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Female vs male coaches The impact of gender on effective coaching By Griffin Rites staff

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ne of the many controversial subjects concerning gender roles is the issue of effective athletic coaching. Following the hiring of the first female NFL coach in 2014, this controversial subject has taken one more step into the spotlight. When it comes to male coaches, some believe they are more dominant and demanding. On the other hand, female coaches are believed to be too emotional to handle positions that require on the spot decision making. It is true that the chemistry between female coaches and female teams and male coaches and male teams are difficult to mimmick. However, the most winningest coach in

women’s collegiate volleyball history, Larry Bock, is a male with 1,296 wins and 258 losses. Following Bock, Russ Rose holds number two, Andy Banachowski is at number three, and Dave Shoji is at number four. In contrast, Tracy Rietzke is the fifth most successful coach with a win-loss record of 1,119-251. Even though Bock is an unfamiliar face to Division I schools, he has the greatest winloss record out of every women’s collegiate volleyball coach ever. Continuing down the list, 11 of the 25 leading collegiate women’s volleyball coaches are male. That is almost a 50/50 split. This is statistical proof that the gender of the coach does not determine the winning record of the team. Another sport commonly coached by both males and females is softball. The most winningest women’s collegiate softball coach is also a male. Phil McSpadden leads the board with 1,475 wins and 359 losses. The majority (26 out of 45) of the leading collegiate softball coaches are female. There is no prejudice in the passion athletes have for a sport. Personal experience tells that athletes do not respect one coach more than the next because of their gender; it is the coaching and practices that make champions. They will play and they will either win or lose. It is up to the skill and effort of the athletes that determines the score.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 1 | editorial | 3


Separate but equal By griffin rites staff

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ince the early 1900’s we have been characterized by our ever-changing diverse population known as a melting pot. The term was popularized in the 1977 “School House Rock”. Some time in the last 15 years the metaphor has been referred to as tossed salad, because despite how many religions, cultures and ethnicities America is home to, none have “melted” into one another; they only exist in unison. The FBI defines a hate group as “an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, nation, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other designated sector of society.” Hate crimes are a common occurrence within our nation, and have become more evident in mainstream media. According to the Washington Post,

the FBI’s most recent annual hate crime analysis revealed that there were 5,928 hate crimes last year. However, the Southern Poverty Law Center claims that there are over 250,000 hate crimes every year, but almost all of them go unreported. The students in the North Kansas City School District know the meaning of “hate crime” all too well. Last year, a Staley High School student was ran over by a man driving an SUV, and his legs were severed. After the incident, he was rushed to Children’s Mercy Hospital where he died later that day. In the following weeks, students from Staley High School began a group known as “Stop the Hate”. Recently, transgender teen Landon Patterson, was voted homecoming queen at Oak Park High School. When the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka heard this, they immediately announced they would be protesting the school as a whole. On Thursday, Oct. 1, Westboro showed up to the school and protested. Westboro did not commit a hate crime against Oak Park or against Landon, however, they did commit a hateful act. They are one of 784 hate groups in America, and Landon, who is only 17, did not deserve to be shamed for being her true self. Even if America has hundreds of hate groups, we have a united community that never fails at coming together when the time is right. Our state, our city, our community knows what hate crimes are all about, and we know how to come together when other people need support.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 2 | Editorial | 3


Privileges come from sacrifices By Griffin Rites staff People in the US may not always be aware of their privileges and the opportunities they grant them. Under the Constitution, citizens are allowed many freedoms such as freedom of press, religion and speech. However, as a nation, people forget who is responsible for defending these freedoms. American soldiers. Soldiers have to sacrifice family time, health and personal beliefs to serve and often they come back to insufficient support. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, veterans make up roughly 12 percent of the homeless population. This percentage should be zero. While the Veterans Administration does offer benefits to those who have served the country, there needs to be more support systems to help those with emotional, mental and physical injuries. While not everyone can donate large amounts of money to veteran associations, there is still more ways people can bring awareness to the cause.

