March Issue 2017

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The Tam News — March 2017


March 2017


20 sports 04 news

Tam Commemorates Operation Breakthrough by Megan Butt

05 news

News Flash by Elissa Asch, Maddie Asch, Kennedy Cook & Michael Diamandakis A Winter Rally Success by Maddie Asch

06 news

TUHSD Pursues Contract Negotiations by Marina Furbush

07 lifestyles KitTea Catastrophe by Calvin Rosevear

08 lifestyles Hairs the Deal with Self Expression by Lola Leuterio

March 2017 — The Tam News

Girls’ Basketball Wins MCAL Championship

by Calvin Rosevear

10 lifestyles Sweet/Sexy/Savage by Kavi Dolasia

11 features

It Happens Here: Defining the issue of rape and sexual assault at Tam High by Elissa Asch & Maddie Asch

The girls’ varsity basketball team won MCALs after beating rival Redwood High School. This is the second year in a row they’ve won MCALs after winning the championship for the first time in Tam history last season.

18 op/ed EDITORIAL: Trump v. Journalism by Staff Crackin’ and Slackin’ by the Opinion Staff

19 sports opinion In Defense of Girls’ Lacrosse by Dahlia Zail

16 op/ed

21 sports

17 op/ed

22 sports

The College Board: A Nonprofit? by Maxine Flasher-Duzgunes Heard in Tam Hallways heard by the Opinion Staff

(Dis)honor Classes by Marie Hogan

Boys’ Soccer Wins MCAL Championship by Calvin Rosevear Spring Season Sports Previews & By the Numbers by the Sports Staff

Athlete of the Issue: Karim Shakur, NCS Champion by Miles Rubens

Dear Reader,

More often than not, whenever a delicate or controversial issue comes up in conversation, faces crumple, brows furrow, and people are quick to push away any possible discussion. I understand this. I often find myself in need of a break from awkward situations once in awhile. However, when it comes to an issue as important as rape or racial segregation, it is essential that everyone be as educated as possible. This month’s feature focuses on rape and sexual assault at Tam, specifically what factors result in students’ experiences with rape, as well as what aspects of our community influence the misinformation surrounding this issue. Stressing the importance of educating and analyzing how our high school community can influence our day-to-day behavior is crucial when it comes to sex and safety and the health of students. Just as vital is the ability to step into uncomfortable, but necessary discussions surrounding discrimination. On February 27, students and staff took part in Breakthrough Day, Tam’s 50th celebration of Operation Breakthrough, which was sparked by white versus black violence on campus in 1967. While discussions were uncomfortable for many students, the goal of the day was to initiate talks and awareness amongst students about racial issues at Tam. The Students of Color club and the Black Student Union plan to continue such efforts and expand these discussions for other minority groups in the wake of Breakthrough Day. So when you find your brows furrowed, take a step back and determine whether the issue is important for you to engage in. When it is, don’t let discomfort stop you from participating.

Cover by: Lucky Shulman On the Cover: Elissa Asch & Maddie Asch explore the reality of rape at Tam and flaws in our sex education.

Raqshan Khan

EDITORS IN CHIEF: Danielle Egan, Marina Furbush,

PHOTOS: Lucky Shulman, Ethan Swope &

NEWS: Elissa Asch, Maddie Asch, Megan Butt & Josh Love

GRAPHICS: Nicole Anisgard Parra, Emma Blackburn,

Raqshan Khan & Kendall Lafranchi

LIFESTYLES: Sabrina Baker, Francis Strietmann,

Isabella Minnie (I)

Isabella Minnie (I) & Emma Steinberg

Maddie Wall & Dahlia Zail

COPY EDITORS: Piper Goeking & Samantha Locke

FEATURES: Kennedy Cook, Arya Guinney, Marie Hogan,

DESIGN: Kennedy Cook & Lucky Shulman

Milo Levine (I), Savannah Malan (I) & Ethan Swope (I)

OPINION: Griffin Chen (I), Samantha Ferro (I), Mary Overton, Glo Robinson & Dashiell Yarnold

