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ON THE

RECORD

IN THIS ISSUE: ENOUGH: MEET THE YOUTH REVOLUTION p. 22 LOUISVILLE KIDS OF PRISONERS FIND HOPE p. 6 THINKING INTERSECTIONALLY p. 14 HOW HEROIN TRAPPED THE GIRL NEXT DOOR p. 10 LOCAL VICTIMS FIGHT HUMAN TRAFFICKING p. 34


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ON THE RECORD

Spring/Summer 2018


STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ALICE DETERS

COPY EDITOR

AUDREY CHAMPELLI

VISUAL DIRECTOR ELLA MAYS

MANAGING EDITOR

SYLVIA GOODMAN

FROM THE EDITOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

DEAR READERS,

ASSIGNMENT EDITORS

NYAH MATTISON

January shook us up.

Quintin (your local TARC bus driver), and

We try to report on new topics here at

some moving details about how Antonio, a

On The Record — what you need to know,

child of incarcerated parents, is getting the

what other sources aren’t making as acces-

tools he needs to choose “sentence struc-

sible or applicable to Louisville youth. But

tures over a sentencing.”

by February, we decided that we couldn’t let

This issue is the product of four months

school shootings, human trafficking, or her-

time in the newsroom. Days of video edit-

oin abuse ever be old news. Current events

ing translated into the minutes you see on

were making that easy enough: while Evan

our website. Hours of interviews. Hundreds

and Cora were writing a story about the

of discarded designs. The staff list you

shooting in Marshall County, another hap-

see is a group of people that have worked

pened in Parkland, Florida, then another in

nearly every day together over the past nine

Palmdale, California. Sky updated her story

months and includes seven seniors, the final

after finding that the government had seized

class of On the Record’s founding members.

ZAKEYA BAKER, OLIVIA BROTZGE, LUCY CALDERON, MATTIE TOWNSON

LEAD WRITERS

CAMERON DANIEL, WESLEY LYNCH, KARAC MEDLEY, MELISSA SCIANIMANICO

WRITERS

EUAN DUNN, YSA LEON, EVAN SHOWALTER, ALI SHACKELFORD, CORA KIRBY, JEDIAH HOLMAN, MADDIE CURRIE, ELLA TREINEN, SKY CARROLL

MULTIMEDIA

NOAH KECKLER

DESIGNERS

April 6. And on Valentine’s Day, we met Keri.

men applying to a staff that didn’t exist yet.

JESS MAYS, PATRICK HARPER, LAUREN HUNTER, EVELYN WALFORD, MIA BREITENSTEIN

Read on for a breath of fresh air. These

We didn’t know how people our age would

are the the problems you are tired of hearing

respond to this publication, we didn’t know

AD TEAM

about. Let these stories leave you more than

what we were going to tell you, we didn’t even

just awake. Let them leave you reinvigor-

have a name. We sat in front of a dry erase

ated, not ready to brush aside the next news

board and drafted a mission. All we knew is

update. We caravanned to Washington, D.C.

that we wanted to write for you, expressly

to make sure that we weren’t bringing you a

you: the youth of Louisville, Kentucky.

Backpage, a hub for online sex trafficking, on

detached reader experience. Consider yourself in the moment.

Three years ago, we seniors were fresh-

The next 45 pages are true stories. Read them knowing that they are all still happen-

Don’t be intimidated. We’ve also included our thoughts on fanny packs, a profile of

ing all around you, beyond the confines of this magazine.

STAY SUNNY,

ALICE

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

MAYA MALAWI & MAGGIE STINNETT

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER JEDIAH HOLMAN

ADVISER

LIZ PALMER ON THE RECORD is a magazine by and for the youth of Louisville. In 2015, this publication transitioned from the Crimson Record, a tabloid-size school newspaper for duPont Manual High School, to a citywide magazine that focuses on in-depth storytelling and distributes throughout Louisville schools and businesses. Our mission is to produce quality local journalism for a Louisville audience from the important but often overlooked youth perspective. All pages are written, edited, photographed, and designed by students. Advertising pays for our printing and production, so please contact our ad team if you would like to advertise or subscribe: ontherecord@manualjc.com VISIT US ONLINE: ontherecordmag.com

NYAH

SYLVIA

AUDREY

ELLA

SEND US MAIL: ON THE RECORD, Journalism & Communication magnet, duPont Manual High School, 120 W. Lee St., Louisville, KY 40208

Spring/Summer 2018 ON THE RECORD Letter from the editor

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ON THE RECORD

Spring/Summer 2018


SPRING/SUMMER 2018

CONTENTS 6

To All My Friends Who Break the Cycle

30

We the Minors

34

Not for Sale

39

River Town Sound

42

Art vs. Artist

44

Food for Thought

46

Back in the Groove

Y-Now helps local kids of prisoners break free of the prison cycle.

10

Keeping Keri

14

The Crossroads

18

Behind the Wheel

Through the eyes of an addict, see why taking the edge off is a double-edged sword.

Intersectional thinking helps us understand that identity is not one size fits all.

Open the bus doors to see the story behind a local TARC driver.

20

Save the Girl, Not the Date

22

Shout Heard ‘Round the World

Kentucky law now saves children from walking down the aisle.

We have thoughts and prayers. Now youth across the nation say we need action.

When it comes to our bodies, parental guidance may not be necessary.

Louisville’s sex trafficking industry meets its biggest threat – its victims.

Explore the history of Louisville’s country music scene.

When an artist falls from grace, should their art go down with them?

These local restaurants provide dine-in quality food for a drivethrough price.

Today’s youth flaunt pieces from their parents’ high school wardrobes.

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

5


PICTURE PERFECT

Antonio Williamson, an 11-year-old sixth grader at Meyzeek Middle, has an adult mentor in the Y-NOW program. “He is definitely someone who takes a big role ... through schoolwork, sports activities, and choices throughout life,” Antonio said. Photo by Ysa Leon

to

d frien s who y m l l a

e h t the

6

ON THE RECORD

Spring/Summer 2018

cycle


Y-Now helps children of prisoners create a future outside of the justice system. words by YSA LEON & ELLA TREINEN » design by EVELYN WALFORD

E E

leven-year-old

of incarceration by pairing kids with

weekend of training in order to learn

Antonio Williamson

a mentor who refuses to give up on

positive youth development skills

felt someone place a

them. Mentors are required to talk

and ways of communicating with

hand on his shoulder.

on the phone and meet with the

the middle school-aged group. They

The blindfold over his eyes blocked

child at least once a week, whether

him from any sneak peeks, but

the mentee wants to or not. Even

on March 19, 2017, he didn’t need

if the mentee slams the door in the

his sight to sense the anticipation

mentor’s face, the mentor must keep

around him.

going to the door every week until

Antonio turned to find the

the 10-month program ends. It is

source of the touch, but the strong

crucial that mentors put forth the

hand whisked him back into place.

effort to put kids on a positive path.

His mentor-to-be then gently patted his arm, a sign of remorse.

Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit organization that exposes the

“I got a lady!” he exclaimed.

“broader harm of mass criminaliza-

The hand’s owner, Eddie Coy,

“They go from feeling like ‘I’m probably on my way to prison, or being homeless, or worse,’ to ‘I can make something of my life.’” -Matt Reed, Executive Director of Y-NOW

tion,” reports that 716 people for

are provided resources such as gas

laughed at this conclusion. Coy then

every 100,000 are incarcerated in

cards, but they are limited in the

guided Antonio, who followed with-

the United States, five times higher

amount they can spend on the kids.

out hesitation, over to the Country

than most countries around the

It isn’t about having sympathy for the

Lake campfire. They were joined by

world. The U.S. Bureau of Justice

unfavorable situations these kids are

James Hunt, the Y-NOW Director,

Statistics data for 2015 revealed

dealing with, it’s about building rela-

who explained the seriousness of

that Kentucky has the 11th highest

tionships and accomplishing goals.

the ongoing commitment that lay

incarceration rate, sitting at 498

ahead. He directed the mentees to

people in prison for every 100,000.

present challenges. David Brennan

remove their blindfolds, and Antonio

These aren’t just statistics; these

has been working as a mentor with

was the first to do so. A smile took

are people with families, some with

the Y-NOW Children of Prisoners

over his face—a smile that would be

young children like Antonio.

Program for four years, but when he

engraved in Coy’s memory from that day on. “I had a feeling that this guy

Kids ages 11-14 enter the

Sometimes those relationships

was assigned to his mentee, Jordan, it

program with a common factor: a

wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Jordan

parent in jail. As of 2017, 91 percent

is a sixth grader who walks with an

was going to change my life,”

of Y-NOW alumni have stayed out of

extra hop in his step and wears his

Antonio said.

the criminal justice system.

lips pursed in a wide, closed-mouth

The Y-NOW Children of Prison-

“They are driven by goals and

smirk. He’s quick to interrupt con-

ers Program set their course for

dreams and aspirations instead of

versation by bellowing “NO” and use

the next ten months. They would

being caught up in the fact that

profanity in nearly every sentence

spend time together developing a

their mom or dad is in prison,” said

that he speaks. When he found out

bond that would have the potential

Reed. “Everybody in one way or

Brennan was his mentor, he was

to leave them forever changed. This

another has said they are going to

overwhelmed with indignation.

man could prove to be the role mod-

follow in those footsteps. So, they

el that Antonio needed to be able to

go from feeling like ‘I’m prob-

love for Chinese food, Brennan told

choose the basketball court over a

ably on my way to prison, or being

Jordan that he would take him out to

courtroom and sentence structures

homeless, or worse,’ to ‘I can make

eat. As an additional perk, he would

over a sentencing.

something of my life.’”

allow Jordan to cuss him out. Caught

According to Matt Reed, execu-

The mentors come into this

Remembering him talk about his

off-guard that he could use profan-

tive director at YMCA Safe Place

program from a wide variety of

ity without consequences, Jordan

Services of Louisville, kids like

backgrounds, many of them having

let out a faint snicker and agreed to

Antonio with imprisoned parents are

full-time jobs and families of their

let Brennan take him on the atypical

seven times more likely to become

own. They vary in terms of gender,

outing. After an hour of conversa-

imprisoned themselves. The Y-NOW

race, socioeconomic status, and

tion, Brennan stopped talking and

program strives to break the cycle

origin, and must participate in a full

looked Jordan in the eye. Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

7


“So, are you really gonna cuss me out?” Brennan asked. “No, man, I’m not gonna cuss you out,” Jordan said. Three weeks later, Brennan and Jordan sat down in a classroom at Safe Place Services for their first

plish those goals. Cam’Ron Ayer was a kid that

with Brooklyn was out of reach, so

Reed said was “particularly special.”

they transitioned into the last activ-

Ayer came to the program because

ity of the night: “All My Friends.”

his grandmother used to run the

In this game, one person stands

kitchen at Safe Place Services,

in the middle of the circle and says,

and he was in dire need of some

the Y-NOW case manager, pulled a

“To all my friends...” followed by a

attention. His father is still serv-

big white curtain across the room,

characteristic that isn’t physical or

ing time in prison for shooting at a

dividing the mentees and mentors

obvious. If it applies to a person,

police officer. When the 10-month

into two groups. On one side of

they have to get up and move to a

program began, Ayer was angry. He

the curtain, some pairs planned

new chair.

got in constant fights at school and

other group discussed their first community service project. The kids’ hands shot up at the

One of the mentors started in the middle of the circle. “To all my friends who have gotten in trouble at school,” he said.

mention of community service. The

All 15 kids got up and moved.

program offered them the options

“Every day,” Jordan mumbled

of volunteering at the Kentucky Humane Society, a nursing home, or a

with a sigh. The mentors moved rather

often faced suspension for skipping class entirely. Before his father went to prison, Ayer had a good relationship with his dad. They did everything together. “So, we’re talking about a kid who could either be dead, homeless, or incarcerated by now or certainly

homeless shelter. It was time to vote.

slowly, letting their mentees beat

on his way to that. It’s giving me

One vote for the Humane Society,

them to chairs and dramatically

chills to talk about it,” Reed said,

two for a homeless shelter, and five

hanging their heads when they

with a quiver in his voice.

for a nursing home.

were left standing in the center

Ayer’s goal was to become an

without a seat. The next mentor

artist. As a freshman in high school,

began to speak.

he was given a section in a senior

Brooklyn, an 11-year-old mentee, ponytail sprouting from the top of her head and still in her school

“To all my friends who have a

art show. Not only was his artwork

uniform far past the end of the

family member they don’t speak to,”

featured, but he won best portfolio

school day, let out an exasperated

she said.

and best overall piece in the entire

sigh. She was one of the two that

Only two kids remained seated.

show, beating out four talented sen-

voted for the homeless shelter and

Games like these are examples

ior artists and eight others. This was

was not happy with the results.

of the many opportunities that the

the same kid who rarely showed up

After attempting to suppress her

kids in the Y-NOW program have

to school just three years prior.

frustration, Brooklyn realized she

to open up about their past or the

needed to speak up.

things going on at home. Although

ing his achievements, Ayer said, “I

In a Facebook post announc-

“So homeless people don’t

every kid’s situation is very differ-

believe in my gift and plan on con-

deserve to be loved?” she shouted,

ent, they have all been stripped of

tinuing my work for the rest of my

cocking her head back and forth.

a parent they can regularly access.

life. Today, I truly understand what

These aren’t conversations that kids

happiness feels like.”

A mentor placed a hand on her shoulder, but Brooklyn kept her eyes

are sharing at the lunch table. Many

fixed on the discussion leader, Bren-

feel ashamed or even guilty, as if in

Western Kentucky University on

nan, insistent on getting her way.

some way it’s their fault. Y-NOW

a full art scholarship. The Y-NOW

He asked Brooklyn why she was so

gives them a safe place to talk or to

program provided Ayer with the

passionate about helping the home-

listen with others without the fear

tools and confidence to achieve his

less. She explained that she wanted

of being judged or reprimanded, be-

goals and make something of his

to spend time with the homeless

cause similar thoughts are cascading

life, but the choice to be success-

because they didn’t have everything

through the minds of every kid.

ful was one that he had to make on

that she had. She didn’t stop for a

A safe place to talk is only one of

Ayer is currently attending

his own.

second to think about the fact that

the offerings of the Y-NOW pro-

she didn’t have something that many

gram — another is goal-setting. At

gle with watching their mentees

kids her age depend on: access to

their first meeting, the mentor and

endure such difficult situations. The

both of her parents.

mentee are both required to set two

mentors are not allowed to tell the

challenging goals for themselves.

kids where they live or take them

Throughout the 10 months, the pair

home. They act as mother and father

“Do you have any friends or family that are homeless?” David asked her. ON THE RECORD

David realized a compromise

encourages each other to accom-

group meeting. Brittany Bryant,

their Christmas party while the

8

“Yup,” she replied without hesitation.

