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THE

NORTH STAR

Issue 8, Volume 26 Blue Valley North Overland Park, KS April 13, 2012

With hundreds of millions of users, Facebook has become a defining part of high school students’ lives. But those online personalities are beginning to impact how we’re perceived in real life – and at school, administrators worry. So how much control does the administration have over the content you post online? Turn to pages 8 and 9 to find out.

The best pump up jams of spring – pg. 4

Junior artist searches for self expression – pg. 6

New ways to help you keep your beach bod – pg. 11


02 the north star

news 04.13.12

[Reid This]

A database debate Students and librarians weigh in on

T

Tech-ed off

pros, cons and cost of e-resources

he Blue Valley District spends $200,000 each year providing its schools with databases and e-resources. That number may surprise you, but the Blue Valley budget reflects the significance of Gale Online Databases and SIRS Researcher for Comm Arts classes and beyond. “Using these databases is how it is done in college. This is how the academic community does research. If our students aren’t exposed to using something other than Google, they will be prepared to fail in their college research,” librarian Abby Cornelius said. Some students, however, are not buying the emphasis placed on these e-resources and databases. One senior, Amy*, expressed her frustration with the money spent by the district. “I don’t understand how, in this time of budget cuts and teacher dismissals, we can be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on databases that

I’ve used twice in high school. Do we really need all of them?” she said. There are a plethora of database options available to students: those that are provided by the state, those purchased by the district and those that the school pays for itself. “We probably have about 50 databases,” librarian Terri Snethen said. “Gale makes up most of that number by itself, and here at BVN we buy ProQuest in addition to what the district provides, which takes up a significant portion of our budget. We have a huge number of resources to use for research.” Senior Ben* recognizes the benefits and is grateful that we have these resources at school, but the cost still startles him. “I think it’s great that we have all of these database options. I’ve talked to past seniors who have returned from college and talked about how much research in high school prepared them for college. But still, that number is absolutely shocking. I had

Should schools and the district be spending more than $200,000 on databases?

Student Poll 100 students

no idea that they cost that much,” he said. Despite the student skeptics, Cornelius believes wholeheartedly that these resources are worth every penny. Students, she says, don’t yet understand how important research will be in their college careers, and they need to learn how to research correctly now. “Students don’t realize that in college Google won’t cut it. Professors and teacher assistants will not stand it. A student using Google as a research tool in college will be looked at as stupid and not taken seriously,” Cornelius said. Despite the database debate, students continue to explore Gale and SIRS for research projects, and librarians continue to stress the importance of online resources. With the financial backing of the district, databases will continue to be a significant part of a student’s arsenal.

I

Evan Watson Staff Writer

Will using these databases help prepare you for college research?

f you skimmed that story to the left of this column, you noticed a staggering statistic that pegged district spending on database expenditure in our school at $200,000. A great deal of this is put to good use. Still, many databases offered languish in obscurity, victims of the limited handful of research papers that require the aid of Gale or SIRS but never ProQuest or Discover Streaming. It’s not just in the library, however, where district spending goes to waste. It can be found anywhere in this nationwide initiative for technology integration. Amidst the myriad online textbooks and dubiously functioning SMART boards (math teachers will attest), one wonders what’s happened to the core of learning that encourages a struggle for the mastery of material rather than the mastery of remembering the password to Math XL. What’s more, the district is exploring the plausibility of iPads in the classroom. With two full carts of laptops and a handful of computer labs around the school, one wonders what technological need this cutting edge technology would satisfy besides the “cool factor.” Understandably, small groups of students are benefited by each of these various modes of technology. But most students prefer the presence of hard-copy textbooks to online homework anyway. Why not continue these options and cut down on the added expense of further technological integration? In the end, as convenient options that include technology in the classroom bloom, this district, like all others, must remember that its duty lies with us – the students–, not with ever-pressing demands to innovate the same way other districts are expected to.

Reid Eggleston

News Editor


03 the north star

ads

04.13.12


04 the north star sports 04.13.12

Learning to breaK barriers S

Senior Ashley Ko finds physical, mental strength through Taekwondo

tanding in front of her peers at an elementary school, a then10-year-old Ashley Ko swings her arms into a graceful position and begins to perform Taekwondo, an ancient Korean martial art. Ko has continued to practice her passion for the subsequent decade. “I enjoy doing Taekwondo because it’s what sets me apart from other people. Not many people do what I do. It’s a part of who I am,” Ko said. Ko’s father left Korea with a small suitcase and an even smaller English vocabulary to pursue a dream in America. He wanted to make a living teaching Taekwondo. Though a little uncertain about connecting with the community, in 1976 he fulfilled his vision by opening Ko’s Black Belt Academy in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Since opening the first Academy, he has expanded to four different locations. The martial art has had a profound affect on his daughter’s life. “I got my black belt when I was 8,” Ko said. “Once you hit black belt, that’s when the journey really starts. There are further levels of black belt called Dan. I am third Dan. Once you hit fourth Dan you’re an instructor and when you hit fifth Dan you’re a master.” Ko helps out her father as an assistant instructor and spends most of her time working with kids. She

finds teaching children gratifying and fulfilling. “[Teaching kids] requires the willingness and the patience to help. I find it great that I may have a positive impact on their lives,” Ko said. Despite having a positive impact on others’ lives and her own, Ko sometimes finds living in a family fully committed to martial arts challenging. “It was difficult learning Taekwondo at first,” Ko said. “My father was very strict. If we didn’t have any discipline, [my father] made us get discipline. On the other hand, Taekwondo has benefited me. It made me more involved. It’s a great stress reliever and overall it helped with coordination and organization of my time.” Ko challenges herself in Taekwondo by participating in competitions locally, regionally and nationally. She has won various medals participating in Poomsae, which means form. Poomsae focuses on the positioning of the body and the artistic aspects of Taekwondo. “The greatest thing I ever achieved was when I won a silver medal at nationals last year,” Ko said. “Poomsae focuses more on the martial arts and it’s by yourself. You have to do a memorized sequence of steps and technique as perfectly as you can, in

front of judges.” Ko hopes to win gold this year on the Kansas City Taekwondo team. While not participating in competitions or helping out at the Academy, Ko spends her time like any other teen. “I hang out with my friends, like my friend Addison,” Ko said. “We like to go to dances and go crazy. We like to bake cakes and cupcakes. We like to watch movies.” “I think it’s really cool and unique that Ashley does Taekwondo,” senior Addison Astroff said. “It’s a part of Asian culture that not a lot of people experience.” Ko said she doesn’t want a life

exclusively focused on Taekwondo and plans to explore her interest in pharmacy in college and as a career. “I want to teach [Taekwondo] some of the time and involve myself in some events and competitions, because competition is very fun,” Ko said. For now, Ko will enjoy her last few months of high school and continue to teach at the Academy. “Once you join the Academy you’re basically family,” Ko said. “Everyone is so close and knows one another. All of it just makes me happy.”

Berkeley Lovelace Feature Editor

Senior Ashley Ko practices taekwondo in her family’s studio. Photo by Christin Smith.

