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TOMAHAWK TALK Volume 81, Issue 1 • October 19, 2017 Florida State University Schools • 3000 Schoolhouse Road • Tallahassee, FL 32311 (850) 245-3700 •

Photo by Savannah Bonn


Editor-in-Chief Lauren Shirley Managing Editor Ilex Wass de Czege Opinion Editor Diana Benitez Features Editor John Folsom Entertainment Editor Olivia Choutupalli Sports Editors Carly Steed William Watson Assistant Page Editor Kamryn Brown Photo Editor Jared Russell Adviser Leslie Klein Staff Writers Bisma Ahmed, Hailey Barrow, Krislyn Kelley, Brooklyn McLeod, Artrice Shepherd This paper is dedicated to giving students a forum to express views as part of education and in preparation for life in a democratic society. Views expressed don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Florida State University Schools administration, faculty or staff.


From the editor’s desk Let me begin by introducing myself. I am Lauren Shirley, “The Tomahawk Talk’s” Editor-in-Chief.





By U.S. Dept. of Education [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo couresty of Dr. Will Kirby

Betsy Devos visits school


Coaching: How far is too far?


Student changes dress code


Players’ free speech rights


Hurricane Irma hits Florida


Why Tallahassee needs hockey 16

Hate crimes on the rise



On the Cover

Review: Tallahasse Cat Cafe


Benefits of mental health days


Celebrities as activists



The newspaper staff encourages letters to the editor as a means of expressing opinions on articles that have appeared in the newspaper. To be considered for publication, the letter must be 300 words or less. The editor reserves the right to edit all letters so long as the meaning of the letter remains unchanged. No material will be printed which is libelous, irreponsible or which the staff considers to be in poor taste. For advertisement information and to submit letters, contact the adviser at:

Profile: Dr. Will Kirby


Rocks for a cause


Find your internet pet match


Free Little Library at FSUS


The Tomahawk Talk is a member of the Florida Scholastic Press Association, American Scholastic Press Association and Quill and Scroll Honor Society. The 2016-2017 staff won Gold from FSPA and First Place from ASPA.

Review: “Stronger”


Instagram Pets


“Wonder Woman” inspires


Influence of “What the Health”




Photo by Savannah Bonn

Eighth-grader Taylor Gilley breaks through the defensive line during the game against Governor’s Charter Academy on Sept. 28, 2017. The team won 240. Gilley has been playing football for seven years as a running back. “My favorite part of football is scoring and running through people,” Gilley said.

Going into this first issue, I was a bit overwhelmed, to say the least. After multiple writers graduated last year, I was hesitant to see how we would all come together to create this issue but I have been pleasantly surprised by the leadership in the Journalism classoom. John’s article about Dr. Will Kirby began as a joke. With Ms. Klein, Will and John constantly talking about “Big Brother,” we decided to send the famous reality TV star a tweet. Needless to say, we got a response and a great interview. Thank you to Dr. Kirby for supporting our paper! I also had the pleasure of sitting with US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos when she visited the school, and you will see some of that conversation on the facing page. By the way, the original idea for our quiz was “Build a sandwich and find out what vegetable you are.” You’re welcome, because I made the executive decision that it was a horrible idea. Instead, you may all enjoy knowing what Insta-famous pet you are. You’ll thank me later. I’m Tuna, in case you were wondering! Until next issue, Lauren Shirley (L$)

Betsy DeVos visits school during nationwide tour Lauren Shirley • Editor-in-Chief “It was such a neat experience to have a discussion with the US During a tour of schools around Secretary of Education,” junior the US, Secretary of Education Harley Ramba said. “I see her in Betsy DeVos paid a visit to FSUS the news frequently, so it was a litand Holy Comforter Epicospal tle surreal to be carrying on a conSchool in Tallahassee. As she versation with her face-to-face.” collaborated with administration, The meeting between DeVos teachers and students, DeVos and students took place in the aimed to learn more about the media center, and FSU Presischool community and how prident Dr. John Thrasher as well as vate and charter schools become FSUS Director Dr. Stacy Chamsuccessful. bers joined the discussion. DeVos After arriving in the early afterwas interested in hearing how the noon on Aug. 29, DeVos was given student body is making strides a tour of the campus, including the towards improvement annually Space Simulator created by the and what students like and dislike Engineering Society, which she about the school. was able to land perfectly. After “I enjoy FSUS greatly, so it the tour, DeVos sat down with wasn’t difficult to talk about someteachers and members of SGA to thing that I love,” Ramba said. “I discuss what makes FSUS unique. could tell that the secretary was

intrigued by what we all had to say, and she had some great encouragement for us.” The teacher meeting with DeVos, which was held after the student roundtable, was centered on the quality of teaching at FSUS. Teachers including SGA advisor Ryan Capas and English teacher Vikki Shackelford attended the discussion and were able to share their thoughts and feedback on the current education system. An “A” rated school for 16 years, FSUS is the FSU College of Education’s lab school, and it serves over 1,700 students in grades K-12. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a teacher,” Capas said. “I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of something larger

than just Florida High.” Prior to her current position, DeVos was a member of the Michigan Republican Party and was heavily involved with the 2016 election. She is well-known for her support of school voucher programs and her positive stance on charter schools. When asked for advice, DeVos said, “My family is full of entrepreneurs. Take risks, and don’t be afraid. You’re built for it.” Through her discussions with staff and students, DeVos hoped to better determine how to move forward in future executive decisions regarding public education. “Always follow your passion and your callings,” DeVos said. “Go after what you want and don’t ever give up.”

Student petitions school board for dress code revision Ilex Wass de Czege • Managing Editor If you are happy that you get to wear ripped jeans this year, you have a fellow student to thank. Seventh-grader Aida Richardson stepped up to petition the school board last year, causing the dress code policy to be revised to allow ripped jeans. The previous dress code banned wearing pants with any sort of deformities such as rips, tears or frayed edges, but Richardson began the petitioning process because she felt there was a disconnect between what students wanted to wear and what was allowed. “My friends really wanted to wear ripped jeans to school, and I wanted to as well,” Richardson said. “I wondered, if I proposed allowing ripped jeans to the school, maybe they would allow it.” Richardson began the process by submitting a letter to Director Dr. Stacy Chambers stating that she wished to change the dress code and detailing reasons for doing so. After the letter was reviewed by both Dr. Chambers

and high school principal Megan Brink, Richardson was asked to make a presentation to the FSUS Board Policy Commitee. Following the presentation, the dress code was ratified; rips in students’ jeans must be located below their fingertips when their arms are placed by their sides. This change to the dress code is popular among students, and ripped jeans can be often seen around campus. “I was very proud of Aida,” Brink said. “Not only was she professional in her request, but she provided some great research on policy alternatives.” According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 60 percent of public schools have dress codes in place, although each individual school has differing rules. There is an ongoing debate over the fairness of dress codes put in place by schools, as critics argue that dress codes are sexist and partially responsible for the body shaming of young girls. “The dress code needs to be let go, “ senior Cailey King said. “The school is trying to per-

