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The Mustang 3.16.18


Volume 22 Issue 5



After a mass shooting, they say... “Some people will try to politicize what happened in Colorado, but a law is not going to change the outcome.” - Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate 2012 Aurora Shooting, July 20, 2012 12 dead, 70 injured We review [gun control policies.] But right now, our focus is on the victims.” - John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House 2011-2015 Sandy Hook Shooting, December 14, 2012 28 dead, 2 injured “I refuse to talk about gun control at this time.” - Bobby Jindal, Republican Governor of Louisiana (2008-2016) Lafayette Theater Shooting, January 23, 2015 3 dead, 9 injured “It is premature to talk about [gun control] policy.” - Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary Las Vegas Shooting, October 1, 2017 59 dead, 851 injured “It is premature to be discussing legislative solutions if there are any. It is inappropriate to politicize an event like this.” - Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader (R-KY) Las Vegas Shooting, October 1, 2017 59 dead, 851 injured “Now is not the time to discuss this matter. Do you honestly believe if we had passed some law we could have stopped this in Las Vegas?” - John Neely Kennedy, Senator (R-LA) Las Vegas Shooting, October 1, 2017 59 dead, 851 injured “[The shooting] shouldn’t be discussed right now.” - Donald Trump, President Texas Church Shooting, November 5, 2017 27 dead, 20 injured “It’s not the appropriate time [to talk about gun control].” - Marco Rubio, Senator (R-FL) Parkland Shooting, February 14, 2018 17 dead, 16 injured “This is not the time to jump to some conclusion. I just think what you don’t do is knee-jerk and say, ‘Let’s just take away a citizen’s rights.’” - Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House (2015-) Parkland Shooting, February 14, 2018 17 dead, 16 injured


MAR 2018





Do something These positions represent the collective opinion of The Mustang.


Assault rifles should be banned. Some believe assault weapons are necessary because they can be used for protection. However, to the Mustang’s staff, using of assault rifles is an overkill since they put far too many lives at risk. Additionally, safety is not contingent on owning an assault rifle. There are other methods for self-defense like pistols and other legal weapons.


Raising the age limit to buy a rifle, including assault rifles, from 18 to 21 is vital. It is nonsensical that at 18, we can purchase assault rifles that can take dozens of lives but not have a beer. Though making this change would be a step in the right direction, we also feel that increasing the age limit to 21 is insufficient since many school shootings have been committed by individuals over 21. This is a beneficial first step, but more needs to be done in the long run.



Despite chatter ruminating around school campuses nationwide of arming teachers, The Mustang believes this is a bad idea. Teachers choose their profession because they want to educate and inspire kids, not to become an authoritarian figure possessing a firearm. Having firearms on campus would also make students feel less safe, and their presence would not lessen the likelihood of school shootings. Even if arming teachers consoled some students and teachers were well trained, there could be an accident, fatally harming innocent individuals.


Adding metal detectors would create a dour energy on campus. That would demoralize some students and harm their educational experience.


When a parent asked what SDA would want money for at the First Friday--a parent meeting-- with Principal Adam Camacho, Assistant Principal Robert Caughey said they would like to employ an SRO (Security Resource Officer). We believe that having one would make us more secure.


With the 2018 elections nearing, we have the opportunity to elect a new member to the House of Representatives. If you are 18, exercise your rights and vote. When you do, let candidates’ positions on gun control be an important factor in your decision. If you are not yet 18, urge your parents to vote for a candidate that has the same stances on gun control you do. Also, pre register to vote, so when you become of age, you will be ready to go for the next election cycle; To get more information on registering and pre-registering to vote, go to sdamustang.com


It’s true. Most of us aren’t old enough to vote. But, that doesn’t force you to be complacent. We are all constituents of California’s 49th district, and we all have the right to call up our member in the House of Representatives and voice our opinions and concerns. Our representative is Congressman Darrell Issa, but that will change this November since he is not running for re-election. For more information on reaching out to your representative, go to sdamustang.com


After the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, The Mustang staff decided to dedicate this issue’s initial pages to school shootings and safety. The quotes on page 2 were compiled by Ryan Cohen. The art on page 3 was by Lily Callender. Cover art by Lily Callender


It is all of our responsibility to stay informed about current issues. And, gun control should be something we all stay on top of. Doing so will make you a better citizen, and it will help you form opinions that you can use when participating in our democracy. For a jump start, go to sdamustang.com.

MAR 2018


The voice of reason

Late Night talk show hosts have become a conscience of America. They have always brought current events into their programming, incorporating headlines into punch lines. In this heavily political time, they have become a well-received voice of reason. Story by Patrick Hall and Ryan Cohen. Illustrations by Lily Callender.

Stephen Colbert:

Trevor Noah:

Jimmy Kimmel:

“The adults aren’t cutting it anymore. I think we need to change the voting age. Until we do something about guns, you can’t vote if you’re over 18.”

“Many Republicans think it’s suspicious that these kids say they don’t want to be shot in the face.”

“Children are being murdered. We still haven’t even talked about it.”

(On Trump’s statements he would’ve confronted the shooter inside the building) “Sir, we already know how you react to combat situations. You got five deferments from Vietnam. What are you going to do, stab them with your bone spurs?”

(On Trump Jr. liking a tweet attacking Parkland Massacre victims) “Well you know what they say: the Douche doesn’t fall far from the Bag.” “I didn’t even know these gun discounts existed. Are there other weapons-related savings we could be taking advantage of? Does Olive Garden have a special? Show your machete, get free spaghetti.”

“President Trump might be supporting a ban on gun stocks and a strengthening of background checks, which is weird. Trump might do something good. You don’t know how to feel about that. It’s like getting hit on by someone really hot, but they’re also your cousin.”

(Noah on Marco Rubio’s belief that gun laws won’t solve gun violence) “Nothing inspires more confidence than a lawmaker who doesn’t believe in the power of laws. It’s like your pastor saying, “hey, man, I would pray for your cancer but, I mean, who knows if this shit really works”” “My first instinct is to talk about limiting guns. But I’m an idiot. In my dumb mind, I keep thinking gun violence is somehow related to guns.” “If people weren’t allowed to share their opinions unless they’d studied the issue, then Donald Trump would never be allowed to speak.”


“Tell these congressmen and lobbyists who infest that swamp you said you were going to drain, force these allegedly Christian men and women who stuff their pockets with money from the NRA year after year to do something. Now, not later.”

“This is a mental illness issue because if you [President Trump] don’t think we need to do anything about the gun laws, you are mentally ill.” “If one illegal immigrant causes a car accident, we have to build a wall to keep them out. Why don’t you do anything about this real issue?” “Somewhere along the line, [politicians] forgot they work for us, not the NRA. This time we are not going to allow you to bow your head in prayer for two weeks until you get an ‘all clear’ and move on to the next thing.”

Comedians in cars talking about guns By Kieran Zimmer.


omedian Neal Brennan once said, “Sometimes the world can feel like a room that’s filling up with water. And for me, to be able to think of a joke is like an air bubble. [inhales] And I can take the oxygen I get into my lungs and it can carry me forward.” But when it comes, to an event as horrifying as the Florida shooting, does humor still provide a positive means of coping? I would argue that it absolutely does. For many of us, humor is a powerful tool. It brings us closer to one another, helps us cope with daily stress, and provides us with a way to, as Brennan said, breathe and move on. In many cases, it can also be used as a means to promote change, whether that is through satire of current events, monologues of late-night show hosts, or through a more direct means such as stand-up comedy. Specifically, comedians like Jim Jeffries, and online presences such as The Onion aren’t afraid to approach the issues surrounding gun violence in a way that the rest of the media cannot, and the results are noteworthy. Not only this, mediums like standup are important because they’re easy for people to connect with, especially high schoolers. Most kids don’t like reading the news, which is often objective and definitely not humorous. However, listening to comedy is accessible, often slightly vulgar, and more often than not, funny. If you were to type “jim j”into the search bar on YouTube, the top result would be “Jim Jefferies gun control,” a 16 minute stand-up opus in which Australian comic Jefferies rips into America’s clearly faulty firearm laws, and the weak arguments used in defense of them. A conversational tone and legitimately hilarious anecdotes work together to provide a proper argument in favor of stricter gun control laws, all while maintaining a humorous, sarcastic attitude. Although vulgar language is typically ditched by news outlets in an effort to remain professional, when used like this, it can cater well to an audience of otherwise indifferent high schoolers. To be completely honest, I agree with every argument Jefferies is making. That’s why I’m gonna let him take this one home: “people go, ‘That’d never happen in my house ’cause I’m a responsible gun owner. I keep my guns locked in a safe.’ Then they’re no fucking protection! Someone comes into the house, you’re like, ‘Wait there, fuck-face! Oh! You’ve come to the wrong house here, buddy boy. I tell you what. I’m gonna fuck you up! Okay. Is it 32 to the left or 32 to the right?’” “You used to have this other thing in America called, uh… slavery! And then Lincoln came along and went, “That’s it. No more slaves!” And 50% of you went, “Fuck you! Don’t take my slaves!” And the same bullshit arguments came out that you have with guns. “Why should I have my slaves taken off me? I’m a responsible slave owner. I’m trained in how to use my slaves safely. Just because that guy mistreated his slaves doesn’t mean that my rights should be taken away from me. I use my slaves to protect my family! I keep my slaves locked in a safe!” Say what you will be about vulgarity, but I’d prefer to listen to this than a Fox News or CNN broadcast any day of the week. And writing a joke certainly does more than thoughts and prayers.



Who thought it was a good idea to give Mr. Stimson a gun? How about Teisher, then? Lol. Wright. Yeah, I don’t think so. Bode. ¿Estamos seriosos? Cameron. Nope. Just no. Blanchard. Doesn’t add up. Davidson. Please. Hrzina. You sure about that? Koda. C’mon. Stop playin’. Witt. *annoyed face, eye roll* Ross. Don’t make me laugh. Hawkins. Really? Leonard. That’s cute. Cannon. Think it through. 06

Oh, our president.

President Donald Trump first proposed arming teachers on Feb. 21, a week after the Parkland school shooting, during a nationally televised listening session with some of the survivors. He later attempted to clarify his stance: “I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving ‘concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions….A ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!” (Twitter, Feb. 22)

Teachers > Security guards (apparently)

“[Security guards and local authorities] don’t love the students; they don’t know the students. The teachers love the students.” (White House governors’ meeting. Feb. 26) “A teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened.” (Conservative Political Action Conference, Feb. 23)

Save lives, save money (apparently)

“Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again - a big & very inexpensive deterrent....” (Twitter, Feb. 24)

Is he… okay?

While expressing his disappointment in the deputy sheriffs during the Parkland shooting (who waited outside several minutes after hearing gunfire), he also praised himself (sort of): “You know, I really believe, you don’t know until you test it, but I really believe I would’ve run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon…. But the way [the deputy sheriffs] performed was really a disgrace.” (White House governors’ meeting. Feb. 26)

But, like, actually.

This is being treated as a joke because it is a joke of a proposal. No rational person would ever even toy with the idea of arming teachers. And this is nothing against our teachers. We have wonderful teachers. That doesn’t mean giving them guns is the answer. No matter a teacher’s background, military or otherwise, weaponry does not have a place in education. Although this is Trump’s attempt to take action to prevent further shootings (or at least appear as if he is doing so), this is action in the wrong direction. Making wild claims draws attention away from the real issue and sidetracks the conversation that the Parkland students, and many others, have worked so hard to stimulate. By Taylor Rudman

MAR 2018



Red Lake

Virginia Tech Massacre

April 20, 1999 in Colorado

Feb. 3, 2005 in Minnesota

April 16, 2007 in Virginia

15 killed. 21 injured.

10 killed. 7 injured.

33 killed. 23 injured.

This shooting was eye-opening for many Americans and started discussion on the importance of appropriate treatment for teenage depression, bullying and cliques.

After a 16-year-old opened fire on his high school, people began to address the appropriateness of drugs like Prozac to treat depression in teenagers.

It incited discussion on gun violence, the role of administrators on college campuses, and the poor mental health system in the US. In response to the shooting, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System was strengthened.

Northern Illinois University

Sandy Hook

Feb. 14, 2008 in Illinois 6 killed. 21 injured. Man stormed into a lecture hall, with pistols and a shotgun concealed in a guitar case. According to his girlfriend, he had stopped taking Prozac a week before and the killing spree he went on was out of character for him.

Dec. 14, 2012 in Connecticut 28 killed. 2 injured. The Office of the Child Advocate cited the shooter’s mental health issues, his fascination with violence, and his “access to deadly weapons” as reasons for the massacre. Little change resulted, angering those who wanted stricter gun control.

Umpqua Community College Oct. 1, 2015 in Oregon 10 dead. 9 injured. The shooter was a white supremacist, a frustrated virgin, and suffered from feelings of isolation. He wished to be known by the world. In response, his identity was not covered by the media, shifting the nation’s focus to the victims and the survivors.


Since Columbine in 1999 the list of major school shootings has grown. Parkland was added last month. THE MUSTANG

Feb. 14, 2018 in Florida 17 dead, 14 injured. Students affected by the shooting started a campaign called Never Again MSD, vocalizing the need for stricter gun control.

Illustration by Lily Callender. Story by Madison Vance.


