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Halloween With A Twist page 18



The Chariot

The Chariot Mission Statement The Chariot is a student-produced news publication that publishes information relevant to the times as well as material that is essential to the overall well-being of its readers. It is The Chariot’s responsibility to cover school, city, state, national and international events and issues that affect the concerns of the campus, its students and its readers. The Chariot operates as a designated public forum for student expression. The Editorial Board, consisting of student editors, is the sole decision-making and policysetting body of The Chariot and has final say over all content decisions. Opinions expressed in letters to the editors represent those of the author. Letters to the editors should be typed, double-spaced and must include the author’s name, signature and class or position. Names of individuals may be withheld upon request, pending a vote of the Editorial Board. Letters may be submitted via email at All letters are subject to review by the Editorial Board. Letters will not be edited except to fix space limitations. Should the Editorial Board deem a letter to be potentially libelous or containing content inappropriate for publication, it will be returned to the author with an opportunity for corrections. The Editorial Board is solely responsible for these decisions. The Chariot’s purpose is to be the voice of the school. Its purpose is to shed light on groups and people that are not often discussed while bringing news that is important to the community. THE VOICE OF TROY HIGH. WE SEE YOU. WE HEAR YOU. WE GET YOU.





PG. 3

How online school has been affecting the physical health of students By Raneen AlRammahi // Staff Reporter

Many students would agree that online school is one of the worst parts of their day. With the 90minute long Zoom meetings, the awkward breakout rooms and what appears to be mountains of assignments, online school has proven many mental challenges. But how has the switch to virtual learning impacted students’ physical health? With the shorter days and the longer breaks between classes, students like sophomore Athena Stenza have the chance to get outside and spend some time with nature.

Graphic by Raneen AlRammahi

"I have more time," Stenza said. "I've been going out more because I didn't use to leave the house a lot to go on walks. But I leave almost the same amount as before to go to Dance and do other errands. But I’ve been going out on more walks now.” Other students, like sophomore Sabreen Sais, report how staying home has affected their work-out routines. "Before corona, I would go [to the gym] for 40 minutes, but now I've been [exercising] 60 minutes, three times a week,” Sais said. When it comes to sleep, which is an important component of physical health, many students lack the necessary hours they need to stay healthy and awake. Sais explains how during quarantine, she picked up the habit of sleeping late at night. Now that school is back, she reports only getting five hours of sleep at times. No matter how much she sleeps, Sais says she still feels exhausted at the end of the day. In a recent article, The Michigan Daily investigates the matter of Zoom Fatigue. According to Priti Shah, professor of Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience and Educational Psychology, online meetings lack the important stimulation and fulfillment derived from in-person interaction. As some students return to learn in-person, it will be interesting to contrast the experiences on health. “My body feels better, but the mental aspect [of school] is worse than before,” Sais said.


PG. 4

TO ATTEND OR NOT TO ATTEND Discovering the struggles and successes of virtual and in-school education By Rory Knauss // Staff Reporter

Now that returning to school is a possibility, students are faced with the decision of staying virtual, or returning to classrooms in masks. Sophomore Tim Weaks has expressed interest in coming back to school. “[I] prefer in school because I get less distracted and class times are shorter, and seeing friends is nice,” Weaks says. “Once the opportunity is given I will be returning to school because online school is a challenge.” Although online learning is a challenge for Weaks, junior Noah Sabaj is not finding online school to be difficult, but still believes that in time, students should return to school.

Graphic by Rory Knauss

“Online learning personally hasn’t been a struggle, but I’m sure that for some individuals who have learning disadvantages this must be an unusual and challenging time,” Sabaj says. ”As long as we maintain social distancing guidelines, wear our masks and sanitize everything, I think that in time, we should return.” Even though both Weaks and Sabaj agree that online school isn’t better than in-person learning, junior Ander Schunk disagrees to a certain extent. “I already knew I wasn’t going back to school before the district formally asked people what their plans were,” Schunk said. “My family had decided that it would be way too risky to send me back to school and potentially expose everyone to COVID. I find online school to be somewhat nicer than in-person school. For one, I don’t need to interact with nearly as many people, which has made me a less anxious person.” However, there are some aspects for Schunk that makes online school difficult. “There are definitely a multitude of things wrong with virtual learning, one being the ever-prevalent technology issues. It seems like schoology crashes every other day.” There are many things to consider when deciding whether to remain virtual or come back to in-school seating. With in-school seating starting Oct. 19, many would agree it is hard to say what to expect in the near future.


