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The Booster Redux Pittsburg Hig igh School 1978 E. 4th Street Pittsburg, KS 66762 Vol Vol. 99, Issue 3 www.boosterredux.com
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
letters to sala students take on two shows at once
Photo illustration by Maddy Emerson
speaking up without saying a word Pledge of Allegiance returns to start school days MADISON NAGEL
Shawn chooses to stand out of respect. “I wholeheartedly believe people should have the right to opt out, and I exercise my right to opt out of saying it every morning. I Every school day nearly 1,000 students and don’t say it, not because I hate America, but staff begin their day by reciting The Pledge of I don’t personally believe I can really pledge Allegiance in unison. full allegiance to the aspects of the American This year the administration has decided to institution I just don’t agree with,” Shawn bring the Pledge back to the daily schedule. said. “I respect America, I respect my fellow Principal Jon Bishop says he wanted to students and I respect our servicemen and revive the Pledge in order to remind students women and so I do stand while the Pledge is of its importance. being recited.” “Just something that has faded, something Brown feels the Pledge is a form of prothat we have wanted to bring back a little moting bigotry. more of a focal point to,” Bishop said. “I “To me, the Pledge is a way to further wake up and watch the news, and see the discriminate against people and single out the little kids doing the Pledge of Allegiance, and people who don’t have the same beliefs as I was thinking ‘you know, we need to start you,” Brown said. our day off with the focal point.’” Shawn feels students need to analyze the Government teacher Patrick Moss feels the words of the Pledge and decipher what it Pledge is on the brink of being forgotten if means to them in order to make a decision. it is not regularly “It’s a decirecited. sion we all need “I feel sayto make for ouring the Pledge is selves,” Shawn very important. said. “No one Anything we do should just or teach is one say the Pledge generation away blindly without from losing it if understanding we neglect to what the words teach it,” Moss they’re recitsaid. “Imagine ing signify. To if KU decided to blindly sit out quit the ‘Rock and to blindly Chalk’ chant, participate are how long would both bad. Either it take before no pledge or don’t, one cared about but make a conit anymore?” scious choice -EVIEE SHAW WN Bishop felt one way or the that during this other.” time, a sense of Brown also unity was needed; and he thought the Pledge believes individuals need to reflect over the was a potential solution. concepts of the Pledge. “As rough as things have been in our “I think it could be symbolic if people really country, dealing with all this stuff going on, thought about it, and for those who really especially with this election year coming believe in it. But I don’t think many people up, we need to have some sense of pride,” have ever thought about the meaning or even Bishop said. the words,” Brown said. Senior Malayna Brown does not see a need Senior Annie Cortes chooses to participate for the Pledge during school. in the Pledge to acknowledge troops. “I think the Pledge can be important to “I mainly do it out of respect and honor of people who have strong feelings of patrio- the men and women in the military risking tism, but I feel there is no purpose in reciting their lives for me to live in a country where something every day that we have memorized I can freely voice my opinions,” Cortes said. since kindergarten,” Brown said. Brown is steadfast in upholding her views. Brown is one of several students who exer“I am an atheist, liberal, feminist who is cises their right to not say the Pledge. going to stand up, or sit down, for what I Despite not reciting the Pledge, junior Evie believe in no matter what and I want others @maddiebagel
To sit or to stand
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i respect america, i respect my fellow students and i respect our servicemen and women and so i do stand while pledge is being recited.
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to know that it is okay to stand out and speak up for what they believe in too,” Brown said.
The 1954 Addition Many students scrutinize the Pledge for containing aspects of religion. According to ushistory.org, the Pledge was revised by Congress in 1954, adding the words “under God.” Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower supported this addition in response to a growing Communist concern at the time. Though she does not believe it coincides with the Pledge, Cortes is grateful to have the freedom of religion that America offers. “I’d rather my religion stay out of politics,” Cortes said. “Based on my beliefs, I’m proud to be in a country where I have freedom of religion but I can worship just fine without the Pledge.” English teacher Melissa Fite Johnson considers the aspect of religion when reflecting on the Pledge. “Hopefully it’s not a political statement to say that I believe in the separation of church and state. For that reason, I have to admit that the words ‘under God’ are a little bit tricky. I think faith is such a personal thing. I think that’s the main part that makes me wonder about it sometimes,” Fite Johnson said. “I worry it puts students in the position of either being a joiner or a protester: there’s no in between. I think the number one priority for me, as a teacher, is to make sure that all students feel safe in my classroom.”
What to consider Fite Johnson feels it is imperative to make a thoughtful decision regarding why an individual may choose to participate or opt-out. “I think it’s really good to have pride in our country. I especially think it’s good to be grateful for the advantages that we have. I don’t want there to be too much of a focus on ‘America: we’re the best!’ As long as it’s being approached with the right spirit, like being appreciative of all the advantages we’re lucky enough to have, [and] being born into a country that’s free,” Fite Johnson said. “One student says she does it out of respect for troops. I think it’s good to really think about why you’re doing it or not doing it. I think that’s true of anything, not just the Pledge.” Though they are not obligated to participate, Moss believes that his first-hour students have a desire to say the Pledge every day. “As far as affecting my class, the kids have been great about it and simply get up and say it,” Moss said. “Several have even commented that they are glad we are doing it
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admin subdues explosive situation School re-evaluates safety protocol after recent bomb threat Kali poenitske @kali_poenitske On Oct. 6, students were directed to meet at Countryside Christian Church in place of school. As they received notice of a bomb threat, the first common question students had was, “why isn’t school canceled?” “[School should have been canceled because] I was scared, and so was my mom, so she didn’t want me coming to school,” junior Michael Smith said. Senior Lydia Winters disagrees with Smith, but was not on the same page as administration, either. “I think that maybe we should have had a later start instead of everyone
come and it be chaotic,” Winters said. “But, I think it was safe to have school.” To deter repeat occurrences, administration decided to not cancel school to prevent future fake threats. “If you give in and cancel school, it’s what they want,” Garzone said. “Once law enforcement say it’s clear, we want kids in school.” Two years ago, USD 250 adopted a new system for the reunification drill. Instead of crouching under desks, students are now encouraged to defend themselves by utilizing the established procedures of alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate otherwise known as ALICE.