suade me that dressing a certain way is bad, when in reality it is completely normal for a girl to wear leggings and have her butt uncovered by a shirt.” As this debate progresses, some schools are beginning to take a more neutral stance on the dress codes put in place, revising the past policies within reason. “We expect all students to dress appropriately, regardless of gender,” Brink said. “Just as Aida did, if students have a specific concern, administration and the board welcome professional feedback.” With the conversation over dress codes becoming a nationwide concern, students have begun to take action to gain the freedom they believe they are entitled to. Richardson, following the same logic, took action and was successful, amending the dress code for all students. “Many of the board members and administrators really agreed with [the change]; they were excited a student wanted to make a change.”


Cat. 4 Hurricane Irma causes massive damage to Florida, Carribean John Folsom • Features Editor expected. However, Tallahassee did not escape unscathed. Hurricane Irma caused tremenThe city experienced tropical storm dous damage to Florida and the force winds that knocked out over Caribbean when it made landfall in 60 traffic lights across the city. Loearly September, just a few weeks cal schools, including FSUS, acted after Hurricane Harvey devastated as shelters for those who were Houston. located in evacuation zones. Many On Sept. 19, Hurricane Irma lost power, but due to citywide made landfall in Florida as a preparation, electrical crews were Category 4 storm. It was the first able to restore power to the area storm to ever achieve winds above much faster than they were able to 185 miles per hour for 37 hours following Hurricane Hermine. straight, making it the strongest “Our power was out for six Atlantic storm ever recorded. After days,” junior Nic Timmons said. hitting the Caribbean, Irma turned “Breaks from school aren’t as north and made its way up the appealing when you don’t have air west coast of Florida, causing an conditioning.” unprecedented number of power Primarily focused in Puerto outages and evacuations, claiming Rico and South Florida, Irma left over 75 lives. an unrivaled amount of damage “I didn’t sleep for two nights,” in its wake. Estimates of the cost secondary social studies teachhave been as high as $200 billion, er Jacob Roberts said. “I was up making it the costliest disaster in watching the models as they went United States history. At 400 miles over.” in diameter, Irma was larger than Originally, Tallahassee was the entire state of Florida, causing directly in the projected path of the an estimated $65 billion in damage hurricane, but the storm eventualsolely to houses. ly travelled more to the east than

Hurricane Harvey

How You Can Help Hurricane Victims Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico have all been affected by deadly storms. Here are some ways you can get involved in hurricane relief.

• Consider giving money to Feeding Texas, which will buy supplies for food banks around the state: • Send diapers to or donate to The Texas Diaper Bank, which will provide basic but often overlooked necessities for familes who have been displaced from their homes.


Data: MODIS/Terra (NASA Worldview) Processed by Antti Lipponen In early September, Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida as a Category 4 storm, making it the strongest Atlantic storm to date. The damage was unprecedented, with costs to rebuild reaching as high as $200 billion. “I had a tree come through my roof. It destroyed the back corner of my house; my dining room is destroyed,” Roberts said. This was the first year that two Category 4 hurricanes, Irma and Harvey, have made landfall in the United States. Both storms devastated the communities that they hit. Another hurricane, Maria, affected the Caribbean just two weeks after Irma. “Hurricanes are no joke,” senior

Hurricane Irma

• Donate blood at a local OneBlood center or bus if you are over 16 with parent consent. • Volunteer your time with The American Red Cross and United Way of Miami-Dade. • Donate to the GlobalGiving Relief Fund:

Aashari Williams said. “You never know how bad they’ll be until they get here.” Irma and other tropical systems have led to one of the most damaging hurricane seasons in history. The entire state of Florida, including Tallahassee, is still recovering from the effects of Irma. “It’s a good thing to load up with supplies beforehand,” Timmons said. “When it comes to natural disasters, it pays to be prepared.”

Hurricane Maria

• Choose a specific community to help at the GoFundMe: raise-funds/hurricanemaria • Text “REDCROSS” to the number 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross. • Google “Hurricane Maria” or “Puerto Rico” and scroll down to donate to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Hate crimes on the rise in U.S. cities

Olivia Choutupalli • Entertainment Editor al of a confederate statue, carrying torches and chanting slogans like “white lives matWhen people began to protest at a white suter” and “blood and soil,” a slogan originating in premacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this Nazi Germany. Regardless of criticism, Presyear, three people were killed and 35 injured. ident Trump originally refused to publicly deThis is just one example of the lethal effects nounce these hate groups, stating “both sides” of hate crimes in the U.S., which have steadily were to blame, but he later singled out several increased since last November. groups after being prompted. Congress later Hate crimes like the Charlottesville attack sent a proposed resolution to the White House, have risen over 20 percent this year in major urging the president to explicitly condemn these U.S. cities according to Voice of America News, white supremacist groups, which he signed. a U.S. government funded international news The resolution was worded as follows: “A broadcaster. Some media outlets, including joint resolution condemning the violence and PBS and NPR, have argued that this is a side domestic terrorist attack that took place during effect of Donald Trump’s controversial policies, events between August 11 and August 12, 2017, including new immigration policies and the in Charlottesville, Virginia, recognizing the first recent transgender military ban. According to responders who lost their lives while monitoring the Southern Poverty Law Center, these polithe events, offering deepest condolences to the cies have increased the targets on historically families and friends of those individuals who marginalized groups such as Muslims, immiwere killed and deepest sympathies and support grants and the LGBTQ+ community. Statistics to those individuals who were injured by the viofrom the Southern Poverty Law Center show lence, expressing support for the Charlottesville that between November Nov. 9 and Dec. 12, community, rejecting White nationalists, White 2016, anti-immigrant incidents numbered 315, supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and anti-black incidents 221, anti-Muslim 112 and other hate groups, and urging the President anti-LGBT 109. and the President’s Cabinet to use all available “I think [minorities] are more discriminated resources to address the threats posed by those against because they’re the easiest targets,” groups.” junior Iynkary Warren said. “Only recently has Many propose stricter legislation regarding the news began reporting hate crimes against the 917 hate groups active within the U.S., a them more often.” number recorded by the Southern Poverty Law According to NBC News, the most common Center. Punishments like fines, jail time and targets of U.S. hate crimes are often minority dismissal from their jobs could possibly reduce groups, including blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, the membership of these groups. Jews and the LGBTQ+ community. For exam“I’m all for stricter legislation,” junior Eyonah ple, in 2015, nearly 52 percent of single-bias Jones said. “Even people higher up should still hate crimes were directed towards blacks. Anhave consequences for their actions. Legislation other 52 percent of all religion-based hate was could ensure that people are punished equally.” directed towards the Jewish community, and 21 Although hate crimes like the Charlottesville percent towards Muslims, according to the FBI’s attack are fiercely criticized by most Americans, Uniform Crime Report. they have been on the rise in the past two years “I think the government should take hate with little response in the form of legislation. crimes more seriously because things have not improved enough. The situation still needs more However, this incident has prompted both houses of Congress to begin the work of drafting work,” freshman Alexander Wiggins said. legislation. Despite national opposition on both sides of “I think our generation is more likely to take the political spectrum, white supremacist groups in particular have become more active, including those steps forward in being more accepting of everyone,” Jones said. “Hopefully in the near the group who organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, who protested the remov- future hate crimes will not be as common.”

