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1901 Louisiana St. Lawrence, Kansas 66046

Volume 123 Issue 1 September 24, 2015


2 • SEPT 24, 2015

IN THIS ISSUE: Construction 5 Budget cuts hit 8 Career Center 10 Tech access lacking for 12 Pet Word recovers from 14 Girls rock at 18 Freshmen athletes take 20 Fall sports kick 21 Hunter Jewell heads 22 Football team sports new 24 Concussion risks 25 Take down your Confederate 26 ROAR program needs 28 More textbooks 30 Homecoming candidates 32


PHOTO SLIDESHOWS: Fall Sports Assembly packs gymnasium Boys Varsity Soccer Football Team Triumphs over BVW 35-14 VIDEO Teachers remember 2012 graduate Reece Wright-Conklin Homecoming candidates make a splash Podcasts Colton Lovelace previews fall sports on his inaugural podcast

Follow us on social media Twitter: @lhsbudget Instagram: lhsbudget

Cafeteria introduces new lunch options District revamps menu, gives What’s new in the lunchroom? students more lunch choices •Hummus w/ cheese •Marinated Mushroom Salad •Black Bean Quesadilla •Spicy Spaghetti • Ve g e t a r i a n G y r o s •Mandarin Chicken and Rice Bowl •Shepherds Pie

Graphic by Briauna Huffman


By Zoie German-Martinez The cafeteria has introduced new food choices. Most of the options are in the á la carte section, such as shepherd’s pie and corn dogs, but you can also find foods like hummus and cheese or a marinated mushroom salad. Lindsey Morgan, the food supervisor at the district office, said the district looked at feedback from staff and students. She said they worked to increase vegetarian options while trying to appeal to students who often choose to go off campus to eat. “Any change involves looking at variety,” she said. Yet the students who eat on campus are continuing to fall back on the regulars, including pizza, spicy chicken and sandwiches. When senior Katelyn Murrish was asked if students cared about the new changes, she said no. But she also mentioned that the lunch workers’ work doesn’t go unnoticed. “With the resources they’re given and with the government saying that ‘you have to have this much protein,’ they do a good job,” she said. Fellow senior Joel Jossie agreed. “The food is still mediocre,” he added.

SEPT 24, 2015 • 3



MISSION STATEMENT The Budget is committed to providing the Lawrence High School community with objective, inclusive news coverage that ensures relevance to its readers. The staff devotes itself to the exercise of First Amendment rights and upholding the highest of journalistic standards. While the paper is a vessel to publish student voice, it conjointly acts as an educational entity holding the intent of bettering student journalistic ability and reader’s access to information. ABOUT US The Budget is published every for weeks and distributed free of charge to students and faculty at Lawrence High School, 1901 Louisiana, Lawrence, Kan. 66046-2999. The Budget is produced by students in the Digital Journalism and Digital Design and Pro-

duction courses with occasional contributions from 21st Century Journalism and guest columnists. The newspaper’s goals are to inform, entertain, and present a forum of expression for students, faculty, administrators and community members. The newspaper is financed through advertising and staff fundraising. The editorial staff is solely responsible for the content of this newspaper, and views expressed in The Budget do not necessarily reflect those of the administration of Lawrence High School or USD 497. STAFF Editors-in-chief: Zia Kelly & Kansas Gibler Design & Layout Editor: Nia Rutledge Graphics Editor: Joaquin Dorado Mariscal Photo Editor: Cooper Avery Captions Editor: Hannah Gaines Zenfolio Editor: Ian Jones Webmaster: Jacob Parnell Video Editor: Griffin Nelson Social Media Editor: Meredith Chapple Sports Editor: Colton Lovelace

Ad Sales Representative: Nicole Owens Journalism staff members: Kira Auchenbach, Mary Carr, Amanda Coatney, Veda Cobb, Abigail Damron, Ella Denson-Redding, Abby English, Allie Fischer, Zoie German- Martinez, Krista Hopkins, Briauna Huffman, Lourdes KalushaAguirre, Ahnya Lewis, Kenneth McLaughlin, Jaycee Mountain, Abigal Percich, Mason Phelps, Kaityln Preut, Kate Rettig, Claire Robinson, Susan Rockhold, Aidan Rockroth, Chandler Sells, Clara Severn, Monica Steffes, Madeleine Stegman, Carli Stellwagon, Luna Stephens, Anna-Marie Turner, Eric Wheatman and Julia Wilson. Adviser: Barbara Tholen ON THE COVER — Senior Alex Aguilar puts on her scrubs for her CNA certification class at the College and Career Center last week. “We are working on how to prepare ourselves to work with our patients at the nursing home,” she said. Photo by Cooper Avery

Dual Credit helps students get ahead

New core classes transfer as college credits, provide more intimate classroom than alternatives

By Veda Cobb Having an affordable college curriculum available in high school is a big step toward making post-secondary education more tangible. This is becoming a reality for LHS students. Dual credit classes, which have coursework equatable to entry-level college classes, are new to district high schools and allow students to start getting college credits early. “I’ve been here for 10 years and people were requesting it when I started here,” counselor Lori Stussie said. “I can only assume that they did before that as well.” Juniors and seniors can now sign up for English 101 and Math 101. Completion of each course, with the payment of $309 and a passing grade, equates to three college credits. Since the transcript is provided by KU, the credits

are transferable to almost any us to have a relationship with other college. KU and to provide our stu“I might end up going to dents with some avenues that KU,” senior Math 101 student we haven’t in the past.” Nesreen Iskandrani said. “But Although the courses’ even if not, curricula the credits align with “I think it’s a wonderful chance for transfer, so I the entry might as well level college us to have a relationship with KU, and do the work classes, class to provide our students with some I’m going to sizes also avenues that we haven’t in the past.” do next year.” set the dual —­ Michael Carriger , English teacher credit coursEnglish teacher es apart, CarMichael riger said. Carriger, who The teaches English 101, said the small classes ­— around 15 offering is beneficial. students each — allow for a “I think [dual credit] is an more personal environment interesting opportunity for in which students are able to students,” he said. “I’ve had collaborate and contact the concerns about how it fits instructor with ease, giving within what we do already, students who don’t underand if students make the stand the material a better choice to take it, my fear has chance than in busier classes been that they might miss out at universities. on some curricular stuff that “The smaller the class, the we do. But, overall, I think more intimate the class, the it’s a wonderful chance for safer the class,” Carriger said.

“That...allows people to find their own voice.” For years, college-bound students have had the option to get college credits through Advanced Placement courses and exams. However the dual credit classes allow students to get credits that don’t rely on a test score. While college credits through AP exams are dependent on what tests and scores are accepted at individual schools, as long as dual credit students earn C’s or higher and pay the course fees, they are guaranteed three college credits. Although English and Math 101 are the only dual credit classes offered this year, Stussie said that if enrollment in them continues to grow, more could be introduced in the future. “Since it’s the first year things are just getting started,” she said.


