The Marquee Volume 35 Issue 2

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Vol. 35 Issue 2 Dec. 16, 2020 • Edward S. Marcus High School • 5707 Morriss Road Flower Mound, TX 75028


Freshman returns to baseball after cancer treatment


A guide for dealing with your family during the holidays

the marq



New Honors classes to take the place of PreAP

test questions

P.11 Discussion of reviving student drug screening arises in district

editor in chief Madi Olivier managing editor Tara Connick photo editor Maya Hernandez design editor Emily Seiler news & entertainment editor Shriya Mukkavilli graphics editor Amber Luther business manager Sophia Craig reporters Garrison Acree Hyunsung Na Muna Nnamani Evelynn Singleton photographer Brooke Luther designer Alex Thornfelt adviser LaJuana Hale associate adviser Corey Hale principal William Skelton The Marquee newsmagazine is a student-generated publication of Marcus High School. It is produced, edited and maintained through the efforts of the school’s advanced journalism class. The Marquee is designed to serve the school and community as a forum for open discussion and student expression. The Marquee encourages letters to the editor as part of its mission to educate, inform and provide an open forum for debate. All submissions must be signed. The staff reserves the right to edit all material. Editorials reflect the opinion of the staff, not necessarily that of the administration. Signed columns or reviews represent only the opinion of the author. Advertising rates are $70 per 1/8 of a page, with discounts available. Patron ads are available for $100. Online advertisements are also available. For more information call 469-7135196. The Marquee is a standing member of ILPC, TAJE, ATPI, CSPA NSPA, JEA and Quill and Scroll.

cover Tara Connick

Sophomore Logan Stahl paints during Art 1. This piece was the final project in their acrylic painting unit. Photo Brooke Luther

04 11 16 20

Quarantined life

Students overcome problems with remote learning

Drug testing

Board member discusses idea to decrease drug use

From ballet to Marquettes

Drill team helps student find happiness in dance

It’s lit

Test your spice tolerance with these foods contents

LISD to replace Pre-AP with Honors story Hyunsung Na

Starting next school year, all Pre-AP classes in LISD will be replaced by new Honors classes. LISD made this decision because the College Board will charge districts $3,000 for each class under the name of Pre-AP, which must be removed by fall of 2022. Choosing to pay this fee would also force LISD to base their curriculum, which is currently written by teachers in the district, off of the College Board’s. Starting the Honors program will allow LISD to build its own curriculum for no cost. LISD decided to switch to the name Honors because of its use in academia outside of LISD, such as in other districts, the military, the NCAA and college level classes. Plans to create the new curriculum began a year ago. However, a team of 77 teachers and content leaders recently met to construct the new program. The group, which included Secondary Programs and Curriculum Director Karen Sealy, decided to implement an increase in rigor for the new Honors classes. “Honors courses will offer an additional layer of depth and complexity applied to the standard core content alongside the high expectations and authentic learning experiences found in all LISD courses,” Sealy stated in an email. “Depth requires the teaching and learning to move beyond facts and concepts toward generalizations and theories.” Pre-AP social studies teacher Courtney House was on the Advanced Academic Committee in 2019, which decided to not to keep the Pre-AP name. House said that

while the Honors classes will be harder, the current Pre-AP curriculum already encourages the same complex ideas. “We’re not trying to get you to work more,” House said. “We’re trying to get you to work at a deeper level.” While the current curriculum already strides for this type of critical thinking, the reason behind the district reinforcing this concept is to open more opportunities for students after Pre-AP classes, which previously have been seen as a pipeline to AP. The new program will try to prepare students for other options such as dual credit and career and technology education classes.


-A Pre




Difficulty Level


forwards, I might attempt the Honors classes and then maybe drop out if they’re too difficult.” House said that difficulty should be something students consider, but that it’s a misconception that only “smart kids” can be in a Pre-AP or Honors classes. “I think some students welcome that challenge, and I think some students are scared of it,” House said. “...Any kid can be successful as long as you have a willingness to work and a teacher alongside you to help get you there.” Although the curriculum will bring change, some things will remain the same. Any Pre-AP class taken by students in the past will remain on their transcripts. All current Pre-AP classes will be offered in Honors, including Gifted and Talented classes, depending on enrollTeacher ment and interest. The district will also keep the same open enrollment policy when making the change to Honors classes. Teachers will participate in professional learning this summer to prepare for the new curriculum. However, House is not worried about the change. Instead, she’s more concerned with ensuring students and parents are aware of what the Honors program will entail. “I think we have a lot of parents with a lot of questions about how GPA weight’s going to be affected, what the homework load will look like,” House said. “I think it’s just going to involve us educating parents and students.”

Any kid can be successful as long as you have a willingness to work and a teacher alongside you to help get you there.

news Dec. 16, 2020

- Courtney House, Honors classes will be weighted the same as Pre-AP when calculating GPA. This concerns sophomore Jamie Campopiano, who is unsure of the harder curriculum. “I don’t really know how to feel because on one hand, I like my GPA in Pre-AP classes,” Campopiano said. “But if they’re going to change that level of difficulty, I don’t know if I’d be able to cope with that type of change.” In the future, Campopiano plans on taking the change slowly. “I know I can take a Pre-AP class and I’m definitely not going to take another AP class,” Campopiano said. “Going

design Amber Luther


Virtual reality Students overcome quarantine obstacles story Sophia Craig

negative. However, he still needed to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days out of caution and LISD policy. Initially, McCann looked forward to sleeping in and completing work at his own pace while at home. As the days progressed, he settled

The first time sophomore Asa McCann was told he had been exposed to COVID, it felt surreal. He stood in the tennis hallway at the beginning of fourth period, waiting for practice to start. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until one of the athletes opened Snapchat to view his friends’ stories. That’s when it became clear that one If you come out negative of his teammates was quarantining because then I feel like it’s a little of possible exposure to COVID. bit aggravating... but if you When he got come out positive then I home that day his fear was confirmed. think it’s a very good way to He got a call from his coach, who let him prevent spread. know that he would have to quarantine. McCann and - Asa McCann, 10 his family drove to the clinic to get tested. He was nervous and wanted fast results, so he opted for the rapid antigen test, one of two main types. Both the antigen and PCR tests are primarily done by a nasal swab. According to the CDC, antigen tests are into a pattern. A usual day consisted of faster and less expensive, but the PCR a couple of hours completing homework tests are highly accurate and have fewer and even more hours watching TV. false readings. Some days he watched two or even “It wasn’t as bad as everyone was three movies. Without any teachers making it out to be in my opinion,” to guide him towards school work, he McCann said. “They didn’t shove found it difficult to choose academics anything up to my brain or anything over fun activities and as a member of like that.” the tennis team, he struggled finding the After 20 minutes of waiting, he was motivation to practice. relieved when the doctor came into the “If you’re doing something a lot and room to let him know that the test was you just put a halt on it for two weeks


design Amber Luther

you won’t be the same when you come back,” McCann said. “My personal play was affected.” Without being face-to-face with his teachers and classmates, McCann had more difficulty communicating when he needed help. Since teachers have in-person students, it was difficult to get fast responses the way that he would in person. “Math was the big one for me,” McCann said. “I was having to go onto YouTube and having to search up how to do everything.” When he started high school, McCann realized the importance of academics and started taking school more seriously. “Last year I had the best academic year of my life,” McCann said. “So I really want to keep that going.” After the mandatory quarantine was over, McCann looked forward to coming back to school. He said he was excited about the small things that a lot of students take for granted, such as eating lunch and walking to classes with his friends. ••• As the pandemic continues and cases continue to rise, students are frequently being pulled out of class and isolated after coming into contact with an infected person. However, not all quarantined students contract the virus at school. Senior Josh Clark was quarantined for two weeks after his mom tested positive for COVID.