Las Vegas Shooting On Oct. 9, a gunman, who has since been identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, opened fire from his hotel room on a country music festival in Las Vegas. With 58 people dead and 489 injured, it has been confirmed as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Paddock was found dead in his hotel room due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound an hour after the last shot was fired. Student Perspective: “No amount of gun control or security could have prevented this from happening,” senior Luke Fuqua said.

DACA On Sep. 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows minors who entered the country illegally a two-year period of deffered action from deportation and eligibility for a work visa. DACA recipients with a work permit set to expire before March 2018 were permitted to apply for a two-year renewal by Oct. 5. Student Perspective: “I think that the repealing of DACA is horrible,” sophomore Will Pfeiffer said. “How dare they do that to them?”

Healthcare Bill In July, the Senate introduced a new healthcare bill that could possibly replace the Affordable Care Act. In the bill, funding for Medicaid would be cut back, resulting in the shrinking of state programs and the loss of coverage for many Americans. Mandates that require most Americans to acquire healthcare and for employers to offer it would also be repealed. Student Perspective: “I think they started this whole plan, trying to revise it, without having thought out what they actually wanted to do,” junior Iynkary Warren said.


Hartsfield opens first Tallahassee cat café Olivia Choutupalli • Entertainment Editor the unique ability to both dine and On Aug. 26, Tallahassee’s first play with adoptable cats, functioncat café opened for business on ing as an adoption center. Unlike East Park Avenue. other animal shelters, it provides a Inspired by the cat cafés in Japan, secondary visual arts teacher comfortable environment for both Michelle Hartsfield opened the Fat the cats and the customers. Customers can go inside the cat room Cat Café to turn her love of cats for a fee of $7 per hour, where into something everyone could there are plenty of cat toys and enjoy. One side of the café is a places to sit. coffee shop selling drinks, snacks The café, although small, offers and Fat Cat Café merchandise. a variety of delicious food and On the other side is a play area drinks, including coffee from the where customers can play and local Lucky Goat Café. However, interact with felines. The café also the main attraction is the cat room. offers events for kids such as rock There are typically 8-12 cats in the painting, coloring and birthday café at any given time, all of whom parties with kittens. are available for adoption. There The Fat Cat Café gives people

are a wide variety of ages, from kittens to cats. All of the cats are very friendly, and the café allows people to decide which cat best suits their personality if they are considering adoption. Though currently limited in the coffee shop, Hartsfield hopes to be able to soon expand the café to include more food and drinks. Other improvements could include more cats, better decorations and more merchandise. The Fat Cat Café has been a success since it’s opening in late August. With the goal of helping to clear animal shelters and provide a fun activity, the café will no doubt continue to draw in crowds.

Logo courtesy of Fat Cat Café

Mental health days benefit students, offer needed breaks Bisma Ahmed • Staff Writer With substantial research backing the benefits of mental health days, school administrators should take into account the stress that impacts students and allow one “free” absence a year without penalty for which they do not have to provide any documentation. According to “Mental Health By the Numbers,” published by the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, about 1 in 5 youth aged from 13-18 experience a severe mental disorder at one point in their lifetime. A day off for students when they are on the verge of a breakdown could prevent a bigger issue later. “Students should get one free day a year, so they can have a chance to get caught up if they are feeling overwhelmed,” fourth-grade teacher Christina Crather said. Mental health days are a main component of having a healthy and stress-free life. If students use mental health days correctly, there could be many benefits. “[Secondary students in particular] need a free day because kids feel more and more pressure as the years go by in school, and kids

Drawing by Olivia Choutupalli Mental health days could provide students with a much needed “brain break,” leaving them refreshed and more successful upon their return to school. can easily break down,” sophomore Grace Cerio said. Although there are benefits to a true mental health day, there is a real concern that students will take advantage of this day and not use it productively. Instead of catching up on rest, they could stay up all night or spend the day on their phones rather than organizing and catching up on future work. “[If I had a mental health day,] I would sleep in and let myself relax and just de-stress from


the pressures of school,” eighth-grader Shane Mincy said. All teachers at FSUS are allowed one free day a year to spend however they choose, from observing a religious holiday to grading papers. Since teachers have a free day, it should be acceptable for students to have a free day also. “I like to take the day to run errands and catch up on doctor appointments. It’s a day that I can get caught up and not stress about having to leave work early to get things done,” Crather said. Although absences accompanied by a doctor’s note are excused, schools do not often provide extra assistance for kids who have anxiety or suffer from constant mental illnesses. The extra stress from school can lead these students to feel overwhelmed. With the addition of a mental health day, all students could relax and catch up on work. “Schools don’t do enough for kids with mental health issues, and I think there needs to be more pressure in spreading awareness and positivity,” Cerio said.

Artists should use platforms for social activism Diana Benitez • Opinion Editor As the country faces a growing divide, it is increasingly important that artists such as musicians and actors use their platforms to highlight social issues and be advocates for positive change. Pressing issues in modern day society including mental health awareness, police brutality, sexual assault, racism, sexism and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community need to be addressed. Artists Jesse Williams, Logic, Beyonce, Emma Watson, Lady Gaga and athlete Colin Kaepernick have all boldly discussed these problems, attracting supporters to join them in their fight for awareness. The popularity raised by these conversations is what causes mass change. “Celebrities feel the need to bring awareness to their fan base

about these problems because oftentimes no one seems to care unless blatantly told about the issue,” junior Benjamine Cordova said. Celebrities who do not use their platform for activism are often criticized as “not caring.” Former “Bachelorette” lead Jillian Harris recently spoke about the barrage of hateful messages sent to her after she chose not to tweet about Hurricane Irma. Harris is Canadian, and did tweet about the fires in her own country. Although their careers don’t require them to become social advocates, talking about current events humanizes celebrities to their audience, making them relatable figures. This can endear people to the artist, helping advance their career. For selfless reasons, public figures have power that an ordi-

