October 2019

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Shawnee Mission South High School 5800 w 107th st, Overland Park, KS 66207 913.993.7500

smspatriot smspatriot smsouthnews.com

BAD AIR, BAD WATER; BAD GRADES How pollution affects students and how we can fix it. page 4 & 5



Patriot Staff

Table of Contents



Nichole Thomas Editor in Chief Alma Harrison Editor in Chief Evan Shibel Asst. Editor in Chief & Sports Editor Gini Horton Online Editor Ansley Chambers Opinions Editor Annalie Polen News Editor Katie Heibl Features Editor McKenna Pickering Arts and Entertainment Editor Naomi Mitchel Photo Editor Trinity Clark Asst. Photo Editor Emma Harding Asst. Photo Editor Reese Woods Multimedia & Video Editor Catherine Gunnigle Ads Editor Abby Cox Social Media Editor

04.05. Bad air, bad water; bad grades


06. What is the RAB? 07. CAA vs. NCAA


08. A little ditty about Jane and Diane 09. Lock ‘em up


11.Debate: Girls in Boyscouts 12. The Brain Game 13. I’d rather eat in the bathroom

Arts and Entertainment 14. Burger Battle 15. Literary Legends


Mission Statement The Patriot is a news magazine that aims to objectively present topics affecting Shawnee Mission South High School, as well as connect with readers on issues concerning the student body. Staff members reserve the right to express their views in the Opinion section. These pieces are labeled and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff as a whole, except the Staff Editorial, which represents the views of the editors. Each section editor designs their own section’s pages, unless otherwise specified. Under the First Amendment and Kansas Law, The Patriot staff is entitled to freedom of the press and neither the school nor district is responsible for any content or coverage. The staff encourages letters to the editor; they will only be published if signed. The Editors in Chief reserve the right to refuse or edit any letters for reasons of grammar, length and good taste.

Ben Curtis Elias Henderson Nathan Judd Miles McKenna Sarah Ohlde

Photographers Kyla Hunter Nic Camburako Haley Carter Paige Lambert Julian Peeple Landrea Van Mol Jack Wagner

On the cover


How pollution affects students and how we can fix it. Pollution has become a normal part of life for most people. It’s easier to find pollution than wildlife in most places across the world these days, but companies and citizens are working to combat it every day. Pollution isn’t just candy wrappers and beer cans on the side of the road, pollution comes in many forms which can have an array of effects on students. Pollution can negatively affect students during and outside of school. page 4 & 5



PRESENTS HOW TO HOMECOMING Everything you need to know to get through the first dance of the year. By Alma Harrison Editor in Chief


omecoming is equally exciting and stressful, and we all know it. There’s so much to do for girls and even more for boys: having your mom get your suit, having your mom get your bow tie, making sure it matches your date’s dress, having your mom order the boutonniere, making sure it’s what your date told you to get. I’m kidding…kind of. In all seriousness, there’s a lot for everyone to do in preparation for Homecoming. Lucky for you, I’m going to give you the rundown right here, right now. It all really starts with the decision to go at all. No one is required to go, of course, but you don’t want to miss out on high school experiences like this. With the decision to go, comes the dreaded worry of a date. First piece of advice: do not stress about having a date. Boys, if you like a girl, make her a corny poster and ask her to go with you. If you’re a girl and like a girl, ask her too. I’m just trying to say you should ask someone you want to go with. You don’t have to go with someone romantically either. You can go with your significant other, of course, but you can also go with a friend. You can also go with a friend as a date. You can also go with a group of friends. The possibilities are endless. It’s just up to you to figure out what you want. Let’s say you choose to have a date. Now you have to decide if you want to go in a group or just the two of you. I personally think it’s much more fun to go with a group of friends with your date because it just makes everything more fun. If you’re going with a date you don’t know super well or y’all are “talking” or kind of a thing, then going with a group would make it less awkward and take away some of the pressure. If you choose to go with just the two of you, then you have the advantage of not having to try to organize a group of people. You’re free to follow the rest of the advice I give, but to a lesser degree. Let’s say you choose to go with a group.