Get in the zone:The only pump-up playlist you’ll ever need W

hether it’s pre-game or pre-workout, cranking up the tunes can help you crank out extra endurance according to Dr. Costas Karageorghis at Brunel University’s School of Sport and Education. Pump up the volume! “The Beast - Tech N9NE” This metal/rap mashup reps Kansas City like none other.

“Levels (Skrillex Remix) - Avicii” Two necessities at the gym: water and dubstep.

“300 Violin Orchestra - Jorge Quintero” “Gonna Fly Now - Billy Conti” Somehow adaptations of classical music Rocky’s boxing showdowns are history, but his famous rift remains just as inspiring. blows me away.

Senior Ryan Shapiro listens to his iPod before beginning a workout. Photo by David Tauber.

“Party Up in Here - DMX” DMX gets so hyped he barks in his music... enough said.

“Remember the Name - Fort Minor” One dope flow and the motivation to create a legacy.

“Lose Yourself - Eminem” If Marshall Mathers can make it out of 8 mile, you can do one more repetition.

“Night of my Life - DJ Pauly D” G.T.L. all day, every day. You just can’t escape the Jersey Shore.

David Tauber Sports Editor


the north star sports 04.13.12

A field of dreams and futures

05

Simple game of catch becomes lifelong passion

Spencer picks off a baserunner during practice. Photo by Alex Scimecca.

Gooding hits the ball during a softball game with her club team last year. Photo by Ali Fallucca.

F

or most, the mention of baseball or softball conjures up memories of kicking sand in the infield and numbing hours in the sun. Seniors Mary Gooding and Grant Spencer feel drastically different about the game. The two have immersed themselves in America’s pastime and plan to pursue the sport in college. Spencer’s father, Glenn, played collegiate ball at George Washington University. Glenn remembers the first time he and his son played catch, and hardly believes the same boy, now a lanky 6ʹ1˝ right-hander, will take the mound for Wake Forest next year. “Today, he’s a very young senior; he’ll still be 17 when he graduates,”

Seniors Mary Gooding and Grant Spencer hang out on the field before practice. Both are looking forward to their years ahead of college sports.

Ali Fallucca Photographer

Glenn said. “He has made tremendous progress over the past 18 months and I see that continuing for several years ahead.” Playing toss with Dad isn’t exclusive to father and son, however. Gooding, who is headed to Purdue University, says her father, Steve, inspired her to follow her passion for softball. “My dad practices with me almost every single day. He loves [baseball] so much. We will go out and hit and play practice games,” Gooding said. Like most years, the baseball and softball teams are above average, but far from the top of the heap. North baseball last won the state championship in 1997; softball in

1993. The sharpest and most frequent criticism of the sport is that it is just plain boring. Gooding is determined to quash that myth, but could care less about the crowds. “We have parents, and that’s like all we have at the games. I don’t play for people to watch,” Gooding said. “It never gets boring when you are playing. Watching, though, I’m always like, ‘oh my gosh, it’s so slow!’” For both, the game has meant much more than sunburns and statistics. Baseball and softball are their pastimes and their future. “My biggest regret is not playing freshman year. Some of my best

friends now are girls from the team,” Gooding said. “I’ve spent so much of my life working at it and practicing. That’s my payoff, getting my college paid for. All the work was for that.” The sport has brought them excitement, memories, friendship and education. “I’ve played baseball since I’ve been 5 years old. That helped me get into Wake [Forest],” Spencer said. “I have grown a lot in high school and now I have the chance to make real strides. It is nice to look back. From here, it is up to me.”

David Tauber Sports Editor


06 the north star feature 04.13.12 Junior Jorge Garnelo looks at his masterpiece. Many of the colors and media he works with are inspired by the challenges he faces in his own life. Photo by Christin Smith.

GARNELO DEFIES DEFINITION

T

he artist crafts a symphony of lines, spaces and broad swaths of color that are simultaneously unique and unified. The image continues from the tip of junior Jorge Garnelo’s pen to the blank page in front of him. For Garnelo, this is self-expression. “I express myself in the way I dress,” Garnelo said. “I color my hair. I like to draw, especially models. I like lots and lots of colors, not just black or white.” But Garnelo sees something beyond the colors themselves. It’s his fascination with the imaginary, in fact, that inspire him to find beauty in what he creates. “Imagination inspires me, things that aren’t real…dreams, things that don’t exist, things that I wish did,” Garnelo said. “I think reality is boring. You have to have a lot of imagination to be happy and to feel truly alive.” Much as Garnelo’s enchantment with the surreal has always been a factor in his life, he’s long been aware of another trait that makes up part of his identity. “I’d dated girls before, but I always knew I liked both sexes,” Garnelo said. “It wasn’t like there was a

moment that I changed. There was no journey. I was always this. I was always bisexual.” But it was never as simple as stating who he was. As his mother, Midia Hickman, explains, the Mexican environment in which Jorge grew up was anything but nurturing for a boy trying to find himself. “It is very hard being part of Mexican culture, because they expect you to be a macho man,” Hickman said. “For Jorge, I knew it wasn’t easy to be different. It’s your first child, and they’re expected to be something for the family. Jorge wasn’t what Mexican culture supported, but for me, he is so much more than that.” Garnelo remembers lonely summer afternoons with his only companions the swirling waves of imagination surging through his mind. “I’ve never been in a group like fitting in with the normal people. [When I lived] in Mexico, I used to get bullied because I didn’t play sports like everyone else,” Garnelo said. “Sometimes I think back and it hurts to know people who are different are treated like outcasts, but then I remember that those times helped to define me.”

Garnelo said his passion for art also helps to shape his self-concept. “Me as an artist, and me as my many other faces, they’re all mixed up. If I could separate all parts of myself, I would not be Jorge, I would be only pieces of a puzzle. And I know I’m more than that,” he said. Garnelo associates that which he creates with the freedom he has found through self-expression. His art teacher, Tom Holland, recognizes the unique perspective Garnelo brings to the easel. “He’s kind of a different brand of artist. Most of my students, they like to paint things—tangible objects,” Holland said. “Jorge works more in patterning. He likes the psychedelic. I mean, every artist has his own style, but Jorge’s is truly unique.” Despite support from friends and teachers, Garnelo feared most the acceptance of his family. “It was hard for me [to come out],” Garnelo said. “I was worried what my family would say.” But today Garnelo credits much of his comfort in self-expression to their support. “I tell Jorge I’ve always got his back. I think everyone is different, but I

love him all the more because he is different,” Hickman said. And while he puts a great deal of faith in the tolerance of his family, he is wary of seeking out justification for his sexual orientation from everyone else. “I don’t care about what other people think of me. I care about what my family thinks, but that is because I love them very much. The other people, they do not matter,” Garnelo said. Garnelo carries a message of tolerance to those who are quick to judge. “Get to know me before you judge me,” he said. “I am bisexual, but I can be defined by more than one word. I am also an artist, a student, a son… many more things.” Garnelo gently scrubs away errant lines of his drawing, adding a sense of finality to his piece. He offers a last word of advice. “I would say listen to yourself, not other people,” he said. “Do not care if they judge you. You live in a place where it’s okay to be different. Take advantage of that. Be who you are.”