PG. 5

ONLINE LEARNING HIGHLIGHTS TECHNOLOGY DISPARITY AMONG STUDENTS Students and faculty share takes on how the TSD should move forward to close the gap.

By Anjali Sanil // Staff Reporter

With a transition to online learning comes the necessity for stable internet connections, iPads, laptops, headphones, web-cameras and a myriad of other electronics. This virtual reality highlights the difficulties many students and staff alike experience with relying so heavily on technology. According to an article in The Washington Post, more than 21 million Americans do not have high-speed internet. This disparity, which The Washington Post calls “the homework gap,” affects poor families and students of color the most. These issues, combined with the preexisting homework gap, cause an inability for students to access the things they need, while simultaneously being ignored or simply unrecognized by their classmates. Graphic by Anjali Sanil

The Troy School District has made it a goal to provide students and teachers with the supplies needed to teach and learn virtually. Director of Technology Beth Soggs details what the TSD has done — providing iPads to all students; hotspots and internet deals to struggling families; iPad stands, Apple Pencils, and headsets to teachers and redesigning their help desk system to be more accessible, among other things. When compared to other school districts in the area, Soggs believes that Troy is excelling, and that the district is leaps and bounds ahead of neighboring districts. “In Troy we are doing a very good job because we have our iPad one-to-one initiative,” she said, “Counterparts in other districts have been struggling to keep the ‘have’ and’ have-nots’ on an even playing field.” While school district administrators are proud of how fast they were able to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, they understand that there is a long way to go. Soggs and her colleagues believe that they have addressed most overarching needs of the district as a whole and are now beginning to shift their focus towards more personalized, specific assistance. In the meantime, they ask students to be considerate and understanding to the fact that the school administrators aren’t in complete control of what happens.

“There are so many variables that are out of our control, but everybody has the best interests of the students in mind, and it’s not going to be a perfect world,” Soggs said. For students seeking help with their technology, assistance is available on This site includes contact information for the Troy School District tech help desk, troubleshooting guides, and status updates on Zoom, Schoology, the TSD website and Powerschools. Although the Troy School District is doing what they can to support everyone in their care, some students question whether this is enough. Senior Jyothsna Musunur expresses frustration that some teachers are not being understanding when it comes to the tech problems students face, despite struggling themselves with the somewhat sudden introduction to zoom. “Most of our teachers don’t even understand how to work with what we have,” Musunur said. While some Troy High students are developing an “every man for himself” mentality in the face of these challenges, those who need extra assistance report feeling forgotten by their peers.

"I've known some of these classmates since I was 6 or 7 and they’re struggling so hard to keep up," Musunur said.

"These students have either been left in the dust or they’ve been pushed into the choice of being a part of the new hybrid program, because they’re not getting the education they need from home,” Musunur said. With cases of the coronavirus on the rise, many TSD students and staff are increasingly concerned about the hybrid learning option. For students who don’t have enough access to the electronics they now need to support themselves (and those who just cannot learn effectively in an online environment), going back to school seems like the only way they can feel successful. “I've known some of these classmates since I was 6 or 7 and they’re struggling so hard to keep up… it’s just an easier option for them to go back to school, but they are putting their lives at risk,” Musunur said. “I don't want to see some of the biggest fears that I have realized because of that." Soggs offers ideas for how students can assist one another. Children live in a completely separate world of communication from teachers and administrators, according to Soggs. Since much of the information sent out by schools goes over the heads of students and parents, students spreading resources among themselves would be more effective. In the eyes of some students, the lack of face-to-face interaction makes this difficult. “I don't know how we could help each other, and obviously I want to but so many of us are just trying to get by in our own lives,” said Musunur. “... The way that we have to move forward could change the course of our lives, for better or worse.” PAGE6



PG. 7

Students express their opinion on being recorded during class. By Andy DeGrand // Print Editor in Chief

Since the start of virtual learning, it is mandatory that teachers record lessons everyday during class. Many students think this can be helpful, but some consider it an invasion of privacy. Although some teachers might not require it, most do require students to keep their camera on during class unless a break is taken. Many students, like senior Brianne Boyer, are not affected by the acknowledgement of them being recorded.