Spring/Summer 2018

Many of the mentors strug-


DANCE BREAK Antonio Williamson

(11, Meyzeek Middle School) laughs as he dances to “Stir Fry” by the musical group Migos with his Y-NOW mentor, Eddie Coy. The two share goofy personalities and are often together. Photo by Ysa Leon

figures, but these mentors cannot be

Y-NOW has made major strides

The subject of their conversa-

the child’s mother or father, as much

in decreasing the likelihood that kids

tion was eavesdropping around the

as they may be tempted to step into

with incarcerated parents will go to

corner, equally anxious about what

that role.

prison, but it is not stopping here.

was to come. Coy turned his head

Reed says, as challenging as it may

to see him listening in, and their

things that they’ve gone through,

“When you hear about all the

sound, his goal is to break the cycle

eyes locked. Antonio shook his

you just want to wrap your arms

of incarceration in Louisville.

head in disapproval, and Coy made

around them, take them home, and

The time had come for the

his decision.

raise them and make everything go

end of the program, and Coy and

away,” Reed said. “But it’s not about

Antonio were pondering what their

rescuing them, it’s about helping

future together would look like. For

them save themselves.”

some mentees, the mentor would

relationship is out of view. They

It may be the girl who rarely

“I love him,” Coy said. “That’s kind of the bottom line.” The future of Coy’s and Antonio’s

be a facilitator for positive change,

don’t know what’s next, just that

speaks at the lunch table or the

but they may lose touch over the

there’s a future that they want to

boy who sits across the room in

years. But Coy and Antonio are

spend together.

algebra class, or maybe it’s his

different. Their trust from the start

best friend, but kids are dealing

made it clear that they were meant

tonio’s past, he can give him what

with the effects of incarceration

to be in each other’s life for longer

he needs to reach a brighter future

everywhere. While the program

than the program required. Coy was

than that of his parents — brighter

has doubled in size over the last 18

passionate about stopping the cycle

than statistics would have oth-

months and given many children a

of incarceration in Louisville and felt

ers believe. The Y-NOW program

sense of belonging, Reed is always

compelled to maintain his exclusive

addresses the reality of these

looking to improve. Finding kids to

mentorship with his mentee.

situations; it aims to lead kids, like

join the Y-NOW program is not the

Tonda Jackson, Antonio’s grand-

Although Coy can’t erase An-

Antonio, away from that cycle.

issue. The problem lies in recruit-

mother, questioned Coy about his

ing mentors who are willing to put

plans following the program gradu-

call the last name at graduation,

After the program ends and they

in hours of their time and make

ation. She was concerned that the

some mentors may move on to help

promises that they’ll keep. And

first piece of stability Antonio had

other kids through the program, but

even then, Reed can’t help but ask

had in a long time would be ripped

Coy says he knows where he belongs

himself, “Are we doing enough?”

right from him.

— and it’s right next to Antonio. « Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

9


LITTLE KERI

At age five, Keri Dearmond grins in a circa 1999 family photo. Photo courtesy Katie and Kelly Dearmond

A young woman battles heroin addiction — a story all too common in Louisville. words by LUCY CALDERON & CAMERON DANIEL » design by JESS MAYS

10

ON THE RECORD

Spring/Summer 2018


In July 2016, the Courier Journal (CJ) published

with her father, and all he could do

with her father and sisters in search

was cry. She was 18.

of the craziest roller coasters. She

For four whole years, his little

loved riding her skateboard, even

an article about 23-year-old Keri

girl had been battling a life-

though she never fully learned how

Dearmond, a troubled girl who

threatening addiction, and he had

to skate and broke six bones trying.

rediscovered herself through yoga.

had no idea.

A couple of months later this same woman talked to the CJ about a revitalizing drug that saved her life. Both stories were about a young

Who could blame him? Hardly anyone knew what Keri was up to. For years, Keri’s parents and older sisters, Kelly and Katie, were in the dark. They knew there was

woman turning a new page in her

a problem because Keri kept her

life. Both stories were about a

distance, but they didn’t know what

happily ever after.

until this phone call.

This is not that kind of story.

When her school was under the

“She was very frisky, she was very sassy,” said Katie, “and she was super sweet, like very detailoriented about things that you wouldn’t think about.” “Deeply empathetic,” Kelly said.

“I kind of fell out of everything.”

Katie began to feel a disconnect

assumption that she was enrolled

with Keri when she was around 14

Though Keri had been accepted

in the home hospital program for a

years old, coinciding with Keri’s first

to duPont Manual High School, the

severe fish allergy, Keri wasn’t even

use of heroin.

top high school in Kentucky, that’s

living at home. By age 16, she moved

when her troubles began.

out because she simply couldn’t get

dealing with regular teenage

along with her parents, who were

problems, Keri’s sisters have trouble

teachers with vodka-filled water

also exhausted by the constant

recognizing her.

guns, only hanging out with seniors,

fighting. They agreed to let her live

and making guest appearances

with friends — but those friends were

14, she began to hang out with older

in the recycling bins of random

eight other young people in similar

people she met at punk rock shows

classrooms, completely wasted.

situations. (Keri’s parents declined to

around town. She began drinking,

comment for this article.)

but drinking just wasn’t enough.

She remembers shooting

“I did a lot of stupid things in high school,” Keri recalls. “I showed up drunk more often than not.” She was absent a lot, and it was

“I kind of made it the perfect

Now that they know Keri wasn’t

The summer before Keri turned

The combination of sheer

atmosphere to get away with what I

circumstance and the people

was doing,” Keri said. “There was just

she surrounded

clear from high school yearbooks.

a lot of questions being asked that I

herself with created

Her yearbooks showed that she was

couldn’t answer. It made a lot more

the perfect storm for

active in the German Honor Society

sense to just remove myself from the

addiction.

in ninth grade, but then she was

situation than to continue to put up

neither pictured nor mentioned in

that front and that lie.”

10th. Her junior year, dark circles

Her parents were divorced and

Keri dated an older man with ample means, someone she

were noticeable under her eyes.

decided to give the $1,000 monthly

called a “trust fund

In her senior yearbook, she wasn’t

child support money directly to Keri.

baby,” who fed her

pictured at all.

They had no idea that the money

addiction for the first

was funding her addiction.

few years she used.

At some point, Keri simply stopped showing up.

What happened to Keri Dearmond?

Keri’s father was enjoying an

When they asked her what

It was Keri. Her shaking voice began with, “Hey, all cards on the table: this is what’s happening.”

Keri Dearmond

During those

she did with her time, she couldn’t

fundamental years, the glamour

tell them that she was spending

of heroin distracted her from

hours in parking lots waiting for

her problems. The feeling was

heroin dealers.

something new and — at the time —

uneventful night in when his phone rang.

“It made a lot more sense to just remove myself from the situation.”

exciting.

“I feel like most of my memories start after 21, so it’s a reach.”

“It’s like a warm blanket on a cold night,” Keri said. “It’s like a cure for all of your wounds. But it’s not. It

Before heroin, Keri was a bright

just makes everything worse.”

She told him that she was

child with a love for journalism

Her addiction escalated

calling him from jail, that she

and art classes that “didn’t feel

throughout high school, but as

had been arrested for heroin

like school.”

she left behind her childhood, her

possession. It was the first time in years Keri had been fully honest

Keri loved adventure. She went on road trips around the country

addiction became less of a habit and more of a survival technique. Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

11


“It was like that constant fight to be okay,” she said. Heroin consumed her life, but the sacrifices Keri had to make for her addiction weren’t enough to

going to rehab was more expensive than my sister going to law school.” Keri Dearmond

had enough money, she would leave

up with 48 deaths, less than half that

to buy heroin. She lived in her car, but

of Jefferson.

heroin left her with no money for gas.

Even with access to

for money, always stealing money, but

her stop.

epidemic in Louisville is so serious

never having money. Sometimes even

“It feels super

that it can easily suck people right

when she earned hundreds of dollars

survivalist,” Keri said.

back into dependence. According

in one day, it would all feed into one

“If I get pulled over, I

to The National Institute for Drug

thing: her addiction.

don’t have insurance,

Addiction, the national relapse

this isn’t my car, and

rate for heroin users is somewhere

anymore. Her body grew so physically

I have all this illegal

between 40 and 60 percent.

dependent on the drug that the only

stuff. But if I don’t get

Keri has taken away something

way she could feel normal was by

from each of her rehab experiences

using. If she didn’t use, she became

I wanted.”

— which have been more than she

severely sick with withdrawal.

Most media

can count — but in the end it comes

“That’s all life was. Just trying

down to what a user does when

to stay well, which really is the

like Keri are based on recovery. The

they’re on their own, away from the

most infuriating thing because

truth is, some don’t get better.

discipline of a detox program.

you’re not even getting what you’re

According to the Centers for

“My life was really good when I did

working for,” said Keri. “You’re just

Disease Control and Prevention,

what they said,” Keri said, “and then as

not puking on yourself. You’re just

heroin-related deaths rose nearly

soon as I stopped, it went to shit.”

trying to get by.”

seven-fold in the United States from

Hospitals to jails to rehabilitation

The only seemingly plausible

2002 to 2015. Kentucky is known as

centers: this has been the constant

way for Keri to escape from this

a hub for heroin dealers and users,

cycle of Keri’s life for nearly a

nightmare was to simply not

and is ranked fifth in the country

decade. She dreams of a day when

wake up.

for fatal drug overdoses. The

she is blessed with stability. A house.

Center for Disease and Prevention

A job. A life without heroin.

reported that opioid-related deaths

“I didn’t wanna be sick. But I couldn’t keep using,” she said, “Life is too hard with it, life is too hard

“That’s all life was, just trying to stay well.”

without it, but I can’t do anything

pyramid. 122 people died of a heroin

motivator was the cash tips she made

became more and more realistic. She

overdose in Jefferson County in

working at restaurants. As soon as she

attempted suicide multiple times.

have risen in Kentucky to 33.5 per 100,000 people, and Jefferson County sits at the top of this deadly

MOBILE HOME

Opening the trunk of her car on Feb. 28, Keri Dearmond shows her possessions: two of her skateboards, sunglasses from LA, a laundry basket full of clothes, and a lamp. Keri’s addiction has at times forced her to live in her car.

ON THE RECORD

Heroin was not an escape to Keri

pulled over, I get what

stories about people

12

Keri described it as always working

rehabilitation centers, the heroin

make

“My dad said that me

2016. Fayette County is the runner-

Spring/Summer 2018

At her lowest point, Keri’s only

in between.” The thought of ending her life


Keri Dearmond (9th grade)

“I’m really lucky to be alive, but you don’t see it like that,” Keri said. “You’re like, ‘Goddammit, I woke up,’ because you’re that close to it just being over.” Keri recalled waking up in an ambulance after overdosing. She was furious. Her feelings overpowered her

Keri Dearmond (11th grade)

“My mom and dad will sit down with me, and they’ll just both cry.” Even though her parents don’t

always know how to help, they do what they can. For instance, they pay for her rehabilitation. “My dad said that me going to rehab was more expensive than

conscience as she threw herself at

my sister going to law school,” she

the paramedic that had saved her.

recalled. “My addiction has been

She attacked him for saving her

more expensive than if I was just

life. She hadn’t wanted to wake up.

normal and had completed anything.”

The paramedic filed assault charges against Keri. At least a dozen times Keri has

Keri’s family life has become so stressed that it’s difficult to spend time together. She cannot even

woken up in an ambulance after

recall the last time she spent a

program allows Keri to enjoy

being injected with Narcan, a drug

holiday with her family outside of

activities that she would rarely be

administered to revive overdose

rehab, jail, or a hospital.

able to experience back home. She

patients, pulsing through her veins.

hikes, draws, makes friends. Almost

“Rehab makes sense. It’s the promised land.”

all of her current friendships were

“It’s normalized, losing someone every month.”

story, there are glimmers of hope

in recovery, but it becomes too

for Keri. A few months ago, after

much to handle back home. Keri

Her view changed when her long-

being separated for weeks, Keri got

believes that if she stays in Louisville

time friend Raven Mears died after a

an invitation from her sister Kelly

much longer, she may die. She can’t

heroin overdose.

“It happens so frequently that you take it for granted,” Keri said.

Even in what seems like a dark

made in rehab. For Keri, life is better while she’s

to play music with her. Soon after,

handle staying in a place with such

“Seeing how it affected her

she went swimming with her other

awful memories along with high

family and the community and the

sister Katie. After years of ups and

levels of heroin access.

ripples in the water, it’s really heavy.

downs, and despite the energy

It’s been like four years and her mom

these experiences took from the

people who continue to suffer from

still calls me crying,” Keri said.

siblings, these moments made Keri

heroin’s grip on Louisville. But for

think that maybe things could be

Keri, there could be hope.

The pain of her friend’s death helped Keri realize how precious life is, and it terrifies her that she could be in Mears’ position.

better again. Keri’s hope to reconnect with

Keri is just one of countless

Keri Dearmond shows off her tattoos that decorate her hand, reading “19” and “Hopeless.” She gave herself the 19 stick-and-poke after her best friend (who was born on the 19th day of the month) died from a heroin overdose at the age of 19 on the 19th day of the month.

So again, Keri will attend a rehabilitation center in hopes of

her family has been a factor in

finally getting better. Again, Keri

pushing her towards rehabilitation.

will try to discover her interests she

family through any more trauma.

