Issue 8: May 21, 2024

Page 1

The Campanile


California Senate Bill 274, which prohibits the suspension and expulsion of students from school in grades nine through 12 for willfully defant behavior, goes into efect July 1.

Tis bill, also known as the “Keep Kids in School” bill, builds on existing Educational Code 48900, which covers suspendable ofenses for all grades and prohibits willful defance suspensions in kindergarten and grades one through eight. Te Assembly Committee on Education defnes willful defance as “disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of school staf.”

Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson, who is in charge of student discipline, said willful defance can be applied to suspendable ofenses not specifcally listed in Ed Code 48900.

“It is a catch-all for general things where there’s a behavioral issue that really doesn’t ft quite into anything specifc,” Berkson said. “A kid who’s getting in trouble in class for various reasons — that would be willful defance.”

Palo Alto Unifed School District Behavior Support Services Manager Nestor Ramos said he thinks the bill is trying to minimize the number of students being suspended for nonviolent acts. He also said he is worried that suspending students for willful defance could lead to more students trying to get a special education classifcation so they would be harder to suspend.

Sponsors say SB274 is intended to alleviate the higher suspension rates for California’s African American, Latino, Native American and students with disabilities compared to other student populations.

Te bill is also meant to address the correlation between school suspensions or expulsions and future incarceration, as sponsors say suspended or expelled students are fve times more likely to later become imprisoned.

Ramos said PAUSD is actively working to ensure all students have the support and resources they need, and this bill will further those eforts.

“We are trying to build inclusionary practices and really trying to scream for students of various demographics,” Ramos said. “(We’re) just making sure that everyone has enough resources and support to try to minimize the likelihood of folks of certain demographics to fall into that (school-to-prison) pipeline.”

Berkson said, while suspensions at Paly have decreased from over 100 a year to less than 20 a year over his past 18 years at Paly, this may not be true for other schools.

“ Te laws have changed,” Berkson said. “People realized maybe it’s a better idea for kids to be in school than to not be in school.”

Berkson also said he thinks many schools now have to rely on restorative justice to handle students who cause trouble at school.

“Restorative justice is the big thing now where there are restorative circles where you’re meeting up with the parties involved,” Berkson said. “ Tey talk it out, and you restore the trust in the person. You restore the relationship with the person. (For) people who work in tough, tough schools, where students will know they can’t get suspended for (willful def going to look like.”

And Ramos said this bill may cause his job to be di changing the way the district handles students who repeatedly cause trouble at school.

“It would be really focusing on peer support and supporting students who are in additional needs if it comes down to repeated ofenses of certain behavior,” Ramos said. “ Tere are students who might engage in more frequent behaviors than others, so disciplinary data would be one piece (in determining consequences), but it would also be looking at students who have behaviors that compromise their own safety and safety of others and making sure that we’re able to support the safety of all students and sta alike.” SB 274 will also prohibit the suspension or expulsion of students based on a student’s tardiness or truancy. However, Berkson said this part of the bill will not impact Paly since the school’s intervention system, which he said has already been ef in decreasing the number of tardy students, eliminates the need to suspend tardy students.

“ Te issue here is if the kid is late to class all the time,” Berkson said. “Why do we want kids on time? Because we want them to learn. If we’re gonna suspend a kid for being tardy, it’s going to defeat the purpose of why we’re here in the frst place, which is to teach.”

Berkson said although PAUSD already has many parts of SB 274 in place, the new policy may make it more challenging for other schools to deal with difcult students.

“It’s not necessary for us,” Berkson said. “I don’t even know if I agree with it because a student could really act out in class on a constant basis, not hit any of the other 48900s (suspendable ofenses), and at some point, something’s got to happen. We aren’t in that position, but there are tough schools that I don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Rowena Chiu speaks at Haymarket Teater, encourages students to be upstanders

Rowena Chiu, a Paly parent and former assistant to movie producer Harvey Weinstein, spoke at the Haymarket Teater on April 25, encouraging students to stand up for themselves and be catalysts for positive change in the world. Te event was hosted by the Response Inclusive Safe Environment Club.

Chiu’s talk included topics such as her frst experience working with Weinstein, her legal battles as she began telling her story and the aftermath of her eforts.

Chiu said she was pleased with the variety of attendees for her talk.

“I was happy to see so many students and community members in the room,” Chiu said. “It was nice to see equal representation from both grown-ups and Paly students.”

Gunn parent Denise Johnsen said Chiu’s talk was empowering.

“Rowena is an incredible speaker, and she’s just so inspiring,” Johnsen said. “It’s inspiring to kids everywhere to tell their stories and speak up.”

Senior and RISE co-President Bella Nguyen said Chiu’s story made a lasting impact on the audience.

“She instilled a sense of confdence and power within the young people here today,” Nguyen said. “I’m excited for them to take those lessons for the rest of...their future.”

Ohlone kindergarten teacher Nancy Shorum said she was impressed by RISE’s initiative in organizing the event.

“Listening to the high school students who are with RISE was very inspiring,” Shorum said. “ Te phenomenal work that is happening at the high school level was very eye opening.”

Weinstein was convicted in 2020 of felony sex crime charges, however, this ruling was overturned on April 25 by the New York Court of Appeals.

While his 2022 conviction in California for raping a woman still stands, Weinstein's lawyers say he plans to appeal that decision as well.

Chiu said the overturning of Weinstein’s conviction altered her initial speech.

“It really colored both what I said on stage and the feeling in the room,” Chiu said.

Regardless, Nguyen said, Chiu’s experiences inspired the community to stand up for injustices.

“ Tere’s always going to be people around you to help and support you,” Nguyen said. “If you feel uncomfortable and unsafe, it is always the right thing to do to speak out and make sure you get the justice you deserve.”

Ultimately, Chiu said she hopes to motivate students to help others and become more involved in their community.

“Stand up for those who are oppressed. Be an upstander, not a bystander,” Chiu said. “Don’t be afraid to get up and make change.”

Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301 Vol. CVI, No. 8 PALO ALTO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT PALO ALTO HIGH SCHOOL 50 EMBARCADERO RD. PALO ALTO, CA 94301
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Rowena Chiu speaks at the Haymarket Teater with Paly Club RISE. “I was happy to see so many students and community members in the room,” Chiu said. “It was nice to see equal representation from both grown-ups and Paly students.” DHRUV SHETTY/THE CAMPANILE ARTBYCHARLOTTELIU Annika Chu News/Opinion Editor

California Department of Transportation to repave El Camino Real, add bicycle lanes

increase safety for bicyclists and cars. “We would like to emphasize that this is just the beginning,” Cabansagan said. “(Te Caltrans project) is the frst step toward a corridor that is safe for all its users, including people walking, biking and driving.”

Expected to fnish in the fall of 2025, the California Department of Transportation’s, also known as Caltrans, SR-82 Pavement Rehabilitation and ADA improvement project will develop about six miles of bicycle lanes in Palo Alto.

Te plan involves adding these lanes to the approximately seven miles of El Camino between State Route 237 in southern Mountain View and Sand Hill Road near the northern border of Palo Alto. Other improvements to the roadway include the use of rubberized concrete, more visible crosswalks and upgrades to curbs in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Te bicycle lanes will vary in standards from Class II to Class IV, which range from painted to physical separations.

Caltrans's current proposal also eliminates parking spaces along the road instead of taking space away from the high-speed vehicular trafc which can pose dangers to cyclists.

However, members of the Palo Alto City Council expressed concerns with the plan’s approach to bicycle

safety and on-street parking, and at its April 1 meeting, the Council voted to have Caltrans return with an updated plan at a later meeting.

A Council-funded study by Fehr & Peers, a transportation consulting frm, identifed several issues with the plan, including the decision not to cut back traffc lanes, the confict between public transit bus stops within bike lanes and the remaining danger while crossing intersections.

Philip Kamhi, chief transportation ofcial for Palo Alto, said the City Council remains in contact with Caltrans to fx these problems.

“Mayor Stone appointed Council members Ed Lauing and Pat Burt … to review work plans and discuss Caltrans’s schedule,” Kamhi said. “Concurrently, eforts are underway to arrange a meeting between Caltrans, ensuring alignment in our complete street goals, following a Safe Systems Approach and relevant Caltrans design standards.”

Despite the City Council’s concerns, Clarissa Cabansagan, executive director of the Silicon Valley Bike

Coalition, said adding bike lanes would increase safety.

“ Tis project is not 100% perfect – it needs several more safety elements to have the envisioned benefts,” Cabansagan said. “We would like to emphasize that this is just the beginning. It is the frst step toward a corridor that is safe for all its users, including people walking, biking and driving.”

In addition to safety concerns, while some studies have shown that replacing parking spots with bicycle lanes tends to boost business, they have also found the impact can vary depending on the type of business — with grocery stores sufering and restaurants thriving.

Cycling club adviser Natalie Docktor said fnding alternative routes to improve bicycle safety might work better for both cyclists and businesses.

“I feel that El Camino is too busy for bikes,” Docktor said. “I also think businesses need parking to stay in business. It would be best to fnd a parallel street and create a bike lane possibly next to the train tracks.”

Besides parking for businesses, the spots along El Camino Real also serve as residences for an unhoused

population of approximately 41 people dwelling in RVs and other vehicles, according to a City Council staf report.

Caltrans’ proposed plan would give the county "Continuum of Care," a single, 72-hour notice before the California Highway Patrol tows vehicles housing people.

But instead of pinning the responsibility to contact unhoused individuals on the county and city governments, Kamhi said this responsibility should fall on Caltrans.

Te city sent a follow-up letter to Caltrans in response to recent meetings and questions from Caltrans staf regarding the outreach and notifcation plan from Caltrans to vehicle dwellers,” Kamhi said. “As of April 23, 2024, the city has not received a response to this letter from Caltrans.”

In the recount of the California Congressional District 16 primary election, California State Representative Evan Low won by fve votes against Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and will advance to face Sam Liccardo in the November general election. Low and Simitian originally tied in the March 5 election while Liccardo placed frst with an 8,000 vote lead over his challengers. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the recount began on April 15 after Jonathan Padilla, a former campaign stafer for Liccardo’s 2014 San Jose mayoral campaign, fled a request on behalf of Low. Without a recount, all three candidates would have advanced.

In a letter obtained by Te San Jose Mercury News, Low’s lawyers attempted to prevent the recount by alleging Padilla had changed his request from a manual recount to a machine recount after the deadline.

However, Steve Goltiao, associate communications ofcer for the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, told Te Campanile the request was made in time to be considered valid — within seven days after the election was certifed.

In an April 30 press release, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters said they identifed an additional 19 valid ballots that were not included in the original count due to human error and three ballots that were counted twice.

During the recount, Goltiao said some ballots challenged by observers were later accepted.

“We were able to accept seven ballots that were not previously counted — six of those being conditional voter registration, and one being a vote by mail signature mismatch, which we were able

Junior and Paly Board of Education representative Karthi Gottipati said the recount was unnecessary because neither of the candidates who tied for second

e issue is not that there was a e issue is that neither of the people directly impacted by that recount, Simitian and Low, requested it. In fact, Low explicitly did not want it.”

In a statement on X on April 9, House Representative Ro Khanna of California’s 17th Congressional District wrote that the recount request was a “crass political ploy.”

“A candidate wanting to overturn the will of the voters is undemocratic,” Khanna wrote on the platform formerly known as Twitter.. “Sam Liccardo’s supporters should not push for a recount asking to overturn election results in CD16 when all other candidates have accepted them.”

According to Section 15624 of California’s election code, voters or campaign committees who request a recount must pay for it. However, according to Goltiao, Padilla will not be reimbursed for the cost of the recount because of a legal technicality.

“Election code section 15624 provides for reimbursement if the recount results in the candidate appearing on the ballot in a general election, who would not have appeared in the absence of the recount,” Goltiao said. “It was determined that a reimbursement will not be made because both of the tied candidates are entitled to be on the general election ballot.”

A KQED investigation showed Padilla paid for the recount through Count the Vote, a new political action committee that has raised over $300,000 to support recount eforts. Te committee has yet to disclose its donors and legally has until July 15 to do so. With all of the new money pouring into the race, Gottipatti said the lack of transparency regarding who is facilitating the recount is concerning.

Tere needs to be transparency about how this recount is happening and on whose money when there is the appearance of a coordinated campaign knocking one person of the race for the sole

purpose of benefting another,” Gottipati said.

Anna Eshoo, the current representative from California’s 16th Congressional District, also said there should be more transparency regarding the recount. In a statement on X, Eshoo said she supported the “full disclosure of the donors and the amounts they’ve contributed to pay for the recount.”

Max Zarzana, the president of the Santa Clara County Government Attorneys Association, fled a federal complaint against Sam Liccardo last month alleging that Liccardo illegally supported the recount in an attempt to avoid a three-way election.

Liccardo has denied involvement in the recount request. In an April 29 opinion piece for the San Jose Inside, Liccardo wrote, “Neither I nor anyone in my campaign has communicated with Padilla or his donors about the recount. Candidates and their campaigns cannot lawfully communicate with independent expenditure groups.”

Nevertheless, Goltiao said the close results of this election underscore the importance of voting.

“Our slogan for the primary election was ‘One vote, make it count,’” Goltiao said. “We’re going to keep that slogan for the presidential election. Tis rare event that happened exemplifes why your vote is important, and how one vote can make a diference.”

Joe Simitian’s campaign declined an interview request. Sam Liccardo’s campaign and Evan Low’s campaign did not respond to an interview request.


Nicole Lee

Brian Quo

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 News Te Campanile A2
HENRY LIU/THE CAMPANILE A cyclist pedals on the sidewalk adjacent to El Camino Real near the Page Mill Road intersection. Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition Clarissa Cabansagan said Caltrans plans to add new bike lanes to El Camino Real which would Henry Liu Senior Staf Writer
Isabella Bian Newsletter Editor

Link of ers teens free rides to help mental health

In a move to support teen mental health, Palo Alto Link has started ofering free rides for 13 to 18 year olds to Palo Alto destinations including libraries, community centers, parks and other recreation facilities. For teens, fares for all other locations remain at $1.

Kristen O’Kane, the City of Palo Alto’s Community Services Director, said ofering these free rides will make mental health resources more accessible to teens.

“We have heard from our mental health partners and youth that transportation can be a barrier for teens to access programs and services that can support their mental health,” O’Kane said.

Sophomore Elsa Lagerblad, who uses Palo Alto Link weekly, said ofering free rides helps students travel without a car.

“If they want to support mental health, this is a great move,” Lagerblad said. “It enables teenagers to get around so much easier without a driver’s license or a car.”

To promote community engagement, O’Kane said the city has made eforts to publicize the change and encourage teens to utilize free rides to locations to improve mental health.

“ Te city has really done (a lot of publicizing) through the website, through social media and through (the) Uplift Local newsletter that goes out to residents who subscribe to it,” O’Kane said.

However, sophomore Michael Lee, who occasionally uses Palo Alto Link, said many teens are still unaware of the service.

“Nobody really knows about it,” Lee said. “If it could be advertised more, it can be used a lot more by students.”

Lagerblad also said she was unaware of the city’s decision to promote teen mental health with free rides until recently.

“I have defnitely noticed that the rides are free sometimes,” Lagerblad said. “But I didn’t know that it was for mental health. Tat’s new for the city.”

WBEZ Chicago news reporter and anchor Araceli Gómez-Aldana spoke about the implications of artifcial intelligence in journalism at a lunch meeting hosted in early May by the Cultural Connections Club. Gómez-Aldana said she especially enjoyed speaking with student e students asked a lot of good questions,” Gómez-Aldana said. “I’m really excited that there is a group of students interested in AI and the future Junior and Cultural Connections Club Project Manager Jessica Bae said the talk broadened her outlook on cial intelligence.