NEWS “I think that in order to prevent school shootings there should be much stricter gun laws regarding how easy it is to purchase them. There needs to be better background checks to make sure the person is stable enough to own a gun, let alone use one.” Brianna Kantorovich, senior “Our school feels pretty safe in general, but you never know what could happen, and it’s the what if question that scares me.” Sammy Mcconnell, senior “I just hope that when threats are made on social media that people watch out for what that could mean and prevent the worst from happening. I think that gun laws should be taken seriously and there needs to be better background checks. I also feel that people need to take mental health very seriously and address any problems that come up with a counselor or therapist.” Summer Horton, senior

The ‘What If’ Question “You think that these types of things will never happen to you and then it happens to a high school that doesn’t sound all that different from SDA..,” one Academy student said. SDA students discuss their feelings after the recent school shootings, commenting on everything from school safety to gun control. - Reporting by The Mustang staff


“Death is so apparent. It is so easy. All someone has to do is get a gun and sit somewhere, and you’re dead, just because they had bad intentions. It changes your whole view of places you thought were safe.” Mina Seif, Senior “We need to identify and listen to the signs when we see them. If you see someone who does not look too good, talk to them. If you’re not comfortable talking to them, tell somebody about it. You could be saving a bunch of people from a fate they do not want to go through.” Sean Alvarez, sophomore “It’s still nerve racking to know that someone could walk on campus at any time since we have an open campus policy. But I don’t feel unsafe.” Jordy Feffer, junior “I still feel as though this is happening in a whole ‘nother world, but I was super shocked to hear that there was a school shooting for almost every three days in this year of 2018.” Junhee Kim, senior “There was a 14-year-old that was shot, several 14-year-olds. And just thinking, since I am 14, what it’d be like if it was one of my friends or family members.” Madeline Moe, freshman

“If someone shows any hints of wanting to harm others, say something about it. Even if you misinterpret the situation, still say something, because you would rather be wrong than lose a lot of lives.” Griffin Zitko, sophomore “You think that these types of things will never happen to you, and then it happens to a high school that doesn’t sound all that different from SDA. It definitely hits a bit closer to home than some of the other shootings that we’ve become accustomed to.” Cody Martinez, sophomore “I think what could help the US is having more professional social workers because yes we have PALS, but I know that there are peoplesome of my friends too- that could really benefit from the professional help if it was offered.” Griffin Clark, junior “Students feeling included is very important. It is something ASB tries to do, and what Mr. Keillor was talking about. We try to have events and activities that will include everyone. If people feel more close to their school, then they wouldn’t want to do stuff like that.” Madison Noyes, senior Personally, I felt spooked because it could have happened anywhere at any time. I think our community was shaken up as well. But I do feel safe at SDA; the teachers make us feel comfortable, it’s a good learning environment for all SDA students here. Charli Shinstine, junior I feel like [the shooting] was kind of a wakeup call to us. We expect it to happen to anyone except ourselves. You almost don’t believe it until it hits close to home. Paris Ragland, freshman I was sad because someone felt the need to take another’s life. He was really messed up and sad and that breaks my heart more than the fact that he did what he did. I think we overlook the more emotional aspect of it. We should be working harder to make sure people are happy and mentally sound. Isaac Rosenbaum, senior “There’s been a lot of talking, but not a lot of action. You can tell some people are upset but we’re not doing enough.” Emma Green, junior

MAR 2018

NEWS “I don’t think that it’s realistic to take all guns away, but there is no reason that any civilian should need a military-grade assault rifle. These weapons should never be for sale to the public. The fact that someone can legally obtain assault rifles and purchase 100 round mags makes no sense. Without these guns, there would be much fewer tragedies.” Margot Richter, senior “I think there should be school security guards with either military training or weapons. They have them at churches or every other public school in the country, why don’t we?” Meagan Glazier, junior “I think it’d be great to have a policeman either on campus the majority of the day or just all the time. It might be a little much, but I think the goal is to stop the shootings before they happen and I think having a policeman on campus could stop potential shooters from coming onto campus.” Caeden Schlosser, junior “I think we need to get semi-automatic weapons out of people’s hands. You don’t need a military grade weapon. Yes, the Constitution, you have a right to bear arms, but you don’t need a gun that was specifically made for killing people. What are you gonna need that for?” Gaby Vonder, junior “I know most of the students at this school, and I know that none of them would do something like that, but I might be wrong because maybe that’s what everyone else felt. Just pay more attention to at risk people... Put a little bit of a taboo on [guns] in some cultures, don’t just have them out and about. Just don’t have them so accepted like a prize, like a trophy. They’re dangerous weapons and we need to treat them like that.” Kylie Schwartz, freshman “I don’t think that many people are affected as much because they’ve been kind of conditioned to think that this is normal when it’s not. No other country has had this many shootings and we’re not really doing that much about it.” Caolinn Hukill, freshman “I view guns as something that are essential to freedom and to basic human rights. But at the same time, I find myself facing the fact that there are people who seek to do things like a school shooting, that would kill 17 innocent people, and that makes it


hard to find one solid opinion. We need to start focusing more on preventative mental health care. If you look at nations where they do have the kind of comprehensive gun control that we’re looking at, their crime rates are exactly the same or worse. They have just as many murders as we do. I find it to be an interest of common sense to not feel completely safe anywhere. I hate saying that, but it’s kind of a sign of the times sort of thing where you don’t want to be completely comfortable. You want to be on edge, because you don’t know what’s going to happen.” Aris Lazerson, sophomore “I noticed my parents were being a lot more protective of me and didn’t want me to go out late, and didn’t want me to hang out with people I hadn’t met. The teenager in me is like, ‘Yeah, open campus!’ but realistically it probably could be safer. There could probably be a security guard or cameras. No one should have [an AR-15], period, it doesn’t matter if you’re a civilian or anything, that’s just not something you should have on your person on a daily basis. There’s also age limits, maybe after 26 when your brain stops developing. Psychological tests would be helpful.” Maeve Hukill, senior “I think that we should educate our elementary schoolers so they know not to shoot people, and we should eliminate violent video games.” Kate Moore, junior “Our representatives aren’t doing enough. They should put in mandatory background checks. They should stop preventing gun companies from being sued. I think it’s less on the schools and more on the people who are friends with the person.” Katie Eliceiri, sophomore “My everyday life isn’t impacted, but [the recent shooting] acts as a reminder to not only students but everyone in America to show how dangerous gun violence is and how easily these kind of things can happen. It is ridiculous how this only happens in the US, a lot of people don’t know that, this doesn’t happen anywhere else. I think that if this shooting happened and nothing continues to happen, nothing will ever be changed. So I personally feel like we need to have a massive change in morals and mindset, that we need to get this done now because it is an important issue.” Nadia Hagani, senior

“I feel safe in my own school environment, but I worry for other schools, because I feel like kids are creatures of habit. If they see a lot of other stuff happening around them, a lot of them will think that it is okay. I am scared for other schools. I am not pro gun, I think their only purpose is to kill and I don’t think that’s okay, and in general I think they should just be banned. I don’t think we need them and I don’t think it should be okay for people to have access to them so easily.” Taya Dervetski, junior

“[My peers] were acting different; they wanted to do something about it even though it was in Florida and we are in California. We have to do more drills about what if there was a school shooting here or a shooting at school.” Ruby Cruz, sophomore

“Gun regulation is the main issue right now, and there just needs to be more restriction on obtaining a gun, for everyone to feel safer and for the problem to begin to resolve itself. I currently feel pretty safe at SDA as luckily there hasn’t been too many bad incidents at SDA and the schools around us, but there’s still a small part of me that understands that there always is a possible threat. But the area we live isn’t usually the target of it.” Ryan Nubling, senior

“[The shooting] was just depressing. It was really real. There’s been threats here an at Torrey Pines, so it could happen. Unless you’re a cop or are in the military, you probably shouldn’t have a gun. I feel like [the shooting] was kind of a wakeup call to us. We expect it to happen to anyone except ourselves. You almost don’t believe it until it hits close to home. We shouldn’t let anyone under the age of 21 to buy a gun. Maybe annual background checks to make sure nothing has gone wrong. You already need a gun license, but obviously something is not working.” Delaney Farkas, freshman

“A lot of people around me express concern, and I understand why some people are so passionate about this issue. This is something we need to change our attitude and mindset about; not just gun control but also how we approach politics and the education system.” Most of these people who are using guns to hurt people don’t buy the guns themselves. The background check system we have already is pretty sturdy, the problem we have to tackle is people stealing guns from other people.” Joshua Tashoff, junior “I definitely [noticed changes in the attitudes of people around me] for a couple of days, but then it just ended up being like every other tragedy where people just forget about it and it just becomes another statistic and nothing is done. I don’t want guns, but people do, and I guess that is never going to change in this country. But it’s definitely too easy to get a gun in this country, and there is no reason that anyone should have an automatic weapon.” Gavin Silberman, sophomore “I have heard some other interviews of a couple of the families from the Florida school shooting and a lot of them felt safe at school too, which kind of concerns me. I don’t think that we are a huge gun owning community here, so I think that mentality makes me feel safer.” Samantha Bellierlgasaki, senior

“Yes I believe it is very tragic what happened, but I do believe people jump to politicize the event too quickly.” Blayne Benoit, sophomore

We all think of it as detached from us, but it could be me, it could be anyone, or anything. I think I feel a little too safe definitely. But there is a sense of danger that shouldn’t be there at all. We think of it [gun control] in our narrow perspective, but if we open out minds to a different way of life, I think we can all agree that something has to change. Wyatt Clay, junior I noticed a lot of people were upset about how the government runs their system and how the NRA has so much power and influence. I was scared to come to school. Right when it happened, I was worried it had been my Floridian cousins’ school. First of all, I don’t think teachers should be armed, that would definitely not help. We need more campus security because we only have two people. We also should do a special shooter drill for the case of a possible shooter. Jaden Alban, sophomore


Run Hide Fight


Ocean Knoll active shooter drill By Simmone Stearn and Taylor Rudman


SDA is introducing new school shooter procedures. By Mallika Seshadri. Illustration by Lily Callender.


DA is adopting a new shooter protocol called “Run, Hide, Fight,” Principal Adam Camacho said. These new procedures are different from normal lockdowns where students hide under desks. Active shooter training will begin with staff and students as soon as possible, he said. Between Columbine 19 years ago and roughly 20 school shootings that have happened so far in 2018, schools shouldn’t still be learning to manage active shooters, he said.“What you’re talking about here is ultimately lives at the end of the day,” he said. “I think we certainly can be better prepared, and that is certainly what our intention is with these conversations and our vision moving forward.”

RUN, HIDE, FIGHT In the case of an active shooter situation, Camacho said communication with students and staff is key and will take place over the intercoms, through Remind 101 (a texting app), and via an email to teachers and staff. Camacho also said that in announcements, the words “active shooter” will be used to indicate that student and staff should follow “Run, Hide, Fight” rather than lockdown procedures. Lockdown procedures will be followed if a


suspect flees from law enforcement, a local store is robbed or there is a reported assault, among other similar situations. After receiving notification, students and staff should follow the “Run, Hide, Fight,” guidelines, which are laid out by the Department of Homeland Security. It states that if a shooter is far away, students should run; if the shooter is near, students should hide; and if the situation gets desperate enough, students fight, Camacho said. At the last First Friday with Mr. Camacho on March 2--a monthly meeting with parents--he discussed the new procedures. The protocol is “well thought out. I have complete confidence in the administration and the staff. And, they’re taking action, and they’re serious about it. And, that’s good to see,” said M.J. Schumann, a parent who attended the. “Emergency preparedness is important and that’s a more appropriate approach and course of action than more guns and arming teachers.” PHASING IN THE CHANGES SDA has already begun teacher training for “Run, Hide, Fight,” but students have yet to be educated on the new approach. “Once this protocol gets vetted,

we are going to be out front and center with the kids,” Camacho said. “It’s a very uncomfortable, very unsettling conversation to have, but one that I am willing to for the sake of our community’s safety.” The goal is for training to begin in the coming weeks. Student education on “Run, Hide, Fight” will likely begin with information sessions led by school administration during homeroom. “It’s just a matter of engaging in the conversation and providing... anybody that’s involved an opportunity to debrief and ask the what if ’s and have their concerns heard and their questions answered,” Camacho said. “It’s a repetitive, methodical process, something that we can’t just hurry through and get done, but it needed to start.” THE TOP PRIORITY To practice the new protocol, SDA plans to do active shooter drills. The hope, according to Camacho, is that these drills will happen every year beginning this semester. Unlike the active shooter drill recently conducted at Ocean Knoll Elementary School, SDA’s will involve students on campus. Camacho said that while elementary school students shouldn’t have the words “active shooter” in their

vocabulary, high school students better “know the ways...of the world” and should be involved, though he feels how students are involved needs careful planning. SDA’s administration has not yet determined the specifics of the active shooter training. But, they do foresee it entailing both classroom training--perhaps in the form of videos--and actual, physical practice. “I’m just tired of waiting and felt the need, based on who I am at the core, that I want to be prepared should something come up,” Camacho said. “We need to start the conversation. We need to start heading in a direction.” TO STUDENTS “At the end of the day, it’s the relationships and the student connectedness that’s going help prevent a tragedy...such as a school shooting on this campus.... We’re a compassionate community… we care about one another….that’s part of what’s at the core of our culture, and the ability to have to engage in the conversation is important and one I expect to engage in,” Camacho said. “This is still a very safe place, and one where people can come and thrive and be who they are and a lot is going to be celebrated. And, that hasn’t changed.”

lementary school teachers mill around the empty handball courts as their drill instructor leads them along a tour of campus. They are preparing for an active shooter drill. As they ready themselves to continue, a man in a black hoodie jumps out, waving his arms violently and screaming incoherently, charging at teachers. Some scream. Some run. Some hide. It’s the real world, drill style. Ocean Knoll teachers and staff participated in an active shooter drill on Feb. 23. The drill consisted of an informational session in the media center (focusing on “run, hide, fight” tactics), followed by a campus tour and four separate drills. The first attack drill began as a surprise during the campus tour, which garnered mixed reactions from teachers. Many of the teachers who participated in the drill reacted with fear. “They did four drills, the first one was a surprise one, and the others we were more prepared. I did have the shooter find me twice. So he screamed at me. Twice. Which was terrifying. All that adrenaline, I was just shaking afterwards,” said second grade teacher Carrie Tognazzini. “It was a little uncomfortable because I’m in education and my plan wasn’t to be dealing with stuff like this. So it was a little uncomfortable and shocking,” fourth grade teacher Alice Larsen said. While many teachers were frightened and upset, some did not have a problem with the drill or the initial surprise attack. “I understand the philosophy to their approach and I think it was fine. People react differently,” said second grade teacher Sheila Tyler. “The good thing about the drill was that it raised a lot of questions. It gives us some things to work on and make better.” Although most believed that the drill was at least somewhat beneficial, many were skeptical as to whether high school students would be able to handle it. A teacher who wished to remain anonymous said, “I’m very conflicted having students going through this. Some of the teachers are still having difficulties processing what happened to them. I would hesitate as a parent or teacher, putting my child through this.” “I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think schools should be a safe place,” Larsen said. “It would make kids and teachers feel different on campus, and that’s not what we want to do.” Many teachers were disappointed that this even had to be a consideration in the first place. “It breaks my heart. Is this the society that we live in?” said the anonymous teacher.

MAR 2018


See something, say something. T

hreats against high schools have increased sharply since the Parkland, Florida shooting, according to the Educator’s School Safety Network. San Diego schools, including Torrey Pines High School and Canyon Crest Academy, have received threats of shootings, and students were arrested. SDA has not received any public threats since Parkland. However, an incident in January alarmed some when a student’s assignment was seen as potentially threatening by a teacher. The threat was unsubstantiated, but it caused administration to withhold the class bells in order to locate the student, causing some confusion among the rest of the school. “The student was very surprised [to be called into the office],” Camacho said. “It was very obvious very quickly that it was a totally benign thing.”