Her favorite center is in Los

never got to experience because of

It gets to the point where on the

Angeles, and the program has

heroin. And again, she will pray that

rare occasions she sees her parents,

thankfully admitted her for

this will be the last time she has to

they cry.

another try at sober living. The

go through rehab. «

She can’t imagine putting her

LASTING MEMORY

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

13


THE

CROSSROADS

“Intersectionality” is a relatively new term people are using to discuss centuries-old oppression.

words by JEDIAH HOLMAN & ZAKEYA BAKER » design by LAUREN HUNTER

T

housands of people filled the steps

“We are a movement that pur-

outside of the Muhammad Ali

sues liberty, justice, and the pursuit

were for whites only. Emma De-

Center waiting to hear the words of

of happiness for all. We have com-

Graffenreid, the plaintiff, and several

Louisville’s community activists at

plex inequalities, and I say to you,

other black women sued the motor

the 2018 Women’s March on Jan. 21.

and to all of us, welcome.”

company for discrimination against

As the activists spoke, the murmurs of the crowd faded to silence. The

ally threw out the case, because the

only things the audience heard were the echo of the microphone and the

Intersectionality describes those

they hired both women and black

message of unity.

motor company had evidence that

people who are standing at a

men. The company failed to take

“I’m proud to stand in front of

crossroads, at an “intersection” of

responsibility for leaving out those

you as an intersectional feminist,

marginalized or oppressed identi-

people right in the middle: black

a clear woman of color, an Afro-

ties. Not only does intersectionality

women. The courts ruled that com-

Carribean, a refugee, and a woman

help individuals define themselves,

bining race and gender claims was

who found her roots in Appalachia,”

but it also gives exploited groups the

not permissible. As a black woman

Marta Miranda-Straub, former

chance to support one another.

herself, Crenshaw connected with

Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw,

DeGraffenreid’s struggle and real-

and Families, said to the crowd

a Harvard Law graduate and civil

ized that she needed to take action.

members whom she described as

rights activist, coined the term in

Thus, the term “intersectionality”

her brothers and sisters. “We stand

her 1989 essay “Demarginalizing

was born.

in the ground of our history. And

the Intersection of Race and Sex:

our history is one of immigration,

A Black Feminist Critique of Anti-

shaw gave in 2016, she began to use

and genocide, and slavery, and a

discrimination Doctrine, Feminist

the term intersectionality “to deal

thirst for freedom for all.”

Theory and Antiracist Politics.” She

with the fact that many of our social

wrote the essay after hearing about

justice problems, like racism and

the microphone as the other pointed

several employment-discrimination

sexism, are often overlapping, creat-

high into the sky. Miranda-Straub’s

lawsuits, specifically one against

ing multiple levels of social injustice.”

emotionally-charged words grabbed

General Motors.

As she spoke, one hand gripped

ON THE RECORD

race and gender. The court eventu-

THE ORIGIN OF INTERSECTIONALITY

president of the Center for Women

14

a secretary. But the women’s jobs

According to a TED Talk Cren-

Crenshaw originally used the

everyone’s attention. She delivered

Applying for a job at General

her take on intersectionality to the

Motors in 1976 meant applying for a

and the struggles they face with

crowd; now it was their turn to learn

job suitable for men on the factory

inclusion, recognition, and support.

the term and use it to make change.

floor or a job suitable for women as

She noted that society dealt black

Spring/Summer 2018

term exclusively for black women


women a bad hand. Not only were

crimination, until recently we have

“a tendency for people of a particu-

they facing discrimination because

only deal with them separately. Of-

lar religion, race, social background,

of their gender, but these women

ten times, however, these issues go

etc., to form exclusive political

also had centuries of racism on

hand-in-hand. As poet, civil rights

alliances.” The idea that identity

their backs. Until recently, people

and social rights activist Audre

politics is exclusionary and divisive

perhaps haven’t thought extensively

Lorde put it, “There is no such thing

gives it a negative connotation, but

about the concept behind inter-

as a single-issue struggle, because

the alternative is delegitimizing the

sectionality: that discrimination

we do not live single-issue lives.”

importance of identity and regard-

can affect people from different directions. Consequently, the idea

ing the American public as a more

of intersectionality for a long time

SO WHY IS INTERSECTIONALITY IMPORTANT?

didn’t have a name and was difficult

Intersectionality is based on the idea

to validate.

people can identify with “overlap-

“When there’s no name for a

ping oppression,” so it’s a personal

problem, you can’t see a problem.

thing. It’s important, because it

When you can’t see a problem, you

helps people understand their own

can’t solve it,” Crenshaw said.

backgrounds and the backgrounds

When there’s no name for a problem, you can’t see a problem. When you can’t see a problem, you can’t solve it. - Kimberlé Crenshaw

The bottom line is that when a

of those around them. Intersection-

problem has a name, people can more

ality is not picking one struggle over

homogenous group of individuals. It

easily identify it as something that

the other. It’s not saying one voice

might be easy to label the “intersec-

needs to be fixed. For years, intersec-

is louder than the other. And it’s not

tionality” movement negatively, be-

tional people didn’t have a buzzword

allowing the world to tell you that

cause it is, in a way, identity politics

to describe their daily struggles. The

you have to choose who you must

on steroids. Intersectionality allows

trans community is similarly familiar

be. Intersectionality is being both

people to more completely define

with being titleless. Four decades ago,

black and LGBTQ, or both Jewish

themselves. But keep in mind that

identifying with a different gender

and a woman. It is white men who

intersectionality also encourages

was foreign to many people. But since

face marginalization from practic-

marginalized groups to interact with

the late 20th century, the community

ing a minority religion and being

one another in trying to understand

has achieved recognition and, as a

mentally disabled.

the unique perspectives of each of

result, gained more support. Even though we talk about issues like racism, homophobia, and dis-

You may have heard the term

their members. Intersectionality also

“identity politics” in the news re-

provides everyone with a more exact

cently. It’s a phrase used to refer to

way of understanding the commuSpring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

15


nity around them. For the first time,

that’s through religion, whether

we all have the language necessary

that’s through ethnic origin.”

to support the distinct needs of distinct people.

on Dec. 8. The event showcased the

one another. Historically, women of

many cultures of duPont Manual’s

color have supported white feminist

student population through a

movements without recieving the

variety of cultural presentations,

same support back when fighting for

food, and games. The night set the

racial justice. If there had been a joint

tone for the board’s future, includ-

sion affects you, it’s important to keep

effort between these groups for the

ing their goal of achieving solidar-

in mind now that oppression almost

past 100 years, we might be in a very

ity with everyone who is involved.

certainly affects some of the people

different place today in terms of gen-

The board had their second event

you care about: your family members,

der equality and women’s rights. At

in the form of a seminar on April

a time when the amount of hate, the

22 which included several present-

singling out of specific groups, and

ers from both Fairdale High School

the division among the people has

and Shawnee High School Magnet

become so prominent, we as a nation

Career Academy discussing the way

are in need of unity.

their struggles intertwine.

yourself intersectional? What if their problems aren’t the same as your problems? Instead of waiting until oppres-

There is no such thing as a singleissue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives. - Audre Lorde your friends, your classmates. “I’m an Indian Christian, then I’m

“We’re coming together,” said

INTERSECTIONALITY’S REACH

Sarah Korssa, BSU’s secretary of

Today, some students have taken

public relations. “Everyone doesn’t

initiative by creating intersectional-

have to be at the opposite ends of a

ity clubs and hosting intersectional-

crossroad and standing by them-

ity events. At duPont Manual High

selves when we have crossroads for

School, the students created an

a reason … we’re all connected.”

gay, then we’re all from Kentucky.

intersectionality board made up of

It’s a lot of different layers you have

representatives from Girl Up, the

plex, is a new start for those looking

to go through,” said Abey Philip,

Black Student Union (BSU), Refugee

to define themselves, a modern

an 18-year-old senior at duPont

and Immigrant Support Initiative

attempt at a solution for century-

Manual High School.

(RISI), Gay Straight Transgender

old issues. What it does give us is a

Alliance (GSTA), and more. They

frame of reference.

Philip is more than his ethnic-

Intersectionality, although com-

ity, more than his sexual orientation,

realized the important role a board

more than his religion. He’s also more

could serve supporting marginalized

is not the lay of the land. It is who

than the sum of those separate iden-

groups in the political climate of the

we are. We are black. We are able.

tities. When we think of people in the

2016 presidential election.

We are temporarily able. We’re old.

“You tell me intersectionality

LGBTQ community, we might picture

“In some way, it’s kind of im-

We’re white. We’re trans. We’re

a multicultural group. Yet, along with

portant that Trump was elected

queer. We’re many, many, many

knowing that people may be a part

and that we are facing all of these

things,” Miranda said. “None of us

of multiple marginalized groups, it

issues, because it brings these is-

is one thing. All of us belong in

is important to understand that the

sues to light. It gives us a reason to

many places. And we need to stand

“intersection” of identities creates a

assemble and try to make change in

with all that we are and all that

completely unique perspective. Even

our community,” said Netra Rastogi,

represent us.”

more, those intersections are cause

president of RISI.

for unity between oppressed peoples. “It’s like when we make those

ON THE RECORD

their own “Intersectionality Night”

history when it comes to backing

But what if you don’t consider

16

However, women have a rough

A couple months after being officially established, the board held

Rastogi stated that each board member had previously worked

Her last words at the Louisville Women’s March drawled out into a scream:

Venn diagrams in class and there’s

within the confines of their club,

that middle section,” Philip said.

but with the creation of the board

spirit of a 64-year-old woman

“Those intersections of our identity

they’ve been able to tackle those is-

who’s been in the trenches for the

can bring people together, whether

sues together.

last 44 years.” «

Spring/Summer 2018

“Thank you for reviving the


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Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

17


SMILE AND WAVE

Quintin Webster, TARC bus driver, waves at entering passengers on May 11. He’s been a bus driver for six years and says he loves what he does day after day. Photo by Mia Breitenstein

BEHIND THE

WHEEL

He greets you with a smile, but do you know his name?

words by MELISSA SCIANIMANICO » design by LAUREN HUNTER

18

ON THE RECORD

Spring/Summer 2018


got on the Transit Authority of

“Well, yes, riders are rude on the

Quintin was on his way to the school I

River City (TARC) bus at the cor-

bus all the time,” he said. “So, what do I

have called my own for four years now

ner of White Blossom Boulevard

do? I just smile.”

— duPont Manual High School.

and Springhurst with only $1.75 and

As we walked around what used to

Webster’s son was known at Manual

nowhere to go. You can’t walk down

be the city’s railroad hub, now TARC

for his enthusiasm and well-rounded

a street in Louisville without seeing a

headquarters, I found that not only is a

personality, which I could clearly see he

TARC pass by; nevertheless, this was

friendly grin a big part of who Webster

got from his dad. Hammond’s murder

my first time experiencing our city’s

is, but it is also one of his responsibili-

not only shook the school community,

public bus system. I paid my fare, noted

ties as a public service worker.

but it left a mark on Webster that lies

the student discount I could get next

For the past six years, Webster has

time, and shuffled to an open seat in

been a coach driver for TARC. Web-

the middle of the vehicle.

hidden behind his charisma. “Of course that was the worst day

ster picks up routes throughout the

of my life,” Webster said, “but I am

The drive was unremarkable. Pas-

city, meeting people from “all walks of

still here and I am still standing. It is

sengers came and went, all lost in the

life. From the good, the bad, and even

only by God’s grace and mercy that I’m

sound of their headphones and the

the ugly,” he said with a wink, leading

still going.”

green blur of trees as the bus passed

us out of the historic building and

them by. The cycle continued as, once

towards the parked buses.

again, the bus pulled to a stop. This time the clatter of a plastic bottle interrupted the routine. “Damnit!” said a woman, an overflowing bag of manilla folders slipping out of her arms. She considered her options, looking between the drink on the floor and the

Webster’s face lit up as he discussed his work, often interrupting stories with a bubbly “I love drivin’ the bus.”

“Every driver’s got a story. You’re just hearing mine, but other riders don’t know.” - Quintin Webster

However, as much as he enjoys his job now, getting himself to where he is today was anything but easy.

We headed towards the back parking lot as I allowed silence to fall over

“I’ve worked a lot of jobs to keep

us for the first time in the interview. I

food on the table,” Webster said. “I was

was reflecting, and I think he was too.

a driver for TARC 22 years ago but got

Hammonds death has impacted not

peared to be in her 40’s and had a

laid off after two years and put into an

only his father but also the teachers I

sweet country twang. “You dropped

unemployment program that helped

see everyday — even his football coach,

your pop ova’ here,” she said, pointing

me get a degree. Then I worked for IBM

who I now call Principal Mayes. I was

to the lime green bottle sloshing at

— but again got laid off.”

shocked by the connection to my own

open bus doors. “Ma’am,” the driver said. She ap-

her feet. “My God,” the woman huffed as

A lot has changed since Webster

community and startled by the realiza-

drove for TARC two decades ago.

tion of every time that I — and many

she left the bottle behind and took

Although TARC offers great opportu-

of you — had overlooked the person

a conscious step towards the exit.

nities to transport teens from work

behind the job.

“Can’t you see my hands are clearly

to school and everything in between,

full?” she said. “You can pick it up.”

its accessibility is now in jeopardy. In

just hearing mine, but other riders

The bus driver remained com-

May, the Courier Journal discussed

don’t know. Some of them treat us like

posed, retrieved the bottle, and con-

how driver shortages have caused

we have no story, even though I always

considerable delays in the Louisville

try to be kind and professional,”

bus system, resulting in both frus-

Webster said.

tinued to drive. Her professionalism and poise hinted to me that this was not the first time she had been left to clean up a rider’s mess. This made me wonder; who is this person when she leaves the bus? Who is this person when she is not picking up a woman’s garbage, or begging riders to pay their fare, or doing a thankless job with a smile on her face? Later, I was reminded of this incident when I sat down to talk with TARC bus driver Quintin Webster at Louisville’s historic Union Station.

trated riders and drivers. The nearly

“Every driver’s got a story. You’re

He walked us back towards Union

40 driver vacancies have left riders

Station as the interview drew to a

waiting hours for buses, causing them

close. I shook his hand, thanking the

to be late for work, appointments, and

college graduate, the father, the driver,

other obligations. This city depends

the man behind the thankless job.

on its drivers. As we continued to walk the

As a bus rider, a student, and a Louisville teen, it is crucial to treat

perimeter of the parking lot, Webster

those who provide us with a service

revealed that his struggles with unem-

as people. Every driver, every person,

ployment were the least of his worries.

has a story and now I’ve heard Web-

Twenty-one years ago, Webster lost

ster’s. I still don’t know that woman

his 15-year-old son, Quintin Hammond,

who drove me last week, but I don’t

when two men attempting to rob

need to hear her story to know that

Quintin of his shoes shot him instead.

she has one. « Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

19


MARITAL MISERY

At age 16, Donna Pollard smiles on her wedding day. Now 34 and divorced, she feels no other girl should have to go through what she did, so she founded the Survivor’s Corner. This is the only photo she has from her wedding day. Photo illustration by Mia Breitenstein

save the girl not the date Kentucky makes strides to keep kids off the altar. words by WESLEY LYNCH » design by MIA BREITENSTEIN 20 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018


D

onna Pollard’s love story at

Survivor’s Corner, an organization

of child marriage, with 73 child

age 14 didn’t involve hold-

that is solely dedicated to giving a

weddings out of every 10,000

ing hands or meeting in the

voice to survivors of sexual assault,

weddings. The other two states

school hallway to say a few

exploitation, and abuse while also

are Idaho and West Virginia, and

words before class. Her love story

giving them the resources they

both have large rural and poor

began in a behavioral help facil-

need to heal gave her the platform

communities. Residents in these

ity. Instead of being the 16-year-old

she needed to speak out against the

areas might not have had access to

crush with dreamy eyes, he was her

practice that had traumatized and

comprehensive sex education that

29-year-old mental health technician.

demeaned her.

focuses on safe and protected sex,

“He would do things like position

At the beginning of summer

depending on their school district’s

himself really close to me when I was

2017, Pollard teamed up with Sen.

guidelines on sex education. This

in line getting lunch, or he would

Julie Raque Adams to write Senate

lack of education can lead to

make sure he was always there when

Bill 48, proposing to change the legal

unexpected pregnancies, which in

I went to the gym,” Pollard said in an

marriage age. Previous legislation

turn, may push a girl to marry and

On the Record interview.

had allowed those 16 or 17 to marry

start a family before she’s ready.