nary person does not have, so it is important for them to be socially conscious. “People see celebrities as one-dimensional entertainers, not multi-dimensional people,” secondary performing arts teacher Erin Gamble said. “We should open the door to conversations about issues such as LGBTQ rights, racism, immigration issues, and government mandates on education and healthcare.” Because their art form allows for expression, there are greater expectations from musical artists to be politically involved. Some genres of music, like rap, are heavily criticized because of the typically vulgar or insulting language they use. But rappers like Kendrick Lamar have released songs that address racial injustices like “DNA,” “Alright” and his feature

on Beyonce’s “Freedom”. Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” emphasizes the stigma on mental issues and suicide. Vic Mensa’s “16 Shots” and Jay Z’s “Spiritual” were both dedicated to the deaths of black men due to police brutality. They received both positive and negative feedback but chose to speak out, not for the sake of popular opinion, but because it’s what they felt was right. Everyone with means to do so, especially celebrities, are in a position to speak out on “uncomfortable” topics to further the national conversation, even if it could polarize their audience or cost them jobs in the future. “Celebrities should discuss the social issues affecting our society,” Gamble said. “It stands to reason [their] message will reach a large group of people.”

Editorial: Dress code policies need to be modernized Staff

Following the petition made by a seventh grade student, students are now able to wear ripped jeans as long as any holes are located below the fingertips. This rule still complicates things, since ripped jeans don’t exclusively have holes under the fingertips, but it’s a step in the right direction. With this small change, students have been able to express themselves more and don’t have as many restrictions when buying back to school clothes. A change like this makes students feel like they’re being listened to, and that the school board hears their concerns. One of the dress code policies that many students and parents do not agree with is that students aren’t allowed to wear tank tops narrower than three fingers because exposed skin may distract others from learning. Being able to

wear tank tops to school would result in parents having to spend less money on back to school shopping, since tank tops are more commonly found in Florida stores because of the hot summers. Another issue with this rule is that it seems like male students rarely get dress coded for tank tops while females often do. Perhaps this is because these types of shirts tend to show cleavage. Girls shouldn’t feel discriminated against because of something that they can’t control. Another rule that many find sexist is that students can only wear shorts that are longer than their fingertips when their arms are down at their sides. Girls have a harder time finding shorts that are an “appropriate” length because they aren’t popular, and therefore, not readily available in stores. This policy should be changed to at least allow students to wear athletic shorts, which provide comfort in the humid

Tallahassee weather. A factor that could prevent administration from wanting to change the policy is that some students would take advantage of their leniency. If administration were to allow students to wear an article of clothing without specifying the length, students may wear it short enough to the point that it actually could distract others. The way the policy is now stops students from having the opportunity to dress scandalously. Many of these dress code policies have been put in place in order to keep students focused on school, but this may make female students feel like these rules only apply to them. If a male student ever violates one of these policies, it seems as if it is not taken as seriously. While a dress code is important, schools need to make a greater effort to fairly apply the rules to both genders.


PAGING DR. WILL KIRBY The alumnus discusses his time at school, winning ‘Big Brother’ and finding success in his field John Folsom • Features Editor

Whether you know him as “The Evil Doctor,” “Dr. Delicious,” or “Will the Thrill,” Dr. Will Kirby is not someone you’re likely to forget if you are a reality TV fan. The “Big Brother” Season Two winner is known for his incredible confidence and quick wit, in every aspect of life. Even before his start in reality TV, Dr. Kirby led an interesting life. He was born in Italy and attended kindergarten in France. At the age of six, he moved to Tallahassee, where his father, David Kirby, was, and still is, an English professor at FSU. Naturally, Kirby attended FSUS, which at the time was conveniently located on the FSU campus. Kirby remained in Tallahassee throughout his entire elementary, middle and high school career and graduated as a member of the “13-year club.” “Tallahassee is a great small town that gave me steady footing to reach new heights,” Kirby said. “It is safe, has reasonably nice weather and is full of friendly people, but for me personally, it was a little predictable. I knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied until I left, but I also recognized that I could always fall back if I failed.”


Continued on facing page

Kirby profile cont. During his time in school, Kirby participated in numerous clubs and organizations including Drama Club, Varsity Soccer, NHS, JV Football and Journalism. The class of 1991 awarded Kirby the “wittiest” senior superlative, a title that would later be used to describe him by fans across the country. “My favorite memory [from FSUS] was when we voted for the theme of our senior prom to be ‘Ain’t Nothin’ But Da Truth,’” Kirby said. “It was so ridiculous that most of us got behind the theme and made it official. The superficial cheerleaders cried when it was announced and the rest of the class rejoiced! It was a beautiful, bonding, defining moment for my senior class.” Already popular in Tallahassee, Dr. Kirby became widely known throughout the United States for his entertaining antics on “Big Brother,” CBS’ popular reality show in which a dozen or more people are locked in a house for months, with one houseguest “evicted” each week. Many people, including Kirby himself, call him the greatest “Big Brother” houseguest of all time. Kirby first appeared on the series in 2001, when he took home the grand prize and established himself as the “original puppet master.” He did this by navigating his way through the season on his social game alone, manipulating his fellow houseguests with ease. He also reappeared for an all-star season six years later. In 2016, he won a “Big Brother” and “The Price Is Right” crossover episode for charity. “‘Big Brother’ two in 2001 (yeah, I’m old, kids) was incredible. Remember, there were very few reality shows out at the time,

Kirby graduated from Florida State University Schools in 1991 as a member of the “13 year club” (pictured above in his senior photo). and it was a fun and lucrative time to be a reality television personality,” Kirby said. One of the longest running reality TV shows, the first episode of “Big Brother” premiered on July 5, 2000. Since then, there have been 19 seasons, two spinoffs, and over $10,750,000 awarded in prize money. Being a part of the “Big Brother” cast can be very profitable, even for contestants who don’t win any prize money. Many houseguests later receive small roles in daytime dramas like “The Bold and the Beautiful.” However, the national spotlight can be too bright for some. Since there is a live feed of the “Big Brother” house at all times, many houseguests have, intentionally or accidentally, expressed racist or sexist views in front of the entire country. In extreme cases, these people have been fired from their jobs upon leaving the house. “Perception is reality, so ‘Big

Brother’ is both 100% inaccurate and also 100% accurate. The bottom line is that they can only edit what you give them,” Kirby said. In his professional life, Dr. Kirby is a leading aesthetic dermatologist. He maintains a practice in California and has been on several daytime medical talk shows as an expert guest. He has a degree in biology from Emory University and a medical degree from Nova Southeastern University. “I’m the best reality television contestant of all time, and I’m the world’s leading aesthetic dermatologist. But reality television didn’t help me study for medical school,” Kirby said. “I just happen to be the best in the world at two different things, and you can be too. You aren’t defined by the one thing you are good at right now. Go down parallel paths, try things you never thought you would try, and seek opportunities that make you happy.” Dr. Kirby currently resides in California with his wife and two children, where he enjoys the rewards that come with being a father and being at the top of his field.