4 • SEPT 24, 2015

NEWS & BRIEFS Wi-Fi inconsistent

By Luna Stephens The BYOD network has been undependable this year, with several days when it has not worked at all and even more with a slow connection and no access in some places. The district said it is working to resolve issues as fast as it can, and it has hired someone to help get the job done. “We have been experiencing intermittent issues and are aware of it,” district supervisor of technology Jennifer Stones said. “We have been working feverishly to remedy the situation. The IT department has hired an outside vendor to assist in fixing this issue.” Another thing the district is working on with Wi-Fi is giving

National Merit advancers

By Luna Stephens Two seniors have qualified as National Merit semifinalists. Andrew Bell and Kai Blosser were recognized this month for their scores on the PSAT, which were among the top 3.5 percent in the nation. Although glad to make the cut, both anticipated their scores would be high enough. “I was excited but not too surprised,” Blosser said. This year’s cutoff score was 213. “Usually you can kind of tell what the cutoff score will be,” Bell said. “Once you get your PSAT

Debaters excel at nationals

By Luna Stephens Five members of the debate and forensics team competed June 14 to 19 at the National Speech and Debate tournament in Dallas, finishing 38th in the nation as a team. Among their accomplish-

students the ability to check out internet hotspots to use at home. Right now, the school library has 10 hotspots it is loaning out for 10 days at a time. “The first day that we had it in the announcements, we had five people come in and then five the next day,” library media specialist Charlotte Anderson said. “They’re really popular, and they seem to work pretty well.” The library may have more hotspots soon to help even more students get the internet access they need at home. “I asked actually last Friday if we would get more,” Anderson said. “That’s something that the district will have to purchase, but yeah, hopefully we will get some more soon.”

score you can kind of guess.” Semifinalists were notified on Sept. 9 and in February will find out if their scores qualify them as finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The top 15,000 of the 16,000 semifinalists have the opportunity to apply for the National Merit Scholarship, which comes with a $2,500 scholarship and opportunities from individual universities. “It would first of all look really good on college applications,” Bell said about being a finalist. “It would mean that I would have a lot of opportunities for scholarships, and that’d be a really cool thing for me because it would help me get into college for less.”

ments: Senior Stefan Petrovic made it to octofinals in foreign extemporaneous speaking for ninth place. Senior Joaquin Dorado-Mariscal finished 182nd in the nation in humorous interpretation. Junior Natalie Cote finished 137th in the nation in dramatic interpretation.




Later 1850s

Then I was shipped to Lawrence Unitarian Church after surviving a shipwreck!

1890s After that I was sold to the Lawrence Public School District.


Then I moved to LHS! They placed me near the auditorium. BELL MOVING CO.


After hanging out by the auditorium for awhile, I was moved to the cafeteria.


And now I live back by the auditorium!

Present Day The Bell is still currently residing in front of the auditorium in a display case for all to see. Graphic by Anna-Marie Turner

“I was really honored to get the chance to compete,” Cote said. “It was an amazing learning experience because all week you see performances from some of the nation’s best forensicators.” LHS students faced 4,000 students from around the nation. “One of the major differences between nationals and

regular season competition [was] the size,” Cote said. “It’s hard to wrap your head around that big of a number until you stand in the lobby and are bombarded with hundreds upon hundreds of teenagers, all as excited and nervous as you. It was a little overwhelming but in a good way.”


au h

SEPT 24, 2015 • 5

Budget changes cause delays



Students and staff feel effects as renovations are put on hold by rising prices “At one point in time it was By Meredith Chapple hoped that the construction would When students left for summer start at the beginning of the sumbreak, they expected to return this mer,” assistant principal Mike Norris fall to a larger cafeteria, a new black said. “[Now] the entire thing is box theater and a smoothly-paved supposed to be done parking lot. late March.” Instead, they A rise in concame back to “We were delayed because things struction costs since boarded up lunchcame in over budget.” the bond issue was room windows, an —Kyle Hayden, passed in 2013 held unchanged black box theater and the assistant superintendent up the projects at the beginning of north parking lot the summer. For exin shambles. The ample, some supply original scheduled prices have risen in completion date for the past two years, which exceed the construction was around September original bond amount. of this year.

PARKING LOT CONSTRUCTION— The front parking lot has been fenced off since May, construction is expected to be completed in March. Photo by Clara Severn “We were delayed because things came in over budget,” assistant superintendent of business and operations Kyle Hayden said. “We had to figure out what tweaks could we make without missing and sacrificing the plan and what dollars could we use to supplement it.”

Continued on page 6


6 • SEPT 24, 2015


Students share their opinions about the ongoing school construction By Clara Severn and Chandler Sells

“It feels crowded in the main parking lot, and I feel kind of lost because I almost got here late.” ­—Justin Truong, sophomore

“I usually use the front door to leave, and it’s kind of annoying that I have to use a different way out.” —Evondi Weston, junior

“It’s makes the cafeteria feel like a prison because there’s no windows.” ­—Leif Cruse, junior

“I feel like it should have been done before the school year started, and it shouldn’t be in the cafeteria.” —Alexandra Simmons, senior

LHSBUDGET.COM Go online to see a video about parking lot construction and delays. THE BUDGET • PAGE DESIGN BY NIA RUTLEDGE

Delayed Continued from Page 5

TORN UP — After delays, work is underway on the parking lot in front of school. With the main entrance unaccessible, traffic has been rerouted around the building. Photo by Chandler Sells

The original bond construction budget was $3.9 million. However, the district had to re-prioritize the planned building projects to accommo“I liked that the back lot date price inflation. It added wasn’t so congested, but now $660,000 from the district’s it is,” said senior Austin Butell, capital outlay money for addiwho has driven to school since tional improvements, Hayden freshman year. “I liked how said. Those supplemental there weren’t funds will be that many peoused to cover “I think it’s wonderful ple that parked the differwhere I do.” ence that that they’re working on Along with the original Lawrence High and paying the parking lot, budget didn’t the cafeteria account for. attention to the school. and black box “We’ve Anytime they can update expansions will dipped into be underway that [capital Lawrence High is a good by mid-Octooutlay] to thing.” ber once the help support support steel — ­ Wendy Vertacnik, art teacher the bond arrives on-site. issue dollars, Footings for so those both will be combinations poured in the of dollars next couple have kind of weeks, Norris said. The of helped us complete the timeline for the main entrance projects that we intended on renovation has yet to be completing,” Hayden said. finalized. Meetings at the district Students and staff can to redesign engineering and expect to see construction architectural plans further through the rest of the year. delayed ground-breaking. “What they’re doing is Parking lot construction a good idea,” math teacher has affected students most. Cory Kramer said. “I wish it Increased congestion and fewwould’ve been done more in er parking spaces have caused the summer and not through a headache for students who the year.” drive to school.

WHAT’S CHANGING Construction work that began this summer and is expected to continue into March will mean changes for LHS. Among the changes planned are: • New fire alarm system • New boiler system • New intercoms • Electricical, plumbing, H-VAC • New classroom doors upgrades • Blackbox theater • Parking lot restructuring • Cafeteria expansion Source: Mike Norris, assistant principal

SEPT 24, 2015 • 7

Construction Headaches


There is now only one way to enter and exit onto 19th Street.

The Budget surveyed 174 students about how traffic is affecting their ride to school. How do you get to school? Ride the bus

Walk or ride a bike Dropped off



Drive themselves or ride with a friend

Do you have to leave earlier than usual to get to school because of construction? Yes





How much earlier do you have to leave? 30 min 5 min





Has parking become more of a problem for students? No 14.3% Yes

20 min 10 min



Are there adequate locations for parents to pick up or drop off students?

With the construction, do you have to park in a different location than last year?


Construction Difficulties KEY LHS BUILDINGS PROBLEM AREAS CLOSED OFF Student spots along the soccer field have been turned into teacher parking.

Yes No

42.4% Yes


57.6% No


48.8% I didn’t drive last year

Survey compiled by Ahnya Lewis, Carli Stellwagon and Monica Steffes Graphic by Anna-Marie Turner and Briaunna Huffman

This area is closed, forcing teachers to park in former student parking spots.

Getting onto 21st can take 10-15 minutes.

A big pothole makes getting through here difficult.

Teacher parking along this side of the school has been eliminated.

Soccer field Turning left on 21st takes ages. Drivers often disregard one- ways in the lot.

