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Pep O’ Plant Women are frequently labeled in society, but what are they to do? See more p.3

‘Godspell’ p.10

Special Olympics p.14

Breast Cancer game p.15

• February 2014 • H.B. Plant High School • Volume 87 • Issue 6 •


• Opinions

Cover photo credits: Photo of junior Katy Thaxton taken by Gardner Popp; photo of Sydney Socher, senior taken by junior Emmala Brown; photo of Julie Russell taken by PO’P Jessica Jagodzinski; photo of sophomore Mary Olive Gauthier, and seniors Danielle Oxley and Dalia Kingsbury taken by PO’P Carson Collins.

Follow Pep O’ Plant on Twitter @ plantpop

February 2014

Testing my patience

Tests should not be the final judgment of students’ intelligence. Esme Yarnell Staff Writer

Testing has become a very controversial issue in schools in recent years. With all the recent issues regarding how people feel about testing. Testing should be canceled completely. There are so many tests that kids are forced to take and it puts way too much pressure on them to pass one test. If someone doesn’t pass the FCAT, he or she can’t graduate high school. If someone doesn’t get a good score on the SAT, his or her chances of getting into college heavily decrease. If someone doesn’t pass a PERT test with a certain score, he or she will be put in lower level classes. These are just a few examples of how one test can influence someone’s academic future without probable cause. There are many examples of students who are very smart, yet don’t get “good scores” on the SAT. There are multiple reasons for testing poorly other than not being smart. Lots of students suffer from

testing anxiety, a problem which companies like College Board certainly do not cater to. Not only this, but it is a lot to ask of students, or anyone for that matter, to focus for four hours straight. Multiple students are successful in school and not on tests. There are too many incidents where a student has a 4.0 GPA and not anywhere near a perfect score on the SAT or ACT. There is absolutely no reason for testing to determine a student’s future. A bad score on the SAT does not accurately represent a person’s ability to succeed and thrive in school. Schools like Wake Forest and American University are test-optional schools and are great examples of universities that understand that one test does not show a student’s talents. A student can have outstanding skills that surpasses their peers, but the only skills appreciated are those used to pass standardized tests. Testing should be eliminated from schools because it puts way too much pressure on students to do outstanding on one test, which often times doesn’t accurately represent a student’s academic level. Jessica Jagodzinski, Production Manager contributed to this article

One test does not show a student’s talents

Pep O’ Plant Editors in Chief

2013-2014 2415 S. Himes Avenue, Suite 103 Tampa, Florida 33629 (813) 272-3033 ext. 247

Production Manager Jessica Jagodzinski

Photography Editor Haley Babbitt

Graphics Editor Allison Figueroa

Circulation Manager Carson Collins

Melissa Jassir

Features Editors Jesseca Sands Andrea Wynter

News Editors

Alexa Castellano

Christian Chambers

Opinions Editor

Staff Andrew Beekman Marlee Belford Haley Billig Matthew Blydenburgh Ysabella Canto Trevor Coulter Allison Figueroa Katherine Gabler Katherine Gabler

Henry Jetmundsen Connor Jones Gabi Okun E.V. Phillips Gale Porter Caroline Sandler Bennett Taylor Katie Whitson Esme Yarnell

Faculty Adviser Louisa Ogle

Meg Barrett Alexis Hayes

Political Editor Leigh Miller

Sports Editors

Robby Killette Megan Przeslawski

Business Managers Emalee Herrera Helen Kahassai

Copy Editors

Emily Greiwe Morgan Robinson Katie Whitson

February 2014



Old enough to vote, old enough to drink

Gale Porter Staff Writer There has always been a lot of debate as to why the drinking age is 21 in the United States. There will always be differing opinions among Americans. However, nowadays it seems suitable for the legal drinking age to be 18. At the age of 18 kids earn the title of adult. They have the right to vote for the next leader of America and to enlist in the military. If an 18-year-old has the ability to take a bullet for their country, they are mature enough to purchase and drink alcohol. It is commonly said that young adults have less alcohol tolerance than that of a 21-year-old. That is not completely accurate. Tolerance doesn't come with age only, but also with the maturity and responsibility that it takes to handle alcohol. Some 18-year-olds are more responsible than 30-year-olds. The curiosity that comes with underage drinking would be closer to ratification if it were to be lowered to 18, therefore making it much less desirable among curious teens. People under the age of 21 seem to drink more heavily when they are able to get their hands on

alcohol because they are not sure when they will be able to drink again. This leads to a higher number of teen deaths each year. Another scenario would be if someone had made the decision to get married between the ages of 18 and 20. It sounds very odd that they would not be able to drink at their own wedding. Countries such as Italy, China, and Greece all have lower drinking ages and have much less alcohol related problems, and not nearly as many teen deaths each year. During the Prohibition Era in the 1920s, alcohol was banned in the United States. This led to complete turmoil among the people of America and went on to be the most commonly violated law in the history of the United States. This law didn't work then and it is a known fact it doesn't work effectively today. There will always be problems with alcohol whether the legal age is 18 or 21. Making 21 the legal age doesn't seem to be solving this problem. Changing the legal age to 18 would completely outweigh the pros from the cons.