Graphic by Andy DeGrand

"I’m okay with the classes being recorded because I understand that when students are tardy or absent, they will need to know what has gone on in class,” Boyer said. "I actually wish there had been way to record lessons in in-seat school in the past because it is very helpful for when students are sick." Boyer continued to say that she is not thrilled about the situation, but she is happy with online school. Senior Lanna Lowrie had her own opinion on the matter of the surveillance during classes. “Always having to keep our screens on seems a bit much if we’re only working,” Lowrie said. “I really don’t like the surveillance that’s on us during class because it feels like my privacy is being invaded.” Soraya Okuda, education and design lead at Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international non-profit digital rights group that promotes internet civil liberties, agrees with Lowrie.





Students discuss their opinions on the homecoming dance cancellation By Emma Mertz // Staff Reporter

Many Students were disappointed to find out that the fall formal homecoming dance would not be possible due to COVID-19. However, junior Alex Matthews, public relations for student government, reports that there is a possibility of a future dance. “... essentially Homecoming will hopefully be held in the spring if conditions are safe," Matthews said. "We are not cancelling it, simply postponing it.” For many seniors this can be difficult considering it would be their last homecoming in high school. Courtesy of Rachel Burke

“I think cancelling hoco was a good idea because there would be a lot of people and I feel like someone would get sick, but on the other hand I was really bummed because it was my senior year,” senior Rachel Burke said. Without the traditional homecoming dance, many students improvised and attended some sort of an informal outdoor homecoming where people dressed up and hung out with their friends. “...people were wearing masks and everyone was 6 feet apart unless they were in your group. We just danced and hung out like you would at a normal school hoco,” senior Christina Knapp said. Another senior, Maria Croci, enjoyed the informal homecoming dance.

"The informal homecoming was just as fun because I still got to hangout with my close friends. I don’t really have an opinion on homecoming being cancelled, it didn’t really bother me.” Like regular homecoming, there was a homecoming court this year as well. "Winners were revealed at the Friday football game on October 16th. Hoco King is Alex Prince and Queen is Mary Hasso!” Matthews said. With many cancelations happening at Troy High, students can still have hope for a homecoming after all.


By Andy DeGrand // Print Editor in Chief

"In video calls, students’ faces, names, voices, and home environments can be captured,” Okuda said. “This can create a tricky privacy circumstance for instructors.” Lowrie shares how video recording affects her daily learning. "I don’t like the rules about keeping our screens on all the time because I feel like I always have to worry about my expression or what’s in view for the camera,” Lowrie said. “...It’s understandable during a lesson, but other than that it’s weird that everyone can see you all the time. All of our actions can be played back since it’s being recorded too.” Many students like Boyer disagree to say recording lessons is a benefit for students. Others, like Lowrie, think of it as a violation in students’ privacy. Although Lowrie sees recording students as a small violation of privacy, she still, like Boyer, sees the rationalization. “I think our classes being recorded benefits the students who can’t make it to the Zooms, but it’s also a little weird that the students are being recorded rather than just the lesson,” Lowrie said.




PG. 10

ADVISERS DEMONSTRATE FLEXIBILITY AMID COVID-19 What clubs at Troy High are doing to engage students and participate in competition.

By Avril Yu // Staff Reporter

Extracurriculars can be a great way for students to involve themselves in the areas they’re most passionate about. However, the recent complications set in place by the COVID-19 virus make the 2020-2021 school year look different in terms of clubs. Even with the difficult situation, many club leaders and members have been handling the sudden transition to virtual participation with as much smoothness as possible. English and Social Studies teacher Jacqueline Ciolek, adviser for the Model United Nations club at Troy High, shares that she currently has 60-80 students attend virtual meetings each week. In Ciolek’s view, the new online format seems to have a unifying effect, instead of isolating everyone as expected. Graphic by Avril Yu

“What’s awesome is no matter what year you are in Model UN, everyone is a first year virtual Model UN student,” Ciolek said. Model UN’s distinctive aims and style of meeting can make the new form of online gatherings hard at times. Can you hold discussions in a Zoom meeting as smoothly, and does the bang of the gavel during sessions bring about the same alertness of attention? “The challenge is those unique and organic in-person experiences and opportunities that Model UN has,” Ciolek said. “How do you still foster that online? How do you still protect what Model UN is in a virtual setting?” Other clubs that rely heavily on in-person meetings might also feel the burden of such a crucial element being taken away. Robotics is seeing a new way of conducting competitions this season.