Sophomore Asa McCann was quarantined twice after being exposed to COVID-19. Despite his close proximity to multiple infected individuals, McCann never tested positive for the virus. Photo Brooke Luther

“I missed a really important cross country race and I missed two weeks of choir,” Clark said. “I missed hanging out with my friends.” When Clark found out that his mom had contracted COVID, he got tested four times, despite each coming back negative. According to the CDC, there is a chance with COVID tests that there may be false negatives if the sample does not contain enough of the virus to be traced or false positives if the sample is contaminated during analysis. Clark didn’t want to take any chances when it came to his and his family’s safety. While his mom had a very mild case of the virus, Clark and his family took a lot of precautions to try avoiding spreading it any further. Because the rest of the family was negative, his mom was advised to wear a mask in the house and try to stay confined to her bedroom. Clark and the rest of his family were told to wash their hands and avoid going out too much. According to Clark, staying socially distant is difficult for adults too. He said that it was very difficult for his mom, who is typically active, to follow all of the guidelines and to be waited on by her family. “She is a very go get ‘em gal,” Clark said. “So she really hated that and would frequently leave her room.” Clark said that staying home and socially distancing from friends and family is very difficult, even though it is important to limit the spread of the virus. ••• This sacrifice is something that

feature Dec. 16, 2020

McCann knows all too well. Less than two full weeks after he was allowed to come back to school, McCann was in his second period class waiting for the bell. Because his first period is close to his second, he typically gets there early.

bottom of her clipboard that said ‘Health Official’ and I was like ‘Oh man,’” McCann said. He immediately knew what was happening. The woman whispered something to his teacher who walked around and told some students that they needed to head outside. The next thing McCann knew, he and several other students were asked to pack their bags and head to the nurse’s office. “I missed a really It was his second time to be exposed to the virus. McCann important cross country would spend four of the first race and I missed two eight weeks back in school quarantined at his house weeks of choir... I missed despite never actually being hanging out with my infected with the virus. friends.” Even though he said being out of school away from his friends was annoying, McCann said he realizes - Josh Clark, 12 that being quarantined is worth it when it could potentially save the life of someone you know. “If you come out negative then I feel As he was standing in the classroom, like it’s a little bit aggravating,” McCann he noticed a woman walk in with a said, “but if you come out positive then clipboard. I think it’s a very good way to prevent “She had this little sticker on the spread.”

design Amber Luther


Back on the pitcher’s mound Baseball motivates freshman through leukemia treatment story Madi Olivier When freshman Chris Noe threw a tennis ball down the hospital hallway as an eighth grader, he didn’t think about his leukemia. In his mind, he was on the pitcher’s mound, glove on one hand, baseball in the other. The beeping machines were cheering fans. The nurse standing across from him was a catcher. Cancer no longer took a toll on his body. He eventually had to return to his hospital room and continue treatment, but his mind always wandered back to baseball. Because Chris knew that no matter how bad his leukemia got, he would make it back to the field.

Shocking diagnosis Chris grew up on the pitcher’s mound. His dad played in the minor leagues, so it wasn’t a surprise when Chris picked up a ball at 4 and never looked back. As soon as his little brother was old enough to stand up, Chris taught him how to play. “My dad was always my coach, so that was fun because I normally got to help him with planning and stuff,” Chris said. “Traveling was fun, especially when you win.” Baseball became his life. Weekends were spent at tournaments. It became the focus of Chris’ family, but his mother, Jennifer, didn’t mind. “It seemed like this [was] one of the times that he was just relaxed, having


design Emily Seiler

fun, especially as he got older and a little more anxious with life,” Jennifer said. “Just maturing as a kid, he’d always easily make friends with his baseball family.” It wasn’t until November 2019 that Chris noticed anything wrong. He was going to the bathroom a lot, but they cut dairy out of his diet and passed the

lose weight. She attributed his nausea to anxiety. The bruises and rash to baseball. She thought of every other possibility, from uneven hormones to puberty, but leukemia never crossed her mind. It wasn’t until early May that they grew concerned. He came home from pitching one Sunday just like he had done for the past decade, but this time something was off. Chris — the energetic kid who regularly got up for early morning practices — went to bed and didn’t wake up for 18 hours. It wasn’t just teenage laziness or exhaustion from a long day at practice. Although cancer still wasn’t on their radar, it became clear that Chris was sick. He got blood work done the next day. By 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Jennifer received a phone call telling her to rush to the emergency room. Chris’ blood work suggested cancer. They were shocked. “Everything just stops,” Jennifer said. “It’s a very frightening thing to hear.” A few hours later, Chris was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare type of cancer that attacks white blood cells. But Chris saw the situation as many

There were a couple instances where I was pitching and I’d throw up and then go back.

- Chris Noe, 9 symptoms off as lactose intolerance. It worked at first, but by March, Chris was throwing up four or five times a day and losing weight. His body was covered in bruises and he developed a rash on his legs, but he didn’t let anything stop him from playing baseball. “There were a couple instances where I was pitching and I’d throw up and then go back,” Chris said. They never thought it was cancer. Jennifer, who used to research pediatric leukemia, was careful to limit Chris’ exposure to cancer-causing chemicals since birth and rationalized his symptoms. Chris was already trying to


middle school boys would — a promise to skip the upcoming STAAR test. “Reality still hadn’t hit,” Chris said. “So I really wasn’t upset at first because the thought of not having to go to school was nice. It kind of felt fun.” But when Chris realized that his diagnosis meant he couldn’t play baseball, dread began to set in. He was worried about missing games and practices before he understood what he would go through. Chris wanted to continue playing baseball beyond high school, but suddenly, even trying out for the team his freshman year was in jeopardy. “College, pro, just everything above,” Chris said. “Even if I’m not actually playing I want to be some sort of scout or something like that.”

Rounds of chemo Chris’ treatment proved to be anything but easy. The disease was advanced, so he immediately began his first round of chemotherapy. Since Chris was severely immunocompromised, he couldn’t leave the ultra-filtered air of the hospital’s sixth floor. His family’s whole world was suddenly put on pause and confined to Children’s Medical Center

You get so bonded with your kid, and you never think that that moment would happen where you’re getting close to losing them. It’s just an indescribable, terrifying feeling.