“I know AI has been a hot topic recently,” Bae said. “Having someone here, especially a journalist (from) a credible newsroom, really helped out

Sophomore Veronica Qiu, copresident of the club, said she was inspired to invite Gómez-Aldana after previously hearing her speak. “She came into one of my classes, and I really enjoyed her talk about her journalism experience,” Qiu said. “I remember she dabbled a bit in AI, and I thought it would be relevant for the club, which is based on translating newsletters and publications.”

Gómez-Aldana said despite concerns over misinformation, AI is incredibly promising to journalists.

“We still have a long way to go to use AI in journalism ethically and create policies that are going to make sure there isn’t any lack of accuracy,” GómezAldana said. “In the future, it is going to be a tool that we use and it will be really Qiu agrees.

“I can see AI becoming more and more relevant in high school journalism,” Qiu said. “It can be a great tool if used wisely.”

CA Assembly Bill 418 to ban harmful food additives by 2027

California outlawed the potentially harmful food additives potassium bromate, Red Dye no. 3, propylparaben and brominated vegetable oil when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 418 in Septemeber. Te law doesn’t go into efect until Jan. 1, 2027, giving companies time to phase out those ingredients.

Tese additives are commonly found in foods. Red Dye no. 3, the bill’s sponsors say has been found to harm brain development, is found in over 3000 U.S. products, notably soda, yogurt, cookies and baby food.

Te International Agency for Research on Cancer found potassium bromate, used to make bread rise faster, is a carcinogen, which can cause cancer.

According to the European Union, propylparaben, which extends the shelf life of baked goods, can cause reproductive harm. And according to the National Institutes of Health, brominated vegetable oil, which enhances favoring in sodas, can impair memory.

Te bill’s sponsors also say the risks associated with these additives have been well known for several decades.

Brominated vegetable oil and potassium bromate are already banned in several countries, and, in the United States, Red Dye no. 3 is banned in cosmetics and applied drugs. Te Food and Drug Administration has regularly ruled the amount of additives used in each chemical was not

enough to be harmful for human consumption.

However, those evaluations were from several decades ago.

Recent petitioning has led the FDA to begin reevaluating these additives in food.

Sophomore Caden Le said he was unsurprised at how long the FDA took to enact the ban.

“Companies try to make as much money as possible,” Le said.

“It’s really common for companies to use the cheapest ingredients to get what they want in their products.”

Sophomore Noelle Yoo said banning these ingredients has the potential to signifcantly impact her life since her allergies prevent her from eating many foods.

“Some of the only things I eat are cheese and bread,” Yoo said.

“Removing some of these things will have an impact on my life. Te only alternative I can think of due to my restrictions would be baking bread myself, which can be very time consuming.”

In a letter to the California assembly about his support of the Bill, Newsom cited the absence of Red Dye No. 3. in the European Union as evidence the companies could shift in time.

“[Skittles come] from the EU– a place

that already bans a number of chemical additives and colorants,” Newsom said in the letter. “ Tis is demonstrable proof that the food industry is capable of maintaining product lines while complying with diferent public health laws, country-to-country.”

California’s Proposition 65, passed in 1986, further forbade the selling of products containing low amounts of harmful chemicals.

Junior Graeme Kieran said Proposition 65 provides some safeguards against the potential harms of these additives. Te amount (of chemicals) that they require for a Prop 65 warning is much lower than the amount that will actually pose a risk for cancer,” Kieran said. “I think there’s a bit of fearmongering going on.”

However, Kieran said he was

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 News Te Campanile A3

Te compensation

PAUSD, PAEA reach ratifcation of two-year

efore the most recent board of education meeting, over 300 teachers marched ce, calling out to oncoming cars rushing down Churchill Ave. while displaying handcrafted signs that sway with the wind. Slogans ranging e Funding?” to “I’m a Math Teacher and these numbers DON’T ADD UP” were drawn over boards, advocating for the teachers’ union goal: to achieve a ough the Palo Alto Educators Association and the Palo Alto Unifed School District negotiate teacher salaries almost every year, and while district-union contracts are up for renewal every two or three years, negotiations this year were more difcult than most, highlighted by the district and union’s joint decision to declare an impasse and have rst time in a very long time and certainly the frst time in my 11 years of teaching that we’ve hit an impasse,” English teacher and former PAEA negotia-

Despite initial difculties, Baldwin said all parties involved with the negotiations worked together professionally to come to a resolution.

“In the beginning, the relationships were a little strained,” Baldwin said. “But, we are professionals and treat each other with respect. We weren’t personally attacking the board; it was about us discussing our value within the district.

Austin agrees.

“We still have great relationships with our bargaining team,” Austin said. “I think people think we’re all fghting and upset with each other. Tat’s just not the case.”

District Finances

Not every teacher loves the current agreement, though. English teacher and PAEA site representative Hunter Reardon said because of infation, the value of teacher pay effectively decreases over time.

12% of PAEA educators say morale is positive

is tentative agreement was ratifed by teachers Superintendent Don Austin said the district and union rules for negotiations are set through state and federal guidelines.

e district management team has a team that represents our Board of Education in the process, and the teachers have their own representation team, which includes a California Teachers Association representative along with the union president and whoever they select as their

Regardless of these rules, though, physical education teacher

Peter Diepenbrock said this year’s negotiations have been par-

“I’ve been here 27 years, and I’ve been through lots of erent negotiations,” Diepenbrock said. “I don’t ever remember it being this contentious or people being as upset and frustrated.”

Austin, however, said he didn’t see it that way.

“Overall, they weren’t very diferent,” Austin said. “One year, the initial proposals were very close to each other, so we settled is time, we weren’t close to each other when it started.”

But Chief Business Ofcer Carolyn Chow said involving a state mediator is seldom necessary.

“It is a little bit unusual for our district,” been about 15 years since Palo Alto was at an impasse and needed a mediator to help us get

Negotiations this year lasted nine months, starting in September, and Austin said the reason for the prolonged discussion was due to the abundance of PAEA requests

PAEA requests 8% on-schedule raise for 2023-2024

“We had more requests this longer to go through each of those ts is an expense to the district, and we have to weigh -

tor was necessary to keep negotiations

“Every year, infation is continuing,” Reardon said. “ Te 2% raise (that the district ofered) would not even keep up with infation. Our pay would still be going down.”

But as a public school district, PAUSD can only do so much to pay its teachers, Austin said.

“ Tere’s a limit to what a public school district can do to maintain peace with some of these realities,” he said.

Even though the PAEA and PAUSD eventually settled on a 4% on-schedule raise, the raise fell short of keeping up with infation in 2023 — 4.33%, according to the Federal Planning Bureau. And Austin said moving forward the district will not necessarily work to have raises to keep up with infation.

“We don’t want people leaving us to go to other places around here,” Austin said. “But we’re not going to keep up with infation rates. If infation at some points in the last few years has been over 8%, we’re not going to match that.”

Several nearby districts, such as the Mountain View-Los Altos Union School District and Fremont Unifed School District, though, pay higher maximum salaries than PAUSD.

English teacher and PAEA site representative Erin Angell said her salary would be signifcantly higher at other districts, and that moving to Fremont Unifed would also provide better benefts.

“If I’m teaching in Palo Alto the max salary I can make is $154,300,” Angell said. “But if I’m going to teach at Fremont Unifed it’s $169,000. And if teaching in MVLA, it’s $192,000.” EdData, a website ofering comprehensive data on districts as recently as 2022, shows on average, a teacher work ing at PAUSD in 2022 earned $122,868.

“I never, never, for a second, thought that bringing in a mediator was a loss,” Austin said. “I thought bringing a mediator is sometimes what you do to get unstuck, right? So we got there. We knew we’d PAEA President Teri Baldwin said a considerable number of e vast majority of the teachers supported the impasse and (having) a

January 22

PAUSD ofers 2% onschedule and 1% of-schedule raise October 22

$29,596 average salary between PAUSD PAUSD

When looking at other districts in the area, the average salary is higher: at Fremont Unifed School District, the average teacher salary was $125,454, and the average teacher working at Mountain View-Los Altos Union School District, earned $152,464.

For teachers, another contentious point is the District’s fnancial reserves. PAUSD has over $135 million that it could spend on teacher raises. Paramesh said these reserves should be used to improve the school.

“What I’ve heard so far is that a lot of the funds are sort of in reserve right now and are not being used and sort of are accumulating interest,” Paramesh said. “And so that doesn’t make sense to me. I think we should be using those funds on the teachers which by extension supports the rest of the school and the students.”

However, Chow said the $135 million in reserves is for when fnances might be tight. Te money comes from years in which we had funds that weren’t expended, and they went into the ending fund balance,” Chow said. “Some of it is largely intentional. When the times are good, it’s easier to set money aside.”

Austin agrees and said the $135 million in reserves will signifcantly decrease because the district is already planning on using it to pay for things like summer school salaries

January 22

PAEA requests 6% onschedule and 2% of-schedule raise

February 2

PAUSD counters with a proposed 3% on-schedule raise

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Spotlight Te Campanile A4
PAEA members protests outside thre district ofce. “We don’t want to lose (educators) to districts that pay higher,” PAEA President Teri Baldwin said. “We want to attract and retain the best educators for our students.” LUCA VOSTREJS/THE CAMPANILE

compensation conundrum

two-year contract, ending negotiations impasse

and childcare for hundreds of families. According to the district’s website, the total amount the District can spend out of reserves barring an emergency is slightly under $19 million.

“Our recalculated reserve numbers will go down the second we sign these agreements,” Austin said. “But reserves are like a bank account — when you take the money out, it’s just gone. Tere’s no money coming back in. So if this group now says, ‘You can aford this as paid on reserves,’ Absolutely. But I have to keep the district solvent for the next 20 years, not this one year.”

Work Experience

While maximum salaries for other schools are higher, Austin said teachers stay in PAUSD for working conditions and

$29,596 salary diferenace

PAUSD and MVLA; is lower

“It’s not just a snapshot of a salary; it’s salary plus contract,” Austin said. “When you combine salary and contract, I’d stack us up against anybody.” According to EdData, in 2022, PAUSD’s maximum contribution for staf health and welfare benefts comes out to be $27,774 for each staf member. Te same year, MVLA ofered a maximum of $35,247 for each staf member. And FUSD provides even higher benefts, with a maximum of $43,064 for each teacher.

“Right now, every month, we are spending more than we make,” Lupoli said. “Not because we have a luxurious lifestyle, but because we need to pay our mortgage. We need to pay for child care, and we need to feed ourselves and our baby.”

that we do exit interviews with anyone who leaves us, and we publish the data,” Austin said. “What we’re see ing is our retention rates are exceedingly high, especially for veterans.”

Austin said based on exit interviews, teachers rarely leave because they feel unvalued by the district.

Austin said because PAUSD ofers more benefts, such as lower class sizes, the situation is more complicated than just comparing educator salaries across districts.

“If anyone wants to point to just salary, then they’re neglecting contracts,” Austin said. “ Tere are some districts that pay a little more, but they have class sizes of 29.”

Compared to neighboring districts, PAUSD has about a 17-to-1 student-staf ratio, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. MVLA has an 18-to-1 student-staf ratio, ahead of FUSD’s 23-to-1 student-staf ratio.

Austin said PAUSD special education teachers teach four out of seven periods, allowing them to have time for preparation and individualized education programs for their students.

However, PAUSD teachers often live far away, which Austin attributes to the high home prices in the immediate

“I’m not sure that it’s the expectation for government and state employees to be able to purchase a home in Palo Alto,” Austin said. “It is price prohibitive. It’s why 50% of the residents in Palo Alto rent. Tat’s an actual fact. Te average home price in the Bay Area is well over $2 million.”

Austin also said most teachers live relatively close to Palo Alto, but recognized short commutes distance-wise can still take a long time in the Bay Area.

“We do heat maps, and a heat map is an actual scattergram of the actual home locations of our employees and the overwhelming majority live within 20 miles of the school district,” Austin said. “Now, when you live here, 20 miles can still be a 45-minute or an hour commute.”

However, Greene Middle School teacher Joleen Roach said some teachers she knows are faced with the dilemma of either resorting to side hustles to keep up with rent or having to commute long distances from homes located in more afordable areas.

“People are having to move because they can’t aford their rent,” Roach said. “And people live really far away anyway. When people live far away, and they have to get second jobs, that afects their ability to teach kids.”

PAEA site representative and Escondido Elementary School teacher Richard Garcia said commutes start very early in the morning for some teachers.

“I know more than a few (teachers) that live down south, and they have to commute for over an hour to get to school,” Garcia said. “ Tey’re getting in here at 7 in the morning. We start at 8. But that means that a commute could start as early as 5:30.” Even with shorter commutes, teachers who live closer to Palo Alto still face high living expenses. Lupoli said his family is forced to dip into their savings each month, despite how he and his wife are both teachers earning incomes.

March 29

PAEA , PAUSD declare impasse, bring in state mediator

“For veteran teachers, once you’ve been here 10, 15, 20 years, overwhelmingly, they’re not leaving us to go other places,” Austin said. “And that should not be in any way misconstrued as not valuing retention. We want to keep our best veteran teachers for their entire careers. I just think that message got a little twisted during negotiations.”

But PAEA site representative and Economics teacher Eric Bloom said the district against a higher raise devalues teachers.

“When the district chooses not to give us a competitive raise, it’s saying, ‘We don’t value teacher retention. We don’t value the work that you’re doing,’” Bloom said. “And so I feel neglected.”

PAUSD Board of Educa tion Vice President Shana Segal and Board Member Todd Collins declined an interview request for this story. Board Members Shounak Dharap and Jennifer DiBrienza did not re spond to interview requests. Deputy Su perintendent Trent Bahadursingh initially sent links to district information related to negotiations but didn’t respond to follow-up



May 7

Tentative agreement agreed be tween PAEA, PAUSD: 4% on-schedule raise, 1% of-schedule ratifed

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Spotlight Te Campanile A5
Board trustee Shounak Dharap surveys the district meeting room. “But I have to keep the district solvent for the next 20 years, not this one year,” Superinten dent Don Austin said. LUCA VOSTREJS/THE CAMPANILE STORY ANNIKA CHU, ALEX ISAYAMA, GAVIN LIN & MERYEM ORAZOVA salar y.

We cannot separate art from artists when we provide platforms to problematic creators

My bedroom walls trembled as the electrifying rap song “Bound 2” by Ye blasted on the speakers. I nodded along to the catchy beats and lip-synced to the lyrics. A friend sitting across from me lifted her eyes up from her computer and tilted her head as she stared at me with a troubled look.

She proceeded to ask why I kept Ye on my playlist despite his malicious, antisemitic comments. With a hint of selfshness, I responded that we should be able to separate the art from the artist.

In October of 2022, Ye said on X he would be “going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE,” and since then, the argument that we should be able to separate the art from the artist has been plaguing me. I, and the rest of the internet, have been conficted about whether or not it is ethical to continue to listen to Ye’s sensational music, debating if it is possible to separate Ye’s masterpieces from Ye’s beliefs.

Proponents of keeping Ye in our playlists argue art can be separated from the artist, while others think artists will always be attached to their art — but I disagree with both.

We should not claim a work of art is distasteful just because the artist has behaved poorly. We should recognize that art can be diferentiated from the character of the artist. Appreciating the quality of a work of art, and indulging in it, does not mean we endorse the actions of the artist.