“FIRST decided that this year's game will remain mostly the same as last year so teams can re-use their robot as building a new robot may be very difficult this year due to lack of access to equipment and space,” Robotics Coach John Tu said. “...Currently, this year's FIRST Robotics Competition format will be remote and teams are being asked to show off their robot capabilities and participate in various awards via remote judging sessions. However, FIRST in Michigan (the organization responsible for Michigan's FIRST Robotics Competition) is still formulating possible inperson events with a much smaller number of robots and people competing at these events.” Beyond competitions, Robotics is finding new ways to go about their usual activities as well, even in spite of the added difficulty of limited in-person meetings. "Much of what our club does involves learning technologies to build our competition robot and promoting STEM via outreach,” Tu said. “Most of these can be converted to virtual online format, except for the physical robot construction. Once school resumes in-person learning, we will likely rotate a much smaller group of students (likely 5 or less) to work on our competition robot physically and safely. Most other activities will remain virtually online.” Forensics club, a club involved in the art of public speaking, is also focused on adapting to a virtual format. Harriet Clark, adviser for the forensics team and the TED-ed club notes the struggle with garnering interest for extracurriculars in a virtual setting. Since many clubs do not have an official platform, it leaves potential members out of the loop. “It has been difficult to ensure that we are getting the word out to all of the students that would potentially be interested in joining TED-ed and Forensics,” Clark said. “My exec boards have been working hard to spread the word – more difficult in our current situation.” Student Government, a club which hosts many of the major student events of Troy High, faces the potential cancellation of them this year. “Student Government is a club that conducts events, it’s what we’re known for and a big part of what we love about the club,” junior Alex Matthews, student government public reprsentative said. “Not being able to run certain events or having to adjust to fit safety regulations has been difficult. However… at this time we believe that the physical well-being of our students must be prioritized.” Even during current times, it is apparent that many students will continue to pursue their passions and engage in their respective clubs. Above all what binds students is standing in the face of that shared obstacle — the assuredness that while the future may be uncertain, actions do not have to be.





THE EQUITY AND INCLUSION COMMITMENT Students and teachers share their perspectives on the TSD's commitment to equity and inclusion.

By Varsha Penumalee // Staff Reporter

Graphic by Luanni Ford

On Thursday, June 2, parents from all across the Troy School District received an email from Superintendent Rich Machesky about a commitment to equity. Following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and other Black lives, Dr. Machesky emphasized the need for enhancing a more inclusive learning environment. Dr. Machesky’s email explained that the school district truly reflects the word “diversity” through the various cultures, ethnicities, races and languages spoken in the Troy community. However, he also acknowledged the district can do better, describing how being “not racist” just isn’t enough. With that, he promised students a clear application of inclusion in the curriculum. English teacher Laura Liamini adds her insight for why equity in education is not just a desire, but a necessity. “Equity in education corrects the opportunity gap in order to bring positive social and economic outcomes for all students,” Liamini said. “Teachers nationwide need to push for equity in education, working towards a more culturally responsive classroom. This is true in environment and curriculum.” The Troy Chariot reached out to Natalie Haezebrouck, director of Teaching and Learning, about what training teachers, like Liamini, went through at their annual professional development this summer and what the district is currently doing to become more inclusive.