“I’m most passionate about my family and my friends, but I also enjoy being a board-certified dermatologist, a business owner, and a luminary in the medical entrepreneur space,” Kirby said. “And I love surfing, west coast rap, and hybrid botany. My life is dope, so I do dope [things].” As a father and a professional, Dr. Kirby continues to excel and achieve, even outside of the national spotlight. He is an exceptional example of how take advantage of the opportunities that you’re given and find success through hard work and determination. “Take every single aspect of your being and focus on creating the exact life you want, because I promise, promise, promise you, you can do it,” Kirby said. “There is no better time to start than right now! No, seriously, I’m talking directly to you, personally. If you’re taking an easy path because it’s all you currently know, then you are making the wrong decision. Visualize exactly where you want to be and then start moving in that direction and don’t stop until you get there.”

In 2007, Kirby (in hat, left) appeared on an all star season of “Big Brother,” further cementing his fame within the franchise.

Cliff Lipson/CBS©2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Fair use, via


Rockin’ for Miles: Students paint rocks for a good cause Kamryn Brown • Assistant Page Editor Inspired by the Tallahassee Rocks group, students have been raising awareness for Miles Shanaghan, a local three-year-old with Neuroblastoma, by decorating rocks that support Shanaghan. After hearing about the city-wide effort, secondary art teacher Debra Barrett-Hayes decided to help out by asking her students to design rocks however they wanted with his GoFundMe link ( on the back of them. “Art is a perfect subject for students to inspire others, make a statement or message, and create social justice,” Barrett-Hayes said. Once school started, she introduced the idea to her students, and let them choose whether they wanted to participate. She provides the rocks and the freedom to use any of the supplies in her classroom. The rocks encourage students to express themselves by trying new techniques while also learning how to use all of the art supplies they will use throughout the year.


“I wanted to paint a rock and spread the word about Miles, which is important in defeating childhood cancer,” eighth-grader Iynthury Warren said. During a routine physical checkup at the doctor’s office, Shanaghan’s parents discovered that he had cancer; seven days later Photo by Jared Russell he was diagnosed with High Risk The first art project of the year encouraged Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. Neurostudents to paint rocks for Miles, a local threeblastoma, a rare cancer found in year-old with Neuroblastoma. the adrenal glands, commonly affects children five or younger. environment. The Shanaghan’s GoFundMe Although he lives in Tallahassee, was made in the hopes of providing their family Shanaghan receives chemotherapy, along with support for the long drives and their evenwith any other necessary medical care, every tual move to a new home. fourteen days from Wolfson Children’s Hospital Rocks with Shanaghan’s GoFundMe have in Jacksonville. His family’s frequent commutes been placed throughout the city of Tallahassee to Jacksonville require them to spend a lot of in support of Miles and his family, including in money on gas. The chemotherapy Shanaghan front of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. is undergoing causes his immune system to be “When the rocks are found around town it more susceptible to harmful germs, which will raises awareness and spreads the word to soon require him to live in an uncontaminated people outside of our school,” Warren said.

Which Insta-famous pet are you like? Questions by John Folsom • Features Editor

1. How would your friends describe you? A) Big and fluffy B) Happy and silly C) Stressed D) Burly and strong E) Optimistic

3. Who is your favorite Superhero? A) Superman B) Spiderman C) The Flash D) Myself E) Bubbles From “Powerpuff Girls”

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? A) I don’t like ice cream B) Strawberry C) Chocolate D) Vanilla E) Orange Sherbet

2. What's your favorite food? A) Burgers B) Donuts C) French Fries D) Steak E) Cereal

4. What is your favorite subject? A) History B) Science C) English D) PE E) Lunch

6. What sports do you play? A) Volleyball B) Tennis C) Ew, Sports D) Football E) Basketball

If you chose mostly As, then you are most like @Marutaro If you chose mostly Bs, then you are most like @Marniethedog. If you chose mostly Cs, then you are most like @Tunameltsmyheart.

If you chose mostly Ds, then you are most like@Barkleysircharles. If you chose mostly Es, then you are most like @Corgnelius.


New Little Free Library installed in local community Hailey Barrow • Staff Writer

Over the summer, the Art for Social Justice club installed a Little Free Library at school to provide the surrounding community with free books. The purpose of the Little Free Library is to provide a small bookshelf where people of all ages can pick up or place books. According to their website, “Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.” Considering there are no due dates or fees, there are no limits on how long a book can be kept or how many can be taken at once. It doesn’t provide books for just children and students; any and all kinds of books can be placed in the Little Free Library by members of the community. “If people can’t check out books, and they don’t go to our school, they can go there and get a book to read,” fourth-grader Dylan Crume said. The Art for Social Justice club is an art club for students who want to give back to the community through their work. Built and completed last summer and installed this summer, The Little Free Library is modeled after a Haitian

house. The members of the camp all collectively added different decorations that they felt represented the theme, but all Little Free Libraries across the country are decorated in a unique style. “The Little Free Library makes it easy for people to share their own opinions and things they like in books. So you take one out and put one that you like in, they read that, and everybody kind of connects without exchanging a word,” sophomore Malik Woody said. Furthermore, the school’s library will be registered on the Little Free Library website, where anyone can look up Little Free Libraries across the nation. This provides community members and people who may just be passing through Tallahassee an opportunity to experience the Little Free Library. The Little Free Library is located outside of the gates by secondary art teacher Debra Barrett-Hayes’ classroom. “People who follow the Little Free Library look them up on vacations in different locations because they think it’s really fun to go to a different spot, and they all look individually different,” Barrett-Hayes said. In the surrounding area, there are several established Little Free Libraries. Some locations include one halfway through Bill’s Trail, by

“Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”

Photo by Jared Russell The newest addition to Tallahassee’s network of Little Free Libraries, this bookshelf, modeled after a Haitian house, is located outside of Debra Barrett-Hayes’ art classroom. It was installed over the summer by the Art for Social Justice club and provides free books for all ages. Piney Z lake, and another one at The Oasis Center for Women and Girls. Each and every Little Free Library is different, so each one holds a different number of books. “I think the Little Free Library is a good way for people to find our school and also to realize we want to give back to the community,” Barrett-Hayes said.

