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THE

PROSPECTOR

801 WEST KENSINGTON ROAD, MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS 60056

THE VOICE OF PROSPECT HIGH SCHOOL SINCE 1959

VOLUME 61, ISSUE 6

FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2021

The Silent Pandemic

RICK LYTLE

Editor-in-Chief

*name changed for confidentiality ne year ago today on March 12, all co-curricular activities were suspended through the end of spring break. The next day, District 214 canceled school for at least two weeks, and students were told they “should bring all materials home with them ... in the event we are unable to hold face-to-face class instruction immediately following spring break.” Now, one year later, two-thirds of Prospect students are still remote learning every day. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a nationwide mental health crisis, and high school-age students haven’t been spared. Although suicide reporting is slow in the United States, early data on mental health and suicide among adolescents is cause for concern. From mid-March through October, the CDC found a 31% increase in mental health-related hospital visits for people aged 12-17. Some reports have been even more worrying: at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, the number of children and teenagers hospitalized for suicide attempts was 250% higher in October of 2020 than in October 2019. Both of these studies were conducted before the coronavirus spike seen this past winter during which total COVID-19 cases in the United States tripled and COVID-19 deaths doubled. Prior to C OV I D - 1 9 and the

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resulting impact on all aspects of society, mental health was already a serious and worsening issue in the United States. In the last decade, suicide rates have been steadily increasing among all age groups, including ages 10 through 34 where suicide is the second leading cause of death. For high school students especially, this is not an issue caused by COVID-19, but one worsened by it. According to a Prospector survey of 102 students, 1 in 13 Prospect students have been diagnosed with a mental disorder in the past year, and in total, 32% of Prospect students have been diagnosed with a mental disorder at some time in their life. Senior Mary Lazaretti is one of those students. Having been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety and ADHD, she spoke about the importance of taking the first steps towards getting help and her experience of doing so at Prospect. During Lazaretti’s freshman year, she began to frequently have panic attacks often because of grades. After having backto-back days of panic attacks and building stress for an upcoming test, Lazaretti went

and talked to her school counselor. She went through a series of questions related to her mental health and had a discussion with her counselor before being referred to Northwest Community Hospital. She was a part of the outpatient program, so she did not stay overnight at the hospital, but she went to the hospital for seven consecutive days. Lazaretti didn’t feel like her stay at the hospital for her mental health was very successful, but it did start her process of receiving treatment which now includes one-on-one therapy outside of school and medication. Lazaretti also credits the help of school psychologist Dr. Jay Kyp-Johnson, who she described as “the nicest man you will ever meet,” and how he continues to be a great resource for her at Prospect. “[Because of] the amount of times I have cried to that man in his office, he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for dealing with me,” Lazaretti said. “... He has still been a good resource during the pandemic. He still checks in every so often with an email, and I think that speaks volumes to how important it is to have staff who understand mental health in high school and who are willing to

help.” Psychology teacher Daria Schaffeld discussed the stigma surrounding mental health and how that stigma makes it harder for students to take that first step towards getting help. She believes that some of this stigma surrounding mental illness stems from the fact that people cannot physically see mental health issues in the same way they see physical injuries. “When you blow out your knee and you have an ACL surgery, you’re bandaged, and you’re on crutches, and it’s such an obvious physical issue,” Schaffeld said. “... [When that happens] people feel for you, and they show empathy, and they ask you how PT is going … we embrace the physical issues and ailments much more powerfully than the mental stuff ... People think that because you can’t see [mental illness], and there’s not a cut or a scar or blood that it shouldn’t be talked about.” Schaffeld believes the invisible nature of mental illnesses can lead people to brush off the need for professional treatment and help. “It shouldn’t be, ‘Oh, I can just figure it out on my own.’ You wouldn’t figure out your ACL tear on your own,” Schaffeld said *Jamie Zimmerman is a senior at Prospect who has first-hand experience with the stigma surrounding mental illness. During her freshman year, she watched her then-senior brother not only struggle with mental health issues but also his hesitancy towards taking the first steps towards getting help. “I started to notice that

SEE MENTAL HEALTH, page 2 Painting by Ondine Cella

Have You ever been diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder?

1 in 5

Yes 32.4% No 67.6%

Information courtesy of a survey of 102 Prospect students

Nationally, about teenagers currently suffer from a mental illness Information courtesy of the National Institute of Mental Health


2 NEWS

prospectornow.com

MARCH 12, 2021

MENTAL HEALTH: COVID-19 worsens crisis CONTINUED from front page stuff didn’t seem right when he was just quiet driving to school, and he didn’t want to hang out as much,” Zimmerman said. “He didn’t want to watch TV with me, and he was just up in his room a lot, and he didn’t say much even when he was [downstairs] during dinner.” Eventually after his mental health worsened, Zimmerman’s mother took her brother to the hospital where he stayed for about five nights. He was eventually diagnosed with general anxiety, depression and ADHD. Zimmerman believes that stigma surrounding mental health —

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especially for high school-aged boys — played a factor in her brother staying quiet about his struggles. “I feel like there definitely is [more of a stigma for boys],” Zimmerman said. “I feel like my brother himself was suppressing it until it got too serious not to talk about it … He just kind of pushed it aside in his head because of the social stigma that men can’t feel the way girls do when it comes to mental health issues.” He is now doing “a lot better,” and Zimmerman is glad that both her brother and her family as a whole now discuss mental health more openly. “It was hard at the time, but I feel like he also feels better knowing that he can now talk to us, and he doesn’t [have to] hold back anymore like he used to,” Zimmerman said. “I think we’re overall just happy for him.” Schaffeld believes that over her 20 years at Prospect, students have become more open about mental health issues, and she has seen a general reduction in the stigma surrounding mental illness both within the Prospect community and in society as a whole. In her psychology classes, she sees students be more open about things like seeing a psychologist or what medication they may be taking. At Prospect, the process of getting help has to do with the eight counselors and the four specialists like

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*Information courtesy of a survey of 102 Prospect students

Kyp-Johnson, who is a psychologist. Kyp-Johnson often has check-ins with students who may have been reported by a friend, coach, teacher or anyone at Prospect or because of a number of other reasons such as slipping grades or attendance. “It’s important for students to realize that you kind of do have a responsibility [to seek assistance for someone else] if you notice something different, something doesn’t look right or the person hasn’t been themselves lately,” Kyp-Johnson said. Kyp-Johnson emphasized the need to check in on friends now more than ever because of the social isolation that has come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Schaffeld echoed similar sentiments about people’s “need to belong and feel connected” and the strain the pandemic has put on that psychological need. “The research is very clear that humans are social creatures, and we need relationships,” Schaffeld said. Lazaretti described her mental health as taking a “hard nose dive down” when quarantine started last spring. “I wasn’t going outside as much; I wasn’t seeing as many people, and I place a lot of value in my relationships that I have with people,” Lazaretti said. “So, not being able to socialize really sucked for a while.” Then, she started to see her activities be canceled, something she noted as being difficult to deal with. When the Bands of America competition was canceled last spring, Lazaretti said she began to realize just how much had been canceled due to coronavirus. Additionally, this summer, band camp was virtual. For Lazaretti, the social interaction that both Schaffeld and Kyp-Johnson noted as key wasn’t present at the virtual band camp for her in the way it was at traditional in-person band camp. This loss of activities is something many Prospect students can relate to. According to a Prospector survey of 102 students, 66% of students have missed time for or lost an activity completely because of coronavirus, with almost 30% of students missing out on two or more activities. For Lazaretti, like for many students, being stuck inside has led to an increase in her screen time. Prior to the pandemic, screen time was already a concern contributing to mental health issues for high school students. A 2019 study found that, not including school work, teenagers in the U.S. spent over seven hours a day on screens. For reference, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends about two hours of screen time per day. With remote learning and a lack of activities, Lazaretti saw her screen time skyrocket during the pandemic. “If [my screen time] was under 10 hours a day before, it has exceeded that monumentally,” Lazaretti said. “There’s nothing else to do.” Lazaretti was recently diagnosed with ADHD. It was most likely a lifelong condition, but she only recently started to seriously notice the symptoms with the onset of remote learning. A combination of a loss of

energy to complete schoolwork, an inability to focus on Zoom and then slipping grades led Lazaretti to talk to her therapist about the issues she was experiencing which led to an ADHD diagnosis by a psychiatrist. One aspect of the digital world is social media, and Kyp-Johnson worries about the effect of social media on high school students. “Social media is not working for our society,” Kyp-Johnson said. “It puts people off track more than it puts people on track … It’s like if you were a fish swimming, and there were all these hooks. Where am I going to go? Where can I go that I can’t get caught by all these hooks?” Kyp-Johnson was describing all the distractions that come with social media. He believes that high school is already stressful, regardless of screens, and points to a number of pressures that already exist in the high school setting such as clubs, sports, activities, grades and college. “It’s a pressure-packed four years … [and] it’s made incredibly worse by the digital world,” Kyp-Johnson said. Schaffeld acknowledged that she is a social media user herself and discussed how we can use social media more responsibly. She says it is important to understand the psychological tricks the sites use to keep users coming back and also noted the importance of disconnecting when students need to focus on other things like class. “[Social media sites] are built to keep you addicted … if it’s decreasing your exercise, if it’s decreasing your regular socialization with real humans, [then] I think it’s just not healthy,” Schaffeld said. Lazaretti believes that the social media’s effect on mental health has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. “We’ve only been stuck inside, and your options are to either focus on yourself or focus on other people,” Lazaretti said. “And I feel like so many people are focusing on others in an attempt to connect with people again … [The pandemic is] actually putting a really intense strain on people’s ability to feel comfortable with themselves.” Lazaretti, like many teenagers — especially teenage girls — struggles with body image issues. One study linked heavy social media use to decreased well-being and self-esteem. Additionally, as many as one in three girls were unhappy with their personal appearance by the age of 14. Lazaretti specifically mentioned TikTok as an app that can lead to body image issues because of how easy it is to compare yourself to others. Whether it is body image issues or any mental health issue, Lazaretti encourages anyone struggling to take the first step towards getting help. She acknowledged the difficulty of getting help, but emphasized the importance of it. “It’s worth finding the parts of life that keep you going whether that’s friends, whether that’s a therapist [or] whether that’s medication that really works for you,” Lazaretti said. “It’s really worth [getting help and] finding those things because they really do make life so much better.”