It was also part of a chain of events, including previous school shootings, that prompted Camacho and others to examine safety on campus, he said. SDA’s administration is urging students to speak up whenever they see suspicious behavior. The administration also held a staff meeting for teachers to learn what to do in an active shooter situation Feb. 21, and Camacho held a “First Friday with the Principal” meeting with parents to discuss the issue.Though he said he was already planning on holding these events, Camacho said the news of the deadly Parkland shooting Feb. 14 was yet another reminder to keep working on safety. “Talk about jaw dropping,” he said of hearing the news about Florida. “It was just an immediate, very real reminder that this conversation is timely.” “My perspective as principal of the site is foremost safety,” he

continued. “At the end of the day, this is all of our second homes… I want to make sure that people feel comfortable and safe, and can take advantage of what we’re supposed to be doing here, which is teaching and educating.” Part of maintaining a safe campus, according to Assistant Principal Robert Caughey, is urging students to speak up whenever they see something suspicious, like if a student makes inappropriate references to school shootings orally or on paper. “There are certain things that are just not acceptable to be said at school. And so, if they’re uttered, we as a staff are going to react every single time as if they are of the utmost seriousness and importance,” he said. Caughey added such behavior is akin to shouting “fire” in a crowded movie theater or “bomb” on an airplane. The January incident likely

would have gone unnoticed except students were held after the bell, said Assistant Principal Celeste Abdelnaby at the “First Friday” parent meeting March 2. Still, Camacho said, “you can never be too cautious. I’d rather have the conversation with the aftermath than not have the conversation at all.” Caughey said he would also prefer to be overly cautious. “People can joke about things and we can deem it to be inappropriate, but I would rather get to the bottom of the heart of their sentiment and their reasoning than to act in a void and not know why,” he said. Caughey reaffirmed the need to speak up, and said SDA’s administration relies on word from students to investigate suspicious situations: “The more students are aware and they are paying attention to what’s happening around them, the better we can do our job and ensure a safer campus.”

Since Parkland, shooting threats have increased and been seen locally. As a way to ensure school safety, administration urges students and faculty to err on the overly cautious side and to report anything that seems suspicious. By Olivia Olander

Local Threats S

ince the Parkland shooting, a number of “copycat” threats have plagued schools both locally and nationwide. According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, which tracks threats against schools, there have been 838 threats since Feb. 15 as of March 13 at an average rate of 70 threats per day. The usual amount, the group says, is about 10 per day nationwide. Local incidents have included: Torrey Pines High School: Two students, one a freshman and the other a 16-year-old student, were arrested on suspicion of making violent threats in February, according to the Union Tribune. Rancho Bernardo High School: “Florida was nothing” along with a swastika, time and date were graffitied onto the school’s campus. Police tweeted that they were “investigating,” but the threats were not deemed credible and no arrests were made. San Marcos High School: One of the earliest schools to hear a Parkland-related threat, SMHS students reported seeing a Snapchat with the words “Round 2 of Florida tomorrow,” according to the Union Tribune. The image was traced back to a South Carolina student who used it to threaten his own school. Vista High School received a written threat that resulted in extra security on campus, their principal told the Union Tribune. Poway High School: A student posted a screenshot of texts that appeared to threaten a shooting, the Union Tribune reported. He told sheriffs it was a joke.




ABOVE: SDA students stand together in front of the PAC in a moment of silence for the lives lost. Photo by Jaden Hauptman

After the recent Parkland, Florida shooting, SDA students banned together to participate in the national walkout, a tribute to the 17 lives lost. By Taylor Rudman


he intercom crackled. With a powerful, assured tone, Principal Adam Camacho’s voice traveled across campus. Shortly thereafter, students did as well. They filtered out, initially in small batches, then growing in size. There was no chanting. No yelling. About 900 students gathered around the PAC, some of them taking seats on the concrete, then filling up the lawn in front of the amphitheater for the walkout Wednesday. Several police officers, scattered around the PAC, stood with their arms crossed, solemn. Conversation quickly subsided as senior Francesca Finley, one of the walkout organizers, requested a minute of silence for the lives lost. In the deep silence, simple cardboard signs bobbed in the sea of students: “We Y Florida” “90% of the USA wants strict GUN CONTROL” “A” The silence was broken by Finley, her purpose quickly apparent: “Jaime 14, Martin, 14, Aaron 37, Gina, 14…” The SDA walkout was part of a National School Walkout to


protest gun violence on March 14, the one month anniversary of the Parkland shooting. The protest lasted 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost in Parkland, and consisted of several moments of silence as well as speeches from Finley, senior Olivia Hussey, and junior Stephen Baker. Students did not face penalty from administration for leaving class. The student speeches all called for stricter gun control, including universal background checks, the banning of bump stocks, and the reduction of NRA’s presence. Baker said, “Will you please tell me why it is harder to get an A in high school than it is to buy an assault rifle when its only use is destruction?” “The NRA is a symptom of the epidemic of lobbying power that infects our democratic institution at the price of our lives,” Hussey said. While the protest was focused on gun violence, the speeches also included empowering messages to the students about making their voices heard. “I’m done living in fear. We will no longer be silenced. This

is the beginning of a revolution. Our voices are getting louder and stronger,” Finley said. “Just wait. We will be heard by the world and when we are, there will be change and our kids will NOT be afraid to go to school.” The event was heavily supported by the student body. “When I heard that there was going to be a walk out and it’s only for seventeen minutes and the teachers are going to let us, I thought, ‘That is such a good idea. It’s not going to do anyone any harm. It’s only supporting,’” said junior Charis Hagen. “I chose to march because I think what we have at SDA this ability to band together and this unity between the adults and the kids to stand together for a cause is really unique,” senior Alex Schenkhuizen said. “I didn’t think it would be as emotionally charged as it was,” said senior Tessa Lee. “I felt something in the beginning when they named all the kids,” said senior Emma Goralski. “I was torn.” Although many students were

confident with their participation, some thoughts of concern lingered with some, given the topic matter and recent events. “I was kind of worried about my safety. Someone pointed out to me that it would be easy to shoot when we were protesting,” said senior Savannah Clark. Camacho’s main concern was ensuring student safety, which is why the entrance gate to the parking was closed and law enforcement was present. “It was just about making sure that we could be safe, that it could be done at a safe place, and I think we managed that to the best of our ability,” he said. No outsiders attempted to enter, however, parents and community members stood at the perimeter in support. Unlike last year’s post-election walk out, administration did not penalize students for attending the event, as long as they returned to class in a reasonable amount of time. Camacho said administration worked with the student organizers and ASB on the walkout because it is a First Amendment right, not due to

their own beliefs about gun control: “It’s really about any students’ right to demonstrate, protest and express their freedom of speech.” “I was excited. I was pleased that our students had the energy to do something,” Camacho said. “It felt like a really profound, really well organized, student-led event.” Camacho said he received only positive responses from teachers, although many did not attend as they had students who stayed in the classroom. “I am equally proud of the students who organized, participated in, and those who exercised their right to stay back in their classrooms,” Assistant Principal Celeste Abdelnaby said. “I thought the ones who participated were respectful. I think they handled things very well. I’m really proud of our students today.” Sophie Hughes, Joice He, Nohemia Rosales, Erin Maxwell, Lane Levin, Mallika Seshadri, and Simmone Stearn contributed. A version of this story appeared on March 14 on sdamustang.com

MAR 2018


ROLL CALL Editor-in-Chief / News Editor Olivia Olander Design Editor Simmone Stearn Opinion Editor Mallika Seshadri Features Editor Nohemia Rosales Assistant Features Editors Erin Maxwell Kieran Zimmer Arts Editor Taylor Rudman Humor Editor Nadia Ballard Sports Editor Yari Sequeria Assistant Sports Editor Alexis Price Business Managers Shayna Glazer Ally Joelson Online Editor Sophie Hughes Assistant Online Editor Sylvia Young Photo Editor Patrick Hall Staff Artists Emma Toscani Lilly Callender Staff Writers Rosy Alvarado Tom Amoroso Aeon Benford-Combs Ryan Cohen Joice He Anna Jenkins Griffin Amelia Kaiser Lane Levin Lena Mau Christopher Mellusi Taina Millsap Sienna Riley Lila Schief Madison Vance Braden White Advisor Tim Roberts The Mustang is the student newspaper of San Dieguito Academy. Advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The Mustang is an open forum which welcomes letters. Letters can be submitted to room 42, emailed to sdamustang@gmail.com or mailed to the address below. San Dieguito Academy Room 42 800 Santa Fe Drive Encinitas, CA 92024


“ ” No more guns! Ban the NRA! Wait. Stop. Let’s talk about this. W

ith the occurrence of large-scale school shootings comes a distressed cry of “what can we do?” They all seem so preventable. Simple fixes should have stopped a tragedy. In Parkland, Florida, for example, the shooter had posted questionable information on social media, which was ignored and shrugged off as “merely joking.” But, oh waithe wasn’t joking. The public’s first instinct in this situation is to question the roles and necessities of guns in our country: “We have a safe community! People don’t need guns anymore like they used to.” To an extent, they are correct. Certain guns, including assault rifles, should not be easily accessible in our society. But banning ANY guns, even assault rifles, will just create more problems than it’s worth. Not to mention, it’s a violation of our

Second Amendment. Because that’s an important thing. Practically any gun laws are a violation of our constitutional rights, the rights provided to us in 1789, the rights that have been revised, but never removed. Plenty has changed, sure, but clearly not enough to cause the removal of these rights. There are many other things Whatever floats we can do. your boat. Many things we should Sophie Hughes do. Let’s start with what the Senate GOP has already proposed: the Fix NICS Bill, by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. The plan for this bill is to give states more incentive to report questionable incidents and provide more records to the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) database, which is used to certify credibility and safeness for

gun transactions. This includes mental health and criminal records. However, this is all that the Senate has proposed and moved forward. And while this is a strong first step, it’s not the only step we should take. Emphasizing the knowledge of mental illness histories is a very large part of keeping guns out of dangerous hands. Another “mental stability” concern that should be addressed are any incidents with PTSD. The shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, is an example to reference. Shooter Devin P. Kelley was dishonorably discharged from the military, and was confined for a year for multiple domestic abuse charges. Yet he was still able to acquire a gun and kill 26 people. In a church. So not only should mental stability be a largely investigated subject for background checks but also accounts of PTSD-related incidents. The combination of information will effectively bring our country’s gun control up to par and keep us safe.



Time for a solution There’s been enough inaction and something needs to be done. Students need to feel safe.



magine being afraid of going to need protection from other people school every day wondering if your with guns. school is the next to be shot up. The fact that children do not Imagine living with the idea that no feel safe going to school every day school - not even the “safest districts” is an issue. The fact that parents are - is safe from a shooting. Imagine terrified to send their children to that at any moment a routine day can school, not knowing if they’ll even change your life for the worst. come home, is an issue. Well, we don’t even have to I get that no one wants to hear imagine that. That’s the reality we’re what other countries are doing, dealing with right now. because “America is superior” or We’re whatever. Howliving in the ever, it is extremely reality where worth noting what I can fit my hand the rules on Australia has done inside of a Pringles purchasing with gun control. can. assault rifles is a Ever since huge gray area their largest mass Sienna Riley nationwide with shooting in 1996, inconsistent the Australian regulations. government has We’re banned semiliving in the reality where we’ve had automatic and other military-grade 19 school shootings just THIS YEAR weapons across the country, includand it’s only March. There’s no telling ing the prohibition of their import, when the next one will happen, or if and implementing a nationwide gun another one’s already happened by buyback. the time this paper comes out. You may have guessed it already, We’re living in the reality where but there have been no mass shootnot enough is being done to protect ings since. children going to school because Even our northern neighbor, people are too busy arguing why they Canada, has implemented more should keep their guns because they safety regulations on guns since their

issues with school shootings. Since 1989 when a student killed 14 students and injured dozens at a school in Montreal, Canada’s government has imposed a 28 day waiting period for gun purchases. They’ve also made safety training courses mandatory when purchasing a gun, required extensive background checks, banned largecapacity magazines, and have banned or restricted military-grade weapons and ammunition. Yes, these countries and their governments may be different from ours, but they have had fairly similar incidents of gun violence that have prompted their national governments to actually do something. That’s more than we can say about our government. People kill people. That’s an indisputable fact that I will not argue. But people with guns kill a hell of a lot more people, and there is no way you can deny that as well. I’m going to reiterate something that so many students, especially the victims, are putting on blast: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. They’ve never been enough. It’s time for a real solution, and a real solution now.