SPORTS: Andrew Bishop, Calvin Rosevear, Miles Rubens,

BUSINESS TEAM: Megan Butt, Michael Diamandakis, Calvin Rosevear & Adam Tolson

SOCIAL MEDIA: Francis Strietmann

Adam Tolson, Zoe Wynn & Sophia Krivoruchko (I) (I) denotes a section intern. Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941

Volume XII, No. VI March 2017 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1916

ADVISOR: Jonah Steinhart PRINTER: WIGT Printing

REPORTERS: Lucy Allen, Sabrina Baker, Michael Balistreri, Griffin Barry, Grace Bell, Mackenzie Bell, Andrew Bishop, Evan Boatright, Abigail Cabana, Connor Cardinal, Griffin Chen, Birgitta Danielson, Connor Dargan, Kavi Dolasia, Julian Dreyer, Jack Ferguson, Samantha Ferro, Andrew Ferron, Ava Finn, Maxine FlasherDuzgunes, Abby Frazee, Jack Goldman, Benjamin Grant, Ephets Head, Caroline Herdman, Hannah Jeffris, Derek Jennings, Ravi Joshi-Wander, Keana Kennedy, Elise Korngut, Ivan Kovalev, Sophia Krivoruchko, Shane Lavezzo, Ginger Lazarus, Ryan Leake, Lola Leuterio, Milo Levine, JT Lieser, Gabriela Lilien, Katherine Liviakis, Tess Lochman, Savannah Malan, Clodagh Mellett, Isabella Minnie, Cal Mitchell, Nell Mitchell, Celeste Moore Malnar, William Moye, Connor Norton, Hanna Nygard, Ben Olizar, Mary Overton, Emily Pavis, Georgia Pemberton, Evelyn Power, Alexander Price, Satori Richards-Bailey, Charlie Rosgen, Kylie Sakamoto, Dylan Sgamba, Francesca Shearer, Emily Spears, Emma Steinberg, Sarah Stone, Spencer Stone, Kyle Sullivan, Jacob Swergold, Red Thompson, Scarlett Trnka, Sam Uriarte Sanders, Sophia Venables, Benjamin Wall-Feng, Daisy Wanger, Nikola Weisman, Maxwell Williams, Aaron Young EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicole Anisgard Parra, Abigail Cabana, Michael Diamandakis, Danielle Egan, Marina Furbush, Raqshan Khan, Kendall Lafranchi, Nell Mitchell, Connor Norton, Georgia Pemberton, Calvin Rosevear. The Tam News, a student-run newspaper publication, distributed monthly, is an open, public forum for student expression and encourages letters and article contributions. The Tam News reserves the right to edit submissions for length and content. All content decisions are made by student editors. The Tam News is published monthly, though dates may vary. The Tam News is nonprofit and any proceeds and contributions are used in the production of the newspaper publication and for journalism education. Additional information concerning contributions or advertising can be obtained by writing to the address provided above or through our website. Copyright © 2017 by The Tamalpais News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

The Tam News — March 2017



Tam Commemorates Operation Breakthrough by Megan Butt


tudents participated in Breakthrough Day on February 27 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Operation Breakthrough, a student-led initiative that took place in 1967 following race riots on campus. Students and staff spent much of the day discussing issues of race in tutorial classes in addition to attending an assembly in Gus Gym. “[We were] really trying to begin the dialogue about race here at Tam and about minority population experiences, including LGBTQ, any students of color, any ethnicity, and any marginalized populations at Tam High,” Assistant Principal Wendy Stratton said. During the day students attended each of their classes for 20 minutes, in addition to splitting into discussion groups and going to an assembly. In the discussion groups students watched a short documentary video with footage from the original Operation Breakthrough and alumni interviews. A number of alumni attended the two identical assemblies, including alumnus Ron Blasingame, who spoke to students about his experience during Operation Breakthrough as Tam’s first black class president. During the assembly Blasingame addressed the larger issues of growing up as a black man in America and the concept of “colorblindness,” or the idea that some people don’t see race. “You can see me as a black man. That’s ok because I am a black man. What matters is what you do next, how you treat me,” he said. Senior Raqshan Khan, an Editor-inChief of the Tam News and co-president of the Students of Color club (SOC), gave a speech with junior and ASB President TK Dahlke, emphasizing the importance of every perspective in discussions of discrimination. Later co-president of SOC, senior Anna Okada, spoke along with seniors Mason Sapp, Jaiana Harris, and Tre’Chaun Berkley. Berkley, who only spoke at the second assembly, said that as a resident