Graphic by Aidan Rothrock


8 • SEPT 24, 2015


Funding ‘blocked’ from public schools

By Zia Kelly While students were on summer break, USD 497 scrambled to patch together a school budget that would shield students from a $2 million funding deficit the district faced after state lawmakers last spring changed the way they fund schools. The cuts were made primarily at the administrative level, leaving most programs and resources intact. But with stagnant funding coming against a growing student population, staffing levels at LHS are strained. “Most of that will be handled at the district office,” principal Matt Brungardt said of the budget cuts. “I think the thing you can see is really an increase in


class sizes.” The staffing ratio has grown from 20 students to one teacher to 21.25 to one this school year. As a result, the school let go of four staff members last semester before the cuts were announced. Because some classes are smaller individual teacher may have classes far larger than usual. “Our class sizes were really pretty good when you look at all of the schools around us, so they bumped our ratio a bit to save a little bit of money,” Brungardt said. He said teachers last year taught 90 to 100 students, but that has increased to 100 to 115 this year. “We are full,” debate coach and English teacher Jeff Plinsky said. “It’s not

District copes with $2 million in budget cuts, class sizes rise as result

TEACHING A FULL CLASS — Biology teacher Ann Foster’s seventh hour has 24 students, who fill every desk. Photo by Cooper Avery untenable, but we’re fuller than it has been in the past. The end result of that is going to be that teachers have less time to spend individually with students.” Less one-on-one interaction is only one problem teachers must cope with. Having additional students means more time spent grading, especially for teachers who have writing-heavy courses. “If every essay takes 10 minutes to grade and you’ve got 30 extra students that’s 300 extra minutes of grading,” Plinsky said. “That’s an extra five hours of grading every time you assign some-

SEPT 24, 2015 • 9 thing.” The higher-than-average student population is likely to continue growing through the beginning of the year. This year’s student population is up to 1,577 from last year’s 1,456. In addition, Brungardt said transfer students can account for 50 or 60 more students throughout the first semester. Although this is usual, schools will have a more difficult time absorbing the extra students. In past years, if enrollment increased, the district would have received more money from the state. However, the new funding system of block grants is no longer directly tied to enrollment. The block funding plan was championed by Gov. Sam Brownback as his administration faced with a massive fiscal deficit brought by tax cuts. Brownback claimed the previous school funding formula was over-complicated and inefficient and pushed his plan as a simpler alternative. His plan eliminated the existing funding formula and ultimately cut $127.4 million from public education. It will GRAPHIC BY stand though the 20162017 school year while a new formula is written. “The reality is the old formula isn’t bad, it just needs to have the funding in it to support what it was designed to do,” district finance director Kathy Johnson said. “Anytime you don’t fund it appropriately, it’s going to have flaws.” By the time the formula was eliminated in May, base state aid per pupil was near the amount that it had been when the system was created in the 1990s, Johnson said. While the system called for per pupil funding of nearly $4,800, it was actually providing $3,852 per student, she said. Johnson said while the district has had expected difficulties coping with the

losses, the cuts were not surprising. “The writing on the wall for this state having difficulties has been there for a number of years,” she said. “It’s not that it’s been a new thing, it just kind of keeps getting pushed off... At some point you are going to have to face the music

CLAIRE ROBINSON unless you have a new revenue source, and if that never happens… you’ve got to figure out how to make it work another way.” As a response to signs of funding difficulties from the state, USD 497 has been putting money into its reserves in anticipation of future funding shortfalls from the state. The district has also been getting by on funds from several other sources. The 2013 bond issue that funded construction of the College and Career Center and construction at area schools is being used to purchase new furniture for classrooms. Those purchases would have usually come out of the district’s

general operating fund or capital outlay fund, so Johnson said that the bond issue has offset the costs of the upgrades the district has made. USD 497 also has a larger-than average virtual school program that provides additional funding from the state. The district is also receiving a block of startup money for the new classrooms in schools and at the CCC. “We’re in a little bit of a unique situation from a lot of districts,” Johnson said. While Lawrence has been able to find ways to bridge the gaps that block funding has created, some districts have more variable to worry about. Cities with large populations of high-need students, such as those that do not speak English, are no longer getting the additional funds to assist with the extra resources they require. That means cities like Wichita, where there are a lot of people who have been relocated from natural disaster areas, are unable to hire additional staff to translate and assist those students. While the district used its reserves to minimize the effects of funding reductions this year, those reserves cannot serve as a long-term solution. “If you have a savings account and something dip into your savings account,” Brungardt said. “The district has cash reserves, and they’re dipping into the account. The question is, how long can you keep dipping into your savings account?” The funding situation beyond the 2016-2017 school year is unknown, Johnson said. Even if state lawmakers write a new formula, there is no guarantee it will be adequately funded. “As educators, all we can really do is come into the classroom and teach the days that we are here and hope that the people making those decisions make good decisions,” Plinsky said. “It’s not a real hopeful attitude, but it’s where we’re at right now.”


10 • SEPT 24, 2015


Commuting to learn

Students and teachers travel to new to new district facility on Haskell Avenue for career-oriented, college classes

did forensic science instead of By Kate Rettig biotechnology.” On a Monday morning, By taking these classes, stumost juniors and seniors pull dents will not only gain experiin the school parking lot and ence and knowledge. They also head toward the building. receive college credit for some They anticipate the next classes. For example, the CNA eight hours of lectures, notes course is accredited through and tests. Neosho County Community However, when senior NiCollege and the Computer cole Berkley arrives at school, and Network Technology class she gets on a bus to attend her is offered through Johnson Forensic Science class at the County Community College. College and Career Center, Senior Elanna Goodwin is 2910 Haskell. also taking Forensic Science, CCC is a new option for but she’s taking it for the upperclassmen in district to college credit. take career and college classes “I really wanted to take filled with hands-on instructhis class because I knew it tion. was a college In Berkcredit so it’ll ley’s Forensic bring me a Science class, step forward,” students learn Goodwin said. the concepts “I won’t be and skills of behind.” investigating Students crime scenes. are not the “We’re only ones building a commuting — ­­ Elanna Goodwin, senior meat garden, to the CCC. which has difSome LHS ferent meats,” teachers are she said. also traveling “We’re seeing across town for what type of school. bugs are attracted to them and “It’s different...different is a see how long a body has been good word,” engineering teachdead. I think that’s pretty er Charlie Lauts said. “I feel interesting.” weird not coming here in the Students can also take classmorning. It’s just always where es that range from robotics to I’ve been in the morning...It’s CNA training. just making a different turn “Our classes and curricuand going to a different buildlum will be changing all the ing. It’s just changing gears.” time because it’s about what Lauts, who teaches the students are interested in as Design/Build class at CCC, well as what careers are out spends the first half of the day there that they’re interested at the East Lawrence location in,” career and technical edand commutes back to LHS ucation director Patrick Kelly before fourth hour. said. “For example, when we Lauts is one of three of started with the biotechnology the teachers at LHS who were course and when we listened asked to teach a class at CCC. to our student group, they “We want teachers who are said, ‘We don’t know what interested in hands-on, projbiotechnology is,’ and we said, ect-based learning — teachers ‘Well, how about forensic who are interested in authentic science?’ And they said, ‘Oh, work experiences so making we know what that is.’ So we

“I really wanted to take this class because I knew it was a college credit so it would bring me a step forward.”