“We’ve implemented this [new procedure], and we’ve progressed,” Garzone said. Garzone is one of 12 people within the district who are certified trainers of the ALICE procedures. Teachers see the use in changing the method from ducking under desks to reacting to the situation. “In the past several years we would turn off the lights and hide in our classrooms. That would make us feel like sitting ducks,” English teacher Lyn Schultze said. “Now with the ALICE training, we have a couple of other decisions to make if we are informed there is a shooter in the building. We practice that drill where
if somebody comes in, we fight back because studies have shown you have a better chance of survival if you do that.” The evacuation step in ALICE includes students leaving the school and relocating to Countryside Christian Church, which is the reunification site for those in the north side. To keep students safe during the recent threat, students and staff were directed to the church. This was officially announced to the public on the USD 250 Pittsburg Community Schools’ Facebook page at 6:58 a.m. “PHS STUDENTS & PARENTS: We want to inform you that due to a threat received early this morning,
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admin subdues explosive situation School re-evaluates safety protocol after recent bomb threat law enforcement presence will be seen at the high school. District officials are working with the Pittsburg Police Department, Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, and the Kansas Highway Patrol to ensure the safety of our students. We are asking that all students and staff go to Countryside Christian Church across the street. All other schools are starting as normal.” Parents responded to this post with some apprehension about publicly sharing the location where students and staff meet if there is an emergency. “Leaking out on social media where you were sending the students is not such a good idea,” Faucett James said. “You never know who’s all reading these posts.” Debra Long agreed with her post that publicizing the meeting place may not be beneficial to the students. “If someone really wants to hurt our children they know where they are taking our kids. How easy would it be to put something there instead,” Long said. Garzone realizes the concerns, but he has learned how to handle this situation in ALICE trainings. “What the ALICE trainers have told us is that we want everyone to know. We want to be transparent with our drills because if there is a kid in school or someone on the outside who is thinking of doing something like this, they know we are going to fight. The first responders will be there quickly, teachers and students will take action. What we are doing is we are making it harder for these untrained people to come in and attack our students or staff.” Some parents on Facebook commented they never received
notification. This could be because of outdated contact inforWe hope people realize you can’t kid around with those things. mation. In Powerschool demographics, parents can update You’re just going to land yourself in jail with court costs and a emails and phone numbers in order to be on the list for calls, probation officer.” texts and emails. Charges vary in each state. In Missouri, a threat is considered Out of all three methods of notification, prinan act of terrorism. cipal Jon Bishop believes text messages are the In Kansas, an individual would most effective. be charged with aggravated crimi“The best thing, in my opinion, is texting,” nal threat, which is a level-five Bishop said. “Texting nationwide, I think it was personal felony. When being almost a 100 percent chance looked at and a 97 charged, age is not a factor. percent chance that people respond to it.” However, age is taken into conHowever, not everyone is signed up for texsideration during sentencing, in ting. addition to criminal history and Administration is working out the problems severity of the crime. Each senand learning new things with every situation. tencing is a case-by-case basis With the recent bomb threat, they learned about which utilizes a scale to determine needed materials. the length of a sentence. If some“When we can’t come into our own school, one makes a threat, they could we need to have some things available that aren’t also be held financially account-JO ON BISHO OP in [the school],” Bishop said. “We put maps, able through civil court or restituwalkie talkies and some other crisis [materials] in tion. Of everything learned on Oct. a crisis bag, so we can get to if needed.” 6, Bishop believes the main focus is the protection of students. Though administration is able to address problems with each “Number one priority in all of this is the safety of all our crisis, Bishop hopes it does not become a habit. people, staff and students,” Bishop said. “If we have a threat, “We don’t want repeat offenders because they are going even if we think it is miniscule, we are still going to take action to put themselves behind bars if they make choices like that,” and treat it as a real deal. 99 percent of the time nothing hapBishop said. “That’s also why when people make threats like pens, but we don’t want to be that one percent. We always that, they are going to be prosecuted. There are a lot of charges take into account the safety of our students.” that pile up on somebody who would do something like that.
number one priority in all of this is the safety of all our people, staff and students.
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speaking up without saying a word Pledge of Allegiance returns to start school days again [because] they missed it.” Legal precedents Shawn noticed celebrities may influence students’ deciVarious legal issues have been brought up regarding the sions on whether or not to stand. Pledge. “It bothers me when people try to use the Pledge to furThe first of these challenges within the Supreme Court ther themselves, or they misconstrue it and refuse to stand was the case of Minersville v. Gobitis in 1940, before the because they see it as a symbol of oppression. I’ll be the words “under God” were added to the Pledge. first to admit that America is problematic, but I stand up for In this case, Billy Gobitis, a Jehovah’s Witness student, the Pledge out of respect for my classmates and respect for refused to participate in the Pledge as he said it defied his Americans. I appreciate the liberties I’m given, even though religious beliefs. I know very well America can go a lot farther when we look The ruling, in favor of Minersville, stated that the governat actual freedom and equality,” Shawn said. “Individuals ment could demand individuals to honor the flag. like Colin Kaepernick The next time the Pledge was contested with his refusal to stand in the Supreme Court was three years for the National Anthem later, with the case of West Virginia State have made it, and I hate Board of Education v. Barnette. to say it like this, trendy In this case, another Jehovah’s Witness to sit down to stand up student, Walter Barnette, refused to recite against something. But the Pledge. we as high school stuThe verdict of this case was public dents don’t have the audischools could not order students to particience he has to make the pate in the Pledge, due to the Free Speech changes we want to see. clause of the First Amendment. No one cares if we sit for “I think we really shouldn’t force anythe Pledge, so these silent one to say it,” Fite Johnson said. acts of rebellion aren’t Bishop says that no matter their beliefs, really rebellion at all.” students will not be obligated to particiBrown stands by her pate in the Pledge. decision to not partici“We’re not going to force kids to say JO O N B I SHO O P pate in the Pledge due it. They have their rights,” Bishop said. to the faults she sees in “If they want to be a participant of it, they America. can. If not, they don’t need to. But we’re “I feel that it is a very mindless thing that we have been going to do it.” saying since we were five years old and I don’t believe that Shawn feels that if it were mandatory, the Pledge would five year olds can make a pledge of any kind. I also don’t lose its significance. like the fact that it says ‘under God’ because I am an atheist “Pledging allegiance without a choice in the matter is and I cannot say something that I don’t believe,” Brown said. something that, and this is my opinion, strips us of the rights “I think the words ‘with liberty and justice for all’ are a lie. we are showing appreciation and respect for when we recite There is still discrimination and oppression in this country the Pledge,” Shawn said. every day, whether it be because of your gender, race, sexuality, religious beliefs or political stances.” Manner of delivery Shawn notices students have assorted reasons for preferSection four of the Flag Code declares that the Pledge ring to not partake in the Pledge. should be carried out by looking at the flag and placing the “Some students, like myself, can’t swear allegiance to all right hand over the heart. When not in uniform, any nonthe baggage of America. Some students won’t stand until religious covering of the head should be taken off, and held they feel they’re adequately represented by the flag and by with the right hand at the left shoulder; the hand lingering the American institution. Some students just don’t want to over the heart. Individuals in uniform should face the flag say it and I can, without a doubt, say that it’s not my busiand perform the military salute. ness what someone else’s justification is for choosing to opt Shawn feels that, by standing and reciting the Pledge, out or in,” Shawn said. “We are all old enough to make our people concur with everything it symbolizes. own decisions when it comes to things like whether or not “To me, the Pledge is more than a proclamation of patrioto say the Pledge.” tism. It, to me, means that you stand for the flag and everyFite Johnson appreciates that saying the Pledge is a choice. thing it represents. You stand for the government. You stand “I feel like it’s good for students to have the option to say for our servicemen and women. You stand for our rights and the Pledge,” Fite Johnson said. “I don’t necessarily think it’s liberties as Americans. I don’t say the Pledge because I see important for every single student to say it. I think it’s probfaults in America and I don’t wish to pledge my allegiance ably best for students to think about what those words mean until I see action taken to mend those faults. That does not to them and make a decision for themselves as to how they mean I have less respect for our troops or don’t appreciate feel and act accordingly.” the rights I’m given as an American,” Shawn said. “It simply Brown stands firmly on her decision to not participate. means that I disagree with some parts of America and I don’t “People have called me a Communist and sometimes condone those faults.” people tell me I have to do it, but I know that I don’t and Moss believes that Americans should be proud of their they aren’t going to change my mind,” Brown said. “If I country. don’t stand up for what I believe in, then no one is going to “I feel that we should encourage a certain level of patriodo it for me.” tism. Several years ago it became vogue for historians to
it gives us a chance to focus on that important piece; to never forget how important it is to have those freedoms.
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write books that called out all of the faults with our national heroes, and to some degree, I think it had an adverse effect in that it almost encouraged people subconsciously to feel a level of shame about being American,” Moss said. “I think that is sad and though as a history teacher I encourage anyone to know as much as they can about our historical figures, good and bad, I still feel it is important to love your country and recognize American exceptionalism where it exists.” In Shawn’s opinion, all choices regarding the Pledge warrant respect. “I began to feel a wee bit worried that I would come under scrutiny for not saying the Pledge and I feel like I need to make sure it’s clear that, whether or not someone says the Pledge, they are still deserving of respect. The same respect people who say the Pledge give the flag should be given to their fellow students. Likewise, people who choose to opt in to the Pledge should be given the same treatment and respect,” Shawn said. “The time that we all dedicate to the Pledge in the mornings is a time for respect, be it for America or for your fellow classmates. If everybody used that time in the morning to focus on respecting something we’d see an overall more positive group of students and teachers.”