MAR 2018


Teacher resigns amid complaints Fifteen students alleged math teacher Donn Boyd’s behavior made female students uncomfortable, district documents say. He continued teaching for months, but has agreed to resign. By Olivia Olander.


n May, 14 students told school officials that math teacher Donn Boyd touched some of them or others in ways that made them feel uncomfortable, and had commented on girls’ appearances, according to district records. In response Boyd said that any time he touched students, it was either to “re-direct them, to comfort, or to celebrate with them; and none were unwelcomed or complained about.” In a letter to the district, he continued, a female student and her group “behind these accusations” was attempting to “slander” him because he had given her a zero on a test and taken her phone away. Bjorn Paige, SDA’s principal at the time, wrote to Boyd that he should “avoid touching female students” and commenting on their clothing, as it could be interpreted as inappropriate. Boyd remained in the classroom. Two months into this school year, he was gone. Another student complained that he touched her shoulder and arms in ways that made her uncomfortable, according to district records. Boyd said this was inaccurate. “It saddens me,” he said in a letter, “that a few students have mischaracterized my actions and attributed some illicit motives to me… I wish the District would have interviewed some of the hundreds of students I’ve taught other the years that would paint an entirely different picture of who I am as a teacher and where my priorities lie.” On Oct. 31, the district immediately put him on paid leave to investigate the situation, Superintendent Eric Dill said Tuesday in an email. In January, Boyd and the district agreed that he would officially resign, effective June 30, 2018. There is no reported misconduct on his record with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Commission may review a teacher’s credential when they receive a report from a district “alleging sexual misconduct,” according to the Commission’s website. Dill said all complaints of misconduct are


sent to the Commission. After that, Dill said, “It is up to the commission to then review the information and determine whether any action will be taken to suspend or revoke the teacher’s credential.” The district’s resignation agreement also indicates that Boyd could seek a teaching job at another school. An employer calling for a reference will receive “only verification of employment, including positions held, dates thereof and compensation paid,” according to the agreement. However, Dill said that “under the terms of the agreement,” the district “would be unable to provide a positive recommendation.” The district released 37 pages of witness statements, an incident report, agreement, letters from Boyd and letters from district officials last week to The Mustang at the newspaper’s request. The records were originally disclosed in the online local news website Voice of San Diego Feb. 27 and were shared across the SDA community via social media. The 14 student accusations against Boyd came in the form of written statements in May. The student names were withheld. “He continuously hugs me and talks to me,” wrote one student, who was a senior last year, in a May 16 witness statement to school officials. “In the halls he will grab me by the back of my neck and shake me. I’ve run away and hid behind people just to avoid talking to him.” “In his math class I would feel uncomfortable wearing something with a low cut neck line because he would compliment those shirts or pants that were too tight,” she continued. Another student wrote in a May 10 statement, “In class [Boyd] has touched my shoulders head and back & these occasions are very very frequent.” “I was wearing a strapless shirt and he (Mr. Boyd) came over and massaged/started rubbing my bare shoulders,” said a student in a May 2 witness statement. “I felt uncomfortable and didn’t say anything. After he

left all my friends looked bewildered & creeped out.” “Mr. Boyd needs to have a strong discussion with school officials on how to treat students,” said another student, a senior at the time who said they witnessed Boyd’s behavior. “He has on several occasions made me feel uncomfortable and has been overly dramatic about situations for no reason...I don’t want to and didn’t want to get involved but I feel it is necessary.” Another junior at the time, who said in a May witness statement that they had seen inappropriate incidents, said there was “just a general vibe that a lot of students that I’ve talked to have noticed about the way he acts toward girls which makes it uncomfortable to be in his class and around him.” Boyd said he did not inappropriately touch students according to a Dec. 13 response. In reply to one of the student statements, Boyd said, “On occasion, I had placed my hands on her shoulders or neck to redirect her attention or behavior. While I accept and understand that I should not be touching any student absent a safety or security issue, she never communicated to me that any such touching made her uncomfortable.” Further, in a May response to the initial statements, he called the claim that he commented on girls’ outfits “absolutely false. I do not make comments about how females dress, especially when they wear provocative clothing for exactly this reason. I do not want to be taken incorrectly so I choose to say nothing at all.” With another female student, he had a friendly relationship, he said in his December letter, so he felt that his “occasional friendly not affectionate” hugs and touches on the neck were appropriate. “This student also never gave any indication that anything I ever did made her uncomfortable… It’s unreasonable to categorize my actions as inappropriate let alone ‘sexual misbehavior,’” he said in a response to the accusations. He said other allegations, such

as that he seated female students close to him and gave a student a massage, were “a gross mischaracterization,” according to his letter. “I recognize now how a few occasions could make students feel uncomfortable, and for that I am deeply regretful,” he said in his December response. “That was never my intention… I wish I could apologize personally to each student that I made feel uncomfortable.” A Mustang request for further comment sent to Boyd’s school email address bounced back, and there was no response to requests via Facebook Messenger. In his Dec. 13 response to the complaints, Boyd said one of the students he believed to be involved had “suspect” timing, as he had just given her a zero on a test for cheating. Paige said he hadn’t given Boyd the name of the student who accused him, so Boyd’s “idea that it was a student who had struggled in his class and had disciplinary infractions” was “not correct.” In a letter, he said several students that had complained had As and Bs. Boyd said in his final statement to the district’s Human Resources department that claims against him were not representative of most students, and that they came from a “few students that have successfully sought to oust” him. After the May complaints, Paige wrote to Boyd, “You need to avoid touching female students… In addition, you should refrain from making comments about student attire.” The letter was placed in Boyd’s personnel file. “Any additional incidents of this type will result in further discipline,” Paige concluded. Paige told Boyd in his letter that this wasn’t the first time he had faced complaints from female students. He was asked to go to sexual harassment training in 2007 after a complaint, according to a letter from Garry Thornton, an assistant principal at the time. Boyd said he was never ordered to go when responding to the complaints 10 years later, in 2017.

Boyd continued to teach until this school year, when another complaint was filed against him Oct. 31. “He has the tendancy to make me feel uncomfortable by always finding a way to touch me or hug me. He often touches my shoulders and back and has even asked for hugs,” said a female student in an Oct. 31 witness statement. “Almost daily, he touches my shoulders and arms and it’s very uncomfortable and distracting,” the complaint continued. “I always feel hesitant asking for help during lunch or after school because I don’t really want to be alone with him.” In response, Boyd said Jan. 8 that whenever he touches a male or female student, it is to “re-direct them, to comfort, or to celebrate with them.” He added that another student seated in the back of his classroom could “confirm the inaccuracy of this student’s alleging that I touched her ‘almost daily.’” Within a day after the October complaint was filed, Boyd was put on paid leave by the district so it could “conduct its investigation into the allegations,” according to a letter to Boyd from Cindy Frazee, associate superintendent for human resources in the San Dieguito Union High School District. Frazee noted at the time that the assessment of the accuracy of the statements had “not yet been made.” Boyd resigned in January, effective June 30. Until then, he will continue to receive his salary and benefits, according to his final settlement with the district. (The annual salary amounts to $125,117.95, according to Transparent California, a website run through the Nevada Research Institute that publishes salaries of public employees based on reports from public entities like the district.) The settlement was ratified by the district governing board on the same day the SDUHSD school board unanimously approved the resignation of a teacher in a closed session.




MAR 2018


A teacher’s teacher’s input The Mustang reached out to California State University San Marcos’ Director of Education Dr. Patricia Stall to ask what teachers are taught about political discussion in the clasroom.


us what we are getting into, but maybe this is a more realistic take on what we face in our classes. Created by Emma Toscani.

Just don’t tell me how to vote

Balanced political discussion in the classroom is vital to students making informed decisions in the future.


e are not homogenous. Diversity is what we thrive on as a community here at SDA. But as soon as it comes to accepting differences in opinions, especially about politics, suddenly no one is there to listen to the minority. Or worse, no one even asks these students if they have anything to say. I have sat in Spanish classes during Socratic style discussions led by the teacher about the need to protect our immigrant What happens communities, when your lap with a focus when you on migrant stand up? workers. I agree. But, -Madison Vance I also want to know the other side. Why are people against immigrants, even those immigrants that are growing our food, contributing to the diverse cultural make of our country, and helping the economy? I don’t want my friends and classmates seething, or on the verge of tears, because—guess what—they don’t agree and no one has bothered questioning them or the teacher. These students listen to solutions they don’t agree with addressed by teachers as the “facts” or “necessary steps” in order to improve the world. (If flipped in reverse, there would be outrage.) However, these students are usually not comfortable speaking out because they’ll be picked on by their peers. This is often manifested in the way classroom discussion is formatted: conversation never


opens up to the other side. On campus, vocal students and teachers are mostly liberal, but there are conservatives among us. No one speaks up to ask what the opposition thinks. No one speaks up to ask why conservatives believe what they do. We have the opportunity to learn from one another but we aren’t letting it happen. I think the responsibility to amend this should fall to the teachers. They should point out that there are differing opinions and maybe bring some to light if they’re not being brought up by students. They should encourage people to be respectful and not to hateful to one another. Our students should not be made to feel like bad people, inadvertently or directly by teachers or students alike. In no way do I want to completely restrict teachers from talking about politics in the classroom. Schools are important for political socialization, the way places like schools and teachers influence and shape our political views. (Mr. Cameron, can I get some extra credit for working that vocab word in!?) Furthermore, as Dr. Patricia Stall from California State University San Marcos elaborated in her interview, located to the right, teachers work in a political space, having to fight to represent students and themselves in an attempt to make sure resources and funding are sufficient.

Sometimes, ensuring the safety of students involves taking a political stance, like helping students in the DACA program maintain their status and continue their education and lives in the United States. But there is a clear difference between wanting to help their students stay in class, and taking time away from learning proofs or how to conjugate the pluscuamperfecto to express the need for us all as MORAL AMERICANS to vote the Republicans out of Congress and the Oval Office. This is not the curriculum. It is not to say that all teachers espouse liberal sentiments. There are many who can teach successful language, English, math, science and social science classes and not bash the Republican Party or push their personal agenda. I admire the teacher that can lead classes that touch on heavily charged topics and remain impartial and encourage a balanced discussion. Snide remarks and scoffing are inappropriate gestures that reveal the teacher’s stance on an issue and affirm that they think lower of those that hold differing views. Teachers need to avoid political discussion if they can’t speak on it with it being derogatory or alienating. Educate students in not only detecting bias but also thinking critically about whether the given representation is fair or complete. Encourage students to ask insightful and hard questions so we can learn and develop opinions of our own. I want to know both sides before I make a decision. I want my teachers to help me with this.


hat is legally/ethically allowed for teachers to express political

opinions? There are other codes of ethics, but the National Education Association (NEA) code of ethics is the most widely accepted code in our profession and one that we ask teacher candidates to abide by. You will notice that it makes no reference to teachers expressing their opinions in class. I would argue that the ability to express our opinions is a First Amendment right—freedom of speech. Generally speaking, I believe that teaching is a political act in and of itself. Teachers must often advocate politically to ensure that their students get what they need. That includes being proactive in contacting political representatives to be sure we are funded at appropriate levels. (That almost never happens.) It also means that we advocate for students to get the services they are legally supposed to receive.  To what extent are teachers allowed to retain free speech/ express their beliefs? There is no law regarding what teachers are allowed to do in this realm. Absolutely, discretion and good judgment should be exercised. Passion about some issues sometimes governs the lack of better judgment, and I personally do not display political posters, buttons, etc.  How are the rules/norms regarding speaking about personal political beliefs different and similar to those regarding speech about religion? ...If we cannot have important political discussions in an educational setting where we can agree to disagree and still be civil to one another, then where else are we to learn to engage with those who have opinions different from us? ...We can have difficult conversations without excluding anyone. We have a responsibility to teach productive discourse on important issues, and political issues are often the issues about which we are most passionate.

In response to the more recent polarization of politics (President Trump’s election, controversy over repeal of DACA, response to school shootings, etc.), have you seen teachers become more or less vocal? If yes, how and why might this be happening? This is a good example of a time when teachers have to be political to stand up for their students. Did you know that some teachers are undocumented and in the DACA program? Many of us are active protesters for the rights of our DACA students. We all want our students to be safe from deportation, from school shootings, from bullying in any form whether it is from students or an overzealous teacher. It is our ethical responsibility to ensure the safety and emotional well-being of our students. Where is a line drawn between it being okay for a teacher to espouse their beliefs and it not being acceptable? Can such a line be drawn? Why or why not? I will repeat that, first and foremost, teachers must ensure that their students are in safe learning environments. ...Here is a personal story that helps to illustrate how teachers and students can have difficult conversations and still be friends. Several years ago when my daughter was in high school, it was an election year and her social studies teacher was very open about his political views. My daughter was wellversed in important issues and would often push back, providing another point of view. Basically, they disagreed on almost every issue. She never felt threatened, her grade was not affected, and there didn’t seem to be any repercussions from the teacher. Fast forward 12 years, and that same teacher, who is also the athletic director, hired her to be the volleyball coach at her alma mater. They were and still are friends, even exchanging holiday cards! That is exactly how teachers and students need to handle all difficult conversations with passion, grace, and listening to varying points of view. 



Hey there! Let’s be aware! Honey bees, though declining in population, aren’t actually the bees to be worrying about.


ere’s what all the buzz is about. There are 4,000 types of bees living in North America alone yet for some reason, we seem to only be hearing about the Honey Bees and their drastic population decline. Though yes, it is important to keep in mind that their population is spiraling downward, they are not the only type of bees in America heading towards extinction. Right now across the United States and North America, the larger issue is that I like bees. those that really need the -Shayna Glazer help- Native Bees- are getting ignored in the frenzy to protect the Honey Bees. Yup, welcome to the real world folks, there is more than one type of bee pollinating your flowers and gardens. In fact, Honey Bees aren’t even native to the United States, they were imported from Europe! My point in bringing this distinction up is that bees are not a new topic of discussion, they have just become overgeneralized when we discuss bee health and population


decline. Let’s talk about Native Bees; ranging from fat and fuzzy Bumble Bees to hard working, lonely Mason Bees, each of these insects have completely unique features. In fact, most of these Native Bees don’t sting! These bees live in holes dug into the dirt, in hives, in gaps between bricks, and even sleep in flowers. It really doesn’t make sense why these types of bees are not talked about more. They are so crucial to our environment because, though smaller in population, they are twice as efficient as Honey Bees at pollination. So when you say “save the bees,” it’s time to start looking past the common image of a Honey Bee and expand your mind to the far ranging world of how to help Native Bees. That does beg the question how can YOU help? To start, awareness of the topic is the perfect foundation for change. After simply realizing that bees are dying, the next step you (an intellectual) can take is to realize that “saving the bees” is more than just shouting the phrase at your friends

A HONEY BEE and a Bumble Bee face one another in a friendly fashion. Illustration by: Emma Toscani or wearing a t-shirt with a bee sown into the chest pocket. It’s so easy to make an impact on the Native Bee community and you can start within your own yard. Purchase a couple different seed packets from the San Diego native section of Home Depot or other plant stores, and if you want to be a true superstar, keep a few flowers blooming

year round (it isn’t that hard since these plants are most often drought tolerant). A second quick step that can be taken is to leave the little dirt patches that might be a part of your yard. In San Diego, the “aesthetic beauty” of a completely paved backyard is actually harming the Native Bees, there is a decreasing amount of open space

in Southern California where bees such as Digger Bees –as their names states- dig their homes in the earth. Leave the small dirt patches in your yard and you may find small holes in these lands, these are the Native Bees thanking you for your contribution to their choices. Save the bees by being aware of exactly who you’re saving.

MAR 2018


Turns out sunscreen is actually useful...

You should really wear sunscreen... it helps with a lot!

Nah, I don’t need it. I never get sunburnt!

I know I sound kinda like a lame mom, but kids need to start recognizing the importance of sunscreen application.