You have to think about who your friends are, who your date’s friends are – generally, who you want to go with. You also have to take into consideration how many people would be in your group. I’ve seen groups of six and groups of 42, so it’s all possible. However, in my experience, the bigger the group, the harder it might be to find rides, a dinner reservation, an after party, but we’ll get into that soon. It’s up to you to figure out what group you want to go in and how many people you’re willing to go with. That’s a personal decision. If you choose to go in a larger group – probably 14 or more – then I recommend designating one or two people to generally plan everything. It’s hard to discuss things when everyone is trying to make decisions, so having everyone give input but having two people make the final calls is a bit less stressful. The few people in charge should be responsible and not overly opinionated themselves. They can make the best decisions for the group on pictures and dinner and such – again, we’ll get deeper into those soon – and be responsible for making the reservation call. It’s easier for them to do it than there be a miscommunication about who did or, even worse, didn’t make the reservation call. That could be disastrous, but it’s preventable. Adding to that, if you have lots of opinionated people in your group, then you might have a difficult time making decisions. Everyone will want to give their input and then no one will be willing to compromise. I can’t tell you how to avoid that, but beware. Let’s discuss pictures and dinner. Before I get too deep into them, you should know that it’s an unspoken rule to do pictures before dinner, and for several reasons. First, we know how messy boys can be and do we trust them to not spill on themselves? Not really. Secondly, everyone is going to have a food baby. That’s just the facts. And those girls wearing dresses on the tighter side – a.k.a. me this year – are not going to want

to take photos with a food baby – also me this year. Let’s say you decide to do pictures before dinner – great decision. I’m not going to lie, it can be kind of difficult to find a good place, but there’s a lot of different places around our city to go and at least check out: country clubs like Brookridge Country Club, ponds and parks like Shawnee Mission Park and generally nice areas like Corporate Woods. You could also travel a little farther out and take photos downtown at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the World War I Museum or the Scout statue. When deciding a time, or even place, for pictures, keep in mind that it’s fall and the sun is setting a lot earlier than we’re used to. “Time and Date” predicts that the sunset on Oct. 5, 2019, in Overland Park will be 6:55 p.m., so maybe plan around that. Let’s discuss dinner. This should be easyish to decide because the boys are, typically, paying for dinner, so they should get the final say. Unless they pick a dumb idea, then a vote might need to take place. However, food allergies and dietary restrictions need to be kept in mind. Don’t make a vegetarian go to a steakhouse. After dinner is the dance. Now, a lot of people try not to go to the dance because it’s “lame,” but what’s the point of getting dressed up and everything if you don’t actually go to the event you dressed up for? Just stop by and see the absolutely phenomenal decorations Student Council worked hours on. Visit some friends. Check out the decorations. Get loose on the dance floor. But seriously check out the decorations. Finish the story here for after party tips:


4 | NEWS

BAD AIR, BAD WATER; BAD GRADES How pollution afftects students and how we can fix it. By Elias Henderson Reporter


ollution has become a normal part of life for most people. It’s easier to find pollution than wildlife in most places across the world these days, but companies and citizens are working to combat it every day. Pollution isn’t just candy wrappers and beer cans on the side of the road, pollution comes in many forms which can have an array of effects on students. Pollution can negatively affect students during and outside of school. Pollution is the introduction of harmful materials into the environment, which can include air, water, sky, ground, plants and wildlife. Students can be affected by everything around them and different pollution types affect different demographics of students. Noise pollution is extremely harmful to students and is becoming evident as a big problem for educators and students across the nation. A 2017 study found nearly one in 11 public schools nationally, enrolling 4.4 million students, are located within 500 feet of a major road. A separate 2017 found that student performance declined due to noise disturbance. The impact of noise may have a negative physiological impact, which is often experienced by students in the form of dizziness. While the psychological impact included

students’ feeling uncomfortable or uneasy. It also affects the communication process since the teacher’s voice and instructions may become unclear. Noise pollution may not affect South students as SMS is well situated away from major roads, but multiple South elementary schools are located near high traffic roads such as Trailwood off 95th or Brookwood off 103rd. Relocating schools is near impossible, so a solution many have taken is sound-proof walls and doors. However, these solutions are expensive and are not an option for many lower-income schools that also tend to be in urban areas with more noise. A demographic of students especially impaired by pollution is SMS’s environmental education program. These students spend a lot of time in the Shawnee Mission Environmental Science Lab (SMESL) and see pollution first hand. “All trash and chemicals left in the parking lot or 107th street drain into the pond in the SMESL,” the environmental ed. teacher PJ Born said. “After the rain, you can see a ring of trash surrounding the pond.”