The history of the Pledge The Pledge today is not the same it was then. In 1923, the words “the flag of the United States of America” were included. Junior Walt Sours feels that students cannot adequately exhibit their patriotism through reciting the Pledge due to the modifications it has endured. “Personally, I believe that the Pledge is not a way to show your pride. I believe that it is almost a tool that is used to put ideas into the minds of the people,” Sours said. “I say this because it wasn’t made until 1892 and it has been altered heavily since then. An example is when they added ‘under God’ during the second Red Scare. This is why I don’t personally care for the Pledge.” Moss is familiar with the historical background of the Pledge. “It was originally penned by a minister, Francis Bellamy, for the 1892 World’s Fair in Chicago. Congress adopted it in 1942. The line ‘Under God’ was added in 1954 when the U.S. was trying to separate ourselves from the Soviet Union and prove America as a ‘Christian Nation,’” Moss said.
Influencing PHS When pondering the Pledge, staff and students alike can easily see the effects it has on the school. Shawn thinks the Pledge unites everyone — standing or not. “I like the sense of unity it gives us, we’re all kind of thinking about the same thing at the same time, even if you’re like me and not saying the Pledge out loud,” Shawn said. Brown believes students should follow through with their own beliefs, no matter the demand for them to do otherwise. “I want people to know that you don’t have to do something that you don’t want to do or don’t believe in just because others are or tell you that you need to,” Brown said. Bishop sees the impacts the Pledge has on the school. “We’re all doing something all at the same time. There’s a short period of time when we’re all recognizing where we live, we have the best country in the world to live in. Even if things may be chaotic at times,” Bishop said. “It gives us a chance to focus on that important piece; to never forget how important it is to have those freedoms.”
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Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
leaning to the press Media attempts to sway young voters Gina Mathew @gmmathew13 rom #BernieOrBust to Ken Bone, this election season has seen its share of the media’s influence. According to the Administration and Cost of Elections Project, the media plays a vital role in the election process, educating voters and providing a platform for candidates to communicate their positions. Government teacher Gary Wolgamott feels this election’s coverage has been sensationalized. “The hype has turned the process into a circus,” Wolgamott said. “We need to be focused, especially at this stage of the election, on the issues and how each candidate intends to tackle [them]. Sometimes, we lose that message. We haven’t spent a lot of time up to this point dealing with the issues, we’ve been dealing with personalities and personal attacks.” The media has become a concern in recent months. Wolgamott, however, does not consider this a new phenomenon. “Since the 1960s, the media has played an increasing role in the election process primarily because many Americans are reliant on news networks to understand what’s going on,” Wolgamott said. “The media has always had some semblance of objectivity but, in the last 20 to 30 years, it has become more agenda-oriented. They’re in business for ratings. We have some new sources that are very proDemocrat or pro-Republican, [which] is not necessarily bad if the voter understands that and gets a little bit of both, but if you’re going with just one source, you’re just getting one slant.” The public seems to agree. According to a study published by the Pew Research Center in July of this year, three-quarters of Americans think news organizations keep political leaders in check, but about the same portion say news organizations tend to favor one side. Through apparel, memes and hashtags, the country is voicing its opinions. At the forefront of it all have been Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. “There’s a lot of hate towards Trump and Clinton,” senior Zach Thomas said. “The [elections] have just been kind of a joke. It sounds like all you hear about is how awful the other person is and you don’t really know a whole lot about their policies. It’s more [time] just spent into bashing each other.” Despite not being eligible to vote, senior Ana Martinez believes the choice would be easier with different candidates. “I feel like every time I get on the news, there’s a new story of a victim coming out or an email being leaked,” Martinez said. “I didn’t wait 18 years for these two.” Despite personal agendas, the media can hold the candidates accountable. Multiple outlets, such as NPR, Politifact and The Washington Post, have fact-checked the debates, speeches and interviews and highlighted false or embellished statements. “One of the things we try to do in our government classes is get the students to understand that they have the ability to fact-check with the internet,” Wolgamott said. “To become an active citizen, you have to make sure you have the right information. We want the students to make an informed decision when they cast their ballot.” AP Government teacher Marjorie Giffin holds a different outlook on the media’s influence. “It is all perception,” Giffin said. “I don’t think it’s any more media hype than any other election, [but] what has made it more critical are the candidates that we have. For the candidate, any misstep is going to be jumped on by the media and, unless you let it go, they’re going to keep talking about it. I think that’s why the media seems more involved,
Graphic by Grace Palmer
but I don’t think it’s any different than [previous elections].” Social media has become the battleground for presidential campaigns. While hashtags can enable candidates to interact with their voters, it also leaves them susceptible to critical responses. “I will say that what is making [this election] different, and Obama started this, is the social media [aspect],” Giffin said. “The political apparatus has really jumped on the social media bandwagon,” Wolgamott said. “While it’s added a different perspective, there’s also a lot of misinformation floating through those channels. It’s just like looking at the internet or watching a news broadcast on television. The
voter has to be able to verify the facts and not just take it at face value.” Saturday Night Live kicked off its season with reenactments of the presidential debates by satirizing the candidates’ performances. From Stephen Colbert to Trevor Noah, the candidates have been a hot topic on late night TV. “I think [talk show hosts] focus on what is going to get them viewership,” Giffin said. “People are going to turn in to see what [the candidates] said last night or what they tweeted this morning. You can hardly get regular news because [shows] are so consumed with this [election]. They should allow for it sometimes, but the world hasn’t stopped just because we have a presidential election going
on.” Regardless of the media’s influence, senior Jakob Mein remains skeptical. “[The media] is harmful because you almost always get a biased view on things,” Mein said. “Outlets are going to show their candidates in a good light, [so] you can’t trust these sources to help you formulate your political opinions. Do your own research and vote for whichever candidate you most agree with.” “If you are 18 years of age, you need to be voting,” Wolgamott said. “For our system to work, everybody has to be involved. It is our job as citizens to hold the government and elected officials accountable through our vote.”
Students establish additional club offerings Robots, video games, Japanese culture inspire new clubs Robotics Club by Darius Tinsley This is the first year for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics club and sponsor Andrew Brennon, has high hopes in terms of the general accomplishments and the competitive aspects involved with the club. “Joining FIRST Robotics means you will learn handson skills with programming robots, building robots and design,” Brennon said. Robotics club’s members often have the opportunity to be awarded with a scholarship and will be given an informational head start if interested in a related degree. Brennon mentioned that the club is highly recommended for people interested in engineering, but is not confined to that group. “The competition is so diverse we need people with all types of skills,” Brennon said. When asked if there was still time for students to join FIRST Robotics, Brennon explained that the club is currently still open for new members. The FIRST Robotics club is currently meeting every other Thursday, but will be significantly more active in January when its members will build a robot from scratch to compete against other teams in Kansas City. The club is discussing raising money to start out the year and plans to host a fundraiser or multiple before build season in January. To conclude his interview, Brennon described the benefits of joining FIRST Robotics and how to talk to him about joining. “The club offers a lot to its members and will be fun along the way,” Brennon said. “So consider heading down to room 606, talking to me and deciding if you may be interested.”
video game Club by Jorden Johnson As the 2016-2017 school year began, freshman Jordi Cordero had the idea of starting a new club. For the past two years, Cordero and a couple of his friends have wanted to start a video game club. “I had the idea, and I just made it happen,” Cordero said. The video game club will be up and running in November and members will take a more in-depth look at games. “We take a look at the technical aspects of games and how they work, how they operate, and how they’re made,” Cordero said. When approached about starting the club by Cordero, math teacher Trevor Elliott decided to take on the role of club sponsor. This is the first club Elliott has sponsored. “Jordi asked me if I was willing to sponsor their club. I enjoy comics and movies so I thought it would be an interesting opportunity,” Elliott said. According to Cordero, many people in the video game club have stated their favorite part about the club is getting to know people and learning new things about video games. “Just showing people different things about games maybe introducing new games they haven’t heard of before,” Cordero said. Throughout the year the club will have various discussions about games. “We just take a look at the somewhat simpler and more complex part of games,we see how things work and we try to explain them if they would be possible in real life,” Cordero said. As the year progresses, the video game expects an increase in the number of kids that show up. “The last meeting we had we had around 20 people maybe a little less or more we had all the people on the list and some more,” Cordero said
The best part about the club is that they’re open to all types of games. “Any kinds of video games action, adventure we take everything into account,” Cordero said. The club will begin meeting Thursdays after school when football season is over.
