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News November 2010

Don’t let the bed bugs bite

www.thewestwordonline.com

Parasitic insects found in Freshman Wing classrooms Annie Cohen & Mollie Spiesman

Associate Editor & Staff Writer

As of November 18, bed bugs have been sighted in rooms 501 and 503. “The rooms were steamed and we’re doing all that health services asked...we’re doing all we can to get them out of sight,” Principal Ms. Figluizzi said. Talk of bed bugs has caused a small hysteria among students. “I feel like they’re crawling all over me,” senior Melissa Santoro said. However, there is no need to panic. Cimex lectularius, more commonly known as bed bugs, are not currently known to transmit infectious diseases to humans. They are more of a nuisance than a real threat. A bed bug bite can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Excess itching of bed bug bites can lead to secondary infections, according to webmd.com.

Bed bugs are transmitted by latching onto skin and clothes. “Kids should empty backpacks outside, shake out their coats, and hang backpacks from chairs; don’t put them on the floor. Put all new clothes in the dryer before wearing or putting them in your closet. Don’t freak out, just be cautious,” Nurse Ferrero said. Bed bugs are about a quarter of an inch in size, wingless, and oval-shaped. Their color ranges from tan to burnt and after a blood meal they are dark-red to black. Bed bugs are nocturnal and during they day they can be found resting in cracks in beds, baseboards, sofas, drawers, behind wallpaper, and electrical switchplates. Bed bugs were discovered in a backpack of a student at Academy of Information Technology and Engineering on November 16. Six classrooms at AITE were sealed and a bus was taken out of service.

Courtesy of www.howto-getridofbedbugs.com

BUGGING OUT On November 17, an announcement was made alerting parents, teachers, and students that bed bugs were found at school.

Academic teams experience varied success

On October 30, the Mock Trial team traveled to New Haven to compete in the Yale High School Mock Trial Invitational. Westhill brought both its A and B teams. The A team won second place. The members of this team include seniors Henry Bareiss and Amanda Furtado, juniors Billy Silk, Jeremy Simon, Matt Schwartz, Steven Lee, Sara Lepis, and Jon Berman, sophomores Gabby Frieser, Jessica Burbank, and Natalie Carroll, and freshman Ryan Silk. The team, led by senior captain Henry Bareiss and junior captain Billy Silk, tied one round and won another round to secure the second place finish. Teams from Bethel High School and Trumbull High School were among those competing. The competition was judged by members of the Yale University Mock Trial team. The invitational was beneficial to the team because it was practice for the State Championship in December, where they will be arguing the same case, an attempted murder trial. “It was a good venue for our new members to gain real trial experience, and it was awesome to have placed second in a field of such good teams,” junior captain Billy Silk said.

On November 5, Westhill’s Challenge team traveled to New York City, where it competed against Fairfield Warde High School in the first round of MSG Varsity’s Quiz Bowl. After answering many questions that tested both teams’ knowledge of history, literature, current events, math, and science, Fairfield Warde defeated Westhill 310 to 250. According to senior Challenge team member David Katz, the Westhill team’s use of the buzzers (which are used to signal when teams believe that they have the correct answer) may have been a contributing factor to their loss. “It all came down to the buzzers at the end. They buzzed faster than us. [The buzzers] play an important role in the outcome,” Katz said. The team practiced for approximately an hour and a half every week before the competition, trying to memorize as much information as possible. Physics teacher and Challenge team adviser Mr. Aibinder expressed his annoyance regarding the single-elimination playoff format of the competition. “It is unfortunate and unfair. Half the teams are done in the first round, so many teams only compete once even though they put so much work into the tournament,” Mr. Aibinder said.

On November 13, the Debate Team competed in a Connecticut Debate Association Extemporaneous Debate. The debate took place at Westhill. About 30 students from the Debate Team argued about whether or not developing nations should privatize their water. “This was the biggest attendance ever at a Connecticut debate,” Debate Team adviser and history teacher Mr. Hoffman said. Juniors Billy Silk and Tucker Jepsen competed for their first time in an official debate and were successful. Silk and Jepsen went 3-0 in the Novice division. This record qualifies them for the State Tournament. “It was awesome for Tucker and I to have gone 3-0 in our first debate. I have a lot of respect for the other kids who debate at really high levels because it’s definitly challenging but at the same time a lot of fun, ” Silk said. Senior co-captains Zac Krowitz and Dash Jepsen also qualified for the State Tournament with a 3-0 record at a different debate on October 16. Mr. Hoffman said, “It’s great to have experience and to just try new things.”

Lainey Sidell, Matt Frederick, and Brianna Johnson / Managing Editor, Viewpoint Editor, and Staff Writer Photos courtesy of Mike Masiarz, MSG Varsity, and Faith Santos


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