If we were in an art museum and found a compelling piece of art, we wouldn’t come to the conclusion the piece was praiseworthy by scrutinizing the artist and their beliefs. Take Pablo Picasso for one, who is renowned as one of the most infuential artists today. He is undoubtedly artistically gifted with millions applauding his art, yet, a little research on his past reveals that he abused many young women and maintained many afairs.

We decide art is appealing because we admire the elements making up the art itself without admiring the artist.

Tus, if we previously thought Ye’s music was good, our view on the quality of his music should not change simply because our view of Ye as a person changed.

We should be able to acknowledge Ye’s talent for tying his music with his lyrics has made his albums some of the greatest of all time. At the same time, we should be able to do so while condemning his wrongful actions. Separating the art from the artist in this manner should be completely valid.

However, once we understand that listening to Ye’s music pays his bills and gives him a platform, we cannot separate the art from the artist. By listening to his music, we are encouraging him to make more and to perform on more tours. In doing so, we are essentially implying that our love for his music is enough to disregard his antisemitic statements. With 72 million monthly Spotify listeners, if each one listened to fve Ye songs per month, he would make $1.7 million per month solely from Spotify streams.

Asserting that we are separating the art from the artists is a lazy excuse for the real, underlying motive: favoring listening to enjoyable music over condemning discriminatory and harmful words. Rather than using the phrase, “separate the art from the artist,” every time we crave moral justifcation for listening to a musician who has done problematic things, it would be more honest to admit we cherish their music too much to remove them from our playlist.

I recognize now that I’ve been guilty of using the same silly excuse for months, hoping to avoid accusations of endorsing Ye’s insensitive remarks while still indulging in his music. Despite this, further self-refection has led me to acknowledge the real implications of listening to Ye. I have ofcially removed Ye’s music from all my playlists, and I urge you to refect on your moral standards and your genuine rationale behind separating the art from the artist.

Why bother with student journalism?

Chances are, if you picked up a newspaper at the end of 2021, the dominant headlines would feature our highly decorated Olympic gymnastics team. But instead of standing tall in preparation for a whimsical turn, the photos would have captured their heartwrenching tears as they testifed against Larry Nassar, a doctor at USA Gymnastics who sexually assaulted hundreds of athletes.

While the story of their testimonies swept national headlines that fall, it was the work of a local newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, that originally broke the scathing allegations of USA Gymnastic doctor’s sexual abuse that led to 156 women individually testifying against Nassar.

Tat story subsequently set a precedent not only in the sports world by actually placing consequences on assaulters, but also in the

journalism community, by placing a heightened value on local newspapers.

While this issue, like many others, caught the attention of name-brand newspapers who stamped the iterations of the same headline on their front page, the Nassar exposé taught us that local newspapers and their inquiries into their communities can help catch corruption in our government and society at its root and subconsciously shape our cultural climate.

It is nearly impossible for Te New York Times and Te Washington Post to cover the cracks in our communities, to discover the stories of the girls who sat through years of abuse and only received empathy and closure fve years after the original story broke. And it is for that reason I implore readers to place importance on local papers and to help fund them, for, it evidently isn’t just our nationally reputed papers that can capture the most relevant information.

Local outlets capture the heart of our society,

wielding empathy and dedication to produce quality over quantity. As an editor-in-chief of Te Campanile, I watched our deadlines become looser so we could have more voices and interviews, a luxury that cannot be aforded in large-scale media outlets. While we’re not covering global economic trends or documenting the front lines of war, our reporters took on stories exploring niche stories in our communities.

And as I worked with them and edited their stories, I realized how this paper is built on the courage of our newest reporter who braved direct, passive-aggressive attacks from school administration to uncover programs that hurt the student body. It is built on the bravery of our reporters who interviewed dozens of victims of eating disorders for an investigative article that not only tells a story but also sparks administrative change. It is built on our team of four who spent just fve days interviewing 30+ individuals to write a 2,000-word profle on the Oct. 7 attack while enduring scathing backlash with maturity. It is built on our reporters who place their integrity on a silver platter to readers, trudge through leaked documents, fle Freedom for Information Acts and slog through interviews to get any information possible.

As an editor-in-chief, I couldn’t feel prouder of this team, yet I’m confused as to why readers defate the value of local papers and, more specifcally, school papers. I urge readers to understand that civic duty encompasses reading both national and local news, the latter of which includes the voices of students, too, for we are real journalists. Viewing us as “student journalists” often undermines what we do because the adjective “student” provides us the shield from which we can hide behind because “we’re still learning.”

But if our articles can shape state and national law, if our reporters can dig through archives of inconsistent funding, sacrifce their emotional health to uncover stories and — as a fellow writer once put it — “stake their names on the truth of our stories,” I believe our paper should be held on the same plane as other reputed outlets.

So, I encourage everyone to engage with our articles, to pick up a local paper or follow their social media pages. Don’t just scroll through the Times, but read the stories of our communities at large.

Dear Editors,

Hello, my name is Stephane Paquet, and I’m a Paly parent and the president of the Paly Sports Boosters. I’m writing because I read, with interest, your April 15 Spotlight piece, “Pick Your Team: Lack of Sports Boosters, reliance on donations from families creates implications for uniforms, equity, funding.”

I fear the article left the impression that the Boosters—a non-proft group charged with funding large, capital projects related to Paly’s athletics programs—was not active. Te article quoted AD council and student-athlete leadership-team member Tasman Johnson as saying that “Paly Athletics is in the process of organizing the Paly Sports Boosters Program again but has yet to determine when it will be functional.” Actually, the Boosters program is functional now. Our group is working with school administrators to plan several projects and events over the next few weeks, including: “Senior Signing Day” on May 23, a ceremony to honor Paly studentathletes who have signed a letter of intent to play an NCAA sport (this event was mentioned in the March 21 email that is sent to all Paly parents through ParentSquare), and also on May 23, a golf tournament sponsored by the Paly football team’s non-proft to raise money for the football program. Tis school year, the Boosters have also organized the holiday tree lot; secured new bleachers for the Paly pool deck, to seat spectators of swimming and water polo; and installed a new netting system on the soccer feld to keep balls on the feld, and not on the surrounding track or in the stands. Just last week, we organized a free tailgate party alongside the Paly vs. Gunn baseball game, ofering free hot dogs to team members and spectators and running a pop-up shop for Paly gear. Your article correctly pointed out that parent donations fund most of the basic “required to play” elements of Paly sports, such as uniforms and equipment. Te athletic department also supports the purchase of uniforms and equipment where needed and a host of overhead expenses, including software, league dues/fees, tournament fees and the rising cost of fees for game ofcials.

PAUSD recently has increased its funding to both the Gunn and Paly athletic departments from $50K to $100K. Tis increase in funding has had a signifcant impact in terms of covering bus/school van transportation—which every school sports team has paid access to utilize—as well as equipment reconditioning, game-day stafng and coaching stipends. Overall, it certainly “takes a village” to run the athletic department, and we feel we continue to ofer students access to a superior athletic experience at Paly. We would be happy to organize a meeting with Paly administrators to further discuss the specifcs of how athletic programs are funded at the school, if you would like to delve into this topic in a follow-up article.

Tank you, Stephane Paquet, President of Paly Sports Boosters

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Opinion Te Campanile A6
ARTBYDORIANLUO Heather Song Managing Editor Nidhi Tummalapalli Senior Staf Writer


Israel-Hamas war should not be called a genocide

As I move between food stands, weaving through an open-air market in Seoul, South Korea during spring break, a faint chorus of whistles and chants echo of the surrounding highrise buildings. I regroup with my family just as a horde of protesters, decked in kefyeh and black “Free Palestine” T-shirts, round the corner.

It’s not the woman who attempts to hand me a fier nor the “Cease-fre Now” signs that catch my attention. Instead, it’s the identical posters every protester holds above their heads depicting an Israeli fag covered in bloody handprints that shock me. As the throng proceeds, protesters begin to scream in English, “Globalize the Intifada.”

“Intifada” in Arabic translates to “uprising” and sounds like a call for Palestinian activism. However, the word has been used for decades to describe violent uprisings against Jews and Israel, usually resulting in Israeli civilian injuries or deaths. And since this phrase is so closely associated with violence, as demonstrated by the bloodied Israeli fags illustrated in the posters, the indiscriminate use of it is meant to encourage more violence against Jews and Israeli institutions.

Since the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas, protests have erupted around the globe in response to Israel’s retaliation in Gaza. And in recent weeks, pro-Palestinian encampments at United States universities have sprung up across the country, inspired by Columbia University’s “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.”

While I disagree with protesters’ ceasefre sentiment and demands from universities, I support their right to protest peacefully. However, many of the encampments have turned into breeding grounds for violence, some protesters going as far as disrupting classes and graduations, occupying buildings, harassing Jewish students and targeting protest dissenters with antisemitic vitriol. When the right to free speech transforms into threats of violence, universities must step in to protect all students and continue their educational services.

Interestingly, most protesters, supported by organizations like the Columbia University Apartheid Divest, say they will continue to hold student demonstrations to achieve justice by “any means necessary,” a slogan echoing and justifying the barbaric actions of the internationally recognized terrorist organization, Hamas. Indeed, most of CUAD’s demands from Columbia are aimed at delegitimizing, weakening and even eventually eradicating the state of Israel.

Like the majority of organizations responsible for college and university encampments, CUAD’s main demand for Columbia is to divest its fnances from companies that “proft from Israeli

apartheid, genocide and occupation in Palestine.”

Comparisons have also been made to the Holocaust. Let’s focus on the language utilized by CUAD and so many other pro-Palestine supporters and organizations.

Israel is not an apartheid state. Israel, like all other countries with ethnic diversity, has a way to go in terms of dismantling its institutionalized bias and inequity. But Israel has well-established, legal safeguards that ensure equal treatment of Jews and Arabs.

When compared with the United Nations defnition of an apartheid state, Israel does not legally discriminate, segregate, disenfranchise or violently coerce any of its citizens based on race or religion. Not only is the term describing Israel as an apartheid state factually inaccurate, but it also polarizes and infames discussions regarding the current confict and distorts reality through language, seemingly toit seems like part of a larger strategy to simply slander Israel.

In addition, the war in Gaza is not a genocide.

Most, if not all, of the protests and encampments in opposition to the war in Gaza demand that universities and government ofcials denounce the “ongoing genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people.”

Gaza is a war zone. Just because Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians does not mean these actions are intended to ethnically cleanse the world of Palestinians. If Israel wanted to commit genocide, it could have decimated Gaza and everyone in it the day after the Oct. 7 massacre. But it didn’t. In fact, although Israel has reduced more than half of all buildings in the Gaza Strip to rubble, a total of 34,000 people, including known Hamas operatives, have been killed. While the loss of any innocent life, Jewish or Arab, is abhorrent, these numbers are not indicative of genocide – they demonstrate a nation attempting to protect its citizens, retrieve hostages and eradicate Hamas without annihilating those living in Gaza.

Naming the Israel-Hamas confict genocide also represents a glaring double standard, infamed by the United Nations. Te North Korean governmentinduced famine in the late ‘90s led to the starvation of more than two million North Koreans. Te U.S.’s post9/11 wars resulted in a total of more than 4 million deaths, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Afairs. And since 2017, the Chinese government has placed more than a million Muslims, most of which are Uyghur, into “re-education” camps where many have been “systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured.” None of the above have been convicted for genocide in the UN International Court of Justice, yet within months of this confict, the ICJ leaped to a discussion of genocide, although ultimately rejecting it.

Any conversation on genocide should be focused on the real ofender of international law: Hamas.

Hamas’s founding charter is overtly based on genocidal ideology, calling for Israel to be “obliterated” and for Muslims to kill Jews as they “hide behind stones and trees.”

Also seen in demonstration signs and various proPalestine organization language is the comparison of Israel’s war in Gaza to the Holocaust. Not only does the exploitation of this terminology diminish the recent historic genocide of six million Jews in World War II, but it shamefully insinuates Israelis are like Nazis, thus further demonizing Israel.

CUAD’s ultimate demand, present since the start of Israel’s retaliation in Gaza following Oct. 7, is for universities and the government to “release a public statement calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefre in Gaza.”

Even if a permanent ceasefre deal was agreed on, protesters would still not achieve what they so aggressively advocate for – a Palestinian government focused on creating a peaceful and prosperous nation – due to Hamas’s continued control.

Tey haven’t achieved it in the past decade, and there is no reason to believe they would succeed now.

It is also crucial to understand that Hamas, which triggered this newest violent confict, presently maintaining it by holding children and elderly hostages, would not hesitate to repeat and resume the violence if given the chance. Its leaders have vowed to repeat Oct. 7 “a second, a third, a fourth” time. Hamas would continue to attack Israel, as indicated by its violation of six “permanent” ceasefre agreements since 2007. Not to mention that the Israeli hostages would be held indefnitely. Hamas could have prevented this latest round of violence by not starting it in the frst place. Israel, like any other nation, has a right to defend itself against terrorist attacks, retrieve the remaining hostages and eradicate Hamas. Hamas attacks border crossings through which aid is delivered and barbarically uses its own population as human shields, spending innocent lives to gain international commiseration and political leverage. As demands for a ceasefre continue, it begs the question of why these ultimatums are being spread by groups that claim to advocate for universal human rights. But if the true demands are to save innocents, then why aren’t they fghting for 4-year-old Ariel Bibas and his brother Kfr, who was nine months old when he was abducted? Why aren’t they fghting for the 132 hostages still being held in Gaza, dead or alive? Why aren’t they fghting for the eradication of Hamas, who slaughtered women and carried their severed heads around like trophies, who gang-raped young women and mutilated their vaginas?

Instead, these protests have confated human rights campaigns and radical, anti-Zionist campaigns designed to eradicate the state of Israel. Ironically, even if Israel was eradicated, these hard-left protesters would still not achieve the “peaceful” world they so desperately fght for.


atrocities toward Gaza must be stopped

In 1947, my grandparents celebrated the triumph of independence in India and the beginning of the postcolonial age. Halfway across the world, however, the Palestinian people were never able to experience liberation — as decolonization spread across the world, their homeland was left behind. Te systematic invasion, dispossession and killing of Palestinians at the hands of Israel echoes what my ancestors were forced through.

Te most recent chapter in this decades-long confict began on Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas militants stormed southern Israeli towns, killing more than 1,000 men, women and children. Tey took 247 hostages, many of whom are still being held in Gaza. Several reports of sexual assault and bodily mutilation during the attack have also emerged.

Soon after, the attacks by Hamas received deserved condemnation from both our school board and city council. Yet, in the past six months, I have seen nothing close to a real condemnation of the current, ongoing atrocities in Gaza committed by Israel.

Te Israeli Defense Force, Israel’s military, immediately called for a complete siege on Gaza, along with cutting of all electricity, food, water and fuel for the 2.4 million people, nearly half of whom are children. With the consent and funding of the US government, the IDF initiated the most drastic aerial bombing campaign in recent history, destroying civilian infrastructure — including hospitals, schools and mosques — and murdering more than 35,000 Palestinians, 70% of them women and children. Around 85,000 people have been injured or reported missing.


Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to evacuate their homes, feeing south as Israel continued its aggression, leading to the current humanitarian crisis in Rafah. While the city currently shelters around 1.4 million refugees, the IDF has pressed for a ground invasion, despite Hamas ofcially accepting a ceasefre. Te bombardment, forcible transfer and violent language used by Israeli ofcials has led several human rights experts to label Israel’s military action as genocidal.