Japanese Culture Club by Alec Kangas The Japanese Culture Club is a new club that will attempt to teach students about anime, manga and other elements of the Japanese culture. Freshman Sapphire Blakemore initiated the creation of the club. “I personally have a passion for Japan and its culture, especially anime, and I know others do as well,” Blakemore said. “I thought it would be a great experience.” Anime is a style of Japanese cartoons and animations. Manga are Japanese comic books that usually show more detail than anime. Some anime and manga lean more towards an adult audience rather than a kid audience. However, there are some that lean more towards children. So far, the club has talked about its rules and what they are planning to do in the future. The club currently is planning on watching the anime show, “The Devil is a Part Timer” and then discuss it afterwards. The club will be holding an event in May. It will be a festival for anyone to attend, if students are interested in the Japanese culture. “We are going to be combining a traditional Japanese festival with the cultural festival that schools hold every year,” Blakemore said. “There will be food and games as well as exhibitions of students work.” If interested in joining the club Japanese Culture Club, they meet every week on Wednesdays in room 606 at the end of the day.
Friday, Oct. 28
‘I pledge allegiance to the...’ Paul speaks on First Amendment freedoms, importance of respect trina paul @trpaul_98 As the sound of “The Star Spangled Banner” rang throughout Levi’s Stadium, one football player sat silently on the sidelines while the rest of the stadium stood at attention. This small yet defiant action by football player Colin Kaepernick would come to ignite a national discussion on patriotism, race and personal rights. “I am not going to stand up to show pride for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media about his decision. Kaepernick’s actions come at a divisive time in America’s race relations. As the media have been proliferated with stories and images of police brutality and various protests occurring around the nation, Kaepernick has used his First Amendment right to express dissatisfaction with the current racial landscape. Kaepernick’s action may have been considered unpatriotic or disrespectful to some, but patriotism entails much more than standing when the Pledge is recited or singing along to the words of the Art by Alivia Benedict anthem. Patriotism is respecting the inalienable rights given mentator for TheBlaze and a critic to the people by the Constitution. of Kaepernick, states, “it’s this The Constitution ensures free- country, the country you have so dom of speech, religion, assembly much disdain for that allows you and the right to petition. Kaepernick the right to speak your mind. It was merely utilizing the rights he protects your right to be a whiny, had to instigate a change in a coun- attention-seeking cry baby.” try he believed needed it. If Americans are given the Tomi Lahren, a political com- Freedom of Speech, aren’t we, as
citizens, responsible for respecting citizens who use that right? Kaepernick has a right to speak his mind, just as Lahren does, but Lahren fails to realize that Kaepernick’s decision to use the First Amendment does not impede his ability to be an American. It’s important to understand that
freedom of speech refers to freedom of all speech (except hate speech), even speech that may be critical of America. And right now, that may be what America needs. Race relations remain a hot button topic in America, and a refusal to acknowledge racial tensions will not erase the divide that most Americans feel exist. If we hope to make real progress, it’s our responsibility, as Americans, to not stifle the discussion on race but to facilitate it. According to a poll by the Washington Post and ABC News, 63 percent of Americans believe race relations in America are “generally bad”. Kaepernick is just one of many Americans who believes our country has issues regarding race. It’s easy to dismiss Kaepernick on account of how he chose to protest, but a failure to address the motivations behind his actions is a failure to realize that America is still grappling with racism. It’s hard to know whether Kaepernick knew what kind of impact he would make, but his action has played out on a national stage. Even high school football players from around the nation have followed his lead and chosen to kneel. Kaepernick’s action and now his followers’ actions are a part of a larger story. They illustrate America’s need to address the problems facing this country, even ones that make us uncomfortable. Kaepernick has a right to use his first amendment right to bring awareness to certain issues, and it’s time Americans respect that right.
Affordable worthless wall Care for all Ortega questions Trump’s immigration plan
Student speaks against recent pharmaceutical price increases justin blythe @jdblyt Prescription medications are one thing countless Americans rely on every day to maintain their health and well-being. That’s why recent increases in prescription drug prices have evoked public outrage toward big pharmaceutical companies. According to Brad Tuttle of Time Magazine, prescription drug prices have increased by 10 percent or more for the last three years in a row, leaving many Americans unable to afford the medications they depend on. Big pharmaceutical companies need to consider the health of their consumers when deciding to price-hike their products to deepen their pockets. The price of prescription medication is no longer sustainable for families. According to Dr. Steve Miller, chief medical officer at Express Scripts, the cost of prescription medication is increasing much faster than family incomes. This forces many consumers to choose between filling their prescriptions or putting food on the table. Some consumers rely so heavily on prescription drugs that their life depends on their access to them, such as Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ EpiPen, which delivers a life-saving dose of epinephrine following one’s exposure to an allergen. In 2007, the cost of an EpiPen was $57, but today the cost has skyrocketed to over $600, an action Hillary Clinton proclaimed as a “troubling example of a company taking advantage of its consumers.” EpiPens are only one of several medications that have experienced a recent price hike. According to the New York Times, Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat parasitic infections in infants born to HIV-infected women, from $13.50 a tablet to $750 overnight. These exponential increases in cost may leave one demanding an explanation for such a price tag, but pharmaceutical companies have yet to provide an explanation that justifies its actions. The simple fact is that the list prices of these drugs are not representative of the cost of drug research and development. Drug producers are only trying to make a quick profit before legislative action is taken to regulate costs or mandate financial transparency of these companies to the public. It is absolute greed that motivates the executives of some big pharmaceutical companies. While they sit at their desks placing an unaffordable price tag on human life, innocent victims of corporate greed are potentially falling dead and nobody is being held accountable. These companies need to either disclose why their research and development costs warrant these price hikes or lower the prices of their products altogether, because human life is simply not a luxury.
angela Ortega @ @PHSStudentPub
As election day nears, we are faced cartels want in the country, they will. with the decision of electing a racist They have enough money to accomplish what they desire. or a liar. Not all immigrants cross at the borOne of Republican candidate Donald Trump’s controversial presi- der, either. For any illegal immigrant dential promise is building a wall on who wants to enter the country for a the southern border with Mexico. He better opportunity at life, as many do, claims, “a wall is better than fencing there are many other resources available to them, such as boats or aircraft. and it’s much more powerful.” Economically, there is a very high Though it may be “more powerful,” cost to build building a wall such a high will keep immiwall. Trump grants out for a presumes the short period, but wall will cost it is just a matter around $12 milof time before lion, but experts they come back say it could cost into the country. up to $25 bilAccording to lion. Trump, “they’re In addition to bringing drugs. Trump’s inacThey’re bringcurate estimate, ing crime. he also claimed They’re rapists.” as President The majority Mexico would of people who pay for the wall. enter into the However, country aren’t Trump declarhere to sell or -ANGELA ORTEGA ing that Mexico distribute drugs, will pay for the but are here for cost of the wall a better opporis a false statetunity. Including ment. many people I personally know. After meeting with Trump, Mexican Do you really believe a caring mother would purposely transport her President Peña Nieto tweeted, “Mexico child through harsh conditions such will not be paying for the wall.” Trump told the media, “it had been as walking and not eating for long periods of time. I don’t know a single discussed and they would review the fair-minded Hispanic who would will- topic later on.” But President Nieto clearly stated, ingly endure suffering. In fact, I don’t know anyone who there was “no way” they would be would want that. I do know many, covering the cost. With this being his campaign focus, hundreds even, of Hispanic men and women who would endure such harsh if elected, when Trump can’t accomconditions for a better life for them- plish what he’s promising, what is selves and their family. Also, if drug America left?