- Jennifer Noe sports Dec. 16, 2020

Dallas. “All the nurses, they became like family, and we would decorate how we wanted and we would joke that it was like our dorm room and they were our dorm mates,” Jennifer said. “But you never expect that you’re going to have two homes when your family is still together.” On top of dealing with Chris’ diagnosis, his parents had to figure out everything from work to child care and grocery shopping. Jennifer said she felt like a robot, focusing on the seemingly endless tasks that came with having a sick kid. “Those things just flood your mind,” Jennifer said. “How you’re going to deal Freshman Chris Noe wears his new Dallas with your day-to-day life when Cowboys gear shortly after meeting NFL player you realize that actually your Antwaun Woods in the hospital on Oct. 12, 2019. day-to-day life was going to He had recently received a blood and platelet transfusion, giving him more energy than usual. completely stop and change.” Photo submitted by Jennifer Noe Chris’ first round of chemotherapy left him thought about it too even though he extremely sick and in the hospital for 42 days. Although Chris never expressed it.” However, Chris’ health began to doesn’t remember much of it, Jennifer improve as the chemo worked against does. His parents switched off staying with him in the hospital, but Jennifer the cancer in his body. His doctors planned on three more treatments. often stayed when he was really sick. Chris fought through everything from Each would round last about a month, rashes to high fevers. He began losing allowing Chris to go home for five to his hair within his first two weeks in 10 days in between. They knew that the the hospital. It was the first time they first round is normally the worst, so they began to feel more confident that Chris realized how sick Chris truly was. “It’s just hard,” Jennifer said. “We would beat leukemia. ••• can’t do anything. You just have to sit On good days Chris and his mom there and watch and wait.” There were multiple instances where did everything they could to have fun. they worried he might not make it They decorated their room and binged watched shows like “The Office.” They through treatment. “You get so bonded with your kid, and learned how to make nachos and you never think that that moment would smoothies in the hospital. When he wasn’t doing schoolwork, happen where you’re getting close to losing them,” Jennifer said. “It’s just an Chris often hung out at the nurses’ station or rolled around the hallways in indescribable, terrifying feeling.” Although Chris tried to be positive, a wheelchair with a 3-year-old leukemia it was impossible to ignore the fear that patient, who was the same age as his came with being sick. He wasn’t sure if little brother, Harper. Chris treated her like a sibling, getting her candy and he would make it to 14. “He even told me that he doesn’t playing with her like he did with his think he was supposed to see this brother before he was diagnosed. His dad and little brother visited almost birthday,” Jennifer said. “He obviously

design Emily Seiler


every night, often pushing tables together in the waiting room to have dinner. If not, they FaceTimed together to read stories and look at the decorations in Chris’ room. His little brother was too young to understand what was going on at the time, so Chris often tried to protect him from the reality of his cancer. “He thought I was in a hotel at first,” Chris said. “The first night he stayed the night with me, he didn’t have a clue what was going on and so I tried not to let him see that I was actually sick.” Spending so much time locked in a hospital room with his mom caused tension at times, which Jennifer expected. Chris was a teenager and he wanted to live like one. He wanted to see his friends and go to school. When the mental struggle of battling leukemia was added to feeling sick, nobody could expect Chris to be positive all the time. “He had to learn how to be a new teenager, going through life changes, and living in the same room with your mom 24/7, because he didn’t always feel bad,” Jennifer said. “He had moments of being completely normal, but he was trapped and

he couldn’t do anything about it.” Although they butted heads sometimes, Chris said that having his mom with him when he was sick was comforting and strengthened their relationship. “We’re used to being with each other all the time, so it’s kind of weird when we’re not,” Chris said. “It used to be weird going on road trips and stuff, but this season I had a tournament in Houston and we just drove down and talked for six hours. It didn’t bother me.” ••• But when Chris felt really sick, baseball was the one thing that could take his mind off of it. He loved to play catch whenever possible. When he didn’t feel well, his nurses talked to him about what it would be like to play again. “Without that, I don’t know what would have kept him going,” Jennifer said. “That definitely was a major driving force.” Chris met several professional athletes, but Jennifer said that the most influential players that reached out to Chris during his treatments were members of the varsity baseball team. They sent him a video message and card after hearing he was a baseball fan. Head Baseball Coach Jeffrey Sherman said that he always encourages his players to help people who may be facing difficult situations. “I wanted a kid that’s around that’s just like us and to try to create some normalcy as he’s going through chemo, the game that he loves, and that our guys to be one inspired by,” Sherman said. “We’ve had some really good baseball teams and a lot of that has to do with people like Chris Noe and learning through his courage and his fight.” The team has sponsored several kids with different medical conditions in the past, which motivated senior Ty Johnson to get Chris more involved with the team. “I just wanted to create that for somebody else,” Johnson said. “Create that kind of happiness and give them somewhere where they belong.” Chris became the team manager and went to every workout and game he could in between treatments. He quickly bonded with the players and encouraged them from the dugout. “I’d go to some of the 5 a.m. workouts with them in the gym, so it definitely helped me motivate more,” Chris said. Johnson and the rest of the team were inspired by the eighth grade boy who was determined to play baseball despite his illness. “Seeing him putting a smile on his face kind of made my day and I’m pretty sure it made everybody else’s day too,” Johnson said. ••• But when he reached the end of his fourth round of chemo,

It feels better to play it now, realizing I could have lost it.

Freshman Chris Noe gets an IV during his monthly post treatment checkup on Sept. 24, where he was declared nine months cancer free. He said that while it is scary to be back in the hospital where he was treated for cancer, he likes seeing his nurses again. Photo submitted by Jennifer Noe


design Emily Seiler

- Chris Noe, 9


which was supposed to be his last, his doctor decided to add one more to be safe. He would have to spend a few more weeks looking outside of his hospital window instead of getting back on the baseball field. Chris was devastated. “That brought on a lot of extra anxiety and fears and frustrations because we were actually just celebrating being done with the chemo,” Jennifer said. During the fifth round of chemo, Chris got an infection. It caused his health to deteriorate quickly. He didn’t want to eat or move. His heart rate and respiration decreased, landing him on the ICU watchlist. “It was definitely worse than I thought it was going to be,” Chris said. “It felt worse than chemo at some points.”

Return to the roster Chris beat the infection, finishing his last round of chemo in December 2019. Although he would still need follow up appointments for a few years, he was in remission. More importantly, he could finally get back to baseball. “I was still really sick from the infection at the time, so I didn’t really feel much of it, but I knew I was happy,” Chris said. Chris returned to the pitcher’s mound on Christmas with new cleats he got that morning. But the treatment left him weak and caused pain in his joints. “It kind of discouraged me at first realizing how bad I was when I came back,” Chris said. But he refused to give up. Chris knew that if he trusted himself as a player and kept working, he would get stronger. He worked out with his dad and started going to school practices again, even traveling with the team to California for a tournament in February. His first game back was in June. When getting back into baseball, Chris took charge. He contacted coaches and scheduled tryouts on his own. Jennifer said that it has been amazing to take a step back and watch her son take initiative. “I was surprised at how fast he could do it and how determined he was,” Jennifer said. “He came back with a lot more determination. A lot of drive and fire in him that we hadn’t seen prior to this.” Chris officially joined the school’s team as a freshman at the start of this school year. When he is playing baseball now, Chris stands on the pitcher’s mound, not in the hospital hallway. He won’t have to stop playing to go to therapy or take more medication. He now wears a Marauder baseball uniform and his hair is grown out into the team’s signature mullet. As a coach, Sherman said he was impressed with Chris’ work ethic. Chris said he is excited to start the college recruitment process soon to continue his baseball career. “It would definitely be motivating,” Chris said. “Amazing. Just kind of unreal to realize I’m still actually playing.” Although his diagnosis and treatment were difficult, Chris said he wouldn’t change what happened, because realizing that his family could have lost him helped Chris find a new appreciation for his parents and brother. “I’m lucky to have them now because I could have gone

sports Dec. 16, 2020

Freshman Chris Noe was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2019. He is now one year cancer free and playing baseball for the school. Chris said that throughout treatment, he never gave up on his goal of returning to the field. Photo Brooke Luther

away that easily,” Chris said. Before games, Chris sometimes looks at photos from his battle with cancer and reminds himself of the times during treatment where he could only imagine playing like he is today. He reminds himself that he finally made it back to the baseball field. “It feels better to play it now, realizing I could have lost it,” Chris said.

design Emily Seiler



compiled Garrison Acree photo Maya Hernandez

If you could freeze time for one day, what would you do? “Cool!” “You know he’s British, right?” “Oh. Suddenly less cool.” - S Hall “I have this class that won’t let me sleep…” - C Hall

“Day 6,205 of me not being able to spell definitely.” - Newsroom “If you ever start thinking you have a point in life, call me and I’ll remind you you don’t.” - S Hall

“She was wearing all black. She looked emu.” “That’s a bird.”