Tis extreme, unjustifable violence is wildly disproportionate to the actions of Hamas yet has faced nothing but blurry, vague words calling for “unity and empathy” during these “tough times.” Even something as noncontroversial as calling for a ceasefre, a demand from families of Israeli hostages, is contested by our city council, which refuses to make a resolution in fear of tearing the community apart. If our city wishes to not take a stance on a confict, they need to uphold the same standard for both sides, rather than the selective condemnation of Hamas.

In addition to the city’s response, I have been shocked by the reaction of many of my peers to these events. Te vast majority of people around me have been completely silent or overwhelmingly supportive of Israel’s military actions, and I have been blocked or called brainwashed for simply reposting information about the bombardment.

Te most disgusting and sadly ironic fact is the same people who were participating in the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, centered around the systematic discrimination and oppression of Black Americans at the hands of our government, now turn their backs on Palestinian civilians.

Our city has taken signifcant action when it comes to ensuring equality, as described in its Race and Equity plan. Yet, these views are somehow abandoned when it comes to Palestinians, who have been resisting conditions — refecting those fought against by BLM supporters — for decades. In fact, the two movements have had historical solidarity, tracing back to the Black Panther Party.

Palo Alto’s response has shown the limits of progressivism in the modern world — how one of the most liberal cities in America can support movements like Black Lives Matter, but refuse to acknowledge the sufering of Palestinians, is absurd.

Furthermore, the view that this confict started on Oct. 7 is ignorant and misconstrues decades of peaceful Palestinian resistance.

Te Palo Alto city council’s statement solely condemning Hamas made clear the city thinks Israel had zero blame for the situation in Gaza, erasing decades of history, starting from the beginning of the Zionist movement. From November 1947 to May 1948, over 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes, which they had inhabited for generations, in an event referred to as the Nakba, or “the catastrophe” in Arabic. What resulted was the formation of the state of Israel and the beginning of decades of violence for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinians have endured a brutal occupation since 1967, when Israel gained control of the territories. As the Palestinian national movement grew, Israel’s attempts to squash the resistance failed miserably, culminating in the First

Intifada in 1987. It was a predominantly nonviolent grassroots movement started after an IDF vehicle struck a car in a refugee camp in Gaza, killing four Palestinians. Te policy of Israel’s security forces at this time was to use “force, might, and beatings”, resulting in widespread assaults on innocent protesters. Te First Intifada represented a generation of Palestinians who had known nothing since birth but violent occupation. It paved the way for more global recognition of the Palestinian struggle and was the beginning of several peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian ofcials. While the agreements eventually fell through, this shows how Palestinians have been peacefully resisting occupation for decades, and how violence was never a frst option for them. Viewing the Palestinian cause as simply the recent actions of Hamas is one-dimensional and historically inaccurate. Te failure of diplomatic and peaceful attempts at Palestinian statehood, only exaggerated by Hamas’ use of suicide bombers on Israeli civilian targets during the Second Intifada, made clear how few options Palestinians had to resist.

Israeli aggression against Palestinians has been nonstop in recent years, through the illegal settlements in the West Bank, mass detention of Palestinians without charge or trial, restriction of movement between and within the occupied territories and the economic blockade of goods coming in and out of Gaza, leaving little access to clean water and reliable electricity.

Routine Israeli bombardment in 2012 and 2014 — inhumanely referred to by Israeli ofcials as “mowing the grass” — severely weakened Gaza’s infrastructure, left large parts of the city in rubble, and killed over 3,800 Palestinians.

Te Great March of Return in 2018, where Israeli snipers targeted thousands of peaceful protesters, killing more than 200 and injuring thousands more, showcased the depths of Israeli violence. A United Nations Human Rights report found reasonable evidence that the IDF “shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.”

Before October of 2023, that year had already been the deadliest year for Palestinian children as Israel stepped up its military action in the West Bank. While Palestinians within Israel live relatively better of, there are still discriminatory laws and practices in place. According to several human rights organizations, the inequalities upheld by state law within Israel could constitute as apartheid.

Tese events that contextualize Palestinian existence are ignored by our city and other pro-Israeli activists as they continue to remain silent about the atrocities in Gaza. We must not let hypocritical, reactionary ideals plague our city ofcials and classmates. Acknowledging the Palestinian struggle — including Israel’s role in it — is an important step forward and demonstrates true progressivism.

Te continued support for Israel’s military actions only perpetuates the decades-long cycle of violence — the impossible motive to destroy Palestinian resistance is proliferated by the occupation itself. We have to work together as a community to recognize the struggle of the Palestinians as well as all other oppressed groups in the world. If we truly care about anti-racist and anti-imperialist beliefs, we have to uphold that same standard for everyone. Palestine cannot be the exception.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Te Campanile A7

PAUSD-of ered raises undervalue our teachers

The Palo Alto Educators As-

sociation approved an agreement with PAUSD on May 17, with PAEA members –– teachers and licensed professionals –– receiving a 4% on-schedule increase, a 1% ofschedule bonus and a stipend schedule increase of 4% starting July 1. Te agreement was ratifed amid disagreements between PAEA and PAUSD. PAEA initially asked for an 8% on-schedule salary increase, and the district countered with a 2% raise. Te two parties were unable to reach an agreement until they brought in a mediator, a measure not taken in recent negotiations.

Te Campanile recognizes the importance of teachers and other educational staf members to push for better pay, especially considering the high cost of living in one of America’s most expensive areas. Te agreement barely keeps up with infation for the past year, and retaining high quality teachers should continue to be of the utmost importance to the district. Te Campanile believes PAEA members should have rejected the contract because PAUSD is not paying them competitively compared to neighboring districts, and further negotiations could have improved teachers’ fnancial conditions.

As of now, teachers do not feel valued by the district because of the lengthy negotiation process. At an open forum at the April 23 school board meeting, Gunn math teacher Kathy Hawes, who has worked at PAUSD for 33 years, said she feels undervalued by PAUSD. Hawes said she could make $37,000 more a year

at the Mountain View Los Altos Unifed School District. “I love my department. I love my collaboration. I love the people I work with,” Hawes said. “But at some point I have to think about what would that $37,000 do for my retirement? What would that do for my cost of living? Can I aford to keep working in Palo Alto?”

Te Campanile recognizes that the district, like any public school district, has budgetary restrictions on how much it can pay its teachers. But according to the PAUSD website, the district has over $135 million in reserves, which is almost $100 million more than the legal requirement by the state. Te reserves have also grown 187% over the past four years.

On the district website, approximately only $19 million of the reserves is unassigned and unrestricted, with the majority “assigned” or “committed” to various projects. In an interview with Te Campanile, PAUSD Superintendent Don Austin said most of the reserves are allocated toward programs such as summer school and free pre-K for hundreds of families, which are currently being provided by a government loan. While Te Campanile recognizes many of

Proposed by District 09 California State Senator Nancy Skinner, California Senate Bill 274 will protect students TK-12 from suspension and expulsion for willful defance or excessive truancy, starting July 1.

While we support the intention of the bill, multiple reasons prevent us from supporting the bill altogether.

Te bill protects students that are “disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of school staf ” which includes acts such as refusing to comply with a directive to put one’s phone away.

Proponents say SB 274 will help eliminate unnecessary suspensions that disproportionately target disabled students, LGBTQ+ students and students without a stable home and students of color.

Marginalized students not only face more challenges and thus are more likely to act out in response, but they are more likely to be suspended than their non-minority peers for the same actions. Black students, for example, missed nearly fve times more classes due to school disciplinary actions than their white counterparts.

Te bill supplements Ed Code 48900, which automatically suspends or expels students who commit specifc ofenses such as threatening to act violently, non-self-defensive violence, possession of weapons, possession of drugs and other acts that risk severely endangering the school.

Considering the broader goal of the measure, Te Campanile commends the Bill’s efort to promote

these programs are necessary, moving forward, Te Campanile believes the district should prioritize essential needs, notably teacher salaries, over projects, especially considering the huge growth in reserve funds in recent years. Additionally, the district should label the reserve funds more clearly. In the short term, since contract negotiations are unlikely to take place next year, Te Campanile thinks PAEA should have continued to fght for a higher raise. While Te Campanile understands PAUSD cannot ensure a salary high enough to its staf to allow most teachers to own a home in Palo Alto due to the high cost of living, the district should still be doing as much as it can to alleviate the fnancial burden on teachers. No teacher should have to work multiple jobs to pay their bills or have to move farther away because their salary is not keeping up with infation.

At the same time, it is true that PAUSD ofers great benefts for its teachers, including some of the lowest student-to-staf ratios among neighboring districts at 15:1, as well as additional instructional preparation time. Te Campanile applauds PAUSD for making its schools an attractive work-

equity and improve school attendance, especially by eliminating the counterintuitive approach of punishing truant students with suspensions. While we support the intention of this bill, Te Campanile thinks willful defance is too loosely defned, and banning suspension and expulsion risks stimulating further non-compliance.

Te lack of a clear defnition of “willful defance” in the bill and its lack of concrete steps to mitigate defant action may further encourage disruptive students to continue to cause disturbances in classrooms.

Te Campanile hopes at the very least that the State Department of Education will release guidelines related to the bill to help guide the many California schools that have struggled to deal with consistently defant students.

A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that, on average, a student’s chance of graduation decreases by 20% after each suspension due to increased disengagement and the reduction of instructional minutes.

Expulsions and suspensions that trap students in a cycle of punishment should be replaced by restorative school intervention programs –– adjustment plans centered around communication between students and administrators –– which allow schools to better support misbehaving students.

And at Paly, for example, a tardy intervention plan implemented at the beginning of the year has proven successful in improving attendance, according to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson.

ing environment, but still urges the district to continue to make teachers a priority. When neighboring districts are paying their teachers 11% more than PAUSD, the district should not be content with simply not being in last place. We should aspire to be the best we can be, and that means paying teachers more.

Te Campanile also recognizes the district’s participation in afordable housing for teachers, including the 29 units at 231 Grant Ave. However, the housing efort must be expanded to accommodate the more than 900 members of PAEA.

PAUSD has an amazing reputation as a school district, providing one of the best public school education for its students in the state, if not the nation. But the district also needs to accommodate the teachers, the cornerstone of this district’s success. By barely budging on negotiations until a mediator was brought in, the district, either intentionally or unintentionally, demonstrated their indiference towards the teacher’s needs. Providing higher salary raises will beneft the district in the long term by making teachers feel appreciated for the hard work they do for their students, and being transparent with the budget will help to restore trust between the teachers and the district.

Editor’s note: Te Campanile’s adviser is a PAEA member and did not infuence the choice of editorial topic or the stance Te Campanile took for this editorial.

Te Campanile also does not think the bill is necessary considering the vast improvements made in schools to combat unnecessary and discriminatory suspensions.

Paly has already made strides to reduce suspensions, going from over 100 per year to less than 20 per year over the past 18 years. Across the state, willful defance rates have already decreased by 94% and school suspension rates have decreased by 58% in the last decade.

Nationally, expulsions and suspension of students with IEPs — Individualized Education Programs — require legal hearings before going through. Paly’s suspension policy also prevents students from being excessively punished for noncompliance.

Snap suspensions, where teachers declare a student suspended in the moment, are rare as they must be followed up within 24 hours by a hearing justifying the reasoning for the suspension.

And in the vast majority of cases, teachers must write referrals to administrators before a student can be suspended.

Tus, Te Campanile believes pre-existing improvements in limiting defance rates render SB 274 unnecessary.

While Te Campanile agrees with the bill’s goal of mitigating discriminatory practices and disadvantages stemming from both suspensions and expulsions, we encourage legislators to confront willfully defant and truant students by proposing a standardized solution similar to our own defance intervention program at Paly.

The Campanile

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“Fire!” Te swimmers and Dan Starrett shout in unison. Moments later, the athletes on the pool deck break away from their huddle, leaving Starrett, otherwise known as “Superfan Dan,” standing there, beaming. He takes a seat on the bench underneath the shade and begins to lead the cheering for the frst heat of swimmers. Starrett’s speeches and cheers meant to motivate athletes have become a fundamental part of the pre-game ritual across multiple sports at Paly for over 30 years.

Starrett, a 1985 Paly grad, said he frst decided to attend games while biking past water polo practices at Gunn in October 1993.

“Ofcially, I was a Gunn fan the frst two months,” Starrett said. “(Te) frst few years, I was a Gunn and Paly fan. Ten gradually, I lessened my sweat for Gunn and increased it for Paly, so about two years afterward, I was a total Paly fan.” Starrett said he faced family crises in 1994, encouraging him to fnd a way to overcome this grief by supporting student athletes.

“From the time my dad had a heart attack to me going out on my own and my dad’s suicide — I experienced all of that in just under three months,” Starrett said. “Being a fan helped me get through all that, as well as other challenging situations I’ve faced since then.”

By leading cheers for students, Starrett said he gets the opportunity to connect with others and motivate teams.

“If a team is doing line-up, like water polo, I lead cheering because, at that time, there’s nothing to distract the athletes — coaches aren’t talking to them, they’re not playing the game and refs are not blowing their whistles,” Starrett said. “ Tat seems to help win a lot of games, not all games, but a lot of them.” Junior varsity swim coach Scott Benson said he respects and appreciates Starrett and his eagerness to come to all swim meets.

“He asks me, ‘OK, when’s the next meet? Where is it?’ and just gets all the details so he can be there,” Benson said. “He’s been to many meets, it’s just unbelievable. Some parents don’t even come to every meet, but Dan’s here every time, so we appreciate Dan. Hopefully he can be a Superfan for many years to come.”

Starrett said he enjoys cheering at high school sporting events because it is more fulflling than attending college or professional sports with huge crowds.

“Here, you can stand out,” Starrett said. “Even more, you inspire them, and you make a diference that way.” Benson said having Starrett lead the cheers gets athletes pumped up to do their best performance.

“You can just feel that energy,” Benson said. “ Te whole pool is just screaming and yelling and causing the swimmers to go their best time, so he defnitely helps the swimmers get to their maximum potential.”

Senior and varsity swim captain Grace Gormley said it has become a tradition before every meet for Starrett to give his Star Wars parody speech, which begins with the lines “Today is the last day of the republic.”.

“All of us are around together in that big circle about to start the meet, and he sets us of with a really good energy,” Gormley said. “Just having that every single meet is such a special moment to look forward to.”

Junior and junior varsity swim captain Charlie Chen said Starrett’s pre-meet speech raises the swimmers’ enthusiasm.

Troughout the years, he has become an integral part of our team because of his spirit and his representation of the team to the point that, at least for aquatic events, we have to have his presence in order to make this a complete meet,” Chen said.

Gormley said it means a lot to the team to have somebody who supports them at every meet and encourages them to do their best.

“Seeing Superfan Dan out at all of our meets, both home and away, is really inspiring for us,” Gormley said. “It just shows that there are people out there who really care about the team and who are committed to the legacy that has been built by the players before us and the legacy we’re going to leave behind.”

And Starrett said he intends to continue being Superfan Dan for as long as he can.

“I hope to reach the 50-year mark,” Starrett said. “I chose to be a high school sports fan to help me get through tough times rather than become a drug junkie or an alcoholic. I chose another kind of life, something not self-destructive.”


Advice offered for future students

Students lay scattered in haphazard clumps on the luscious lawn of the quad, shielding their eyes from bright rays of sunlight. On the side, four seniors partake in an intense game of spikeball, entertaining the lazy onlookers. To cap it of, indie music foats out from surrounding speakers, drowning out the loud squawks of seagulls hoping to collect delicious remains of forgotten lunches.