Despite a societal focus on marine pollution, inland pollution has similarly disastrous effects. Physical pollution ends up being very dangerous to both wild and domesticated animals. They can suffer from various forms of entanglements as well as accidental consumption which may prove deadly. This has changed the landscape of the SMESL. The original intent of the SMESL was to mirror a historic Kansan ecosystem; however, according to Born, it has evolved into an urban ecosystem with the addition of pollution. Another form of pollution that has proved extremely problematic to students is air pollution. Air pollution is caused by a number of things, but the main contributors in the U.S. are emissions from industrial plants and manufacturing, fossil fuels and farming chemicals/ household products. Air pollution has many adverse health effects such as stress to heart and lungs or damaged respiratory systems. Long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects such as accelerated aging of the lungs, decreased lung function and development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and possibly cancer. Kansas City specifically has had troubles with air pollution recently with the American Lung Association giving Kansas City a D grade for ozone pollution in its 2019 report. This is worse than last year’s report. American Lung Association gives Overland Park an A in particle pollution and ozone health, but Wyandotte got a C and Shawnee got a B.

5 | NEWS


Known to live in murky conditions, the green sunfish is the only fish living in the SMESL’s pond. They can naturally be found in small streams and ponds. Because this is an agressive fish, it out competes other species.

However, Springfield, Topeka and Joplin are in the top 25 cities in the U.S. for clean air. Poor air quality can have adverse effects on students specifically. Researchers investigating the effects of air pollution conducted math and verbal tests over the course of multiple years and when those results were matched with pollution conditions at the time of each test, scientists found that pollution is linked to a significant decline in test performance and that the impact increases with age. Other research has shown how levels of air pollution on a given high-stakes test day can lower students’ performance on that test. But the latest studies show that pollution doesn’t only affect how students perform on a specific day, but how much they learn throughout the entire school year. This is an extremely worrying revelation for future generations of students. Despite all of these issues, pollution is not an unsolvable problem. Pollution can be stopped in many ways, but absolutely everyone’s help is needed.. A simple

way to help is to financially support organisations that are committed to pollution reduction such as Parley who work with Adidas and others to make clothes out of old plastics. You could also donate to organisations such as the American Lung Association, Coalition for Clean Air and many more who are working everyday to fight pollution.Another way students can help pollution through simple actions in their day to day lives like not littering, carpooling and limiting uses of single-use plastics and styrofoam. Most importantly, Students can help stop pollution first and foremost by voting.

18 is not far off for a majority of high schoolers. Find and elect local, state and federal officials that care about pollution. It’s extremely easy and will take up a maximum of a couple of hours a year to google politicians stances and vote for them. The Trump administration is trying to remove regulations on businesses that restrict pollution. If this happens air quality everywhere, including Kansas city will get worse. Facilities in Missouri could increase their hazardous emissions by 32 percent and Kansas facilities could see a 54 percent jump. We need to stop this, and you can make a difference. Vote and pay attention, that is the minimum you can do to improve your community.




Behind the scenes of a newly formed sports-leadership committee. By Miles McKenna Reporter


eard of the RAB? “ The Raider athletic board is a voice for athletes to give to the administration [information] about what’s happening with their sports, the students role is they go back to their teams and coaches and bring their issues and thoughts to the table, ” said Dr. John Johnson. Johnson is the Athletic Director at Shawnee Mission South. He is also the founder of the RAB. There is a long process to nominating and choosing which athlete would represent each sport. “We had coaches choose 2-5 athletes who they thought were good leaders then had 7 teachers or administrators read and score the essays written by the nominees. We have one representative for each sport,” said Johnson. There are many different thoughts on this committee whether there will be high benefits or nothing happens at all. Girls Basketball representative Emma Thurston stated, “some people are doubting if the committee will mean anything or if the ideas people are working on will be followed through.”