This is not the first Little Free Library here in Tallahassee, but it is the first one in the Southwood area. “People need to have awareness about this thing [so it] can be spread across the globe and given to other communities who might need opportunities for books,” Woody said.


Review: ‘Stronger’ shows truth behind difficult recoveries Diana Benitez • Opinion Editor Based on a true story, “Stronger” follows the story of Jeff Bauman’s recovery following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Introduced as a caring yet irresponsible guy, Jeff Bauman, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is planning to surprise his ex-girlfriend Erin Hurley, played by Tatiana Maslany, at the finish line. There, he falls victim to the worst of the bombing attack, suffering life-altering damage. His injuries leave him with both legs amputated and battling PTSD. The story is centered not only on his physical journey back to normality, but also the mental difficulties he has to endure. “Stronger” is not a positive, heart-warming “based on a true story” movie; it instead reveals the unnerving truth that humans face in the wake of tragedy it’s not always a perfect journey, and more often than not, you’ll experience failure. Contrary to other films like “Patriots Day,” which is also focused on the Boston Marathon, “Stronger” does not focus on the investigation side of the mass attack. It

instead emphasizes the survivors’ experiences in the aftermath and how their lives are forever changed. The strongest choice the movie makes is humanizing its protagonists. Many survival stories incorrectly glamorize tragedy by making the recovery process a light-hearted one in which the protagonist doesn’t encounter failure. Jeff isn’t a perfect hero, and he doesn’t consider himself one. The movie includes scenes that make viewers uncomfortable, but the dark humor makes the movie relatable. After the attack, Jeff acts selfish, bitter and pessimistic. Meanwhile, Erin challenges the typical caregiver stereotype, being aggressive about Jeff’s rehab, his carelessness and lack of hope. In the most difficult scene to watch, she announces her pregnancy and he tells her he can’t take on that role, which is followed by her leaving Jeff to fend for himself in the car. At first, you feel disbelief that she left a double amputee to climb up stairs, but you can’t help but relate to her actions during the situation. “Stronger” doesn’t shy away from off-putting

scenes, and that’s what makes the movie’s narrative a strong one. However, the film does lack deeper explanation of his PTSD. Jeff himself is in denial about it, and the only person who recognizes his PTSD is Erin. His flashbacks are few and shortlived, and the recovery journey is more focused on his physical rehabilitation. Scenes where Jeff meets ‘admirers’ touch on the guilt and mental battle he is fighting because he does not consider himself “Boston Strong.” Although the movie hints at his mental trauma, for a movie about overcoming adversity, it should speak to his mental state more directly. If people are looking for a movie about tragedy, “Stronger” offers a raw, unique outlook. It does have explicit and possibly triggering scenes, and moviegoers should not expect a light-hearted, happy ending, so it is important to keep this in mind when deciding whether to watch the film. While Jeff is at his lowest, “Stronger” shows how his family and friends are the real heroes of the story and the backbone of his recovery.

Looking for someone to follow on Instagram? Try following pets Krislyn Kelley • Staff Writer Instagram is not just for people anymore. The latest trend on the social media scene is managing separate accounts for pets. An Instagram account managed for a pet typically includes updates from the pet’s perspective, with photos and videos that correspond to adorable captions. While they may look simple, most users put in considerable time and commitment to ensure followers stay interested. “I think it is a little bit silly to have a separate account for your pet,” secondary social studies teacher Jamie Santillo said. “My dogs are definitely members of my family, but I wouldn’t run a separate account for them. If people want to see pictures of them,

they are all over my social media account.” Junior Anna Hilinski is the proud owner of a dog with an Instagram account. The account was started the day she got her puppy, Juno, whom she has now had for about five months. “The account was partially just for fun. I like to use it to share my adorable photos and videos of Juno with others, but I also like the fact that I can use it as a solid timeline of my journey with her as she grows,” Hilinski said. Out of all the popular dogs on Instagram, @itsdougthepug is one of the most well-known. Also known as the “King of Pop Culture,” he is a “New York Times” Bestseller, has won an Insta-

grammer of the Year award and has been featured in many music videos. He most recently appeared in Katy Perry’s music video for “Swish Swish,” along with the video for Fall Out Boy’s song “Irresistible” featuring Demi Lovato. “I follow @jiffpom because he always posts videos of him doing activities that I would do, and it’s hilarious. I can relate to a dog!” said eighth-grader Sydney Sherry. Most celebrities have social media platforms for their brands and careers in order to promote themselves. Curating their image can be essential to their success, and using Instagram can be a beneficial way to do so. For the most part, their followers are their fans. Accounts that are managed for a


pet are used for the same purpose, just from a different perspective. “Just like any other dog account, my Instagram is from my dog’s perspective, so it’s as if she is taking and posting the photos. It’s easier to come up with captions that way,” Hilinski said. Instagram can be the perfect way to see daily updates and watch the growth of a favorite pet. These accounts are dedicated to bringing light-hearted photos to fans, which can be the perfect respite from the troubling news that pervades social media feeds. “I think the accounts are super-effective, especially for people who don’t have dogs of their own. They promote happiness and make my day better,” Sherry said.

‘Wonder Woman’ shatters box office records, inspires audiences The popular film is changing the landscape of movies. Jared Russell • Photo Editor With sold-out theaters around the world “Wonder Woman” has experienced unprecedented box office success inspiring audiences of all ages. Superhero movies are almost as old as movies themselves, beginning with the 1937 film “The Shadow Strikes.” However, it wasn’t until 1978, with the debut of Richard Donner’s “Superman” movie that they started to see mainstream success. In 2008, the success of both “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight” created a new wave of interest in the genre. Since then, superheroes have ruled both the box office and the big By Divulgação (Warner Bros) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https:// screen.], via WikimeDespite the recent sucdia Commons cess of the superhero genre in movies and on the silver screen, origin stories, which portray how superheroes 1. The creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton became the heroes they are, have never been as Marston, also created the lie detector test. successful as their sequels. 2. Wonder Woman was banned in 1942 for not Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Womwearing enough clothes. an” has defied those odds 3. In 2012, Superman and Wonder Woman dated. and reigned supreme. With 4. She was very nearly called Suprema. $411,485,591 earned in 5. Wonder Woman was the first female member of the domestic box office and the Justice Society. $818,985,591 earned world6. Wonder Woman’s iconic bracelets were directly wide, “Wonder Woman” is inspired by one of Marston’s wives. officially the highest grossCompiled by ing origin movie of all time Ilex Wass de Czege • Managing Editor and the highest grossing Facts from “Cosmopolitan” film by a female director.

Did you know...