’ll be the first to admit that taking good care of my skin is something that I could work on, as far as a nighttime skin routine goes. I don’t spend fifteen minutes putting on various creams and oils before bed, like I know many other women do. My mother for example, takes 12 years just to put on all of her facial products before she lies This is my happy down for eight hours, making it face. But trust me, difficult, in our single bathroom I’m still angry on the home, for me inside. to accomplish my two minute Lena Mau “routine” (literally just washing my face). But sunscreen application is something that I am fantastic at. Being as white and gingerish as I am, I am super prone to freckles and sunburns. When I was a kid, my mom would try her best to lather sunscreen on me before I went literally anywhere where there would be sunshine. Then I got to middle school, and who needs sunscreen in middle school? I tried to put some on one time in the seventh grade during

lunch, and my friends made fun of me. They said that I looked even whiter and smelled like sunscreen, which was a very bad smell... I guess. So that was the end of me and sunscreen’s relationship in middle school. If I could go back and slap my middle school self in the face and tell her everything I now know about good skincare, and sunscreen, no doubt I would. In a freaking heartbeat. Sunscreen is literally so important for everybody, no matter how much melanin you have in your body. The lotion blocks harmful rays, and also keeps the age wrinkles away. I know that not everybody is worried about age wrinkles, but I am going to be living wrinkle free at age 60, while everyone else is going to be shriveled old raisins (wear sunscreen kids). Sunscreen is proven to disrupt the process of aging, and according to a study done by the American College of Physicians, 24 percent of people who use sunscreen are less

likely to show dramatic, increasing signs of aging. Doesn’t sound like a super high number, but those 24 percent of the public people are living ageless, surrounded by wrinkled, old, pruney dates. Also cancer is something that is SUPER relevant, especially skin cancer with this generation. Tanning is cool, but so is keeping healthy skin and organs healthy. “Lena,” you say, “There are other anti-aging products that you can use besides sunscreen that don’t make you look greasy that actually work.” Well, kind stranger, those products won’t stop those strong UV rays that cause skin cancer that can spread, very quickly, to all of your important organs. Statistics from the Skin Cancer Foundation shows that one in five people will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in their life. This totals to about 5.5 million cases of skin cancer a year in the US alone. So, next time you think “It won’t happen to me,” just remember that is what the one in the five also thought. Everywhere there is sun, there is the potential of skin cancer. So, please just apply some sunscreen. Paying attention to the SPF is also important. I didn’t learn a whole lot in Junior Lifeguards, but if I picked up on anything in the six times that I did the camp, it’s that

30 Years Later...

Paul! Your’e looking... wrinkled...

You were right about the suncreen!

YIKES! Doctors hate her! Paul the Raisin, formally Paul the Grape, should have listened to Lori the Grape’s warnings about good skin care. Ilustration by Emma Toscani SPF doesn’t go past 15. I don’t mean that if a sunscreen bottle says that it has SPF 90, it’s lying, it’s just not being super honest. SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor,” which means that even though the number on the SPF is high, it doesn’t protect you more than a bottle with a low SPF. High SPF will just protect you longer than a lower SPF. You can also pay

attention to the amount of zinc in the sunscreen. The higher the zinc content, the higher the SPF usually. Basically my point is, you don’t have to settle for expensive SPF 4000 sunscreen or foundation. Lower SPF will work just as fine, just don’t forget to reply every few hours. Protect yourself, respect yourself, wear sunscreen. Choose your own fate.

The Debt: a bipartisan love story

Want to see $2.8 million added to the debt? Heat up a Hot Pocket ™. That’s about how long it’ll take.


merging victorious from the lowering taxes while increasing the recent tax cuts, President budget of a government program will Trump has proposed an lead to even more debt. additional $54 billion to the military I’m sure that you’ve heard this budget. topic at the FREE COLLEGE! Now While family dinner that I it may seem table, followed have your as though he with your attention, is following father ranting read this his campaign about various article and promises of congressmen and cry about it. reducing taxes congresswomen and increasing and warning Aeon Combs military you about the spending, this is counterproductive. eminent economic danger that our I’ll spill the beans and say that generation will be in. I am a fiscal conservative, someone But to truly be scared of who believes that low taxes and something, you would have to know limited government spending what that “something” is. The as makes for the most successful and of now $21,000,000,000,000 price prosperous society. tag, also known as the debt, is the But anyone with knowledge of accumulated deficits that the federal the most basic economics can make a government has run up. simple observation, left or right, that We already spend so much on


programs like Medicare & Medicaid, Social Security, and the Military Budget, which alone make up more than 75 percent of the total amount of federal spending. If you thought college was going to be a doozy to pay off, the debt per tax paying citizen is about $172,000 and if we were to spend our total Gross Domestic Product, the value of the goods and services produced in the U.S. from one year, we still wouldn’t be able to cover it (The debt covers our annual GDP by about 105 percent). Is this really the ideal government we should be running, or will we regret it sometime down the line because we will be forced to default? I believe that there is a prescription to this illness, albeit this prescription may be a hard pill to swallow. It is obvious that we would

need to cut spending in order to pay off the debt, entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid should be cut when citizens are able to live independently from these programs. I would also make policies that create job opportunities in the private sector, rendering these programs pointless to fund. I’d lower tariffs to encourage free trade from other countries to increase our GDP by offering consumers more products to buy. I’d also try to lower the debt ceiling and force congress to borrow less money each year as well. After shifting government presence away from the economy, I would use tax revenue to pay off the debt. This will certainly take many years to accomplish, but this is an inherent consequence when causing

such a significant problem so recklessly. Economics is one of the sciences that are highly politicized because it is so important to our society. Better understanding this science from a non-biased perspective will make our standard of living, not only for Americans, but people around the world much better. It is evident that people, especially politicians, are only concerned with economic responsibility as a solution and reason to oppose policies that their parties oppose as well. While Democrats and Republicans may seem like different people, they are different faces of the same coin. They share the same agenda: expanding the size of the federal government.



Watching kids do great stuff is the coolest. When you see our teams winning. When you see the plays and the acting that goes on. When you listen to the music. When you listen to Battle of the Bands. When you’re at prom, watching everyone getting all duded up and decked out and having fun. When you’re watching the robotics guys busting ass trying to make what is, to them, the greatest robot that they could ever make. When you’re seeing kids at Exhibition Day demonstrating the stuff they do and the t-shirts that are made in screen printing and the art that comes out of the art department… That’s why I am very grateful to be here. -George Stimson


the teacher under the beret By Lane Levin and Erin Maxwell


he battered old upright piano sitting in the front of physics teacher Ryan Cardenas’ classroom, once belonged to George Stimson. Some students walk by the piano, pressing a single key while others sit and play entire songs. Cardenas, a pianist himself, carries on the tradition of integrating music into the classroom, as he was taught by his predecessor Stimson. Cardenas had Stimson as his physics teacher when he, Cardenas, went to SDA. “Stimson is the reason I became a physicist,” Cardenas said. “I owe a big part of who I am as a teacher to his example. He’s taught me that the individuals in our classrooms are people first, then students. He’s shown me that we teach the person, not the subject....He’s taught me that when kids feel like school is for them, they will be for school.” That kind of impact on students was one of the reasons physics teacher and robotics mentor George Stimson was named SDA’s teacher of the year Friday. Stimson, who has been at the Academy since its inception in 1996, and before that at old San Dieguito High School, is capping off his final year of teaching with the honor. “I am very honored, seriously,” Stimson said. “One, [I’m] very grateful. Two, in a school like this where there are so many amazing teachers...I’m so impressed with everyone else that I can’t imagine someone picking me.” Stimson has only words of praise for the students that attend San Dieguito Academy. He couldn’t put his finger on one moment, but recounted the aspects of SDA that inspired his love and admiration for the school. Stimson was selected by his peers to receive this award. “Mr. Stimson is an amazing educator and represents to our learning community what SDA truly means…His love, dedication, and positive influence to SDA and its students over the years will be the legacy he will proudly leave behind,” said Principal Adam Camacho as he described the qualities that made Stimson teacher of the year. Many of Stimson’s students support the teacher of the year designation. Senior Conner Still said, “[Stimson] deserves [the award] out of everyone. More than anyone at this school, him.” Another robotics team member and physics student, senior Wayde

A MUSTANG REPORTER asked George Stimson, teacher of the year, the reasons he likes teaching. Stimson pointed to the students around him, saying, “Well, I can think of one, two, three….” Photo by Patrick Hall

Gilliam, said, “Honestly [Stimson] is just insanely passionate about physics and anything that he is into, especially robotics. I have never met or had another teacher that has been so into what he loves to do.” Stimson’s fellow teachers have high praise for Stimson as well. Recalling a favorite memory, Cardenas said, “I remember Stimson tying a string around each kid’s wrist at the end of my senior year as a reminder that we are loved, that there are people in the world who care about us, and that we will always have a home at SDA.” Stimson is an integral part of SDA, and can be seen around campus driving his golf cart, wearing his signature suspenders and beret or his bright red and yellow Team Paradox uniform. Lucky students might also catch a glimpse of him in his Scottish kilt. “He is SDA’s historian who makes sure that each and every graduating senior has a free, perfect graduation picture, that theater productions are documented and advertised, and that every event

and the kids that create them are memorialized and celebrated,” said teacher Kerry Koda. His love for SDA and the students sets him apart from the other teachers, students and teachers said. Koda said, “Stimson built SDA with the confidence that anything is possible. His focus on students and developing young people is central to what we try to do as a school community…SDA would not have been possible without his vision and guidance.” “Stimson has inspired more people to love physics, to love learning, and to love life than will ever be counted,” Cardenas said. “He leaves behind the legacy of a generation who, when asked why they still return to visit years after they left high school, reply ‘Because SDA belongs to me like a second home... and I belong to SDA.’” Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story appeared online at sdamustang.com on March 7.

MAR 2018


yes, i was in a hardcore band with pete wentz

Adam Bishop, a new addition to SDA’s teaching staff, is quite a bit more hardcore than you might expect. By Kieran Zimmer.


didn’t like high school.” These aren’t necessarily words you would expect to hear coming from your average 12th grade English teacher. You also wouldn’t necessarily associate the guy teaching you the meaning behind Hamlet’s soliloquy with pop-punk heartthrobs Fall Out Boy, or angst-ridden punk mainstays Rise Against, but then again, Adam Bishop isn’t your average English teacher. Hailing from Chicago, and then moving to Bakersfield, and later Mission Viejo, this is Bishop’s first year teaching at San Dieguito. He “came from a blue collar background,” and says that he “always had that antiauthoritarian streak.” This streak drew him into the punk scene at a young age, and he “started going to shows in the late 80s” seeing hardcore bands like Earth Crisis as well as local groups. While many of us think of our first concert as a fun, innocent, childhood experience, Bishop’s was, for lack of a better word, hostile: “My first show was seeing Slapshot with some local bands, and Slapshot had that one “Punk’s Dead, You’re Next” song from that one album, and there I was with my Dead Kennedys shirt,” he said. “We got there and it was just dudes in hockey masks and baseball bats. And I was scared out of my mind!” Growing up surrounded by hardcore groups eventually led Bishop to start some of his own, culminating in one by the name of Arma Angelus (Latin for “the arms of the angel”). Active from 19982002, they released one album titled “Where Sleeplessness is Rest From Nightmares” on Eulogy records. The band played a style heavily influenced by heavier hardcore and metalcore groups from the 1990s. Notably for the more pop-punk inclined at SDA, Arma Angelus also featured every member of Fall Out Boy, most notably Pete Wentz and Andy Hurley throughout their existence (though not all at once), as well as Tim McIlrath of Rise Against, and Jay Jancetic of Harms Way. However, the recent fame of his band mates hasn’t changed his perception of his band mates much: “The first time I met Pete he was probably 13, he had dreadlocks, he was wearing a Cannibal Corpse shirt, and he was playing guitar in this really crappy metal band. I


BACK IN MY DAY: Mr. Bishop with Tim Mcilrath and Joe Principe (second and third from left, Rise Against) and Chris Gutierrez (right, Fall Out Boy’s “Grenade Jumper”).

DOWN TIME: Life on the road isn’t as glamorous as it may seem. Bishop (left middle) plays some gin with Pete Wentz (right), Gutierrez, (left) and Principe (middle right).

thought he was a giant dork, but wanted to be around that dude. And we eventually became friends. We he was able to always leverage that played in this other band called Exinto the next big thing. But, like I tinction, and I actually recruited him said, of everybody involved, he was to play in that band,” he said. the dude that had the least talent. In addition to being seen as The only reason we ever asked him somewhat of to be in a band or a dork, Wentz do anything was “The first time I met because he was didn’t start off quite as punk funny, and he had Pete [Wentz], he as many might charisma. But he be led to think. was probably 13, he also be really cruel; “[Wentz] grew he was a momma’s had dreadlocks, he boy, he got whiny on up really well off,” Bishop said. tour. That’s why you was wearing a Wentz, whose can see him in all full name is Peter Cannibal Corpse the photos (imitates Lewis Kingston Pete Wentz with his Wentz III, is also shirt...and I thought arms crossed) sort related to former of pouting.” he was a giant Secretary of State Nonetheless, of Colin Powell, as normal as it may dork” according to seem to be to BishBishop. op, being in a band “He led this with Pete Wentz -Mr. Bishop sort of charmed isn’t exactly an easy life, and the rest thing to keep on the of us were these broke middle class down-low: “I’ve always been kind of kids. No matter what happened to a relatively private person, and I tend him, he always landed on his feet.” not to talk too much about my personal life. It’s just kind of how I am. “The other thing he was really Usually around December is when good at I think was leveraging his people start Googling teachers, like personal relationships. People just

‘who is this person?’ and that’s usually where things surface. It’s pretty much every year, and it’s not really an effort to keep anything under wraps as much as it is just not something I’m going to bring up. So, when people find out and they come to class and they’re like hey, are you that guy? It’s like, ‘we’ll have that day now, you get that one day to ask whatever questions you want, and then we’ll never speak of this again.’” Of course, this isn’t to paint Mr. Bishop as the kind of guy who still wears camo shorts and moshes his heart out every weekend. “I still listen to some of the music, but some of the music has not aged well. Some of the old stuff I listen to, some I don’t. I don’t really follow new hardcore anymore very much, simply because it just doesn’t appeal to me, it’s just different. So, a lot of it is just kind of nostalgia, just redoing stuff that’s already been done. I’ll still listen to some pretty heavy music, but also I’m a dad and I get stressed, so I’ll listen to a lot of folk music, and Iron and Wine, things like that just to relax and clear my head.” This is also not to say that Bishop is resentful that his childhood friends are on the covers of maga-

Photo courtesy of Adam Bishop.