Long gone are the days of intense studying in the library as AP prep books collect dust on forgotten shelves waiting for next year’s round of eager students. Summer is in full swing and any thoughts of school assignments are out the window.

With this relaxed state of mind, students have time to refect on the school year. Sophomore Omkar Perinkulam said he enjoyed this past year because he could explore new subjects such as stage tech.

“I got to do designing for a (theater) show, and it was really fun to do that for the frst time,” Perinkulam said.

Perinkulam also said during sophomore year he was able to explore material in classes on a deeper level and learn new concepts.

“ Te class difculty was a lot harder than my freshman classes,” Perinkulam said. “Even though I took honors wherever I could (freshmen year), (sophomore) year was a lot harder and a big step up.”

Perinkulam said his advice to rising sophomores for next year is to be careful about balancing a manageable course load. He said students should consider lane-ing down if the class is too difcult in the frst couple of weeks.

“I mean, you should only take it if the class is challenging enough for you to step out of your comfort zone but not too challenging where you get overwhelmed and your grades sufer,” Perinkulam said.

Science department instructional leader and Teams teacher Elizabeth Brimhall said high

“(Students’) days get so scheduled, so it’s easy to let (sleep and social life) drop,” Brimhall said. “You will have a better high school experience if you take care of your triangle, which is: eat healthy, get enough sleep… and exercise daily.”

Also, Brimhall advises students who are falling behind to seek help as soon as possible.

“Communicating with teachers is really important,” Brimhall said. “If you’re in the class and you realize I’m not doing well, go see that teacher. In many cases, with the support of a teacher, you’ll be fne in that class.”

Junior Savannah Earley said she cautions rising students to be aware of their course load.

“Especially taking APs, don’t underestimate how hard it’s going to be as you get older,” Earley said. “Always prepare yourself for the worst, (but) expect good to come out.”

Senior Alessandra Chandler said the same applies to college applications. She advises students to get a head start.

“People underestimate the time college apps take, so I would do them (over the summer),” Chandler said. “Also, your frst semester grades matter if you’re not EA-ing anywhere. So make sure you keep your grades up.”

Chandler also said while rising seniors might be busy, they should enjoy their free time and capitalize on great school events like Spirit Week and Senior Elimination.

“I feel like I’m having such a fun time because we have all these super fun traditions,” Chandler said.

“I would tell the incoming seniors to embrace their senior year. It’s their last year in high school and their last time going to school with all of these people, so just have fun.”

Since the summer of 2022 until a few weeks ago, Paly’s campus was noticeably incomplete without its key structure: the Tower Building. In addition to accommodating important staf such as the administrative, nurse and attendance team, the building itself has always been a symbol of Paly, displayed on the website and throughout the internet when “Paly” is searched.

Some of the main changes of the building include a large outdoor patio, a redesigned interior and a more modern fnish in the original halls. I will be reviewing the new Tower Building on the basis of its aesthetics, facilities and quality.

With its Spanish colonial architecture, the building still stays in theme with the rest of Paly since the exterior was minimally changed. First walking into the building, two things stick out: the smell of fresh paint lingering in the air and the lack of dust settling on the cabinets and the foor. Not only do the walls look much cleaner than before, but the main hall, now much more roomy, provides visitors with a less crowded feeling than before. Te brightened white walls also give the main hall the vibrance and energy it lacked before the renovation. Unlike the previously crusty and damp interior, the building – while retaining its vintage touch – now has a modern feel to it. Additionally, the new patio connecting the Quad to the ofce building is an amazing addition because it ofers up a new and improved stage to host events and live performances.

Walking through the hallway, I peeked into the many rooms and noticed new improvements in the layout of the attendance ofce. Just of of the new patio, the attendance ofce has an extremely modern interior due to its bright color palette and modern appliances. A long curved desk greets you and a TV sits up on the wall. Te spacious room also holds a reception area for students to wait if there is a line – a complete 180-degree transformation from the cramped old ofce. New water fountains have also been installed in the hall of the building. Tough I enjoy modern water fountain technology as much as the next person, the sensors on the machine are too over the top. At a certain point, clicking a button is barely more efort than scanning your hand over a sensor the whole time.

Te new Wellness Center, which is currently the temporary InFocus News recording studio, is a disappointment. Instead of the modern style of the attendance ofce, the room retains the original old, gothic vibe despite the opportunity to revamp the area with a set of vibrant colors.

Overall, the building has had a net positive in its upgrades and the facilities are truly state of the art. Tough there are some minor downsides, the overwhelming majority of the design work and changes have been elite to say the least. Not only was the school able to maintain its classic touch on the exterior, but it was also able to give the building a new and more modern interior. I think that Paly’s clear efort deserves a 9.9 out of 10.

Te Campanile Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Te student band Strotherfeld plays on the quad in honor of the opening of the renovated Tower Building. Campanile reporter Neel Sharma calls the building a net positive in its upgrades. Neel Sharma Senior Staf Writer TYLER WONG/THE CAMPANILE Olivia Atkinson Senior Staf Writer OLIVIAATKINSON/THE CAMPANILE

Art students illuminate campus with diverse creativity

Among the student body lies many artists. Tese three artists in particular use their art to express creativity, passion and fnd stress relief.

Ivy Lee

An Apple pencil gently taps on an iPad as strokes of vibrant color fll the screen. With her headphones on noise-canceling, sophomore Ivy Lee is immersed into her own world of imagination.

For Lee, art is the expression of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form, and she said she focuses on digital art but also does painting and drawing. Tough she frst found an interest in art as a kid, her passion bloomed during the pandemic.

“I was really getting into art around the time of quarantine because I made an art account on Instagram,” Lee said. “I made a lot of online friends, and when I got closer to people who also draw, they really infuenced my art.”

According to Lee, a stressful environment like Paly encourages many students to create art to relax and express their creativity.

“Art is something I can do when I have free time or if I need to calm myself down,” Lee said. “I’m a pretty energetic person who’s flled with ideas all the time, and

I have a feeling that my brain is going to just explode if I don’t get them out in some way, shape or form.”

During her drawing sessions, Lee said her art largely depends on her mood and inspiration from other artists.

“You end up drawing from everything you see,” Lee said. “I always go on Pinterest almost every day to see other people’s art and see what kind of techniques they use or what kind of brushes they use to make textures.”

But Lee said developing her current artistic skill set took years of practice.

“I’m at the point where I am right now because I have been doing this every day for seven years,” Lee said. “It’s just like any other skill where you really need to hone in and practice.”

Lee advises aspiring artists to remain persistent and not feel discouraged when confronted with a challenge.

“When you get frustrated because you can’t draw something, ask yourself how many times you did it before,” Lee said. “If you’re trying to fx a car and you’re not an engineer, it’s not like you’re going to get it right the frst time, and art is exactly like that. It’s OK to feel frustrated sometimes, but the best thing to do is just to keep going, keep pushing yourself. Never stop drawing.”

Katie Wu

Senior and Artruism Club President Katie Wu said she also started her art journey at a young age.

“I started taking classes at the age of 5, and I just think I really enjoyed the act of drawing things on the page,” Wu said. “As I grew up, I consumed a lot of artistic media with animations and movies and things like that. Overall, art has just been a steady presence throughout my life.”

Wu said she used her passion for art to create her club, which she said provides a welcoming environment for artists to connect with one another and grow.

“Artruism is a club that does community service through art, and our name is a combination of the words art and altruism,” Wu said. “As the president, I try to get us projects that the club members will enjoy that will help them both have a larger platform to showcase their artwork and to practice their skills. Along with getting projects, I also try to foster a nice club environment where people feel like they can grow and develop their art skills.”

Wu is taking AP 2-D Art and Design program and said she is working on a portfolio around the theme “Sustain the Investigation”. Her investigation focuses on how adults should retain their childhood wonder as they grow up.

“One of my pieces is like my older soul reconnecting with my younger self and hobby,” Wu said. “ Tey’re both in the library, and as a child, I was really into reading fantasy books. As I’ve grown up, I haven’t had the chance to read as many of those fantasy books. So in this piece, my older self is on this bookshelf, looking at my younger self, and they’re connecting over this old hobby.”

Whether it be creating past memories or doing investigations, Wu said the key to creating art is exploring.

“I know a lot of young artists will lock themselves in and only draw what they are comfortable with,” Wu said. “It’s hard to branch out and learn things like lighting, anatomy or perspective. Try and even if you suck at it, after lots of practice, you’ll do great.”

With the rhythmic thump of bass drums and hisses of snares, senior Clare Antonow fnds herself immersed in an electric atmosphere, the crowd flling the Cow Palace Arena in San Francisco with cheers.

Many dance along to the energetic beat as popular DJ FISHER plays his sets for the crowd. House music, electronic music originating from the ‘80s’ Chicago underground club culture, has been a popular music genre for decades. With at least 14 subgenres, ranging from “deep house” to “tech house,” house music has continued to capture the attention of younger generations in recent years. Antonow said she frst started listening to house music because of social media.

“From there, I started discovering playlists on Spotify and would listen to them,” Antonow said.

Antonow said she thinks what continues to attract individuals to house music is the genre’s distinct, upbeat style.

“ Tey have elements like the beat and rhythm which are unique in these songs and make them more fun to groove to,” Antonow said.

Antonow also said she expects the popularity of house music to continue to increase.

“House artists have the opportunity to reach wider audiences through social media platforms,” Antonow said. “I think that we’ll also see more artists incorporating house-inspired elements into their own music, as well as current artists experimenting with new sounds.”

Senior Malia Alvarado also said current mainstream artists she’s listened to such as Drake and Taylor Swift have

both released house-inspired songs and albums, which has expanded her love for both house music and other forms of electronic music.

“Songs like ‘Passionfruit’ by Drake and ‘Style’ by Taylor Swift both incorporate house elements,” Alvarado said. “(It) has made me realize how these artists are attempting to attract a wider audience by making their music more relevant.”

Alvarado said house music has not only infuenced both the people who listen to it and those around her, but has also left an impact on mainstream music and culture.

“I’ve noticed that more house songs and artists are becoming popular, especially among younger generations,” Alvarado said. “And as they begin to explore the house music genre more, hopefully, more will fnd that house music can unite people and be appreciated by anyone.”

Veronica Qiu

Sophomore Veronica Qiu, said her hobby of crochet a fun way to take a break from schoolwork.

“It’s my way of procrastination,” Qiu said. “And it’s a break from homework that I can just pick up and do, and then put it away and go back to work.”

Qiu said she often makes smaller pieces, but wants to branch out and make bigger pieces too.

“I crochet, and usually I make small things like stufes or plushies, but I’ve been trying to make bigger crosses as well, such as beanies and bags and want to work towards clothing,” Qiu said.

Qiu said she also frst got into crocheting during the pandemic.

“(I started) in the pandemic of course,” Qiu said. “I started knitting because my grandma had so many needles, and that’s where I discovered crocheting. And then it kind of just took of from there.”

While the crochets may look easy to make, Qiu said that’s not necessarily the case.

“It takes a lot of time, even some of the small projects, and there’s a lot of details that go into the process,” Qiu said. “It’s an intricate process. I guess that seems a little bit intimidating at frst, but I think once you learn more how to do it, it’s pretty straightforward.” Because she’s spent so long crocheting, Qiu said the activity has left a lasting impact.

Qiu said, “It’s defnitely a part of my identity because someone who’s poured a lot of my time into it, it’s become part of my life.”

As sophomore Millie Reiter walks through double doors, she catches a glimpse of cars suspended in the air. Te tall ceilings accentuate the sizable shop. Cluttered tables full of tools to work on cars, half-empty Coke cans, and chairs fll the room. students hang out, eat, sleep, work and socialize.

Tis is the Auto Shop: home to three classes where students look for a break and fnd the community that teacher Doyle Knight has fostered.

Knight said the Auto room allows students to recuperate and relax.

“ Tere are several couches in here, and kids love to come and hang out and spend time with their friends,” Knight said. “Several years ago I saw kids get more stressed about school, so I decided to bring in a couch.”

Knight said these couches had a profound impact on the classroom community.

“When I brought in the frst couch, kids started to spend more time in Auto, separate from the class, and I saw that they enjoyed it here,” Knight said. “It eventually evolved to two couches, and from there I saw the efect of a place where kids can feel calm and comfortable.”

Eventually, those two couches turned into fve, and now they are in a circle in one of the main areas of the shop.

Junior Tyler Kramer, a student in Auto 2 and an auto regular, said auto is not only a place for Auto students, but people who don’t take the class as well.

“Almost everyone who takes any of the Auto classes hangs out at Auto when they aren’t

working,” Kramer said. “But there is still a good amount of people who hang out during brunch or lunch that haven’t been in the class at all.” Knight also said he appreciates the Auto community for its diversity.

“I have freshmen to seniors and tons of different ethnic backgrounds,” Knight said. “I like having diversity. It makes me feel like everyone knows they are welcome, which I love.”

Reiter, who has not taken the class but spends a lot of time in the shop, said she cherishes the Auto community.

“Everybody who hangs out here is really sweet, and I have made so many close friends,” Reiter said. “I haven’t taken the class, but when I don’t feel well, I go to Auto to lie down and get a drink of water.”

Reiter said that the couches contribute to Auto’s welcoming and relaxing environment.

“When I’m at the Auto couches, it feels less like school. It’s a place where I’m free of any anxiety from the day,” Reiter said.

Ultimately, Kramer said one of the most important aspects of Auto to him is the variety of activities.

“It’s a very communal environment, and there’s a lot to do,” Kramer said. “(Tere are) always poker games, movies, food, work, people and anything you might need surrounding you. Knight has made such a welcoming environment, everyone feels like they can come in and just be themselves.”

Sofa Singer Staf Writer

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Te Campanile B2
ART BY KATIE WU VERONICA QIU/USED WITH PERMISSION Luca Vostrejs Lifestyle Editor ART BY CHERIANNE YOON Gabriella Gulman Senior Auto teacher Doyle Knight said he created a resting place for students in the Auto shop. Knight said, Tere are several couches in here, and kids love to come and hang out and spend time with their friends.” RAHUL SHETTY/THE CAMPANILE

Volunteer work provides multiple benefts

As a seventh-grade student carefully tries to decipher difcult algebra problems, sophomore Suzie Mondragon quickly answers to guide the student. Mondragon is helping this student as a volunteer for DreamCatchers, an organization dedicated to helping middle school students get tutoring from high school and college students.

Mondragon said she has experienced personal growth through DreamCatchers and enjoys watching students improve themselves through learning. In addition to that, Mondragon said she likes to help the community and the world.

“It’s fun spending time with the middle schoolers, and it’s interesting to see them grow,” Mondragon said. “It does make me feel good to see that these kids are doing better in school, and I like giving back to the community.”

Mondragon is just one of many Paly students who volunteer part-time. Work Experience Teacher Rachael Kaci said community service benefts both the community and the students.

“(Volunteering) makes sure that needs are being met within our community, whether that’s a homeless shelter, getting support (or) tutoring for children,” Kaci said. “ Te other need that’s being met is (the volunteer’s) self-worth. You’re gaining (self-confdence) because you are spending your valuable time by doing something to give back and you’re not expecting anything in return.”

Mondragon has done community service projects for various organizations over the years.

“I helped with a fundraiser for Stanford,” Mondragon said. “ Tey were doing a 5K (run) for hereditary heart diseases, (which) I helped set up and worked with the people who were running that race. I’m also a volunteer for DreamCatchers as a tutor for seventh graders in all subjects.”

Kaci also said students choose to do community service because they are interested in helping.