The romance developed

with a parent’s permission and

when the man began to slip love

individuals under 16 to marry with a

letters under her door. Loving the

judge’s approval if one of the parties

attention, Pollard fell for the older

were pregnant. In Senate Bill 48,

man hard, commending herself for

Pollard and Adams set the legal age

being mature enough to flirt with a

for marriage at 18 with a judge’s

man 15 years older than her.

approval for marriage if one party is

After she left the facility, her

17. The bill also requires a 17-year old

mother approved of the relationship,

applying for marriage to have a GED,

being fully aware of the age

evidence of having a job for at least

difference. The two would go on

three months, and at most a four

dates on the weekends and he would

year age difference with the person

stay overnight at her house from

they’re marrying.

time to time. But the relationship

“We really tightened the

“He would build me up and make me feel like I was too mature for the high school I was going to.” Donna Pollard However, early pregnancy is not the only reason child marriages are common in rural and poor

became more intense and her love

exceptions up,” Pollard said,

communities. Many of these areas

life began to pull her away from her

“Because if we’re going to have

have roots in various religious

high school education.

exceptions, we need to make them

practices that see child marriage

as protective as possible.”

as an ongoing tradition and an

“He would build me up and make me feel like I was too mature

On March 29, Governor Matt

acceptable custom. But in Pollard’s

for the high school I was going to,”

Bevin signed off on Senate Bill

case, it was her ex-husband’s

Pollard said.

48. The new law has absolutely

manipulation that led her to believe

no tolerance for the marriage of

child marriage was normal.

Pollard’s mother agreed to the marriage with one catch — she had to finish her sophomore year of

individuals under 17. Prior to that time, child marriage

Pollard, Sen. Julie Raque Adams, and other senators supporting the

high school. She was also supposed

had long been practiced somewhat

bill were elated and relieved to hear

to stay with her mother until the

under the radar. According to a

that it had been passed. Governor

end of the year, but events took an

2017 study by PBS, between the

Bevin’s quick signing of the bill

unexpected turn. What was once

years 2000 and 2015 at least 207,459

encouraged Pollard to keep fighting

love letters and phone calls turned

individuals under the age of 18 were

for the marriage age to eventually

into him throwing her stuff out of

legally married in the United States.

have no exceptions under 18 in

her mother’s house, confirming his

To put it in perspective, if someone

Kentucky and other states in the

controlling nature. He then coerced

had a dollar for every child who

United States.

her into disobeying her mother’s one

married as a minor, they could buy a

rule and they moved to Indiana.

three bedroom, two bathroom house

through, it is absolutely possible

in the suburbs.

to rise above it and reframe the

And the marriage was all perfectly legal. Donna Pollard, now 34 and

While child marriage in

“No matter what you have been

experience into something that

Kentucky was not a hot topic until

is protective for other people,”

divorced, helped put an end to

recently, we were one of the top

Pollard said.

that practice. She founded the

three states for the highest rates

And rise she did. «

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

21


SHOU WOR heard 'round

22 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018


UT RLD

d the

Students take charge in the worldwide shout for gun reform in the United States. words by EVAN SHOWALTER & CORA KIRBY » design by JESS MAYS

H

e was sitting in his office when he got the phone call. “We’ve got one down,” she

said. “Maybe more.” Trent Lovett, the superintendent of

Marshall County schools, hung up the phone and ran to his car. Marshall County High School’s new principal, Patricia Greer, hadn’t given him any specifics over the phone, but his mind went immediately to his freshman daughter who was inside the school. He rushed down about a quarter mile of backroads to get to the school. When he arrived, students were swarming out of the doors. But it wasn’t loud. It was eerily silent. Survivors of the shooting recall that they were too focused on getting out of the chaotic building alive to scream. Lovett entered the building through the gym. He was met with a living nightmare. It was carnage. Some students were lying on the floor completely still; others were moving. People were trying to help those on the floor that were still alive. After seeing that the injured students were being cared for, Lovett immediately asked where the shooter was. In the middle of all the mayhem and disorder, Lovett found a bat poking out of a baseball player’s discarded backpack; he grabbed it and edged down the long, narrow hallway with nothing else to protect himself from flying lead. All he cared about was protecting the students. “When you’ve been in education for a long time, they’re your own kids. That’s why we try to take care of them best we can,” Lovett said. That sense of responsibility was what motivated him to walk for what seemed like an eternity down the vacant halls. Fortunately, he never saw the shooter, who had killed two students and injured a dozen more. Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

23


This incident at Marshall

In the replies on teenage gun-

ment were surprised by how quickly

reform activists’ social media ac-

scene from a horror movie, but it

the movement gained popularity.

counts, adults have called students

is neither fiction nor a rare event.

“One minute I was crying about

crisis actors or claimed that they're

We are growing up in an era when

my friend in the hospital and the

too young to know what they’re talk-

mass shootings are normal. Seeing

next minute ‘Never Again’ was this

ing about, but that hasn’t stopped

an alert pop up on our phones of

big thing,” Rain Valladares, a 17-year-

students from talking.

yet another mass shooting is be-

old Parkland student and yearbook

coming normal.

photographer, said in a Skype inter-

brought attention to “red flag” laws.

view with On the Record on March 7.

Many states have already passed

We go to school expecting to learn and expecting to be safe. We

"We’ve got one down," the principal at Marshall County High School said. "Maybe more."

involved in the Never Again move-

County High School sounds like a

And that’s an understatement.

These student voices are what

laws that allow judges to take guns

show up every day, go through our

At 1.6 million followers, Emma

from people whom they deem

daily routines, move from class to

González, one of the Never Again

dangerous. Not even a month had

class, and plan on walking out the

movement’s leaders, now has more

passed since the MSD shooting be-

doors when the bell rings. Now we

than twice as many followers as the

fore Florida legislators passed a bill

imagine that one day that routine is

National Rifle Association (NRA).

that outlawed bump stocks, raised

interrupted by the sounds of gunshots echoing through the halls. There have been 20 school shootings in 2018 according to

But with a larger following comes

the legal age to own a gun to 21, and

a greater pool of critics. And no one

added a three day waiting period for

knows this better than victims of

most gun purchases.

school shootings themselves.

But it’s not just representatives

CNN’s data compilation, which cov-

That is part of the reason why

who are feeling the pressure from

ered kindergarten through college-

we as On the Record reporters made

students’ international audience.

level shootings in which at least one

the journey to Washington D.C. for

Large corporations like Walmart,

person other than the shooter was

the March for Our Lives. We were

Dicks Sporting Goods, and L.L. Bean

shot. The data set includes domestic

there as students and as journal-

— to name a few — have raised the

and gang violence and accidental

ists, not just to cover the march, but

minimum gun-purchase age to 21 in

firearm shots.

also to honor the victims of Marshall

their stores.

The Marshall County High School shooting happened in our own state

County and MSD. It was two days before we headed

Corporations, states, and schools are making changes, but there hasn’t

— closer to home than most — but

to the march that Mollie Davis, an

we weren’t even out of the drafting

18-year-old senior at Great Mills

stage of this story before an even

High School in Great Mills, Maryland,

Marjory Stoneman Douglas shoot-

deadlier event occurred.

experienced a school shooting. Great

ing, President Donald Trump sent

Mills is only an hour away from D.C.

prayers and condolences to the

killed 17 people and injured over a

We found Davis after she began live

survivors and the victims’ families

dozen more at Marjory Stoneman

tweeting updates once a student

in tweets. He took a more explicit

Douglas High School (MSD) in Park-

opened fire at the beginning of the

stance later in the month, tweet-

land, Florida.

school day on March 20. The night

ing about arming teachers and his

we arrived in D.C., we made a point

plans to urge congress to ban bump

shooting used an AR-15 rifle, a

of visiting her. It was just moments

stocks. Since those tweets, how-

weapon that’s no stranger to mass

before we met Davis that national

ever, Trump has been largely silent

shootings. According to Time

news media declared the victim to be

in the gun control debate.

Magazine, six of the 10 deadliest

brain dead. To compound it all, we

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s

mass shootings in the past decade

found out that duPont Manual, our

response after the Marshall County

were committed with an AR-15-style

own school, was under threat of a

shooting was similar in that he of-

rifle. The students in Parkland have

shooting for the next day.

fered his thoughts and prayers right

On February 14, a former student

The suspect in the Parkland

taken to social media to ignite the

“There was one person who said

been much word from our president. In the days following the

away and then talked about arming

conversation about AR-15s and other

that they doubted I was real because

adults in schools in an interview on

factors of the gun-control debate

I have good grammar and I was able

WKDZ radio a month later.

in what they’ve dubbed the “Never

to type complete sentences dur-

Again” movement.

ing a school shooting,” Davis said.

mass shootings. Politicians offer

“There are some people who just

condolences, then they speak loose-

source of overwhelming support

aren’t letting students handle their

ly on policy reform, then, eventually,

for these students and their recent

grief before they jump straight into

they stop talking about the issue.

gun-reform efforts. Many students

attacking us.”

Without action from the president,

Social media has also been a

24 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

This seems to be a trend after


students around the country took

as understanding. According to the

point of view and then, about two

things into their own hands.

Courier Journal, over 100 students

minutes into her speech: silence.

walked out and took a detention.

She stopped talking and stared

inspired a rise in youth protests

All these actions strengthened the

into the crowd. We felt awkward,

against gun violence, and it didn’t

cause, but the biggest symbol of

unsure of what to do as we stared

take long for students across the

unity occurred March 24.

into González’s piercing eyes on

The teenagers in Parkland

country to start planning protests of

The Parkland students used their

the jumbotron.

their own. Teenagers in Washington

following to promote the March for

DC, for example, held a ‘lie-in’ out-

Our Lives in Washington D.C. on

ambulances, nature, and helicopters

side of the White House on Presi-

March 24 to demand gun reform.

far away; the only breaks in the hush

dents’ Day in order to advocate for

Anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000

were various marchers’ short-lived

stricter gun control. The Women’s

people were estimated to have at-

attempts to start chants.

March also organized a nationwide

tended. chants of "Vote them out",

Finally, she spoke.

school walkout on March 14 to show

"No more", and "Never Again" spo-

unity and solidarity with the Park-

radically burst out in the crowd and

it has been six minutes and 20 sec-

land students. The walkout attracted

followed like a wave until they either

onds,” she said, and a wave of reali-

participants all over the country, and

died out or grew louder.

zation washed over the crowd. “The

JCPS was no exception. Outside Fern Creek High School,

The streets around the march

The only noise was the sound of

shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with

students huddled together. The

The participants were unified, with

the crowd as they escape, and walk

movement hit close to home as

virtually no NRA or pro-gun signs

free for an hour before arrest.”

students remembered a shooting

in sight.

Six minutes and 20 seconds

that occured at the school in 2014

The march officially started at

when one student shot and injured

noon — despite the rallying starting

González had shown the crowd just

another. At duPont Manual, about

four hours beforehand — and fea-

how painfully long it could last. She

1,000 students had administra-

tured speeches from MSD survivors

left us with a haunting call to ac-

tion support as they walked out

and performances by Miley Cyrus,

tion: “Fight for your lives before it’s

and stood in absolute silence for

Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, and

someone else’s job.”

18 minutes — a minute for each of

other powerful public figures. Then, at around 2:00 p.m., the

doesn’t sound like a long time, but

The crowd went wild. The journalists in us wanted to remain

one more for the students killed at

final speaker took to the stage.

quiet and observe unbiased, but

Marshall County. At North Oldham

González described the Park-

the student in all of us burst out as

High School, administration wasn’t

land shooting from the students’

we cheered with them. A unique

CRISIS TWEETER Mollie Davis (18)

faced backlash after she live-tweeted updtaes during the shooting at Great Mills High School. "There are always going to be terrible people on Twitter, but it gets news out quick and it's also such a huge platform," Davis said. Photo by Noah Keckler

Emma González

“Since the time I came out here,

were a sea of people and signs.

the Parkland shooting victims and

“Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

EARLIER THAT DAY Rain Valladares (17) took

Valentines' Day photos for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's yearbook, Aerie, the morning of the shooting. "We were like, 'Should we cover Valentines' Day?' and I said that I wanted to because I don't want people to just think about this day as the tragedy it was," Valladares said. Photo by Noah Keckler Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

25


chant arose in the crowd. “Vote

"We got metal detectors and started that as soon as they came in. Anything we can do as administrators to make our students feel safe." Trent Lovett Superintendent of Marshall County schools

Even our school, duPont Manual

Lovett said that many people

her in,” they chanted. It was clear:

High School, is working to make

think that more kinds of security in

the crowd loved González. She was

the environment safer as a result of

schools will prevent school shoot-

giving voice to us – the students, all

the rise in shootings. Students must

ings, but he disagrees. He thinks

across the nation.

wear IDs at all times and always

that if a person really wants to

carry a pass when in the halls during

shoot up a school, they will find a

solution that is guaranteed to both

class. The Alert, Lockdown, Inform,

way around the metal detectors and

fix the problem and please everyone.

Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) drill has

other barriers.

Should we focus on protection dur-

also been implemented in schools

ing an armed threat or preventing

throughout JCPS to encourage stu-

County shooting had no warnings.

the attack before it happens?

dents disarm a shooter and evacuate

According to Lovett, the shooter

rather than hide in place and wait

showed no signs or symptoms

for the “all clear.”

socially or behaviorally of being a

But, still, there is probably no

Schools across the nation are testing different solutions, because hiding in the corner and

Unlike Parkland, the Marshall

Students aren’t the only stake-

potential school shooter. No com-

turning off the lights simply does

holders though. In February, the

plaints or worries. The shooting

not work. Nine out of every 10

Kentucky senate proposed a bill that

happened out of nowhere.

public schools now have shooting

would allow schools to arm some

drills, according to the National

trained staff members. The idea of

could happen to any school. We

Center for Educational Statistics.

arming teachers has been circulating

always think it will never happen

Beyond that, school districts are

in school districts all over the country,

to us.

coming up with their own ideas

but there’s one group of people who

for preventing guns from entering

are particularly opposed: teachers.

school buildings at all. In Park-

The horrifying truth is that it

“We were always like, ‘Why are we upping drills? Who cares? This

According to a Gallup poll from

is Parkland. We’re a safe place.’

land, for example, students now

March 5 through March 12, 73% of

but it is serious,” Valladares said.

have to wear clear backpacks. And,

teachers are against being armed.