“Teachers and administrators across the district have been championing this work in smaller pockets, but we recognize that this work will only take root if it is approached systemically,” Haezebrouck said. "Many of our students have also shared their experiences challenging us to reflect on and call for more student voices as we move this work forward. There is a core group of teachers and administrators who have been working together to plan learning experiences for teachers that address anti-racist teaching. This summer, marked the formal beginning of this work. We have many staff members who continue to engage in their own learning by reading and engaging in book groups on titles such as, How to be an Anti-Racist and Stamped from the Beginning just to name a few.” As Haezebrouck explained, the Troy School District is definitely showcasing their efforts toward equity and inclusion, but senior Luna Samman adds her opinion to the plan and how it could better pertain to students’ and teachers’ needs. “It doesn’t matter if it’s an attempt if it’s not effective,” Samman said. “...Older, acquired books that we read like Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird are all coated with such inherently racist, disgusting language. In earlier English years, we never had a discussion, we never analyzed [books], and relayed [them] to real-world context.” Liamini adds some advice for how she is encouraging these types of discussions in her own classroom and how other teachers can potentially do the same. “Encouraging discussion like that involves reading a great diversity of works by persons of color, while reflecting on our own individual lived experience,” Liamini said. “How I’m implementing it will always be a work in progress, and I welcome my students thoughts and suggestions on that work in progress.” Liamini also elaborated as to why she believes that some teachers haven’t explicitly adopted an anti-racist curriculum. “It’s about learning what your own lived experience is, recognizing privilege, recognizing systemic racism, and everyone is at different stages in this work,” Liamini said. Although the Troy School District has not put a typed plan together for the addition of equity and inclusion, Haezebrouck has stated that it is currently in the works. If students are interested in sharing their experiences, they can also add to the Student Voices Project, a plan put together by administration to allow students to share their personal experiences with racism in the TSD. While many students, like Samman, appreciate the Troy School District’s additional focus on equity, they also want to see change. They want to have steady communication and ensure that this isn’t just performative activism. The Chariot will continue to report on developments as a formal plan is released.




PG. 14

RETURN TO PLAY Student-athletes talk about how COVID-19 has affected their return to sports By Manny Al-Nsour // Web Editor in Chief

As some students begin to return to school, many feel as though they are left with unanswered questions. Recent changes, specifically in sports, have been a challenge to many students, but also a new learning curve for athletes to work around. Most sports have had changes made to them to help protect athletes as well as their families, health-wise, and allow them to continue to practice and compete amid a global pandemic. Administration has been enforcing many safety precautions to ensure that athletes and their competitors are safe, and also able to enjoy their sports. “Every day before practice each student-athlete has to complete 5 symptom check questions,” athletic coordinator Shane Hynes said. ”Those symptom check questions include things like ‘have you had a fever, are you feeling well, have you had any close contact with covid.’ They also get temperature scanned; if their temperature is over 100.3 degrees for that day or if they say yes to any of those 5 symptom check questions they are sent home.” STORY CONTINUES ON PG. 16


PG. 15

CONCERTS CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 Students and band members express disappointment over performance cancellations By October Marquez // Staff Reporter

Concerts can bring people with similar music taste together to feel like a family for a few hours. When the pandemic forced most places and activities down, many concerts were cancelled as well. Students like freshman Nikki Carnegis express their sadness in regards to concert cancellations, but understand why these decisions were made. “I’ve missed Foreigner, the Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, and Billy Joel due to COVID-19,” Carnegis said. “...I believe they handled the situation well. If they hadn’t cancelled then many people

Courtesy of Daniel Sherman

would have got sick." While some more popular bands seemed to be fine with the shut down, others may have needed those concerts to pay bills. Many smaller bands have been forced to come up with alternative ways to get money. Some have been producing more music, some have been selling signed shirts and records and others have been making different solutions. Bands like Crowned in Chains have been forced to adapt in order to continue to play gigs. "When everything first went down, we completely stopped, which was hard,” frontman Daniel Sherman said. “We had a ton of gigs planned and we had studio sessions booked, we had to cancel all that so it was a real bummer. Now we’ve actually been in the studio and we’ve played an outdoor restaurant... It just meant finding the right place to practice that allowed us to distance and also get done what we needed to get done safely." Sherman also discusses how bands and crew have worked through the pandemic.

"We’re missing a lot of our crew and it makes it harder for us to record,” Sherman said. “I’m actually working on my solo music, and I’ve been recording it all by myself. I’ve been playing around with mixing and producing and a bunch of other things.” It is not clear when concerts will return to normal, but many bands and fans are hoping for that day. "I feel like we’ll still have effects from this pandemic for years, so we just have to adapt to the circumstances because we have to, not because we want to,” Sherman said.