“ Te students who I work with who do additional volunteer work are really passionate about what it is that they do,” Kaci said.

Sophomore Iverson Lee, who will be working with Youth Community Service this summer, said he will be doing a variety of activities this summer.

“I’ll be working with YCS for their summer service, creating diferent service projects in diferent areas… like making infographics for public health issues (and) going out to community service events,” Lee said.

Senior Grace Gormley, who is the president of Best Buddies club, said the club is dedicated to creating friendships and activities for special education students.

“ Te idea is to create like one-on-one friendships between kids without IDD (intellectual and develop-

mental disabilities) and kids with IDD because a lot of kids with IDD have what’s called an Individualized Education Plan, and so it means that they aren’t in as many classes with kids without those plans,” Gormley said. “It’s harder for them to form genuine friendships so Best Buddies basically provides a space so that people can form connections with other people who are not like them.”

Gormley said students who participate in the club do not receive service hours, but instead get other benefts.

“It’s defnitely not like community service for hours, but like it is kind of a service to the community,” Gormley said.

Gormley also said the club teaches valuable lessons to students who don’t have IDD.

“It also benefts the kids without IDD because it helps you form a genuine connection with somebody whose brain doesn’t exactly work just like yours,” Gormley said. “And it helps to create a sort of a sense of respect for all people.”

Lee said he chose to work with YCS because he knew of the organization and it interested him.

“I was going to do something with them when I was much younger,” Lee said. “I already have an understanding of it, unlike other (volunteer) places where I’ve not really been familiarized with.”

Kaci said when students have a genuine passion for community service, they get more out of their service.

“If you have that ability to volunteer often, it’s in your best interest that you’re continuing to do it,” Kaci said. “It’s because you really care about (the community).”

Gormley said she joined the Best Buddies Club because she wants to make sure students feel included and because she cares about people.

“I’ve always gravitated towards trying to make sure that everybody feels included and cared for,” Gormley said. “And I guess that being a part of Best Buddies just sort of was a natural progression from that, and I think that anybody who feels the need to make sure that everybody has a safe place and community should think about joining Best Buddies.”

Gormley said she has learned many important skills and lessons through the Best Buddies Club.

“Being just one member has helped me build a lot of inclusion, a lot of open mindedness and a lot of new friendships,” Gormley said. “But then also as the President of the club, I have had to learn a lot of leadership and time management, making sure that everybody is taken care of.”

Kaci said community service is also helpful for exploring possible career paths in the future.

“It’s a great way to think about your career moving forward,” Kaci said. “If you’re really enjoying working

with students with disabilities, maybe you’ll become a teacher, like a special education teacher.”

Kaci also said exploring diferent volunteering opportunities can help students determine which activities they are interested in.

“It is OK to dislike going through other people’s leftover clothes and organizing them,” Kaci said. “You don’t have to like doing that. Maybe you don’t want to go into retail then.”

Mondragon said community service with younger kids has helped her develop as a person and has led to personal growth.

“I volunteered at a kids camp, and I defnitely think I learned to be more patient after working with 5-yearolds and 8-year-olds,” Mondragon said.

Lee said he hopes to make connections and discover new activities, hobbies and communities through volunteer work.

In a time where younger Americans are increasingly pursuing unconventional pathways such as trade school or seeking opportunities overseas, students may fnd themselves straying from the quintessential concept of the American Dream — the notion of a singular path to success.

Tough the American Dream suggests an ideal life for all, sophomore Motoko Iwata said each generation deals with events that make them doubt this Dream, such as questions about whether America is unifed and whether it represents equal rights for everyone.

“ Te general (belief) is that the American Dream is what our country is founded on,” Iwata said. “(If) we begin to lose faith in the American dream, that’s going to be really dangerous for American democracy.”

Tere can be negative repercussions to the decline of the American Dream, too, and U.S. government teacher Ken Tinsley said pessimism towards the American Dream can spread extreme ideas or endanger America’s democracy.

“When you have pessimism as we’ve seen in the past, you’re less empathetic,” Tinsley said. “You’re less understanding or willing to accept that things might be diferent from other people. You’re more receptive to … extreme ideas: burning the system down, xenophobia, and racism, and we’re seeing that play out now around the globe.”

But Iwata said Palo Alto’s diverse community has helped many students feel encouraged by seeing the American Dream come to life in their parents.

“Palo Alto uniquely has two things: immigrant parents who have come here to seek opportunity and who have gained success,” Iwata said. “More importantly, we come from families who have achieved that American dream. While that’s a really blessed thing, I’ve also seen it put more pressure on my peers to achieve that success.”

Despite these successes, Tinsley said many minority groups face challenges from society related to the idea of the American Dream.

He also said the decrease in quality of life in recent generations has contributed to the declining support of the American Dream.

“If you get good grades, go to college, have a degree, get a nice paying job, you can then settle down, buy a house and have your 2.12 kids with your partner,” Tinsley said.

“ Tat’s the kind of model that we expected during the baby boomer generation. But when I was in college (as a millennial), my professor said, ‘You’re going to be the frst generation where your quality of living is actually less than your parents.’” Sophomore Teresa Wang agrees and said the American Dream is more relevant to her parents than herself.

“Given the opportunity (I want) to meet new people, grow my environment, be able to meet new people and do good for our community,” Lee said. Kaci said she wants students to fgure out themselves through community service.

“I really hope that people are learning more about themselves and what’s making them happy, throughout the experience,” Kaci said.

Mondragon also said helping out the community not only benefts the community but also gives her pride.

“(I’ve learned to) give back to the community more,” Mondragon said. “It makes me feel like I’m putting something good out into the world and I’m helping people, even if it’s in small ways.”

“ Te American Dream was something that was made a long time ago in diferent circumstances,” Wang said. “For most people (nowadays), doing something like buying a home or having a family is pretty unachievable. So (part) of the American Dream doesn’t apply to me.” Wang said people of the younger generation have also begun to deviate from the typical “American” lifestyle to a manner of living that evokes more personal happiness.

“We’re focusing a lot less on having families and a lot more on personal happiness,” Wang said. “ Tere are a lot more people who live alone, with pets or with a partner, and there are a lot more people nowadays who are reconsidering having children. We’re all collectively aware of the emotional damage and weight that parents have (passed down) to us, and a lot of people don’t want to bring that same weight onto children that they would have.”

Wang also said more students are starting to reject the idea of having to ft into a singular lifestyle and they have become a lot more tolerant of others.

“(Changes in societal views) play a role in how we think about the American Dream, because if you don’t really believe in America as a sort of concept, then it makes no sense to follow that societal standard,” Wang said. Wang said students, in Palo Alto especially, see these changes because many are pushed to go beyond expectations.

“ Te competitive environment means that there’s a lot of people who might not be able to achieve

(Paly’s) sort of standard of getting into specifc colleges,” Wang said. “It might make a lot of people reconsider their pathway after high school, like going to trade school instead or going into work right out of high school.”

Additionally, Wang said the younger generation is more open to considering going into the workforce instead of a four-year college.

“Another thing is people are focusing a lot less on having a conventional job,” Wang said. “A lot more people are not trying to ft into a mold anymore. More people want to do more things in their life than just work.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Lifestyle Te Campanile B3

Dear Christie: advice from me to you


isclaimer: None of these scenarios are based on real people or situations, nor am I a trained therapist. My advice for these purely fictional characters is not meant to be taken as a replacement for professional help.

in the vulnerability and the uncomfortability. Show your fondness and care for him through your actions when your words don’t feel like enough.

Dear Christie,

My house has a singular guest room –– its walls lined with crooked, yellowed baby photos and the floral-print wallpaper my mother found on clearance at the dollar store. Every humid summer, we splash each other with plastic spray bottles filled with ice cubes and water from the sink to cool off, as we get to work on dusting and decluttering the room in preparation. By the time our grandfather arrives, cranky from his 13-hour plane ride from his native country, the closet is cleared and the bed sheets are crisp again. But no matter what I say to him, he will never understand me. English is the only language I speak fluently, yet it barely reaches his ears before my mother has to jump in with a messy translation. It pains me to watch our conversations hindered by such a simple barrier, and this summer, I don’t want to continue watching us fade away from each other. How do I get close to him when we can’t have a conversation without a middleman?

From, See Me As I Am


Yes, communication can often be the single most important thing when it comes to tethering yourself to a relationship, but familial connection goes beyond just the spoken words that slip through your teeth and intertwine in the air. I know it’s not realistic to learn your grandfather’s native language in the time before the summer, but try your best to immerse yourself into the culture. Watch television shows and videos with the English subtitles on, and even if you don’t understand a single word without them, let the intonations wash over you. When your mother exclaims a phrase in her native tongue once in a while, take the time to ask her what it means and try to repeat it to yourself –– then say it again ten more times. As for your grandfather, he will see you as you are, simply because you are part of his family, not because you earned or justified it. Don’t shy away from conversations with him out of shame for feeling like you can’t speak your thoughts fluidly. Bask

Christie Dear Christie,

As my time in high school comes to a close, it suddenly feels like life is moving too fast for me and keeping up with the pace is proving to be frightening at the very least –– especially as someone who refuses to get over anything that has ever happened to them. To me, birthdays cue the tears that roll down my cheeks as I squeeze my eyes shut to make a wish and blow out the candles on my cake. To me, the act that I put on is a one-man show, depicting myself as someone who can’t wait to escape this town after graduation, when it isn’t really how I feel at all, because there’s a bigger part of me that wishes to live in my childhood bedroom forever. I still can’t get over the friendship breakup that changed the trajectory of my teenage social life, and I also can’t let go of my failed dream of playing volleyball in college. With the empty weekends and after school hours that were once filled with practices and tournaments, this newfound time I have on my hands has forced me to come face to face with my overflowing cup, brimming with emotions. How can I stop feeling everything so deeply?

Best, In Need of Spring Cleaning

Hey there INOSC,

You need to stop treating your grand life transitions as if they’re such threatening, saddening things. These are the very moments that you will end up missing when you’re all grown up in the corporate workforce or taking a gap year from college or traveling the world with just yourself and a backpack full of essentials. I know it can be intimidating to face the battles of your past and fully depart from their sometimes painful grasp. But remember that while your body can reach infinite places, there is a finite space for the experiences that you choose to take in and treasure close to your heart. If you can’t let go of the times that have stopped serving you long ago, your appetite won’t ever be big enough

to crave the gourmet dishes that are getting cold just waiting for you. Don’t let yourself breathe in the toxic, self-restricting fumes of this mindset that is trying its best to trap you in a box –– one smaller than the size you’ll be if you take in the growth you can contribute to with your future potential.


Dear Christie,

I feel an increasing sense of blindness when it comes to the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Is it even possible to simultaneously feel fulfillment, purpose and a sense of accomplishment as a teenager or is that only a myth? I can no longer tell if I find meaning in my days or just moving through the motions because I am validating my need to have the high school experience –– like finding a partner because I want to say I felt teenage romance or showing up to the sweaty football games where we lose every time just to chant with the crowds. How do I find a purpose in my everyday life and start enjoying it, instead of just the idea of it?

Sincerely, I Love the Idea of You


It’s OK to yearn for the classic high school experience and seek out the activities or events that allow you to undergo it. As they say, we regret the things we don’t do more than the things we actually do. But there is a fine line between falling in love with what you think is the right thing to do for people your age and finding what grounds you to reality. Make peace with the thought that you’ll only be able to find your passions when you step up and try everything. It sounds like you need someone to confirm that you’re on the right track. Learn how to rock climb or crochet or volunteer at the animal shelter. Find a nearby concert venue and search up the next show for an artist you want to see live, then go sing your heart out with the crowd. Lean into the unknown, and you will gradually find yourself shielding your squinting eyes from the light at the very end.


The Crossword

Dear Christie,

I shut the door on my younger sister for the first time when she had just come home from the hospital, red all over with an angry cry and flailing arms. With the passing of time, I’ve found it difficult to express my love to her as the oldest sibling, and I assure you it’s not because of the attention I failed to receive in my own years as a child or the fact that I’m jealous of how much easier my parents are on her than they were on me. I just can’t seem to be affectionate toward her, and now that I’m moving across the country to pursue my dreams in college, the guilt of abandonment is weighing me down. Her aggression and disrespect toward me can only be my own fault since I pushed her away first, right?

Yours truly, I Started the War


Sibling guilt, especially as the oldest child in the family, is real and plants silent pains on the third, pseudoparent of the household. It’s not your job to parent your younger sister, and it’s also not your responsibility to hold her accountable for her recent dip in behaviors. You are supposed to grow up together as kids, not grow into this dynamic of ideal role model and aimless follower You should do your best to provide the most positive influence you can on someone who I know secretly looks up to you. But don’t shoulder the burden of leaving her behind when you’re only going off to establish your own future. There is a healthy balance between choosing to prioritize yourself and finding other ways to show your love, so ask about her friends and her classes and her emotions and her dreams. It’s never too late to rekindle your bond, even if you are moving far away because there is no final deadline or expiration date to find your way back to each other.


Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Lifestyle Te Campanile B4
Across 1 Employs 5 Cleans up well 9 Song that has never made this dramatic a switch 14 Middle or side 15 Queen of jazz 16 Settled for 17 Celestial celebrity 18 Love Island star 19 Black Friday’s raison d’etre 20 NY-14 22 _____ me, Mario 24 Filthy Frank in the dark 28 Instrumental for yoga 31 Analyzing grammar 32 POTUS’s ride 34 Filipino “the” 35 BTS 37 AS-AD 38 Con creator 40 K, H, or Quik 41 Lead vocalist of German band 42 Evil-hearted actions 47 Hydroxides 49 High school engagement 51 Scared of Orlando 53 News on cable 54 Corsage counterpart 56 British caboose 57 Busy bees R always _, for short 58 Wrap around 62 Golden rule: do ____ others 64 Turn up the 68 What Bond did 69 Passes with fying colors 70 A Lulu’s signature 71 Capital of Alborz 72 Mythological cattle trade 73 One forward and two back Down 1 The OG Amazon 2 Recently optional 3 Tour name 4 One or two holes? 5 Pilgrimage destination 6 Ginger’s pairing 7 Secretly criminal 8 Victim of fall DST 9 Now called Coorg 10 Our past form 11 Chicago transit controller 12 AUS’s other city 13 Marketing schemes 21 Ukrainian port city 23 Kleenex drencher 24 Relaxation central 25 Rapunzel’s celebration 26 Jersey pharma company 27 How Chat talks to us 28 Unicellular organism 29 Plus one 30 X 33 Lost at 39 Viet’s end 40 That’s not what I41 Background actor 42 Northwestern African-ish 43 Sandwiches “per” 44 Delay, especially for networks 45 UN’s workers 48 Ocean eyes 50 Classic sammy 52 Modern 25-down 55 Boyscout’s knot 58 How to execute 49-across 59 Self-worth determinant 60 When a balloon gets hot 61 Heart of global energy dialogue 63 Cost of investment fund 65 Dines with a great outft 66 Outranks kings 67 Bunk, gun, hat PUZZLE BY NIDHI THUMMALAPALLI AND CHRISTIE HONG


Spikeball: uniting students through sport, socialization

Walking across the quad during lunch, spikeball is clearly back in full swing. Te energy of the players resonates the intensity of the matches.

Spikeball has been a Paly tradition since it was introduced to campus by the Spikeball Club in 2017. While the club no longer exists, students still get a dose of the sport through nets and balls supplied by ASB, available for use during lunch. Additionally, ASB has hosted multiple tournaments for student teams to com-

Junior Andre Gertsch said spikeball has been a method for him to expand his social

“Spikeball has helped me become more popular at school,” Gertsch said. “Since I’m a good player, it’s been a fun game to be able to play every day.”