Currently on Knight Tv and Prospectornow.com... Read about Prospect teachers voting to return to an eight-period schedule next school year. Listen as the differences between the effects of coffee and energy drinks are discussed. Watch for an update on the Boys’ Swim and Dive season. KnightTv will be broadcasting the conference meet on Saturday, March 13 at this link.

Learn how Prospect and District 214 plan to bring more students back to school in-person on April 5. Discover how the drivers education system in our community is evolving.

Learn about the athletes who are getting a rare chance to play two sports at the same time.


prospectornow.com

MARCH 12, 2021

NEWS 3

Village to honor second Black resident CHARLIE DAHLGREN Executive News Editor

I

n many ways, Frank White was no different from the nearly 1,400 people living in Arlington Heights when he first moved to town. He too dreamed of being a successful business owner and making a name for himself in the growing suburbs. But White differed from the entire population when he took his first step of the train to enter the town: he was Black, representing the village’s second ever resident of color. The Village of Arlington Heights is now honoring White’s life, recognizing the advances made by one of their first Black residents by putting together a display for the city hall. Currently, the Village is working with many groups including the Arlington Heights Historical Museum (AHHM) to gather artifacts, photos and newspaper clippings from early Arlington Heights history. The beginning of Arlington Heights dates back to 1836 when the Dunton family moved to Illinois from New England and purchased land from the federal government. What started as a farming community quickly grew into a suburb in the early 1850s after the railroad was built through town. William Dunton offered the railroad company the land for just $350 – worth almost $12,000 today. Once the track was laid, the small farming community had a direct channel to Chicago’s markets, making local vegetable farms much more lucrative. As the town grew in profits, it also grew in size with employees starting to take the train to Chicago for work in 1880. It was during this time of rapid expansion that White and his wife, Franny White first moved into town from Geneseo, Ill. Little is known about Frank’s early life before moving to town in 1888, but according to AHHM Museum Administrator Dan Schoeneberg, he likely recognized Arlington Heights’s upand-coming nature and decided it would be an ideal place to start his barber shop business. “[Frank], like a lot of residents, was trying to find a better situation in life,” Schoeneberg said. “At the time, [Arlington Heights] was a growing community, and it had the railroad, so there were business opportunities. As a barber by trade, he sees that as an opportunity and settles.” Immediately after moving to town, Frank began to make a name for himself by starting his first establishment in a series of barber shops he would eventually own around town called “The Star Chamber.” One of Frank’s most notable contributions to the town was his role in establishing the town’s first fire department in 1894. The department, which was a volunteer service until 1973, was one of the first in the country. They responded to emergencies in horse drawn pumper wagons carrying ladders and protective equipment, according to Schoeneberg. Frank was involved in the fire department for most of his life, serving through the 1940s. Known as the department’s historian, Frank kept detailed records of all emergencies, and thanks to his diligence, Arlington Heights has incredibly accurate historical records. Because of his hard work and continued devotion to the department, Frank was elected their first ever president and later honored with a lifetime membership to

PIONEER: Frank White poses for a picture in his fire department uniform. Before he became the first president of the department, White owned a series of influential barber shops around town. (photo courtesy of the Arlington Heights Historical Society) the Arlington Heights Fire Department upon his retirement. Frank was also a political advocate, and politics were always the topic of discussion for any patron who sat in his chair. Frank was always civically active and quickly became an important component of any local election. “He could have you in his barber chair for five minutes, and he’d be able to figure out how you were going to vote,” Arlington Heights Village Manager Randall Recklaus said. “... All the local politicians would always go to Frank because everyone got their hair cut so he could tell them who’s going to win the local elections. The [running] joke was that he would always be right.” However, considering that there were only four Democrats in town during much of Frank’s life – according to one of Arlington Heights’ eldest residents in a 1961 Daily Herald article reflecting on his life – predicting local elections likely didn’t take the same

911: Frank White (seated fifth from the right) shows off his new uniform alongside the 1904 fire department. (photo courtesy of the Arlington Heights Historical Society)

psychic touch it does now. Even though Frank was able to establish himself as an integral part of the Arlington Heights community, he certainly faced the racial discrimination that tarnished the 1800s. As an early suburban town, Arlington Heights was plagued with the negative attributes of white flight, and although no specific events are documented, Frank undoubtedly endured some fierce adversity. “The racial undercurrents of this country run deep and long,” Schoeneberg said. “Arlington Heights is a lot like other communities in the early part of the 20th century where it is being settled by white residents fleeing more urban centers.” Despite the odds being stacked against him, Schoeneberg believes that Frank’s hard working reputation and advances made to the town shielded him from at least some of the struggles other Black Americans were facing at the time.

Schoeneberg and Recklaus agree that it is important to hear these types of stories from all kinds of Arlington Heights residents. Schoeneberg emphasizes that Arlington Heights’s past should be embraced instead of ignored, and Recklaus finds it necessary to highlight the fact that there were Black pioneers helping to establish Arlington Heights along with the more well-known white ones like Asa Dunton, Charles Sigwalt and William Dunton. “We are the sum of all we have experienced,” Schoeneberg said. “A lot of times, particularly in voices of color, those stories and voices were not heard. So, it’s important to tell those stories and to have people of color help tell those stories as well to have an inclusive conversation about the past.” This display is just a step to encourage that conversation. Recklaus, who is overseeing the project, came across Frank’s story while working with a representative from the NAACP to ensure Arlington Heights is as inclusive as possible. Recklaus found Frank to be an “interesting character” in the early development of Arlington Heights and had the idea to honor him during Black History Month. “When we were looking for a local spin on Black History Month, we thought of kicking off with this way of honoring Mr. White and his contributions,’’ Recklaus said. “It’s a very interesting story, and we think it’s one that bears repeating … [Frank] should be someone who we’re all talking about here in town.” It’s important to note that Frank and Franny represent the second and third Black Arlington Heights residents. The first Black resident was a man named Balaam Lee, an emancipated slave brought to Arlington Heights by a Union soldier in 1862. Although he set an important precedent, Lee could neither read nor write and made little documented contributions to the town. According to Schoeneberg, Frank’s story is special because he was born a free man in Illinois and really made a name for himself as a successful business owner and public figure. Recklaus was particularly impressed when discovering Frank’s entrepreneurial spirit and success in the town despite the discrimination he likely faced. “The fact that he was a prominent businessman and a leader within the village in terms of the fire department over 100 years ago is obviously noteworthy,” Recklaus said. “[Especially] for someone who happens to be African American.” Since this project doesn’t necessarily fall into any one of the Village’s departments, Recklaus is teaming up with many, including the AHHM and the Arlington Heights planning department. “I’m curious to see where we can help as a museum,” Schoeneberg said. “As a community resource, the museum is part of the community at large and helps to preserve stories in all their forms to help us grow and learn and move forward together.” Through this collaboration, the Village hopes to forward their inclusivity, inspire younger citizens of color and honor a man whose contributions to the town still impact life today. “It’s kind of a fun project,” Recklaus said. “There are a lot of different ways we could go with it, so trying to rein it in where it’s something that can go on display is going to be a challenge.”

SEAT OF SUCCESS: In his first known photo, Frank White (center) sits among other local businessmen. (photo courtesy of the Arlington Heights Historical Society)


4 OPINION LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Drop off letters to the Prospector in the box in the library, in room 216 or email letters to prospectornow@ gmail.com. All letters must be signed. Limit letters to 400 words. The Prospector reserves the right to edit for style and length.

staff EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Elizabeth Keane Rick Lytle ASSOCIATE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Brendan Burke Mara Nicolaie COPY EDITORS Alyssa Schulz Olivia Kim NEWS EDITORS Charlie Dahlgren Marina Makropoulos OPINION EDITOR Genevieve Karutz FEATURES EDITORS Rachel Zurbuch Kailie Foley ENTERTAINMENT EDITORS Joey Delahunty Kevin Lynch SPORTS EDITOR Cameron Sullivan ONLINE SPORTS EDITOR Aidan Murray SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Abby McKenna VISUALS EDITORS Alexis Esparza Ondine Cella Grace He ADVISER Jason Block

MISSION STATEMENT The primary purpose of the Prospect High School Prospector is to report news and explain its meaning and significance to our readers and the community. We, The Prospector, hope to inform, entertain and provide an unrestricted exchange of ideas and opinions. The Prospector is published by students in Journalistic Writing courses. Some material is courtesy of MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service.

ADVERTISING For ad rates, call (847) 718 5376 (ask for Jason Block), email or write the Prospector, 801 West Kensington Rd., Mount Prospect, IL, 60056, prospectornow@gmail. com.