Mac Wissel Boys Tennis

Brenna Loose Girls Golf



Nichole Thomas Girls Bowling

Paul Brandt Boys Bowling

Olivia Riley Girls Swim

Nathan Snyder Boys Swim

Quinn McCalmon Wrestling

Mia Tapko Volleyball

Emma Thurston Girls Basketball

Ike McLey Boys Basketball

Maria Beach Girls Tennis

Ben Curtis Pep Club

Katie Cooper Pep Club

Ethan Offutt Football

Eli Thurston Boys Soccer

Dylan Zieger Girls Soccer

Ellery Vaughn Pacesetters

Alma Harrison Cheer

Miles McKenna Baseball

Gretchen Schultz Softball

Griffin Brassell Boys Golf

Elisabeth Crawford Girls Track

Max Close Boys Track

Chloe Wannamaker Brad Schluben Girls Cross Country Boys Cross Country

Zakaiyah Gillom Gymnastics




Student athletes’ futures are in jeopardy due to credits not being NCAA approved. By Catherine Gunnigle Ads Editor


ost seniors are finalizing college applications, scholarships, or post high school plans right now; whatever it may be, nearly 400 of South seniors are trying to figure out their next step after they walk across the stage in May and say goodbye to the green and gold lined halls they called “home” for the last four years. However, two of those 400 seniors just learned their future plans could be in jeopardy due to credits not being NCAA approved. Seniors Daniel Bebee and Lacy Whitcomb are just two of many student athletes representing South at the CAA. Both raiders have put in three years of hard work, pursuing their shared interest in the MedHealth program at the CAA. The Center for Academic Achievement, or CAA as it’s commonly referred to, is the Shawnee Mission School District’s main office and home to many of the district’s signature programs. After taking basic courses in-building at South, students get to study a more in-depth and hands-on curriculum at the CAA. Specific courses include MedHealth, Culinary Arts, BioMed, Project Blue Eagle, Engineering and Animation. Through these courses, students get real work experience and the free opportunity to study what they might want to focus on in college. With hundreds of students — representing the five SMSD high schools — studying at the CAA, it is not uncommon that multiple student athletes are balancing both academic and extracurricular commitments. Along with years of academics, both Bebee and Whitcomb have been pursuing futures in athletics. However, both students were recently told that the NCAA would not accept their academic credentials, thus disqualifying them from participating in D1 sports; a goal for both student athletes. The news of the NCAA credential flaw was broken to the student athletes during

the fall semester of their senior year. “It was nerve racking,” Bebee said. “I was concerned for my future at first but after talking to my coaches and realizing how this was being handled by the teachers, I felt more confident. I knew that the outcome wasn’t going to hurt me that bad since I am going to start my baseball career at a community college.” Multiple credits at a student’s home school are required to qualify for the CAA MedHealth program; and if accepted, students continue with an intense course load, starting with Medical Science 1 and followed by Medical Science 2. The two hour study course at the CAA fills up three class periods in the regular school day. With that much time taken out of students regular schedule at South, many CAA students substitute the standard English class with an online English course, contemporary communications. Recently this credit was acknowledged as not acceptable from the NCAA which only affects the NCAA bound athletes such as Daniel Beebe and Lacy Whitcomb. Once contact was made with the NCAA and the issue with the Communications Credit was brought to the CTE Director, Ryan Flurry, immediate action was taken by district leaders to protect the futures of their student athletes.

“When the news broke that the communications credit was not accepted by the NCAA, we went to our advisory committee and started constant communication with the NCAA to figure out and solve the issue in the [affected] student athletes,” Flurry said. “Unfortunately for the students affected, they now have to enroll in two [English courses] to qualify for their projected futures until something is figured out.” Now that counselors, athletic directors and the district have been made aware of the credential issue for prospective student athletes, credits are constantly being checked and the NCAA is being petitioned to waiver the credits of both Bebee and Whitcomb. Ultimately, a decision has yet to be made, but the importance of communication and ensuring all the correct credentials are there for the future a student may want has been brought to the attention of the SMSD as an immediate notice. “I think it’s so important for students, no matter if they are athletes or not, to understand and stay in communication with their teachers, counselors and advisors to make sure they are on course and meeting their necessary graduation needs, if not more,” Flurry said.


A LITTLE DIDDY ABOUT JANE AND DIANE The two smiling faces in the front office are the hub of the school. By Ansley Chambers Opinion Editor


ach passing period, a cheerful voice fills the halls via the PA system. Students get called to the office for various reasons – picking up something dropped off by a parent, paperwork, passes, trouble. No matter what brings students to the office, they are greeted by two smiling faces, Diane Johnson and Jane Zeller. “I just think it’s easier for us to have a positive [energy]... to greet kids and parents with a positive energy because it may get negative as they go behind [the wall],” Johnson said. The pair have been working together at South for the past three years, but have a history going back to their days as parents on the PTA. Over the years they have built a relationship that only magnifies their positivity for the benefit of the school. “I think we feed on each other positiveenergy-wise too,” Johnson said. “I think when I see her being really nice to somebody then I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, maybe I ought to pick my game up a little bit. Here we go.’ And we’re not always necessarily as cheerful and happy as we might seem to be, but that’s no reason to treat you [poorly] when you walk in… That doesn’t do you any good.”