Photo courtesy of Adam Bishop.

zines while he’s in room 10 grading essays: “[I miss it] to a degree, but it’s also something I’ve moved on from I think. I was playing in bands, and by the time I decided to move into teaching I kind of made a conscious decision to walk away from that life.” All told, you might not expect someone who grew up playing in a hardcore band with members of the group that wrote “Uma Thurman,” to end up as an AP and College Prep English Literature teacher at our school. However, considering that most of our English teachers traversed a suburban high school rather than the Chicago hardcore scene, this could be the best thing at ever happened to your 12th grade literature class. “I just want there to be an authentic experience, and exchange of ideas that I think sometimes, at least in my high school experience was lacking, and that the teachers didn’t really want to know what we thought. At least I didn’t feel like they did, and I didn’t like high school. And I think that’s something that I do bring, I do wanna have my students feel like their voice matters, and that the ideas they have are good, and the ideas they have are worth exploring.”




Now that you’ve heard back from all your colleges, it’s time to choose which one to go to. Here’s how. By Erin Maxwell.


alling all seniors! The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means college acceptances — and rejections — are starting to pour in. For some of you, this is a joyful time, a time to celebrate getting into your first choice. For a lot of us, however, we either do not have a top school or didn’t get into it, meaning we have to choose between our remaining colleges — all of which seem to be equally tolerable. We’d hoped that the results would magically make our decision crystal clear, but that didn’t happen and now here we are. I mean, how am I supposed to choose between one school, with the perfect major, and another school, with the perfect location? Well, the decision must be made, and relatively quickly. Luckily, there are a few things to consider that may help make the decision a little easier. START AT THE BEGINNING To start, College Apps teacher Ruth Magnusson recommends reexamining why you applied to each school in the first place. Determine which factors you need the school to have, and which factors the school absolutely cannot have. Look at size, campus layout, study abroad opportunities, class sizes, and the various programs that the school has. Is Amherst, with 1700 students, too small? Is the University of Michigan, with 45,000 students, too big? Go to Emerson and study abroad in a Dutch castle, or go to the University of Rochester and be stuck walking through underground tunnels all winter. For example, senior Jordan Myrick is interested in SDSU partially because of how their academic programs and study abroad mix: “[SDSU’s] nursing program requires you to go abroad, which I thought was really intriguing,” she said. Location is a huge aspect of this part of the process. First off, can you really live without the beach? If not, it’ll have to be Santa Barbara. Look deep inside yourself to figure out whether not being able to see the ocean from Purdue will give you claustrophobia. The weather is also quite important — make sure to consider whether you can truly deal with the almost constant rain in Portland, or the freezing snow in upstate New York. It turns out a lot of the country isn’t sunny 24/7...I know, so weird! Commenting on the University of


Washington, Myrick said, “If I were to move to Washington, it would definitely be an adjustment. Potential snow and rain everyday, until the summer when it’s 100 degrees. It’s really insane. You definitely experience all the seasons.” WAIT, I HAVE TO PAY FOR COLLEGE? Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you need to consider the monetary aspect. As frustrating as it is, the finances are important. Even if you’ve gotten into your top choice college, it just isn’t realistic to go there if your family can’t afford it. For senior Alex Schenkhuizen, who would like to attend the University of Washington, the finances are definitely something to consider. He said, “Washington is on the more expensive side. A scholarship to Arizona State makes [Arizona] more appealing, even though academically I don't think it’s as much of a challenge.” Look at the financial aid you have received from each school, and make sure you understand how much is grant aid and how much is loans. Magnusson said, “Even with the loans, you have to look at whether the loans are student or parent loans, because that could be a restrictive factor.” As Edvisors Network, Inc explains, parent loans come from the Federal Government and have fixed interest rates. Student loans, on the other hand, come from the private financial institution, and can have either fixed or variable interest rates. Be sure to understand which one you have been offered, before accepting. If the finances are too much for you family, really ask yourself whether you wouldn’t be just as happy at a less expensive school. If the answer is “I need to go to this school!!”, then there is one more option; as College Apps teacher Robert Ross said, “You can appeal the financial aid offers that you get. It’s sometimes kind of a long shot, but it’s worth writing the letter.” SOMETIMES REPUTATION IS TRUTH Make sure that the general environment of the school is something you can vibe with. Senior Hannah Gunderman, who hopes to attend MIT, made a good point: “I think it’s important for the college I go to, to not just be a massive school trying to churn out as many successful people

SDA ALUM VICKY Van der Wagt (right, front), who now attends UCSC, said, “One piece of advice I have is to not go to a school just because it is the most ‘prestigious’ one you got into. Most schools are great and you should go to the college you think you can thrive both academically and emotionally.” Photo courtesy of Vicky Van der Wagt.

as possible. Not a ‘I want you because you’re going to bring money back to my school one day’ kind of attitude and more like a ‘Yeah we want you to learn and grow, but we also want you to have fun with your education and give you the opportunities to do some things that you want to do just for the pure entertainment of it and exploration of it.’” SDA alum Zack Kanzler attends Tulane University, known for its party culture. “I'm happy here and have found my people among the swarm of Tulane's general culture,” he said. “But definitely know that if your school is known for something you'll have to deal with it on a day to day basis. I don't regret my decision, but I definitely would say that it's best to trust your gut. If you’re worried about some part of a school, imagine how that worry will play out over four years.” ONLINE CAMPUS TOUR? NO. For the colleges that you are both able to afford and feel like you fit in with, the next (and most important!!) step is to travel to the school. You won’t truly know whether your Birkenstocks are going to fit in with the student body until you get there

and see the other students. Ross said, “I would really recommend people visit those schools, even if they’re far away, because it’s really hard to tell if you’re going to be comfortable there until you get there and you walk around and you have that feel for the place.” He warns, “A lot of students will romanticize a college image or a name, or parents will, and they’ve been getting this message for years and years and it may not live up to that image, once they’re actually there.” Magnusson says to go to the admissions sessions, sit in on a class, stay overnight in the dorms, and just ask lots of questions. Yes, visiting can be expensive, but so is a college education; make sure you’re investing in the right place. For those who truly cannot afford to visit, Magnusson said, “[Many schools] have scholarships to visit, and I really encourage people to just ask, ‘Hey, are there any scholarships available for a fly out visit? One of our students from previous years, he goes to Emory now, in Georgia, he just asked, ‘Is there anything, a scholarship or flight that I can have? And they flew him and his father

out. There are ways around it if you don’t have the money.” LIFE HAS A WAY OF WORKING OUT Overall, the trick is not to worry. As Ross said, “Sometimes there’s just no way to know 100 percent whether this environment, this social scene, the feeling of the area, the weather -- if you’re going to be able to handle all of that stuff. It’s okay to come home, go to Mira Costa for a semester, transfer somewhere else. That happens to a lot of kids and they're fine, you’re not a failure.” However, most kids feel that they’re going to find the right place. Schenkhuizen said, “I’m really keeping an open mind, because I have complete faith that really wherever I end up, I’m going to be able to find academics and outside activities that I’ll be able to find interest in and make connections with people in.” It’s all going to work out. Kanzler said, “[Don’t] stress too much over your college decision. In the end, it's an amazing roller coaster of an experience no matter where you go.”

MAR 2018


‘This game is unsuitable for the easily disturbed’

Keep the lights on, open your game files, and, for the love of god, do NOT wear headphones. By Joice He


ne of my favorite things to do is play free online games. You never know what to expect from them; they can be surprisingly quality story games or something silly like a bottle flipping simulator. When “Doki Doki Literature Club” came out, the vast majority of people, including myself, rolled their eyes and moved on. The featured game screen on Steam seems innocent enough; annoyingly cheery pink polka dots serve as a backdrop to a cast of four generic anime girls in school uniforms accompanied by a peppy piano tune. The only thing that seems out of place is the fact that it’s rated 10/10 on the popular game platform, Steam, and the first line of text regarding to game reads “This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.” From the depths of free Steam games comes a new flavor-of-the-month title from creator Team Salvato, DDLC. Recently reaching one million downloads, DDLC won the IGN People’s Choice award in every category it was nominated for; Best PC Game, Best Adventure Game, Best Story, and Most Innovative. It not only turns the entire “click-through-story” visual novel genre on its head, but has you messing with it directly in the game files, calls you out by name, and even leaves ridiculously difficult trails to uncover in its downloadable folders that hints to DDLC being only a single

piece of an entirely different game. The game starts out innocently placid; your childhood friend Sayori manages to rope you into a club she’s in at school, leading to you joining a colorful cast of girls in the school’s literature club. You are quickly introduced to Yuri, the quiet and shy nerd girl, Natsuki, a fiery and obstinate freshman, and Monika, the helpful club president who aids you during your gameplay. The game lures you into a comfortable looping pattern of events common to dating simulators, just long enough for you to let your guard down. About an hour into the game, the real reason DDLC has become so overwhelming popular becomes apparent as the game begins to turn inside out. The remaining three hours are a unique, terrifying horror game that uses everything you thought you knew about games and stomps it into the ground as you relive your first hour of gameplay with horrific consequences. DDLC definitely lives up to its Steam tag of Psychological Horror, especially as scenes that were so easy to click through your first time seeing them are suddenly dangerously ominous. If you open the folder you downloaded to play the game, you’ll begin to notice that things are being added and deleted from the files. Someone is changing your game as you play. My only issue with DDLC was the time.

THE STARTING SCREEN of Doki Doki Literature Club (2017). Keep an eye on it. Photo courtesy of Team Salvato. It only took four hours to complete, and much of its shock appeal revolved around one, key plot twist. This resulted in a somewhat rushed exposition, and the community spoiling the twist before people got a chance to see what it was for themselves. “Doki Doki Literature Club” is a genuinely special gameplay experience, it is definitely something you want to experience with as little information pertaining to the plot at all. The horror it creates smashes the fourth wall to

bits, allowing the game to alter things outside of the game’s world that shatters your sense of security when suddenly you’re not the one in control anymore. If you liked the innovative storytelling of Undertale, here’s another game for you. Despite only being a short four hours, DDLC leads you up and down rabbit holes, scares you shitless, and yet still manages to remain cute, pink, and bright, earning it a killer reputation.

Why isn’t anyone listening to Kim Petras?

The new princess of bubblegum pop is here and you need to start listening. By Chris Mellusi


eed some new music to listen to? Of course you do! German pop singer Kim Petras has been releasing singles and music videos since mid 2017, but they have gone unacknowledged by music listeners and critics alike. In October of last year, Petras was chosen as one of Spotify’s RISE artists, which introduced her to a small number of Spotify listeners and allowed her to release more music and put her in the public eye, if only slightly. Besides being notable for her music, Petras is also known for being one of the youngest people in Germany to receive gender reassignment surgery. At the age of 12 she started her gender transition and by the time she was 16 she had completed it. Petras was recently featured on Charli XCX’s new mixtape “Pop 2” but still has not received the type of recognition rising stars like her deserve. Most recently, however, Petras released a new single, “Heart to Break” this past Valentine’s Day which, like her other songs, successfully elevated modern pop to the next level while mixing that with a modernized ‘80s sound. She has been described as “The Sound of Pop in 2018” by COOLS, a website that covers style, trends, and culture, but she can’t reach that point in her career if people aren’t listening. For Petras to make it mainstream people need to be aware that she is releasing new music on a constant basis.


Many relevant artists are taking inspiration from the ‘80s for their music and Petras has almost perfected using the ‘80s as a backdrop yet keeping her music modern. Artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, The Weeknd, Robyn, and La Roux plus many more have had ‘80s inspired music but Petras adds overtones of bubblegum pop and keeps her music current and futuristic. She cites some of her musical influences as The Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Debbie Harry, Freddie Mercury, and Judy Garland. The 25 year old’s musical style is really something never seen before in contemporary music. Petras is severely underrated, especially in music now when some of the most popular artists just release the same song over and over again with no evolution in their style and are rewarded with Grammy’s, money, and chart topping hits. Petras has a unique style, fun music, and new a new point of view that hasn’t been heard before. She deserves more recognition and critical acclaim compared to many, more popular artists. Hopefully, in time, Petras will rise up, gain popularity, and get the notoriety she deserves. However, for that to happen people need to start listening or at least check her out to see if they even enjoy her music. This is the same with any less popular artist, always take time to look up obscure and unknown artists because who doesn’t want some more music to listen to?

Kim Petras 2018 from her Facebook Photo courtesy of Kim Petras






You can give us armed teachers, uniforms, and Gun PE but don’t take away our off-campus privileges. By Nadia Ballard.


any have been asking the question: how many school shootings, how many children must die before legislation is passed in order to combat and prevent these tragedies? Luckily for students and their parents, our leaders have heard the public’s cry for intervention. Law makers are finally trying to agree on a number. Statisticians and other mathematical professionals have been brought in. As always, nothing has been agreed upon, and legislation does tend to take its sweet time. It will likely take a while for a number to be agreed upon but until then, it’s likely that no decision will actually be reached. If the trend continues, enough students will have died, and Congress won’t have to be bothered protecting the handful of survivors. Before this, the primary measure in place for preventing school tragedies was hoping and praying really hard. This obviously is not a method that has been proven to work in any way, shape, or form. Lawmakers have come to the conclusion that the problem is likely that the public is not hoping hard enough. For that reason, school-wide assemblies will now be held solely for the purpose of gathering students in a large circle to hold hands and hope with all their hearts that they will be

safe for another month. During these events, teachers and other school officials will be crossing their fingers. Of course, this will not be the sole preventative measure in the wake of the Florida school shooting and other school threats. Each teacher will be given a gun in order to protect the class. In order to ensure the utmost amount of safety, each classroom whiteboard with be upgraded with a secret compartment to safely store and hold the classroom gun. The code to open each compartment is 2468. This came at the perfect time because most teachers were going to get upgraded whiteboards anyway. However, instead of smart whiteboards and projectors that actually work, classrooms will keep the same yellowing whiteboards but with a gun. Student safety is the first priority and with a tight budget some plans and upgrades had to be pushed aside. Another change to student life is the new implementation of uniforms. Students will now be forced to wear government-issued bullet-resistant uniforms. The female uniform has an ankle length skirt that in the case of emergency can be transformed into a shield. The male uniforms include ties made of tear-resistant nylon

that can be used to lock a door and prevent an intruder from breaking into a classroom. Both looks are completed with dark leather loafers that are especially made to make little to no sound in order for students to have a higher chance to safely flee and hide. Many wonder where the money for all these things is going to come from and the good news is that the money allocated towards new upgraded, functioning Chromebooks will be used instead, to supply students these defense uniforms. While teachers will be armed with a gun and their teaching degree, most students will not be trusted with guns – the responsibility is just too heavy for them to bear, unless students take Gun Defense PE and pass the class. The new class will be added to the school curriculum next year and can only be taken with a permission slip from a parent or guardian. Along with other year two PE classes such as yoga, weightlifting, and dance PE, this new addition will allow for students to get some exercise while also learning how to shoot a gun. The NRA has graciously donated thousands of dollars to schools all over the country in order to finance these gun classes. NRA spokesperson Rev Olver tweeted “At the NRA we have two top priorities in response to the