Freshman Miles Joing said his experience with spikeball has not only helped him meet new people, but also strengthened bonds within his friend group.

“I play once a week, and I always play with (my friends),” Joing said.

ey have been my friends since before high school, and it’s just fun to play with them once a week on the quad. I don’t hangout with them much after school, and I have classes with them,

but this is the main thing we do together.”

Senior Luc Knox said spikeball provides a way to socialize during lunch and has helped him strengthen friendships.

“ Tere’s a lot of trash talk, but it’s good to get out there and chat with friends during lunch,” Knox said.

Knox also said he can channel a lot of his energy while playing, which has improved his productivity during class.

“I get my energy out during this time,” Knox said. “I am not as jittery in class and can give it my full attention.”

Gertsch said spikeball also provides students with a form of exercise and has a strategy component that makes the sport more enjoyable.

“It’s great exercise because of the skill it takes to rotate around the net,” Gerstch said. “I also think that spikeball has just been a fun game to learn how to play at school.”

Beyond being enjoyable, Joing said spikeball can also improve ftness

“For a lot of students, PE is the only exercise they get,” Joing said. “With this, they can get additional exercise and hang out with friends.”

Joing said playing spikeball has also been a positive use of his lunchtime because he can enjoy and be social.

“Without it, I wouldn’t really be doing anything, or I would be studying during this time, but instead I get to hangout with my friends, which is great,” Joing said.

In addition, senior Alaap Nair said spikeball provides students with a great opportunity to relax in a stressful school environment.

“In between two hard classes, it is just truly a pleasure being able to decompress, eat some good food and then play outside in the sun,” Nair said.

Knox said spikeball has recently had another surge in popularity.

“We went from no spikeball to all of the nets constantly being checked out at (ASB adviser Ste ven) Gallagher’s o “We also were able to have multiple tournaments this year, and I think it only made it even more popular among students.”

With the newfound popularity, Nair said the sport allowed him to meet new friends and also develop existing friendships.

“(Spikeball) is a really social activity, and that’s the best part,” Nair said. “Just being outside and being out in the sun, especially on a nice day playing with friends, just brings everyone together.”

While some spectators view the Olympics as nothing more than entertainment, senior and future Division One track athlete Grant Morgenfeld watches every race from the pre-race interviews to study the runners’ mentality, from the quick burst of speed after the gunshot to the post-game questioning, all to better his performance on the rubber.

“I watch races to see the strategy and also because it is enjoyable,” Morgenfeld said. “A lot can be learned from observing the pros compete.”

With the 2024 Olympics approaching, Morgenfeld and many other students are ready to take a look back on the history of the games and how it has become the largest and most popular sporting event in history. In 1896, in Athens, when the frst modern Olympics was held, the games only consisted of 241 athletes from 14 nations across nine sports. Now, more than 10,000 people from 206 diferent countries participate in the games, competing in 40 diferent sports.

One of the most popular Olympic sports is swimming, with 2.7 million views per night in just the 2021 qualifcation trials. Te U.S. Olympic Swim Team not only leads in viewers but also in total gold medals in Olympic history with 254.

Competitive swimmer and Castilleja junior Ella Detter said swimming became one of the most popular Olympic sports because of its famous athletes.

“Swimming has become a bigger sport in the Olympics, especially with (the) big names that have been competing,” Detter said. “I think them being well known inside and outside the pool attracts more attention from viewers.”

Detter also said swimming in the Olympics is a great opportunity for young athletes to show of their talents on a bigger stage.

“Swimming is unique in that young kids can make a name for themselves really early in their career,” Detter said. “When I compete, It is really fun to watch people who are good at what they do at a young age compete.”

Because of the four-year gap between each Summer Olympics, there are changes in the performance of athletes and the structure of the sports. Tese diferences

were exemplifed in the return of four-time gold medalist gymnast Simone Biles, and in the coming addition of breakdancing.

Morgenfeld said the popularity of Olympic sports is impacted by these shifts.

“One aspect that has changed is the sport has become more popular over time, (with) a lot more coverage and hype around the events, and that attracts a lot more people,” Morgenfeld said. “People in America are getting a little bit more excited about track and feld.”

Morgenfeld also said he thinks Olympic track and feld will continue to change.

“We’ve been seeing a lot more high school athletes start to run faster times,” Morgenfeld said. “Technology’s gotten a lot better with training and as time progresses, athletes are only going to get faster and stronger. I think we’re going to continue seeing world records go down, we’re gonna keep seeing more and more people run fast.”

Badminton falls to Lynbrook on senior night

At senior night against Lynbrook on May 2, badminton lost its last regular-season game 28-2.

Senior and captain Hannah Fung said even though the game was not going their way, the team put in efort and had fun.

“We were giving it our best fght,” Fung said. “ Tis is Lynbrook, which is the toughest team in the league. I’m just glad that people have a lot of good spirit and positive energy.”

Junior and captain Andrew Li said Lynbrook and other competitive schools have players who are highly ranked in the country.

“If you look at schools like Lynbrook or Milpitas, their rosters are stacked with fve to 10 people who are ranked nationally — that’s why they’re the best,” Li said.

Fung said the team is improving every year and gaining new athletes who are eager to learn.

“We’re on track to getting a higher ranking in the league, and all the new people are really enthusiastic about joining,” Fung said. “I think next season is going to be even better.”

Fung said to improve the team further, the team can have players experiment at diferent events.

“We could try experimenting with having people try out diferent events so that they could not solely practice one event,” Fung said. “If we can get people to be more well-rounded, and (play) more than one event, I think it would improve the quality of the team.”

Li said the game against Lynbrook was about having an enjoyable senior night and a nice end to the season.

“We were just trying to end the season with some fun and just give the seniors what they wanted,” Li said. As a senior, Fung said this last game with the team was a bittersweet moment.

“ Tese past three years (of) badminton seasons have always been one of the most special times of year for me, so I’m kind of sad to see the season go,” Fung said. “But I’m defnitely gonna cherish all these memories.”

Te Campanile Tuesday, May 21, 2024
see the season go,” Fung said.
Senior and captain Hannah Fung returns the shuttlecock over the net. “ Tese past three years (of) badminton seasons have always been one of the most special times of year for me, so I’m kind of sad to ART BY RACHEL LEE RAHUL SHETTY/THE CAMPANILE Rahul Shetty Photo Editor
Senior Grant Morgenfeld and junior Tristan Kippes walk during track practice. Morgenfeld said, “People in America are getting a little bit more excited about track and feld.” Neel Sharma Senior Staf

Track and feld athletes qualify for CCS

With the regular season over, track and feld varsity athletes shifted their focus to postseason meets such as SCVAL qualifers on May 4 and CCS Semifnals on May 11.

Head coach Michael Davidson said the process for advancing in postseason meets is lengthy and challenging

“We have (De Anza) division trials and fnals,” Davidson said. “ Tose fnalists qualify into the SCVAL championships, and the top folks at that championship qualify to Central Coast Championships, and then from there they qualify for states.” Davidson said he’s proud of the team’s improvement throughout the season as well as results at the league qualifers.

“We had quite a few athletes who competed, and a large majority of them had PRs,” Davidson said. “So while they may not have all qualifed for the championship, they did have seasonal PRs, so I was really happy with regards to that. Te most important thing to me is that they’re seeing progress from the beginning of the season.”

Stefan Sochacki, a junior and mid-distance runner, said the team performed well at CCS Semifnals despite difcult conditions.

“ Tere (were) a lot of great performances throughout our team, “ Sochacki said. “Many qualifed for CCS which (is) extremely tough for us because SCVAL is undeniably the most competitive league. Saturday was really rough because the conditions were brutal with enough rain and wind to move some of the races to another day.”

Following its 187-185 loss to Lynbrook on April 25, boys golf sits in second place in SCVAL and remains eligible for CCS.

Co-captain and senior Maxwell Zhang said despite this loss, the team performed well.

“Although we had a slightly rocky start, we bounced right back and ended up short of the league title,” Zhang said.

Zhang also said enduring two losses at the beginning of the season pushed the team to practice harder to overcome challenges.

“We had to play our A-game to win all the remaining matches,” Zhang said. “Ultimately, we lost our last match by a

Refecting on the year, Davidson said the team also made improvements despite a smaller roster.

“You can’t really recruit in track. Track is not a sport

small margin, but we defnitely fought really hard.”

Zhang said one thing the team does well is working toward maintaining its composure throughout the matches.

“Each player needs to develop his own strategy to keep a cool head when a shot does not go the way they hope,” Zhang said.

Co-captain and senior Chase Kacher said the team has also gotten much closer, and he has high hopes for the next season.

“ Tere is a really enjoyable vibe when we are together, and it’s really fun to just practice and play together,” Kacher said. “For the next season, I hope the team can reach and hopefully win states. Te incoming freshmen this year are really strong, and I believe they can improve a lot in the coming years.”

that the kids choose. It’s a sport that chooses you,” Davidson said. “We didn’t have as many members this year as before, but now the kids are catching on and

Walking into her classroom on the day of her math test, sophomore Madeleine Connolly takes a chug of her cafeineloaded Celsius energy drink to make up for her restless night of sleep. But instead of feeling more alert, her fngers start shaking violently, and her vision blurs.

Next thing she knows, her teacher is kneeling next to her on the hallway foor, helping her address a panic attack.

Connolly said anxiety is a big part of her day-to-day life, and energy drinks only exacerbate her symptoms.

“I get very dizzy when I would have energy drinks (as they make my) heart kind of skip beats, which was really concerning to me,” Connolly said. “If I drink an energy drink before entering a high-stress situation, my heart rate would rise to about 150 beats per minute.”

Te health efects of sports energy drinks such as Celsius, Alani and Prime have sparked considerable debate and many teens have started using these drinks not only to be more alert but also as a replacement for proper nutrition.Despite these concerns, companies that manufacture these drinks say used properly, their drinks are safe.

doing the work and seeing the progress they’ve made.”

Sochacki said he saw a lot of growth on the team. Tis year went pretty well for myself as well as for many of my teammates,” Sochacki said. “I had grown a lot from last year when I used to be a random guy on JV to one of the top guys on varsity, and it’s thrilling to improve so much over the entire year. Running is one of those sports where so much can change if you train hard enough, and you can go from nothing to something in a short amount of time if you really put your mind to it.” Tough there are varsity members still focusing on upcoming meets, Davidson said the rest of the team is already planning for next season.

“We’re going to have training over the summer for those who want to compete in cross country in the fall, but we’ll also have fall training for those who want to keep up with track and feld and get ready for next year,” Davidson said.

Sochacki said he looks forward to training and being a leader in his senior year.

“I look forward to being able to be a leader next year and hopefully a role model for people who decided to try running for the frst time,” Sochacki said. “I remember when I frst started running my freshmen year. Seeing all the seniors giving it their all every single day really inspired me to do the same thing. I hope I can give that same experience for others and make someone else fall in love with the sport.”

Meeta Sharma, an Endocrinologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, said there are healthier alternatives to energy drinks that do not contain large amounts of cafeine.

“ Tey might provide a short-term energy boost,” Sharma said. “However, fatigue could quickly set in and insomnia is likely. Green tea could be a healthy alternative, as it is full of antioxidants and alleviates stress.”

Connolly said Celsius has been popular among teenagers who are overworked in their day-to-day lives.

“Recently, there has been a certain appeal of tired teenagers and college students seeing this type of marketing and being attracted to energy drinks thinking that it will help their academic performance,” Connolly said.

Sophomore Matis Wakrat said energy drinks give him the boost he needs to excel in both his academics and football.

“A lot of the time, I’m really tired, and then I’ll have a sports energy drink or something with a lot of cafeine,” Wakrat said. “It’ll help me focus on my schoolwork and get on the grind.”

Connolly said that while energy drinks are appealing at the moment, they ultimately pose more harm than good in the long term. Connolly said, “I don’t think they’re healthy in any way, even though they give an advantage in the present. Te long-term efects are only negative.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Sports Te Campanile C2
TYLER WONG/THE CAMPANILE Amaya Bharadwaj Staf Writer ART BY RIVER WU Senior varsity runner Kyle Chang cheers on the team during a meet at Paly. “Track is not a sport that the kids choose,” Davidson said. “It’s a sport that chooses you.” Rohan Bhatia Sports Editor

Rohan Predicts: France to beat England in fnals, win Euros

This summer, while club football stadiums lay deserted, Europe’s best football players will gather in Germany in hopes of bringing glory to their country.

Te UEFA European Championship is the crown jewel of European national team competition and is the most anticipated of the continental competitions in between World Cups.

Similarly to how Qatar hosted and won the Asian Cup, and the Ivory Coast hosted and won AFCON, the German hosts will strive to follow this example, but the competition won’t be easy.

Hosts Germany will kick of the tournament in Munich on June 14 with a match against Group A challengers Scotland. Group A is already one of the most competitive groups, with Switzerland, Hungary and Scotland all showing their strength in qualifying matches.

Germany will easily clear the group, but Switzerland will just sneak into the second qualifying spot, with Scotland coming in third and Hungary rounding out the group.

Group B will prove to be an even tighter qualifcation than the frst one. Sorry Albania, you’ve done great to qualify for the tournament, but when your competition is Croatia, Italy and Spain, you’ll end up in fourth place. Italy’s situation is a bit of a conundrum as it failed to qualify for back-toback World Cups but somehow are entering the competition as reigning Euro champions.

Italy will continue its European hot streak, topping this group, with blockbuster rivals Spain coming in second. While Croatia was brilliant in the past two World Cups, their aging squad will hold them back in what may be the last bout for legend Luka Modrić Group C is slightly less competitive but is sure to produce freworks. England may bottle the knockouts, but they can easily clear their competition of Serbia, Slovenia and Denmark. Te battle between Denmark and Serbia will be tight, but I think Denmark will slip into the second qualifying spot, and Slovenia be last.

In Group D, the level of competition steps back up. France is defnitely one of the top title contenders and will prove its worth by clearing this group, but not without strong competition from Austria, Poland and especially the Netherlands.

Te second spot won’t be clear-cut, but the Netherlands is the second strongest team. Unfortunately, unlike Barcelona, Robert Lewandowski’s Polish team does not have any 16-year-old superstars to carry it to victory, and he won’t be able to carry Poland to the knockouts.

Austria is another team that was strong during the qualifers, but it won’t fnd success in this strong group. Group E is fairly basic. Kevin de Bruyne will lead the Belgians to top the group fairly easily, with Ukraine claiming the second qualifying spot. Romania will slot into third and Slovakia in last.

Lastly, Group F. Cristiano Ronaldo confrmed his intention to play the Euro’s despite turning 39 years old in February. He is still seeking success with this Portugal team,

In a beat down to close the series with a 2-0 sweep, boys baseball defeated cross-town rival Gunn High School 11-3 on April 19.

Senior and infelder Ari Smolar-Eisenberg said competing against Gunn in any sport is always exciting, but for him and his teammates, this game was especially meaningful.

“I was looking forward to this series all year because we swept them last year but barely beat them both games,” Smolar-Eisenberg said. “I wanted to beat them by a lot this year. During the game, the energy was amazing. Especially because they were talking s--- before the series, everyone wants to destroy Gunn. We are friends with kids on their team, so it’s even more personal.”

Last time, when the two faced of at Gunn, Paly won by an even larger margin.