March 2017 — The Tam News

of Marin City, his peers at Tam see him as lesser compared to white students from Mill Valley. Performances from actress and activist RyanNicole and senior Salem Davern were followed by a speech from Mill Valley Mayor Jessica Jackson Sloan. Some students, like senior Juweria Mahtar, thought that Breakthrough Day acted as a stepping stone in promoting a more unified campus. “I thought it was a really great opener to start the conversation,” she said. “Before, I didn’t realize the prevalence [of racism] at Tam.” The event was also met with criticism from some students. “It was really rushed and I don’t think anyone knew what the point of the day really was,” senior Rob David said. Many student discussions from Breakthrough Day acknowledged that a majority of the Tam population is white, so many students may lack personal experience of racial discrimination. Many of those students expressed discomfort in participating in discussions, because they felt that their limited insight to racism hindered them from contributing. “People feel like they don’t want to talk about issues because they don’t have personal experiences from that issue afflicting them, but their voice is still important in the conversation,” Dahlke said. Students felt that their discussions would have been more productive had their been diversity in their classes. “Conversations could have done better in a more diverse environment,” junior Synclaire Lee said. “I didn’t feel like most people in my class had similar opinions and I didn’t feel comfortable enough to say everything that I had wanted to.” In addition, some students said that Breakthrough Day excluded many minority and marginalized groups. They felt that the event was almost entirely directed at issues of race as they pertained to black and white community members.

“I do wish Asians and other minority groups were more included in that conversation…,” Okada said. “But especially because a lot of discussions were centered around the clips from 1967, it was hard for it not to be just [on black and white relations]…and I think that’s something we need to work on,” Yet Principal JC Farr believes that any participation is valuable. “It’s about speaking your truth. That creates opportunities to hear one another and value the different experiences we bring to the table, and if we listen with open hearts then that creates the opportunities for us to come closer together,” Farr said. “You validate the experiences of others through listening and having reflective conversation, and I think that’s a great start.” Administrators said they hope that Breakthrough Day is a catalyst for inspiring students to pursue dialogue and a more equitable Tam community. Farr wants to reach out to students and other community members to create a committee that will continue the discussion about race at Tam. Stratton wants to encourage student participation in the future. “I find it exciting that students are coming from the perspective that they would like to be the ones that are running events like this, I would want to empower that voice,” she said. Farr echoed Stratton’s desire for more student involvement, stressing that minorities are not the only ones able to advocate for unity. “It’s about a mindset more than it is about a color,” Farr said. “For those that want to be involved in creating an inclusive school it does not matter what color you are, what matters is that you have the mindset to bring this [school] together and build understanding.” ♦

Photos courtesy of the Marin Independent Journal



NEWS FLASH “Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach Wins Award by Maddie Asch The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced Tam Girls Varsity Soccer Coach Shane Kennedy as one of 13 coaches in the state to win the model coach award on February 6. CIF defines a model coach as someone who “demonstrates and teaches the six core ethical values: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.” “It is very rewarding to contribute to such a wonderful community,” Kennedy said. “The players, parents and administration have been incredibly supportive [through] the years.” Junior and Girls Varsity Soccer player Emlen Janetos said, “[The players] respect him so much because he truly cares about every one of us on and off the field… He teaches us so much by just playing the game that we all enjoy.” ♦ The Winter Rally took place on February 17 in Gus Gym. Senior MC’s Maxi von Welczeck and Zach Glenn led the seniors in a lip sync battle against teachers. The varsity basketball teams participated in a Family Feud style trivia game and the varsity soccer teams played a Project Runway game. In addition there were musical performances by the Music Together club and sophomore Amelia Einhorn. ♦