The majority of people who enter the country aren’t here to sell or distribute drugs, but are here for a better opportunity.
Staff editorial: The booster staff @PHSStudentPub Americans have a responsibility to be informed and aware of the presidential process that significantly affects our nation. For many seniors, eligibility to vote is upon them. However, as information from the upcoming election bombards the
media we consume, it becomes more apparent that students must be able to differentiate between concrete policies, false claims, propaganda and sensationalism. Those who are eligible and do not exercise their right to vote lose validity to criticize the candidates,
Voting is important civic duty, be informed
policies and this election in general. For students not eligible to vote, it is still important to be aware of the policies that affect our nation. Next election season, those who are unable to vote are responsible for making an informed decision on voting for the candidates and the
policies they may stand for. We are the future of America and for the next four years, we are forced to accept the decisions of the new president. It is imperative that we, as a democracy, exercise our fundamental right to vote for who we believe is the best candidate.
Booster Redux staff and policy Editors-in-Chief Journey Jaramillo Gina Mathew Trina Paul Kali Poenitske
Design Editor Jake Webb
Staff Maddie Baden Meghan Baker Connor Balthazor Alivia Benedict Lily Black Justin Blythe Amanda Bourbina Sophie Graham Jordan Hawkins Jorden Johnson Grace Kafka Alec Kangas Nicole Konopelko Madison Nagel Angela Ortega Lexi Palmer Maddy Robison Patrick Sullivan Darius Tinsley Faith Turner Skyla Wallace Julie Wilson
Adviser Emily Smith
The Booster Redux Pittsburg High School Student Publications 1978 E. 4th St. Pittsburg, KS 66762
PHS Student Publications Department and newspaper class produce The Booster Redux. Please call us with comments at 620235-3200. The Booster Redux’s purpose is to inform, educate, enlighten and entertain readers fairly and accurately in an open forum. Opinions expressed in editorials or opinion columns do not necessarily reflect views of all members on the Booster staff. Digital photos have not been altered to manipulate reality. Photo illustrations are labeled to reflect any technical alternations. Anonymity may be given in the following cases: the information is unable to be presented another way, the information warrants anonymity, the source’s privacy and/or reputation requires protection and the source must be protected from damages. A student or faculty member death during the coverage period will be covered with a short obituary. The Booster Redux is a member of Journalism Education Association, National Scholastic Press Association, Kansas Scholastic Press and International Quill and Scroll. The Booster Redux encourages letters from students, teachers and community members under 300 words and signed with a valid signature only. The Booster Redux reserves the right to edit contributions if they are libelous, obscene and for length. Any grammatical errors at the fault of the writer will be printed. Corrections of errors printed at the fault of the Booster staff will appear in the appropriate section of the next issue.
Friday, Oct 28, 2016
‘MAFIA iii’ provides interesting new plot connor balthazor @connor71999 n 1960’s New Bordeaux, the mafia, led by Sal Marcano, controls all in the city. “Mafia 3” is a third-person shooter that takes place in New Bordeaux, a reimagining of 1960s New Orleans. The story focuses on Lincoln Clay and his dealings with the New Orleans mob, in particular the underbosses of Sal Marcano. The game is particularly brutal in its storytelling, especially in how Lincoln Clay “deals” with members of the mob. The highlight of “Mafia 3” is definitely its story. “Mafia 3” provides a compelling story of revenge, lead by the playable character Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam war veteran who lost everything after being betrayed by the mob. Not only is Lincoln Clay a great character, the supporting cast is great as well. There are dozens of characters that all have distinctive personalities that are realistic to the 1960s fictionalized New Orleans. Another great part of “Mafia 3” is the open world setting in a fictional version of New Orleans. The game world feels like New Orleans, especially in the random citizens that will react differently to you based on what eth-
nicity they are. Being a black man in the deep south, Lincoln Clay is discriminated against throughout the game. While it can be offensive, it is an accurate depiction of how he would have been treated. One of the downfalls of this game is its gameplay. It is not bad, it just is not anything new or groundbreaking. It plays very similarly to “Grand Theft Auto” in both driving and shooting, but it does not really build on what “Grand Theft Auto” did. However, if a certain gameplay aspect were enjoyable, it would be the stealth gameplay. It proves to be rewarding when you use stealth instead of running into a room and firing at anything that moves. Also, you can whistle to draw enemies to your position for a quiet takedown. “Mafia 3” was relatively quiet leading up to its release. In fact, I almost forgot it was coming out. However, I am more than happy that I picked up the game last second, as it has proven to give a movie-like story in the form of a game. So if you have ever had the urge to kill 1960’s racist mob bosses, “Mafia 3” is your chance.
‘miss Peregrine’s’ impresses but overstays her Welcome JULIE WILSON @jlwilson
Tim Burton has directed, produced and written almost 40 films during his career. The most recent film he directed is “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” This film is based on the book with the same title written by Ransom Riggs. The story is focused on Jake Portman (played by Asa Butterfield), an “ordinary” teenage boy. Jake’s grandfather, Abe (played by Terence Stamp), has always told him stories about Miss Peregrine (played by Eva Green) and the kids he used to stay with when he was younger. These were not regular kids. Some were invisible. Strong. Light as air. Jake loved listening to these stories when he was little but as he got older it became harder to believe. Jake and his father, Frank Portman (played by Chris O’Dowd), eventually thought Abe just had dementia. He was always talking about monsters coming to get him.
One night, Jake came to Abe’s house and found him in the backyard with his eyes torn out and dying. Abe told Jake to go to Miss Peregrine’s home which is on an island off the coast of Wales. After this traumatic experience, Jake is taken to a mental health professional, Dr. Golan (played by Allison Janney) to talk about what happened. She persuades him into going to the island to see the home in a way to deal with his grief. When Jake finds the loop that leads to Miss Peregrine’s home, he learns that his grandfather’s stories were true. He sees what the children are capable of doing and wants to know what his peculiarity is. Some peculiarities are used for good but when a scientist named Barron (played by Samuel L. Jackson) creates a way to live outside the loop and in present day, it does not go very well. I really enjoyed this movie, like most Tim burton films, it is dark and kind of creepy but it
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also has a mix of humor in it as well. No matter what character he plays, Samuel Jackson always finds a way to make the movie funny. Even though he played the villain, he managed to be the comedy relief too. In a way, it could be a bad thing that this movie was like most his films. There are not a lot of new kinds of visuals in this movie that were not in his other movies too. I felt like I was watching Alice in Wonderland. The main character slips through a time loop and meets friends with very cool abilities and that person has to be the one to save everybody from the evil villain. I also did not like how long this movie was. It ended up being a little over two hours long and seemed like it would never end. A lot of time was spent building up the story and not much time was spent on the most exciting parts. Overall, it was a really good movie, it was a mix of comedy and creepy. It is definitely worth the matinee price.