MARCH 12, 2021

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New machines raise discussions LGBT equity talks needed amid comments against hygiene products in boys’ bathrooms

Staff Editorial *name changed for confidentiality

J

unior *Jamie Robinson is a student that has preferred Prospect’s remote school and hybrid setting rather than regular in-person classes. For them, the ability to stay home from school and not have to deal with the stress of using the school bathroom has put them in their “best mental state in all of high school.” As Robinson puts it, most students cannot relate to their particular desire for remote BATHROOM BALANCE: A student uses a hygiene product machine in one of the school. They say that their need to stay home Prospect bathrooms. Starting this year, hygiene product machines have been added and attend school via Zoom strictly because of their bathroom concerns does sound un- to three of the boys’ bathrooms in order to ensure that all students — especially usual, and they argue that only a small per- those who are transgender — have equal access to the resources. This new addition centage of the student body can relate to this. is needed, but recent transphobic comments heard in classrooms after this addition This is because Robinson is transgender. indicate the need for LGBT equity discussions. (photo illustration by Alexis Esparza) “Every time I go to the bathroom or could not be happier about this change bechange for gym, I am uncomfortable more bathroom-use policy has been put in place cause as a transgender person that requires than words can describe,” Robinson said. with the addition of hygiene products to the “Trans people are so overly stigmatized that boys’ bathrooms, and the ability for trans- these products, they feel more welcome and accepted. the simple task of going to the bathroom gender students to use the bathroom of their identifying gender is a right that has been We, The Prospector, are thankful to the can’t even be stress free.” members of the Progressive Club and the For one, Robinson mentions the fact that around at Prospect for many years. “It’s just funny that people are suddenly Prospect administration for taking this nectransgender students have to “jump through all pissed off and angry about trans students essary step towards equity for transgender hoops” in order to use the bathroom of their identifying gender contributes to “a culture using the bathrooms they belong in,” Rob- students. inson said. “No one said anything until [the The addition of these hygiene prodin which trans people are always viewed as ucts will allow transgender students in the less than human.” They are not attacking machines] were put in because they didn’t Prospect’s bathroom rules here, and are know trans men were using the boys’ bath- boys’ bathrooms to feel more comfortable at school due to students like Robinson being merely referring to the rules in all aspects of rooms, and if that isn’t transphobic, I don’t know what is.” able to lessen their stress around the bathAmerican society that prevent transgender According to Associate Principal Kara rooms they use. people from accessing the proper bathrooms. Kendrick, these machines However, this implementation is only According to Princiwere placed in select boys’ one piece of the path forward. The adminispal Greg Minter, transbathrooms earlier this year tration should take it upon itself to increase gender students like Robafter the Progressive Club LGBT education for all students and staff in inson are allowed to use reached out with this re- order to combat the impersonal, transphobic the bathrooms of their quest. rhetoric described by Robinson and many identifying gender if the The idea to allow these other students after these machines were student and parents inmachines to be accessible to placed in the bathrooms. This education form the administration all students stemmed from could be an additional piece of our school’s of their transition. a drive that was being run equity discussions in order to ensure that Robinson is currently by the Progressive Club col- we are not only being educated on racial disin a stage of their transilecting hygiene products for crimination, but LGBT discrimination also. tion where they are usVoting results of The local food pantries and the In particular, English teacher Elizabeth ing they/them pronouns Prospector staff in WINGS Program — an orga- Joiner, a sponsor of the Progressive Club, because they have not nization that provides houssays that this sort of education could be benyet fully transitioned regards to this editorial. ing and integrated services eficial for students and staff to partake in as into a male. Robinson’s a means of ending hypersexualized biases birth sex is female, and their goal is to use to adults and children. As the Progressive Club members had against transgender people. he/him pronouns and identify as a male at a meeting to discuss the progress of their “Going to the bathroom and sexual asthe end of their transition. “I’ve told my family and some friends to drive, senior Progressive Club member sault aren’t the same thing,” Joiner said. Emily Laffey said that the group wanted to “This hypersexualized talk has plagued identify me with they/them pronouns and they just don’t get it,” Robinson said. “I don’t investigate whether or not the machines at trans people forever, so it’s just important Prospect were adequate in providing these for students to see past this and just let evblame them because I guess it is brand new eryone be comfortable.” to them, so I wish that our school in partic- products to students. After walking through different bathThis sort of disgusting rhetoric described ular would do more to educate on LGBTQ issues — especially when it comes to being rooms and discovering that many of these by Joiner is too common in the mindsets machines were broken, the club reached of our school’s student body, and Robinson transgender.” out to Kendrick in the hopes of making sure states that it has only gotten worse after Robinson is correct in saying that this these machines were input. sort of education would be beneficial for all these machines were adequately fixed. Kendrick quickly responded to this reRobinson and us both agree that this students to learn — particularly after comquest, and after it was done, the Progressive change was required, so the new step forments they heard from their own friends and Club wanted to take it one step further and ward is properly providing needed equity other students in recent weeks. They describe hearing more transphobic ensure that these hygiene products were ac- education to our students and staff that will face this culturally built-in transphobia comments after students discovered that cessible for all students. They once again reached out to Kendrick, head-on. machines for hygiene products have been Students like Robinson are afraid to be implemented into three boys’ bathrooms at and after she met with Minter and the other associate and assistant principals, the additheir true selves in our school and are avoidProspect. “I was in a Zoom breakout room and a tion of hygiene products to select boys’ bath- ing Prospect at all costs because of the stigrooms was quickly implemented. Robinson matization of transgender people, so it is up guy literally said ‘Wait, they’re going to let to our educators and faculty to enguys go into girl’s bathrooms? Ar*information courtesy of the sure that our school is a place where en’t they scared of the assault that US Transgender Survey all can feel safe and included. would take place?’” Robinson said. We are living in an age where “He didn’t know that I’m trans, but discussions on equity are thankfulthe fact that he said it in the first ly becoming more common in many place was so dehumanizing. And it’s sectors of society. not like I could say anything because Although this change is long overspeaking out would be another lonedue and transforming our school for ly uphill battle.” the better, there is still much to do This sort of hypersexualized in terms of education on the LGBT rhetoric to describe transgender stucommunity. dents is offensive, and it is crucial With that said, Robinson has one to cut these sorts of beliefs off at the simple message about the need for source by truly educating on the purincreased LGBT education. pose for these machines being imple“Please, for the love of God, just mented. let me be comfortable being me,” On top of this, Robinson likes to Robinson said. make it perfectly clear that no new

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8% of

transgender people have utIs

Due to bathroom avoidance.

this metric is 7.4% higher than the national average.


prospectornow.com

OPINION 5

MARCH 12, 2021

Childhood videotapes impact perception W

hen my older sister walked into my room a few months ago, I was immediately curious about the Sony Handycam camcorder in her hands because I thought it was new. She handed it to me and told me to peer through the hole at the top of the camera. As I looked inside, I met eyes with my younger self running across the beach in Eagle Harbor, Mich. My hands gripped tighter onto the camera and my heart opened to take in memories I had forgotten as time passed. I had no recollection of any videos being taken of my family when I was a child, so I was completely taken aback. I lost track of time as I observed my past with widened eyes. Soon my family decided to sit down and watch the videos all together on the TV in our family room. I could now hear each person’s voice from the videotapes — before the videos played with no audio. It felt as if I was living my childhood all over again. A wave of nostalgia blanketed my skin as I could now truly visualize my past for all that it was. It has felt A LENS OF MY OWN: Prospector Editor Kailie Foley holds her first camera waiting to film the world difficult for me to figure out who I through her own eyes. Growing up, she observed her family filming her. This caused her to want to am as a person, but those videos were reflect their actions and tell a story through a camera that is timeless. (photo courtesy of Breanna Foley) brought to my attention to remind me longer feel like time’s prisoner when I say goodbye to the memories I made own. Seeing my life recorded helps the of who I have always been. can hold time in my hands in the form inside. I could no longer fall asleep at past feel more real to me. At times, my I cannot help but feel distant from of a video. night while counting the flowers on inner critic can be forgetful of how far I the younger version of myself that I see The videos on our family camera the wallpaper of the room my sister have come when I act or talk in a way I in photographs that my parents took of and I shared. I could no longer climb am not proud of. Watching these videos date back prior to second grade me. The person I observe made it feel as if the child I — before we moved from Mount the magnolia tree draped over my roof living in photographs Prospect to Arlington Heights. This that had grown and reblossomed along have always been reached does not seem like the out to me and embraced is significant because the memories I with me. same person I am today. tend to remember about my childhood As I said goodbye to the memories me for all that I am even However, the child of my I had made in my old house, it felt like if I am still working on took place after I moved, and a lot of past still lives inside of them seem to be negative. This is why I was also saying goodbye to every part accepting myself. my heart today. seeing my childhood videos had a of myself that existed up until I moved. In a picture I can I can never flip The parts of myself that truly defined solely observe who I was strong impact on my heart and mind. through photographs in Before I watched a lot of the happier who I was that were reflected in distantly, but when I see a family photo album myself in a video I cannot memories that were filmed at my old recordings of my childhood suddenly without feeling a longing home, I mainly remember moments of felt as if they were no longer defined avoid that I have existed in my heart to remember my childhood that have made me feel inside of me as I met new people and in past moments. I see the memories that I look out of place. Videotapes showing an new surroundings. in the moments KAILIE FOLEY beauty at. But seeing videos of honest reflection of my identity had In a new place, it was hard to that were solely my family my childhood makes me Features Editor and I making every day been stored away when I moved and truly find joy in all of the actions that feel like I can no longer different with our laughs the darkest moments of my childhood shaped my personality at the time like avoid that the younger latched onto my mind and told me who listening to music, creating narratives and thoughts. version of myself has always been a with my sister and talking to everyone Watching and hearing such simple I was. part of me. Time has passed and I have When I changed schools and left around me out of curiosity. I felt yet impactful moments of my past grown, but I hold the child I once was my first home, it felt like I had to isolated. helps me feel like I have a stronger inside of me and I always will. As I looked at new houses with my grasp on the present. It can be hard move on and start over completely. As My life is constantly playing before to allow myself to be present. But I no I said goodbye to my house, I had to family, a part of my heart felt empty. me through the eyes of others and my

No house seemed to feel like a home to me. No parts of the house mirrored the home that was seen behind my smiling childhood face in any video I watched. I remember circling the room I now call my own, walking inside of it, and questioning why every wall looked lifeless the first time I saw the house. I stepped inside of the bathroom in the basement of the house and the mirror on the wall immediately fell to the ground and shattered. It was as if that was the last defining moment out of many that collectively told me I did not belong where I was standing. Photographs of my life along with all of my belongings were moved in boxes from the home I grew up in to the house that forcefully pried my mouth open and made my lips form the word “home” unwillingly when describing it. I felt just like a human photograph. I was stuck in a single moment in time in a quiet place and it felt like I was not moving. Everyone was observing me and seeing me in a different light. I could not control that people were flipping the pages of my own photo album before my eyes, because I held onto my heart and stayed stagnant. I could not pause my life and avoid change, I could not rewind my life and go back to the past, and I could not fast forward to a happier moment. I remember crying with a heavy heart after visiting Dryden Elementary School for the first time, and begging my parents to go back to my old school. I knew it would be hard to connect with people again in the same way I had before at St. Raymond School. The sudden change of moving caused me to say goodbye even to the people in all of my old childhood videos.