“They always say it could be you,

If teachers have guns, some

it could happen to you, but it can

implemented metal detectors and

believe that the chances of a school

and I hate the fact that I had to go

backpack checks.

shooting will decrease, but the idea

through that to realize it.”

in Marshall County, the school

“Anything we can do as admin-

also raises a lot of questions: Where

We are writing this paragraph

istrators to make our students feel

would teachers keep their guns? How

on May 11 and, this morning, at

safe, that’s what we want to do,”

would schools pay for them? What

7 a.m., there was another school

Lovett said.

training would teachers receive? All

shooting at Highland High School

these questions aside, there’s no reli-

in Palmdale, California. The earlier

tiple letters home describing security

able evidence to suggest that any of

CNN statistic is no longer accu-

measures. Teachers and staff also

the potential methods of protection

rate. There have no longer been

had discussions about safety con-

­— be it armed teachers, metal detec-

20 school shootings in 2018. There

cerns with students in order to allow

tors, new legislation, better mental

have been 21. Now, the question

students to talk about their feelings

health resources, etc. — would actu-

is how do we stop it? How do we

surrounding the recent tragedies.

ally prevent tragedy.

make sure it never happens again? «

JCPS responded by sending mul-

USED WEAPONS FOR SALE

In Kentucky, when police confiscate criminals’ guns, the law dictates that they must sell them back to the public at auction. Police do this to pay for equipment, like armor, for officers. In some states the police

A large portion of the gun control debate sur-

THE rounds whether civilians should have access to RIGHT TO automatic and semi-automatic rifles like the a model that is commonly used in school BEAR ARs AR-15, shootings. AR-15s are appealing to shooters

departments can choose whether to sell or

because they have a high accuracy, with a firing

destroy confiscated firearms. In Kentucky,

rate of about 600 per minute, and versatile at-

multiple legislators have tried to pass bills

tachments are available.

that put an end to the auctions. The current

AR-15 owners can customize the gun with

law is controversial, because even though

different barrels, clips, and stocks. Bump stocks

the auctions keep these weapons in the sys-

have become particularly controversial, because

tem, some police departments rely on the

fitting a bump stock to a semi-automatic weapon

money from the sales.

will allow the gun to fire as an automatic weapon.

26 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018


words by SYLVIA GOODMAN » design by JESS MAYS

I

t was March, 24, Washington,

School students in Parkland, Florida

Maya Angelou said, “We rise.” We

DC. I stood in solidarity with

and with the Marshall County High

must not and will not allow naysay-

hundreds of thousands of other

School students in Benton, Ken-

ers to beat us down with flawed

teenagers and adults. We marched

tucky — less than a three hour drive

accusations and hurtful words.

for what we believed and for what

from Louisville. Our school district

we deserved. We marched to defend

understood something that many

wisely said, “Never argue with stu-

the lives of our classmates and the

others did not: students are not to

pid people. They will drag you down

lives of children across our country

be underestimated.

and beat you with experience.”

To students: As Mark Twain

who could not speak for themselves,

History is on our side too.

When you see a tweet that calls

weighed down by crippling poverty

“Children,” as we are often called,

us “empty-headed kids” or calls

and oppressive circumstances.

have been the driving force behind

our crusade an excuse to get out

many of the most important social

of school, I ask that you not prove

reinvigorated the fight for common

movements over the past century—

them right by sinking to their level.

sense gun reform.

both in this country and around

Instead, let our actions speak for

the world.

themselves. Prove them wrong by

High school students have

As I sit here now, I still believe we can change the world.

The Birmingham Children’s

voting corrupt politicians out of of-

Crusade of 1963 inspired peaceful

fice. Prove them wrong by marching

sors. When I write oppressors, I do

protests throughout the Civil Rights

peacefully as students have for gen-

not mean opponents to gun reform

Movement. The end of the war and

erations. Draw back and look at the

or politicians who refuse to take

publication of the Pentagon Papers

long term. I’m confident that his-

a stance; I mean the people who

has more than justified student

tory will forget the petty remarks of

deny students’ right to hold these

action against the Vietnam War.

insignificant cynics and will record

protests, these walkouts, these ral-

Abroad, student groups sparked the

our actions in their place.

lies. I mean the people who would

Tiananmen Square protest in China.

suppress my speech and the speech

The Velvet Revolution, consisting

already supportive of the students

of students like me.

primarily of student demonstrations,

in this country. As I looked around

led to the dissolution of one-party

during the March for our Lives, I

administration at Greenbrier High

communist rule in Czechoslova-

was astonished by the turnout of

in Arkansas who punished protest-

kia. Student protests on American

older generations. However, many

ing students with either corporal

campuses contributed significantly

of you have remained silent while

punishment or suspension, call our

to the divestment of South African

the person next to you belittles our

attempts to be politically active

apartheid, or government-enforced

campaign and the students in it.

and stand up for what we be-

racial segregation.

Maybe it’s your spouse who nods his

And yet there are still oppres-

These oppressors, such as the

lieve “cutting class” or, even more

Clearly students have made an

To adults: Many of you are

or her head in agreement with the

egregiously, a “social event.” Such

impact, and we are determined

commentator on the screen. Maybe

statements are poorly informed

once more to be on the right side

it’s your child’s teacher who openly

about both the origin and attitude

of history. As much as commenta-

discouraged students from partici-

of this student movement.

tors may depict students as igno-

pating in the nationwide walkout

rant, ill-informed, or naive, we have

on March 14. Now is your chance to

Schools, my own district, students

proven that we are aware of the

stand up for students everywhere.

were allowed to safely participate

world around us and capable of tak-

in the same walkouts for which

ing action when others may not be.

thing the #NeverAgain movement is

other students were suspended or

Governments and people in power

calling for, but I expect every person

even paddled. Our district chose to

often do not profit from student

in this country to fight for everyone

respect our desire to stand with the

movements, as is the case with the

else’s freedom of speech, even if the

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High

#NeverAgain movement. But, like

speaker is a child. •

In Jefferson County Public

You may not agree with every-

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

27


OPINION

THIS IS WHAT

DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE

This gun reform movement is inclusive of communities the media often forgets, but we still have a long way to go.

words by guest contributer QUINTEZ BROWN » design by JESS MAYS

O

n March 24, I traveled with

and me while we were on the road

the day of the march. I was so elat-

18 student journalists from

at 1:42 p.m. The nerves were real

ed. I wanted to cry. At that moment,

duPont Manual’s Journalism

and the pressure was on me. As a

I finally felt included in the move-

and Communication magnet to be

young black boy from West End

ment. However, this is bigger than

with hundreds of thousands of fel-

Louisville, I felt the responsibility

me. The opportunity was a big step

low youth in our nation’s capital to

to show the world that despite the

for black voices all over America.

say “No more!”

depressing conditions we live in, we

We have always been involved in

are still fighting, and we still have

this movement, and this march has

morning in our school’s parking lot,

hope. I felt the responsibility to let

planted that fact into the minds and

way before students began arriving

the world know that I am fighting

souls of millions of Americans. It's

for class. In icy temperatures — ears

for Dequante Hobbs Jr., a seven-

reminded everyone that black lives

freezing, bodies shaking — we met

year-old whose life was tragically

matter and our voices do too.

local news stations who wanted

cut short in May by a stray bul-

to interview us and see us off on

let while he was eating cake at his

ognizing black activism is far from

our four-day trip to change our

kitchen cable. I am fighting for

an attack on the courageous, strong

country. One national news crew,

Savannah Walker, a University of

students of Parkland. In fact, the

MSNBC, came along with us in our

Louisville student who was shot at a

Parkland students have been com-

minivans as we caravanned from

concert in March when she pushed

mitted to reminding America that

Louisville to D.C.

her friends out of the line of fire.

they are privileged and promising to

I am fighting for Jordan Edwards,

raise other voices in this movement.

economic background, being on

a 15-year-old boy who was riding

David Hogg, one of the most vocal

national TV was an ultimate goal for

home from a party in the passenger

survivors, openly stated, “If this hap-

me, a goal only attainable by star

seat of a car when a police officer

pened in a place of a lower socio-

athletes. This mentality comes from

shot him in the back of the head

economic status or a place where

a long history of the media over-

with an AR-15. I am fighting for the

— like a black community, no matter

looking black voices.

all the African American children

how well those people spoke, I don't

who, in America, have the highest

think the media would cover it the

narrative. I didn’t get media attention

firearm mortality rate. I am 10 times

same and I think it is important that

for shooting a ball well or running

more likely to be a victim of gun

we point that out as Americans."

very fast. I looked into that MSNBC

homicide than a white child.

Our trip began early Thursday

Coming from a lower socio-

But on March 22, I changed the

camera and spoke out for what I be-

We all have the responsibil-

Including black voices and rec-

This is why I love those students and this movement. This movement

lieved in. I refused to be silent on the

ity to let America know that gun

issues that impact the lives of mil-

violence has been a problem for

lions of Americans. I refused to fight

decades, and those who are most

intersectionality and inclusion.

battles by myself. I joined a group of

likely to be victims have been con-

Imagine fighting for your life to end

passionate, active journalists, and I

stantly overlooked.

gun violence just to be criminalized,

went to D.C. to march for my life. MSNBC did a live shot interview with fellow senior Nyah Mattison 28 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

Nyah and I handled that respon-

will be an intersectional movement. There exists an urgency of

demonized, and overlooked and then

sibility so well that MSNBC invited

seeing America give empathy, sup-

us to an interview with Joy Reid on

port, and donations to very similar


movements started in a white com-

you’re a person of color, continue

intersectional revolution. I and the

munity. That was what we saw, and for

fighting and utilize this momentum

millions of students around this

a while, it made us feel hopeless. On

to shine the light where it should’ve

nation will be the generation that

March 24, the MSD students restored

always been.

ends gun violence, racism, sexism,

that hope, but it isn’t enough. We have

We can end gun violence. It

homophobia, poverty, and all the

to continue uplifting the voices that

won’t be tomorrow. It won’t be the

other societal ills that plague us as

have been silenced.

next day. However, change will

a nation.

If you’re white, check your privi-

come. As David Hogg said, “This is

We are #MSDStrong and per-

lege and realize why your pain gets

the beginning of a revolution.” This

haps for the first time, we’re all

more media attention than ours. If

will be an interdisciplinary and

standing together. «

DON'T SHOOT Teenage volunteers hand out

protest signs to people walking toward the Capitol Building on the morning of March 24, the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. Photo by Robbie Spencer

AND, WE'RE LIVE Joy Reid interviews Quintez Brown (18) and Nyah Mattison (17) for MSNBC during the March for Our Lives to discuss gun reform efforts in underpriveleged communities. Photo by Liz Palmer

EN ROUTE An MSNBC crew caravanned to

Washington, D.C. with a group of duPont Manual High School students. They stopped at lunch to do a live interview with Quintez Brown (18). Photo by Liz Palmer Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

29


WE THE MINORS Lucy Kissel shows off her tattoo of flowers with and her nephews’ names. Photo by Mia Breitenstein

Adolescents want their place at the grownups’ table, but seats are reserved until the age of 18. words by OLIVIA BROTZGE & ALI SHACKLEFORD » design by EVELYN WALFORD & OLIVIA BROTZGE

30 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018


S

he watched the big hand tick minute by minute until the little hand finally moved one notch to the right. It was time. She felt hesitant but ready. She felt scared but brave. Would it hurt? Would it be worth it? Would her mother see her differently? What if it didn’t work?

Her eyes immediately darted off the clock and onto a woman who was calling her name from the far side of the office. She went in, took off her pants and underwear, and laid down on the bed with her legs hanging off, spread apart. Cold, metal stirrups held up her feet. Bella Jones, whose identity we are protecting with a pseudonym, tried to focus on what the doctor was saying, but the thick clamps in her vagina were distracting. She relaxed, not because her doctor told her to, but because she thought it might help the pain. “People are typically uncomfortable in the position you’re in, so we’ll go fast. Alright?” I trust my doctor. “Now, you might experience some cramping and random bleeding, but if it persists then please…” I really wish I could put my pants back on. “It won’t start working for the next week or two, so if you’re going to have sex, make sure to…” I have a high pain tolerance, but Lindsay said she passed out. What if I pass out? “Ok. It’s going to hurt kind of like a really bad period cramp so just...” I’ve never had a bad period cramp. “Relax.” Just relax. “1… 2… 3… ” Finally.

My IUD Jones, now 17, was 16 when she got her intrauterine device (IUD), a form of long-term birth control. She spent months researching various forms of birth control and visiting her gynecologist to talk about what was right for her. Her mother, however, did not join the conversation until after Jones had already made the appointment. Jones’ mother told On the Record that she was “sad that she was losing her virginity but proud that she was thinking smart and trying to protect herself from a future pregnancy.” In any case, Jones was determined to get her IUD. “I value them letting me and being supportive of it. If they weren’t, then I’m 16, and I can go get it myself,” Jones said. Bodily integrity is the idea that each and every individual should be able to determine what happens to their own body and how. This idea is present to some degree in many of our legal rights. We see it in laws that make sure that adults are a part of the conversation at their doctor appointments, that adults consent before they go into surgery, and that adults can pierce and ink their skin. However, as far as state and federal laws are concerned, absolute bodily integrity starts at age 18. This makes it possible for adults to override children’s intentions for their own bodies.

In 2005, Kentucky law was amended to allow minors 16 and older the right to be examined, diagnosed, and treated for issues — such as sexually-transmitted diseases, alcohol and drug abuse or addiction, contraception, childbirth, and pregnancy — without parental consent or notification. The catch is that the resulting cost from any of the above operations, unless vital to their health, would fall solely on the minor. Legally, Jones could have gone through her IUD process alone, but she wouldn’t have had her family’s support to cover the expenses.. Luckily for Jones, her mother eventually approved of her decision. Though she has come to terms with her daughter’s choice, Jones’ mother is not completely sold on the idea of other minors having control over all medical situations. “You’re not developed mentally or prepared to make those choices at a young age. Hint: why you have parents,” her mother said. Jones’ mother isn’t the only one who believes this, and the idea that minors do not have the maturity to make difficult, longterm decisions is not without merit. Brain development isn’t always finished by the age of 18. In fact, research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Young Adult Development Project indicates that the brain can take as long as 25 years to reach full maturity. This

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

31


is the same reason why 18-year-

because it was a memorial piece and

nym, was nine years old,

olds are not allowed to rent a car

the design was something

she laid down in the middle of

without a surcharge or

they liked: not too big, not too

oncoming traffic.

drink alcohol. But it can also create

gaudy, just flowers.