This can include contacting elected officials to inform of one’s concern of the needs of veterans in the community. Also participating in local homeless coalitions can bring people together to raise attention on this pressing issue. Most important of all, the greatest thanks citizens can give a veteran is by showing appreciation. While the majority of families get to spend the holidays together, military families are often plagued with separation. Whether their loved ones are out on the line or homeless. So rather than liking a photo on social media to support veterans, it should be a civil duty to take action and be thankful for the heroes this holiday season.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 3 | Editorial | 3


Fun fabrication or damaging lie By Griffin Rites staff

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hose who celebrate Christmas remember Christmas Eve’s when we were younger, from baking cookies to making sure the tree looks perfect before bed. We all had a routine that we looked forward to every holiday season. There are people, though, who avoid the misleading stories about the jolly old man who comes down the chimney and the red-nose reindeer. These two sides of parenting can sometimes clash and it can get ugly. It all boils down to one question: should parents lie to their kids to try to make Christmas feel more rewarding? If parents tell their children Santa is real, then when they find out he does not exist, they are in for a world of hurt. All of their

childhood memories from the holiday seasons – the baking, decorating, opening presents – all of it will become a lie. But parents are only lying about a little thing to keep the Christmas spirit alive, so what is the problem? Many people believe that lying is the issue. If you raise your child, lying to them for about two months out of the year and then all of a sudden they find out it was all a lie, then how can we expect them to still hold true to the moral of not lying? The spirit of Santa is based around the notion of loving thy neighbor. It is supposed to be about giving to the less fortunate and being kind; it is more than just a fat guy in a red suit with a scrumptious beard. Children can learn about generosity and it is a chance for families to connect with their communities and each

other. On the other hand, Christmas is hyped up around the idea that some random bearded man flies around in a sleigh to drop off presents at every house on the planet. No one in their right mind would ever believe that. Except children, that is. Parents should educate their kids on the topic before sending them off to school to become familiar with popular holiday traditions. If they know that Santa is not real, but also are aware that some of their peers are under the impression he is, then they need to respect their beliefs and 99% of their problems are solved. This way when the holidays come around, they can participate in the spirit of Christmas without the deception of Santa Claus.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 4 | Editorial | 3


Photo by Rachel Adamson

By Griffin Rites staff

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’ve gotten some weird looks and some people looked sad for me. Stop Bullying’s website defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” I am wearing a sign today that says ugly; A girl looked at me and said it was an accurate sign. The social experiment #blackoutbullying is a social experiment made to bring attention to bullying in middle and high schools. My word was lazy; walking down the hallways and past teachers, I’m scared they’ll think of me differently because of my bold word choice that can really play a key factor in school. The creators of the movement wanted to make

victims feel empowered. When people see a sign like that, it is expected that others will deny the printed words. However, sometimes that is not the case. A few people did acknowledge what I was doing and admired the cause, but some of my closest friends really disappointed me. As soon as I put the sign on, one of my friends nodded in approval of my word choice; she agreed that it fit me. Participants are to wear all black and not speak unless spoken to throughout the day. It has been slightly different to not talk, but I feel that not talking added something else to this. The purpose is to gain momentum in the fight against bullying among school aged children. I made my word large and bold for a reason: to see if people cared enough to think a little deeper, look a little longer.

Because it is easier for people to bully behind one’s back, someone can come off as two-faced in certain situations. The person who was the inspiration for my word, “annoying”, came up to me to say that whoever called me that was dumb, but she was the one who had done so for years. Despite negative comments made at the participants during the day, some faced positivity from their peers. My sign read “thunder thighs”, but my friend told me my thighs are beautiful. Bullying is a problem faced everyday by millions of kids across the country, but it is possible to help the issue. Tell strangers they are stunning, handsome, intellectual; support their cause and the world will begin to change. I am not lazy. I am not fat. I am not worthless.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 5 | Editorial | 3


Dangers of online challenges By Griffin Rites staff

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ith YouTube celebrities becoming more influential and increasing in numbers, more youth are intrigued with becoming a YouTube celebrity, even if this means taking on challenges that may hurt themsleves and others. This behavior is also considered a fun way to pass time. The oddly popular fire challenge calls for participants to douse themselves with rubbing alcohol, set it on fire and then proceed to extinguish the fire before it becomes too risky. A 15-year-old boy from Kentucky suffered 2nd degree burns from this challenge in 2014. More dares that are commonly known like the cinnamon, salt and ice, banana and Sprite and the condom challenges have all been popular topics at one point on social media. The thing about these YouTube activities is that kids see and hear about what happens to people who do them, yet they continue to participate in these actions. Lesser known challenges had more dangerous consequences and resulted in deaths.