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Criticism of social justice warriors sparks conflict There was always a bully in middle or elementary school — the type of kid who tried to push all of your buttons or knock you down. This egotistical behavior is driven by a desperate need to build themselves up and feel superior to others. People feel even more inclined to be judgmental when they can hide behind a screen, leading to the dangerous world of cyberbullying on social media. I am not the biggest fan of social media because it seems like a popularity contest to see who can get the most likes and followers. Admittedly, it does have a purpose of staying connected with friends, family and old colMATTHEW leagues. With the influO’BRIEN ence of platforms Staff Writer like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat growing by the day, some individuals take it upon themselves to promote their personal ideas for extreme change. These individuals are called social justice warriors or more commonly, SJWs. SJW started as a positive term for describing people like Martin Luther King Jr., a man who wanted to see real social change in America. Today, the term SJW is an insult or has a negative connotation for an individual who promotes social justice for the sole purpose of gaining followers on social media rather than caring about the cause. SJW “mobs,” as they have been appro-

priately dubbed online, look for prey like a hungry pack of wolves. The SJWs promote social progressivism, cultural inclusivity and feminism. While the topics they promote are important, the SJWs’ goal is simply to stir the pot. For example, the Disney Star Wars sequel trilogy was panned among fans for under-developing characters, lack of direction, lack of creativity and having a “Mary Sue protagonist.” Head of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, was hired by George Lucas himself after he sold his legacy to Disney. Kennedy had been part of many of his films like “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” prior to the promotion. After Kennedy was pictured in a shirt from Nike in 2017 with the phrase “The Force is Female,” many thought she was pushing a feminist agenda. Almost as if she was implying heroines never existed in Star Wars until Rey, the heroine in “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” That simply is not the case, as Leia wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. If you are wondering about Jedi, Ahsoka Tano made her first appearance seven years before “The Force Awakens” in the “Clone Wars” cartoon series. The galaxy was not the only place for SJWs to go over to the dark side; comic book characters also had their turn in 2020. SJWs were comparing the new Harley Quinn movie and “Sonic the Hedgehog Movie.” They said fans would be excited for another DC movie and a female lead on the big screen. Before “The Sonic Movie” even came out, Harley Quinn fans tried to sabotage its release by claiming Sonic was homophobic and racist, which is far from the truth. Online, the SJWs were promoting Harley Quinn, an R-rated movie, as a family movie

GOTTA GO FAST: Social justice warriors compared “The Sonic The Hedgehog Movie” in a negative light to the new Harley Quinn movie in a positive light. Before this movie was released, some Harley Quinn fans and social justice warriors claimed that the character was homophobic and racist. (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) and bashing a cartoon-based movie. These claims are just flat out false all across the board. The SJWs wanted a little revenge after Paramount listened to the fans regarding the original design of Sonic deviating too far from his classic look. SJWs will go out of their way to attack the little guy if it is not what they like, which is what happened to Top Hat Studio’s “Sense: A CyberPunk Ghost Story,” an indie game for PSVita, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The game isn’t for children by any stretch of the imagination as it is a stylized horror action game. The protagonist of the game has very unrealistically large breasts. The SJWs are taking this as an offense against women. The developer’s Twitter account received five pages of tweets including: “You will have to know regarding your misogynistic ‘game,’ I already contacted Nintendo of your sexist, pornographic game. How this got ‘approved’ in the first place is a mystery.” All of these posts were attacking Nintendo for green-lighting “offensive enter-

tainment” that will ruin girls’ self-esteem. The game is rated M by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, so most parents wouldn’t allow kids to play it. The claim of misogyny is just an extreme reaction. Yes, women are overly sexualized sometimes, but if the character designer wanted to draw the character that way, that’s their prerogative, and the consumers choose whether to buy the game or not. In summary, SJWs are trying to grow their political platform by changing the way we are entertained. If everything is about the message and not the story, we are missing out on the connections to these characters. The world in these stories seem to be centered around the character instead of the characters finding their way in the world. The late comics legend Stan Lee once said, "The pleasure of reading a story and wondering what will come next for the hero is a pleasure that has lasted for centuries and, I think, will always be with us.” Sorry Stan, that pleasure is dying.


6 IN-DEPTH

prospectornow.com

MARCH 12, 2021

lowering the

Knights of the White Castle Lack of diversity among faculty, staff creates disconnect BRENDAN BURKE Associate Editor-in-Chief

A

ccording to senior Olivia Sibu, Prospect has a notorious nickname that has been around for years. It is not funny or moral, but Sibu has

heard it said by students, parents and other members of the Prospect community. In fact, she remembers her peers at Friendship Junior High School referring to Prospect by this name when asking Sibu about the high school she would be attending. Sibu was going to the White Castle. “As a person of color, coming to a school called the White Castle immediately makes me and most other students of color feel like we don’t belong,” Sibu said. Sibu does not feel welcome attending Prospect because of the fact that she is an Indian immigrant in a school with a 75% white student population and a staff that is 88% white. In particular, Sibu states that this lack of diversity in the Prospect staff is a major issue because students of color such as her often find themselves being unable to turn to their teachers with their very personal, specific problems that tie into their racial identities. For example, there are no Indian teachers at Prospect, so Sibu never feels as if she can turn to her teachers for advice about her issues at home. “No white teacher is going to be able to get the concerns of my home life,” Sibu said. “Even on my first day of school I told my mom that I couldn’t take a home lunch because I knew that I would stand out … [and] the food I would eat would cause people to ask so many uncomfortable questions.” Sibu’s story is not a unique one, and these instances of standing out as the only person of color in the classroom are reasons why Principal Greg Minter has been working

cartoon by Mara Nicolaie

to increase equity education for students and staff and has reached out to more people of color when job opportunities at Prospect open up. According to Minter, this sort of outreach is the most effective way to work towards diversifying the Prospect staff. While Minter states that staff diversity is important, Teaching and Learning Facilitator Joyce Kim, a Korean American teacher, finds that the current equity discussions and seminars being administered for students and staff are the most crucial piece of making Prospect a place where students and teachers of color can feel more included. Kim feels this way because up until two years ago, she never had any equity education and was not one hundred percent racially conscious in her classroom because of this. After attending an equity workshop through District 214, Kim learned about things such as microaggressions, and it truly opened her eyes up to the struggles faced by students of color each day. Microaggressions are indirect, subtle or unintentional forms of discrimination against members of a marginalized group, and Kim states that the most common occurrence of these in the classroom is when the topic of racism is brought up, and “all eyes suddenly turn to the Black or brown kid.” These sorts of marginalizing scenarios that are all too common at Prospect made Kim excited to help lead the equity initiatives being enacted by Minter. One which stands out to her was when last year’s junior class had a school day where they all watched the film “The Hate U Give.” This movie follows the life of a young Black teenager that witnesses the death of her best friend at the hands of a police officer and uses this experience as an opportunity to speak up against systemic racism. Along with Kim, Dean’s Assistant Edward Cleveland, a Black staff member, was also active in this discussion with students. “I’m open to help others that are not aware [of how racism impacts people of color], but ... I’m reliving a trauma, which is kind of challenging at times,” Cleveland said. “[So] I need to decelerate and be mindful of what I am trying to put out for the sake of the kids who don’t understand but also [for] those who do and need a person who looks like them and understands [their problems with racism] to come to.”

*Racial Makeup of Prospect’s Faculty and Staff

88

about % are white About 12% are people of color *estimated information courtesy of Principal Greg Minter Cleveland was well aware of the lack of diversity when he walked into Prospect, and he is cognizant of the fact that many students of color struggle to find themselves feeling included in a school nicknamed the “White Castle.” With this lack of understanding, Cleveland hopes that his role as a Black staff member can help all students, regardless of their skin color, in any way. Kim echoes Cleveland’s sentiment here and finds that her role as a Korean teacher is to provide students of color the chance to see themselves as “anything they want to be.” Throughout her entire educational career, Kim has never had any Korean teachers. In fact, she has never had any Asian American teachers. Because of this, Kim had a hard time seeing herself as a teacher one day.