By Manny Al-Nsour // Web Editor in Chief

Senior Paige Anderson, one of Troy High's top cross country runners, addresses how the changes have impacted her season this year. “The biggest thing is that when you finish racing, you can't hug your competitors or pat them on the back to show that you respect them,” Anderson said. Although, for many, the competition is the main focus, good sportsmanship and showing respect for their competitors can also play a major role in most athletes' careers. Losing a big part of a sport can be devastating for some, like Anderson, but for sophomore football player Adrian Janarthanan, the game is still the main focus. “We care for our teammates’ safety when we’re not playing,” Janarthanan said. “When we’re playing we worry about the sport.” For some, the COVID-19 virus has taken away their chance at playing sports, but for others, it is merely a thought in the back of their head, the main focus being the game. The question of whether or not athletes will have a winter season continues to linger, even as the fall sports season comes to an end. As COVID-19 continues to change everyday life, many athletes and their teams are finding new ways to continue to play, as well as stay safe, healthy and keep others safe. “[COVID-19] has affected us all but were still prepared to play and ready to take care of ourselves,” Janarthanan said.




PG. 17

How the smallest of businesses have the mightiest impact By Vanisa Kumar // Buisness Editor During a pandemic, it can be very easy for most people to overlook the businesses on which they so greatly depend. With the recent opening of the mall, movie theatres and many stores of Troy, businesses have to keep up with regulations to take an active role in stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many small businesses have dramatically been hit by this pandemic and many have permanently closed their doors from the shaky and unstable income as a result of the pandemic.

Photo by Vanisa Kumar

However, difficulties aside, many of Troy’s small businesses have proven they will stay in the game longer by finding different ways to engage their customers while also keeping them safe. Miko Manaloto from Cafe Immortelle, a local tea and espresso bar in Michigan, explains how they are keeping business going, and the effect the pandemic has on their small business. “The biggest challenges we faced during the pandemic was basically keeping sales enough to pay for our monthly fixed costs." Manaloto said. “During the onset of the pandemic where everyone did not want to go out, it was hard to get a sale from everyone. Given that we also just newly opened second half of last year, we could also not make great efforts in getting new customers for the shop.” An article from CNBC shows how other small businesses around the United States feel about the dramatic decline in customers and sales in general.



PG. 18

Socially distant, but together.

By Bridgette Scott/ Social Media Editor As of October 2020, schools are opening and life is continuing. As Halloween approaches, many parents as well as students are worried about navigating the holiday. Freshman Victoria Kang expresses her concern about Halloween safety. “I think COVID will have a major impact on Halloween activities, because I think

Photo by Manny Al-Nsour

Trick-or-treaters visit the Troy Historical Village

kids will be wearing masks, and some adults may choose against passing out candy this year,” Kang said.

According to the official center for disease control website Halloween can still happen but With A Twist. It doesn’t have to be scary as long as people try to avoid unnecessary contact with strangers. Kang is fine with staying in. "For Halloween this year I’m thinking of just hanging out with my friends and chilling at someone’s house,” Kang said. Having fun on the scariest day of the year can happen in a number of ways. Students could hang out with family, decorate, scare safely or make festive food. All of these can be coping mechanisms but also fun ideas. Additional options include digital escape rooms, spooky crafts, carving pumpkins and much more. Some local organizations have even created ways to safely give out treats with a contactless pick-up option. This includes the trick or treat at the Troy Historical Village. Administration for The Scare-crowtopia Trick or-Treat Event reflects on the weekends turnout.

“This weekend went very well, being the first year to host the event on six different days rather than one to maximize social distancing and optimize experience," the Troy Historical Village said. "It was very exciting to see so many people already following the safety precautions. This year we just had to figure how to create touchless activities and games and still have fun in the process”. Junior Alyssa Matuza touches on how she spent Halloween the last couple of years. "In elementary/middle school I went trick or treating. This year I’ll probably go over [to] a friend's house.” With all these fun activities to choose from Matuza and her friends will definitely have enough to do.