THE COLLEGE AND CAREER CENTER — senior Emily Alt studies for her CNA class. “Our teachers treat us like adults as opposed to high school students,” she said. Photo by Cooper Avery


SEPT 24, 2015 • 11

sure what you’re doing is real and not just conceived up and just for fun,” Kelly said. Taking a class at CCC takes up three hours of students’ class schedules. Each class is two-hours long with an hour allotted for transportation. To keep up with his core classes while still leaving space for electives at school, junior Noah Mercer took core classes online during the summer. He spends his first three hours at the Design/Build class at the CCC and comes back for fourth through seventh hours. “It’s really nice,” Mercer said. “The state-of-the-art equipment and the teachers are wonderful and hand picked to go out there, and I advocate if anyone wants to go out there and have the time to, that they do because it’s really worth it.” Both students and teachers said they benefit from the twohour class length. “Every class is two hours long, so it doesn’t matter if it’s my Design/Build class or the CNA class or Forensic Science,” Lauts said. “You meet for two hours and you get a lot more work time because you don’t have to clean up so fast and start again. You get a little more time to dive in.” Junior Vanessa Hernandez, who was interested in taking the CNA course at CCC, worried it would take too much time away from her class schedule. “First of all, it was a hassle getting over there,” she said. “At first, I wanted to take my car, but it was going out of my way. A lot of the classes I wanted to take this year are full-year classes, and so it was disrupting my schedule, and I didn’t like that. I felt overpowered by it all and especially that it’s my junior year and I wanted to do more stuff in school.” Hernandez is currently exploring her option of getting

her CNA certification outside of school so she will be able to work as a CNA during high school. Overall, the College and Career Center is off to a good start, Kelly said. The grand opening for the public is on

Sept. 26 and a project night displaying student’s projects will be on Sept. 28. “I would really recommend taking a class.,” Goodwin said. “You’re not doing paper work all the time, and it’s a lot more fun.”

THE COLLEGE AND CAREER CENTER — Putting on his gloves, senior Diego Lopez gets ready for his CNA course at the new College and Career Center. “I feel kind of special because it’s a brand new building and program, and we’re the first students to try it out” Lopez says.

Photo by Cooper Avery


12 • SEPT 24, 2015


District tries to connect students with devices School looks to accommodate new needs for technology at home By Luna Stevens The struggle of lugging heavy textbooks from school to home is one all students know. USD 497 has tried to lighten students’ load by trading print textbooks for online alternatives. While the switch gives students one less thing to bring home, it leaves those who don’t have access to a device with a big problem. In a survey by The Budget, nearly 16 percent of students said they don’t have a device (other than a cell phone) they can use to view online books from home. Of those, 25 percent said they weren’t able to keep up with classes that rely on technology. Although senior Summer Powers said she doesn’t mind using online text, she does not have a device to access it with, which can make completing assignments a struggle. “When I have to do essays, I have to type it up on my phone,” she said. “ I feel like I could do it a lot quicker if I did have a laptop.”

For students who can’t use the online text or do assignments online, print texts and alternative work times are provided by many teachers. “I make it clear to them that anything that they can not get on to at home they can either come and work with me before or after school or I will find a way for them to access it,” English teacher Kelsey Buek said. “Whether that be me printing out or typing up a worksheet.” Even with these accommodations, some students feel they are at a disadvantage because of lack of online access. “I’m in a blended studies class right now and I like working online, but I don’t really do that at home,” Powers said. “I do [homework] from books, [but] it’s nice not having to carry a lot of books.” To make online learning accessible for all students the district is working on a system to check out devices to students without their own. “We understand the need to ensure our students can ac-

cess the internet or have a device at home,”Kemble said. “With this in mind, we are piloting a program that will allow Graphic by Briauna Huffman students to check out a hot spot and a device to have responded positively to use at home.” the online materials. The portable WiFi “I think [online textbooks] hotspots along with devices are good, my AP kids love will be available for checkout them,” chemistry teacher Karthrough schools. They will en Curry said. “They don’t provide an internet connechave a regular textbook. It’s tion that complies with disAP, so it’s really heavy, and trict web policies for students the students appreciate not who do not have a connection having to carry that around.” at home. Not everyone, however, Online textbooks not only is as enthusiastic about the lighten backpacks but also switch. provide more interactive and “Since the online textcurrent information, Kemble books are relatively new, we said. get mixed responses,” Kemble “Digital textbooks are said. “Many people see the dynamic,” she said. “They can value of these robust and be updated with new informa- responsive textbooks, and yet tion in near-real time... giving others are more comfortable students the latest, up-to-date with a traditional textbook. information on the topic they I imagine it is much like it are studying.” was when any other form of Some students and teachtechnology was created. It ers have complained that texttakes time for people to get book resources are running comfortable and understand short this year during the the potential of the new techtransition. Yet other students nology.”

Technology Access

The Budget surveyed 167 students about their internet and device access Hard-copy or online textbooks? Not sure

11.4% Online



How many of your classes rely on internet access outside Do you have internet access ot home? of school? No Four or more 5.5% One 6% 17%

69.9% Yes





Do you have a device, other than a cell phone, that you can access online books from? No

If you do not have internet or a device at home, are you able to keep up on classes that rely on technology? No

15.7% 84.3%

Two or Three Yes

None of my classes rely on technology





Survey compiled by Ahnya Lewis, Carli Stellwagon and Monica Steffes / Graphic by Anna-Marie Turner and Briauna Huffman


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14 • SEPT 24, 2015


Recovering from tragedy

LHS family copes with loss of business, community helps rebuild after the fire By Abigal Percich For juniors Spencer and Rhiannon Emerson, Pet World has always been a part of their family. Their parents, Sherry and Tim Emerson, have owned Pet World for 27 years and the pet store filled with birds, snakes, bunnies and fish, was an important part of their lives. Although the family spends much of their time at the shop, it was on the rare occasion they weren’t there that their life went up in smoke. “The store has just been such a big part of my life and when it caught fire it just changed my life drastically,” Spencer said. On May 25, Memorial Day, the Emersons were hosting their annual 5K in Jefferson County at a property the family owns. “Every employee from Pet World was out there that day,” Spencer said. The Emersons and the Pet World employees began receiving calls from friends and family informing them of the fire. After rushing to the store the family saw their business consumed by black smoke and flames. “We kept getting calls and stuff saying that ‘Pet World’s on fire, Pet World’s on fire,’” Spencer said. “It really didn’t hit me...until a few days after when I was like, ‘I’m going to go to Pet World — oh.’ Like, I can’t. That’s when it hit me the hardest.” The fire started after noon with an electrical shortage in the store’s


back, Sherry Emerson explained on the Pet World website. The flames and smoke spread quickly. The store was charred black with smoke lines covering the walls and ceilings, she

CARING FOR ANIMALS — Junior Spencer Emerson has worked at his parent’s store, Pet World, for two years. Photo by Abbey Damron

wrote. “There were a bunch of melted things because of how hot the flames got,”

Rhiannon said. What the family most worried about was the animals. Sherry Emerson said

SEPT 24, 2015 • 15

breeder injured snakes in by the the back smoke. Go online for a video about Pet World. room The were the tragedy only anaffected imals that died in the actual the family’s summer in other fire. Other animals, such as a ways, Rhiannon said. kitten named Mindy and the “It was a loss so there store bird, Fletcher, perished wasn’t as many smiles, that’s because of smoke and fumes. for sure,” she said. “The Some animals did survive mood around the house the fire. Many reptiles surchanged.” vived and the tortoises, which The family did, however, were already at a different receive support from the Lawlocation for the summer did, rence community to begin too. rebuilding. “They couldn’t really do “We’ve had a lot, a lot of anything to help themselves support, like it’s unbelievable which was the worst part,” amounts of support and Spencer said. people stepping up to help Spencer and Rhiannon out with whatever they can,” have worked at their parents’ Spencer said. shop for the past two sumThe Emersons opened Pet mers, and this one was no dif- World again at a temporary ferent. But instead of helping location at 23rd and Louisiat the kids camps, Rhiannon ana, next to Lawrence Launcleaned up rubble from dromat and Bikram Yoga. the fire and nursed animals It’s just across the parking lot


ALL SMILES — Juniors Spencer and Rhiannon Emerson pose in front of the new Pet World location. The family business opened there after a May fire. “I like it [the new location],” Spencer said. “It’s smaller and it consists of mainly just supplies and then animals. It’s just a lot more different.” Photo by Abbey Damron GETTING CLOSE — Rhiannon Emerson handles pythons at Pet World. “I am holding a normal ball python, and this one is a pastel python. I’ve always kind of liked them because my dad used to breed snakes, and I would always go back there and hold the babies and help him feed them sometimes,” Rhiannon said. “I really like the different types of pythons because I think they are really pretty.” Photo by Abbey Damron

from the previous location, which they hope to return to. The temporary location is smaller with fewer animals. The family is taking extra precaution to make sure both stores are safer than ever. “The new store is a smaller building, we just have mainly supplies and stuff,” Spencer said. “We only have a few animals. But it’s good to be back in and finding the groove of things again.” The old location is being cleaned of the smoke lines

and debris and will undergo structural changes to fix design flaws and increase fire safety. “We plan on just building it back up, not exactly the same because we had design flaws in our last building that we would like to change but just never got around to it,” Spencer said. Spencer said the family is happy to be back in business and excited for the future. “We’re coming back,” he said.