While Zeller and Johnson present the school with an always welcoming environment, they do more than just crack jokes and chit-chat with everyone who enters the office. “I don’t know if you see – and I don’t want people to see – that underneath the water, how fast our little legs are kicking to do things,” Johnson said, “But it’s easier to work hard and keep at it when you have fun doing it.” The job requires answering phone calls, sending letters to parents, running the PA system and calling for students, on top of making sure that all substitutes are where they need to be, attendance has been handled, the administrators have everything they need and the list only continues. Our friendly office ladies are the mouth, brain, heart, hands and feet of the school; they do it all. But they do it all while laughing together. “Sometimes it gets – I don’t wanna say overwhelming, but whelming,” Johnson said, “And it’s good to have a partner in crime to handle it with and face the morning with – and the afternoons and the evenings.” The pair tackle all of their duties

The ladies in the office handle the day-to-day difficulties. They have been working together for the last three years. “I say we’re a package deal,” Johnson said. “She can’t leave and even when she goes over to attendance, it’s a sadder office.” Photo by Emma Harding

together and have built an incredible friendship that makes the job enjoyable. “I like when I come in every day. I can always count on [Johnson] being upbeat and happy no matter what,” Zeller said. “What’s nice is that the first time with her it just clicks, so I know that I can go to her with absolutely anything and everything.” Spending so much time around one other is starting to have some odd effects. “We’re starting to finish each other’s sentences,” Zeller said. “Yeah! We’re like an old married couple,” Johnson said. “It’s kind of scary,” Zeller said. “But, it’s good,” Johnson said. “Between the two of us, we have one brain. We have a brain that actually functions.” “Sometimes I’ll just look at you and you know exactly,” Zeller said. “Oh no, we can too. If something goes on – that is kind of scary,” Johnson said.




Now that students have Macbooks, do they still use lockers? By Nathan Judd Reporter


ockers are found in almost every hall in South, but most students don’t use theirs and some don’t even know where they are. So why do we still have them? Students that use their lockers are usually involved with extracurricular activities like sports, band or different kinds of clubs. Instead of grabbing what they need for each class from their locker, students just bring their backpacks to every class. For some students, lockers can be a convenience. “My locker is convenient when I’m going to weights or practice after school. It’s right by the gym, so it’s perfect. I think most people’s lockers aren’t in a very convenient spot, so they have to go out of there way,” junior Jackson Lewis said. One of the positives of lockers in school is locker decorations. Students can get different decorations for every activity they are in, such as different sports and clubs. This encourages students to get more involved in extracurricular activities Some students have many locker decorations, while some who are less involved have no decorations. Now that students have Macbooks they have made textbooks almost obsolete. Students don’t have as many books or other supplies to put in their lockers. Students’ backpacks are less full than they have ever been in the past, which causes them to not use lockers as much. When students only have a few folders or notebooks and a Macbook in their

81% of students


use their lockers out of 57 people

backpack, there is almost no reason to use a locker. Some students are afraid to use their lockers because they don’t want their items to be stolen, which is only a problem if students don’t lock them or they share their passwords. There are many students who have had items stolen from their locker, but most of them are from their gym lockers. As long as students lock their lockers and don’t tell anyone their code, then nothing should be stolen from their locker. Students that do use their locker usually don’t use them for things like books or school supplies anymore. They usually put things such as food, water bottles, shoes, jackets and other clothes instead of school supplies or a backpack. Students that play sports also have their own locker in the locker room, so they have no reason to use their actual school locker. Some students don’t use their lockers because they are out of their way. Walking to your locker, then grabbing the things you need, then walking to your next class might take more than five minutes. “Having to go out of my way during school time is the least convenient thing about my locker, there isn’t enough time during the five minute passing period” Said Lewis. Whether you use your locker or not, there is no denying that they are useful to many students in our school. Students can use lockers for storing several different items that they can’t fit in their backpacks.