“Put Gumby in the manger!!”

- Parking Lot

- Newsroom

“I’d use that to try and help out around the neighborhood. See if anyone’s struggling and try to get them back on track with life.” If you could call yourself from the past, what would you say? “I’d say ‘Get ready, kid.’” If you could become invisible for one hour, what would you do? “I would go around and mess with my friends.” If you could delete one square meter of space, what would you delete? “Probably the fires over in California. See if we could get those to stop.” If Jeff Bezos gave you his credit card for one hour, what would you do with it? “I’d take a lot of that money and put in a savings account so I can buy a house and be set for life.” If you could grow one extra limb, which one would it be and why? “A third arm so I can pet all three of my dogs at the same time.”

Jonathan Sheets, 11


All entrees come with plain fried rice 1940 FM 407 # 112 Highland Village, TX 75077 (972) 317-0589


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Drug testing: early detection or invasion of privacy?

story Madi Olivier photo Brooke Luther

Board of Trustees Vice President Tracy Scott Miller sparked the discussion of drug testing on campus when he shared his goal of implementing the tests over the announcements in late October. “People are crying out for help and we want to be there to help them, not to catch them and put him in jail,” Miller said. “That’s not our objective here.” Students and teachers reacted to his announcement with various opinions. Sign language teacher Amy England supports his initiative. “I’ll be honest, I think it’s good because you’re young adults,” England said. “I’d rather something get caught when you’re young and you stop a problem that could forever change your life, even if it means you get in trouble when you’re young.” Sophomore and football player Gunner Scheer, however, doesn’t think random drug testing is a good option. He said that while he could understand testing athletes on a set schedule about three times a year, he doesn’t support regularly testing students without solid proof of drug use, such as finding drugs in a student’s car or bag. “You would have to have some kind of reason, [like] someone said they had taken drugs,” Scheer said. “Because randomly it’d get so annoying being taken out of class or out of practice just to do a drug test.” Continued on page 12




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Drugs: ecstasy, methamphetamine, etc. Detection window: 90 days Cost: $145-450 per test

Drugs: marijuana, cocaine, PCP, etc Detection window: 24 hours Cost: $50-75 per test

Drugs: THC, PCP and amphetamines, etc Detection window: one hour Cost: $70 per test

Drugs: opioids, marijuana and benzodiazepines, etc Detection window: eight months Cost: $225-490 per test Prices are estimates provided by Dallas Drug Testing Solutions



design Tara Connick

Senior Richard Condra can see both sides of the argument. “I think it won’t necessarily affect me, because if I end up getting tested, it will come back negative,” Condra said. “But I think it’s justified that some people believe it may be infringing on their rights. Then again, this is a school, and some of our rights are being given up to be here.” Condra agrees that drugs are a present issue on campus. “I don’t personally know anyone that does drugs, but I know that a lot of people do drugs here at Marcus,” Condra said. “Drugs are a problem anywhere because they put people in bad situations that they don’t want to be in.” However, Miller’s plan is still in its early stages and it is unclear if it will be discussed by the board or ultimately gain enough support to be implemented in schools. “I doubt that the administration is going to just amend administrative policies to include random drug testing,” Miller said. “I think that would take some discussion and in fairness, the board should have a discussion because we represent the community, and we should seek alternative opinions about it.” Miller said that if drug testing is implemented in the future, he would want to test for drugs of varying levels of severity. He believes that drugs that are often considered to be less damaging, such as marijuana, can be gateways to addiction. “If we were to do anything, it would cover all those things that are used outside of legal provisions,” Miller said. “That could be drugs that are prescribed but not used within legal provisions of a prescription, or any street drugs that are illegal under Texas law.” He believes that drug testing would benefit students by giving them an excuse to say no if offered drugs.

The futu

Board membe

“It’s not meant to be a regulation,” Miller said. “It’s meant initially to be something that just suggests that you offer a child an opportunity to use that as a reason not to use.” However, Miller also said that he is open to various ideas and is not adamant on having drug testing in schools if it is ultimately not the best option for students. According to Miller, his main goal at the current time is to have a conversation within the district about the best ways to protect students from doing drugs. He said that while he hopes drug dealers will receive a harsher punishment, students who admit to using drugs before being caught through the test will be punished less severely, because he wants to help students, not get them in trouble. “We should address this from multiple dimensions and we should consider all the options,” Miller said. “What that looks like after we have those conversations, I don’t know. I’m willing to be very objective in how we do it and I think that we have a board that operates from a level of compassion, empathy, and will also look at things very thoroughly and deeply.” Helping teens fight drug abuse is personal for Miller, as his family was one of millions impacted by drug use. His daughter started smoking cigarettes in high school. One night, she was caught on the auditorium stage with mushrooms.



er suggests drug testing She began using harsher drugs when she started her freshman year of college. His son struggled with prescription drugs and cigarettes as well. “Our son probably struggled with that a little bit,” Miller said. “Not as much as her, but I will tell you that he lost more friends to it between 2012 and 2015.” Miller said that after finding out about his

daughter’s struggles with drugs, his initial response was denial. However, that denial eventually shifted to shame and sadness that left him wondering if he should have done anything differently. “At the end of the day, it’s a high level of grief you feel for your kids that went through that,” Miller said. “That they felt like they needed to do it for whatever reason it was. Insecurities or just being cool, just going along with it or real addiction.” By July 2013, his daughter’s boyfriend,

in-depth Dec. 16, 2020

who also struggled with drug abuse, died from using heroin. His death left a large impact on Miller’s family. Miller said that it was difficult to even explain the emotions that came with it, but it eventually inspired him to help prevent other families from facing the same tragedy by running for the district board. “What motivates me now, quite frankly, is the stories that I hear in the community,” Miller said. “The stories I hear from kids. These are real stories. It’s there. It’s real and while some people want to gloss over it, pretend that it doesn’t exist or it’s not as severe as people think it is, that’s just naive.” The future of drug testing and similar ideas in the district is currently unclear, as the topic has not yet been discussed by the board, which will ultimately make the final decision. However, LISD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers, who was the principal in 2008 when the school last drug tested students, has some concerns. “In general I am not in favor of reimplementing random student drug testing in our school... because of the cost,” Rogers said. “Because of the lack of effectiveness and positive results. Because of those logistical issues.” However, both Miller and Rogers agreed that they share a common goal of protecting students, but have different opinions about the best way to achieve it. Miller said that even if drug testing is never implemented, he will be happy if his actions spark discussion about drugs and the wellbeing of students. “I think that when you’ve gone through this and experienced the pain of this, obviously it will compel someone to want to help,” Miller said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a leader in our community that the voters have given me.”

compiled Madi Olivier Randomly drug testing students raises some potential legal issues. Both the U.S. and Texas Constitutions protect students from unreasonable drug testing while at school.