Reid Eggleston

News Editor


the north star feature 04.13.12

A family on the spectrum

07

The Breedloves’ journey

The Breedlove family (from left to right: Leslie, Ethan, Jeff and Matthew) spends time together on a summer vacation at Figure Eight Island, NC. Photo provided by Jeff Breedlove.

“I

t’s always there in the back of your mind, wherever you are,” Jeff Breedlove, history teacher, said. Breedlove’s son, Matthew, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. At first, Breedlove recalls feeling shocked, devastated and grief-stricken. “It’s something you don’t know how to deal with right away because you never expect this to happen to you. It’s a real paradigm shift,” Breedlove said. “There was a lot of confusion and sadness. Autism was such an abstract idea at the time,” Leslie Breedlove, Jeff ’s wife and Matthew’s mother, said. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning there are levels of severity that manifest differently based on the individual. Matthew is in the middle of the spectrum; medium to high functioning. Jeff stressed that autistic kids aren’t that different from the rest of us. “I like to use the analogy of a toaster and a hair dryer. Most people’s brains are toasters and make great toast. Autistic kids’ brains are like hair dryers. Sure, they can make toast, but it takes longer and probably won’t look the same as your toast. However, it is still toast. Tastes the same and is just as good,” Jeff said. This lesson is one that the Breedloves have instilled in their younger son, Ethan. “We’ve always tried to teach Ethan that people will treat Matthew based on the example that he sets. He has a lot of responsibility,” Leslie said. “Matthew might not talk or act like you, but he is just as special as the rest of us. He will play and talk with you. You just have to push harder,” Ethan said. Within weeks of the diagnosis, Jeff and Leslie took Matthew to Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center, an organization that offers intensive therapy for children in the Kansas City area. Since then, he has been in multiple therapy programs.

When Matthew was 7, the Breedloves decided they needed to try something new. After hearing about Brain Balance, a program designed to help kids overcome neurological challenges, Leslie and the kids moved to Peachtree City, Georgia, for six months, while Jeff stayed in Kansas. “Moving to Georgia was a no-brainer, but it was hard. It taught us the importance of community; the importance of being surrounded by supportive friends,” Leslie said. With help from investors, the Breedloves raised enough money to bring the program to Kansas. Now, Matthew is back at home, preparing to graduate from Leawood Elementary School. Although their son’s upbringing may not be traditional, the Breedloves want Matthew’s

“He might not act or talk like you, but he is just as special as the rest of us.” childhood to be as normal as possible. “We want him to do things that a typical fifth-grader would do. He participates in school musicals, plays Special Olympics sports and dresses normally. It’s important to play the part,” Jeff said. Each day brings new challenges, but the Breedloves are unwilling to be defeated by them. “You have to be constantly thinking of ways to make situations successful in which you normally wouldn’t, like at a birthday party or a restaurant, you just have to be prepared,” Jeff said. “There are days when you want to crawl in a corner and cry, but we know we can endure a lot. We’ve learned to celebrate the small, everyday triumphs that others take for granted,” Leslie said.

Ethan (left) and Matthew (right) attend Camp Barnabas during the summer. The camp works with special needs campers and their siblings. Photo provided by Jeff Breedlove.

A conversation that Jeff had with his grandmother has remained with him since Matthew’s diagnosis. “She told me there was a reason why we [my wife and I] were chosen, and I think she’s right. I do believe there’s some greater purpose that we all have in life, and this is part of mine,” Jeff said. The Breedloves feel that they can make change by advocating for autism awareness, especially during April, National Autism Awareness Month. “I have two options. I can either accept the diagnosis and let life happen, or I can stop it from beating me down and advocate so that maybe it’s easier for the next kid, or the next kid,” Jeff said. One way the Breedloves advocate is by participating in Light It Up Blue, an event that falls on Matthew’s birthday, April 2. For the first two nights of April, homes around the world light up blue to show support. The opportunity to participate may have already passed, but there are still many other ways to help in the autism community. “Kids can get involved with Special Olympics, Autism Speaks, fundraising events or peer mentoring programs,” Jeff said. With more children being diagnosed with autism each year, Leslie reiterated the importance of having a strong, supportive community. “Everyone has an opportunity to help out a ‘Matthew Breedlove’; trying to understand and accept [him or her] really makes a difference. The more empathetic people can be, the more it helps families like ours,” Leslie said. In honor of Matthew, the Breedloves started their own foundation to help send kids to camp, teach school districts about autism and give scholarships to families. “It’s called the Rockstar Foundation,” Jeff said, “because Matthew is our rock star.”

Danny Rosenberg

Staff Writer


08

the north star feature 04.13.12

the north star feature 04.13.12

Surviving social media STUDENT OPINIONS senior “Well the thing with the recent photo is the way it was taken a very long time ago, not even in baseball season. Yet they waited until the season started to bring it up.” senior “I think if there was a band or DECA member that was caught online, they would have consequences just like an athlete would. For example, they wouldn’t take a DECA member to nationals to represent our school that had gotten in trouble a month prior. I just think you don’t see many partying FBLA/DECA/Band/orch kids!”

senior “I don’t like the administration getting involved in our online lives. Seriously, what if a parent who doesn’t like a kid is constantly snooping around Facebook to try and find dirty [pictures of] someone and then they turn it in? It just isn’t fair. Yeah, it’s dumb to post photos of underage drinking and drug use online, but we shouldn’t have to be constantly on the edge because we will get in trouble at school. I mean, what if a kid’s parents already saw the pictures, gave huge consequences and then somone turns it into the school, and now they are in even more trouble. I understand administration trying to protect us from online bullying and to prevent issues, but trying to catch us for when we mess up just seems wrong.”

“I

Lily Lieberman Staff Writer

Sarah Campbell

What  you  should  know  before  you  post

f you look for it, you’re going to find it,” Senior PJ Woodward said. Woodward was referring to pictures of high school students drinking on Facebook or Twitter, which recently landed him a suspension from four baseball games. “There’s a picture of me and some guys drinking on Facebook, and someone sent a picture to the SROS, [who] gave it to Mr. Masterson. It was from like a year ago,” Woodward said. Woodward, the only athlete involved in the incident, violated the substance abuse policy which prohibits the use or possession of alcohol and drugs by athletes, whether at a schoolsponsored event or not. “I was the only athlete so the other guys didn’t get in trouble,” Woodward said. The issue at hand, Woodward said, is not that he got in trouble, but that athletes are held to a higher standard than kids involved in clubs. “They’re targeting athletes and holding them more accountable [than students involved in other activities.] If a kid in band or DECA got caught, nothing would happen,” Woodward said. The incident has raised issues about the ethics of getting athletes in trouble for posting rulebreaking content online – but no one else. Athletic Director Mickey Masterson said that athletes must understand the impact they have on their peers. “The main issue is that they understand that as an athlete, to represent their school is a privilege, and that they agreed to not participate in drugs and alcohol. There are hundreds of kids that are abstaining [from drugs and alcohol] and doing it the right way,” Masterson said. But students wonder just how the administration finds photos of athletes violating the substance abuse policy. “Students or parents bring in some sort of