“I think we could’ve won by more than 11-3, and we did,” Smolar-Eisenberg said. “We won 17-1 in the frst game. So the only thing that could have been improved was winning by more in the second game. Either way, we had two dominant wins over them and showed how much better of a team we are than them.”

but how much game time he gets remains to be seen.

Even if João Félix kicks Ronaldo to the bench, the Portuguese are no longer dependent on him and are defnitely strong enough to beat out Türkiye, Czechia and Georgia for the top spot. Türkiye, though, will be runners-up, with Czechia and Georgia hitting the bottom.

For the Round of 16, the top two teams from each of the six groups will move on, as well as four third-place teams depending on points and, if needed, goal diferential.

Regardless of how the bracket is formatted, the ultimate competition will be between England and France, with Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy being the only teams who have a slight chance to give these two powerhouse teams a run for their money.

England currently has the better odds to win it all, but Gareth Southgate hasn’t shown the same top-manager quality as Didier Deschamps.

And France’s 2-1 victory in Qatar in 2022 is almost surely still being lodged in the heads of these English players, particularly Harry Kane.

When the fnal is played in July at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, I assume Vegedream will be able to sing with the fans and celebrate Les Bleus, but as everyone knows, nothing is ever guaranteed in football.

Senior and starting pitcher Nate Donaker said pitching against his friends was a great experience but agreed his team could have done even better.

“Pitching against Gunn is cool because they are our crosstown rivals,” Donaker said. “We are always expected to be better than them, so the expectations are pretty high. I think our ofense did great this game and my pitching could improve. Even though we won by eight, we probably should have shut them out or won by more.”

Smolar-Eisenberg said overall, the team looks to build of this series of wins.

Tis was a big series for us,” Smolar-Eisenberg said.

“We started swinging it well and getting hits, and that has carried over into our series against Homestead. Hopefully our momentum will continue against Mountain View and Wilcox too. It’s always a good confdence boost to just throttle a team twice in a row.”

Girls lacrosse held its senior night ceremony before a match with Gunn on May 1.

Senior midfelder Tate Hardy said she loved the team and the connections she made.

“ Te season felt extremely rewarding as it was my last,” Hardy said. “I will miss the team dynamics and practices so much. Next year, I look forward to trying out for club lacrosse at UCLA and continuing my outlet of playing lacrosse.”

Senior defender Ella

Bishop said she also felt the game was a storybook sendof

“It felt kind of nostalgic that my fnal game playing for Paly was against Gunn,” Bishop said. “I think the whole team was ready to leave it out on the feld, knowing that our season was coming to a close.”

With the cross-town rivalry with Gunn, Hardy said the atmosphere during warmup was palpable.

“Playing against Gunn was electric because of the tension of our rivalry and the relationships we have with each other outside of the sport,” Hardy said. “It was extremely high energy when preparing for the game.”

Despite taking a 13-4 loss Bishop said the defense was solid and there was clear improvement from the team.

“We could have maintained possession a bit more, but we were able to create turnovers to regain control,” Bishop said. “While this game was our fnal game of the season, I think this game let us end the season on a high note. I was very satisfed with the way our team played, and it was evident that we had improved since the start of the season.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Sports Te Campanile C3
TYLER WONG/THE CAMPANILE Senior and shortstop Charlie Bates throws to frst pace to tag out the runner. “It’s always a good confdence boost to just throttle a team twice in a row,” senior and infelder Smolar-Eisenberg said. Tyler Wong Senior Staf Writer GRAPHIC BY ROHAN BHATIA

Science & Tech

Premature puberty can create challenges

Walking into Safeway, a Paly junior, who asked her name not be used because of the sensitivity of the topic, strides down the menstrual products aisle with her mother and sister. While she blankly stares at all the products, her mom and sister quickly begin grabbing diferentsized pads and tampons from the shelves and placing them into the cart. Once home, they start explaining to her what she is experiencing and what the pads and other products are for.

“As my sister had already gone through her frst period, I had already been able to observe some of what I would come to experience when I got it and had some level of preparedness,” the junior said. “But when it fnally did happen, I was very thankful for them as they walked me through everything I needed to know, from what size of pads to get to the symptoms that would come with it.”

Girls, as well as transgender and nonbinary individuals who menstruate, often experience irregular or early periods. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in“precocious puberty,” where girls start puberty before the age of eight.

In fact, the average age of the frst menstrual cycle, called menarche, is much earlier than in previous generations, with the average age of puberty decreasing by three months per decade over the past 45 years according to a study by PubMed Central. Also, 10 to 15% of girls enter puberty at age seven or younger.

Dr. Faezeh M. Ghafari, a gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente, said the onset of puberty occurs a few years before a person’s frst period, but environmental factors can cause menarche much earlier in some people.

“So many of my friends’ little sisters have been getting their periods earlier than we did while still having to deal with not being prepared, as many schools have not yet adjusted sex education courses yet,” Ghafari said. “I also feel many don’t know what is happening to them and why it is happening, as we learn in biology that there is a biological timeline that should normally be followed during the beginning of puberty.”

Ghafari said multiple biological factors can determine the age at which puberty starts for girls, with many being interconnected such as pubic hair growth, increase in height and the addition of fat storage. However, the frst factor to consider, he said, is a girl’s environment and what they were exposed to as an embryo, which can determine which hormone will be most prevalent during puberty.

“While they’re still inside their mother, they’re exposed to diferent environments, and their body may be exposed from those gonads (from their mother) to diferent hor-

Walking toward his sleek black Tesla Model 3 in the bustling school parking lot, senior Gautam Pilapakam enters his car — a popular choice on campus — equipped with built-in self-driving features, a unique interface, and constant digital upgrades. As Pilapakam drives of, he blends into a sea of electric vehicles, joining one of the many Teslas that stand as the most prominent electric vehicles in the Bay Area.

Pilapakam said he likes driving a Tesla not only for its innovative features but also for the practical and social benefts it ofers.

“One of the main reasons we got Teslas is because it’s an electric car that would be less expensive to refuel, especially with a charging station at home,” Pilapakam said. “And because Tesla was the most famous electric vehicle brand and there was a social element of it being cool to many.”

In 2022, Tesla accounted for 185,000 new battery EV registrations in California out of over 260,000. But what made Tesla more popular than other vehicles?

mones,” Ghafari said. “ Te pituitary gland, which is also in the brain, starts releasing stimulating hormones called LH and FSH.”

Ghafari also said many girls today experience premature menstruation primarily because of obesity and its impact on bone structure, as well as earlier production of LH and FSH.

“Having excess body fat in prepubertal age can result in skeletal maturation before we reach our maximum heights,” Ghaffari said. “ Te long bones have plates at the end of them that are responsible for growing, and as long as those bone plates

major car manufacturer now rushing to catch up and put out their own EV models because Tesla isn’t just selling cars, they’re selling a vision of the future. Tat’s what people buy into when they get a Tesla.”

Senior Raghav Ranga, who drives a hybrid, said California’s pursuit of green energy has helped spur the EV industry, not just Teslas.

“I think the previous subsidies and promotion of electric vehicles really infuenced people,” Ranga said.

Automotive technology teacher Doyle Knight said Tesla’s rise in popularity can be attributed to its innovative electric power technology.

“Tesla was one of the frst companies that were strictly EV,” Knight said. “And their focus was mainly on the technology area that people just loved. Teir big thing is their batteries, their unique battery system compared to everybody else, which I think got everybody’s attention.”

Senior Alex Derrick, who drives a gas car, said EVs are becoming increasingly popular due to their long-term benefts, including ongoing updates to their systems and improvements in internal features.

“EVs are signifcantly quieter than gas cars and generally ofer a smooth driving experience,” Derrick said. “However, they do require occasional long stops to recharge, especially on longer trips, which can take about an hour compared to just a few minutes for refueling gas cars. Despite this, for everyday driving where long trips are less frequent, the convenience of quick refueling with gas cars doesn’t ofer a signifcant advantage over EVs, which beneft from lower emissions and reduced air pollution.” However, Knight said there are still certain technological diferences between Teslas and other EVs allowing Tesla to outcompete other companies.

“Tesla’s real game-changer was their approach to battery technology where they didn’t just improve on existing designs. Tey completely rethought what a battery could do in an EV,” Knight said. “What Tesla has done is push the entire auto industry forward as you see every

“Tesla was just one of the lucky industries that focused on electric and hybrid vehicles.”

Ranga said he expects EVs to lead in the Bay Area and Tesla might be surpassed by other industry leaders meeting this demand.

“ Te infrastructure of electric vehicles is booming, and it’s very popular starting with Teslas, and now you see Rivians and Lucids driving around,” Ranga said. “EVs are a fast-growing industry, and Tesla’s competitors will also continue to rise and we’ll see far more diversity on the road.”

Knight agrees and said there is a shift in Tesla’s popularity, with Tesla purchases beginning to stabilize, indicating a potential cooling of in the initial rush for Tesla’s EVs.

“A lot of people are still on the fence about electric cars because they like the idea, but they’re worried about things like range and charging infrastructure,” Knight said. “ Te biggest hurdle isn’t getting people excited about EVs, it’s convincing them that these cars can meet all their needs just like gas cars because to this day, gas cars are still the most dominant vehicles despite the popularity of EVs.”

Despite its stronghold as a leading electric vehicle maker, Tesla’s dominance is showing signs of faltering, both in Palo Alto and globally. Tesla’s global vehicle deliveries fell by almost 9% year over year in the frst quarter, marking the frst such decline in nearly four years, signaling a potential leveling of in the previously meteoric rise of Tesla’s popularity. Even though Tesla’s popularity may be leveling of, Knight said the company’s contribution to advancing the feld of EVs ultimately means better technology and a continued market for electric cars.

“Tesla has set the stage for a new era in automotive history,” Knight said. “ Tey’ve not only changed how we think about cars, but also how we view our impact on the planet. As we look to the future, it’s clear that the road less traveled is now electric.”

are immature, we continue to grow taller. (But) having excess fat as a young girl can expedite the bone plate closing of earlier and (start) the whole process of puberty at a younger age.”

Beyond excess body fat, Ghafari said chronic stress is a factor in determining when menarche will be reached.

“If our body perceives that we’re in danger, or we’re under stress (and) we’re not able to protect ourselves, the last thing it wants to do is for us to get pregnant,” Ghaffari said. “Sometimes when you’ve already been through menarche, and you’ve had

periods, but you go through a very stressful period, like a chronic disease or even long travel that completely throws you of your cycle, you may miss your periods for some time because your body protects you from ovulation.”

For a Paly sophomore, who didn’t want her name used because of the sensitivity surrounding the topic of puberty and menstruation, menarche struck earlier than expected, leading to feelings of being unprepared and confused by the sudden changes.

“It all happened so quickly,” the sophomore said. “I was one of the frst in my grade to get it and did not know what to expect. I did not know exactly what to buy or what symptoms I would have. “I began becoming more moody and often felt isolated from others because they had not yet experienced what I had and had little to no idea about what I was going through.”

According to Ghafari, many young girls also reach menarche earlier than in previous decades for the opposite reason — in modern society, there is less overall stress as we live longer, have extended times of peace, efective medicine and stable economies.

Although many young girls can complete regular exercise, stick to a healthy diet and minimize stress to try and mitigate precocious puberty, these actions are a small factor in determining the early onset of menarche compared to genetics.

Te anonymous junior said rather than focusing on how to prevent “precocious puberty,” people should focus on what can be done to help mitigate the efects of the menstrual cycle and destigmatize it.

“Menstruation is a topic that needs to be more normalized to talk about to men and women alike so women and men are both comfortable when situations arise regarding periods,” the junior said. “And, as girls are getting their periods earlier, it needs to be talked about earlier. (We) don’t want young girls to believe something is wrong with them or isolate themselves as they can’t relate with others about it.”

Rising myopia rate harms youth

Every morning, senior Jada King opens her eyes to a blurry world. She feels around for her glasses, her hands patting around her table.

Once she fnds them and slides them onto her face, the blur of colors clarifes into sharper details, allowing her to begin her day.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition when close-up objects look clear, while far-away objects look blurry.

According to an NPR article, in the U.S. alone, rates of myopia have increased from 25% in 1971 to 42% in 2017.

King is among these myopic Americans, and she said her vision started getting blurry when she was in third grade.

“I couldn’t see the board when I was sitting at the front of the class, so I got glasses,” King said. “Without my glasses, things one to two feet in front of me start getting blurry, so I wear my glasses pretty much every single day all the time as long as I’m awake.”

But for many people like junior Keerath Pujji, glasses aren’t just for correcting vision. She said wearing glasses has infuenced her lifestyle and how others view her.

“It was more so the small things,” Pujji said. “When I was a kid, it really had an impact. I had to get a (thick) prescription if I wanted to go swimming. It was harder because no one I knew really had glasses. I was the only one that had to deal with constantly going to the doctors to get new prescriptions.”

Dr. Tomas Aller, an optometrist and myopia researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, said myopia is typically caused by inherited genes, and many people are either born with the disease. Aller also confrmed myopia rates have been rising.

“ Tere has been an increase in the need for vision correction in society over the last 40, 50 years,” Aller said. “ Te main source for that is an increase in myopia or nearsightedness. Te world is headed toward a projected 50% of the population becoming nearsighted by the year 2050.”

Dr. Michael Repka, a professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, said there are factors suspected to be the cause of myopia outside of genes, but the research hasn’t been conclusive.

“(People may) spend way too much time reading things up close, and maybe that drives the eye to change shape,” Repka said. “One sort of overarching theme is less natural light and being indoors. Tere are a number of theories about what (a lack of) natu-

ral light might do to inhibit cell growth or signaling in the retina, such as that simply by focusing your eye, you’re eliciting chemicals within the eye that somehow cause the eye to elongate.”

With the increased time spent indoors, Aller said myopia can lead to underlying long-term consequences.

Te problem with myopia isn’t simply that kids have to wear glasses,” Aller said. “It’s that it gets worse and worse each year because the eye is getting longer and longer. And there’s a fnite amount of stretching that the eye can tolerate before things start to get stretched beyond what they were intended to be stretched. Tat sets these kids up for a future of higher risk of some vision-threatening complications such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal, tears and something called myopic maculopathy, which is irreversible damage.”

But Repka said few methods seem to slow the progression of myopia.

“ Te best public health strategies available today are to take breaks while reading up close,” Repka said. Te second is to spend a little bit more time outdoors doing non-reading, non-academic, tasks.” And King said she has implemented some of these strategies in her own life.

“One of the things is just taking breaks from screens and reading and all kinds of close up activities,” King said. “I try to reduce my screen time as much as possible. For example, I don’t take notes on my computer. I take notes on paper.”

Even so, Pujji said protecting vision is hard.

“It’s very hard for teenagers especially because there’s so many things that we have to do that are online,” Pujji said. “So I think it would be kind of hard to say just stop using screens. But knowing the factors that can make you more susceptible to having bad eyesight is just as important as taking preventative measures to make sure that your eyes are safe.”

Te alternative beyond behavior change, according to Aller, is new technologies.

Tings like bifocal contact lenses that focus a light on the back of the eye properly,” Aller said. “Orthokeratology, which is a lens that you wear overnight, and when you wake up in the morning, you take them of and you can see without them, which is really amazing. Most of these methods will slow the growth by 40 to 80% depending on the child or the treatment.”

Ultimately, King said people should appreciate and care for their vision.

“Our eyes are very important to whatever you need in the future,” King said. “You need them to see and to work, and there are a few things that your body can’t recover from, and permanent eye damage is defnitely one of those things. You have to be careful about it.”

Te Campanile Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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