“Wonder Woman inspires me to be kind to others, help other people and be brave and strong,” fifth-grader Savannah Alday said. Although it has been positively received by audiences, “Wonder Woman” has received some criticism in the film community. James Cameron, director of “Titanic” and “Avatar,” said Patty Jenkins’ blockbuster is just “male Hollywood doing the same old thing” and he even went on to call “Wonder Woman” an “objectified icon.” Patty Jenkins, who directed Wonder Woman, responded to Cameron by tweeting, “Strong women are great… but if women have to always be hard and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is strong and loving, then we haven’t come very far now have we?” Cameron later apologized for his comments. “I definitely think that ‘Wonder Woman’ is an icon for both men and women. She is a symbol of bravery and strength,” sophomore Caroline Hamon said. “She shows that having vulnerability doesn’t mean you don’t have great strength, and

that love isn’t an obstacle; it only makes you stronger.” The first live action female superhero movie, “Supergirl,” was released in 1984 and only made $14 million dollars domestically. There wasn’t another female led superhero movie for 20 years. “Catwoman,” released in 2004, was a box office flop and only got a nine percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In comparison, “Wonder Woman” has a 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. “I think ‘Wonder Woman’ has been successful because of its good story and great acting. Gal Gadot was able to embody the essence of the character, which makes the story really great,” Alday said. “Wonder Woman” has had an impressive run in the box office and has shattered records few thought it could beat. It is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2017, and a sequel has already been announced. “We as a society believe that only men can be true heroes in a movie and that females are just damsels in distress. ‘Wonder Woman’ has changed that because it shows that both men and women can save the world. Hollywood is starting to realize this,” Hamon said.


‘What the Health’ encourages viewers to go vegan Artrice Shepherd • Staff Writer With the Netflix release of “What the Health” over the summer, the vegan movement has seen a dramatic increase in members. Some vegans choose to remove animal products from their diets for health benefits, while others want to live cruelty free. The documentary, directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, addresses the link between poor dietary choices and diseases. The documentary suggests that “eating processed meats is as bad for you as smoking.” While Anderson and Kuhn critique the meat-loving diet that most Americans are raised on, they also give reasons why a vegan lifestyle is as popular as it is healthy. “What The Health” aims to provide clarity on how to change one’s lifestyle in order to decrease long term health problems. “I watched [“What The Health”] and was surprised at what I was actually consuming,”

senior Naomi Riggins said. “I’m now a pescatarian and eventually want to be a vegan to have a healthier lifestyle.” Despite the positive impact the documentary had on many viewers, it is facing criticism from some doctors and scientists. Some think that the film skews data to encourage more people to become vegan. In an article by Julia Belluz on, she questions the authenticity of the documentary stating, “‘What the Health’ cherry-picks and misreports studies to make the case for veganism.” “There are many ways to become healthy, and some people choose to be vegan. As long as what you’re eating is actually beneficial to your overall health, then being vegan is the way to go for some people,” school nurse Shirl Streukens said. A vegan lifestyle has been seen to cause weight loss and lower cancer risks compared to the standard American diet. According to an

article written by, vegans have a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in men and women in the United States. “You don’t realize all of the harmful chemicals you put into your body,” sophomore Jayden Wiggins said. “Being vegan helps you realize the food you eat before you eat it.” With veganism on the rise, more restaurants are catering to the vegan lifestyle. Whether it’s offering alternate menu options or providing a new menu altogether, some restaurants have found value in providing a fine dining service for vegans as well. As veganism continues to rise, it is likely that vegan options will become more mainstream. “More restaurants are catering to the needs of vegans and vegetarians, but ultimately, it’s the individual’s responsibility to be conscious of what they can eat based on what the restaurant offers,” Steukens said.

‘But don’t vegans just eat salad?’ Check out these two all-vegan restaurants in Tallahassee for a unique dining experience: Soul Vegetarian A vegan’s greatest desire: an all-vegan restaurant. That is what you get when you walk into Soul Vegetarian. Greeted by warm smiles and great food, Soul Vegetarian is a must-visit on any vegan’s restaurant list. The restaurant is known for its distinct taste of soul food while catering to the vegan lifestyle. Despite the undeniable Florida heat, the quaint eatery provides a calming sense of becoming one with nature. Soul Vegetarian offers a wide variety of comfort foods that some vegans may miss. Their house specialty is their mac and cheese and while many have tried to recreate the southern favorite, Soul Vegetarian perfects it. Although the mac and cheese is

a crowd favorite, the collard greens and barbeque tofu rank high on my list of favorites from the restaurant. The essence of soul food rings true throughout the restaurant. However, the icing on the cake was their cinnamon roll and butter pecan ice cream, which reigned supreme. The overall experience was one of the highlights of my vegan journey thus far. The restaurant also offers cooking classes for some of their customers’ favorite dishes. Address: 1205 S Adams St, Tallahassee, FL 32301 Hours: Sunday-Friday 11 AM–3 PM, 5–9 PM; closed Saturday Menu: Phone: (850) 893-8208

Sweet Pea Café When pulling up to the Sweet Pea Café, the size of the café may fool some customers who are deciding whether or not to stop for a quick bite. The good news is that the size has nothing to do with the delicious flavors that hit your palate when you take that first bite. My first time visiting the café I opted for a spicy alternative to some of the more neutral entrees offered. I went for their Spicy BLT, which consists of their blackened organic tofu, lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo on their organic wheat bread. The entree may seem limited in ingredients, but between the spicy mayo and smoked tofu, the sandwich could easily become a favorite for any vegan. The café offers both inside and


outside seating. Whichever you choose, the service was friendly and quick. I was provided with a breakdown of some of the entrees I didn’t understand and even found out some of their secrets to how they prepare their meals. Altogether, I was very pleased with my time at the Sweet Pea Café and would recommend the café for any vegan wanting a quick flavorful bite.

Address: 832 W Tharpe St, Tallahassee, FL 32303 Hours: Monday - Friday 8 AM–8 PM; Saturday - Sunday 8 AM-4 PM Menu: Phone: (850) 692-3476

Coaching: how far is too far?

A recent video of a cheerleader being painfully forced into a split has raised the question of when coaching turns from helpful motivation to dangerous pressure. Brooklyn McLeod • Staff Writer

A coach’s job is to know their athlete’s limits, to keep them safe and to know whether or not they can push the athlete harder. But at what point does pushing athletes past their limits put them in dangerous situations? Despite the possible negatives, there are benefits to an athlete who is challenged by a coach. The pressure to become actively better, to step out of a comfort zone and to become a quality player isn’t a bad thing. It only begins to become dangerous when the coach turns to extreme methods. In August, a video of a cheerleader who was being forced into a split by her teammates and coaches at East High Shool in Denver, Colo. went viral. The coach was clearly pushing the athlete past her limit, landing her in physical therapy due to torn muscle tissue and a pulled hamstring. Athletes vary in skill level, and their limits need to be taken into account. “There are several different areas [in which] a coach can display his or her worth,” former cross country, football and track coach and current athletic director Tyrone K. McGriff Jr. said. “As coaches, we focus on wins most of the time, but I believe if you focus on the quality of individual athletes’ competitive level and skill development, wins will naturally come.” During the season, it can become very hard to tell whether students are being pushed too hard. Everyone adapts to the expectations of the coach; judgements are clouded, and it seems normal when the coach makes them run hard or go without water for a period of time.