“[Not having Asian American teachers] impacted me [because] I didn’t really see myself as a teacher,” Kim said. “... I couldn’t visualize myself in a teaching role, and when I chose teaching, people in my community and my family would say ‘Why would you do that? That sounds crazy.’” Although Kim is providing that image to students of color who feel left out, Sibu has never had a teacher of color at Prospect and argues that there is still more to be done in terms of staff diversity. Sibu states that equity education is important, but staff diversity is of equal importance as well. “You could fit every teacher of color [at Prospect] in like one classroom,” Sibu said. “It’s things like that that make the White Castle scary for people like me.”


prospectornow.com

IN-DEPTH 7

MARCH 12, 2021

e drawbridge Racial Breakdown of Arlington Heights

81.1% White

9.9% Asian

5.6% Hispanic

1.5% BLACK

1.9%

Other Racial Breakdown of Mount Prospect

65.7% White

17.3% Hispanic

12.3% Asian

2.6% BLACK

2.1% Other

Addressing dynasty of discrimination Community takes first steps to aid diversity OLIVIA KIM Copy Editor

Senior Grace Ko would normally be pleased to receive a compliment like anyone else; however, when it attacks her race, the comment is far from welcome. An older white man at Ko’s work told her that her eyes were very “beautiful foreign, round eyes” that he had “never seen in another Asian person.” She was at a loss for words, but she forced the word “Thanks” through her lips. Inside, she was disappointed and disheartened that she was being perceived as beautiful because she looked more white. “That comment really made me realize the microaggression behind his idea that Euro-centric features are the beauty standards and how belittling that is to Asians,” Ko said. She wasn’t surprised that this happened, and she did not think that the man said that to intentionally insult her, but she still felt that his words were filled with ignorance. “People are born into certain lifestyles and born into neighborhoods where it’s just predominantly white, so they’re never exposed to different ... [people], cultures and different places,” Ko said. “That’s the main reason why people don’t open their eyes to the stuff going on in the world ... because they’re never exposed to it or they themselves don’t experience it.” While Arlington Heights (AH) and Mount Prospect’s (MP) demographics have changed greatly within the last 10 years, there is still more that can be done to encourage diversity in these communities, according to AH Mayor Tom Hayes. AH started contracting with the firm Kaleidoscope to push their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Project. On Feb. 22, the AH government received the final report from Kaleidoscope on recommendations and adjustments to be made to pursue their goals outlined in the report. Hayes said his goal as mayor was to “maintain the reputation of Arlington Heights.” To him, both the AH and the MP area are family communities, and he wants to uphold that by making steps with the

Village to increase diversity in the area. “What we want to make sure that we do is that [people of color] feel welcome here,” Hayes said. “Over the course of the next year … or so it is [our goal] to try to break down any remaining barriers just to make sure everyone understands that this is a place that you should feel welcome [in].” While AH is taking these steps, it will be a long process due to the deep history of residential segregation in the Chicagoland area, according to AP U.S. History and former AP Human Geography teacher Michael Sebestyen. In fact, USA Today ranked Chicago as the third most segregated city in the U.S. This is a result of numerous factors such as the history of de facto and de jure segregation, the use of property taxes to fund public e d u c at i on , the Great Migration of Black people to major urban centers and more. Sebestyen believes that diversity should be the end goal, but he notes that the U.S. is not an isolated case with its challenges surrounding its history of segregation and racial tensions. According to Sebestyen, diversity is not something that can be achieved through one or a few quick actions, but will be the result of a community and government’s consistent actions striving towards it. “Just putting Band-Aids onto situations [and] trying to make quick fixes doesn’t always work; it takes a lot more in-depth process. And that’s been a struggle for us as a society,” Sebestyen said. “[If policy change were to be made], it’s going to lead to people having to potentially make real compromise and real sacrifice.” Sebestyen grew up attending a predominantly white all-boys Roman Catholic school and didn’t see a more diverse population until college. He thinks that awareness of others’ situations and perspectives is important for self-growth and that gaining that awareness will not come by staying in one’s environment.

“I think every time that bubble that I grew up in, that I live in, grows, and I get more experience with people that don’t look like me, don’t act like me, are different than me,” Sebestyen said. “[That guides me to being] better ... hopefully, as a person, as an educator and as a parent [while] also recognizing my own faults within that process.” 1995 Prospect alum and current Prospect parent Tom Riesing has lived in the AH and MP area for over 40 years. Growing up in the area, he didn’t realize how homogeneous it was until he went to school at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Riesing decided to move back to AH after college because of his fond memories of growing up here and its close location to his office in Chicago where he works as a graphic designer.

in bias education as part of their strategy to “welcome all.” To pursue this initiative, Kaleidoscope recommended the implementation of community outreach programs, workshops and more representation from community members of diverse populations possibly in the form of an ad-hoc committee. Despite the Village’s efforts towards their DEI Project, Riesing and Ko think that AH and MP should take more direct actions with it because they weren’t aware of it and didn’t think that diversity was necessarily promoted. Additionally, they both agree that it would be advantageous for these city governments to hire more people of color as a part of encouraging diversity. “We all can do a better job of making sure that the people in power or in employment within the city should be more representative of the population,” Riesing said. Evidently, the consulting group specifically recommends that the Village should go further than creating a government body representative of the current AH population and take the opportunity to make it reflect the community they “want to be in the future.” The report pointed to research that shows how organizations with gender and/or ethnic diversity outperform those that are not diverse. One mentioned finding showed that an ethnically diverse organization can outperform up to 35% over their counterpart. This leads the consulting firm to recommend that the Village should include diversity and inclusion as a management and performance objective in annual reviews while also employing new hiring policies that widen the pool of applicants. Kaleidoscope also noted that they are pleased with the overall government’s sentiments surrounding the willingness to make these changes towards DEI instead of reacting with “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Because of these recommendations made by the consultant, Ko hopes that there will be tangible improvements that show in the area with more people becoming more aware and open-minded. “I definitely do think it is possible to end this cycle of racism that’s always been a part of our society,” Ko said. “I feel like once we start to get past the [limited] views of our own little racial bubbles, we can develop ourselves into more mature people that can understand each other for the better.”

Well, there’s diversity in the world, right? So, I think it’s not fair for us or [for] our kids to grow up in an area or community where they only see the same type of person.”

- Tom Riesing, Prospect parent Even though he does enjoy living here and being able to raise his children in this community, he does wish that the area was more diverse so that his kids could realize the benefits of exposure to broader perspectives. “Well, there’s diversity in the world, right? So, I think it’s not fair for us or [for] our kids to grow up in an area or community where they only see the same type of person; I think diversity is incredibly important,” Riesing said. Kaleidoscope reported that while the population of AH is 81.1% white, 92% of the Village’s 435 employees are white. The report points out that AH does have policies that align with the Equal Employment Opportunity Act; however, those are just a baseline, and the firm suggested that AH should take more steps to proactively address the issue. The Village of AH also invested