use there drinking beca e g a n e te e c “It will redu e the thrill of doing something illewouldn’t b gal.” ) -JB Morris (12

“We might not all be

alcoholics if we could legall y drink” -Billy Darnell (12)

#TheStruggle Caroline Sandler Staff Writer High school is a time to try new activities, discover interests, and develop newfound skills. An effective way to accomplish all of this is to become employed. It does not have to be a rigorous job that requires hours on end of dedication. Whether it is babysitting or waiting tables, every individual should invest some amount of time during high school working. The harsh reality is that Mommy and Daddy can not fund an individual’s lifestyle forever, nor do they want to. High schoolers need to develop a sense of responsibility at this age so they will not be shell-shocked when they get tossed into the “real world”. In college when applying for jobs, do they think employers are going to be drawn to the person who has extensive job experience or the girl whose only skill is swiping her dad’s Visa card? Employers are interested in people who have worked for what they have because they are more likely to possess a desired skill set. Unfortunately, driving a lustrous Range Rover and

indulging in a weekly manicure are not things you can put on a resume. Unemployed students do not comprehend the value of a dollar. One can’t truly understand how precious money is until it is coming out of his or her own pocket. These sacred years of high school truly set teens up for their futures. Although big money decisions now may be picking between the latest camera or phone, these choices are still pivotal. One day, these measly pieces of technology will turn into a car or even a house. “A job teaches you responsibility and to respond to a schedule. It helps you prioritize what is important to you,” senior Haley Nelson said. The acquired skills and lessons make a job worthwhile. Even if an individual’s schedule is filled with sports or other activities, a job is still obtainable. Anything one does to earn their own money qualifies. PO’P Caroline Sandler It’s almost guaranteed that a student In order to earn extra money senior Hanna who worked in high school will have an Fate mans the cashier position at Xtreme easier time adjusting to the adult world Juice. Fate has worked an average of 20-30 and lifestyle that comes with it. hours per week.


• Opinions

February 2014

For viewing pleasure Society, sex skew reality

Haley Babbitt Staff Writer American teenagers today spend approximately 10.5 hours a day engulfed in some type of media whether it be television, video games, magazines, or movies. Are the images broadcast what society hopes individuals body images to be? Or is it a skewed reality that will probably never be achieved? Women are targeted in media, but not in a way that benefits them. Sex and bodies are what media companies use for success. They say "it is what the people want." However, in reality the media is what determines what people find amusing. Media is constantly using sex to appeal to viewers. Skin sells. Both men and women's bodies are used to promote companies, but women especially. Now it is all they are being noticed for, with their other accomplishments not recognized by men and other women. In fact, women are probably the leading cause in the inequality of genders. They are extremely critical of each other and do not allow each other to pursue higher standards. Females voters have exceeded men voters since 1980 and we still have yet to see a female become president, with only 18.3 percent of females making up congress. Why? Why are women not making an advancement in society when they are outnumbering men? It is simple; women do not want other women to succeed, but women's success is critical in the achievement of equal rights. Women are seen in society as a piece of meat. Very rarely are men drawn to females because of anything other than their physical appearance; if a girl is "hot" then often times, nothing else matters. Current female clothing is close to nothing: low cut tops,

daisy dukes, cropped tops, see through blouses. Do women want to dress this way? Do they really feel comfortable walking out of their homes scandalously dressed, or are they dressing to get attention? If women were confident and could handle the pressure of society, they would This Skintimate advertisement not feel the need to objectifies women with the slogan “Quite a pear.” reveal themselves the way they do. Women today use their bodies because they do not believe they can succeed any other way. The popular controversy advocating the right of women to walk around topless like men is currently being seen as a gender equality movement. However, it is hurting their cause, not helping it. Equality should not be based on who is "allowed" to wear less in public; instead women should be more concerned about being treated equally through intellectual achievements. Feminists should be trying to achieve equality by trying to get more females into office, getting paid equivalently to men, and overall, being recognized for anything other than their appearance.

“A lot of times it portrays them as always beautiful and that makes kids feel insecure about themselves.” -Kelsey Garcia (9) PO’P Haley Babbitt

Agreeing with the need for female intellectual equality, juniors Mariana Arcila, Ally Ackles and Samantha Awad hope to fight the stigma that looks are everything.

February 2014



California women demand equality Women in California insist on the right to go topless. Haley Billig Staff Writer

Over time, women have been given more rights in the fight for gender equality. However, it is impossible to make the argument that men and women are one hundred percent equal. Men are still making more money than women doing the exact same jobs. According to the Huffington Post, women only earn 77 cents to every dollar a man earns. Not only does a woman’s gender affect her in the work place, it also contributes to what society deems “acceptable” for her in public. When at the beach, it is obscene to see a woman topless, but not a man. If a man was walking around the city without a shirt, he would most likely not be acknowledged. However, if a woman walked around topless it would be considered dramatic, inappropriate,and even illegal. In California, women are standing up and demanding the opportunity to legally walk around topless if they desire to do so. Most people shudder and become embarrassed at the mention of this idea, but those individuals probably crave a patriarchal society. This idea does not require any woman to do anything they do not feel comfortable with, but it does allow women to go topless if they want to. If this idea is presented to Congress and made into a law conservative women can refrain from participating in the topless actions of followers of it.