Until she was 14, she had

the misconception that it takes 25

Lucy’s mother accompanied

years for every person to develop

her to the tattoo parlor, signed the

that it was just in her head and

maturity and self-restraint.

consent form, and sat in the room

she could get over everything if

This isn’t entirely true.

throughout the process. These

she stopped being so sad. Now,

In a 2016 article for the medical

measures of parental consent

Thomas knows that she has

journal “Asian Bioethics Review,”

exist to curb minors’ perceived

attention deficit/hyperactivity

Rebecca Babcock, a psychlogy

irresponsible tendencies and to

disorder (ADHD), general anxiety

professor at Stonehill College, found

make up for their lack of brain

disorder, social anxiety, obsessive

that changes in the brain occur at

development — brain development

compulsive personality disorder

different rates for different people. In

that adults already have.

(OCPD), and clinical depression.

other words, there is no blanket age

What if Lucy had made a

of maturity that applies to everyone.

My Ink Lucy Kissel dreamed of getting

trusted her mother’s explanation

“At first, I accepted the answer

snap decision to get the tattoo

of ‘you’re imagining it’ because she’s

after seeing a drawing of it on

my mom, you know?” Thomas said.

Instagram? What if she had

But until she discovered that what

regretted it soon after?

she was feeling not only had a name

But just as age doesn’t prevent

but a neurological explanation, she

a tattoo of two red flowers to

children from making good

memorialize her nephews that had

decisions, it doesn’t necessarily

recently passed away, but there was

exempt adults from make

I was hurting but no one was letting

something stopping her. Lucy was

irresponsible ones, either. After all,

me do anything about it,” she said.

17 — a year away from being able to

teenagers aren’t the only ones who

get tattoos without the consent of a

get questionable tattoos.

parent. When she asked her parents, ink and waited a month to give her

“I knew the extent of how much

Thomas feels as though her mother is ashamed of all of her mental issues and sees them

My Meds

they were hesitant to let her get the

felt hopeless.

as a self-reflection or an evaluation of her parenting. She believes

their final decision. They agreed

When Sarah Thomas, whose identity

her mom is in denial of having

to let Lucy get the tattoo, but only

we are protecting with a pseudo-

a “sad daughter.”

R

RATED The older you get, the more rights you have! Happy birthday!

14

16

Work

Get birth control

0 32 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

Get a pregnancy test Buy emergency contraception Tested for STIs Buy condoms

Drive Consent to sex


In the beginning, according to

“By the time kids are 15 or 16,

advantage of law on her side. Lucy,

Thomas, she went to appointments

they know the difference between

however, still had to ask permission

with her mom, who claimed that her

right and wrong, and they’re able

from her parents to get her tattoo.

treatment was a success, even

to make those kind of choices for

And Thomas, despite the backing of

if Thomas felt the medicines were

themselves,” Lucy said.

Kentucky law, continues to struggle

not working. Thomas recalls that

Research done by Debbie

several times it took two to three

Schachter, a Professor in the

laws now allow for more bodily

months to switch medications

Psychiatry Department and

integrity, their current state still

because of her mother’s claims that

Bioethics Centre at the University

favors adults.

she was getting better.

of Toronto, seems to back Lucy’s

At 14, Thomas spent a lot of

opinion. Schachter hosted a

to get proper treatment. Though

The future of legislation, though, is up to you.

time trying to convince her mother

behavioral study where researchers

to let her talk with a therapist

told minors (ages 12-16) and parents

minors are

about how she was feeling. Even

about an ADHD treatment so they

not eligible to

today, five months from 18, getting

could decide on their own whether

vote, we can’t

at different rates for

treatment for her mental health is

or not the child would take it. The

change or

hard. Although Kentucky law states

study found that children did just

support current

different people. In other

physicians may provide outpatient

as well as their parents when tested

policy by giving

words, there is no blanket

mental health counseling to children

for understanding. So the question

representatives

16 or older without the consent

remains: If teenagers are just as

our ballots.

age of maturity that applies

of a parent or guardian, Thomas’

capable of comprehending medical

However, we can

current psychiatrist refuses to see

information as their parents, then

take political

any patient under 18 without one

why are they not allowed to make

action in other

present. The requirement of parental

decisions for their own bodies?

ways, such as campaigning for

involvement in these situations

Because

Changes in the brain occur

to everyone.

representatives or putting pressure

raises the problem of parents who are not present in their children’s

My Voice

on elected officials through phone calls and emails. These actions have

lives and who may not have their

The cases of Bella Jones, Lucy Kis-

the potential to allow every child to

best interests in mind, situations that

sel, and Sarah Thomas only em-

help make responsible choices for

could potentially bar a child from

phasize the ambiguity of adoles-

their future. No matter our age, we

receiving the help they need.

cent autonomy laws. Bella had the

still have the right to speak. «

17

21

Enlist in army Donate blood

Drink alcohol

Vote

18

Skydive

Sext

Tattoo Marriage Gamble Abortion Buy a gun Lottery Sue Piercings Legally an adult Drop out of school

Buy nicotine products

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

33


not for

SALE

Louisville’s sex trafficking industry meets its biggest threat — its victims. words by MATTIE TOWNSON & SKY CARROLL design by SKY CARROLL & MIA BREITENSTEIN

W

e were waiting on a porch in southern Lou-

isville to interview some-

“That’s the hope house. That’s where I need to be.” The man immediately grabbed her hand and ushered her away. After this all unfolded, Angela

Renfro recounts how she was gradually groomed into forced prostitution as a girl, starting at age nine. Her first pimp gave her the name Kristy Love, hence the name of her

Renfro, the Executive Director of

organization. She was sex trafficked

the Kristy Love Foundation, ensured

from Ohio to Georgia until age 29;

actually unfolded before

that we — including the women from

she was forced to have sex with

our eyes.

the van — were inside the house

multiple men per day and kept in

before saying, “That man out there,

chains at night.

one for this story when it

On the sidewalk nearby, a man

that was a pimp.” And she should know — she’s

“One of my prayers was that if I ever got out of that lifestyle, I would

that appeared to be in his thirties

been through it all before. Angela

provide a safe place where girls

shouted at a woman walking next to

Renfro is a survivor of sex traffick-

could come and live with me,”

him. With eyes on the ground, she

ing, not a victim. She makes the

Renfro said.

asked him to lower his voice. As if on

difference clear to the women she

cue, a van pulled up and half a dozen

harbors : “Once you walk through

Foundation is a house in Louisville

women spilled out, hauling grocer-

my door, you are no longer a victim.

that provides a safe home for traf-

ies to the back of their house — the

You are a survivor.”

ficked women. It provides the girls

Kristy Love House. The woman raised her head to

At a young age, Renfro was sexually assaulted and raped numerous

admire the women walking into the

times by family members and people

back door of the house.

in her home state of Ohio. Now 49,

34 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

In 2011, she did. The Kristy Love

with food, medical treatment, and — most needed — emotional support. Human trafficking is the exploitation of a person through force,


OUT OF STOCK

Angela Renfro, founder of the Kristy Love Foundation, uses her experiences to empower other survivors of sex trafficking. Photo by Mia Breitenstein Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

35


fraud or coercion. It’s modern day

In the past decade, there has

fall of Louisville sex trafficking on

slavery, and can take the form of sex

been a monumental shift from

Backpage during different parts of

trafficking, forced labor, and

people being sold off the streets to

the year. The class found that at the

domestic servitude.

the online market. Technology has

time of big events in the city, like the

made it extremely easy and quick for

Derby, the rate of trafficking and the

man Trafficking Hotline, in 2017

just about anyone to buy sex from a

number of women on the

there were 8,524 cases of human

trafficked person.

site went up.

According to the National Hu-

trafficking reported in the United

Backpage and Craigslist, web-

Hayden and her students found

States. Of those people, about

sites that are traditionally used to

that the highest number of ads were

7,000 were female, about 1,100 were

buy and sell goods online, began to

put onto the website in February at

male, and 80 were gender minori-

sell something much more serious.

the end of college basketball season.

ties. Approximately 5,300 victims

Craigslist officially suspended its

At that time, there was an average of

were adults and almost 3,000 were

“adult services” page in 2010, caus-

50 ads per day.

minors. These numbers are the only

ing much of the industry to shift to

available demographics.

Backpage. After facing several law-

town, there is bound to be a higher

Trafficking is not a niche prob-

When more people come into

suits from victims trafficked through

crime rate. But what Hayden and

lem; perpetrators and victims are

Backpage, the website refused to

many other researchers found is

found among all demographics.

change any of their rules and regula-

that, more specifically, when more

Being young, we had convinced our-

tions surrounding their so-called

people of power come into town, the

selves that human trafficking only

“dating” tab, which was a cover for

sex trafficking rate goes up.

happens in poverty-stricken areas.

sex trafficking. On Backpage, women

We never expected it to take place

were pictured next to pimps’ phone

of sex trafficking also gradually

in Louisville, let alone two miles

numbers, often nude or wearing

increases during the winter months,

from our houses. Hotels are major

very little clothing. After clicking the

due to homelessness combined

hot spots for sex trafficking. Accord-

link to the “dating” tab, you would

with harsh weather. Going into the

ing to Jessie Eaton, a sex trafficking

have been alerted with a disclaimer

sex trade can help pay for rent and

survivor, hotels along Hurstbourne

explaining that the page would

food on the table. Other women are

Parkway are the center of the sex

contain adult content and that if you

tricked into the industry, unaware of

trafficking industry in Louisville.

saw any evidence of human traffick-

the nightmare that awaits them.

ing, you could report it.

“Once you wak through my door, you are no longer a victim. You are a survivor.” -Angela Renfro, Executive Director of Kristy Love Foundation

After relentless backlash and

We often don’t stop to consider that women who are trafficked are

protests from the public, the only

normal people with hopes, desires,

change Backpage implemented was

flaws, and ambitions. They gener-

the addition of “moderators.” The

ally cannot control their situations

moderators review the sex ads for

and are tricked or forced into the

possible signs of sex trafficking, like

industry, perhaps by being offered a

explicit photos of minors or any

job that would provide a place to live

specified “red flag” words. These

and food to eat.

moderators viewed hundreds of ads daily.

It’s a common misconception that

According to Renfro, the rate

On April 6, however, the Federal

Eaton, a 22-year-old survivor, grew up around Outer Loop and went to Moore High School. When she was

human trafficking only takes place in

Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal

18, she started using drugs, specifical-

developing countries or big cities like

Inspection Service, and the Internal

ly heroin. She met a drug dealer who

Los Angeles and New York. However,

Revenue Service Criminal Investiga-

was 35 years old, and they became

The National Human Trafficking Hot-

tion Division seized Backpage and

romantically involved. She didn’t know

line found that in 2017 there were 33

shut it down. Now, all that appears

of his past in trafficking and coercive

cases of human trafficking reported

when you type Backpage into your

nature. She recalled how he began

in Kentucky. Nineteen of those cases

browser is a seizure notice from the

by forcing her to go out to dinner

were sex trafficking. These were

U.S. Department of Justice.

with random men, which at first did

only the cases that law enforcement

Dr. Theresa Hayden, a criminal

not bother her. Then, forced dinner

could address. Several advocates and

justice professor at the University

researchers expect that many human

of Louisville, recently introduced a

trafficking cases in Kentucky, and

class that focuses on sex and labor

tion on Backpage. They’d contact

Louisville specifically, go unreported

trafficking. With students, she

us and that’s how we’d get busi-

and unresolved.

conducted research on the rise and

ness. All the money would go from

36 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

turned to forced sex. “He would post my informa-


the guy to me and then straight to

Her pimp forced her to sell

my pimp, which is exactly what he

drugs and sex all over the city, but

a law to the United States that as-

wanted,” Eaton told us.

mostly in hotels in the East End. She

serts that people who are convicted

A common tactic among pimps is

In 2017, Jeff Sessions introduced

recalled one situation in which she

of condoning or supporting sex traf-

to force the trafficked women to use

wasn’t comfortable with a buyer’s

ficking by purchasing or supervising

drugs, which can lead to addiction

request, so she refused. Following

must be added to the sex offender

that makes it harder for the women

her “disobedience,” she faced the

list. Step by step, people are trying

to escape. This makes the victims

consequence of a beating

to change the ways that people look

feel trapped or stuck with the pimp,

from her pimp.

at victims of human trafficking.

because if they tried to run away,

“You do what the customers ask

they wouldn’t have access to the

you to do and that’s the end of that,”

drugs that satisfy their addictions.

Eaton said.

Eaton’s pimp supplied her drugs

In 2013, Kentucky law changed

“You do what the customers ask you to do and that’s the end of that.”

while she was working for him. This

to provide safe harbor to victims of

kept her close to him and made it

human trafficking who have com-

harder for her to escape. She said

mitted crimes while being trafficked.

that if she had not been been caught

It does not hold victims criminally

by the police, she may not have got-

liable crimes they were forced to

ten out. If she would’ve tried to get

commit, including stealing, illegal

out, her escape wouldn’t have been

drug abuse and others. The Human

without a fight.