Fast Facts: Lacrosse Compiled by Hailey Barrow • Staff Writer

The situation can become dangerous quickly. At the end of August, Nick Blakely, a Stetson football player, collapsed during practice and was brought to a hospital where he later died. The cause of death is still unknown, but an autopsy has been scheduled for October. It could be that the coach did not know the limits of his player, a mistake that turned out to be fatal. “Sometimes it is body language, production in Photo by Carly Steed the sport, change in the Coach Julius Harley motivates sixth-grader Amelia action, or verbal converWass de Czege as she completes a series of push-ups. sation [that is a signal you While a coach’s job is to encourage his athletes, he are pushing me too hard],” must know their limits in order to keep players safe. senior DeJay Robinson appreciate,” McGriff said. said. As a coach, the best thing to do is learn the As a coach or an athlete, it is important to reteam’s limits. As a player it is their goal to reach member that there is a responsibility to be safe new limits and find a way to continue past them while practicing and during games. Coaches need to know their players’ threshold to become in the safest way possible. Both coaches and athletes must learn to listen and see each other greater, but also their team’s limitations. The as a stepping stone to become increasingly coach is a leader and must make a positive better. impact on athletes that will not damage them “Every athlete is different, and you have to physically, mentally or emotionally. read the athlete’s body language and know the “[I have seen] the benefits [to pushing an physical, mental, and emotional limits of each athlete] are increased production and overall athlete,” McGriff said. “This is extremely subjecpositive results that the athlete and coach can tive and can’t be a one size fits all “approach.”

Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in the country.

It is played at 600 colleges and two thousand high schools nationwide.

Lacrosse was once considered the most commonly played team sport in North America.

It is the fastest sport played on two feet.

The first women’s lacrosse game was played in Scotland in 1890.

Lacrosse is played nationwide by over 250,000 players.


Controversy over kneeling sparks Catch this with Carly: Tallahassee needs its debate about players’ rights Will Watson • Co-Sports Editor Football players at the college and professional level like Donald De La Haye and Colin Kaepernick are being prevented from freely exercising their rights on and off the field by the NCAA and owners in the NFL. Most recently, even the president has taken notice of this, expressing his opinion that taking a knee during the national anthem is disrespectful to the United States. “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” President Donald Trump said via Twitter. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights specifically protects an American’s right to protest, which is why some people have a problem with President Trump speaking out against the protests. However, many Americans agree with the president, wondering why players would protest by disrespecting the flag of the country that gives them the right to protest in the first place. Kneeling for the national anthem has been happening since the beginning of last year when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest the oppression of African-Americans in the United States. There were a few other players who would sit or kneel for the anthem last season, but after Donald Trump spoke out against the protests at the beginning of this season, whole NFL teams have began taking a knee at once to show that they support their teammates no matter their opinion. “College or professional, players are still grown men and should have the same rights as other adults,” freshman Sean Milliken said. A lot of people think that a NFL field is not the place for this kind of protest, but the front of the bus was not the place either, and Rosa Parks did it. Lunch counters were not the place for protests either, but people did it. Birmingham, Alabama was not the place, but Martin Luther King spoke anyway. All of these

protests were “not the right place,” but they are some of the most successful civil rights protests in American history. However, just as Rosa Parks was arrested, Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated, and the people who performed the sit-ins beaten and spit on, Colin Kaepernick is now without a job; all of the people who have started these movements have eventually had to face the consequences for going against the status quo. In the case of De La Haye, the NCAA withdrew his scholarship to play football at the University of Central Florida because he refused to stop making videos about the sport of the down his previously posted videos. His videos were not hurting anyone, and he was not making videos using school equipment, so the NCAA’s decision to withdraw his scholarship for using his image as an advantage over others to make money is puzzling. “They shouldn’t be able to take his scholarship. It’s sad to see that athletes can’t do things just because they are more gifted than other people in a certain area,” senior Dakota Lewis said. Since he was not very successful as a backup kicker, the NCAA could have seen the Youtube videos as a way for him to gain revenue without having to work as hard as the other college football players who earned their way to playing time. “I think that the NCAA just wants there to be no distractions from the game being played on the field, so they can make as much money as possible,” Milliken said. In a country that focuses so much on freedoms, there are still people trying to fight for their right to express their opinions. It is undeniable that this conversation will continue. The real question is if it will result in any change. “People with power in sports always talk about how they don’t care about the race or religion of their players, but when it comes to their team’s image, it’s like a whole other story,” Lewis said.


own hockey team

Carly Steed • Co-Sports Editor In the late 1990s, Tallahassee was host to a minor league hockey team, the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks. Sixteen years after their relocation, it is time for the Tiger Sharks, and their friendly mascot Frenzy, to come home. The Tallahassee Tiger Sharks united the citizens of Tallahassee while simultaneously winning a total of 237 out of 490 games from the year 1994-2001. The Tiger Sharks were tragically relocated to Macon, Ga. and renamed as the Macon Whoopee. The team was relocated twice more, before becoming the presently active Utah Grizzlies. The relocation of the team was devastating to locals, who made attending games and supporting the Tiger Sharks a family tradition. Fans of hockey are highly passionate and have one of the biggest community spirits of all sports communities. During the team’s tenure here, home game attendance reached almost seven thousand per game. Tallahassee is passionate in its support of FSU teams, and the revival of the Tiger Sharks could only add to that community spirit. In their last seasons here, attendance to home games sharply declined, and the team stopped winning games. However, this was a result of a change in coaching - Terry Christensen coached the Tiger Sharks for five of their six seasons and was the coach each time the Tiger Sharks made it to the playoffs. When coaches Jeff Brubaker and Gerry Fleming followed Christensen, the team started to suffer. If they returned to Tallahassee, they would also need new leadership. While it may be more financial viable for the team to stay in Utah, no one can deny that bringing a hockey team to Tallahassee would provide a unique experience. For a younger generation raised on football, the rush of watching a sport played on skates and ice would likely be accepted with open arms, and for the rest of us, the move would be a reminder of a happier time.

Profile for The Tomahawk Talk

Volume 81, Issue 1 - October 19, 2017