18 • SEPT 24, 2015


‘Girls Rock!’ empowers teens Local musicians start program for girls, taking on male-dominated genre By Kira Auchenbach The crowd files into The Bottleneck on a Saturday evening, ready to rock. The main lights dim and spotlights hit the stage. The band comes out and the crowd roars as they tune their instruments. The lead singer, Iris Hyde steps up to the microphone. Her band, the Valkyries, just started a week ago and is composed of teenage girls. Hyde introduces the band and then starts singing an original song. The theme? Female empowerment. “It was a song called ‘Labels,’ ” junior Girl’s Rock! camp member Crosby Dold said. “The message is ‘Your words don’t hurt me.’ ” Twenty-one girls, including three from LHS, spent the first week of June at Girl’s Rock! music camp. In five days time, the 11- to 15-year-old girls learned about their instruments, formed bands and wrote their own music in preparation for a final performance at the Bottleneck. Camp directors Angie Schoenherr, Kelly Nightingale, Monica George


and Sally Sanko started the program to create an environment for girls to express themselves through music as well as empower them in the male-dominated genre of rock. “[We want the girls to have] self-confidence and the mentality that they are capable of anything,” George said. “Whether or not they decide to continue music, we wanted to make sure that they were able to gain the life skills

to navigate as an equal in society. We wanted them to have a voice and not doubt their own creativity and opinions because of social and peer forces.” Learning about rock music from women gave campers a unique outlook on the genre. “We had performers during lunch, and it was all women performers and only women taught us, and it was really weird because I’ve never known

another girl that plays guitar,” freshman Inez Robinson said. “So it was like a bunch of cool moms teaching us how to play punk rock music, and it was a lot of fun.” The girls met each other that week and immediately had to start working together. Girls brought their own talents and experiences to camp and were grouped into bands accordingly by age. For the Valkyries,

SEPT 24, 2015 • 19

Dold played electric guitar and sang, and Robinson played electric guitar. “We just kind of started from scratch,” said Robinson, who played electric guitar in the Valkyries. “We had to introduce ourselves because we didn’t know each other,” But they quickly bonded as the wrote songs together, rehearsing with their bands for two or three hours of the overall eight-hour camp day. They also had to learn to embrace different styles. “Well for us, we had so many different people, like genre wise,” Robinson said. “Like Crosby likes Broadway, Iris likes Indie, and I like punk rock, and we ended up kind of making this. It sounded more Indie actually, and it was just about women.” George said it was important for the girls to write their own songs. “It was important to us to give the campers creative

freedom so they felt that they have a voice,” she said. For the Valkyries, the writing process was more intense than they had expected. They only had five days to compose and practice their song before performing live at The Bottleneck. “The first day we made a song and then ditched it,” Robinson said. “The second day, we made another song and then halfway through we had to ditch it again. And so we basically spent four hours — not in a row — making the song, writing the lyrics and then performing it over and over again.” The girls left Rock Camp with new friends and understanding about themselves as musicians. “It really gave me a starting point because we got to perform at the Bottleneck,” Robinson said.

LEANING IN — Freshman Inez Robinson plays her guitar during the Girls Rock! camp. She learned her instrument on-the-fly that week. “I had only been playing guitar for two weeks before the camp,” Robinson said. “We just made things up.” IN HARMONY — Robinson and junior Crosby Dold practice with their band, The Valkyries, at St. John’s Catholic school during camp. MIC’D— In preparation for her band’s performance, Dold practices vocals during Girls Rock! Camp. Photos courtesy of



20 • SEPT 24, 2015

LIMBERING UP — Freshman Eden Kingery stretches out before a practice. She was one of the three freshmen on the varsity gymnastics squad and said she “know[s] all of the girls from LGA (Lawrence Gynamstics Academy).” Photo by Cooper Avery READY TO DIVE — Freshman Hannah Stewart plays during a volleyball match Sept. 1 against Blue Valley Northwest. Photo by Hannah Gaines


SEPT 24, 2015 • 21


Underclassmen make an impact

Young talent on varsity teams projected to bump up records, turn out state qualifiers By Amanda Coatney Upperclassmen will not be the only athletes getting varsity letters at the end of the season this year. Several teams have been supplementing their JV and varsity lineups with young talent, making up for the smaller group of experienced players. Gymnastics and volleyball in particular have seen a large number of young athletes step up. “It’s definitely different since I’m a freshman,” JV outside hitter Michaela Cordova said. “It’s intimidating. It’s also good because I get to meet older girls.” Senior libero Nicolasa Kenney said her younger teammates are melding well with the upperclassmen. “There are two sophomores...[on varsity this year],” she said. “This is their first year on varsity. They’re really stepping up and showing that they belong.” Both gymnastics and volleyball underclassmen are on club teams to train during the high school offseason, but freshman gymnast Eden Kingery said being a part of the LHS team is different. “We practiced all year round [in club] so I was a little more prepared than I am now,” Kingery said. “[But] this is more laid back, so I think it’s more fun.” Despite young teammates having less experience in high school competition, teams are not struggling to progress. The gymnastics team won

its first meet in four years, at the Shawnee Mission West quadrangular on Wednesday Sept. 9, despite having one senior. The team took the lead with 93.7 points while Free State took fourth with 70.5 points. Both athletically and academically, the freshmen are making a smooth transition to the change in routine, gymnastics coach Brooke Kissinger said. “As far as I know they’re transitioning well... I mean it’s only the third week into school so ask me again in two months,” she joked. The new additions are projected to boost the team record as they come off of a difficult few seasons. “No matter what, it’s going to be an exciting season just because we’re starting to bounce back from our little losing streak,” Kissinger said. Although there are no freshman starting on the varsity volleyball team, freshman Laura Willoughby traveled with them for their tournament at Olathe South, coach Stephanie Magnuson said. More freshmen JV players may swing up for postseason. JV athletes have been proving themselves competitive with an 11-0 record. Though there is a greater variety of ages on the teams, the girls are still able to bond in and out of the gym. “This is my third year coaching and by far this is the closest team that I’ve had as far as being friends and going to do things with each

other,” Kissinger said. If anything, the range in age has aided the teams. Freshman are able to learn from the example of upperclassmen and better prepare for future leadership.

“I want them to grow up and be leaders, like the seniors I have now.” Kissinger said. “So I love having underclassmen... and obviously I have great upperclassmen. The combination is good.”

PRACTICING ON BEAM — Freshman Klara Hinson practices after school in the West Gym. With the help of freshmen, the gymnastics team is expected to have a promising season. “It’s kind of intimidating, but at the same time, it’s exciting,” Hinson said. Photo by Cooper Avery


Fall sports kick off

22 • SEPT 24, 2015

Here’s a look at the fall sports programs By Mason Phelps


With 11 returning lettermen, five college recruits and a deep sophomore line-up, the football team has high prospects for the season. “We have high expectations because they have played a lot of football,” head coach Dirk Wedd said. However the team is not relying on experience alone. Players trained during the summer with 7 a.m. workouts as well with nine contact sessions with other high schools to improve their skill sets, including one camp at KU. “Our team goal is to win one game at a time and win the state championship” senior defensive back Ivan Hollins said.