Read about the life and new display of one of Arlington

Heights’s first Black Residents on

PAge 3


8 OPINION

MARCH 12, 2021

prospectornow.com

Speaking out three years later

cause these phrases soundFast and the Furious’ — a Reading that, even now, gives me shivers. ed all too familiar. f***ing terrible idea.” I think back to how hopeless I felt back then, I believe that the I have noticed posters and it’s just really sad. I was crying myself to “ ’ll find another girl if you don’t.” way consent was disin the bathrooms that sleep every night because of him, and yet, I As I read this text on my phone cussed in my health talk about healthy still referred to him as a “perfect boyfriend.” during my freshman year, I was at a class was impactand unhealthy reWriting this story was not a way for me Featured throughout loss for words. My mouth dropped open, I ful. However, I lationships. And to bash teenage boys and say that they don’t took a second to regroup and, through my think it was too each time I’m dry- know what consent is or don’t respect girls; this page are shirts tears, typed back, “No, I want to.” late. By the time ing my hands, my my current boyfriend is the most respectful with quotes from I didn’t want to. But I did it because I I took that class, eyes wander over boy I’ve ever met, and I know that many of was scared, pressured, feeling stuck. I’m not he had already come Prospect graduates to the “abusive” col- them exist. going to further elaborate on what “it” was and gone from my life. By where I am reminded Writing this story was not a way of me who wrote about their ofumn because it truly doesn’t matter now. It never the time I took that class, I him. asking for pity. This story is about my own even occurred to my 14-year-old mind that already had knowledge of own experiences with Some of the bullet points growth and nothing else. the boy I thought was cute and nice would stories of my peers being under this section include I wanted to write this story to be my own abusive relationships want to make me feel that way. forced, pressured or maone partner denying their big sister three years later and to be anyone Coercion is defined as the practice of per- nipulated into sexual acts or sexual assault. actions are abusive, being else’s for whoever may be reading. I find suading someone to do something by using — more stories than I could controlling, isolating their comfort in knowing that I will never have to (quotes courtesy of force or threats. Sexual assault occurs when count on my hands. By the partner from others and step foot in that basement again — the place Jessica Caccavallo) a person is forced, coerced or manipulated time I took that class, I was communicating in a hurtful where he stole my innocence from me. into any unwanted sexual activity. A free- almost done healing from or threatening way. I am here now, about to graduate high ly-given, enthusiastic tone of voice is an ob- the damage that had been Besides the larger is- school in a few short months, and his actions vious contrast to a hesitant, quiet “yes” that done to me. sue with consent, he was did not ruin me as I once thought they might. is said out of fear — fear of what might hapBut when Jessica Caccaextremely controlling. He I am stronger and more empathetic than ever pen if they say no. vallo, an employee of the Northwest Center would get mad at me for seeing my friends, after going through what I did. The tears I I was terrified of him breaking up with Against Sexual Assault, came in with the and he never apologized or admitted that he shed because of him only fuel the wisdom me. You may be reading this thinking, “Why T-shirts, I lost it. was in the wrong when he was. that I hope to pass on to whoever will listen. wouldn’t she just break up with him? Why Caccavallo brings the Clothesline Project By far, the worst part was the effect this Don’t get me wrong, the healing process would she do it if she didn’t want to?” You to all District 214 schools plus about 10 toxic relationship had on my friendships. was by no means easy. When I started datmay even think I was stupid other schools in the area. My friends and I were all about 14 years old, ing again, I had to reassess everything that I for staying with him It is a national proj- so I cannot really blame them for not having thought I knew about a typical relationship for another eight ect that features a empathy for my situation at the time. I was dynamic. There are times today where I get months before I display of shirts so isolated, and the only time I got to see my flashbacks to some of the trauma he caused, had the courage designed by friends was at our common activity. but that does not mean I have gone backEvery word you said chipped to break it off. survivors of They were so upset with me for not hang- wards in my progress. Those are away at my self confidence. physical, ing out with them, but they had no idea what It’s OK to cry, and there is no “right” your opinemotional was going on behind the scenes. This made amount of time to recover from an abusive ions to or verbal it even more difficult for me to walk away — relationship. There is no “right” amount of have, but, You put these scars on my a b u s e , not knowing if I would have friends to fall time to open up about your experience with upon all sexual back on afterward. Thankfully, they were sexual assault. wrist. You gave me crippling of my assault, understanding, and I’m still friends with And if today you’re where I was three anxiety. You spoke the words self-reflecdomestic most all of them to this day. years ago: tion, I no lonviolence, atEven if you can’t relate personally to the You are so much more than what has that made me question my ger think of myself tacks due to sexual content of this column, there is one thing been done to you. worth. as stupid for what haporientation, etc. at any you should take away from it. Vigilance. pened three years ago. age. Pay attention to your friends’ behavI was insecure and The shirts are dis- iors to see if there are any significant You never apologized... you way too attached to a played for students to changes in the way they dress or boy who didn’t care pass me every day... not Thanks for all the sleepread while sounds that speak. Pay attention to how often about consent. Once I represent statistics of they see people other than their less nights after the night knowing the infinite damage succumbed to his mahow often someone be- boyfriend or girlfriend. you scarred me for life. nipulative tactics the you’ve done to me. comes a victim of one Most importantly, though, first time, the disconI’m even afraid to kiss my of the aforementioned pay attention to their cry for nect between my mind situations play in the help if there is one. current girlfriend because Sincerely, the girl who will and my body became background. CaccaIt was damn near impossible of what you did. You increasingly apparent vallo estimates that to admit to my friends that my relanever forget. each time. My body was didn’t just hurt me; you three to five Prospect tionship with him wasn’t normal. And no longer mine, and I students write their even when they did ask me questions, caused me to be silent was trapped in a vicious own shirt per semes- I would come up with any lie I could to all these years. But when cycle of feeling powerter, and this project make it seem like it was okay. less against him. you tried and almost has been coming to the school for about 10 I even started lying to myself about it. It is important to note that his toxic be- years. A journal entry I wrote dated Feb. 9, 2018 succeeded in raping me, havior did not begin right away. I would Writing my own shirt was a big part of reads: you created an unfixable be crazy to want to date someone who was my healing process. Of course, it came with “I mean, he basically forced me to … mean to me when I first met them; he waited some tears, but I wanted to feel heard, and I hole, one that’s just now To be honest, I was making too big a deal a few months until I was attached before his wanted others to read it and know that they of being scared of [it] in the first place … sucking away all my will manipulation began. were not alone. It’s so hard to leave, and I’m not going to to live. In those 10 months I was with him, I atAdditionally, Caccavallo discusses con- because he’s like a perfect boyfriend othtempted to break up with him on four sepa- sent with ages as young as preschool. Obvi- erwise.” rate occasions before I actually went through ously, teaching consent to young children with it. But each time I failed to walk away, it is not about sex, but rather about having a only plunged me deeper into my attachment choice of who they want to hug, who can hug to him; his apologies only occurred when he them, etc. According to Caccavallo, consent knew I was serious about breaking up. regarding sex becomes a topic of discussion These apologies convinced me that he had in sixth grade. changed or that he felt remorse, but the final In eighth grade, I had the first sex talk in straw was when I found out he had cheated health class where I learned about STIs and on me. After the official breakup, I was condoms. That was it. Consent is left to deal with both the heartequally as important in engagbreak and newfound ownering in safe sexual activity ship of my body. as birth control is which Dating someone does is why it needs to be disnot give them complete cussed earlier than high access to your body school. Health teacher to use as they please. Cristen Sprenger said Consent is vital in evthat when her son ery sexual encounter, eswas in kindergarten, he pecially within a relationship. brought home a permission Valid consent cannot be given slip for discussing consent in through threatening to break up his classroom. This gives me with someone, using guilt tachope. tics or just getting angry with “The access to pornograthem. phy [can be as early as age 10], His infamous, reoccurring so that’s fifth grade,” Caccapitch to me was that I “owed vallo said. “Kids know about him” because he bought me food sexual stuff, but they only and drove me around. Though learn about it from the these manipulative tactics may result in internet, their friend or their cousin reluctant agreement from the partner being [which is] not as accurate as it needs pressured, this isn’t a green light. to be … In pornography, there’s not The following year in my second semes- an idea of consent in the beginning; ter health class, the topic of consent was you just click the video, and it starts.” CONSENT IS LIKE A CUP OF TEA: The video “Consent Tea” is watched by all brought up and discussed over the course of As activist Jameela Jamil so beautiPHS health classes during the unit that addresses sexual assault. This video explains a few days. I sat silently in my chair, reading fully stated at the 2019 MAKERS Conference: the concept of consent simply; you wouldn’t force someone to drink tea if they didn’t the slide that contained all phrases that do “I believe that learning sex from porn is like not constitute consent, and I choked up be- learning how to drive from watching ‘The want to, so why would you do that with sex? (cartoon by Mara Nicolaie)

Anonymous Guest Columnist

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He said he loved me, but did that really make it okay?


prospectornow.com

FEATURES 9

MARCH 12, 2021

Mindsets, expectations lead to cheating KEVIN LYNCH

Townsend said. “It almost … doesn’t feel like it’s an actual test this year, [more] like it’s a homework assignment.” Entertainment Editor School psychologist Dr. Jay Kyp-Johnson *name changed for confidentiality also thinks that cheating is wrong in every s a freshman playing badminton situation, but he knows from experience that in the fresh-soph 2019 Confer- not every person perceives cheating in the ence Championship, junior *Ally same way morally. “People are different in terms of how Townsend witnessed the opposing team add much they have to force themselves to do two unearned points to their score. Unable to prove to the officials that the other team things,” Kyp-Johnson said. “If you’re [attending] in-person [learning], and you’re gowas lying, she and her partner had no choice ing to a classroom, and you’re amongst other but to continue playing, leading to a second kids doing the same things, it’s … a little easplace finish instead of first. ier to get into [learning].” JV badminton and JV girls’ tennis coach According to Kyp-Johnson, another possiLindsay Gibbel says that while cheating in ble psychological reason for behaviors like badminton and tennis is a very rare event, cheating is the idea of superego lacunae, it is usually much easier to gain dishonest where a person’s general set of morals simpoints in those sports than others due to the ply do not apply to certain actions. lack of line judges and scorekeepers. He made the comparison of cheating to “You’re not going to score a goal in soccer anxiety — a situation where the person may without the referee having a say in whether start small, but eventually it may begin to it was a goal or not,” Gibbel said. “[In] tennis leak out into other aspects of their life. and badminton, it’s you and your opponent “It’s a pattern that somebody can get and that’s it.” into,” Kyp-Johnson said. “We don’t want to Though Prospect has a zero-tolerance teach people to do that; we want to teach peopolicy for this kind of behavior, Gibbel says ple to be rational, considerate, thoughtful, many schools have a reputation for repeat- [to] think about the consequences [and to] edly making bad calls, and she tries to dis- think about whether they want to face those courage dishonest behavior by not playing consequences or not.” athletes that make questionable calls. In response to cheating concerns, SpanTownsend says that, as ish teacher Ryan Schultz shifted to a player, the best she can more open-ended and project-based do is to report the behavassessments, forcing students to apior and just “get over it” ply the language instead of simply because there is often no giving them questions that can proof to substantiate one’s of Prospect students be bypassed entirely with the use claims. While Townsend of online translators. is often miffed by cheaters admitted to cheating While he likes to believe the because cheating leads to this schoool year best when thinking about the acuneven matches, there is *information courtesy of a tions of his students, he knows another area where she Prospector survey of 99 students from past encounters that there is less apprehensive about will always be cheating, and many studies cheating: school. done during the midst of remote testing mirDue to the health risks involved with ror this. COVID-19, roughly 1,500 students learn and At Prospect, 52.5% of students admitted take tests from home, while a group of about to cheating at some point during the current 600 others attend school in-person. Due to school year, according to a Prospector surthe relatively limited supervision at home, vey of 99 students. many remote students can capitalize off of That being said, Kyp-Johnson believes the opportunity to submit work that is not that the unique circumstances of the pantheir own or use resources that would be demic have also contributed to student prohibited otherwise. dishonesty outside of giving them greater Townsend, who attends school remote- means. The usual pace of learning, he said, ly, said she does not cheat often and has decreased during digital learning to better learned to do so less and less as the year accommodate for students adjusting to the has progressed. Still, while she feels guilty new environment. and thinks that cheating is morally wrong, Now, as more people have become used to Townsend can’t deny that the temptation the new way of learning, expectations have to cheat can be strong, especially when she returned closer to where they would be typfeels tempted to look up a small detail that ically, and, according to Kyp-Johnson, stushe forgot. dents can fall behind quickly. “I feel like it’s just second nature almost Townsend feels it’s especially easy to get to just be like, ‘Well I have Google in the behind when she attends classes via Zoom. next tab over so I could just … look it up,’” “I feel like procrastinating is a big thing

A

52.5%

CHEATERS NEVER PROSPER: A student struggles with school pressure as the threat of cheating looms over them. According to a Prospector survey of 99 students, 52.5% of students admitted to cheating at some point during this school year. (cartoon by Grace He) just because … you’re staring at a screen for … six hours a day, and then after that you have to do more homework staring at a screen for another four or five hours, so it’s hard to … get the … energy and the motivation to do it,” Townsend said. Additionally, Kyp-Johnson believes students shouldn’t feel pressured to get As in classes that they don’t plan on pursuing and that it is more practical to let students focus on more classes that are important to them instead of stretching themselves thin. “Basically, people tend to cheat more when their backs are against the wall, and they can’t do it all,” Kyp-Johnson said. “Prospect’s kind of a bad environment for that because we do tend to … encourage people to take the hardest possible classes they can and … [that’s] not conducive of people following every single rule.” Schultz says that when he was a student, pressure looked far different from today. “I wasn’t expected to really do much with my life … so I didn’t have the pressures of trying to get into a college or anything like that,” Schultz said. “So, I didn’t really think cheating was all that necessary because I honestly didn’t really necessarily care as much about getting into a specific college or getting a certain [GPA].” While Schultz is passionate about students honestly completing work and learning and applying material, as a parent, he also un-

derstands the demand students may face. In a community with many high-achieving students and parents, Schultz says, negative comparisons can arise. However, he is often frustrated when he discovers a student has been cheating, and makes the comparison of that discovery to the process of mourning. “It’s almost like a grieving process because … you have so much trust and respect for a student, and then when they break your trust, you feel … a little bit of anger, a little bit of disappointment,” Schultz said. “How you figure that out and reflect is part of the craft of being a teacher … and how to respond and frame it more in a positive … way, rather than getting so negative and attacking students [is the goal].” Despite this, Schultz agrees with Kyp-Johnson that it’s important not to let grades obscure the purpose of education. He feels an important facet of being a teacher is to remove stressors and give students the confidence to honestly take tests. “I think … that students get so hung up on, ‘I need to know the answers; I need this to be successful,’” Schultz said. “But, the best part about education is not trying to cover certain amounts of information — it’s discovering information, and the way you do that is by failing, by being wrong and then figuring out how you can adjust to improve yourself.”

