and the fact that they’re all friends is a definite plus,” Rodgers said. “There are some other clubs out there that don’t have the character of kids that I have.” Ruder, one of the few who has stayed with Inter Atlanta FC his entire life, was one of the first to propose the idea of starting a U-19 team comprised of members from their old AYSA teams. “I honestly did not expect some of these people to give up their spots … which are very, very good, and it’s a hard position to get to,” Ruder said. With the help of his friends and parents, Ruder petitioned Inter Atlanta FC to create a new U-19 team for them because the former team had graduated. For those like Ruder and D’Avanzo who do not plan to play college soccer, this team seemed like the perfect ending to their high school soccer career. “Most of us have accepted that we aren’t going to go to college to play ball, so if we can just have fun this one last season, then

Photo Courtesy of Ben Searles

By Olivia Volkert Students in their senior year often lose interest in the past and instead look only to their futures. But this is not true for everyone. Seniors Zac Carter, Ben Searles, Chandler Organ, Adrian D’Avanzo and Graham Ruder are using their senior year as a way to reflect on their memories before they leave Grady. The five friends have played soccer with and against each other as a part of the Inter Atlanta Football Club, formerly known as Atlanta Youth Soccer Association (AYSA), since before elementary school. After splitting off to play for different clubs for several years, they decided this year to reunite with their old club and play together for their senior year. “I think that the fact that those guys have come back together to play with each other from their old clubs says a lot about their character and says a lot about their friendship,” said Scott Rodgers, the coach of the Under-19 division at Inter Atlanta FC. In addition to reliving the old days, one benefit to the boys was the less serious nature of the club, as opposed to the larger and more competitive clubs many of them had previously joined, such as the Concorde Fire Club and the Chiefs Futbol Club East. “The reason we play soccer is to play with our friends,” Ruder said. “Because when you’re playing soccer and you hate your teammates, there’s no point in playing the game.” Despite the less competitive nature of playing Inter Atlanta FC in their senior year, D’Avanzo, Carter and Ruder have found

ALIVE AND KICKING: Grady seniors (circled, left to right) Ben Searles, Zac Carter and Adrian D’Avanzo, as well as Chandler Organ and Graham Ruder (both not pictured) chose to rejoin their old youth soccer team (pictured in 2008) this year before they leave for college. that’s what we’re going to do,” Ruder said. Whatever the reasons, all of the boys agreed playing with their old teammates and for their senior year was the best decision. “It’s one of the best things in the world if you get to play soccer with people that are close to you and people that you trust and know and can have fun with,” Ruder said. p

Grady Sports Score Central: September/October Football Sept. 13 Grady 35, Riverdale 34 Sept. 20 Grady 25, Lithonia 14

Oct. 4 Grady 42, Therrell 0 Oct. 11 Grady 28 Washington 14

Softball Sept. 10 South Atlanta 28, Grady 20

Sept. 10 Grady 26, Washington 14

Water Polo

Volleyball Sept. 3 Grady 2, Carver 0 Grady 2, South Atlanta 0 Sept. 19 Grady 2, Douglass 0 Grady 2, N. Atlanta 1

Sept. 24 Grady 2, Columbia 0 Grady 0, Chamblee 2 Sept. 28 Grady 2, Jackson 0

Sept. 4

Sept. 26

Pace 7, APS B 1

APS 7, Pope A 7

Sept. 8 North Springs 11, APS A 5

Sept. 29 Blue Devils 13, APS A 3

See complete coverage of games on and on The Southerner Facebook page.

Southerner Volume 67, Number 2  

Our second issue of the 2013-2014 school year features in-depth stories on ethical accusations levied at a Atlanta school board candidate an...

Southerner Volume 67, Number 2  

Our second issue of the 2013-2014 school year features in-depth stories on ethical accusations levied at a Atlanta school board candidate an...