Case: Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton (1995) Court: U.S. Supreme Court Decision: Drug testing athletes is constitutional

Case: Board of Education v. Earls (2002) Court: U.S. Supreme Court Decision: Drug testing students in extracurricular activities is constitutional

Case: Joy v. PennHarris-Madison School Corporation (2002) Court: Indiana Court of Appeals Decision: Schools can test student drivers for alcohol and other drugs, but not nicotine Source: Texas Association of School Boards

Contributor Garrison Acree

design Tara Connick


story Madi Olivier The idea of drug testing in LISD schools isn’t new. In April 2008, LISD implemented a plan to collect urine samples from students who were involved in extracurricular activities at school or parked on campus. The test detected drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, prescription painkillers, phencyclidine, sedatives and stimulants. Current LISD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers was the principal at the

LISD revisits drug testing history

randomly chose 75 students for testing every week for the rest of the 20072008 school year. That number was lowered to 48 students per week in fall 2008. The students were pulled out of class and escorted to the auditorium bathroom, where they had to provide a urine sample while an assistant principal waited outside of the stall. “It’s inappropriate to ask our staff to be standing... outside the stall, waiting for one of our students to provide a urine specimen,” Rogers said. If a student tested positive, their urine was retested to confirm the results. Testing positive School is really more during a drug test resulted in a student being suspended from about education, not competitive extracurricular activities and losing their parking about asking kids to give privileges. With each positive reme a urine sample. sult, the punishment increased, from three weeks for the first test -Dr. Kevin Rogers, LISD and a full year for the third. Students who tested positive more Superintendent than once were also required to participate in counseling. time. Although Rogers is not against However, Rogers said that there was drug testing students at home and tested a low positive rate among students, his own kids when they were in high partially because some students who school, he does not support it in a school were using drugs avoided the test by setting. not participating in extracurriculars “It has nothing to do with my total and parking in nearby neighborhoods objection to drug testing,” Rogers said. instead of on campus. He believes that “It has to do with the logistics of doing keeping students parked on campus it at school… School is really more about is more important than urine samples education, not about asking kids to give when it comes to preventing drug use, me a urine sample.” as the district’s drug dogs can detect According to Rogers, a computer substances in cars. generated list from one of two companies “We’re less likely to catch them versus LISD worked with — Pinnacle Medical if we allow them to park on school Management and Forward Edge — property with a sticker and our drug

“ 14

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dog detects something,” Rogers said. Controversy about the random drug testing also rose among students and parents at the time. Hundreds of LISD high school students signed an online petition against the testing. In 2008, former student Morgan Anderson, then a freshman, told The Marquee that random drug testing was a violation of students’ rights. “I think it’s that they’re not giving us a choice or a say in the matter,” Anderson said. “You’re going to get punished if you don’t do it. I don’t know what happened to innocent until proven guilty.” Some parents also expressed concern about the district’s plans during a meeting on March 8, 2008. “What’s next? The city of Flower Mound pulls me over and says ‘I’m going to test you because you’re driving on the street?’” one parent said during the meeting. The issues the school faced inspired Rogers to recommend that random drug testing in LISD schools be put to a stop. This was approved by the school board and superintendent in 2010, ending the two year program. “The expense, what we felt like was the ineffectiveness as far as making a difference, the logistical nightmare, it was a combination of all those things as to why we recommended stopping it,” Rogers said.


Area school tests students story Muna Nnamani

Lovejoy High School has been randomly drug testing extracurricular UIL students and athletes for four years. Fine Arts Director Dr. Fela Mathy said that the Lovejoy staff implemented drug testing to help students make better decisions. “When you think about students having activities on the weekend, especially kids involved in sports or fine arts, when they have that idea that drug testing could impact their opportunity to participate, I think it gives them another level to say no,” Mathy said. Drug testing was first implemented at Lovejoy during the 2016-2017 school year, and the program began with only UIL athletes. The Board of Trustees ruled it as a success, and the testing was expanded to all UIL participants, including fine arts, the following school year. The school holds four to six rounds of testing each year and 10 percent of UIL students are required to provide a urine sample each time. Only five students are allowed in the restrooms at once, and officials from the school’s hired testing lab wait outside the restrooms to take students’ samples to the lab. “When the students go in to provide their urine sample, one of the things you have to think about is anyone who might want to cheat the system,” Mathy said. “And so whenever they provide their sample in

in-depth Dec. 16, 2020

the cup, the drug collector measures the situation when determining the temperature, and there’s a certain range next steps. of temperature that the urine has to be “Every kid is different,” Mathy in order to be considered a good sample.” said. “One student, it could be the If a student fails a drug test, their first time they experimented with parents and coach or director are alert- drugs and got caught, versus the ed. The news also reaches the athletics student who maybe for the last year or fine arts director, and the director has been experimenting.” of special services. Mathy supports the Though Mathy strongly believes school’s decision to keep the student’s in drug testing, she understands test results within the family and the some students’ aversion to it. district. “Some young people want to do “Sometimes students will make a mis- what they want to do on a weekend take, and how do we go forward from and not have any accountability, so that?” Mathy said. “It shouldn’t be something that deIs it awkward to go and use the fines them for the restroom in a cup at school? rest of their high school career.” Of course it is. I mean, nobody Along with wants to do that. But it’s a part of c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y, support is offered helping make sure that we’re healthy. to the student. After testing -Dr. Fela Mathy, Lovejoy ISD positive, students will have a meeting with their parents, coach or I understand all of that,” Mathy said. director, and district officials to discuss “But I also think it’s OK to want you the test. Consequences such as sitting to be healthy and this is one thing out some of their season are discussed. we can do to help you with that. Is it “I think it’s important to know your awkward to go and use the restroom kids and listen to what they are saying, in a cup at school? Of course it is. I and just talk them through it,” Mathy mean, nobody wants to do that. But said. it’s a part of helping make sure that A counseling track for the student is we’re healthy.” also discussed. This could mean anything Along with promoting health, from checking in with a campus Mathy thinks that the conversations counselor once a week to seeking opened up between students and professional help outside the district. adults is beneficial. Mathy believes that a “one size fits all” “From the adult side, I think it’s approach to counseling would not been a really positive thing,” Mathy be beneficial. She said that it said. “If for no other reason, it is important to consider forces us to have some really crucial each student’s personal conversations with our kids.”

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Student rediscovers love for dance in Marquettes story Sophia Craig Pure anger coursed through senior Tristan Finn’s veins as she pushed through her solo for the fifth time. She was 14, too sick to stand up straight, but she had to keep dancing. She was being punished for missing the dress rehearsal two days prior due to her chronic illness. Her technique had to be perfect. She had to be strong and graceful. She had to smile and convey emotions, but all she could think about was her agonizing pain and her coaches’ apathy. “The worst part is that I couldn’t just not do it,” Tristan said. “I was literally being forced to.” ••• When Tristan was in preschool, her mother, Jeanne Finn, chose to put her in dance classes. Jeanne said that Tristan loved dancing around the house since she was a baby, and performed as a bunny in her kindergarten Nutcracker. “Every single fall, she would bust out the CD of The Nutcracker,” Jeanne said. “And she would just dance and dance and dance in the foyer.”