evidence weekly. Typically it’s students and parents from our school who are concerned about something that’s out there,” Principal Dr. Tonya Merrigan said. Masterson stated that he “rarely” receives notifications regarding rule-breaking content online. When something is brought to his attention, Masterson said he’ll take action, but only if the source is more reliable than a parent. “I don’t take things from other parents or anonymous sources,” Masterson said. “[The pictures] are hard to authenticate. It takes a lot of time to investigate. We talk to multiple people, including those in the picture. We take into account where it came from and make sure it’s provable,” Dr. Merrigan said. Dr. Merrigan said she realizes the difficulty of investigating a potential violation of school policy and tries not to jump to conclusions. “We don’t go out and search for these things, but when they’re brought to our attention, we take into consideration what are we allowed to do about it. The typical response is to contact the parents,” Dr. Merrigan said. “If the picture violates something in the drug and alcohol policy [and it involves an athlete], then we take action through suspension of extracurriculars. School discipline is not part of the drug and alcohol policy,” Masterson said. Students have raised concerns that the administration accesses social media after school hours. Dr. Merrigan said that isn’t the case. “If I were sitting at home in my pajamas [looking at Facebook], that’s a violation of privacy. The flip side is if I ignore it and something

“The  school   administrators  are   not  the  police.”

happens. Safety is number one.We have to figure out how we can use [social media] responsibly here at school,” Dr. Merrigan said. The administration does find out about outside-of-school activities, though, even those of non-athletes. At the end of first semester, senior Morgan Shapiro was involved in a similar situation to Woodward’s, but since she wasn’t an athlete, she wasn’t disciplined. “TotalSMEMove tweeted a picture of me...with a beer bong in the background and the tweet, ‘this is how BVN does it.’ I’m not completely sure how they got the picture because when we looked on Facebook it wasn’t there,” Shapiro said. “Then a girl went to the administration complaining about TotalBVNMove because her name was tagged [in a tweet]. The administration started investigating and found my picture by looking into this unrelated topic.” Shapiro’s father explained to Masterson that they were going to handle the incident as a family. Given that that it happened over the summer and off school grounds, Masterson consented. Since there was no proof of alcohol, no one was in serious trouble. “I think it’s really none of their business unless there’s proof in the picture. The administration doesn’t need to be snooping to get us in trouble deliberately. It’s not their responsibility because it was over the summer, not during the school year,” Shapiro said. Woodward said he feels this snooping is a violation of privacy. “It’s definitely hypocritical. Getting caught by the police is a whole different thing. The school administrators are not the police. Their mission is to run the school, not find out who’s drinking on the weekends,” Woodward said.

³:HKDYHWR¿JXUH out  how  we  can  use   [social  media]   responsibly  here  at   school.”

Design Editor

LEGAL VS. ETHICAL: IT MAY TECHNICALLY BE LEGAL, BUT IS IT RIGHT?

A social media policy was recently emailed to BVN coaches and activity sponsors which asks them to include social media policies in their codes of conduct and discourage “sexually explicit” and “derogatory language” and “nude, sexually-oriented, indecent images, or altered pictures.”

Doug Bonney, Chief Counsel & Legal Director of the ACLU, explained why this is not a violation of constitutional law: 1. “Uninclusiveness is not an issue. Just because DECA and FBLA don’t have a drug and alcohol policy doesn’t mean they need to eliminate the policy for athletes.” 2. “The school can’t punish you for the act of posting a picture on social media. You can only punish for the underlying conduct.” 3. “You can use pictures on social media as evidence.”

Broadcast teacher Charlie Huette’s thoughts on the ethical side of the issue:

“It’s really close to surveillance. I understand there’s a dangerous connotation associated with that. The line between censorship and surveillance is getting increasingly blurred. I don’t perceive this [guideline] as being extreme, it’s just that when I look at it, its implicit suggestion is that my role as a sponsor is to surveil my students.”

09


08

the north star feature 04.13.12

the north star feature 04.13.12

Surviving social media STUDENT OPINIONS senior “Well the thing with the recent photo is the way it was taken a very long time ago, not even in baseball season. Yet they waited until the season started to bring it up.” senior “I think if there was a band or DECA member that was caught online, they would have consequences just like an athlete would. For example, they wouldn’t take a DECA member to nationals to represent our school that had gotten in trouble a month prior. I just think you don’t see many partying FBLA/DECA/Band/orch kids!”

senior “I don’t like the administration getting involved in our online lives. Seriously, what if a parent who doesn’t like a kid is constantly snooping around Facebook to try and find dirty [pictures of] someone and then they turn it in? It just isn’t fair. Yeah, it’s dumb to post photos of underage drinking and drug use online, but we shouldn’t have to be constantly on the edge because we will get in trouble at school. I mean, what if a kid’s parents already saw the pictures, gave huge consequences and then somone turns it into the school, and now they are in even more trouble. I understand administration trying to protect us from online bullying and to prevent issues, but trying to catch us for when we mess up just seems wrong.”

“I

Lily Lieberman Staff Writer

Sarah Campbell

What  you  should  know  before  you  post

f you look for it, you’re going to find it,” Senior PJ Woodward said. Woodward was referring to pictures of high school students drinking on Facebook or Twitter, which recently landed him a suspension from four baseball games. “There’s a picture of me and some guys drinking on Facebook, and someone sent a picture to the SROS, [who] gave it to Mr. Masterson. It was from like a year ago,” Woodward said. Woodward, the only athlete involved in the incident, violated the substance abuse policy which prohibits the use or possession of alcohol and drugs by athletes, whether at a schoolsponsored event or not. “I was the only athlete so the other guys didn’t get in trouble,” Woodward said. The issue at hand, Woodward said, is not that he got in trouble, but that athletes are held to a higher standard than kids involved in clubs. “They’re targeting athletes and holding them more accountable [than students involved in other activities.] If a kid in band or DECA got caught, nothing would happen,” Woodward said. The incident has raised issues about the ethics of getting athletes in trouble for posting rulebreaking content online – but no one else. Athletic Director Mickey Masterson said that athletes must understand the impact they have on their peers. “The main issue is that they understand that as an athlete, to represent their school is a privilege, and that they agreed to not participate in drugs and alcohol. There are hundreds of kids that are abstaining [from drugs and alcohol] and doing it the right way,” Masterson said. But students wonder just how the administration finds photos of athletes violating the substance abuse policy. “Students or parents bring in some sort of

evidence weekly. Typically it’s students and parents from our school who are concerned about something that’s out there,” Principal Dr. Tonya Merrigan said. Masterson stated that he “rarely” receives notifications regarding rule-breaking content online. When something is brought to his attention, Masterson said he’ll take action, but only if the source is more reliable than a parent. “I don’t take things from other parents or anonymous sources,” Masterson said. “[The pictures] are hard to authenticate. It takes a lot of time to investigate. We talk to multiple people, including those in the picture. We take into account where it came from and make sure it’s provable,” Dr. Merrigan said. Dr. Merrigan said she realizes the difficulty of investigating a potential violation of school policy and tries not to jump to conclusions. “We don’t go out and search for these things, but when they’re brought to our attention, we take into consideration what are we allowed to do about it. The typical response is to contact the parents,” Dr. Merrigan said. “If the picture violates something in the drug and alcohol policy [and it involves an athlete], then we take action through suspension of extracurriculars. School discipline is not part of the drug and alcohol policy,” Masterson said. Students have raised concerns that the administration accesses social media after school hours. Dr. Merrigan said that isn’t the case. “If I were sitting at home in my pajamas [looking at Facebook], that’s a violation of privacy. The flip side is if I ignore it and something