Hope for Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Leigh Miller Political Editor The possibility of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in the 2016 elections is exciting for many, but recently, Clinton made comments which might refute the likelihood of her future campaign. Independent organizations such as Ready for Hillary are encouraging the former Secretary of State to run for president by giving away free bumper stickers and starting a petition. In a recent interview at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, Clinton was asked whether she planned to run in 2016, to which she replied “I don’t know.” In another interview with Barbara Walters, Clinton said “Obviously, I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year.” While some disapprove of Clinton’s running for president due to her liberal economic and social objectives, others an-

ticipate a successful and prosperous presidency. Clinton’s potential campaign has been attracting many young voters. Her progressive and considerate attitude towards women’s rights has especially been attracting female voters. Regardless of her decision to run in 2016, Clinton avidly supports other female candidates for the presidency, saying “It matters. It matters because we have half the population that has given so much to building this country, to making it work, raising children and, of course, I want to see women eventually in the White House,” Clinton said. “If you look at my friends and former colleagues, who are now in the Senate, it was the female senators, on both sides of the aisle, who finally broke the fever over the government shutdown and the debt limit. ... They have been working across party lines, and we need more of that.”

“I want to see women eventually in the White House.”


• Political

Lethal uncertainty

February 2014

Bennett Taylor Staff Writer

In late January, Mexican citizen Edgar Tamayo died by lethal injection in Texas, convicted of murdering a 24 year old police officer. The execution marked the start of a new year of capital punishments in Texas. The death occurred despite the persistent calls by Mexican officials for a halt of the sentence, claiming that a treaty between the United States and Mexico allowed for the inmate to contact the Mexican embassy for representation. At the same time, Amanda Knox wept in her Seattle home, as an Italian court convicted her in a 2007 murder of her former roommate, a case that she had been acquitted of


Amanda Knox is currently serving a 26 year sentence in Italy for the murder of her roommate.

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outd l a ot

in 2011. She has served four years of a 26-year sentence in Italy. Now, according to U.S law, she claims that she could not be tried again for this crime. Yet, she committed it in Italy, and their law codes must remain sovereign-- or do they? The Constitution exists as the highest law of the land in the United States. No Supreme Court ruling, executive order by the President, or legislation passed by Congress can even dent the Founding Father’s writing from the 19th century. Knox was tried in Italy, where the Constitution has no sovereignty. Yet, many people call for her release, claiming double jeopardy. Where does American law stop, and other laws take into effect? The bloated sense of entitlement taints the world view of American citizens, as their hypocritical nature calls for sovereignty in other lands, but denies it for foreign nationals in our own country. The state of Texas refused to hear Mexican authorities calls for action, with the Mexican authorities claiming a treaty would allow their own citizens to have proper representation for their own country. Yet American authorities state that Knox should walk free, just because of American law. America’s history with immigrants often brings memories of bloodshed, improper imprisonment, and even torture. When does Washington address the treatment of foreigners in our country, and entitle them to the rights of their native country? Americans who live abroad should abide by the laws of the land, and we should honor these codes. If we don’t, the backlash of our harsh punishment will likely come back and hit even harder.

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February 2014


Alexis Hayes News Editor Canada is more than just Tim Horton’s and currency that strangely resembles Monopoly money. Canadian lawmakers have recently deemed several of their laws pertaining to prostitution “unconstitutional.” One law prohibiting brothels, one restricting public communication with clients, and one allowing people to live off the avails of prostitution will soon be rewritten to deem them “constitutional” within the next year. What has been confusing for quite a long time is why countries, like Canada and the United States, find it necessary to meddle in affairs that don’t apply to their duties. Regulating the government is one thing, but regulating what humans choose to do with their bodies is absurd. Prostitution, illegal in the United States, may possibly be another source of revenue for those who choose to participate, legally, in Canada. America forbids prostitution because apparently a woman’s decision as to how to use her body is considered “immoral” and “unethical.”