Senior Tristan Finn currently serves as the Marquettes captain. Photo Brooke Luther


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Tristan said that in the beginning she loved and looked forward to practicing and honing her skills as a dancer. When Tristan advanced to the senior company during seventh grade, she said the directors’ attitudes changed. She got sick and missed a one hour practice, which resulted in her having to split her role with another dancer. Tristan performed her dance in one show while the other dancer took her place in the other two. “It was kind of a stab in the back,” Tristan said. “It’s not something you can control and it’s not like it was an injury where I was going to be out for weeks or months. It was something that would be 48 to 72 hours.” Tristan said the coaches expected the young dancers to perform as if ballet was their profession, which created a toxic environment in the studio. “They were treating us like professionals when we were still students and kids,” Tristan said. “I think that was just hard for a lot of us to grasp because we are so young. We’re not going to be perfect.” According to Tristan, the dancers were injured often but some of the coaches were completely indifferent. Dancers were frequently pressured to continue practicing and to hurt themselves further for the good of the studio. Tristan said that even the nicer coaches would turn a blind eye to this when dancers told them what was happening. One dancer with a knee injury was forced to take off her brace because it made it difficult for the coaches to judge her technique. She had to dance full-out for hours, ultimately causing more knee damage. “It was kind of like they didn’t care about us as long as the end result made

them look good,” Tristan said. Tristan experienced health problems from the pressure. Starting in middle school, she suffered from a chronic stomach illness called cyclic vomiting syndrome. It caused her severe nausea, vomiting and difficulty eating brought on by her intensive physical exertion and lack of sleep. After the initial wave of pain, she still felt intense pressure and tightness in her stomach that kept her

I look forward to going to Marquettes every day and seeing the people and seeing Dack and Hladky. They just make me happier. - Tristan Finn, 12 from standing upright. After dancing for upwards of five hours each day, she was too exhausted to even eat dinner, which made her illness worse. According to Jeanne, Tristan lost almost 10 pounds in just six months, which raised some concerns at her yearly checkup because eating disorders are so prevalent among dancers. “I didn’t look healthy. I didn’t feel healthy," Tristan said. Despite being visibly ill with discolored skin, Jeanne said her coaches looked the other way, according to Jeanne. They didn’t allow her to recover after episodes of her illness and still made her dance when she had the flu. “Her director point blank asked her ‘Why are you sick all the time? I think you’re fine to stay,’” Jeanne said. “Her director went on so far to say that I could pick her up and she could leave the studio but she needed to return for rehearsal to observe.”


Instead, they forced her to run her solos back to back five times each. She said she didn’t feel well enough to exert this much energy before a competition. “I was puking in the bathroom and they were telling me I was fine,” Tristan said. “It wore me down for the rest of the week instead of giving me time to recover. By the time I got to the competition on Friday, I didn’t do well. I didn’t place at all.” Tristan said that the dancers were made to feel guilty for their illnesses and injuries. The coaches implied that their pain was their fault as well as a major inconvenience. Tristan and other dancers were shamed for getting hurt or sick and made to feel like their team would do badly at a competition because of them. “The things they would say to you would be so degrading that it brought your whole morale down,” Tristan said. ••• Junior Marquette McKenna Sadlowski attended the same studio. McKenna said the studio was serious about technique but criticized girls’ bodies, sometimes not considering them for roles solely because of their appearance. “I would say that the teachers there were very negative about your body image and how you looked,” McKenna said. “They definitely had favoritism and pushed you so hard that you would go home crying every night.” Tristan was regularly expected to dance for five hours on school nights, while McKenna often danced for up to seven. This made it difficult for the middle schoolers to finish their homework. “I wouldn’t leave until 10 or 10:15 every night,” McKenna said. “I would stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning trying to get it all done and then I would have to go back to school and do it all again the next day.” ••• According to Tristan, most of the dancers didn’t stay with the studio because they enjoyed it, but because they had spent so many years there and felt loyal. “No one was happy,” Tristan said. “We would just spend hours and hours complaining about our ballet teachers and how sick and tired we were. The seniors couldn’t wait to get out of it.” Tristan’s mom said that after graduation seniors rarely came back to visit,

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which she now believes may have been a red flag. “Once they graduated, they were gone,” Jeanne said. “You never really saw them.” Jeanne considered looking for another studio a few times, but she didn’t want to believe that anything bad was going on and Tristan wasn’t ready to leave. ••• After eighth grade, Tristan decided that she had enough. She found herself crying every day, dreading dance. Her parents and doctors were concerned for her health. Something had to change. She originally never thought she would be a drill team dancer because she

years and is now the Marquettes captain. Since joining the Marquettes, she no longer suffers from her illness. According to her mom, the transition from the toxic studio environment to the positive environment of Marquettes made Tristan a new, happier person. “She did it, she made it,” Jeanne said. “And we’re really proud of her for that.” Dack explained that she has heard a lot about talented dancers who are pressured too hard and ultimately lose interest in the sport they dedicated their lives to. She said that as a coach she does everything she can to counteract this. “I always try to follow something negative with a positive,” Dack said.

Senior Tristan Finn performs a contemporary piece, her favorite genre of dance, at the Marquettes Spring Show her sophomore year. Joining the Marquettes helped Tristan find a love for dance again after leaving a ballet studio. Photo submitted by Tristan Finn

had such a long history in ballet, but after her time at the studio, Tristan heard about directors Alice Dack and Shelby Hladky. People told her about the empathy and patience they have for their dancers. “I was sick and tired of such a negative environment,” Tristan said. “I wanted people who genuinely cared about me and wanted to see me succeed.” Tristan auditioned for the Marquettes her freshman year. She said that she faced harsh judgement from her dance teachers and peers who viewed the drill team as a waste of time. In the end, Tristan found that the Marquettes were the perfect fit. Tristan has been with the drill team for almost four

Dack said that Tristan’s past experience has shown Tristan that it is possible to make progress and see positive results without being a negative person. “Just watching her as captain this year and really stepping into that role, it’s ‘What can I do to make our team better? What can I do to make this a better situation?'” Dack said. “She’s very much about making everything a better experience for those around her.” Tristan said that since joining the Marquettes her freshman year, she has found her love for dance again. “I look forward to going to Marquettes every day and seeing the people and seeing Dack and Hladky,” Tristan said. “They just make me happier."

design Amber Luther


Nostalgia may be a staple of the Christmas season, but so is family drama. When I think back to past Christmases, I smile — watching Christmas movies in my pajamas, drinking apple cider next to the dryer (we don’t use our fireplace) and dressing up for Christmas Eve church service gets my mental record player playing dreamy holiday music. But then the needle rips off the record when I remember

getting into a screaming match with my mother over winter coats or watching as my brother smashed my other brother’s Nintendo DS on the hardwood floor. Nobody can escape familial conflict. But over the years, I’ve developed some tips for making it through Christmas without anyone’s eggnog getting poisoned.

story Muna Nnamani

22. Disc uss with ca politics re 1. Be w ill comprom ing to ise As hard as it is to believe, you might be the only one who wants to watch “The Muppet Christmas Carol” for family movie night for the fifth time this week. So to curb a heated argument, you’ll have to give something up. You could agree to watch “Home Alone” with your family and your favorite movie by yourself later. Everybody else gets to witness Kevin McCallister’s many felonies, and you get to sing along to “It Feels Like Christmas” alone without any judgement.