By Vanisa Kumar // Buisness Editor

“Mo Issa is the owner of Brooklyn Fare, a chain of three grocery stores and a threeMichelin-starred restaurant in New York City,” the article said. “He says most of his days are spent trying to persuade scared employees to come to work, making sure the stores are supplied and keeping up with the surge in online sales.” Another viewpoint to be recognized is that of the consumer. Senior Alia Burgett talks about the opening of small businesses she visited before quarantine and the difference now. “Everyone now has the ‘required to wear a mask’ sign now which is good and to be ‘six feet apart,” Burgett said. “I go out all the time and it's kinda always been like that since about two months after the closing of school. Always just wear a mask when going inside, try to give people some space, and use hand sanitizer. We all miss being able to just walk around and do all the fun things that we want so please just be smart and safe!” It is no wonder that being a small business comes with a lot of hardships nowadays, however, many small businesses everywhere have one thing that most corporate businesses lack: creativity and the work ethic to do better.





PG. 20

How pets help mental health during Quarantine By Katelyn Peaslee // Staff Reporter

Most people agree that quarantine is miserable, stressful, or boring, so what if there was a way to alleviate those negative feelings? Pets, dogs especially, may be the solution While many are distancing themselves from everyone else, the majority or people have long since started to feel lonely, and pets can be a good substitute for human interaction. Pets can also provide people a reason to go outside and get exercise. "I've felt very bored and tired during quarantine, but my dog helped me," said junior Lindsay Hughes, "Playing with him gave me something to do. he helped give me motivation to get walking. Overall, he brings more joy to my day because

Photo by Manny Al-Nsour

he's so cute and sweet." Another boon of pets is that they tend to be a great stress relief, as the article "During SelfQuarantine, Dogs May Help Protect Mental Health" explains. "There are a good number of studies that suggest dogs can have a stress buffering effect on people going through challenging times," the article said. "We see this not only in terms of people's perceived well-being, but also in terms of physiological measures like heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol, a hormone involved in stress responses." If anyone is thinking about getting a pet, they should make sure to research where the pets come from, their breeding conditions, if they can afford it both financially and physically, and any other factors that come up during research. Adopting pets from shelters, humane societies and rescue groups are usually the best routes to take when adopting. Always double check that the pet is the right fit, because putting the pet back up for adoption can be heartbreaking. Overall, pets can be the best way to help one's mental and physical health during the coronavirus.


PG. 21


Graphics By Luanni Ford // Graphics Editor

Students who are 18+

Students who are not eligible to vote


PG. 22


People share their experiences traveling by flight during the pandemic. By Praneetha Ankisettipalli // Staff Reporter

It is safe to say that the airline industry was pretty much paused for about four months due to the coronavirus. But it couldn’t go on in that manner for much longer. As airlines reopen with increased precautions, it is debatable whether they are fully meeting the promise of guaranteed safety.

Graphic by Raneen AlRammahi

I, myself, traveled by flight during the summer and let me tell you that I didn’t have the best experience. There was nothing wrong with the airport or the airlines itself, I felt just like how I would while traveling without the coronavirus going around, but that was exactly my problem. I didn’t feel like I was traveling amid a pandemic. People were wearing masks and fairly distant from each other for the most part, but there were times when there was no six feet distance, especially with the seating arrangement. The middle seats were blocked, but the distance between the window and the aisle seats is not six feet. The only difference I noticed was that we were given a sanitizer right after boarding the flight and the food was handed to us in plastic bags to avoid direct contact with the food. With only these basic precautions taken, I didn’t feel as safe as I would have liked. Although other people had similar experiences with flying, they had different opinions about the whole experience. “[My] experience flying during COVID was pretty normal actually,” senior Danielle Talpesh said. “There was one seat empty because there are 3 seats in a row. Snacks on the plane were prepackaged and they gave us hand sanitizer and hot towels to clean our hands with.” Talpesh was happy with the service she received when traveling.