TOP FIVE SCARY MOVIES ON NETFLIX The Babadook- A single mother struggling after husband's death battles to control her young son who is plagued by visions of a monster. He thinks this monster is coming to kill them that entered their home through the pages of a children's book. Scream- There's a killer in their midst who's seen a few too many scary movies. Suddenly nobody is safe, as the psychopath stalks victims, taunts them with trivia questions, then rips them to bloody shreds.
Insidious- A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their son when he enters a comatose state, in a realm called The Further.
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Graphic by Sophie Graham
The Amityville Horror- The Amityville Horror film series is a series of American horror films that currently consists of 17 released films and centers on true events in a haunted house in Amityville, New York.
The House Of The Devil- Desperate to make some money so she can move into a new apartment, college student Samantha Hughes takes a mysterious babysitting job for Mr. Ulman. When she arrives at the house, there is no child, but that Samantha will be watching his mother instead. After exploring the sinister-seeming house, Samantha soon comes to realize that her employers are hiding a horrifying secret and have plans to use her, dead or alive.
Graphic by Lexi Palmer
www.boosterredux.com SECTION D
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
taking on twice the drama Theater dept. performs two productions back-to-back maddie baden @maddiebaden
ith only 33 days in between the closing production of “Letters to Sala”(“Letters”) and opening night of “The Addams Family”(“Addams”), performing arts students are able to partake in both shows and never take a break. “[Being in two shows is] designed for either kids who are either advanced or who really want to be as involved as possible in the theatre department,” Theatre director Greg Shaw said. “This the chance for students to have more opportunities to participate.” There are 16 students involved in both shows. They will transition from a historical play to an upbeat musical. Two of these students are juniors Matthew Buck and Cassie Hurt-McClarty. For Buck, taking on two shows close together is not a new task. He has worked on, at the most, three shows during the same time frame. Buck feels portraying the different characters is the hardest part of the two shows. “Characters have to be different people. You can not just be the same person in every show,” Buck said. “At a certain point, characters have some similarities so you can relate them to people you know, or sometimes, yourself.” In “Letters,” Buck who is Sala’s boyfriend, and is also Lucas in “Addams,” who is Wednesday Addams’s fiance. According to Buck he has no preference as to which show he enjoys more but feels “Letters” is more challenging, but relates to Lucas in “Addams” the most. “I feel “Letters” is more difficult because I am playing a real person with real emotions and it is hard to emulate those emotions since I have not experienced anything as to what these characters go through in the labor camps,” Buck said. “I relate to
Lucas more since he is around my age and awkward like me. He also has to plan everything, he can not just act, he has to think about it as I do too.” Hurt-McClarty believes taking a part in two shows is a great way to prepare her for the future. “I think it really prepares me for later in life when I probably will have to be performing multiple shows at the same time,” Hurt-McClarty said. “I would like to pursue musical theatre as a career so [the process helps me with] developing characters and doing character research.” In “Letters,” Hurt-McLarty played the older version of Sala Garncarz and is playing Alice Beineke in “Addams.” The two characters she is portraying are the complete opposite of each other, according to McClarty. “The character [Sala] is a lot further away from my actual personality. Playing so much older than myself is also a new challenge I do not usually face,” Hurt-McClarty said. “For Alice, we have very similar personalities and Alice’s two sides are kind of like my two sides. On the exterior, everyone sees me as a happy, bubbly person, but I am actually not always happy on the inside.” Each show takes about 100 to 120 hours to produce. “Letters” was composed of after-school rehearsals for about six to eight weeks, whereas “Addams” is part of the Musical Repertory class during the school day, which takes place during the fall semester. “I really love the fact that we have a play and a musical each semester with the rep programs. Anyone involved in other activities or anybody with an after-school job can still participate. We are trying to be really diverse and get the most kids on stage,” Shaw said. “I love the fact that we have enough program that kids can choose and I am a big believer in young people being busy and filling their time productively.”
Sophomore Gracie Terry portrays Raizel Garncarz, Sala Garncarz’s sister, in the fall all-school play “Letters to Sala”. PHOTO BY AMANDA BOURBINA.
Speaking up for those coming out Students initiate creation of LGBTQ club to provide support Journey jaramillo & Skyla Wallace @PHSStudentPub @journeybutcher The LGBTQ student population is working to start a T club at PHS. “It is 2016, most people are open and out but deep down still afraid of judgement or not being able to fit in. Here, in a high school it is complicated because they are scared to come out to their parents [and peers],” Pfaff said. “I think some people need that little nudge of confidence that the club could provide.” Sophomore Tayten Kelsey agrees with Pfaff, however, he believes there could be unintentional consequences. “If given enough attention, a club could really impact the students and community,” Kelsey said. “Yet all it would do is allow people to know who we are. Some people want to stay discrete. I [think it potentially could] allow more people to be attacked verbally, something I do not want to happen to me or others.” While she understands a club could possibly have a negative outcome, senior Katy Brown believes the positive impact it could have would be greater. “A club would really make a home for students who are or are not out, and possibly help them find friends,” Brown said. “It could provide support for students who are questioning or whose family isn’t supportive of them.” Principal Jon Bishop, along with assistant principal and activities director Brannon Kidd, are open to the possibility of starting an LGBTQ club.
“I think any club that have people who have similarities as well as differences can be very positive for them to be able to meet together and maybe talk about issues,” Bishop said. “Any time you have a support group of some sort, it is always a positive thing.” Both Bishop and Kidd are unsure of exactly how large the LGBTQ community is here but if the group meets the guidelines for club criteria they believe the it could be beneficial for students. According to Kidd, to start a club, there would have to be a signed petition containing at least 25 signatures of interested students. Other criteria for the process of creating a club include having a sponsor, documentation of the purpose of the club, what activities the club would be involved, the time and day(s) it would take place and be school board approved. After realizing how important a club would be to her, Brown has now taken initiative to start an LGBTQ club. “I am surprised we do not already have a club, but I wanted to do something about it. There are clubs for people who have similar beliefs already, so expanding the number of clubs would help diversify the school,”
Brown said. “Plus, having a community within the school will help students’ high-school experiences and help them feel confident with themselves.” After speaking with, Brown, English teacher Melissa Fite Johnson agreed to be the potential club sponsor of the LGBTQ club, if it meets the requirements to be established. “I think it would be good for people to listen to each other’s different viewpoints and different life experiences,” Fite Johnson said. “I think that it promotes tolerance and acceptance, treating others with kindness and respect.” Junior Courtney Maslen feels as though -KATY BROWN a club could inspire other LGBTQ students to accept and be who they are. “I wish I could explain to people that there literally isn’t anything different about us, we are all humans,” Maslen said. “If you accept me or not, I am who I am. We are who we are, and I think a club could help students realize that.”
a club would really make a home for students who are not out, and possibly help them find friends.
saddling up for competition Freshman student earns Reserve World Champion at equestrian event Faith Turner @PHSStudentPub While most athletes play on a court or run around a track, freshman Jayla Long participates at horse shows as an equestrian. For the past seven years, she has participated in Western, Pleasure and used to jump. Jayla spends four to six hours getting herself and her horse, Ivy, ready to compete. “I have to put about 45 little bands into my horse’s mane to form little ponytails, polish her hooves, trim her whiskers and several other little things,” Jayla said. She has competed in more than 100 shows. Her sister, sophomore Jasmin Long, supports Jayla by photographing her while she is showing. “I go to almost all of her shows because I enjoy watching her and taking pictures,”Jasmin said. Despite having family support, she faces many risks while riding. “There have been many deaths to people while they were riding in shows,” Jayla said. According to BrainLine.org, there are about 100 deaths a year with horseback riding. Several people are scared when their family member even gets on a horse, including Debra Long, Jayla’s mom. “I get nervous for Jayla when she is jumping over very high jumps or her horse is acting up such as rearing up or bucking,” Debra said. When she can tell her horse is feeling aggravated, Jayla takes precautions so she does not get hurt while training. This past July, Jayla competed in the Palamino Youth World Show. “I got Reserve World Champion, 3rd, 5th, 6th and was a finalist in two events,”Jayla said. Her family believes that she is capable of doing great things. “I believe my sister is capable of doing great things in her career in horseback riding,” Jasmin said. “She practices every day to be the best she can be.”