Students, teachers adapt to unique AP circumstances RACHEL ZURBUCH Executive Features Editor When sophomore Sara Maggio started taking AP Chemistry this year, she was nervous at first since she decided not to take Honors Chemistry, the traditional option among sophomores. However, Maggio decided to take the class to challenge herself. Last year, she thought Honors Biology didn’t challenge her enough, so she wanted to take this step. Because of this, though, she was struggling to grasp the concepts and especially with this year’s circumstances, she knew she had to change her learning methods. Maggio has slowly been preparing for her AP test this spring by teaching herself not to rely on notes, despite being allowed to use them in class. “I’ve come to realize that, yes, I have my notes, but I actually need to learn the content,” Maggio said. “I can’t rely on my notes otherwise I’m going to be clueless.” Maggio is in the same boat as many AP students: struggling with how much content they know in their AP classes and knowing where they stand for the AP test. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in AP classes had to adapt to less instructional time, online schooling and different teaching methods. Prospect decided to administer AP tests all in-person at the original times and dates. Students have to be given an exemption to not take them in this manner. Maggio was hoping to take the AP test at the end of May, later than the original start date, so she has more time to prepare in her classes. She is also in AP World History, another content-based AP class that she knows needs to cover a lot of information.

COLLEGE BOARD 2021 AP TESTING OPTIONS * OPTION 1:

- early May - all in-person testing

OPTION 2:

- late May - in-person & virtual testing

OPTION 3:

- early June - in-person & virtual testing

* Prospect’s chosen option She thought that the later start date would give both her teacher and classmates more needed time. However, after finding out Prospect’s decision, she is happy that she gets to take her test in-person but still wishes students had a choice. Since all non-seniors will be in school later, she thinks the later dates would work better. Senior Logan Hiskes, however, preferred to take the AP tests as close to the original dates as possible. He believes that most seniors would not want to take their tests after they graduate and since there is still a built in review for most classes, he doesn’t see a problem with the original test date. Hiskes is currently taking AP Statistics, AP Psychology, AP Spanish and AP U.S. Government and Politics. Because of the struggles of this year, he had to adapt to new learning methods in his classes. Hiskes is currently going to school in-person, which he enjoys, because he stays more focused at school than at home. At the beginning of the year, he explained that it was pretty hard to adjust his mindset, especially since he was remote. He believes many students struggle with consistently

putting in effort for their AP classes and knowing where they stand for the test because they haven’t had as many tests and quizzes this year. “A lot of people aren’t really sure where they stand,” Hiskes said. “They don’t know if they know what they should know or there’s gaps in their knowledge.” However, Hiskes does like the resources given by his teachers and the College Board. For example, in AP Psychology, his class started review tests that are given for homework and are 100 questions of review. He wishes that all teachers would do similarly and give material from previous units. Despite the struggles students face this year, he actually believes that Prospect students are at an advantage compared to other students around the country because of the teachers they have. He thinks that Prospect teachers will be able to prepare them more compared to other schools because they know how to teach AP classes really well. Both Maggio and Hiskes agree that multiple choice is a worry for AP tests since they’ve had less multiple choice practice. AP English Language and Composition

(AP Lang) teacher Matt Love is going to continue with multiple choice practice for the AP test this spring in hopes to provide his students with a similar level of preparedness. He has confidence that his students will be ready to take the test then and do well. Last year, he explained that the students did just as well on the modified version of the test as the regular version. Since AP Lang is a skills-based test, his students have been working on forming those specific skills all year. Because they have less instructional time, the AP Lang teachers adapted the curriculum a little bit. They didn’t want to cut the exam prep they usually do during second semester, so they adjusted their curriculum by shortening “The Grapes of Wrath” chapters. “By prioritizing and making some decisions with our context this year, we’ve been able to make up for our loss of instructional time,” Love said. “So, we’re not shortchanging the actual instruction in the skills.” AP Calculus AB teacher Mike Riedy also altered his curriculum due to the loss of instructional time. Since AP Calculus AB is a content heavy class, its teachers have tried to include as much as possible. Riedy explains that he has some concern for students that aren’t pushing themselves to try to learn the material as best as they can. While he knows that students can use any resources they have at home, he tells them that the AP test will be different. “I [had] to wait until someone tells me, ‘Here’s what your test is going to look like, and here’s when the test is going to happen, and now adjust with your kids to get them ready for this test,’” Riedy said.


10 ENTERTAINMENT

prospectornow.com

MARCH 12, 2021

REACHING FOR REPRESENTATION

went back to her “coming out” TikTok video, which currently has 7.3 million likes, to see if the comments were different now that her news was official. Scrolling through the comments with “Born This Way” playing on a loop, I finally realized the lyrics to which Siwa was lip syncing to: “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby; I was born to survive.” “Born This Way” was a song that I had hile I was scrolling through Tiklistened and sung along to (obviously not Tok on a lazy Monday afternoon, knowing the right lyrics) ever since it was I stumbled across a video on my released in 2011 when I was barely seven For You page of influencer Jojo Siwa lip years old. syncing along to “Born This Way” by Lady And yet, I didn’t see the representation I Gaga. had secretly longed for as a child until a full Even though the video had only been 10 years later. posted for less than an hour, it already This is why LGBT representation is imgained over one million likes; a figure that portant — for young kids in particular. Even was extreme — even for someone as famous as a 17-year-old, hearing and finally knowing as Siwa. the lyrics to that song made me Confused, I opened the comfeel understood, safe and warm ment section to find multiple inside. comments from famous creThis made me realize that if ators saying “Welcome to the representation when I was a kid family,” “I’m so proud” and had come in a more direct form “We accept you.” I quickly rethat didn’t go over my head like alized that many believed that “Born This Way” had, maybe I Siwa had just come out as a wouldn’t have struggled with my part of the LGBT community; sexuality as long. lip syncing the lyrics to “Born Junior Sophia Beauban, like This Way” could easily be in many others in the LGBT comreference to her uniqueness munity, experienced a similar inand refusal to blend in. ALYSSA ternal conflict in coming to terms However, two days later on with her sexuality; however, she SCHULZ Jan. 22, Siwa officially came figured it out a lot sooner than I out as gay after posting a picCopy Editor did. ture on her Instagram story of Beauban, who is bisexual, first her wearing a shirt that said realized that she had feelings for girls in kin“Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” I was immediatedergarten. However, she pushed them down ly overjoyed as a little over three months ago for years until she finally came out the sumI came out to my close friends and family. mer before eighth grade. Coming out was probably one of the hardEven after this, she still struggled with est things I’ve done so far in my life. I reher sexuality, asking herself if she “actualmember how the two simple words “I’m gay” ly liked girls” or if she was “just doing it for kept getting stuck in my throat as I tried to attention” even though Beauban knew deep come out. down that her feelings were legitimate. I opened my mouth, then snapped it shut Although her parents were supportive of again as alarm bells went off in my head. By the LGBT community, her family was very the time I finally got the words out, I was alreligious, and she would consequently follow ready crying. them to church and often hear congregants Even though I knew full well that my talking negatively about homosexuality. friends and family would support me, it was “I never really got that representation of still exceptionally hard for me to make that … a same sex couple,” Beauban said. “[Being declaration. part of the LGBT community] felt … super Knowing this, I understood just how diftaboo, and it felt like if no one else was doficult it must have been for Siwa to come ing it, and no one else was saying that it was out because there would more than likely be O.K., why should I be able to do it?” significant backlash from people who didn’t When I was a kid, I wasn’t close to anyone believe it was appropriate for a child influwho was queer, and even when there were encer to come out. people in my life who were part of the LGBT A few days after Siwa’s announcement, I community, they had always seemed very different than me. This was because I had always dressed femininely growing up, and the only type of lesbians I saw either in-person or in the media when I was a child were ones that presented themselves in a masculine way. When I started recognizing my feelings for girls in middle school, I quickly pushed them away because I didn’t want to be seen as “weird” or “different” or just make my middle school experience harder in general.

Jojo Siwa coming out encourages LGBT acceptance for children

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Click on the picture to see Jojo Siwa’s coming out TikTok

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Senior Nick Siozios The Boyfriend

BABY, I WAS BORN THIS WAY: Jojo Siwa poses in front of a pride flag wearing her signature pink bow in her hair. Siwa came out as a part of the LGBT community in late January, which gave her primarily young audience much needed LGBT representaion in the media. "When I see [Siwa] make posts about her girlfirend, it is just so heartwarming," junior Sophia Beauban saidl, "I know that little bisexual Sophia would have looked at that and said. 'She's just like me.'" (painting by Ondine Cella) However because Siwa is a lesbian who displays herself in a feminine way, she can help so many little kids like me realize that there is no mold they have to fit into if they are part of the LGBT community. Along with her mentality of being true to herself, Siwa can be the young LGBT figure to kids today that both Beauban and I longed for when we were kids. “When I see [Siwa] make posts about her girlfriend, it is just so heartwarming; I know little bisexual Sophia would have looked at that and said, ‘She’s just like me,’” Beauban said. Siwa coming out, as informally as in a TikTok video and on her Instagram story, made me realize just how far LGBT representation and acceptance has come in such

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Favorite type of candy?