“There isn’t really anything I would change, the airline staff was pretty well prepared for this different time to travel.” Irrespective of whether or not these precautions are actually helping, there is one precaution that the airline’s staff are extremely strict about the passengers following — wearing a mask. After CDC, a national public health institute, released information about how useful the mask actually is, the airlines have been very specific about the passengers as well as the staff on board wearing a mask throughout the journey. According to Fox2Detroit, American Airlines was “willing to kick over 200 passengers off the plane because one person didn’t want to wear their mask.” In the article, American Airlines expresses how serious they are about everyone on board wearing masks. “We are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our customers and team members, which is why we enforce our policy for required face coverings,” the American Airlines spokesperson said. “We expect customers who choose to fly with us to comply with these policies, and if necessary, we will deny future travel for customers who refuse to do so.” In addition to having everyone wear masks and handing out sanitizer, the airline’s staff could check the temperature of the passengers to make sure no one has a fever. This would greatly help since it is otherwise impossible to know if a fellow passenger is sick. Even though the airlines might not have taken the best possible precautions, it is clear that their top priority is the safety of their customers. To achieve their goal of keeping their passengers safe, it would be helpful if they took it up a notch and came up with more precautions in order to ensure the safety of the passengers as well as the staff on board.




PG. 24


Graphic by Luanni Ford The breakdown of learning selections at Troy High

The benefits of online learning By Lola Pinneo// Source Editor

Personally, at this time I think that the best

The benefits of in-person learning By Maddy Hiser // Source Editor

When schools began to shut down in Michigan

way for us to learn is virtual. One of the many

back in March, many students thought they

reasons I say this is because I have an

would only be out for a few weeks. Those few

autoimmune disease (Type one diabetes),

weeks of virtual learning have now turned into

which makes my risk of getting the COVID-19

months, with many students finding it rather

virus higher because of my weakened immune


system. “I feel like I learn more in person than online, it’s Another reason I say that virtual learning is the

just hard to pay attention and learn online,”

best option is because the entire time the

sophomore Emily VanHorne said.

COVID-19 virus has been in the United States, it’s been drilled into us to stay out of large

Personally I prefer in-person learning for

gatherings and social distance from others.

multiple reasons. At home, it’s harder to find the motivation to do and complete work, and the

In my opinion, going back to school is really

virtual learning environment can be distracting

going against the guidelines that we’ve placed

compared to an in school environment. At home

to keep ourselves safe and prevent the spread

you are surrounded by your stuff, and objects

of the COVID-19 virus.

that could possibly be distracting.

Everyone that choses online school has different

In an article posted by EdSource, Student

reasoning for this.

Perspectives: the pros and cons of distance learning, about the perspectives of students with

In an interview with USN & world report, Kathy

online and in-school learning, 13 of the 16

Sievering, a recently retired school district

students interviewed said they prefer in-school

worker, agreed with my opinion on the safety of

learning. One additional reason was the fact that

children with health risks.

it is harder to ask questions and get one on one help from your teacher. Sometimes teachers can’t

“If the child has a health condition that increases

get back to you in time, or answer your question

the risk of COVID, remote learning reduces the

how you need it to be answered.

possibility of COVID-19 exposure,� Sievering said. Students are also not getting some of the social This is one of the many concerns that parents

skills that are helpful in life, and it's hard to

and students have. Another concern is a student

continuously pay attention to a screen and learn

contracting the COVID-19 virus at school and

the content of your class. Some students have

bringing it home to an immunocompromised

issues focusing in general, so trying to focus in

family member.

class with the distractions of being home makes it

In another aspect unrelated to health concerns,

even harder to try and pay attention.

some people wonder if school will be the same upon returning.

Even though many schools are not going back at full capacity, like Troy high, being back in school

The districts' Return to Learn roadmap states

will be good for students' social life, and their

that desks will be socially distanced and students

grades if they are struggling. As more students go

will not be able to touch or interact with the

back to hybrid learning, it will be interesting to

same materials. All science labs will be

see how the student opinions of online school and

performed individually, and playing wind

in person school change.

instruments will certainly be affected. According to data from Education Week 74% of the 100 biggest U.S. school districts are opting to go remote-only this fall. When it comes to Troy High School it looks as if a majority could agree with me, with 38% percent of Troy High students choosing in school and 62% choosing online. Even though everyone can have a different circumstance for choosing in school or online, it comes down to how much of a risk it is for you and your loved ones to take.



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