“The  school   administrators  are   not  the  police.”

happens. Safety is number one.We have to figure out how we can use [social media] responsibly here at school,” Dr. Merrigan said. The administration does find out about outside-of-school activities, though, even those of non-athletes. At the end of first semester, senior Morgan Shapiro was involved in a similar situation to Woodward’s, but since she wasn’t an athlete, she wasn’t disciplined. “TotalSMEMove tweeted a picture of me...with a beer bong in the background and the tweet, ‘this is how BVN does it.’ I’m not completely sure how they got the picture because when we looked on Facebook it wasn’t there,” Shapiro said. “Then a girl went to the administration complaining about TotalBVNMove because her name was tagged [in a tweet]. The administration started investigating and found my picture by looking into this unrelated topic.” Shapiro’s father explained to Masterson that they were going to handle the incident as a family. Given that that it happened over the summer and off school grounds, Masterson consented. Since there was no proof of alcohol, no one was in serious trouble. “I think it’s really none of their business unless there’s proof in the picture. The administration doesn’t need to be snooping to get us in trouble deliberately. It’s not their responsibility because it was over the summer, not during the school year,” Shapiro said. Woodward said he feels this snooping is a violation of privacy. “It’s definitely hypocritical. Getting caught by the police is a whole different thing. The school administrators are not the police. Their mission is to run the school, not find out who’s drinking on the weekends,” Woodward said.

³:HKDYHWR¿JXUH out  how  we  can  use   [social  media]   responsibly  here  at   school.”

Design Editor

LEGAL VS. ETHICAL: IT MAY TECHNICALLY BE LEGAL, BUT IS IT RIGHT?

A social media policy was recently emailed to BVN coaches and activity sponsors which asks them to include social media policies in their codes of conduct and discourage “sexually explicit” and “derogatory language” and “nude, sexually-oriented, indecent images, or altered pictures.”

Doug Bonney, Chief Counsel & Legal Director of the ACLU, explained why this is not a violation of constitutional law: 1. “Uninclusiveness is not an issue. Just because DECA and FBLA don’t have a drug and alcohol policy doesn’t mean they need to eliminate the policy for athletes.” 2. “The school can’t punish you for the act of posting a picture on social media. You can only punish for the underlying conduct.” 3. “You can use pictures on social media as evidence.”

Broadcast teacher Charlie Huette’s thoughts on the ethical side of the issue:

“It’s really close to surveillance. I understand there’s a dangerous connotation associated with that. The line between censorship and surveillance is getting increasingly blurred. I don’t perceive this [guideline] as being extreme, it’s just that when I look at it, its implicit suggestion is that my role as a sponsor is to surveil my students.”

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10 the north star entertainment 04.13.12

Choosing wisely

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Learn to create healthier meals at popular fast food joints

ating on the go: It’s quick, easy and often delicious. There are so many reasons that on rushed weeknights, we grab fast food instead of fixing food ourselves. But all the quick grab-and-go eating can have serious health effects. A fast meal can be more than half a day’s worth of fat and calories, and more sodium than you need in a day. Here are some better options at quick eateries.

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Chipotle

he trick with Chipotle is to avoid the corn salsa (super high in calories, not as veggie-ful as it looks), the beans (also high calorie and high in fat) and the chips (570 calories by themselves, the amount recommended in a healthy lunch) Instead of: burrito with rice, chicken or steak, mild salsa, one type of beans, cheese and sour cream (970 calories, 38 grams of fat). Try: Burrito Bowl with rice, steak, mild salsa, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce (570 calories, 28 grams of fat).

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Noodles and Company

oodles and Company can be pretty healthy. The secret is pairing items that are filling and packed with veggies. Avoid caloric nightmares like Mac & Cheese or Pad Thai. Instead of: Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (1030 calories, 42 grams of fat) or Pesto Cavatappi with Parmesan-crusted chicken (1000 calories, 41 grams of fat). Try: A trio with Bangkok Curry, Thai Curry Soup, and Chicken Breast (580 calories, 19 grams fat), Small Pasta Fresca (410 calories, 13 grams fat) Veggie Med Sandwich and Tossed Green Salad with Balsamic (360 calories, 15 grams of fat).

Subway

ubway’s spokesperson, Jared Fogel, promoted the chain on the claim that it helped him slim down and get in shape. However, not everything is lean-stick with whole grain bread and steer clear of processed meats and heavy dressings. Load your sandwich with veggies for a fresher meal. Instead of: 6-inch Meatball Marinara with pepperoni on Italian Bread with Doritos (1015 calories, 40 grams of fat). Try: 6-inch Turkey and Cheese or unlimited veggies on 9-Grain Wheat Bread (300-370 calories).

Ellie Holcomb Opinon Editor

Reality TV: the good, the bad and the Gypsy

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Strange shows appear on unexpected channels

eality TV generally conjures up images of orange people and hot tubs, but some of the most ridiculous and strangely addictive shows aren’t the ones dominating MTV or Bravo. The newest (and greatest) crop of brain-melting programs have taken over more serious networks, from Animal Planet to the History Channel.

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“Hillbilly Handfishin”

his offering from Animal Planet follows the family that runs Big Fish Adventures, a campground and fishing paradise. Hand-fishing, or ‘noodling’, is the sport of wading around in murky water, looking for flathead catfish to bait and catch by letting them chomp down on your hand. Crazy people do it. And we get to watch these crazy people get outsmarted by fish on TV. For an hour solid. Honestly, this show might actually be entertaining if it were a shorter program, cutting out the endless scenes of standing in the water chatting about the weather. Skipper Bivins and Trent Jackson, the lovable country fellas who host the show and take guests on fishing trips, have moments of wisdom and hilarity that even their god-awful country accents can’t mask. And the scenes in which obnoxious New Yorkers get whooped by the fish are pure fun.

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“My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”

hronicling the wedding planning process of modern Roma gypsies, this TLC show is definitely one for the girls as it is nothing but 30 minutes of giggling brides looking at wedding catalogues and friends’ wedding pictures, striving to find the most outlandish, shocking and fluffy dress available. From bright pink tutus that barely cover the bride to huge lace creations with strings of lights and fairy wings, these gypsy girls do know how to catch our attention. And all of the brides are locked in a constant competition to fill the spotlight with their wedding party madness. Watching this show was like watching dress fittings for the Sugar Plum Fairy. Viewers are shown that the brides are more than shallow. One bride broke down crying after every potential wedding venue except the vet’s office refused her reservation simply because of her gypsy heritage, reminding the audience that her life as a “traveler” isn’t all ribbons Skipper poses with the catch of the day, a huge catfish he nabbed with and bows.

his bare hands. Photo from animal. discovery.com

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“Face Off”

yFy’s game show is the only real winner on this list. In an “America’s Next Top Model”-esque fashion, up-and-coming-special effects designers and makeup artists compete for a top-of-the-line special effects cosmetics set, $100,000, a new car and a foot in the industry’s door. Each week the artists have three days to create a makeup, complete with silicone prosthetics and body paint, that will save them from elimination by a panel of artiststurned-judges. What keeps the show fun and exciting are the challenges themselves. From aliens to twisted fairy tale characters, the concepts are ever-changing and exquisite.