Six seniors with varsity experience will provide leadership as the team fights to improve its record from last year. Aside from having an experienced team, it’s business

as usual in training for the season. “My personal goal for this season is to get out of my head during game preparation, and our team goal is to play as a team and not individually,” senior Nesreen Iskandrani said.

Boys Soccer

The team is looking to build on five returning starters with underclassmen looking to make varsity-level contributions as the team faces a tough schedule. “We’re a young team with young players on varsity,” senior Piper Hubbell said. “We’re looking forward to playing Free State and seeing how the season will play out.” So far, the season has been rough, with a 4-0 loss to rival Manhattan and a 1-0 drop to Topeka. However, the team stays optimistic as members look to get the season back on track.


Young talent may help a gymnastics team that is low on returning athletes. “We have three returning girls and three new freshmen who are really good and [we’re] looking forward to our

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team being really good and making it to state,” senior varsity gymnast Ashley Ammann said. Ammann’s individual goal is to place at state on floor, an event that she competed in last year. Although several athletes qualified for state individually last season, the program aims to qualify as a whole this year.

Cross Country

Overcoming tough competition to be more competitive in the Sunflower League is the goal for the girls and boys cross country teams. Runners worked hard this summer to be stronger and more prepared to compete this year. “I’m looking forward to running with the girls because all varsity girls have been working their butts off all summer,” senior Shaye White said. Senior Nathan Pederson, who competed at state last year, will provide leadership in developing younger runners. “I'm looking forward to all of our competition this year,” he said.

Girls Tennis

The tennis team is looking to repeat last year’s success with a strong state finish. With 28 girls on the team, coach Chris Marshall has a deep senior class to pit against rival teams like Olathe East. “My goal is for each player to get better at the game of tennis,” Marshall said. “That means they will improve their skills and shots. That means they will be more consistent hitting their shots where they are supposed to. They will develop strategies that will help them win points.” Senior Caroline Baloga is looking forward to the journey to the state title. “My personal goal this season is to make it to state and do pretty well,” she said. “The team goal is to get as many people as possible to state as possible.”

Girls Golf

Although the team started the season with only two athletes before recruiting more, freshman Beatrice Lopez and Emily Johnson are looking to improve their games for seasons to come. “My personal goal is to get better as a golfer, since I have not been playing the game long,” Lopez said.

SEPT 24, 2015 • 23


Midfielder takes world stage Varsity starter will step away from school team for U-20 World Cup in Thailand

By Colton Lovelace At the end of September when the U-20 World Cup qualifiers begin, LHS will have a representative playing in it for the first time. Senior varsity midfielder Hunter Jewell will be representing the US commonwealth of Saipan, where he lived from age 5 to the beginning of freshman year, in the qualifiers. “It was a good feeling [being asked], I’ve played with them before in three other tournaments, so I like the opportunity to play overseas and go to places like Thailand,” Jewell said. He and his dad will take the eight hour flight to Thailand to compete. “I played with them [Saipan’s soccer team] previously and went to school with them,” Jewell said. “I went and trained with them this summer, so it’ll be good to see them once again.” Based on the island’s past results, the team will need a miraculous performances to advance to the World Cup, but the feat isn’t impossible, Jewell said. “We’re huge underdogs,” he said. “The islands are very small...we’ve never really won a lot, so we have a long trip. If we win these qualifiers, then we go to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, to face even bigger teams like Japan [and] Australia.” Jewell will miss regular-season games while abroad but Coach Mike Murphy is enthusiastic about his opportunity. “I am very excited for Hunter with this being such a unique experience,” Murphy said. “I am positive in the future he will look back on it with very fond memories.” Playing on the World Cup circuit comes with a massive audience. Jewell looks forward not only to representing Saipan but to playing in front of a global audience. “There should be a pretty good crowd,” he said. “When they played in

Nepal in a similar tournament, there were 20,000 people at each game, so since this in Thailand there should be pretty good crowds. I’m just really excited and ready for this great opportunity.”

DRIBBLING THE BALL — Senior soccer player Hunter Jewell scrimmages during a practice last week at school. Photo by Abbey Damron


24 • SEPT 24, 2015


New uniforms, same traditions Wedd changes uniform style to reflect player preference, renewed program fervor NEW OLD 0 0 0 , 4 $1 rseys) practice je (85 unifor

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Graphic by Susan Rockhold By Amanda Coatney After 60 years of consistency, head football coach Dirk Wedd made an unusual change in the lineup: the style of players’ attire. The shipment of new black uniforms arrived early this summer. Previously, the team wore a white or red jersey with white pants — a look the Lion’s sported for “forever,” Wedd said. “I like them a lot,” senior linebacker Price Morgan said. “It’s cool to finally get black uniforms because we’ve been talking about it since we got here freshman year.” Senior running back J.D. Woods also approved of the change-up. “New style, new look, we’ll play better,” he said. Wedd took players’ requests, advice from recruiters and input from family and assistant coaches into account when deciding on the change. After his decision was made, he met with Principal Matt Brungardt and athletic director Bill


DeWitt to get his design approved. Wedd and the team had, in previous years, earned money through fundraising for the purchase. The team sold “gold cards,” booklets with discounts on local businesses, among other fundraising efforts. The total cost for 85 full uniforms, along with a free set of practice jerseys, came out to be $14,000. This was covered with both the football teams’ funds and aid from the school. Wedd said the season’s seniors earned the uniforms not only through fundraising but also through hard work. As sophomores, 11 players lettered and 18 of them started last season. “[The new jerseys are] top of the line,” Wedd said. “It’s Adidas’ new streamline, real tight.” The more flexible material and tighter fit gives players an advantage on the field. “The materials are different,” Morgan explained. “They’re more compressed to

your body and harder to get a hold of. Especially for running backs, it’s tougher to grab onto them. The offensive lineman can’t hold you when you’re trying to get off a block. It helps a lot.” In addition, the team has to buy 10 to 12 new helmets every year to keep up with safety regulations and sizing. Each helmet costs $200 to $300. The design of the helmets, however, has stayed the same. “I think if I went to a different helmet they’d probably tar and feather me down Mass Street or something.” Wedd smirked as he referred to LHS alumni. The school’s football program is known for being built on tradition, but Wedd does not believe the new uniforms will change that reputation. Instead, thinks the uniforms will be a good change of pace and has high expectations for the team this season. “This is their year, the year Lawrence High went to a different uniform,” he said. “It’ll be something to remember.”

SEPT 24, 2015 • 25


New regulations to protect players National rule changes come to football program By Mary Carr Fewer contact drills and more awareness of concussions are bringing changes to the football program. The latest changes follow similar moves in recent years to attempt to reduce concussions in the sport. This year, that means changes at practices and new game rules. “We’ve got to do whatever we can to protect our kids,” athletic director Bill DeWitt said. “We have to make it a safe sport, and we have to protect our sport. There’s a lot of people that think there’s too much hitting and there’s a lot of concussions and now the science is saying if you don’t take concussions seriously enough you can have long term effects. It’s an adjustment for a lot of people, but every school is having to do it so we all have the same adjustment.” Concussions have become a nation-wide hot topic since the NFL has faced scrutiny over its players long-term health problems, which have been tied to concussions. This year, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Committee issued new guidelines concerning concussions. The NFHS required high schools change their preseason football routines in order to reduce any risks of concussions happen-

ing before the regular season began. “They’ve limited the amount of live contact we can do to 90 minutes a week,” DeWitt said. “It’s changed what we do at Lawrence High, starting with different drills and having the players play to the whistle.” Sophomore Ekow BoyeDoe, a football player, said coaches brought in a speaker to show players how to have a more protective stance and safer tackles. “We all still go as hard as we can,” Boye-Doe said. “We just know to be safer because of the importance of concussions.” Head football coach Dirk Wedd said this isn’t the first time the school has addressed concussions. “All our freshman take a baseline test before the season so if they do get a

concussion during their career, the doctors can use that baseline for rehab,” he said. The baseline test is taken again to assess whether the athlete’s brain is in the same condition it was in before that concussion first occurred so it is clear whether or not they should be playing again. The goal, however, is that they don’t get concussions in the first place. A few specific changes related to the increase in concussions that have been made include: •Spearing definition revised. The rule now states it is “an act by any player who initiates contact against an opponent at the shoulders or below with the crown (top portion) of his helmet.” The “Targeting” rule implemented last year relates to all helmet hits above the shoulders, and the new “Spearing” now