design Amber Luther

The holidays seem to be when everybody turns into a political expert. Your father, who has apparently run all of America from the comfort of his armchair, decides that everybody needs to hear his wisdom at Christmas dinner. Coincidentally, everything about his political stance makes you sick. But before you contribute, remember that you don’t want your friendly political discussion turning into an MMA match. Ask yourself if what you’re about to say could: a) Cause people to go home early b) Lead to a shouting match c) Inspire your parents to disown you If what is about to come out of your mouth could cause any of the above, it’s smart to stifle it. Remember that even though you may disagree with your cousin Earl’s case for American communism, ridiculing him might hurt his feelings.


ate p i c i t r a ’t p n o s” D e . i t i 3 v 3 i t e ac v i t s e f in “

The Christmas Spirit gets me every

ur o y y o nj 44. E gether o time t

time. It’s the one that makes you agree to go caroling. It guilts you into baking cookies with your brothers and going to Gaylord Texan to look at ice. Even But trust me, your throat will though these die after singing “O Holy Night” a tips help, they won’t thousand times and you’ll definitely guarantee a conflict-free end up baking the cookies yourself. Christmas. No matter how And the Gaylord Texan exhibit is unproblematic your family severely underwhelming. is, somebody is going to cry, Hear me: The Christmas Spirit is an or yell, or tell your parents illusion. It’s there to trick you into doing that they didn’t raise you uncomfortable things with your family right. That’s just family. under the guise of “festive activities.” You But believe it or not, you’re can’t be swindled like that, but your family going to look back on this time will throw a fit if you don’t show the customary and remember only good things. amount of holiday cheer. So do some swindling The political arms races will seem yourself. just peachy, and watching “Home Utilize scavenger hunts. When your little brothers Alone” for the ten thousandth time come asking when you can bake them cookies, will start up your mental record player. write them up an “Oh dear! Christmas is here!” So don’t stress about the conflict and scavenger hunt. They’ll spend hours in the snuggle up by the dryer with a good backyard in search of a three-legged book. And if you have patience to reindeer, and you’ll get to enjoy a spare, invite your family to “Snowflakes & Cashmere” join you. bath bomb. Precious solitude.

entertainment Dec. 16, 2020

design Amber Luther


Breathing Fire

Spicy meals for bland foodies story Garrison Acree I can appreciate the idea of spicy foods. They can help flush out the digestive system and provide a rush while enjoying lunch. However, as a fan of the bland, I despise any level of spice. So, knowing that I can’t stand it, I gave myself an ulcer reviewing spicy foods. It was suffering with a hint of fun. To gauge just how much spice I could handle, I turned to the most spicy thing on the school lunch line: Spicy Doritos. At first, all I could taste was the dust on the chip. There was a hint of lime on top of the normal taste of a Dorito. There was a nice crunch, and it tasted like a better nacho cheese Dorito.

This made me think I had developed a tolerance to spicy foods. Just as I had that little burst of confidence, the chip started excreting its pain chemicals. I thought swallowing it would ease the pain, but it only spread the fire to my throat. The extreme pain didn’t last very long, but a lighter heat lingered for half an hour. During that time, if I so much as chewed anything, it reignited the fire. Overall a great start to my misery.

Chick-fil-A: Spicy chicken sandwich Heat:


Chick-fil-A: the restaurant students simp for and the home of the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, a twist on my favorite peanut oil fried chicken sandwich. There was a moment of hesitation on the first bite. I tasted my regular chicken sandwich with a small hint of pepper. The colby jack cheese added a nice touch. After a period of 30 seconds, the heat gradually turned up. Before I knew it, I was sweating profusely. It didn’t take long for me to realize that if I swallowed fast enough, the heat wouldn’t get to me in time. It was easy going


design Alex Thornfelt

from there, until the last bite. The heat hit while the food was still in my throat. By this point, I had run out of my delicious Chick-fil-A lemonade. So I was forced Photo Garrison Acree to sit there and let the spice burn my vocal cords. Although eating the sandwich was a painful experience, it was still delicious, especially when paired with Chick-filA’s iconic waffle fries. The breading gave the chicken a nice crunch while still keeping it moist and the bread was warm and buttery. The spicy Chick-fil-A sandwich is a great meal for anyone who can handle more spice than me and is willing to wait in the never-ending line at the drive thru.


Chipotle: Chicken burrito

Maybe I wasn’t specific enough when I said “hold the seasoning” while ordering my Chipotle chicken burrito, because when I bit into that blanket of meat, cheese and lettuce, I got the shock of my life. At first, all I could taste was a nice, warm tortilla and some cheese and lettuce. Then, everything changed when the fire nation attacked. In an instant, my mouth was set ablaze with a hint of salt. As I tried to mask my pain, I took a sip of water, thinking that would quench the heat. It turns out, the water was like gasoline to the fire. Before long, it turned to relentless arson.

As it went down my esophagus, it continued to wreak havoc. It felt like I had just swallowed a flaming knife like I was on “America’s Got Talent.” Photo Muna Nnamani Though the spice was too much for me to handle, the burrito was still great. Chipotle’s warm flour tortillas helped reduce the spice. The chips, lightly dusted with salt and a hint of lime, were great too. Chipotle is known for having countless options when it comes to ordering your burrito or bowl, so everyone can find something they’d enjoy. The chicken alone was almost enough to make me tap out, but if you like your food a little more flavorful than I do, you can try their steak or add salsa to your meal.

Palio’s Pizza: Frank’s buffalo chicken pizza

Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Pizza was a foreboding sight in the middle of the table. Featuring “Frank’s Red-Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce,” it was a terrifying dish for a spice-hater to even think about. There was a subtle buttery flavor behind the cheese and sauce. The crust had a nice crunch to it, and the overall pizza had a light hint of salt. It was the best Itallian pie I had ever consumed. Then, the heat hit me like a freighter. My mouth was set ablaze with the heat of the sun. I had to

do everything I could to mask the pain, but I’m sure it only made me look more uncomfortable. Tears welled up in my eyes as I choked the bite down. All the while, peoPhoto Madi Olivier ple in the restaurant looked at me in a mix of humor and confusion. This pizza was the spiciest and most painful thing I ate, but it’s hard to regret it when the toppings and crust were so good. Besides, how often is it that you can order a pizza with hot sauce instead of tomato?

Sub Zero Ice Cream After going through that pain for these reviews, I needed something to make up for this week of ulcers and an excuse to eat a delicious dessert. So, I visited Sub Zero Ice Cream. Sub Zero is an ice cream parlor that freezes their desserts with liquid nitrogen. When you walk into the shop, the first thing you notice is the giant liquid nitrogen tank at the side of the room. The leftover gas from the tank flowing through the windows by the ice cream is a nice touch. The ice cream itself wasn’t necessarily a cooldown from the heat, but it was a nice way to end this ordeal. There was a

entertainment Dec. 16, 2020

perfect amount of milk added to it, and the ice cream had a perfect frozen outer layer. I also loved that you could customize your order with different flavors and toppings. This makes Sub Zero a great place for anyone who would rather skip the heat.