Florida school shooting: guns, and students with guns.” In addition to new supplies and classes for students, other forms of preventive measures have been proposed. State government is also exploring the option of holding classes in prisons in order to ensure maximum safety. Off campus privileges would be suspended. However, economists are advising against this move. Millions of dollars in revenue are generated from high school students buying Cheetos from 7-Eleven and driving away in their

cars to get boba. The local economy could very well crumble should this steady source of economic stimulation be shifted. Students and parents are deeply concerned about the safety and quality of their education. Some advocate doing nothing, claiming that natural selection is at work and this is “the solution to overpopulation.” Students and their parents beg to differ; however, it seems that there is no other viable solution to this problem other than arming school against guns with more guns.


t’s come to our collective attention that many of our readers have recently taken offense due to an article published in the previous issue of The Mustang about Senior Out being cancelled. Senior Out was, of course, not actually cancelled. A week before the newspaper’s publication seniors attended a meeting explaining the rules and procedures of a very not cancelled Senior Out. If Senior Out was so obviously not a cancelled event, then why did we publish an article detailing that it was? Why would The Mustang and Journalism class willfully publish *quote* Fake News? There can only be one simple


answer to this inquiry. The writers of the Mustang, specifically the writers for Circus Animal Fun (A.K.A. CAF/ the Humor section), are mere sheeple being used by the Illuminati in a grand scheme to turn the students of this school into docile thumbsucking baby-children. By seamlessly integrating lies and confusion into the school populace through the newspaper, students are subconsciously losing the ability to distinguish truth from reality, news from satire, reason from absurdity. It’s impossible to tell which stories in the Mustang are real and which are fake. There is no discernable sign or clue to lead students on the right path of truth. If you can manage to drag your

eyeballs to the top of this page you will see nothing that might point to the notion that you are in a different part of the newspaper. No unmistakably different format, text that looks painfully similar to “Comic Sans,” or the very false quote from Ghandi pasted across the top of every page in the CAF section. Where’s Blue’s Clues when you need her, because it is just impossible discern if this is a section dedicated to humor, parody, entertainment, satire or all of the above. Nothing can be trusted. Students are being deceived and confused. Not because they lack the ability to pick up hints or undertones in writing, but because they are mere puppets in a conspiracy to make

their minds soft and malleable. The higher-ups are attempting to cultivate student minds for their own nefarious purposes. It’s easier for them to control a group of followers who can’t distinguish falsehood, and who don’t know what simple words like “nefarious” and “falsehood” mean. It should come as no surprise when students are blindly trusting and following propaganda distributed by lizard men and women in the government. Students are so comfortable in their so-called mastery of sarcasm and irony. Yet they read jokes and take the words at their full face value without questioning or even understanding the underlying

meaning of a piece. What’s the use of that A+ in AP English Lang or that five on the AP test if articles about haunted school grounds, boxing Marilyn Monroes, and cancelled Senior Outs are believed without thought? If students believe every single absurd thing they see or read, when the most popular meme page on Instagram tells its followers to blow up a building, they just might. Satire is a dead art. In response to those who were angered by the Senior Out being cancelled article, no emoji can express that we literally cannot cure stupidity.

MAR 2018




ASK A SENIOR! Senior Emma Toscani imparts her wisdom. Is senior out safe? Should I upgrade my insurance? From the dawn of San Dieguito Academy, there has been no social hierarchy. To sate the desires of would-be bullies, the administration designed an outlet for this aggression: Senior Out. In this annual battle, most seniors are both predator and prey. The falcon and mouse. The lion and the gazelle. Hide yo wife, hide yo kids, hide yo instagram b/c no one is safe from lurking seniors. Am I failing my classes because I take too many buzzfeed quizzes instead of studying? Ha. Look at meeeee. I’m dead inside. To fill that void, I just take more and more Buzzfeed quizzes to validate my existence. And I have great grades. Yes, I cry every day just thinking about taking Buzzfeed quizzes so I don’t drown in my depression, but my grades are still good, so PALs leaves me alone. A small victory in a losing war.

Are leprechauns real? Have you seen the documentary series, “Leprechaun”? It is truly a horrifying depiction of the serial killer with the alias of “Leprechaun.” He is a magical being locked away for years, until he is unleashed upon the world once more. There are numerous sequels to this hit documentary film, and, considering how true the films are, I would say that yes they exist and yes they want to inflate your body before pulling out your guts, stabbing you repeatedly, and then exploding your ever-growing body. What kind of car should I drive? Does what kind of car I drive say something about me? Tell me, do you value yourself? Do you value others? Do you value what people think about you? If yes to the first one but not the others, get a Prius. If you value others and care what they think, then consider a Tesla. I know that you may not be

able to afford it, but stealing is always an option and grand theft auto always sounded cool, amirite? Only a certain caliber car can compensate for anything that you seem to be, uh, missing. I drive a janky Ford Focus, so you know I am definitely not compensating ladies, and I also hate the environment. Does tap water have minerals? Does the school water have any nutritional value? When has anything at school had nutritional value? Even when Mother Michelle Obama went on her food plate crusade or whatever, the bad stuff just changed forms. Now, it’s not sugar in soda cans, but PoweradeTM and natural flavors. It’s chemicals from the vats at the atomic titties at San Onofre that are coming down our coast and into our drinking fountains. Let’s face it y’all; SDA will explode from a chemical explosion if anyone lights up the old fashioned way on campus. Don’t do drugs kids.


Trust the stars to make decisions for you. By Nadia Ballard

Aries Fire’s a lot of fun. You should try touching it. After you finish getting burned by the flame and your foolishness fades, think about how you can better yourself from your mistakes. Taurus Time is just a thick jelly that you can mold and manipulate, but only if you have the gumption to do so. Take all the time jelly and do what you will with it. Ride some dinosaurs, chill with Siddhartha Gautama, punch Andrew Jackson in the face. The world is your Jello. Gemini When you feel troubled, sit by the ocean and listen to its song. If you listen hard enough hopefully you’ll be able to hear the sirens and forget all your woes.


Cancer Find an invertebrate. Lose yourself. Leo Did you stop collecting stuffed animals? Think about when you stopped wanting to be surrounded by plush animal-like figures. Is it because their heads started moving? Their shining black eyes started showing that they knew too much? Yeah, that’s probably why you stopped. Virgo According to your sign you’ll love these indie bands: “I Left My Wife For a Toaster But She Was Really a Blender,” “Gingivitis My Hero,” and best of all “Ohio Tube Sock Worship.”

Libra Your deep love of Selena Gomez will never lead you astray. Alex Russo from the iconic Disney Channel television series “Wizards of Waverly Place” will guide you through your toughest moments. Oh, and whatever-hername-was from “Princess Protection Program” will be there too. Scorpio If you’re ever feeling lonely, consider a tapeworm. Of course, with any big decision like this there are pros and cons. It’s like deciding if you should get a new puppy. Cons: meh, it’s a parasite. Pros: you’re never lonely because you always have a friend inside you.

Sagittarius Get a stick and start waving it around. Whack it against an object if you can manage it. Concrete is a good target but if you’re in a pinch, you can hit some bricks. Try practicing your stick whacking skills against the sidewalk. You’ll need these skills to help you through this month; this is the most reliable way to ensure that you’re ready. Capricorn If you get a headache, it’s fine. If your body is sore, you’re doing swell. If you can’t feel your phalanges, nothing to worry about. If your vision goes black for a while, you’re great. If you’ve begun to lose some toes, there’s always a tomorrow. Ignore your problems until they solve themselves or you die. This healthy mindset will lead you to greatness. Because what could be better than the sweet release of death?

Aquarius Don’t be afraid of clowns. Despite your better judgment. When you hear echoing honks in isolated cul-de-sacs, don’t worry. The squeaking of rusted unicycles and possessed balloon poodles is something you’ll never outrun. There’s no use in fearing them anymore. The horrors will never end so you might as well embrace the chaotic red-lipped madness. I hope you like funnel cake! Pisces Find a cat. Pet it. Feel its soft pelt. If you’re feeling up to it maybe even give you’re cat a name. Good options are: Sweaty, Swoopy, Seepy, Seedy, and Soup. Imagine yourself content and soft like that cat you’re petting. You’re doing great, and Soup thinks so too.






This week on Blogging with Debra, a deluded 28-year-old spinster: Protein shakes- the secret ingredient? Hatred! Also kale. By Shayna Glazer and Taylor Rudman


i I’m Debra, Debbie for short, but only Jake called me Debbie, our ship-name was Debke. Cute, right? But I’m just Debra, so drop it already, okay? Here’s my guide to a quick, healthy breakfast… for one. I may not be a food guru, but lately I’ve had a lot of default “metime” and so I’ve picked up some nifty tricks I want to share with my loyal readers! Today you’re going to learn just how to make a low fat, low calorie, zero Jakes gained, smoothie for on the go. Easy to make by yourself so NO MEN are required! Let me set the scene: You’re sitting on your soft, tan sofa waiting for Jake to arrive. Everything is perfect. Your Midsummer’s Night candle has accumulated a soft pool of wax, and you arranged your succulents into a heart on the coffee table, just like you saw on Pinterest. You’re in a freshly laundered miniskirt and the purple sweater your friends called “absolutely goooorgeous.” You’re ready for the late night date with Jake. Your big plan is to watch “The Real Housewives of Encinitas,” glass of wine in hand, the rest of the box in the kitchen. Jake is coming and you’re prepared to have the time of your life. But as the night wears on, you receive a text that he has cancelled due to “work stuff.” Men, am I right?! So naturally, you downed your box of red wine and crawled under your duvet alone only to wake up with a pounding head and a shattered heart. It’s time to make the smoothie of a lifetime to rejuvenate your dead personality and lift broken spirits. To begin: you’ll need a THICC blender (as the kids say). Ladies I’m talking not about that “magic-bullet” bull, I’m talking grade-A titanium, Vitamix v.2.0, (2.0 because Jake shattered your first one a year ago- similar to how he shattered your heart). First thing’s first, make sure to add a few ice cubes to start. This will keep the smoothie chilled and frosty, like your attitude at the moment because you just realized that Jake unfriended you on Facebook last night after saying he couldn’t meet up. Add a banana to ensure a smooth consistency and to soothe your stomach after all the butterflies that you used to have in there decided to rip their way out through every orifice possible and now you


water to feel fresh after your night just feel so, so empty. And make sure of depression and loneliness, but, it’s a large banana too. Girls, that’s honey, remember that you are simiwhat you deserve since Jake never lar to steel and when you go through appreciated every time you made do fire, you only get stronger. with the sad, small bananas he alBefore blending, add just a bit ways managed to bring home... from of honey and cinnamon to taste. the supermarket. According to BuzzFeed, these act I know you ladies will be hesias great mood elevators, so why not tant about this one, but add about a half cup of frozen kale. It is super hip try? Nothing else has worked! And why not throw an egg in and great for detoxing, and we both know that there is a lot more we need there, right? Don’t bother taking it out of the shell. Just throw the whole to detox than just the toxins from egg in there, like Jake so thoughtlast night, but this is a great start. lessly threw you to the side. If you’re And who doesn’t like bluelucky, the shell will cut the inside of berries? Add a small handful, as your throat, so you might actually these are great for your skin and a get to feel something again. Also, it delicious source of antioxidants that help combat the “free radicals” in the adds protein. Now it’s time to place the lid on alcohol you ingested last night duryour blender and put it on medium ing your angered state. (I looked that power for about 30 seconds. You one up on WebMd, ladies). Speaking are an intelligent, beautiful girl that of free radicals, I’m guessing that can handle the immense power of since Jake still hasn’t apologized and a medium blend but those in your attempted to reschedule plans, I’m life, like Jake, can’t comprehend going to call myself a Free Radical how a little commitment goes a long because guess who “doesn’t need no way and the consistency in a long man?” Yes, it’s me. Well, back to this term relationship beverage is very delicious recipe: important. We’re going to need a tableAfter drinking your power spoon of coconut oil to help balance glucose levels. This should be an easy smoothie, you have the fuel for a nice full day all to yourself! add, since you already have that jar As for me, I’m going to the gym, leftover from when you were in a because Jake knows damn well that relationship (sigh). I still follow him on Instagram and Add a tablespoon of chia seeds he is posting photos of himself and to the blender. This is a great source happy dogs so it’s time to show him of fiber, iron, and calcium – also it that I’m the one he should be smiling replicates the EXACT way Jake pulverized any seed of hope you had left with. Well, joke’s on him, because he left his membership card at my place! for your two-year-long relationship. ‘Til next time, ladies! Not that there are any hard feelings or anything. Add a cup of Greek yogurt – it is chock-full of helpful probiotics. Now ladies, it is very imporwho tant that this is Greek yocares in m gurt, because apparently 10 the slightly fattier, but still delicious, original yogurt rees. isn’t good enough. 25 deg 4 o t n e ov Oh darlings! If you rd. eat the looks ha It 1.) Preh . a feel the urge to walk down t t ica icken p memory lane and stop to hy this eless n crew ch o S b .) as healt 2 1 w I . think about your weeklong - 2 a z g piz he deasts orderin summer getaway in Maui, . Plus, t ken bre ie h 3.) I’m ic t h o o c m now would be a great time to had a s flour ing and uncap your bottle of coconut z n r o o 2 m cute. water and inhale the sweet . I’m tter is kinda u b y u s g b on TLC t y r n e memories. Pour in a full cup r v u li t -4 d n ottle V e box a and make sure that when you eality T p dry b h off th u is c in F ½ a new r .) 4 mix it up, you give it an extra g in ir a hey are 10 seconds of intense, invigoite wine y sure t h t t w e d r n p a rating blending. Make Jake feel lt ch of sa ht. the destroying, stirring, and - A pin w tonig o h s pummeling of those memories as they are being blended into pepper insignificance. Add that coconut

Piccata n e k c i Ch


So what? I ate a pizza instead of cooking dumb chicken picatta. I went to the gym and I’ll be healthy tomorrow. Tonight, there is still pizza left (at least more left than hope for my relationship). Photo by Patrick Hall