ON THE LINE — Players line up for the first home football game Sept. 4. Recent changes in regulations have limited the amount of contact time in practices and have forbidden the scheduling of two consecutive games. Photo by Aidan Rothrock

declare all helmet hits below the shoulders illegal, forcing defensive players to tackle with their heads up. •Updated unnecessary roughness to include defenseless player and added excessive contact. This new rule helps eliminate all hits that are deemed to bring “roughness” to a defenseless opponent. The combined changes are focused on player safety. “Maybe at one point we used to tell people to be tough, but you can’t play with a concussion,” DeWitt said. “We need to get them off the field if they’ve got one.”



26 • SEPT 24, 2015


Flag’s history denotes racism

Graphic by Ella Denson-Redding

Confederate battle flag still used despite offensive message STAFF EDITORIAL Whether on the back of a truck or above a government building, the Confederate flag was flying through headlines all summer long. On June 15, 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people in the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., after sitting through a Bible study and going on a racist rant. Roof had posted photos of himself with the Confederate flag online, where he also shared racist ideology. The association between Roof ­— who


is a terrorist by definition — and the flag has led many Americans to question the continued use of the flag. After the shooting, public figures like President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush renewed calls to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. On June 20,

thousands of people protested on the grounds for the removal of the flag, helping lead to its move to a nearby museum on July 10. The removal of the flag was backed by Democrats and Republicans and was seen as a step forward. A similar movement to move past national shame has also been seen in Germany, where citizens still to this day feel remorse

Flying the flag was an act of defiance against the beginning of the equalization of black and white Americans.

SEPT 24, 2015 • 27 for Germany’s actions in World War II. But instead of admitting responsibility for clinging to slavery, Americans (particularly in the south) see the Confederate flag as a unifying and prideful reflection of southern heritage. The German attitude should be adopted by Americans, particularly in the southern states. Flying the Stars n’ Bars with pride is like flying an emblem of white supremacy. For these people, the flag has been disassociated from its history. In reality, the flag represents those who wanted to break from the union in order to keep black people enslaved. From that history, it has continued to be embraced by white supremacists. The continued use of the Confederate flag seems to come from a skewed message within the crimson and cobalt design. It has been turned into a symbol of southern pride, while in reality the flag wasn’t really relevant until it was flown above the state capitol grounds in South Carolina in 1962, in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. Flying the flag was an act of defiance against the beginning of the equalization of black and white Americans. Certainly, there are people who fly the flag for their belief in southern pride. Yet, its use by groups like the KKK and people like Roof, make it impossible to see beyond its racist connotation. The intention of the person displaying it is unimportant because it itself represents hostility toward black people and even Mexican and Jewish people. The Confederate flag is a lot like the F-word. Most respectable people will avoid using the F-word, especially in public, because they know someone could be offended by it. The Confederate flag is highly offensive to many groups of people, so if someone personally doesn’t see the Stars ‘n’ Bars as offensive, they should be considerate enough to not display it in order to avoid offending or alienating others.

WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND? Students share their opinions about the Confederate flag

By Krista Hopkins

How do you feel about the display of the Confederate flag and why? “ I don’t see it as a racist thing.” Can you understand the opposing view even if it isn’t your own? Why or why not? “ I can see how other people may have that idea, because it’s been used by racial groups and it’s giving it a bad name.” —Harold Herd, junior How do you feel about the display of the Confederate Flag and why? “ I don’t believe in it because it represents bad things that happened in the past that weren’t really good. I just don’t really agree with it because it symbolizes bad things like slavery and segregation and all of that.” Can you understand the opposing view even if it isn’t your own? Why or why not? “No, I couldn’t because I just don’t see how someone would want to have that displayed because it symbolizes bad things like I said before, so no I really don’t understand it.” —Chelby Coleman, sophomore How do you feel about the display of the Confederate flag and why? “Well, people think it’s their heritage, but the heritage of it is slavery.” Can you understand the opposing view even if it isn’t your own? Why or why not? “ No, because I’m not stupid, and i know the heritage behind it. And I think it is its own meaning.” —Tyler Johnson, sophomore How do you feel about the display of the Confederate flag and why? “ I feel like it’s disrespectful, and I think that it should be taken down. A lot of people believe that it should be kept up because it’s historical, and I have no problem with preserving the flag for historical reasons, but I feel like the flag represents things that shouldn’t be representing America currently.” Can you understand the opposing view even if it isn’t your own? Why or why not? “ I feel like I could understand that because it’s always important to understand both sides of an argument because there’s no perfect answer to any question or any moral question. There’s always two sides. You might understand one side, and it’s also easy to understand the other side. It’s basically like a competition in your mind which moral values outweigh the other.” —Sarah Krambeer, sophomore


28 • SEPT 24, 2015


ROARing too loud

Graphic By Ella Denson-Redding

District-wide attempt to promote good behavior proves unfit for high school environment, could be effective with changes By Zia Kelly In anticipation of my senior year, I can honestly say I did not expect a 10-minute hand-washing seminar to be built in to my teachers’ curricula. But hey, you never know. Among the strenuous demands placed on students when they came back to school in August — from waking up at a decent hour to remembering locker combinations — they were first and foremost asked to “ROAR with Pride.” Luckily for us, ROAR primarily demands students remember how to act like functional human beings.


Go online for our satirical video about ROAR.


With mandates like “use inside voices” and “engage in non-aggressive conflict resolution” — things 80 percent of students understand according to KU studies — it seems that the bare-minimum is the new expectation. However, as reflected in the morning announcements, paper tickets and in required class lessons, the school is painstakingly set on implementing the ROAR expectations, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are student behaviors that are destructive and need to be addressed. There are the kids who stop in the middle of the hallway without regard for the people behind them. Students shout disparaging slurs at each other during passing period. Students often treat the custodial

staff like their personal butlers. There may be a need for a program like ROAR to set clear expectations for every student. Asking teachers to specify those expectations could also be valuable to reinforcing the things students need to know. The entire district has taken this into account, applying a child behavioral model created at KU to each of the schools. ROAR has equivalents at each of the USD 497 elementary, middle and high schools to teach students appropriate behavior. However, as good as the intentions are, the program isn’t getting through to students. The material teachers were given to teach ROAR were inappropriate for and irrelevant to high school students. First, it is astoundingly similar to