New Women’s History Class

TUHSD Introduces New Textbook System

A semester long Women’s History class has been added as a possible course option for the 2017-2018 school year. Claire Ernst, who will be teaching the class, has taught it on and off over the years. “Women’s issues have kind of been more up front, so there’s a lot more people interested in it [now],” she said. Ernst said the curriculum will consist of the chronology of women’s history along with a focus on the issues of race, class, and access to health care among other topics. Though assistant principal Leah Herrera said that at least 25 students would be needed to allow the class to proceed as planned, Ernst is confident that there is substantial student interest. “I’m hearing that a lot of people are signing up,” she said. “I’ve been getting word from teachers that a bunch of guys have signed up, which is great.” ♦

The Tam Union High School District’s math departments are currently piloting a new geometry textbook system called Big Ideas Math. Full implementation of Big Ideas Math would include a class-set of paper textbooks in addition to online textbook pages and homework submission. This program is being tested this year according to lead teacher of Tam’s geometry department, Chris Erlin. “Teachers at each school try to use it in a class or two... Then, at the end of this year, all the teachers who pilot it will get together and decide whether we think it is worth adopting.” Sophomore Mario Micklow said, “Big Ideas Math is pretty easy to get the hang of, the system is super user friendly....From what I heard, I share a lot of the same opinions with other students who are using the system.” ♦

by Elissa Asch

by Kennedy Cook & Michael Diamandakis

Maddie Asch A Winter Rally Success photos byby Ethan Swope

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Principal JC Farr walks out to judge the “Project Runway” game, dressed as Hansel from the “Zoolander” series; seniors Ben Lampl, Tam News reporter Ryan Leake, Jake Cameron, Zach Glenn, and Maxi von Welczeck compete in the senior vs. staff lip sync; science teachers Grace Backer and Caroline Dezendorf wheel around during the staff lip sync performance.

The Tam News — March 2017



TUHSD Pursues Contract Negotiations by Marina Furbush


he Tamalpais Federation of Teachers (TFT), which represents the Tamalpais Union High School District’s (TUHSD) teachers and counselors, has withdrawn a filing for impasse over contract negotiations. On February 9, TFT issued a press release that detailed concerns with the state of negotiations and charged TUHSD Superintendent David Yoshihara with engaging in regressive bargaining. Regressive bargaining occurs when a party makes a proposal that is less valuable than that party’s previous proposal. TFT originally claimed in the press release that the superintendent unexpectedly withdrew the original offer after the union indicated they would accept it, “claiming the District did not have sufficient funds to cover the ongoing costs,” and announced that they would seek the assistance of a state mediator. “In general, I’m not saying this is what occurred here, but in general a district or a labor group can make an offer that is in fact regressive if the conditions warrant that,” Yoshihara said before the union withdrew their filing. Negotiations began last May. TFT decided not to move forward with a mediator because their main concern, a proposal that would increase out-of-pocket healthcare costs for teachers, was discarded by negotiators after a TUHSD board meeting on February 15. However, the issue of healthcare has not been completely resolved. “We’re all concerned about the increasing cost of health,” TFT President Cory DeMars said. “What has been resolved is instead of coming with an absolute cap that they weren’t able to bend on, they removed that and instead agreed to ‘let’s work together to try to address this issue of health.’” Seven community members sent letters to the board between February 9 and the February 28 board meeting, all detailing their desire for teachers to receive higher pay and/or fully-funded healthcare. “Being a teacher is difficult work with long hours that extend well beyond the school day hours,” wrote Fairfax parent Sarah McKereghan. “Our educators need to be able to thrive in order to be effective teachers