South has

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The Shawnee Mission South Raiders opened up their season with a 35-7 victory over the Shawnee Mission North Indians on Friday, September 6th. Raiders tackle Indians as they make their way down the field. the crowd was cheering as the Raiders got the ball. Photo by Haley Carter

Having just scored their second touchdown with a score of fourteen to zero, the Raiders prepare to make the kick to the West Indians. They were led by senior Will Huggins. Photo by Jack Wagner Raider crowd cheers, erady for game day as the football players come running to get them fired up. Everyone was hyped up and ready to start the game. Photo by Haley Carter

Read more about South’s first football game at smsouthnews.com

Pacesetters dance along with the band during a timeout. Parents were smiling and cheering for them. Photo by Haley Carter







or 108 years Boy Scouts of America (BSA) had been just that – boys. That changed in October of 2017 when BSA, allowed girls to join. Scouts BSA, the current operating name of the organization, is a program that’s purpose has been to prepare youth to make ethical and moral choices by instilling values. Allowing girls to join Scouts BSA will give girls equal opportunities to earn the rank of Eagle Scout and the benefits that come with it. An Eagle Scout is someone who has completed the timein-rank requirements, the 30-day fitness requirements for Tenderfoot. The scout must also have the 21 merit badges. The final step to becoming an Eagle Scout is planning and a service project that is helpful to any religious institution, school or community. According to the National Eagle Scout Association, college admissions officers recognize the award and, along with good grades, it can help high school students earn scholarships and have an advantage be accepted into their top college choice. Eagle Scouts are eligible for many scholarships and the U.S. Military allows them to enter at a higher rank and pay grade. Many employment recruiters look for “Eagle Scout” on a resume because they know the great qualities an Eagle Scout should posses. In the past, only boys could earn their Eagle Scout rank and benefit from the opportunities that it offered. Now that girls have the opportunity to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, they can also benefit from the doors the rank can open and the opportunities that come with it. The first class of female Eagle Scouts will be recognized in 2020. Girls can now get the experience of earning badges for doing curriculum based activities like participating in outdoor adventures, overnight campouts and the Pinewood Derby. The Pinewood Derby is an event where Cub Scouts work together to build their own custom race car. Although the opening up of Scouts BSA to girls has caused a decrease in members of Girl Scouts, the benefits of having programs that are open to including everyone, building character and leadership, out-weigh the negatives. Many girls, along with boys, are positively benefiting from Scouts BSA.

By Ben Curtis Reporter


he Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is an organization formed by W. D. Boyce on the virtues of “patriotism, courage, self-reliance and kindred [spirit].” For over a century, the BSA has presented an invaluable opportunity to young men – a space to fail, learn and grow without the presence of women. Young men often feel pressured around women to appear masculine and perfect. This pressure can alter behavior and hinder the learning and growing process. Countless people from Winston Churchill to Johnny Cash to Steve Harvey have credited failure as a valuable teacher. Without a space where young men can be comfortable with learning and growing from mistakes, we risk losing future innovators and leaders. BSA has produced countless astronauts, filmmakers, adventurers and politicians. The social benefit that scouting provides can not be overlooked either. For young men who may not be very social at school or who may not be involved elsewhere, scouting is a space where they can surround themselves with similarly minded individuals. The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) was a direct response to the formation of the BSA four years removed. The GSUSA is an immense organization with over two million young women and adult members. Over the years, countless women of power and influence were Girl Scouts. The BSA and the GSUSA present the same social opportunities and life lessons through their separate programs. At roughly half the enrollment levels of the BSA, the GSUSA maintains the same standard of infrastructures with dedicated camps and numerous volunteer opportunities. In the weeks after the BSA’s determination to let women become members, GSUSA released a statement that championed the values and benefits of the single-gender environment that the BSA created. The BSA’s attempt to create an environment of modern acceptance and correctness betrayed the core values that first lifted the organization into popularity. Furthermore, the GSUSA, understood the opportunities that could be lost and denounced the actions of the BSA. In an era where the BSA is becoming less popular with young men, this departure from its core values does not benefit the organization besides temporary press coverage. The GSUSA and BSA provide invaluable opportunities to young men and women in a more comfortable environment, but this recent determination from the BSA squanders those opportunities for young men around the country.





Mental health in the modern area as awarness for the issue grows. By Naomi Mitchell & Evan Shibel Photo Editor & Asst. Editor in Chief and Sports Editor

“How are you?”