stifles women’s rights

Bible-thumpers will be the first to say that anything deemed remotely inappropriate can be your one-way ticket to Hell. However, the “Average Joe” on a daily basis commits more sins than he realizes. Envying your neighbor’s new Camaro? Telling your Mom you’re at the library when you’re really at a friend’s house? Knocking back a few too many Budweiser’s every weekend? This rationale of pointing fingers is similar to discussing the topic of homosexuals and their right to wed. People love to dwell on topics that have no direct influence on their lives. If someone’s a happily married heterosexual being, how does two people of the same sex getting married personally affect them? If somebody is a happily married heterosexual being, how does some woman miles away trading oral sex for a couple of bucks personally affect them? It doesn’t. A woman’s personal choices, immoral or not, are her decision, not the decision of a lawmaker miles away. A common argument for the ban of prostitution is one that often labels prostitution as a form of “human-trafficking.” Americans, being the knowledgeable and worldly folks that they


are, have a hard time differentiating between prostitution and human trafficking. There is a difference between the hooker standing on 7th Avenue in Ybor City on a Saturday night, and the women who are kidnapped and forced into the sex slave industry. Prostitution, by definition, is the purchasing and selling of services provided by a woman. Human trafficking, by definition, is the purchasing and selling of the woman herself. Human trafficking is forcing women, often girls in their early teens, to perform sexual favors against their own will. “Will” is the operative word. Prostitutes willingly market themselves and use their bodies to make money. It is their decision, and their right as a woman to utilize their bodies as they please. Women have the right to terminate their pregnancies in the United States, but when it comes to simply having intercourse, it all of a sudden becomes “immoral” and “unethical”. While Canada makes strides in their decisions regarding the economy and women’s rights, the United States will continue to point fingers at those considered “immoral”.


Progressive countries in Western Europe, Scandanavia and South America support prostitution with full legality.


• News

February 2014

‘Live from New York’ it’s racial diversity

Jessica Jagodzinski Production Manager Debuting on Jan. 18, was Saturday Night Live’s newest cast member, Sasheer Zamata. Zamata is the newest black female actress to be added to the regular lineup. In fact, she is the only black actress on the cast, and the addition took six years. “I feel like it’s been years since I’ve seen you!” President Obama, portrayed by cast member Jay Pharoah, said to Kerry Washington, who was playing his wife in the cold opening to the Nov. 2, 2013 episode of Saturday Night Live. Actress Kerry Washington was the first person to act the part of Michelle Obama since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007. Washington played Beyoncé in the same skit along with other black female characters throughout the night. A voice-over was played during the episode addressing the now obvious problem: there were no other women of color to play the parts. “Saturday Night Live would like to apologize to Kerry Washington for the number of black women she will be asked to play.” The voice-over said, “We make these requests because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent — and also because SNL does not currently have a black woman on the cast. Mostly the latter” The Los Angeles Times called the acknowledgment “arrogant and not funny,” and the media criticism of

Extinct but not forgotten The Western Black Rhino has been officially declared extinct

the lack of racial and ethnic diversity became more vocal. In an interview with TVGuide, Kenan Thompson declares that he and Jay Pharoah, his fellow African-American SNL cast member, aren’t interested in portraying female characters. The show has become lazy, Thompson said, continually depending on potentially laugh-worthy sketches involving black women. The new funny girl in the spotlight is a 27-year-old actress with a drama degree and membership in the wellknown Upright Citizens Brigade, a comedians troupe confounded by Amy Poehler. Sasheer Zamata has been in multiple commercials, and features in sketches on FX’s “Totally Biased With Kamau Bell” and Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer.” If her own accomplishments can’t speak for themselves, Zamata has gained support from other female comedians, such as Amy Poehler and Lena Dunham. Lena Dunham tweeted that Sasheer is “the best,” and linked to a video on her Youtube channel for proof. Director Paul Briganti, who worked with her on College Humor Originals, says, “it’s rare that a performer is hilarious, kind and hard-working all at once, but that’s Sasheer.” University of Virginia Professor Richard Warner advised both 2008 graduate Sasheer Zamata and 1988 graduate, former SNL cast member Tina Fey. He compares Zamata and Fey as both “social critics” and “femHaley Billig Staff Writer

Another species has taken a fall into extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The last sighting of a Western Black Rhino was in 2006 in the Sub-Saharan African savannas. Due to the continued poaching and the lack of conservation, the rhino is now gone forever. The steps for conservation were not followed, such as to stop hunting them for their horns. Per kilogram, rhino horns go for $60,000 whereas gold goes for a little over

inists”. After the 2013 defecting of popular Saturday Night Live members Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, Seth Meyers, and Fred Armisen, the show is in need for familiarity. Saturday Night Live airs on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.


Sasheer Zamata joins Saturday Night Live during the 39th season. SNL was harshly criticized for the lack of diversity in the show’s cast. In November as a response to their critics, SNL apologized, “We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the near future, unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first.”

$40,600. Although people are strongly against poaching, one can easily see the appeal of hunting rhinos. “In the case of the Western Black Rhino and the Northern White Rhino, the situation could have had very different results if the suggested conservation measures had been implemented,” Simon Stuart, of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said. Taking step such as refusing to poach, never buying any poached items(like their horns and fur)and supporting conservation projects can help to save animals and get a multitude off of the Endangered Species list.