Photo Garrison Acree

design Alex Thornfelt


Rebounding racism column Hyunsung Na The only reason I got into basketball was because I grew fast early. My 5’4” frame allowed me to dominate the fourth grade playgrounds, but my height gave me something else too. When you’re the tallest and heaviest in the room, no other kids try to make fun of you. As I got older, I lost my height advantage. On the basketball court I was getting bullied by taller players. In my social life I was getting bullied by my classmates. Kids in my class would pull at the ends of their eyes to “look like me,” tap my shoulder to ask me if Kim Johgun was my uncle, and ask me to do their homework because, as an AsianAmerican, I must’ve been averaging an 8.0 GPA. This racism wasn’t limited to random kids in my class; it made its way into my friend groups as well. When I got into the ninth grade I was apart of an all-guy friend group. We referred to ourselves as “the boys” and found homophobic, sexist and racist jokes funny. As one of two minorities in our group, I was the target

of a lot of jokes. I kept my issues with them to myself and pretended everything was fine when we hung out. I didn’t want to incite any conflict with my friends. One of our favorite things to do was to go to the park each weekend to play pickup basketball. One fall day, I confidently suggested we play with a group of juniors. Going into this, I already knew we


design Tara Connick

were going to lose by 70. I was the tallest of my friend group at 5’10”, but the juniors towered over me. They were all at least six foot and some bulky-looking dudes. Unsurprisingly, a couple points into the game, my team was already getting smacked. It was like watching a basketball game between a third grade elementary school and fully grown adults. Twice, one of us shot and missed the basket, the backboard, the rim and the net. It went over the entire thing. This began the trash talk. I’m absolutely fine with trash talk. They’re allowed to make fun of us when we miss shots and we’re down by a thousand. However, further into the game, I was receiving the huge majority of it. I was playing badly, but honestly, my friends were playing worse. Why was I only getting the insults based on how I was playing? Early on, I was called Yao Ming and Jeremy Lin, but I was expecting that from the jump. As the only Asian representation in the NBA, it was very low-hanging fruit. It was something I was used to, so I wasn’t bothered by it. I actually love those two players and even own a Jermey Lin shirt. However, it escalated. I missed a couple more shots and one of the juniors told me to open my eyes a little more. We were now down by 12, and the ball got passed to me. “Ching-Chong make a shot,” one of the juniors said. I took a long pause after that. I was confused. My friends were laughing. Actually, everyone was laughing. I didn’t know why this was funny to them. I realized that this shouldn’t have been surprising to me. We were “the boys.” This was my friends’ version of comedy. For the entirety of my friendship with them, they had made fun of every minority possible. They’d make jokes about different races, women, the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities, all for the sake of “dark humor.” The game continued. It didn’t matter

It was clear why I was targeted. I stuck out because I was Asian and that was that. to me anymore. We lost by 15. I went home. This incident itself was nothing to me. “Ching-Chong” was nothing to me. A bunch of White juniors made fun of me for being Asian, but that was nothing to me. They couldn’t make fun of my friends for being White, because they themselves were White. It was clear why I was targeted. I stuck out because I was Asian and that was that. More importantly, the incident made me realize why my friends didn’t choose to defend me and laughed instead. After all, they were the ones who treated me badly first. “Don’t eat their dog.” “Of course you can’t see with your Asian eyes.” But in an 80 percent White town, none of them got this same treatment I got for just existing. Over time, I slowly stopped being friends with them. It was difficult. Even after they dedicated so much time making fun of me, they were still my friends, so I was hesitant to end our friendship. I tried talking to them about how I felt. But after I exhausted every option, it was clear it wasn’t working. In the end, I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I wasn’t treated with respect. Now I have different friends. Now I’m defined by who I am, allowing me to be more than a Asian punchline.


things we like

Cinnamon in the D Hall

The legends have told of a fragrance so divine, its location being the D Hall. Some have said this scent is alluring like no other. Some have said it is similar to that of cinnamon, the most holy of smells. I am thankful everyday for this blessed aroma being located at my own school. *sniffing noises*

things we don’t like Wannabe DJs

The idea of having a DJ following you around may sound cool to some people, but putting a Bluetooth speaker in your backpack and blasting Gucci Mane isn’t the same. Either buy a set of headphones or keep your volume at zero. We understand how hard it is to go 5 minutes from one class to another without our precious Minos, but nobody is enjoying the music you’re playing. No, not even a little bit.

Free meals


Technology issues

Friends are harder to make

Free meals are an absolutely welcome addition to our school. No more needing to shell out your mom’s cash to pay for food; it’s on the house. While these meals may not be the most sublime or gourmet, it’s simply great to have the option to have a free meal, Monday through Friday. Coronavirus has ruined many things, this is one of the few nice things about COVID.

The fact our school uses technology so well is always great. However, the unfortunate truth is that technology doesn’t always work. For our school, it seems that sometimes happens all the time. We understand that technology is ridiculous and doesn’t enjoy cooperating with us however, but it still does make it frustrating to deal with. We would appreciate it if teachers could be understanding when problems with technology causes students to turn in some work late.

Whatever sport we participate in here, it’s clear we’re simply the best at it. It’s amazing how we excel at getting all the touch goals, 3-shoots and home strikes. We could probably beat anyone at the Super World Series. Go sports team! Many of our incredible athletes also had a lovely signing day. We’ve got professional players in the making here. Don’t deny it.

Due to being physically separated from everyone in class, even being with other students can feel isolating for many. People don’t seem to be as friendly towards each other either, as many are less open to letting new people into their circles. This makes it even harder for students to form new bonds and friendships right now, which can be discouraging. Perhaps we could put an emphasis on making friendships online, or even a website students could find other students here with similar interests.

Drug testing isn’t the best option for students staff editorial We tried drug testing before. In April 2008, LISD tested students in extracurriculars, or with parking permits. The program was short-lived, ending in 2010. Over the announcements in late October we heard that someone with good intentions wanted to try it again. While we appreciate this concern to ensure that students avoid drugs, random testing is not the best way. When the school tested students with parking permits, some parked in nearby neighborhoods to evade testing. Others dropped out of their extracurriculars to avoid being tested. Neither of these options worked well to prevent drug use. Having students park off campus also prevented those cars from being sniffed

opinion Dec. 16, 2020

by drug dogs. Taking away part of a student’s season may seem like an adequate punishment for a positive test, but it’s counterproductive. Taking away a sport, instrument, or activity could be removing a student’s only healthy outlet. This could mean students would move into more drug use to fill their emptier schedule. Student testing also breaks the trust and respect between students and staff. Forcing students to provide a urine sample is intrusive, and involving their family in the case of a positive test could increase difficulties at home. The process is crude and does not portray to the student that the school cares. Asking students to pee in a cup and not accepting “no” as an innocent answer also portrays to students that we are being regarded as delinquents.

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Illegal drug use can be a devastating problem among teenagers. It has damaged and claimed young lives, and should not be taken lightly. But a more personal approach could be an effective remedy. Here at the school, we already have great teacher-student relationships. Encouraging their growth and creating an open dialogue about drug use would encourage more students to voluntarily come forward with their struggles. Creating a safe space could be as simple as asking students how their weekend was and meaning it, or implementing more interactive Marauder Time lessons. The district has encouraged a theme of kindness, and that seems like a more effective way to help students than punishment.

design Tara Connick


Winning district season photos Maya Hernandez

The Marauders have had their first undefeated regular season in 25 years and their second consecutive season as district champs. This includes their victory in the Battle of the Axe on Nov. 27, where they won 58-38 against the Farmers. This win marks the 20th time they brought the axe back home in the 35 games that have been played. This win placed the team ninth out of all 6A schools and 16th in the state of Texas. The team celebrates after scoring a touchdown against their rivals, the Lewisville Fighting Farmers.

Head Coach Kevin Atkinson holds up the axe after the team completes the Alma Mater.

Junior Walker Wells runs with the ball while teammates guard him.

Varsity cheerleaders line up to encourage the team during kickoff.

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