One simple sentence that holds so much weight. Three simple words that can have so much impact. There is a very simple answer to this simple question: “Good.” This response is the easy answer often considered a polite formality, but the honest response is often the hardest one to give. In today’s society, more than ever, we are encouraging people to be vocal about what is going on underneath the surface and to seek the help that they need. But we often gloss over the fact that there is still a stigma around the topic of mental health The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” By this definition, everyone has mental health and mental health is not a negative thing. As a society, we have come very far in terms of opening up about mental health, but there is still a negative connotation. Many people’s first thought when the topic of mental health is brought up is severe depression or suicide. And while most mental health cases are very serious and should be treated so, some people also

choose to take advantage of it. As the awareness of mental health is growing, the more you see young adults using mental health as an excuse – often when unnecessary. It is commonly used as an excuse to get out of classwork, practices and work. Mental health has become something that we encounter every day of our lives. It is something that everyone is struggling with, whether they are upset and stressed out, or are seriously considering harming themselves. The important thing to know is that while mental health numbers are still on the rise, and mental health is continuing to be a serious issue, nearing epidemic-like numbers, there are still people that will take advantage of it. Over half of the population in the United States aged 6-17 received mental illness treatment in 2017, only 6.5% of those were life threatening cases. This is not to say that all mental health cases are not serious, but some are clearly more significant than others and this is where the grey area begins. Many people (teens especially) can be incredibly dramatic about their mental health issues. With the current generation becoming more and more self centered every year, the “all about me” stigma has grown, and mental health is driving that. Many young adults

have the expectation that if they have any symptoms of negative mental health, they are immediately under the category of “depressed” or suicidal, and that their case is the most important. This is an issue that needs to be addressed promptly; the difference between true depression and mental health illness, and just having a bad day. Whilst this may sound inconsiderate, the biggest thing that can be pushed is teaching our youth the signs of true mental illness, and the ways that they can get help. Therapy is something that everyone should have access to if the time comes that any person, especially a young adult, needs it. Therapy is the best way to learn about each person’s unique health and find the best way to treat each case. Each mental health case is different and every person is different in the way it needs to be treated, but not all bad days should be considered the extent of a mental illness or need the dramatic attention the person sometimes expects. As mental health grows, the education about the sensitive topics of mental health also needs to grow with it. We need to educate our youth about the symptoms of mental health, and how to treat it if their case is as serious as mental illnes can be.




A room typically used for socializing isn’t as welcoming to the more anxious crowd. By McKenna Pickering A&E Editor


t’s around noon and you’ve been staring at the clock relentlessly waiting for the bell. The bell for what you ask? The Lunch bell. The time to socialize with friends and munch on that special snack you’ve probably been thinking about it since you woke up this morning. The question is where does this all happen? The obvious answer is the lunch room, but here’s the problem with that. The lunch room only seems like a good option if you have a group to sit with, if you actually like being around that many people in a loud, crowded area or if you just enjoy random students’ company. What happens if you come to find that none of your friends are in your lunch period? What if the sense of an overcrowded room makes you freak out? What are those students who physically and emotionally cannot be in the lunchroom supposed to do? Students like me would rather go to a classroom of their choice and work, sitting with people they are comfortable with. Some seniors will often eat in their car to avoid the chaos of the lunchroom. I honestly don’t understand how people enjoy being in

a room full of people screaming over each other trying to be the center of a conversation. Teachers, parents, even faculty say that the anxiety that comes with being in the cafeteria is all a mentality and that it’s easily solved, but for some it’s not that easy. It’s not anxiety alone, but a variety of strong emotions. The amount of people is incredibly overwhelming. How can there be so many people and still not one person I could go up to sit with and not feel weird? As an extremely shy person, it’s hard to go up to someone I barely know and ask to sit down. I’m too young to go to open lunch so my options aside from the lunchroom are limited. I just don’t really find the lunchroom a fun place to be. It’s not like I’d rather eat in the bathroom but maybe somewhere cleaner and quieter. To be quite frank, I like my quiet time. There’s nothing wrong with choosing to be isolated from other students. It’s nice having a break from seven other hours full of random people. I may look like a loser when I sit alone in a classroom, but it beats sitting alone in the cafeteria.