SEPT 24, 2015 • 29 the so-called CI3T material presented two of my teachers addressed their at the elementary level. It has not theme at all. been updated properly for secondNo one was complaining, preparary students, which has made the ing for the next week’s quiz seemed effort into a mockery among many more pressing than debating whether students. or not it’s OK to text in the bathPerhaps, there is no way to teach room. But in order for an initiative a class of high school students bathlike ROAR to work, the entire staff room expectations without being needs to be able to get behind it. condescending. But ROAR goes a What I personally take issue most step further with suggested bathroom with, however, are the ROAR role play options. For example: tickets. I understand positive re“You go into a stall to use the inforcement can be a good tool toilet and the toilet has not flushed. to helping people learn expecWhat should you do?” tations, but the way the tickets The entire program became a lot are geared is rewarding students more difficult for literally the to take seribare minimum. There may be a need for a program ously once the And that can be like ROAR to set clear expectations bathroom was damaging. put on the list. For many for every student. Asking teachers to And if there kids in high specify those expectations could also is anything school, arguably teenagers don’t some of the 20 be valuable to reinforcing the things respond to percent that ROAR students need to know. well, it’s being is supposed to be talked down to. aimed at, LHS will Although be their last environteachers were ment before entering instructed to the workforce. In tailor their ROAR lessons to their the real world, you aren’t rewarded classes, they were given no material solely for not screwing things up. that seemed age-appropriate. While You aren’t hired or promoted for the role-plays could be amusing (so just showing up and appearing to do much so they inspired a script for a your job. video we posted at Why would we tell people who are they undermine the very message learning how to be adults that it will ROAR is trying to reinforce by turnbe rewarded? I don’t understand. ing it into a joke among students. However, I do think that what The seven categories chosen, the coordinators of ROAR are trying although apparently driven by teacher to do could be beneficial. They just grievances, seem random and unnecneed to be re-geared to be appropriessary. ate and relevant. For instance, lecturing a class Here may be some suggestions: about buses for 10 minutes seems like 1. Decide on categories that are time poorly-spent when only two or relevant to most students. Instead three of those kids are likely to ride it of discussing buses, maybe we could on a daily basis. spend that time discussing parking And not to make too big of a deal lot etiquette, study habits or how to about this, but asking students to give get help with classwork. “Our best effort” in the bathroom 2. Present them in an age-approis, aside from humorous, vague and priate manner. Although they’re fun, confusing. Perhaps gross, too. role-playing may have to be ruled-out. To be fair, I am not the first one Instead, give teachers straightforward to point out ROAR’s flaws. As well talking points that don’t undermine as students, teachers have recogtheir audience. nized the strange and inappropriate 3. Reward people for going aboverequests of the program, and many and-beyond opposed to adhering to chose not to address it at all. basic expectations. In the first seven days of school We would better equip students when we were supposed to have a for their futures by teaching them to 10-minute lecture in each class, only work hard for recognition.


Students express their opinions on ROAR “I don’t think that a lot of people take it seriously especially because some of the teachers aren’t very supportive about it.” Venessa Hernandez, junior

“I really like don’t care about it... You shouldn’t have to explain how you should act during school.” Bronxton McGee, Senior

“It got me a free ChickFil-A gift card.” ­Ja’Relle Dye, sophomore

“I think it’s helpful in some ways, but then again...some of the teachers didn’t explain it very well and then some of the other ones explained it too well. It’s kind of hard too because we don’t have class time to go do it. If we did, that would be awesome.” Liz Hernly, freshman PAGE DESIGN BY NIA RUTLEDGE • LHSBUDGET.COM


30 • SEPT 24, 2015

Textbook shortage frustrates

Technology-based switch proves problematic

By Kansas Gibler Three of my classes began the year short on books. No more German 3 books from 1992 and a delay on AP textbooks. Students are seeing a mass switch to online text reliance as USD 497 transitions into more technology-based blended learning. The switch itself has had misstep after misstep, making a change that students were already reluctant to make even more problematic. From broken logins to broken internet connections, teachers and students have seen a multitude of problems with the rollout of the two-to-one system with textbooks, meaning that some classes are supplied with textbooks for only half of their students. AP U.S. History teachers were issued 13 textbooks each, after being promised a two-to-one ratio of students to textbooks. Online textbooks were to be used by other students. The district has stated that they will rectify the shortage of books, which was supposed to allow half of the students books, but some teachers are still unsure when those books will be issued. All that’s known with the new APUSH books is that the district has placed a “rush order” on more of them. I was unfortunate enough to have a login for the book that didn’t work and was issued a book a few days before the chapter one quiz so I could cram the notes into two nights after work. German three and four had our books taken away, which is a problem considering that our teacher, Arne Scholz is in his first year teaching German in America. Having a textbook provides a curriculum that classrooms can follow. Former German teacher Natalie Aaron had tried to convince the district to buy the program new books but even the resources we had



Graphic by Joaquin Dorado-Mariscal

last year are gone. Now the program only has books from the early 1990s ­— that my dad used during his German classes at LHS — for levels one and two. Meanwhile, the three and four classes don’t have any textbooks. AP Environmental Science was given books, but in Lisa Ball’s third hour section of APES, only three books were left after being passed out to first hour in the second week of school. The rest of her students received books on Sept 14, after Ball had given printed copied booklets of the textbook through chapter 4. “We don’t know exactly who to contact because when we email, no one answers the teachers’ emails about that. When we directly contact the book people they don’t answer teachers’ emails so we don’t know the status. We’re just waiting and copying,” Ball said. “Spending our lunches copying and wasting trees.”

Even if we had books, having an online textbook isn’t the optimal learning technique for everyone. I like to be able to look down at my book and my notes side by side, which is hard when my device at home is a laptop. Having a one-to-one system, which the district is approaching, is in the favor of teachers like Ball. “We need books for every kid or we need a device for every kid,” she said. Having online texts is a nice option but I don’t think it should be the only option for students, especially students in my class and older. A lot of us haven’t had any experience with blended learning and my conversations with peers have shown that less than half of them prefer online textbooks to physical ones. So, providing books for less than half of the kids in these junior and senior level classes is insufficient.

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32 • SEPT 24, 2015


‘Just keep swimming’

How did you find out about being nominated for Homecoming Court and what was your first reaction?

Stefan Petrovic: “I’m student body president, so I found out through Mr. [Jason] Lichte who texted me the names and said, ‘Oh by the way, congratulations,’ then told me to tweet them out on the student council account.”

Griffin Hardy: “I received a Snapchat from someone that said ‘Congrats,’ and I didn’t know what it was about, and then I just went on Twitter right after that, and then I saw that I was nominated for Homecoming king.”

Madi Mask: “I was at a tournament and

Kari Karnes: “Mr. Lichte texted me,

Ivan Hollins: “Amanda she said

StuCo’s tweets popped up, and I was with Erin Ventura, and we both saw our names on there, so we smiled and just hugged each other for a couple of minutes before we went back out.”

too, and I was really excited.”

she voted for me, and I was like, ‘Oh, didn’t know I was on the board’ and was like that’s pretty cool. And then I made it to the top six, so we’re here now.”

Kennedi Wright-Conklin: “I found

Roscoe Bradt: “I was standing in formation with the marching band for Band Day, and a couple people rushing into line right before the parade started...told me. I was really excited. I haven’t really gotten to do anything like this before, and I’m so thankful that I get to. ”

Kai Blosser: “I found out on Twitter, and I was excited, and I ran into the kitchen and told my dad.”

Ashley Ammann: “Mr. Lichte texted me and was like ‘Congrats,’ and I was like ‘Thanks, but for what?’ Like I had no idea that I had made it until I looked on Twitter.”

Elliott Abromeit:“[I] looked at

Allie Ramos: “I was at a barbecue competition, and I just looked at my phone and Hannah Reed texted me in all caps, “CONGRATULATIONS,” so i like started jumping up and down.”

Shaye White: “I was running in a cross

out from the LHS StuCo tweet, but actually my friend Macey had texted me to go look at it, so that’s how I found out. I was just really excited, because lately it’s been a tough time, so it was like a good, good news that like brightened up my day.”

Price Morgan: “I saw the Tweet Saturday morning. I was pretty happy — a little surprised — but overall pretty happy.”

the Tweet that student council sent out, and I was like ‘yeah.’ ”


Erin Ventura: “I was at a tennis tournament with Madi Mask, and we both just started hugging... and we found out on Twitter.”

country meet, and I was changing for the band parade thing...and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I was so excited, and I told all my band friends.”

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