Freshman Jayla Long takes Riggs over a jump during a training session. Long has been riding for seven years. PHOTO BY JASMIN LONG
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
ART BY ALIVIA BENEDICT
a place to finally call one’s own A glimpse into a student’s journey to find a home Nicole konopelko @nicolekonopelko he early years of sophomore Mark Davidson’s life will forever be ingrained in his mind. The fights. The tears. The shouting. His stepfather’s abusive view of life that left permanent marks on his mental, emotional and physical health. Davidson has requested to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity and privacy of the subject. While many of Davidson’s friends were going through adolescence with loving parents and stable roofs over their heads, Davidson was not. Instead, mere thoughts of these things were a fantasy in his world, a mirage of the life that he aspired to have. Every night, he would pray to be noticed, for someone to save him from his internal battle. He prayed for his stepfather to change — to be a loving and kind-hearted parent instead of a “demanding monster.” Davidson was later admitted to Heartland Mental Hospital because his depression had “reached the last straw.” “Things in my house got so bad that I had an issue with self harm,” Davidson said. But nothing changed. Even the slightest complaint or comment was enough to send his stepfather over the edge. “My stepfather didn’t want me to get taken away from him,” Davidson said. “He was very abusive.” Coming home from school, Davidson saw eviction notices attached to his front door, but he ignored them. They became the ordinary; they did not initiate any worries. A few months later, he did not even have a door, let alone a house. His new home was made out of worn-out nylon; it was a tent. “Imagine having tons of rocks on your back and having to sleep on those rocks every night,” Davidson said. “Then imagine sleeping on those rocks when it was freezing cold outside. That’s what living in that tent felt like.” After moving back and forth from shelters to tents due to legal issues between his parents and Child Protective Services (CPS), Davidson knew it was time to make a change. “I got tired of being afraid,” Davidson said. Secretly, Davidson composed a plan. But he would not tell anyone about this plan because if his stepfather found out, Davidson said he would feel his wrath. This was no ordinary plan. The plan consisted of knocking on the door of KVC Kansas, a foster care organization, and requesting help. “I wanted to solve things by myself,” Davidson said. After Davidson was released from Heartland Mental Hospital, his KVC caseworker relocated him and assigned him to a new family. All of his ties between his mother and stepfather were cut off. “My [current] family is really special and they help me a lot,” Davidson said.
The Search for Where To Go However, while Davidson eventually found the home that he wanted to have, others are still searching. Children just like him are searching for bravery; the bravery to get help. Davidson’s struggle to find help was a common one in his high school. Currently, 18 students in the high school database are identified as living in a foster home and 14 students are identified as homeless. However, registrar Maggie Serrano believes this is not necessarily an exact number due to a lack of a method to identify a student’s living situation. “I believe our number [of homeless students and students in foster care] is greater, though [because] the only way we can pull a list of foster students if the foster parents handwrites [foster] on the enrollment form. It has to be exactly what the guardian writes on the form,” Serrano said. Not only is homelessness an issue in the high school, but
also in Crawford County. Crawford County is classified as the “poorest county in Kansas” by a study released by MSN Money and USA Today, which reviewed five-year estimated median annual household incomes from 2009 through 2013 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). In addition to low household incomes, Crawford County has limited options for homeless individuals. Part of this stems from the closing of Pittsburg’s only homeless shelter, C.H.O.I.C.E.S, due to the cutoff of its government funding. “Besides Wesley House, there really aren’t any other areas in Crawford County that would serve homeless families,” said Marcee Binder, executive director and head pastor of Wesley House. Another factor contributing to limited options is the amount of minimum-wage jobs in Crawford County. “Yes, there are a lot of families who work,” Binder said. “However, the majority of them are working at places like McDonald’s, where they are not paid enough to support a family.” According to Binder, the centrality of Wesley House makes it a popular resource for homeless people. “The biggest thing that makes us unique is that we’re the hub of the city,” Binder said. “We are the central place where people come in to figure out the resources that they need.” Binder witnesses homelessness every day. But the majority of the people she serves are not families. “There is a problem between homelessness and students,” Binder said. “However, I am just not seeing it.” The majority of people served by Wesley House are single people from age 19 and up. According to Binder, this is due to parents’ fears and legal insecurities. “There is quite possibly, a fear,” Binder said. “If a student is under the age of 18, then we would have to report their situation to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). They could get taken away from their parents due to insufficient housing.” This so-called fear was one of Davidson’s distresses. “If I even mentioned the idea of getting help, my stepfather would have [punished] me,” Davidson said. Because parents often do not report their housing situations, other sources report them instead. Some of these sources include DCF, school districts and various people in the community. Working through the Children’s Cabinet Grant of approximately $150,000, Pittsburg Police Department (PPD) homeless advocates Charleen Workman and Katie Douglas are often contacted when a homeless family is in need of help. “Our main focus is any family that is possibly in threat of their children being removed by DCF,” Workman said. With a case load of 80 families, Workman and Douglas provide a multitude of services including financial help, housing, grocery shopping and provisions of hygienic items. However, according to Workman, there is no limit to Workman and Douglas’s services. “Although housing is our most-utilized service, there really isn’t anything that we don’t do,” Workman said. But the services don’t just end there. Sitting in her office, Communities In Schools (CIS) site coordinator Deanna Miller serves students daily. Miller runs CIS, a national dropout prevention program that is utilized by students who are homeless or on the verge
of homelessness. While she does not provide the same housing and financial services as Workman and Douglas, she provides other services. One of these is a basic-needs closet visited by approximately six students per week. The closet includes clothing items, shoes and school supplies. While many of these items are donated, some of them are purchased from Miller’s budget. “Many of the students in [CIS] don’t have much support at home,” Miller said. “CIS helps them overcome those barriers.” CIS provides services such as college preparation, career preparation, food assistance, transportation to doctor’s appointments and guidance provided by Miller. However, CIS is utilized by students all across the spectrum, regardless of whether they are homeless or not. “Students do not have to be in poverty or homeless [in order to] use CIS,” Miller said. For freshman Roger Adams, who has also chosen to remain anonymous to protect his family’s privacy, a world without CIS would have been a world without food. “My family would always be short a few days on food,” Adams said. Because he was often on the verge of homelessness and often risked running out of food, Adams contacted CIS. Automatically, Miller presented Adams with food bags including noodles, snack items and canned chicken. “[My family and I] discovered that we could finally get food and avoid hunger,” Adams said.
imagine having tons of rocks on your back and having to sleep on those rocks. That’s what living in a tent felt like.
Determining What to Do
However, not every case of homelessness is the same. Determining how to help a homeless student is based on a number of factors. According to Miller, the most important factor is a student’s age. If a student is under the age of 18, their parents will be contacted. “We would have to work directly with the family to try to figure out what we can do,” Miller said. “We would have to talk to the them to see if the student can live somewhere else when [he or she] turns 18.“ If a student is 18, then the process is individualized. “The priority is finding them a place to stay and help them get on their own,” Miller said. “We help them understand housing options and understand where they are going to live.” Sometimes, this requires other students or teachers to chip in. “We have people here that are willing to take students into their household,” Miller said. “Sometimes I have to make sure the student lives with a friend until they graduate.” But regardless of the current issues and constraints of homelessness, Miller believes meeting the students’ needs is top priority. “Our number one goal is to help our students,” Miller said. “We will do anything in order to achieve this.” And while his search for a home was not easy, Davidson believes it was all worth it. “I am happy with where I am right now,” Davidson said. “My mental and physical health is [better] than ever before.”