Liz Gaa

Entertainment Editor

The goal of the artists is to Gyspy brides show off their over-the- render the models inhuman top wedding day style. Photo from with plastic and paint. Photo www. tlc.howstuffworks.com from www.syfy.com


the north star entertainment 04.13.12

11

Get yourEasy, sweat on cheap and fun ways to stay fit this spring

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e all know the intense, pre-spring-break workout craze where everyone tries to achieve the perfect beach bod. For the four to eight weeks before vacation starts, all of the gyms around town are packed to the point of fire hazard, workout classes are filled to the brim, and it seems as though there’s always someone running on the sidewalk. But what happens to our motivation to stay in shape after break is over? After weeks upon weeks of hitting the gym, the elliptical seems boring and the ab machines are blasé. Add to that boredom the combination of disillusionment after break ends, NCAA March Madness and one hell of a case of senioritis, all of which leave us sitting on our couches, losing everything we worked so hard to get. To preserve the results of your pre-break hard work, get out into the community and try some new things to get your blood pumping. Here are some interesting and fun ways to work out without breaking the bank.

O Title participants push through punching exercises. Photo from of Chris Icantcu.

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Title Boxing 7812 W 119th Street

ver the past few months, it seems that a Title Boxing frenzy has taken over Overland Park. After asking around about the club, people swear on their lives that it’s one of the best workouts they’ve ever had, and research also shows that an hour of this intense kickboxing workout can burn up to 1,000 calories. Not too shabby, huh? With two Title clubs nearby, it’s an easy and definitely effective way to burn calories and have a good time in the process. It’s also a great activity to do with your friends, since the workouts are designed to drain you of every ounce of your energy, so the distraction provided by a workout buddy keeps you going when you feel like you can’t take another punch. If you feel like walking in the shoes of a boxer for an hour, your first hour-long kickboxing class is free. You don’t even have to buy or rent equipment, they’ll provide that for you. Just make sure to bring a friend, a big water bottle and some determination.

Weekly Squeeze Yoga Classes 4555 W 119th Street

racticing yoga is one of the most beneficial methods of exercise out there, with the insane combination of helping you relax while strengthening your core and improving your flexibility at the same time. Luckily for us, there are a ton of yoga studios around Overland Park and Leawood that teach classes intended to loosen joints, tone your muscles and lower your stress levels. Unfortunately, becoming a yogi can be a bit costly, with most studios charging a drop-in fee of around $15 per class. An awesome alternative is Lululemon Athletica. They offer a free (yes, completely free) yoga class every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. To top it off, these classes are taught by a different instructor every week, which ensures that you’ll experience all sorts of styles of yoga–from Hatha to Ashtanga to Vinyasa flow. If you’ve never tried yoga before, don’t stress. The classes are for all levels, so you’ll be in your downward dog in no time.

Weekly squeeze class participants settle into three-legged dog pose (left) and warrior one pose (right). Photos from of Lululemon Athletica.

Runner’s Edge Contact Coach Valdez for more info f you’re a track star, or you just want to improve your mile time, the Runner’s Edge training club is an amazing local resource to help you become a better runner. This group meets up in different locations every Saturday morning to explore all the types of terrain that Kansas City has to offer. The group is made up of about 400 runners from all over the KC Metro area, divided up into 12 different pace groups, so that all of the runners will be training alongside people who are at the same place in their running careers. The coach, with many years of experience, knows all the tricks of the trade to help you finish your first 5k or get through the last mile of a marathon. Your first Runner’s Edge session is completely free, but after that there is a charge for the rest of the season. The starting locations for the weekly sessions differ every week, so if you’re interested in trying one out, contact the coach, Eladio Valdez at runnersedge@everestkc.net.

I Long-distance runners run into the finish line. Photo from of Phil Roeder.

Alex Goldman

Co-Editor-in-Chief


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the north star opinion 04.13.12

Across the desk A student’s perspective on teaching

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or the past 12 years (kindergarten included), my teachers have opened up the first day of class with the rules of respect and grading, respect has been promised to go both ways. But come second quarter, it is apparent that there are, contrary to some teachers’ assertions, many stupid questions. In elementary school it was “Can I go to the bathroom?” to which Mrs. Goldberg would respond, “It’s MAY, young man, and no you MAY not.” When fourth quarter rolls around, the subtle testiness is released in full force as the classroom transforms into a tyrannical dictatorship; one that successfully bars the kids from the beautiful world just beyond our grasp. The one thing that I have learned more and more every year, without fail, is that adults, just as everyone one else, are imperfect. Then how can I, a far-from-perfect student, critique an educator? The answer is simple: I want to give a wake up call to teachers who resort to drastic measures for such trivial misbehavior. For example: when a few students act up, punish everyone. When no one knows the answer, throw up your hands to the heavens and denounce your job as a teacher, leaving the class in silence for up to 40 minutes.

I will give respect where it is due. It is not going to the grumpy, rude teacher on the edge. Think back to the times when you attended your favorite class. Did the teacher rule with an iron fist or were they level-headed and friendly? There was a time when education was a relationship between teacher and student. The only conduit connecting the two was the desire to obtain knowledge and a promise for that knowledge to be passed down. Knowledge is not useless. As something intangible, it has infinite potential and should be treated and with care. I believe students will want to learn when they see a teacher who is teaching passionately and politely. As I’ve been told, respect goes both ways. You must give respect to earn it. This message is to the students as well. We have been lacking in our willingness to admit that teaching is no cake walk. Our teachers have worked very hard to get where there are now and have tolerated youth rebellion year after year without end. To earn a positive response from them we must be more mature than last year’s class. A sincere thank you is owed to the teachers who have kept their promises. To all the rest, this is the time for self-reflection and selfassessment.

“There was a time when education was a relationship between teacher and student.”

Christopher Shanklin

Staff Writer

Classrooms, at times, represent jail cells for students and teachers alike. It seems as if they make both parties equally miserable. Photo by Ali Falluca.

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Even with recycling, the excess in handouts creates a waste in paper and money. Photo illustration by Francine Gollub.