Trafficking Victims Rights Act was

lation, many victims of sex traf-

“I probably would’ve got locked

-Jessie Eaton, sex trafficking survivor Despite the changes in legis-

the first step to decriminalizing the

ficking are still legally treated as

in somewhere or beat up. I’m not

victims of human trafficking and

prostitutes. Eaton’s pimp repeat-

really sure. He always carried a gun,”

seeks to punish those purchasing

edly sold her to men, and her body

Eaton said.

the sex or labor.

became an object. When police arrested her at a Days Inn on Hurstbourne Parkway, she faced similar charges as her perpetrator, and was sent immediately to jail after the trauma she faced while being trafficked. She was charged for heroin trafficking, marijuana trafficking, and prostitution. Her pimp was charged for drug trafficking and promoting prostitution. These charges ignored the new Kentucky law that states that victims of trafficking should not be charged for the crimes they commit while they are under the influence of their pimp. For example, if a victim is told by their pimp to go steal condoms, she can’t be charged for theft because she was not in control of the situation. “We have to arrest and charge the people who are buying and paying for the sex and not criminalize the girls,” Dr. Hayden said, arguing that when the demand for sex trafficking decreases, so will the supply. Nationwide, people are beginning to shift the way they think about survivors of sex trafficking,

Artwork by Sam Adams

seeing them no longer as the instiSpring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

37


gators, but as the survivors. This

previous feelings of discomfort

of entire house, showing us all the

is the first step, and together, we

was gone. We were welcomed with

rooms lined with bulletin boards

can bring freedom to those hidden

many gracious hellos and intro-

covered in photos and art that the

in the slavery that is human traf-

ductions, along with the smell of

girls helped make. The Kristy Love

ficking. Places like the Kristy Love

fresh fried chicken being prepared

Foundation is the only home for

House are taking initiative in this

in the kitchen. We could see how

specifically sex trafficking survivors

fight against trafficking.

supportive the environment of the

in Louisville. We need more homes,

house was for the survivors.

laws, and people to stand up for

Part of that work involves making the transition easy and

We sat down in the front room

this overwhelming issue. This is the

comfortable. Indeed, after we

at a small table to listen to Renfro’s

beginning, and our generation will

entered the Kristy Love House, our

story. After that, she gave us a tour

bring the end. «

traffic

STOP

Backpage seizure brings us a step closer to ending sex trafficking. words by SKY CARROLL

A

ccording to the Washing-

facilitating sex trafficking after almost

contact prostitutes on other websites

ton Post and CNN, Back-

two long, hard-fought years in court.

and trying to persuade them to bring

The FBI stopped all operations of the

their business to Backpage. Finally,

website on April 6.

the investigation found that Backpage

page is one of the largest

platforms for sex trafficking in the world. Or should I say was. A few weeks ago, I was refining some ideas about Backpage within our human trafficking story. I typed backpage.com into my browser to make sure I had all the descriptions right. To my surprise, the normal homepage that had states and cities listed as red links was gone. In its place was a white box with a red border. At the top read, “Backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized.” I did a quick Google search: Backpage seizure. The first thing that came up was an article from the Washington Post. I ran over to my writing partner, Mattie, and told her the news. Backpage was found guilty of

38 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

In early April, Carl Ferrer, the chief executive of Backpage, pleaded guilty in the federal courts of Texas

would delete references to children in sex ads but still allow the ads to stay. To some sex workers, the seizure

and California and the state court of

could be incredibly frustrating. For

Arizona to charges of money launder-

years, Backpage has allowed them to

ing and conspiracy to facilitate prosti-

safely screen clients and attract busi-

tution. Ferrer then also agreed to tes-

ness, and now that it’s been shut down,

tify against Michael Lacey and James

they feel they can’t safely work in the

Larkin, the men who co-founded

only profession they’ve ever known.

Backpage with him. They were already

But to other sex workers — the

in jail for facilitating prostitution at the

ones who didn’t choose the profession,

time he pleaded guilty.

don’t profit from it, and are unsure

In 2016, a Senate subcommit-

of how to escape it — the seizure is

tee launched an investigation into

a glimmer of hope. Backpage was a

Backpage’s role in sex trafficking,

forum where the demand for sex traf-

specifically of children, in Sacramento,

ficking could communicate with the

California. A year later, The Wash-

supply, and its collapse could mark

ington Post found that Backpage was

the first step in the collapse of

using a contractor in the Philippines to

the industry. «


DOWN BY THE RIVER Louisville-born artist and record store owner Brett Eugene Ralph sits holding his hand-me-down guitar by the Ohio River. Photo by Evelyn Walford

Part three of our series exploring Louisville’s music culture takes you behind of the curtain of the city’s country music scene. words by EVAN SHOWALTER & EUAN DUNN » design by EVELYN WALFORD

II

t was just another Saturday in Georgetown, Indiana. Middle-aged men and women filed into a run-

down Pizza King, ready to eat and listen to the night’s entertainment. Miles Bickers, a 16-year-old Atherton High School sophomore, sat with his guitar case propped between his legs for the slow 45 minute drive from Fern Creek over the Lincoln Bridge into Indiana. He was eager to arrive at the small gig to begin his first real performance. The first of many, he hoped.

RIVER RIVER

TOWN

Louisville’s country music scene is very important to Bickers. “I don’t think if I grew up anywhere else that there would be such a strong country music influence,” Bickers said. When most people think of country music, their minds go straight to Nashville, but as a teenager just starting out, Bickers follows a long line of country and country-inspired musical talent in

SOUND SOUND Louisville, along with Freakwater,

PART 3

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

39


Bonnie “Prince” Billy, New Grass

twist to traditional country styles.

Revival, and My Morning Jacket, to

Freakwater and New Grass

“I’m broke down from football and stage diving and all that,” Ralph

name a few. Among these famed

Revival hone in on country music’s

said. “Country music seems like a

musicians and groups, we hear eve-

foundation. Much like the way in

genre where you can age gracefully

rything from the classic bluegrass

which Louisville departs from its

and tell stories.”

banjo strums to the modernized and

traditional Southern roots, Freak-

soulful sound of alt-country.

water’s lyrics represent a progres-

his allowance to buy records. He

sive new country with a newfound

spent the majority of his free time

sense of morality. New Grass Revival,

in his room, listening to LPs, letting

of Louisville’s most

which was active from 1971 to 1989,

the music take over his thoughts. He

prominent art-

fits the description of Kentucky mu-

dreamed of becoming the next Elton

ists. Most people

sic almost to a tee, with the addition

John, his hero.

know him as the

of a techno sound. They’re almost

man who started

like an Appalachian campfire taken

ville’s music culture in his teen years,

“Johnny Berry and

to the big stage.

writing aggressive lyrics as a vocal-

On the more traditional side of country, Johnny Berry is one

“I’m broke down from football and stage diving and all that,” Ralph said. “Country music seems like a genre where you can age gracefully and tell stories.”

the Outliers” in 2002,

This nod to a more traditional

As a child, Ralph would save up

Ralph began to influence Louis-

ist for punk bands Malignant Growth

the collaboration of

country music style is also present

and Fading Out. He followed the

multiple talents into

in the folk sound of Will Oldham,

influence of his peers and listened to

a unique but clas-

who performs as Bonnie “Prince”

punk rock. As he matured, his music

sic country honky-

Billy. Oldham embodies the tradi-

taste evolved with him and he finally

tonk sound. He has

tional independent musician, be-

found his love for country music.

been playing music

lieving in music as an art form, not a

from a very young

career. Oldham had a shot at life in

in life is a common trend, young

age, influenced by

the spotlight too when Johnny Cash

country artists are a less common

his mother and the

covered his song “I See a Dark-

sight in Louisville. Bickers is the ex-

church hymns of his

ness” and he dipped his toe into the

ception. Bickers feels he carries the

childhood. For him, music was as

movie industry. But he realized he

weight of representing all youth to

natural and necessary as waking

finds comfort in being a musician,

local country music audiences, be-

up in the morning. After years of

not a businessman.

cause breaking into the city’s scene

While switching to country later

sharpening his talents, Berry won

Some of the most notable

the 1999 Society for the Preserva-

developments to country music in

tion of Bluegrass Music of America

Louisville arrived during the ‘90s,

tract older folks because I play older

entertainer of the year award for his

when Louisville’s music scene began

music,” Bickers said.

bluegrass music.

to transition from solely rock ‘n’ roll

As far as Louisville’s country mu-

as a teenager just isn’t that common. “With the music I perform, I at-

Older audiences also enjoy

into something more. The punk rock

another type of music whose history

sic goes, Berry’s a pretty big name,

genre was booming, of course, but

can be remembered in centuries,

but Louisville’s other well-known

country was close behind. Many art-

not decades, and it claims a special

acts take a departure from tradition-

ists started off playing intense punk

place in Ralph’s heart. From rolling

al honky tonk sound. Freakwater and

rock and gradually shifted into the

hills to rickety porches, bluegrass

New Grass Revival, for example, are

softer, more laid-back country. Brett

is a mainstay of Kentucky culture.

Louisville groups that bring a new

Ralph is one of those artists.

It was derived from Appalachian,

“Kentucky Chrome Revue” by Brett Eugene Ralph (2010) 40 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

“Wolf of the Cosmos” by Bonnie “Prince” Billy (2017)

“Scheherazade” by Freakwater (2016)

“Friday Night in America” by New Grass Revival (1989)


YOUNG COUNTRY Miles Bickers, a 16-yearold Atherton High School sophomore who enjoys playing country, rock and blues, practices guitar riffs in his home on Nov. 26. Sometimes Bickers marks his progress through videos uploads to his Instagram, @jamminvideos7. Photo courtesy Miles Bickers

Irish, Scottish and African Ameri-

popularity. This twosome laid the

Back at the pizza parlor, sweat

can jazz music and is mostly played

foundation, but the next big boom

slid down Bicker’s face to the floor as

with banjos, harmonicas, and string

of country music influence wouldn’t

he stepped to the beat of the music.

guitars – the Kentucky way.

occur for another 50 years.

His fingers ached as he strummed his

“Kentucky invented bluegrass

Sean Garrison was another play-

wooden guitar. The room was dark,

and post rock,” Ralph said. “There

er from the punk scene in the ‘90s

but not too dark that he couldn’t

are probably other genres that we

who also felt at home with country.

see the crowd of people swaying in

created that nobody caught on to.”

Growing up, music helped distract

unison. He had grabbed their atten-

Garrison from getting into trouble

tion with his resounding voice as it

Louisville called Surface Noise.

with his wild side. Without music, he

echoed throughout the Pizza King.

There he observes the other side

says, he would be dead or in jail.

His nerves vanished when he realized

Ralph owns a record store in

of the music industry, connecting the people of Louisville with music from all genres. Inside his store

“Music was the best alternative to crime,” Garrison said. When Garrison was younger,

the audience seemed to enjoy his sound. The honky tonk style Bickers performed was exactly what the

there are hundreds of records

he heard country-rock crossovers

crowd came to hear. As his last song

representing new and old artists.

often on the radio. What really

of the evening began to slow to an

Some — such as Lester McFarland

inspired him was the solo demos of

end, the crowd followed the beat.

and Robert Gardiner — go all the

Hank Williams Sr., which consisted

Finally, the strumming of the guitar

way back to the foundation of

mostly of storytelling and personal

became a few string plucks, and then

country music.

experiences. The music was unlike

silence as Bickers finished his first

anything he had ever heard and

performance. The crowd applauded.

at the Kentucky School for The

struck a special note with Gar-

Whistles pierced through the humid

Blind in 1915. After they were dis-

rison. Because of his love for both

room to show true appreciation for

covered as a duo by a Brunswick

country and punk rock, Garrison

Bickers talent. He was met with nods

talent scout in late 1926, they set

began to play alt-country, a loosely

and toothy grins, which only further

out to have their music played on

defined subgenre of country with

convinced Bickers that he had done

the radio stations in big cities. In

integration from other genres such

a solid job.

1931, the duo joined the record

as pop and alternative rock. Gar-

His first performance was a

label Conqueror. After producing

rison went on to perform solo and

success, but possibly not his biggest

multiple hit songs, their recording

with a band, often writing gritty,

victory. Balancing a social life, school,

career ended in 1941 when Sears,

sad songs like “The Tempest,”

band, and performing is a continuous

Conqueror’s distributor, shut them

which evoke Johnny Cash’s darker

accomplishment. He says it can get

down. Because the genre was not

lyrics, referencing death and re-

difficult: not just being in a band and

widely known, their music was per-

venge. The song speaks of decades

in school, but being a country music

ceived as different, and it became

of life experiences that have only

performer. It’s all worth it to Bickers,

very influential to country music

just begun for young country musi-

who’s just happy to contribute to the

duos, resulting in their widespread

cians like Bickers.

city’s intricate music scene. •

McFarland and Gardner met

Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

41


OPINION

art v. ARTIST

Can we still like the art if we don’t like the artist?

words by KARAC MEDLEY » design by LAUREN HUNTER

A

s any architect or construction

tion of a building that grounds it,

“Louie,” but I find that hard to say

many thinkers and artists raised

whether it be a suburban two-story,

now with the revelation of his al-

similar questions about the work

an amphitheater, or a skyscraper.

leged misconduct.

of an author. A school of French

Do I still find many of his jokes

film criticism at the time wanted

humorous? Does his show still reso-

to reject the studio system that

able the building seems, it will come

nate emotionationally with me? Yes

controlled most production, thus

crumbling down.

and yes. Were his actions repre-

focusing on individual directors

hensible? Inarguably. I doubt I will

and their consistent motifs instead.

of sexual harassment started com-

be able to return to any of his past

While the original pretense behind

ing out against Harvey Weinstein,

work within the near future, and if

it had the best of intentions, this

certainly a cornerstone of modern

he has any new projects I don’t think

sort of analysis ultimately seemed

Hollywood, it wasn’t long before

I could bring myself to watch them

to be fetishizing the aspects of only

many others fell in his wake. Sexual

at all. There is no denying, then, that

one member of the production

aggression is pervasive in showbiz,

learning this sort of information

staff on any film. The post-struc-

and hopefully many more culprits

about an artist reflexively casts a

turalist theorist Roland Barthes

will be revealed. However, for all of

shadow onto all of their work.

mocked this thought with his essay

us standing in the rubble, there is a question of whether or not, as well

This is, of course, no new phenomenon. As time passes and artists pass on, we tend to interpret their

As time passes and an artist is long gone, we tend to interpret their creations through new perspectives.