Friday, Oct 28, 2016
www.boosterredux.com SECTION D
band brings back the flags Students reinstate color guard to add visuals to performances Amanda Bourbina @amandabourbina hile doubling the number of students on the team from four to eight, the color guard team works for hours a week to perform with the band at home football games and pep assemblies. As of now, there are four routines and about one or two more to learn. “Color guard contributes a great deal [to our performances] because it adds a huge visual element to the field,” band director Cooper Neil said. “It makes the band appear much larger than they are and provides a different visual [aspect] than marching formations [alone]. With the flags in the back, it adds a lot of depth to marching band.” Neil has been the band director for six years. He disbanded color guard after his first year, because it was not working out; however, last year senior Tatum McManis showed interest to bring color guard back. “The idea was originally brought to me by my best friend Megan Munger during my sophomore year and we decided to pursue the idea the following marching season,” McManis said. McManis has been the captain of the color guard team since the beginning of this school year and has watched the program grow since
she joined. “I think the increase in numbers this year came from the awareness that came out of the first year, as not many people even know what color guard was,” McManis said. A routine can vary in difficulty. They can be anywhere from a beginner level with basic moves only, such as drop spins, to a more complicated level with tosses and tricks.
[color Guard] is important [c to me because it is a way I can express my emotions in a [positive] way -HAILEY DENTON Junior Hailey Denton has been on the team for both years. Denton enjoys being a part of the team. “[Color Guard] is important to me because it is a way I can express my emotions in a [positive] way and use that for the better. It is [also] a good chance to be a part of a team that does not involve crazy amounts of exercise,” Denton said. “It is good to relax and just really fun all around.” Senior Kayte Keller is a drum major in band and also directs the band for certain pieces. “They are all really sweet and work really hard,” Keller said. “I love Senior Aidia Johns stands in formation during a practice run before the 2016 fall PSU homecoming [the color guard members]. They fit parade. Johns and fellow color guard members performed alongside the band on Oct. 8. right in with us.” PHOTO BY MALAYNA BROWN.
putting in double time Faculty balance coaching while teaching MEGHAN BAKER @meghanbaker11 @ As his alarm rings at 5:20 a.m., English teacher and head girls basketball coach Eric Flaton prepares for a long day of teaching and basketball. “My alarm goes off, I get up, work out and watch film. Around 6:20 a.m., I get dressed and get the kids up, and I leave the house by 7:00 a.m.,” Flaton said. “I get here, teach, make the practice schedule during a planning period, post the practice schedule. Then I go to practice after everything is done. I leave here around 7:00 p.m., get home somewhere around 8:00 p.m., eat dinner, make my kids lunches, go to bed, repeat.” When it comes to juggling both teaching and coaching, math teacher, girls basketball and track coach Rashell Yockey tries to be organized and balanced as best she can. “It can be a challenge at times, but I try to put my priority on teaching and get that done first. Then when I have extra time, I focus on the coaching, writing workouts and practice time,” Yockey said. Although he loves coaching as well as teaching, Flaton voices difficulties that come with his roles. “You invest a lot of time and when you invest a lot of time in this, it takes away from your family and other things like that. That’s probably the biggest difficulty, trying to make sure when you balance everything, you include your family,” Flaton said. While there are difficulties with coaching while being a teacher, Yockey sees the advantages in both. “Teaching is fun because I like math
and I like kids. It’s fun material and I like the interaction I have with students. Coaching is fun because it’s outside of the classroom and it is a different kind of interaction,” Yockey said. “It’s different between coach and athlete and teacher and student, so you get to see the kids more in a different light. It’s nice to get to see that different side of them.” As well as Yockey, Flaton enjoys the company of children and doing what he loves in class and on the court. “In the classroom you are still tracking students, you are still tracking data but you will never know if you have success until four to eight years down the road. The nice thing about basketball, is you have success every day and you get to see some of it,” Flaton said. “I get to do two things that I enjoy which a lot of people don’t get [the chance] to do every day.”
new season, new Football playoffs system: undergo changes CONNOR BALTHAZOR @ @connor71999 While this year’s football playoffs quickly approach, some new changes have been implemented this year. According to head coach Tom Nickelson, they are for the better. “I like how it is right now,” Nickelson said. “It’s not just your win-loss record, you carry a point total. You can carry up to positive 21 or negative 21 points, and those points accumulate.” The new system has every team in the 5A division divided into two regions, with all 32 teams making the playoffs. “All 32 5A teams make it. Number one [seed] in the east will play number 16 in the east, two plays 15, [regular season games are] all done for seeding purposes now so it’s a completely different format,” Nickelson said. According to junior kicker Nathan Neef, the new format gives every team an opportunity to win, even teams that previously had no chance. “I think it might give them some hope,” Neef said. Junior lineman PJ Monsour agrees that it benefits schools that do not normally make the playoffs. “It gives [every school] an opportunity to go to the playoffs and actually win state, and I think that’s pretty cool,” Monsour said. Even with the benefits of the new system, it can be hard to let go of the old format. “I just kind of miss having those three really big games to see how well you might do in the playoffs before they actually started,” Neef said. For Monsour, the new system changes nothing on his approach to games. “We’re just going to go in and just pretend like it’s another game,” Monsour said. However, since this is the first year with the new format, it is only being implemented in the 5A and 6A classifications. “We’re the test program for it with 5A and 6A, if [KSHSAA] likes it, if they get positive feedback, I could see it filtering down to the rest of the classifications,” Nickelson said. While the new system is throwing a new challenge at the players and coaches, Neef believes it will not be a problem adjusting. “We’ve been working hard all season,” Neef said.”I guess that’s really what’s preparing us.”
INFO COMPILED BY PATRICK SULLIVAN
Sophomore Lauren Valenzuela PHOTO BY AMANDA BOURBINA
Senior Abi Felter and junior Madison Vogel PHOTO BY MORGAN NOE
•Golf placed 1st at the SEK tournament. •Finished 4th at regionals on Oct.10. •Junior Jamie Van Wyck, senior Gracie Lopez and sophomore Lauren Valenzuela all qualified for the state tournament. •Jamie Van Wyck placed 20th at state with a score of 100 on Oct. 17.
•Finished 1st at SEK on Oct 1. •Five girls qualified for state: seniors Abi Felter, Chania Stewart and Alexia Yantis, junior Madison Vogel and sophomore Nicole Konopelko. •Felter/Vogel finish 10th in doubles all-state •Yantis/Stewart finish 20th doubles 5A
Junior Liam Myers PHOTO BY MARTINA BLESSANT
•Boys finished 2nd in SEK and girls finished 4th on Oct 13. Junior McKenzie Wilks placed 2nd individually. •Wilks finished 9th at the regional meet and qualified for state. •Wilks will run Oct. 29 at Rim Rock state meet in Lawrence.
Senior Carlos Calderon PHOTO BY DENISSE BUSTAMANTE
•Took first in SEK for the second year in a row •PHS defeated Washington High School 8-2 in the first round of regional play and is played Thursday against J.C. Harmon at 6 P.M. in Art Lawrence Stadium in Kansas City, Kan.
Junior Jhalani Long PHOTO BY MADDY EMERSON
Junior Abbie Casper PHOTO BY MADDY EMERSON
•The team finished the season 5-3. •Hosts first round of regional play offs tonight at Hutchison Field against Blue Valley Southwest High School at 7 P.M.
•Finished the season 35-5 •Won first place in SEK •5A Substate champions, qualified for state on Oct. 22 after defeating Liberal and Maize. •State competition will be Oct. 28 and 29 in Topeka. First match is against Emporia.
Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg, Kan. October 2016