February 2014



Rick’s Cafe lights up stage The 20th annual showcase highlights the talent of students. The chorus puts on a total of three shows in order to Carson Collins offer everyone a chance to attend. The show runs Feb. Staff Writer For 20 years, Rick’s Cafe has been an opportunity for cho- 27-March 1 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Tickets cost $10 rus students to share their love for Broadway and singing on for adults and $5 for students. a stage. Straying away from the traditional, folk and classical pieces the chorus is known for, Rick’s Cafe is a showcase of the chorus’s greatest talents. Every year, the students come together to perform group numbers, duets, and even solo acts after rehearsing for months on end. Plant’s Rick’s Cafe showcase, which is taken from the Rick’s Cafe in “Casablanca,” once included having food and coffee served as the audience observed the performances. However, the showcase grew so huge, the cafeteria could no longer hold the number of people who lined up to see the show, so it was then moved to the auditorium to accommodate the growing audience. Along with the selected acts, the choirs (junior varsity, varsity, and varsity chorale) all perform selections from different musicals. This year’s choir ensemble selections include songs from “Grease,” “Chicago” and “Oklahoma.” Solos, duSource: PO’P Morgan Robinson ets and smaller group ensembles include selections from a During rehearsals for Rick’s Cafe, students practice their number of plays including, “The Addams Family,” “Pocachoreography for the Oklahoma group number. Bruce Yost hontas,” “Matilda,” “A Chorus Line,” “We Will Rock You” advised all performers during production. and more.






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• News

One nation under


PO’P Carson Collins

Emily Greiwe Staff Writer Drama club gave their final performance of “Godspell” Friday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. An audience of parents, teachers and students gathered in the auditorium and sat in the newly installed seats nearest to the stage. The velvet curtains opened, gliding toward stage left and stage right as Act I began. “Godspell” is originally a musical by Stephan Schwartz and was based off of a book by John-Michael Tebelak. The play is structured as a series of parables from the biblical book of Matthew. Jesus, played by senior Nicholas Santanach in this revival, recruits and teaches a group of followers through song, dance, and short skits. All of the musical numbers include words of traditional hymns set to modern music that emphasize a passion for Christ. On Broadway, “Godspell” made its first debut on June 22, 1976, and ran for 527 performances before closing. Just over 35 years later, a Broadway revival began performances in October of 2011. The new cast includ-

ed Corbin Bleu, of the Disney Channel movies “High School Musical” and “Jump In,” who took over the role of Jesus. The only characters with predetermined names in the production are Jesus and John the Baptist/Judas, played by senior Robert Carpenter. “I absolutely loved putting on ‘Godspell’…I like the script, especially the musical numbers. This show really brought out my inner actor and I loved every minute of it,” said Carpenter who sang in the opening number, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.” The remainder of the characters are referred to as “narrators” and “soloists” and go by their own names, just like the traditional Broadway production. Freshman Elizabeth Doney played the role of a narrator. “I’ve met a ton of great people and had a ton of fun. I’m a lot more confident as a person and an actor,” Donley said. The drama department is already preparing for their next show with new advisor and director, Kimberly Richardson.

February 2014

A BUDDING economic source

Henry Jetmundsen Staff Writer On Jan. 1, Colorado officially legalized the recreational use of marijuana. It is now legal for citizens, ages 21 and older, to hold up to an ounce of marijuana. Private cultivators of marijuana can have up to six plants. With a 25 percent state tax, it is estimated that the sale of marijuana will yield $67 million within a year, $27.5 million of which will go towards the building of schools. After seeing the amount of money that can be ac-

cumulated from the sale of cannabis, many other states want in on this new market. Washington was the second state that officially legalize the use of marijuana, and Alaska is looking to be the third. While Florida government isn’t currently looking into the legalization of recreational cannabis, there is a ballot to legalize medicinal marijuana in the state. As states like Colorado continue to gain money from the sale of weed, more states may be persuaded to join in.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 95 million Americans age 12 and older have tried “pot” at least once. According to NIDA’s 2012 Monitoring the Future study, about 6.5% of 8th graders, 17.0% of 10th graders, and 22.9% of 12th graders had used marijuana in the month before the survey. According to the United Nations, 158.8 million people around the world use marijuana—more than 3.8% of the planet’s population. Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the U.S. Source:

February 2014



• 11

sparks debate

kins writes, “Ham is a snake oil salesAllison Figueroa men and Nye just offered him up an his rebuttal video to Nye’s “CreationStaff Writer ism is Not Appropriate for Children”. A long-awaited debate occurred infomercial to sell his product.” The video “Creationism is Highly ApAs the debate unfolded, tensions on Feb. 4 between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. These influential men are on two were high. Each debater had their propriate for Our Children” featured sides of a pressing issue—whether cre- chance to give an opening statement, two of Ham’s resident scientists at the ationism should be taught alongside to present 30 minutes of evidence for Creationist Museum, explaining the their beliefs, and to answer on-the- difference between historical and obevolution in schools. Both individuals were qualified to spot questions of creationism vs. evo- servational science, and claiming that Nye was confusing the two. explain and defend their opinions. lution. “You don’t observe the past directNye’s platform was centered around Bill Nye was a well-known advocate ly,” Ham said at the end of his opening the dangers of teaching creationism to for science education even before his statement. “You weren’t there.” notorious 90’s program “Bill Nye the children. As for “who won”, most secular adIn Nye’s YouTube video from Big Science Guy”. He studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University Think, “Creationism is Not Appropri- vocates believe that Nye did well, but where he earned a Bachelor in Science. ate for Children”, the same video that ultimately could have done better. JerKen Ham is the CEO of Answers sparked Ham’s interest, Nye warned ry A. Coyne says to The Christian Sciin Genesis, an organization that has a that America would fall back as a sci- ence Monitor, “The debate was Ham’s mission to “seek to expose the bank- entific authority if we taught creation- to win and he lost. And the debate was ruptcy of evolutionary ideas”. He ism to our children. “If we continue Nye’s to lose and he won,” Coyne conearned a Bachelor of Applied Science to eschew science ... we are not going tinues to explain that Nye could have at the Queensland Institute of Tech- to move forward,” Nye claimed in the crushed some of Ham’s claims, but he nology, and a diploma in Education debate, “We will not embrace natural missed those opportunities. The debate has drummed up enough laws. We will not make discoveries. We from the University of Queensland. Ham is also the founder of the Cre- will not invent and innovate and stay fundraising and business for Answers in Genesis and the Creationist Muationist Museum in Kentucky, a proj- ahead.” Ham’s argument consisted of many seum, that Ham now has a chance to ect that took nearly six years and a total of $27 million dollars to complete. multimedia presentations, including build a real life, to scale “Noah’s Ark”. The museum sprawls 70,000 square PowerPoint slides, video demonstra- An Answers in Genesis staffer wrote feet, and features both exhibits that tions, and the introduction of scientists that “[the debate] has drawn countless serve to disprove specific evolutionary who believed devoutly in creationism. believers and unbelievers alike to con“Creation is the only viable model sider the Creation Museum’s teachings ideas, and exhibits that simply wish to illustrate the Bible. There are rebuttals of historical science confirmed by ob- about the true history of the universe,” to evolutionist ideas about ancient hu- servational science in today’s modern something that would surely terrify man skeletons in an exposition called scientific era,” Ham said. This was a evolutionists like Richard Dawkins “homology”. There are also displays of repeated point that was also found in and Jerry A. Coyne. the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, and even a few areas where humans are depicted walking alongside dinosaurs. The idea for the debate was sparked by Ham’s outrage over a video with Bill Nye entitled, “Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children”. Ham posted a rebuttal video, “Creationism is Highly Appropriate for Children”, and the talk started. However, atheists and agnostics have offered to debate the CEO of Answers in Genesis in the past. Ham has declined all other offers, on the grounds that the challengers were “mocking, strident evolutionists” who weren’t serious enough about creationism to have a respectful discussion. Other evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins opposed Nye’s decision to debate Ham. Dawkins wrote on his blog that by debating a creationist, Nye is giving the impression that creationism has a Source: sophomore Tuan Nguyen logical chance against evolution. Daw- Clashing together for decades, Church and State are debated once again. The controversy comes to a head as Bill Nye debates Ken Ham.


• Features

St. Patrick’s Day brings traditions, safety concerns

Katherine Gabler Staff Writer St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every March 17 by people of diverse backgrounds all across the world. The holiday falls on a religious feast day and the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. When the holiday was first observed over one thousand years ago, the Irish would attend church and then drink and feast on traditional food, since the prohibitions were waived during Lent. Nowadays, the holiday’s celebration has grown much more extravagant and electrifying. Since 1962, Chicago has dyed its river green using 40 pounds of dye to keep the color for several hours. Savannah, Georgia also has the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade, dating back to 1813.

9 February 2014

Tampa will also be dying part of the Hillsborough River green this year to celebrate. This event, along with many other family activities, will take place at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on Saturday, March 15. Many people celebrate the holiday with their own traditions. The obvious one is to wear green otherwise one may find themselves at risk of being pinched. Another common symbol of the holiday is to adorn outfits with four-leaf clovers. “I eat shamrock cookies,” junior Sam Fowler said.

Now, most students usually don’t set up traps or get as involved in holidays as they use to. The majority still wear green and may eat Irish food. “I wear green if I remember, or if I can find something,” junior Margaret Colby said.

Helen Kahassai Staff Writer From the Florida State Fair to the many parades Tampa has to offer, safety has always been the main concern for many people.\ This year the Rough Riders will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on the streets of Historic Ybor City on Saturday, March 15 at 8 p.m. The Rough Riders are a social and service group in Tampa. The purpose of this organization is to celebrate history through different activities such as festive events and educational activities. This parade has many things to offer:concerts,floats,entertainers and of course lots of beads. This year it is expected to have a crowd of two to three thousand people.

February 2014

Due to many tragic events in the past year like the Boston bombing many people in society are now more aware of their surroundings. To make sure this event is enjoyable, there are ways could do to ensure the day is safe. Always be aware of the surroundings and report anything suspicious. Parade goers are cautioned against carrying large amounts of money because pick-pocketers use the opportunity in large, crowded situations to steal valuables. Don’t bring valuables to the parade and risk losing them or getting them stolen. Also, stay in well lit and populated areas.