BURGER BATTLE The vegan, vegetarian, meat showdown. By Nichole Thomas Editor in Chief



Calories 550

Protein 28 g

Calories 440

Protein 23 g

Calories 1006

Protein 36 g

Deciding to pair shake shack against Freddy’s initially seemed unfair. How could a Freddy’s black bean burger ever compare to the renowned Shack Burger? It pains me to say that the Shack burger fell short, and was the worst burger of the three by far. The burger looked second best, but came in dead last for flavor. It’s a thin smashed patty, although not much of it’s flavor could be found. Instead the taste was almost 100% the Shack sauce they smothered the upper bun in. It was disgusting. Without the sauce I’d imagine the burger wouldn’t be all that bad, but you can’t fix a flavorless burger.



Having previous experience with the Freddy’s Veggie burger, I knew it would not disappoint. Although comparing a black bean burger against two “meat” burgers, I figured it wouldn’t hold up. Little to my surprise, it tasted amazing. The look was obviously not something outright devourable as it looks like a hockey puck. The texture was gritty but not overwhelmingly so. Overall, it was an amazing vegetarian option, and by far had the most flavor between the contenders. It was the only one that did not taste at all like a traditional cheese burger. Therefore, meat lovers should stay away.



The impossible burger has been advertised as the burger that “delivers all the flavor, aroma and beefiness of meat from cows.” It seems off putting that a completely plant based burger could taste at all like real meat. To my surprise, it was almost indistinguishable from the real thing. It was pink in the middle and greasy as could be on the outside. At first bite I was terrified. What meat eater would willing choose to eat a vegan burger? Correct answer- no one. If you want to eat a huge burger without all of the guilt and poor-judgement acne, go for this burger. It by far looked the best and tasted amazing. Just like a real burger but lighter.



LITERARY LEGENDS Each grade’s favorite books read in class. By Gini Horton Web Editor



“I liked [The Odyssey] because it was a lot of different stories in one and it was really interesting like the whole aspect of greek mythology and the fact that it was a narrative. Also, some people might think it was true, which would be crazy if some of those things were true.”

“[The Glass Castle] was an interesting read that I enjoyed, I have family that lives in similar conditions, and it’s interesting to hear their parts of stories of people that have made it out of extreme poverty like that. It was also just a good read.”



“In my opinion, it [One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest] was a great book,” senior Young Woo Chang said. “The character development was top notch, and the diction, the word choice was exquisite, helped shape the story in ways you didn’t even realize when reading the book, which was very mind blowing.”

“I think they like it [1984] because it is very relevant to our world, socially and politically. It also leads to engaging discussions, and there is an immersive part of the unit that gives students greater insight into some of the book’s harder-toconceptualize themes.”











Homecoming Parade/Pep Rally

1:40 pm


Oktoberfest and Kidfest

4:30-6:30 pm

Outside of main gym


Football: Varsity Homecoming

7:00 pm

SMS Stadium


SMSD Marching Festival

7:00 pm

SMS Stadium


Volleyball: Girls Varsity Dual

6:00 pm



Tennis: Girls Varsity Dual, Senior night

3:30 pm

103rd and Marty courts


Soccer: Boys Varsity Match

7:00 pm

SMS Stadium


No School


National Testing Day

All Day


Gymnastics: Varsity All Around Meet

6:00 pm

SMS Gymv


Football: Varsity Game

7:00 pm

SMS Stadium


Gymnastics: Varsity League

11:00 am



Theatre student matinees: Cinderella

During school

SMS Auditorium


Volleyball: Girls Varsity Triangular

5:00 pm



Theatre performance: Cinderella

Doors at 7

SMS Auditorium


Parent, Teacher, Conferences

5-8:00 pm



Theatre performance: Cinderella

Doors at 7

SMS Auditorium


No School


Theatre performance: Cinderella

Doors at 7

SMS Auditorium


Parent, Teacher, Conferences

Appt. Only


Theatre performance: Cinderella

Doors at 7


ACT Exam

8:00 pm


South Area Choir Festival

7:00 pm

SMS Auditorium


Parent, Teacher, Conferences

Appt. Only

Space Filler


South Area Orchestra Festival

7:00 pm



Football: Varsity Playoffs



Only Varsity (home) events are on the calendar. For all other sporting events, check out the Sunflower League calendar: Helpful tip! For iPhones use your built in camera app to scan the QR codes found throughout this issue.


SMS Auditorium


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