MAR 2018



MAR 2018


We are the champions

Local teenagers help kids with special needs play the beautiful game. By Ryan Cohen


ith an ocean breeze blowChampions League has been ing over the southern equally beneficial for the Buddies. Cardiff Elementary School “Champions League has changed field, four-year-old William Wang who I think I can get along with,” dances to the song “Don’t Stop Caden Martin, SDA freshman, said. Believing” by Journey and played “It has helped me realize that we are soccer with SDA senior Julia Honda all just people and we all love playand junior Emma Worthington. For ing around on a Sunday afternoon. an hour, William is just like the rest These ‘barriers’ people like to talk of the kids his age. He suits up in about don’t actually exist. We all just his Champions League jersey and like playing soccer.” becomes an athlete. A typical session begins with William is one of 24 Chama few drills, but quickly moves to pions. Champions are people with a scrimmage, a favorite of both the special needs ranging from 4 to 46 Buddies and the Champions. The years old who work with volunteer Champions have a vast range of teenagers, called Buddies, to learn skill sets, so there are activities for the basics of soccer. Many of the everyone, including playing on a Buddies are SDA students. There is giant inflated soccer ball or shoota session every Sunday for six weeks ing goals on the side of the field. where the Champions socialize with But even though it doesn’t have the each other and refine their skills on intensity of a typical soccer game, it the field. has all the good parts with the nasty Quincy Erturk, then a junior at bits removed. No crazy, screaming CCA, founded parents. No bad the Champions calls by refs. League in 2015. No overbearing Erturk had coaches. “It has been a worked with spe“For me, it beautiful, fantascial needs kids in doesn’t matbaseball through ter what these tic experience. I the Carlsbad Champions are Miracle League. doing, as long as love Champions An avid soccer they are having player and fan, a good time,” League.” Erturk wanted to said SDA junior extend the idea Holly Cook. to her favorite “Their smiles are – Elio Ambrosio sport, so she set the most infecout to do it on tious things in her own. She the world and I successfully ran am very grateful the league for two years, but left for that I get to see them every week.” college last fall. Now the league is SDA Senior Elio Ambrosio in the hands of three SDA students: has noticed a significant advancesenior AJ Schumann, junior Sam ment from his Champion, Jimmy. Fraser, and sophomore Aidan Cohen. “He has improved since the day we “As co-directors, we run games, first started. In our second week try to keep things moving, and entogether, he scored four goals in the courage activity from all the Chamscrimmage and he was just so happy pions,” Schumann said. “We try to and excited that I couldn’t help but talk to them and keep them engaged be happy for him,” Ambrosio said. at all times. We keep the energy up. “It has been a beautiful, fantastic For me, I enjoy seeing the kids who experience. It is one of the brightest were shy at first smiling at the end parts of my week. I love Champions of a session because they shot goals League.” or played good defense. There’s a For Champion Zander Hebert change in their overall disposition and his father James, the impact and it is great to see.” of the Champions League goes far The league has a great aura beyond just Sunday. “To be in the about it. The Champions and Budcompany of people who really are dies are obviously having a blast, devoted to helping him, who care and the parents are thrilled. Janet about what they do, carries through Fioriti, mother of two Champions, the week for us,” James said. “He said, “For them to hang out with cool gets really fired up about each sesBuddies, move around and play, and sion every week.” be supported is just so nice. They While the league is focused can’t be in regular team sports, so around soccer, there is a fair amount this is their opportunity to participate of dancing involved as well. A playin sports and be a part of the commu- list of upbeat tunes floats through nity. In their minds, they are soccer the air during the session, and many players. This is their time to feel of the Champions like to boogie like their life is more typical than it alongside their Buddies. normally is.” William Wang came into the


-name here

JIMMY RUNS THROUGH the tunnel at the end of a Champions session. Photo by Ryan Cohen Champions League timid, but has found a love for dancing. “When William first got here, he was actually pretty shy. He didn’t really want to participate in the drills or play in the scrimmages,” SDA Senior Julia Honda, William’s buddy, said. “He just wanted to stay with his mom.

Now he’s dancing with us and having a good time. That’s why I do it. It doesn’t get much better than that.” Champions League, which runs from January through March, is always looking for more volunteers and Champions to participate. For more information about working

with the Champions League program in future seasons, visit http://cardiffsoccer.org/mustang-championsleague/ or email cardiffchampions@gmail.com.

MAR 2018


The ritual makes the individual Student athletes at San Dieguito Academy share their pregame supersititions and rituals. By Alexandra Joelson


ver since he was a child, junior Wyley Sharp has studied Native Americans, never imagining that he would adopt one of their traditions. What he remembers most, is their custom of “smudging” dried sage onto their body to call upon the spirits and drive away any negative energy. Ever since third grade, his mom has smudged him with dried sage before every baseball game hoping it will make him be successful, like the Native Americans were with hunting. “She, and I, believe that it really helps and puts my mind in the right place before games,” Sharp said. “And, if nothing else, it’s a little bit of comedic relief watching her run around with burning sage in her hand before I have to go play baseball.” Many SDA athletes like Sharp have a story behind their talent. At first thought, these rituals may seem peculiar, but these superstitions are built into the routine of many firstclass athletes. For sophomore Morgan Busick, wearing her mental toughness wristband keeps her in a positive mindset, along with cleansing her of bad luck. “I always wear my wristbands no matter what,” Busick said. “If I don't have my wristband on me for game day I think that it is bad luck for me.” In soccer you can’t wear any accessories, so Busick tucks the wristbands in her shin guards so she knows that they are always there. Superstitions can range from a simple lucky charm to a ritual or routine before a game. Jackie Sedlock said, “I do have a pregame superstition of putting on my right sock, knee pad, and shoe before I put on my left.” Sedlock isn’t the only one. The girls varsity basketball team at home games always slaps the door that says “Mustangs,” emphasizing that they are a team and will work hard for each other. Other athletes have a special item that they believe is lucky to them. Sophomore, Kara Lund said, “I have a ‘lucky’ necklace and I touch it once before every game.” But do superstitions and rituals actually have an impact on performance? AP Psychology teacher, James Hrzina said, “If we actually tried to measure that, we wouldn't show that [superstitions] would have any effect, but the effect that can be powerful is the belief that you can achieve, looking back at performance


and what you did well and what you did poorly, accepting and recognizing successes.” Hrzina had some superstitions of his own playing high school sports. He said, “The first thought is that I think they [superstitions] are fun/funny because I remember doing them when I was younger too, like playing baseball and not stepping on the lines and like certain types of things about the socks I wear, like if we had a good game in soccer.” When people have certain things that they believe, it can help motivate them to perform better, said Hrzina. Even though many athletes generally know deep down that these rituals/superstitions might not affect their performance, many have this belief stuck in their head. “If I don’t get to be number seven on the team I do get a little bit upset,” Sharp said. “Before a game I’m kind of worried if I don’t get to do my normal routine.” If you asked Michael Jordan what brought him to success, he would probably say that practice makes perfect, and it is important to always put in the work. But, what most athletes don’t discuss is their crazy superstitions that bring them luck. Even someone as talented as Jordan has his set ways. He wore his University of North Carolina shorts underneath his uniform shorts for every professional game because he believed that they were lucky.

TOP: The burning of the

sacred herb sage. Ilustration by Emma Toscani


Sharp playing catcher for the SDA Varsity baseball team. Photo courtesy of Wyley Sharp


Sedlock taking it up to the hoops for the SDA Varsity basketball team. Photo courtesy of Jackie Sedlock



WAVE ONE RUNNERS taking off of the starting line, beginning the epic, yet comfortable race. Photo by Alexis Price.

A GROUP OF runners at mile five, working together and with a pacer. Photo by Alexis Price

More than just thirteen miles Runners gathered together on March 4, to run a half marathon along the streets of Encinitas, raising money for the Surfing Madonna Organization, a worthwhile cause promoting community culture. By Alexis Price


he Encinitas Half Marathon purchases floating beach wheelchairs was created to raise funds allowing those with disabilities to for the nonprofit Surfing move through the sand and into the Madonna Oceans Project, which ocean. benefits groups including disabled THE RACE veterans. The half marathon is also The third annual Encinitas Half a great resource to enjoy the ocean Marathon on Sunday, March 4, ran in a fun way while working towards smoothly (pun not intended). The fitness goals. race commenced bright and early “I am doing the half marathon at 7:30 a.m. with 4,800 runners, as because it is a great location and for well as 526 volunteers ranging from a great cause,” said 5 to 80 years old. Spanish teacher With songs like Dexys “There was an Sheryll Bode. Midnight Runners’s The organization “Come on Eileen”, amazing view donates “a huge the atmosphere was that got me portion of their lively and enthusiastic. earnings back into through the run The diversity of our community,” people encompassed even though it she said. “They the relaxed, varied actually donate Encinitas vibe, as well was hilly.” money to SDA; as racers from 32 states they help us out and four different a lot. It is a great -Sophie Williams countries. organization.” At the front of the Race starting line, the aura sponsors include Jolyn, Larabar, The was tense and competitive as some Joint Practitioner, Boxed Water, and of these runners were planning their Pressed Juicery. The race proceeds races, in an effort to win some of the benefit different organizations from $10,200 in prize money. In contrast, the Surf Camp for kids with special those towards the back were focused needs program to veterans programs on achieving their personal best, or for those suffering from amputations, just having a good time and finishing brain damage, or severe PTSD. For the race. community use, the program also Before the first wave of runners,


the race began with a handcyclist who started five minutes ahead. Runners in the first wave were hoping for a winning time; most wore high-quality Nike and Adidas gear, as well as Timex and Garmin watches to keep their pace. The top runners sprinted immediately to set a five-minute mile pace in order beat their fellow competitors for a shot at the $1,500 prize for top male and female runner. The rest of the prize money goes towards the top runners from the different age groups. The rest of those in wave one ran with pacers to shoot for times near 90, 100, and 110 minutes. The second, third, and fourth waves ranged from joggers to speed walkers. By mile five, the top runners came by the water and Kashi Bar stations barely breaking a sweat, and still managed to keep perfect form, bouncing on their toes like little bunnies. At this point of the race, runners were on Third Street, passing the famous boat houses with the sun still rising in the east. Slowly as a herd of people came through, the breathing became heavier and running form turned into a heel-toe style. The faces of individuals were generally cheerful and competitive early on, but slowly turned into expressions saying, “why,

oh why did I sign up for this?” or “I should have trained harder.” By the end, top racers were happy to be done and ecstatic to have achieved their goal. Volunteers helping throughout the race also enjoyed the post-race vibe and the jubilance shared by the “runners high.” THE RESULTS The men’s best time was by 32-year-old Mark Bates at one hour and 9 minutes, and the women’s best time at one hour and 14 minutes by 29-year-old Belainesh Gebere. Although these times were fantastic, other runners were making their own history with personal bests, celebrating at after the race. SDA’s sophomore Sophie Williams ran the half marathon with her dad. “I beat him by four minutes by the way,” she said. “My favorite part of the course was between Swami’s and Tabletops because there was an amazing view that got me through the run even though it was hilly,” Williams said. SDA sophomore Nathan Montanaz also ran the half marathon. “My favorite part was going all out and sprinting the finish,” Montanaz said.

THE VOLUNTEERS Volunteers assisted in different locations and jobs. From handing out water at mile two, to awarding medals at the finish line, the hardworking volunteers made this event possible to run (again, pun not intended) smoothly. Senior Sarah Lavake and juniors Gabby Glenner and Sydney Becker were just a few of the many SDA students who volunteered at the event. “My favorite part would probably be seeing everyone who ran. I was at the hot cocoa station, so all the runners got a mug and free hot cocoa,” Becker said. “They were all so proud of themselves for what they have just accomplished and kept thanking us for volunteering and it honestly felt good.” “I’m in ASB and we need community service hours and I love anything running related, so I wanted to make the community service more fun by volunteering for something I enjoy!” Lavake said. Mark your calendar for this event next set to be on March 31, 2019! Early bird prices already up! Bring out your family and friends for an unforgettable experience to experience Encinitas in a healthy and fun way.

MAR 2018


Surfer vs. Skater

Seniors Ofek Arbib, surfer, and skater Elliot Dinsmore voice their opinions about everything from footwear to water. By Nadia Ballard Socks or sandals? Choose one. Skater: Socks because they keep your feet warm. Surfer: Sandals because if I put them on, I look like Jesus. Skater, socks are an extremely versatile article of clothing. They have both historical and personal significance. Everyone grew up wearing socks. Some people’s first memories are of socks. I know mine were. Socks are used to keep our little piggies warm. Sandals are just cheap broken shoes. Surfer, sandals easily break and are made to leave your toes bare and unprotected. Surfer 10 points.

Who is your favorite Disney princess? Skater: Sleeping Beauty because she’s always sleeping and that’s pretty chill. Surfer: Jasmine from “Aladdin” because she’s thicc.


Surfer, Jasmine is a beautiful lady. You’re right about that. However, she also has a pet tiger and that’s pretty cool. Something that you failed to appreciate about her. Skater, sleep is extremely important and you’re wise to choose Sleeping Beauty for her smart choices. Sleep is both an escape and a blessing; everyone could use some more and for that Skater, you get some points. Skater 30 points. What is your favorite brand of water? Skater: Smart Water because it makes you smarter. Surfer: Fiji because, uh yeah, tropical. Skater, I hate to break this to you but I’m pretty sure smart water does not make you smarter. Actually, it’s a little known fact that the only type of water that makes you smarter is boxed water; just ask Steve Jobs.

Surfer, Fiji water is definitely overpriced. However I can see the appeal in drinking water from a rectangular shape, paired with the image of majestic Asian mountains. Surfer 34 points. What is your opinion on mint ice cream? Skater: Mint ice cream is really dank, it gives you a nice minty aftertaste so you don’t have to brush your teeth. Surfer: Not a huge fan but it’s really refreshing. Skater, Mint ice cream is considered by many, to be a delicacy. It’s the best ice cream ever, hands down. Mint in general is great. It relieves headaches, closes your pores, and can help you with your taxes. Skater, maybe that Smart Water actually does make you smarter because mint ice cream is the best, but then again you should still

ARBIB AND DINSMORE hold a skateboard together.

Surfer and skater embrace their differences Photo by Nadia Ballard.

probably brush your teeth. Surfer, mint ice cream is rich and creamy. I associate the word refreshing with cold drinks on a hot summer day but, then again, I guess that applies to ice cream, too. You probably should be a big fan of mint

ice cream because one day it’s going to take over the world. Skater, 22 points. Skater: 52.000000000000008 Surfer:44 Congrats skater you win nothing!


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The Mustang March 2018  

The Mustang March 2018