Lonely h e a r t s club

February 2014

Meg Barrett News Editor

In the early 1920s, a girl by the name of Alice Reighly created a club in order to protect young women who received unwelcome attention from men in automobiles and on street corners. The Anti-Flirt Club was active in Washington D.C. The club launched an “Anti-Flirt” week, the first, and last, being held on March 4, 1923. On Feb. 28, a Washington Post article was published with the title, “10 Girls Start War on Auto Invitation.” It pointed out the problem: “Too many motorists are taking advantage of the precedent established during the war by offering to take young lady pedestrians in their cars,’ Miss Helen Brown, 639 Longfellow Street, declared yesterday.” Brown was the secretary of the emerging Anti-Flirt Club, and warned that the sort of men who attempt to pick up women that way “don’t all tender their invitations to save the girls a walk,” and while there were “other varieties of flirts,” mo-


torists were the absolute worst. In the late 1800s something very similar happened. Surprisingly, the movement gained traction, and police officers were arresting offending boys and men. Despite the several politicians that tried to pass legislation controlling and managing flirting in the late 1800s, none were successful. However, the anti-flirt movement of the early 20th century successfully raised awareness of and disgust with the “ungentlemanly heathens” who hollered after ladies. If the anti-flirt movement had really caught on, things might be different today. Evidently, these clubs weren’t directed towards exterminating what we now call flirtation, but sought to discipline the men who make it so incredibly unpleasant for women and extremely difficult for girls to walk down the street without being catcalled. It’s interesting to think about an alternate present where street harassment is taken seriously.

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1) Don’t flirt: those who flirt in haste [often] repent in leisure. 2) Don’t accept rides from flirting motorists— their intentions aren’t to save you a walk. 3) Don’t use your eyes for ogling—they were made for worthier purposes. 4) Don’t go out with men you don’t know— they may be married, and you may be in for a hair-pulling match. 5) Don’t wink—a flutter of one eye may cause a tear in the other. 6) Don’t smile at flirtatious strangers—save them for people you know. 7) Don’t annex all the men you can get—by flirting with many, you may lose out on “the one.” 8) Don’t fall for the slick, dandified cake eater—the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of a lounge lizard. Don’t fall for the glorified rich man, for the unsophisticated, kind man is worth more than the fancy jerk.) 9) Don’t let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Those are usually the kind who want to forget they are fathers. 10) Don’t ignore the man you are sure of while you flirt with another. When you return to the first one you may find him gone.


• Sports

Athletes go for


February 2014

Jessica Jagodzinski Production Manger Students from schools throughout Hillsborough County gathered to compete in track and field events at Gaither High School in the annual Special Olympics on Feb. 14. At Plant, Coach Mahon’s P.E. class lined up and cheered for the student athletes as they boarded the bus. The morning show recorded as the kids excitedly fidgeted in their seats, ready to face the competition. With Himes blocked off, Officer Mark Holloway granted a blue light police escort for the packed yellow school bus. The track and field events were consistently conquered by the Plant athletes. Bradley Williams, Calla Reardin, Nicholas Garnett, Marvens Franceour, Kevin Lewers, Cameron Brown, Daniel Justiniano, and Ryan Howerton achieved first place in one or more of their events. Julie Russel, Terry Smith, Rosalia Lewers, Maggie Mahon, Alex Stevens, Jaci Jagodzinski, Catoryaa Green, and Giancarlo Romero finished second or third. Impressively, t Marvens Franceour ran the 100 Meter Dash in 13.58 seconds. “I didn’t forfeit!” Jordan Hurst said after finishing his race. In the days leading up to the games, a nervous Hurst constantly shared that the wanted to forfeit. “It was really inspiring to see him not give up. He did so good I had to run with him to keep

up because I told him I would walk on the sideline and videotape,” said Olivia Goutoufas, Jordan’s buddy for the day. The oath taken by all Special Olympics athletes is recited before beginning the day. “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Every Olympian is presented a gold medal regardless of score or placement. The mission of Special Olympics is to give the opportunity for those with intellectual disabilities to demonstrate courage and experience joy while sharing their gifts, skills, and friendship with others in the community. Support was given as junior Maddie Waller clasped Calla Reardin’s hand as she walked in her first race. Skill was demonstrated as Juan Arroyo won first place in the 50 Meter Walk and Julie Russell powered through the finish line after running in the 50 Meter Dash. Daniel Justiniano break-dancing, Maggie Mahon posing in her crown, and Lia Lewers showing a rare smile are all results of the purely encouraging, no-judgment atmosphere. The point of celebration is the finish line according to ESE teacher Mary Radigan, “Each athlete is elated and proud as he or she crosses the finish line. The fans are what make Special Olympics.” Support from the athlete’s teachers and fellow students help the safe atmosphere develop at their home field.. The student athletes are now training for the upcoming USF County Summer Games on March 29.

PO’P Jessica Jagodzinski

Competing in the final relay race, Cameron Brown carries the baton as he speeds round the track.

Crossing the finish line, Jordan Hurst shouts, “I didn’t forfeit!” In preparing for the event, Hurst was unsure of his athletic abilities.