For example, doing the cold water challenge resulted to a boy in Minnesota drowning in a lake. He decided to do the challenge with no one watching over him, and he unfortunately could not make it out of the frigid water. The root of wanting to participate in these challenges comes from both curiosity and peer pressure. This is essentially a modern day truth or dare. Not all of these challenges have dark intentions; the ALS ice bucket challenge was promoted to help spread awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a nervous system disease that attacks the neurons of the body. The kids of this generation are much too easily-influenced for challenges like this to be circulating. The more challenges we see publicized on the internet, the more deaths we are going to be seeing with our young generations. Internet superstars and personalities really need to consider their audience when making these videos. The Griffin Rites (Winnetonka High School) does not condone this self-harming behavior. If you know someone who is hurting themselves, you need to report the incident(s) to an adult.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 6 | Editorial | 3


TEACHING TO THE TEST By Griffin Rites staff

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n a time where tests are used to measure everything, students often feel like another number on a data table. According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration has made a point of evaluating teachers based on their class test scores. Examinations are not the issue; it is the way they are going about it. Schools should not be penalized for low test scores when it could readily be explained by either a lack of effort by some students or a lack of knowledge by others. The testing culture has become a norm for kids nowadays; having one test a week used to be hectic, whereas now we have three to four tests a week. We base where we go to college off of our ACT and SAT scores, coaches choose captains over performance assessments, and valedictorians are chosen for being the top of their class. As said before, testing is not the issue. The issue lies within the aggressiveness of the culture and how much teachers push it on students. According to National Education Association, teachers spend about 30 percent of their time in the classroom either on test prep or testing itself. From personal experience, teachers often will leave material out of lesson plans because they feel it is more important to prepare the students for the standardized tests than the material they present. Another common result is teachers having to drill information into their students’ head to get them through

the test, but the knowledge never sticks. Kids will momentarily retain the information, but once the test is over it is gone. In states where the No Child Left Behind Act is enforced, test scores make for 50 percent of teacher evaluations. That means those students that choose to not come to class or do their work could put that teacher out of a job. However, that also means that the students who put in the time and effort, but simply are not successful with testing, could put them out too. If testing is the problem, how else are we to make sure schools are doing what they need to do? Assessments are the easiest way to go about seeing whether or not schools and teachers are doing their jobs correctly. A culture centered around assessments may not be a terrible idea, but the way we go about it has to change if the government wants to see an improvement in scores. Instructors need more time to provide the students with a strong foundation of knowledge that they can build off of throughout the year; this would solve the issue of “drill and kill� procedures that result in kids familiarizing the material up until test day then forgetting about it. There are ways each side of the argument could help the cause more than they do now, but regardless, the environment that pushes tests every day creates anxiety and is plagued by tension. We need to give teachers a break and students a better shot at getting high scores.

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 7 | Editorial | 3


By Griffin Rites senior staff

that we have been looking forward to for 12 years, the day we have Class of 2016, this is it. Once we dreamed about since Aug. 12 is walk out of those doors for the last finally approaching. time there is no more attendance The world is ours to tackle, to policy, no more terrible lunches and take on. We are at the end of our no more stinky F hall during football childhood, there is no more pats on meetings in the health room. the back for good grades; those are With those good losses also expected out of us now that we are come sad ones. After May 12, we “grown up”. will not have Morris to give us It will be hard (harder than lectures and life advice or email junior year), and we will want to reminders from the library letting give up at some points. The most us know that we forgot that copy important lesson we must take of Looking for Alaska under the bed from high school, though, is that (again). we made it this far, so why not There will be no senior table push through the last mile? Success at lunch in college, or amazing is at the tip of our fingers, it relies teachers to ensure we do not make entirely on how far we are willing to mountains out of mole hills. Coming reach for it. in late will not get us a stern look So this is to us, the graduating and a “get here on time next class,” members from the class of “we but a “get out of my class”. made it”. It is our time to take the The coddling days are over; world by the horns and and do big this is real life now. The moment things while we can. Cheers!

Griffin Rites | Vol. 46 Issue 8&9 | Editorial | 3


Design: Editoral 2015-16