Going green gets trendy

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Eliminate paper in class

t’s frustrating when teachers perceive students as lazy and irresponsible for not turning in their homework on time when that’s not who they really are. There is so much paper to keep track of, it’s nearly impossible to keep a perfect inventory of handouts. At the same time, teachers are constantly telling us to “use less paper.” While the rest of the world strives to go digital, students are forced to use worksheets that kill trees and are all too easy to lose. I think it’s time for us to use the digital resources we have much more efficiently. From a technological standpoint, our school is at the top of the food chain. We have the library media center, a number of computer labs around the school and newly upgraded laptops. So why are we still being buried under by mounds of paper handouts? It’s true that some students don’t have access to the Internet at home, and that if homework went completely digital, these kids wouldn’t be able to obtain their assignments. And even if they could, Internet connections sometimes have minds of their own. There’s a simple solution, though: students should be given a choice between online and paper assignments. We don’t have to stop paper use in classrooms

altogether, but the online option should always be there. It’s pointless to require everyone to waste paper with an assignment when many could access it online. In addition to helping the environment, of course, computerized assignments simply provide us with one less thing to lose. Neat digital folders provide an enticing alternative to flimsy plastic binders for the organizationally-challenged. When this kind of alternative is so readily available, students should never be perceived as irresponsible for not having a paper handout. Schools are being irresponsible for not giving us the option. Some teachers’ response to this proposition is probably that students should just learn to be more organized. That’s true. Organization is essential for creating a successful future. But here’s the thing, we are heading into the future... technology is our future. Schools should stop trying to fight the system and jump on the bandwagon of 21st-century teaching techniques. Computers still teach us to be organized, just in a different way. They also help us use less paper and save our environment. What could be more important for our future than that?

“I find it odd that we don’t use the digital resources when we have access to them.”

Olga Deckman Staff Writer


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the north star opinion 04.13.12

Prepare or beware

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Life after high school is not as easy as you think

hate to break it to you, but the school teachers, middle school utopian world where anyone teachers and maybe even some of is able to become whatever he your high school teachers may have or she wants to become is a myth, allowed you to slip by without putting unless you are extremely motivated to much effort into your classes. They succeed. Slacking off will not cut it in may have given you every opportunity today’s society, where only one-third to make up a homework assignment of all people earn a college degree or a test. But the harsh reality is and where only that once 32 percent you get to of the people college, your who enroll at professors will the University not have to of Kansas will care. It’s not earn a degree their job to in four years. ensure that So just getting you pass. into college isn’t That’s your enough. You job, and when must be willing you don’t care to put in the about your effort once you classes in get in. college, not Your Students who don’t put in the effort in high school may end up only will you failing out of college. Photo illustration by Ali Fallucca elementary earn poor

grades, but you will also be at risk of failing out of college altogether. A common characteristic of the students who end up failing out of school is that they didn’t take college seriously. They thought it was just going to be one big party, so instead of studying as they should have been doing, they spent their time partying. Most of the time, only after students fail out of college do they realize that college, just like real jobs and real life, needs to be taken seriously. College is not a video game. It is not something that you can just easily restart if you make a mistake like not studying. But a simple lack of effort isn’t the only reason why some former North kids struggle in college. The lack of post high school success is also due in part to our school’s grades-firstlearn-later attitude. High school is not just one big application process. It is a place to find yourself, explore new possibilities, figure out how to

succeed in challenging situations and courses and learn a little while you’re at it. It is these things that students should be focusing on in high school rather than just on their grades and their college application status. Once you get into college, your chance to learn these important skills will be extremely limited. The good news is that we all still have time to learn how to care about school and take advantage of the resources that North offers us. No matter what grade you are in, you have the ability to start becoming motivated in school and start caring about what you are learning. All it takes is some initiative. Go out there and start caring more about school so that one day you can have the chance to live in the world of your dreams, the one that you created for yourself.

Michael Hoffman

Online Editor

The creepy new beauty contest

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Facebook users seek validation from “most beautiful teen” competitions

acebook presents its users with the choice of millions of pages representing every conceivable interest. So it’s relatively rare that one page logs 100,000 users, and even rarer that Facebook shuts such a page down. But earlier this month, that’s exactly what happened. The page was part of a ubiquitous new trend: a “Most Beautiful Teen” contest. In case you’ve missed them, these contests encourage teens to post attractive pictures of themselves, which then are voted upon by the larger Facebook community with “likes” and comments. Whoever gets the most “likes” wins bragging rights – and lots of attention. The pages have come under scrutiny for playing into the hands of pedophiles and stalkers, especially since both girls and guys tend to appear scantily clad in the photos they post. The sites are also vicious outlets

for bullying and sexual harassment, as people – sometimes adults – post explicit, violent, cruel or otherwise unprintable comments on the pictures. And yet, though it would appear to be common sense that such sites are weird and potentially dangerous, dozens of pages of them are still floating around on Facebook. People are obsessed with these things. Why? This trend is a shocking testament to the prevalence of insecurity and self-doubt among today’s teens. After all those elementary and middle school teachers ground the idea of “self-confidence” into our heads; after all those speakers we’ve heard on body image; after all those magazine articles – women’s especially – telling us to be happy in our own skin; after all this, we are still lost and lonely, searching for validation in a hostile world.

I have some news for those so-called “beautiful teens”: beauty is not what you look like taking selfies in your underwear. Beauty is what you look like when something makes you happy; when you’re in love; when you’re smiling at your best friend. Every wrinkle, birthmark and dimple on gentle people becomes beautiful to those who know them. Their faces reflect the grace of their souls. So, what does your face reflect? Is it a yearning for society’s approval? Or is it contentedness and compassion? Think about that the next time you consider uploading a picture to one of these contests. Trust me, you won’t need a hundred “likes” to give you your answer.

Jessi Glueck

Co-Editor-in-Chief

Teens take “selfies” and beg for Facebook “likes” in the search for approval. Illustration by Berkeley Lovelace.


the north star opinion 04.13.12

[Guest Column]

[The Gluecktionary]

The Indiana Incident

Taking pride in our power

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n this day and age, words can the bathroom stalls. be more powerful and warrant Understandingly, our privacy here more repercussions than any at North is breached by faculty, physical act of violence. Recently an administrators and coaches daily, all Indiana high school expelled senior trying to make sure our health and Austin Carroll for tweeting. That’s safety are being protected. What’s right, tweeting. Granted, the juvenile not understandable is when schools tweet, which included five uses of start monitoring the outlets we the F-bomb, use to express could be viewed “If a tweet including ourselves when as offensive, but outside the a few naughty words we’re Carroll’s intent walls of their wasn’t to offend, it is offensive enough jurisdiction. was to express his implications to get you thrown out forTheNorth thoughts. Which he did. In his own of school...you know become apparent room. On his own when we there’s something only computer. At 2:30 examine the wacky going on.” danger that this a.m. The principal sort of incident of Carroll’s high school claims that could set precedent for what happens it doesn’t matter whether the tweet at our own school. Currently, the was sent from home or through a administration isn’t tracking our school computer, the school can track tweets nor stalking our Facebook students’ tweets. Scary, right? status updates. But since we’ve If a tweet including a few naughty recently seen the administration words is offensive enough to get you taking action in regards to athletes thrown out of school as a senior with and the content they post online, the only months left until graduation, you incident that occurred in Indiana know there’s something wacky going isn’t that far of a leap to what could on with the system. I mean, we’ve all happen at North. Lily Lieberman seen more offensive things written on