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Senior Ella Beyer

Senior Claire Beattie

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a short period of time. 10 years ago, a child influencer doing what Siwa did would have been unheard of. 10 years before that, it would have caused an uproar. Sure, LGBT acceptance has a long way to go, but it’s also important to remember how far it has come. Siwa coming out and fully embracing her sexuality is something that should and needs to be celebrated and, because of her actions, kids in the future won’t feel like they have to hide who they really are. As for me, Siwa coming out has inspired me to be more open and proud of my identity. Because of her actions. I finally know that, “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.”

To All The Boys: Always and Forever

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Dream vacation spot? Maldives

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Last movie watched To All The Boys: Always and Forever To All The Boys: Always and Forever

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W I N N E R


prospectornow.com

MARCH 12, 2021

ENTERTAINMENT 11

In-class reading raises irritation, debate JOEY DELAHUNTY Exec. Entertainment Editor

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enior August Graham began reading about an hour a day around two months ago, alternating between fiction and non-fiction. Feeling like he was missing out on a large portion of entertainment and information, Graham decided to take up the hobby again. He enjoys reading, but since sixth grade he hadn’t done it very often until recently. While this may seem strange, Graham believes his experience isn’t an uncommon one among students for a specific reason. “For a long time, I was discouraged from reading because school kind of makes it suck,” Graham said. In Graham’s experience, he and other students have similar frustrations around assigned reading. English teacher Elizabeth Joiner acknowledges these feelings — even describing her first impression of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” as “a drag” — but she also believes these books are necessary to the students’ learning. “It’s kind of like vegetables,” Joiner said. “If I just taught all the books I loved, I don’t know if that would challenge our minds in the same way. Same thing with science or history or anything like that. You have to make somebody exercise their brain.” Assigned reading allows for teachers to more effectively teach analysis and writing skills because it provides a guaranteed reference point for all the students to share. They also allow a window into the time period in which they were written, both through direct depictions of various eras and through ideas expressed in the

books. However, Graham’s issue with the assigned books isn’t actually their contents, but rather the way they’re taught in class. Graham feels that the analysis done in class is too surface level and doesn’t pay enough attention to the more interesting facets of the stories. “I could talk forever about the themes of a book and what everything means, but sometimes I just forget the names of the characters, and then you get docked all these points,” Graham said. Graham really enjoyed reading “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, for example, but he recalls his class focusing more on plot elements than the author’s intent and the more complex overarching themes. From Graham’s perspective, this seemed like “such a waste” of engaging ideas and character concepts. In freshman and sophomore classes, there are often independent reading (IR) assignments where students read a book of their choice each quarter and do a project of some sort at the end. Despite these assignments giving students more freedom than traditional assigned reading, Graham is still not a fan. While he personally enjoys reading, he feels that being made to do such a time-consuming activity for school is frustrating. Most books also have full and detailed plot summaries online making it easy for a student to complete an assignment without actually reading the book. Joiner teaches both sophomore and junior classes, and she employs IR in her sophomore classes as she sees it as a nice middle ground between assigned reading and students’ preferences. In her junior classes, however, these are replaced by the Public Discourse Project, where students read news articles and write analyses of them.

BOOKWORM WOES: Senior August Graham’s reading assignments slowly pile up around him. While Graham finds reading itself enjoyable, he feels that the way it is handled in school “kind of makes it suck.” Despite this, teachers continue with the old curriculum. (photo illustration by Mara Nicolaie) Joiner regrets that she’s unable to incorporate IR into her junior classes, but she believes that it’d be too much for the students. Junior year is “a stressful year anyway” for many students, and Joiner doesn’t want to add more to that than necessary. Both Graham and Joiner, however, believe students would benefit from more personal reading. Graham found it to be a source of entertainment and useful information and thinks students could do well to look deeper into their interests. “A lot of people, let’s say over the summer when there was lots of talk about activism and stuff, would really benefit from ...

diving deep into [books and novels with] those kinds of [topics] ... rather than just reading articles.” Graham said, “The internet is a great wealth of knowledge, [but] there’s so much missing; no matter how much time you spend on the internet you’re always going to be missing something.” Joiner, similarly, cites the various psychological benefits associated with reading, such as increased empathy or critical thinking skills. Additionally, Joiner believes the analysis and vocabulary skills gained from reading can help students in their other classes. While the various reading assignments thrown at students

can be discouraging, Graham believes not reading is a loss for students. In his personal experience, books are something that many would benefit from. “I feel like I’m missing out on a lot … there’s such a rich history of books,” Graham said. “There’s got to be something good about that that I should tap into.”

CURRENTLY ON KNIGHT VOICES Listen to an interview with English teachers Elizabeth Joiner and Lori Amedeo about assigned reading at Prospect.


12

Currently on prospectornow.com...

Sports fans around the world have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as they don’t get to enjoy one of their favorite pastimes: attending sports games. Click the photo to read about how it has personally affected Online Sports Editor Aidan Murray. (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

SPORTS MARCH 12, 2021

From quarantine to competitive MSL CAMERON SULLIVAN Executive Sports Editor

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hicago Sun Times writer Michael O’Brien published an article on Jan. 15 that crushed any potential chance of basketball and football getting to have a season. This wasn’t the first time the Prospect boys’ basketball team was told they wouldn’t have a season, and they were preparing for the worst. However, on Jan. 22, they were allowed to play again. “Start and stop, then start and stop; we’ve had so many ups and downs throughout the year,” head coach John Camardella said. “Just to give these guys a chance to compete one more time, especially the seniors, is all we were hoping for, and we’re really excited to get back in the field house.” After only a week of preparation, the team started playing games again. Unfortunately, after their second game, a positive test from a player at Elk Grove High School caused them to quarantine for 10 days. “Nothing surprises me anymore ... with this whole pandemic,” senior guard Chase Larsen said. “I think I’ve kind of gone numb to a lot of the bad news.” The team lost their season opener to Notre Dame College Prep 55-35 but came back strong to beat Elk Grove 62-32 in their MSL opener. Since they had to quarantine, many of their games had to be rescheduled; they then had to play six games in the next nine days. “I think it’s going to be a learning experience for us,” junior guard Owen Schneider said. “I think we’re going to be locked in and come ready to play, especially kind of having that itch on our shoulder since we’ve been out a week.” In those six games, the Knights went 3-3 and were able to beat Wheeling, Elk Grove and Schaumburg, where Schneider hit a game-winning shot in their 34-32 win. This was an inbound play designed to get Schneider a corner three shot, but it broke down. He had to adapt which led to a pull up jumper for two with about two seconds left on the clock.

Some of their key performers have been Larsen, who averages 12.3 points per game, Schneider, who has scored 10.9 points per game and is shooting 41.6% from the floor, and senior forward Luke Zardzin, whose strongest part of his game comes on defense as he averages about four rebounds per game with a total of 44 rebounds on the season. Before this stretch of six games, the team had Zoom meetings with decorated alumni and even had some shoot-around practices with the former players who have already had COVID-19. Some of these alumni consisted of 2017 graduate Matt Szuba, who holds the record for most career rebounds in Prospect history, 2012 graduate Mike LaTulip, Prospect’s all time leading scorer and 2018 graduate David Swedura. Swedura was a starter for Prospect and was able to accumulate 61 wins, three MSL East titles, the 2018 MSL title and has over 1,000 points scored in his career. “Hearing someone who’s been through it all ... [and] listening to someone with that much knowledge about the game … [the alumni] know more than us, so to just listen and take in that advice was super useful for us,” Schneider said. They started games back up and had their first game since Feb. 6 on Feb. 19 against Wheeling, which was a 56-40 victory. With this, the team has only one objective. “[We have] the same goal; it’s to win the MSL championship,” Schneider said. While the Knights were not able to achieve this goal due to Rolling Meadows and Hersey having outstanding seasons, Larsen noted that to him, it seems like it was the most competitive the MSL has ever been. There’s a ton of competition in the MSL ranging from Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie all the way to Buffalo Grove’s Kam Craft. When Prospect played Rolling Meadows this year, Christie’s greatness really showed. The game was tied up at 45-45 after Prospect hit a free throw. After that, Christie was fouled, and he was able to hit two clutch free throws for the win. In that game, Christie

scored 33 of their 47 points and shot 11 of 17 from the field. Craft also had a great outing against Prospect; in their most recent game, Craft dropped 31 points in a 68-41 Buffalo Grove win. “A game at a time. We have to deal with [Christie], his brother, an unbelievably talented Rolling Meadows, an extremely talented high scoring offense at Hersey. [Craft] is back at [Buffalo Grove] … the MSL east is as competitive as it’s ever been in my career,” Camardella said. “So fingers crossed that we’ll be competitive in the next game.” Even with an extremely talented MSL east, Prospect still was able to keep up with some of the top dogs due to their chemistry. “We’re going to definitely have to be together; we obviously don’t have a Michigan State commit and top huge Division I recruits, … but that doesn’t always mean they’re the better team,” Schneider said. “... I think we can upset a lot of teams this year.”

Best of the best

Prospect’s stat leaders through March 10

FG% (min. 10 attempts): Colin Votzmeyer - 42.1% 3FG% (min. 10 attempts): Owen Schneider - 38.1% FT% (min. 10 attempts): Chase Larsen - 58.6% Assists: Marco Shaw - 17 Offensive rebounds: Luke Zardzin - 17 Defensive rebounds: Larsen - 32 Steals: Larsen - 13 Deflections: Frank Covey - 11

LOCKDOWN: Senior Luke Zardzin plays tight defense against the Fremd Vikings. (photo by Alexis Esparza) PULL UP: Senior Chase Larsen shoots a mid-range jump shot in a loss to the Fremd Vikings. This game was one of their first after having to take a 10-day quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test on the Elk Grove team. (photo by Alexis Esparza)

Profile for Jason Block

ISSUE 6 2020-21  

ISSUE 6 2020-21  

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