Playing for cure

February 2014

Source: PO’P Jesseca Sands

Libby Ruff daughter, with her father escorting her, throws the first pitch for the Lady Panthers.

Jesseca Sands Features Editor The softball team played their third annual breast cancer game against Plant City on Feb. 14. The girls raise money every year for the Moffitt Cancer Center at USF. This year they raised a total of $4,382 in just one week. Each girl went around to fellow family members, friends, and teachers asking for donations to give to Moffitt. “It’s great knowing we can make such big impacts in other people lives,” Kaylee Webb, junior, said. Every year the softball team orders special shirts and socks for the big game. The girls played in honor of Cynthia Ruff who recently passed away from breast cancer last month. She touched so many hearts not only at school but throughout Tampa. The softball team felt strongly about playing this game in her honor. “The Breast Cancer game was once again a huge success,”


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Coach Melissa Sigmon said, “and it was really cool to honor the memory of such a wonderful lady, Mrs. Ruff. It made this year a little more personal and close to home.” Libby Ruff, Ruffs’ daughter, threw the first pitch of the game; Her mother threw the first pitch in the game just last year. The team beat Plant City 4-0, which moves their record up to 3-0 this season. Senior, Caroline Jinks shifted the tone of the game in the 5th inning by hitting a two-run home run to put the Panthers ahead by three runs. Following that inning, Danielle Scott smacked the ball far over center field to sit the Plant City Raiders down once and for all. “My team is like a family and I couldn’t be more proud of how we’re playing right now. I’m hoping we can make Plant proud,” Jinks, senior, said.

Harrison enters

Hall of Fame

Megan Przeslawski Sports Editor After 32 years of coaching and 28 straight years of being qualified for the state championships, Cross Country Coach Roy Harrison is finally awarded for all his hard work and dedication with his induction into the Hall of Fame. “It takes a lot of years, and its such an honor because not many people get accepted. I never believed I would be where I am, but it comes when you win, and you are really successful,” says Coach Harrison. His winning philosophy is to keep the runners strong for competition season. “Our goal is to peak at the end of the year. You have to get the kids to peak at the right time, which is State’s.” A memory that stands out to Coach Harrison is winning the State Championship for the first time in 1991. Since then, Plant Cross Country has

dominated with ten State Championships- the most wins for a high school in the state of Florida. “The sport is hard, but it’s easier with the right set of girls.” He believes

“I can’t imagine Cross Country season without Coach Harrison. He’s been with us through it all.” -Anna Montgomery, 12

gone unnoticed. “Coach never lets us give up on ourselves. He always bikes next to us to keep us motivated,” Jacema Andino, junior runner said. When the Coach is not conditioning champions, he is found logging a hundred miles a week on Bayshore Boulevard. Even after recent knee surgery, he continues to do what he loves. While the induction into the Hall of Fame is a great accomplishment, this is not the last of Coach Harrison. “I hope what I’ve done here for this team will carry on into the next years to many more championships.” While his love for the sport remains the same, he isn’t sure how many more years he will be coaching. “I can’t imagine Cross Country season without Coach Harrison. He’s been with us through it all,”Anna Montgomery, senior said.

the girls he coaches have led to his achievements. “It is truly an honor to work with such great, dedicated girls. They are always willing to do what I say and to work hard, which you need with this sport.” Corespondents Jaclyn Ancona and Rachel His time and commitment have not DiBenedtto contributed to this article.


• Sports

S now-bored The Sochi Winter Olympics have been the talk of the world for the last few months, but does it even compare to the popularity of the summer Olympics

Andrew Beekman Staff Writer The Olympic Games are supposed to be a unifying event that transcends status for the sake of sports. In February, the Sochi Winter Olympics began under speculation of the world. While the Winter Olympics has its interesting moments, the majority of the world does not have access to winter sports due to their climate and geography. Can the winter games be seen as a world sporting event if only a handful of countries can participate? The Winter Olympics boasted only three athletes from India. How


of the


Olympics S o u rc e : iipd ig ita l . u s e m b a s s y. go v

can it be seen as a world event if only three people represent a country with a population in the billions? However, Switzerland a country of eight million can have a team of 200 athletes. While you can’t doubt the magic moments of the games, you can make the claim that the Summer Olympics are a lot more important. The winter games don’t require the same level of athletic skill as the summer events; Sage Kotsenburg won the gold for slope-style snowboard and he was quoted saying that he hasn’t been to the gym since September. A summer athlete would never win if they were that relaxed about preparation. For example, look at

Student MARCH

February 2014

curling, which is just a glorified version of shuffleboard. These competitors receive the same gold medals given to admirable athletes such as Michael Phelps. The Winter Olympics does showcase amazing competitors and impressive feats of ability, though they appear to be more talent-based rather than hard-earned. Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones failed to win medals competing in the Beijing and London Olympics, and she joined the bobsled team to assure an easy victory. In no summer sport could a person jump in to a completely different sport on a whim. Overall,The Winter Olympics appear to be easier.




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POP February 2014  
POP February 2014