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Staff Writer

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alking down the halls every day, oppressed by the weight of backpacks and expectations, most of us don’t feel very powerful. It’s easy to fall prey to the sensation that we live in a world over which we have no control. We follow a regimented schedule that eats our free time and cramps our creativity. Of course, this kind of rigidity is probably necessary for us to absorb the great education North provides for us. But it’s pretty uncomfortable when you’re living through it. Sometimes I’ve thought that we lose our independence in ragged binders and the pinging of electronic bells. But then, on April 5, I saw what dependence really looks like. The Think First presentation by Kayle and Madi, the two young women in wheelchairs, had a profound effect on me. I’d felt out of control because a big homework load had dominated my after-school schedule. Kayle and Madi can’t even walk. Talk about powerless. And yet—they aren’t powerless. There’s power in their voices, in their passion, in their relatability. There’s even power in their injuries, which

serve as chilling warnings to the rest of us. These people, who could so easily have given up on life, are declaiming from their wheelchairs and impacting thousands. They’re doing more than most of us to change the world. If they have that kind of power—to command an audience, to overcome a tragedy, to create silence in a packed high school gym—what can we not do? Their opportunities have been so limited by the horrible physical and emotional trauma they’ve sustained. We’re free of such limitations. Why are we not out there advocating, leading, pursuing our dreams? I see now that a crazy schedule is no excuse. I’m not saying we all have to do hours of community service and join countless leadership organizations: sometimes that stuff is more show than substance anyway. What I’m saying is that we should care deeply about something and teach others to care too. We should recognize the power that we have. We can move our legs. We can control our fingers. We can raise our voices and open our hearts.

Jessi Glueck

Co-Editor-in-Chief

The North Star is the official publication of Blue Valley North High School, an open forum distributed to all students nine times a year. This publication may contain controversial material. Kansas law prohibits the suppression of a student publication solely because it may contain controversial matter. Blue Valley Unified School District No. 229 and its board members, officers and employees may disclaim any responsibility for the content of this publication; it is not an expression of school policy. Student authors and editors are solely responsible for the content of this publication. Letters to the editors are encouraged from students and non-students alike and should be less than 500 words in length. All letters must be signed and turned into room 411 at least one week prior to publication. All letters require a signature. Names will be published. The North Star reserves the right to edit with regard to libel, without changing the substance of the letter. The North Star will not publish obscene or libelous material. The North Star Blue Valley North High School 12200 Lamar Ave. Overland Park, KS 66209 (913) 239-3116


GET OUT OF THE BOX

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he countdown until summer began for many after the post-spring break buzz died down. The spring/summer concert season is fast approaching, so here is your go to guide for whom to see, when to see them, and how big of a chunk it will take out of your wallet.

OFF ICE

Ashley Ruben Staff Writer

APRIL

Chesney and Tim McGraw, have teamed up in their “Brothers of the Sun Tour”. The atmosphere at Arrowhead will surely be a boot scootin’ good time. Though tickets start at $70, this will be a concert that longtime country fans will never forget.

Tyga • April 18 • Beaumont Club

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ip Hop fans rejoice. Just days away at the Beaumont Club, “Rack City” rapper, Tyga, will be performing. The new addition to the Young Money and Cash Money record labels will be playing songs from his album “Careless World- Rise of the Last King”. The ticket prices begin at around $25 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.

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CAKE • April 20 • Uptown Theater

o, we’re not talking about the pastry. CAKE, the alternative rock band, will be coming to the Uptown Theater on April 20 to play their latest album, “Showroom of Compassion”. These jazzy rockers are known for their wild trumpet solos and often humorous lyrics. Some of CAKE’s most well-known hits, including “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” and “The Distance” will be played at the concert. Tickets are around $45 and can be purchased at ticketmaster. com.

Rapper Wiz Khalifa performs for fans. Photo from Michael Nusbaum, www.mikenusbaum.com.

MAY

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Hot Chelle Rae• May 1 • The Midland Theater

traight out of Nashville comes pop band Hot Chelle Rae whose recent hit “I Like It Like That” seems to be on constant loop on stations like 95.7 and 93.3. For a mere $10, students can hear hit single “Tonight Tonight” as well as songs off their album “Whatever”. The show will be at the historic Midland Theater in the Power and Light District. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com for $10.

Avicii • May 24 • Sprint Center

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great way to bring in the summer is to celebrate your first night of freedom by attending the concert featuring epic house DJ, Avicii. The Grammy-nominated Swedish DJ will play electro hits “Levels” and “Fade Into Darkness” among others on his LE7EL$ Tour. To make sure you don’t miss out on this rage cage at the Spring Center, buy your tickets soon at sprintcenter.com for $38.

JUNE

Dancefestopia• June 1 and 2 • Berkley River Front Park

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ure to be your concert splurge of the summer,

Dancefestopia features an assortment of artists from across the sea of music genres. The festival’s headliners include hip-hop stars Wiz Khalifa and Flo Rida, as well as dancepop group 3OH!3. Reggae fusion/ alternative rocker Matisyahu will also be headlining the summer extravaganza, along with over 30 up-and-coming artists. Though the ticket may rack up a large bill, your expenses will be a worthwhile investment towards a two day/ two night camp out music festival to remember. Tickets are $99 until the price goes up to $119 on May 15, and can be purchased at www. dancefestopia.com/#tickets.

Buzz Beach Ball • June 2 • Livestrong Sporting Park

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or those who aren’t into all of the mainstream pop songs that talk about love, friends and raging, is the annual Buzz Beach Ball at Livestrong Sporting Park presented by 96.5 the Buzz. This alternative concert features well known alternative reggae rockers Sublime with Rome and the Dirty Heads, as well as indie rock band the Shins. A familiar yet unknown voice that will also be singing is Kimbra, the female vocalist in the recent hit “Somebody That I Used to Know”. This outdoor concert has a good variety of bands and is sure to satisfy anyone with a diverse taste in music. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com for as low as $20.

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw June 10 • Arrowhead Stadium

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wo of country music’s most established artists, Kenny

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Vans Warped Tour • July 9 Sandstone Amphitheater

f your perfect day includes sweat, sun and alternative rock, you’ll be right at home at the Vans Warped Tour. Boasting over 90 bands including rock powerhouse headliner Taking Back Sunday, the annual tour has something for everyone. Fans of pop punk will sing along with bands like All Time Low and Mayday Parade, while metal fans can headbang to artists like Rise Against and Senses Fail. For a preview of the lineup, check out the free Warped Tour 2012 Playlist on Spotify. Then be sure to get your tickets from concertticketcenter.com for around $60.

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Big Time Rush• July 27• Sprint Center

oy bands have made their comeback. Pop music group Big Time Rush, otherwise known as BTR, is coming to the Sprint Center, July 27 for their Big Time Summer Tour. Many know this popular group as stars of the Nickelodeon television show, “Big Time Rush”. However, this group has matured to entertain a wider audience. Promoting their latest album, “Elevate”, BTR will be singing its smash hit “Music Sounds Better With U”. Cody Simpson and X-Factor finalist Rachel Crow will open the show. Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased at sprintcenter. com

Sarah Evans

Business Manager

Sarah Campbell Design Editor


April Issue 2012