“La Mort de l’auteur”— “Death of the Author” in English. The basic concept of “Death

creations through new perspectives.

of the Author” is that no work,

One of the most influential figures in

whether literature, painting, archi-

the genre of horror and speculative

tecture, or film really has a singular

fiction is H. P. Lovecraft, a man of

creator. In the case of architecture

rampant racism, misogyny, antisem-

and film, it is required for it to be

itism, and general bigotry; however,

a collaborative project, and while

the widespread effects of his style

one person may be the orches-

as how, we can still enjoy the nu-

of prose cannot be ignored. The

trator, everyone will ultimately

merous pieces of art that have been

filmmaker Roman Polanski, known

contribute some of their craft and

touched by these sexual predators.

for his mistreatment of female cast

ideas. No one is an island, and eve-

I imagine that most people are

ON THE RECORD

In the mid-twentieth century,

matter how tall and insurmount-

When the numerous accusations

42

vice to forget their faults and biases.

ist, semi-autobiographical series

Once you knock out the base, no

of Louis C.K., especially his modern-

worker will tell you, it is the founda-

members and women overall, has

ryone is influenced by all the ex-

fans of at least a few things that

made remarkable films like Rose-

periences they have had and media

many of these artists have worked

mary’s Baby and Chinatown that

they have consumed, whether that

on, whether they be respected ac-

people still laud as classics to this

be consciously or unconsciously.

tors like Kevin Spacey of “House of

day. It would be a disservice to their

In this way, every work truly has

Cards,” or beloved comedians like

respective art forms to deny their

a potentially infinite number of

Louis C.K. I myself was a huge fan

legacy, but it would also be a disser-

creators, and even the so-called

Spring/Summer 2018


TH “original” creation of an author is

ing misogynistic assumptions may

yourself from the things that you

still a new iteration building on

still be present. Much of media is

love, but it may be advantageous

those that have come before it.

meant to be escapism, a method

to abstain from them temporar-

of living out our desires and

ily. If a significant chunk of people

remove the author entirely from

Of course, it is impossible to

impulses through others in order

were to do so, then at the very least

their work, and initially many art-

to achieve some emotional fulfill-

this would provide a message that

ists might take this as an insult to

ment, but as members of an active

a creator’s actions will not just be

their craft and sacrifice. If you have

audience we cannot forget the

ignored. Critics may respond that,

ever published any creative work,

world that we all inhabit. There are

even if you could amass a noticeable

then you know the sort of person

huge gulfs between the treatment

number of people to boycott a prod-

the audience might read out of it is

and assumptions our society has

uct, you have no control over how a

quite different from the person you

towards white, upper-class men

studio will respond to this. This is a

and your friends know. In truth,

and women, people of color, LGBT+

the reader has just as much to do

people, and the underclass.

with the themes and tones they

When we read, watch, or listen

read into a work as any author. The

to something created by someone

artist may contest or confirm any

who is part of a minority group, it is

number of reader assumptions,

quite likely that we will factor that

but reader projection can never be

status into the interpretation of the

100 percent in line with the artist’s

work. This isn’t necessarily a bad

original intent.

thing. For example, as someone who

But does all of this mean that we

is part of the LGBT+ community, I

valid concern, and simply skipping

If we expect such readings for those lacking in power, then we should expect the same for those possessing an excess.

over a film for a few months will not

should ignore the creators of media

will often include queer characters

make systematic change in the in-

and simply try to access it on its

and themes in my work. However, if

dustry. The best thing you can do is

own merits? No, for just as no one

we expect such readings for those

encourage victims of sexual abuse to

may exist without context, no work

lacking in power, then we should

be open about their experiences and

can be evaluated in a vacuum. At one

expect the same for those possess-

advocate alongside them when they

point in time, D. W. Griffith’s film

ing an excess. Therefore, preparing

stand up to a goliath like Hollywood.

Birth of a Nation was lauded by U.S.

ourselves might not remove the

President Woodrow Wilson as a cul-

sting when someone we respect has

to arise against artists, what we

tural touchstone and masterpiece of

been exposed, but at the very least it

all have to remember first and

cinema. Today, we understand that

will lessen the impact.

foremost is that a person’s sexual

Birth of a Nation was a work of racist

It can be a long and difficult

While allegations continue

agency is much more important

propaganda pushing white suprem-

process to come to terms when

than a man’s career or our own

acy, dehumanizing people of color,

someone commits a crime, even

enjoyment of something. Attacking

and valorizing the Ku Klux Klan. It is

more so when society at large can-

victims because you feel that their

simply a fact of life that the powerful

not seem to do so. Too often, cases

speaking out will become a “witch

structures present in our society will

of sexual assault are either im-

hunt” does more harm than good,

always find their way into art and

properly prosecuted or not pros-

and ultimately just disenfranchises

culture, even if we cannot pinpoint

ecuted at all. An issue thus arises:

these people to an even greater

them immediately.

what do we do when predators are

degree. We owe it to ourselves and

still working, when they still have

the world to be active readers with

sexual harassment is the Indian-

their creative output and major

regards to all media, and to be even

American comedian Aziz Ansari,

source of income? It’s one thing

more skeptical when those with

who has himself talked in the past

to discuss how we consume media

power choose to address those

about consent and respecting

once the creators have long ceased

lacking in it. Anything that we can

female sexuality. A persona he

production, and it’s another thing

do to try and change the system

has consistently used in various

when they’re still at large. Sadly,

is worthwhile, and how we read

pieces of media is a timid, but

these issues tend to not work

culture does change that culture.

likeable, dork that puts on a front

themselves out, so it becomes an

Much like many other structures in

of machismo and womanizing in

ethical dilemma for any fan.

this world, the Hollywood system is

One of the artists accused of

order to make up for his low self-

Now, there are many fair cri-

corrupt and biased towards a very

esteem. With the allegations now

tiques of conspicuous consumption,

specific sort of people, and we can

coming out against Ansari, there

but it might be useful in this case.

now see the many consequences of

is some question of what underly-

There is no need to forever remove

simply ignoring that. « Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

43


BUTCHERTOWN hall

TOPPING OVERLOAD A single slice of pizza topped with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives and pepperoni. Photo illustration by Noah Keckler

words by CORA KIRBY » design by MIA BREITENSTEIN

W

alking up to Butchertown Pizza

us to the menus and told us to order

Hall at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday

at the counter whenever we were

personal “build your own” spin on

afternoon, I had high expectations.

ready. As a group of three, we were

a meat-lover’s pizza with sausage,

Butchertown Pizza has a reputation

a little unsure of whether or not we

bacon, and pineapple.

for being a laid-back hangout with

should all order individual pizzas or

reasonably-priced and delicious

one big pizza to share. We decided

made exactly to fit my order. I felt

food. I couldn’t wait not only to dive

to each get the lunch combo deal

my stomach growl from just looking

into some fresh, hot pizza, but also

which included one slice of pizza,

at my platter. I couldn’t wait to take

to have a fun time with friends.

two garlic knots, and a fountain

my first bite. I picked up my slice of

drink. This was by far the best deal

pizza covered in all of my favorite

on the menu at only $6.99.

ingredients. The chef was not shy at

I opened the door and instantly smelled the scent of freshly-baked pizzas. My eyes were

The background music

I couldn’t wait to dig into my

The pizza was steaming hot and

all with the toppings – almost too

drawn to the various arcade games

was not too loud, allowing easy

much for the crust underneath – as

that lined the game room. The game

conversation while we waited for

meats and pineapple spilled onto my

room at Butchertown Pizza Hall

our food. Fewer than five minutes

plate (but I didn’t mind).

is part of what gives the venue its

after we ordered, the server

The combination of the

unique, playful atmosphere that

brought us our trays. When I

buttery garlic knots and the fresh

people of all ages come to enjoy.

ordered, I was concerned that my

pizza was just what I needed. All of

one slice wouldn’t be enough. But

my expectations were definitely met

tables of customers dining in on

We were one of only two

to my delight, a single slice was

— even exceeded.

that afternoon. The room was full of

equal to a quarter of a regular,

available seating and lots of space

shareable pizza.The garlic knots

great option if you are looking to

for the busier hours of the day. The

sitting beside my pizza were no

grab a quick, cheap bite with

server behind the counter directed

joke either.

some friends. «

Fri & Sat 11AM–12AM Sun-Mon 11AM–10PM 44 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

1301 Story Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

Butchertown Pizza Hall is a

(502) 384-8528 butchertownpizzahall.com

$$$$$


N TOP ROUND words by SKY CARROLL & ELLA TREINEN » design by PATRICK HARPER

T

sandwich, the Horse and Hole

beef smothered in their signature

bright orange roof, made us feel

op Round Roast Beef, with its

sandwich, “dirty” fries, and cheese

Wizz sauce proved true to the Top

welcome as soon as we pulled off

fries. Then, we filled our brightly-

Round motto.

of Shelbyville Road. With a drive-

patterned cups with fountain drinks

through that wraps around the back

and took our seats at the back of the

consisted of roast beef, horseradish

and a fairly large parking lot, we

restaurant next to an older woman

cream, and provolone cheese, all on

thought Top Round would be like

and her son.

a sesame seed bun (we decided to

any other fast food restaurant. But

After about ten minutes our

The Horse and Hole sandwich

hold the mushrooms). The tender

as we pulled open the door, our pre-

server brought us our food, set it

roast beef with the horseradish

conceived notion was immediately

down on our table, and proceeded

sauce made for a flavorful

proven false.

to kindly apologize for the wait.

combination. Both of the sandwiches

The aroma of mouthwatering,

put a new spin on the classic roast

of Pop’s Diner from the hit TV show,

melted cheese and fresh roast beef

beef sandwich that left us wanting

“Riverdale,” with its hanging lights,

traveled through the tinfoil of our

to come back again.

petite exterior, and warm color

sandwiches. Hungry and hopeful

scheme. The only thing that seemed

that Top Round would live up to the

couldn’t hold anymore, our server

to be missing were booths we could

rave reviews we had heard, it was

asked what we’d like for dessert. As

slide right into. On a Friday night

time to dig in.

we reached for our wallets, he told

Inside, Top Round reminded us

around 6:30 p.m., we were surprised

We immediately reached for

When we thought our stomachs

us that they were on the house, due

by how few people were there. Like

the “dirty” fries ($4.49), gravy-

to the ten minute wait for our food.

your typical Arby’s or Burger King,

drizzled curly fries with Top

The other group at our table — a

you place your order at a walk-up

Round’s signature “round sauce” and

self-proclaimed roast beef fanatic

counter. The food, however, is all

provolone cheese. It ended up being

and her son — were also treated to

freshly prepared in the restaurant’s

our favorite dish. The combination

free custard and sandwiches.

kitchen, their motto being “chef-

of the sweet sauce and the savory

driven fast food.”

fries dusted with salt was a hardy

affordable prices, and an

beginning to our meal.

atmosphere that radiates positivity,

The menu offers a wide variety of food options, including roast beef

With outstanding service,

The cheese fries ($3.49) were a

Top Round is the perfect spot to

sandwiches, ice cream and custard,

simpler version of the “dirty” fries,

stop by with a craving for classic

and fries. They also offer vegetarian

lacking a few decadent toppings.

roast beef. The friendly servers and

options like grilled cheese and

The beef and cheese sandwich

customers made for a memorable

the veggie “CALI.” After scanning

($7.49) was more than enough to

and delightful experience, putting

the menu for a couple of minutes,

satisfy one person, especially with

Top Round at the top of our list for

we ordered the beef and cheese

a side of fries. The freshly cut roast

fresh fast food. «

Fri & Sat 11AM–10PM Sun-Thurs 11AM–9PM

4214 Shelbyville Rd. Louisville, KY 40207

(502) 749-3700 eattopround.com

$$$$$ Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

45


BACK IN THE

GR OOV E words by MADDIE CURRIE » design by PATRICK HARPER

Today’s youth flaunt pieces from their parents’ high school wardrobes.

O

ne of my favorite pastimes is watching self-proclaimed “beauty and lifestyle gurus” ramble about the latest trends. In my most recent “What’s Hot Now” search, I’ve noticed an increasing amount of videos, blog posts, and Instagram profiles that highlight the looks of the past. Whether we want to admit it or not, videos like “High school ‘70s Inspired Outfits of the Week” or ‘‘80s Lookbook” are a direct homage to our parents’ high school closets.

DENIM SKIRT As you have probably seen just about everywhere, the denim skirt is the “it” item right now. Today you can buy these skirts off the racks of major retailers but in the ‘70s, the denim skirt was a way to recycle old jeans into long patchwork skirts. As time went on, the denim skirt hem became shorter and inserted itself into mainstream fashion. Now the denim skirt has reinvented itself: you can get a denim skirt in about any color decorated with zippers, buttons, rips, or fringe, however you want to fit your style.

BELL SLEEVES The ‘60s brought us loose-fitting clothing, and in the ‘70s the looks got even looser. The ‘70s was a time of youth rebellion: the people protested just about everything from wars to drug legalization. The loose fit of clothing started out as a rebellion

model: Kat Currie photo by Mia Breitenstein

46 ON THE RECORD Spring/Summer 2018

‘70s

against the clothing culture at the time, which was button up shirts and long dresses, and worked its way to high fashion. This movement of counter culture made bell sleeves one of the decade’s biggest trends, which moved fashion away from the typical tight tops and loose bottoms of earlier fashion.


FANNY PACK The fanny pack dates all the way back to 15th century France as an easy way to carry your belongings, but in the 1980s, Americans jumped on this trend and made it their own by adding color and patterns to the piece. But after a while, the fanny pack became a cliche — a kitschy tourist item on par with binoculars, visors, and knee-length shorts — and it disappeared. But now it has made a comeback with huge brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, giving this accessory a new sleek look. A traveler’s bag turned into a thousand-dollar fashion accessory. The look has also become an essential accessory for the music festival and beach scene as seen all over Instagram during Forecastle and spring break. model: Celine Malawi photo by Lauren Hunter

WINDBREAKER The windbreaker started gaining popularity in the late

‘80s

‘70s, and by the ‘80s, it was a men’s fashion staple. The casual look let men add a bit of color and patterns to their outfits, and then women jumped on board. This push for unisex clothing rose in the ‘70s and ‘80s — a reflection of women increasing their presence in the

model: Lucas Alldaffer photo by Mia Breitenstein

workforce. Now the windbreaker is back. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Champion give us modern versions of the classic style, but some teens still prefer shopping vintage and sporting original patterns and colors.

MOM JEANS Mom jeans were an essential look in the ‘80s

model: Tara Vu photo by Lauren Hunter

and ‘90s but began disappearing from stores during the aforementioned infamous low-rise jean era of the 2000s. The term “mom-jeans” was originally used as a derogatory term to make fun of their baggy, “un-feminine” cut. Suddenly the mom jean look was reinvented to meet the modern look of today’s fashion. The high waistlines meet the desire for a small-waist,

model: Nina Valdez photo by Mia Breitenstein

long-leg look, while the baggy legs offer an alternative to mainstream skinny jeans.

VELVET Crushed velvet was the trendy fabric of the ‘90s — a stylish, luxurious option for dresses and skirts. Now you see the fabric showcased in just about every item of clothing, whether it’s underwear, shorts, or scrunchies. Brands like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 have even started making crop tops in velvet, allowing the once exclusively cold-weather material to branch out into spring and summer fashion. From GAP to Gucci, velvet has taken the fashion world by storm.

‘90s Spring/Summer 2018

ON THE RECORD

47


Issue 2, Volume 3  

On the Record Magazine is a youth-focused newsmagazine created by students at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, KY. Check us out at o...

Issue 2, Volume 3  

On the Record Magazine is a youth-focused newsmagazine created by students at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, KY. Check us out at o...

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