March 2017 — The Tam News

and part of that is having good healthcare and being paid [a] competitive wage that reflects the cost of living in Marin County.” Another concern raised by the release was that the proposal devalued teachers and counselors. DeMar said in the press release that Yoshihara’s new, and what they considered regressive, proposal showed that the district didn’t “value our work.” “Their proposals were not suggesting that they were placing as much emphasis on appreciating the work we all do, but instead were placing more emphasis on just making sure that their budget was sound,” DeMars later elaborated. “And our position was that you could actually do both. We’re not asking for anything that’s going to bankrupt the district. So it was more an issue of priorities, and I think that’s changed a bit now that the board made the decision to remove the healthcare cap.” One issue illuminated by these contract negotiations is the impact the former TUHSD administration had on the district. “My understanding is the district was in a difficult place a few years ago and continues to try to move on from there, and so that’s a process,” Yoshihara said.

The memory of former superintendent Laurie Kimbrel also remains with TFT. “We had a rough time for about six or seven years with a previous superintendent. It caused some damage within the district, it chipped away at trust, it chipped away at people feeling safe, it chipped away at the relationship that we want to have with the district office, that being one where we work together rather than an adversarial one,” DeMars said. “So there was a lot of ground to make up for when the new superintendent came in. And I think even though we hit this rough spot and we had to actually file for impasse, I think now that that part of it is over, I think there’s a renewed effort on the district’s part to indeed continue to build trust and work together rather than work at odds with each other.” Yoshihara agrees with the sentiment. “The district hopes to reach what we consider a fair and equitable agreement that values our teachers and supports the excellent teaching and learning that we know takes place every day,” Yoshihara said. “So we’re hopeful for that, we would welcome and want to continue the dialogue with our teachers and counselors.” ♦



by Calvin Rosevear

n Market and Gough, sits KitTea, a mix between a cafe and a cat playground. You go in, pet cats, and drink tea, basically the single whitest thing anyone could possibly do. As a dog owner, I would’ve been happy to go my whole life without knowing about cat cafes. Let me explain how I ended up in this situation in the first place. My friend from summer camp had come to California to visit colleges with her family. Their only available time to meet was a Wednesday evening. They mentioned they were going to a place called KitTea. They gave me an address, so I arranged to get myself into the city that Wednesday evening. I was able to catch up with my friend and meet her family beforehand. Everything was going smoothly. Then they started talking about KitTea. When they seemed shocked that I’d never been to a cat cafe before I knew I was in for an unfortunate hour. They then asked whether I was allergic to cats. “Yes, I am deathly allergic,” should


have been my response, and I would’ve said my good byes and headed back over the bridge. But for some reason I decided to be honest. The cat cafe looked like someone had taken Mill Valley, squashed it into one building, and imported it to San Francisco. The place reeked of yoga, massages, and a disproportionate amount of white people. I was immedi-

ately greeted by a smiling lady, who looked like she’d never frowned a day in her life. I proceeded to take off my shoes, sanitize my hands, and settle in for the hour-long reservation. Yes, you heard correctly. One. Full. Hour. After passing the mechanical waving cats we opened dual doors, which we closed quickly so no cats could escape. I couldn’t blame them for trying. The specially designed room contained tables, benches, several cat playgrounds, and a collection of magazines, which I saw as my saving grace. But no. The maga-

zines were completely feline related, and I wasn’t about to indulge in some old lady’s article about her adventures with Mittens, or a story about a cat that did something other than sit, lie, or hobble, as it always expects to get something as a reward for being boring. E a c h m i n u t e that passed placed an extra pound of guilt on my conscience. I was thinking of my poor dog back across the Golden Gate. I was betraying him. I was betraying Ricky, the innocent black lab that actually enjoys doing activities like hiking, playing with other dogs, running around, and playing fetch. These cats were only interested in eating and chasing one of an overabundant supply of provided toys. Oh, and scratching at my backpack. Somehow, I survived that hour. The overly happy smiling cat lady came in about 10 minutes before our time was up, and told us all about the yoga lessons starting 30 minutes after closing. Thankfully, that wasn’t part of our itinerary. I would’ve liked to share some newly acquired knowledge I’ve gained from my cat cafe experience, but unfortunately, all I’ve gained from the KitTea excursion was a reaffirmed appreciation for the simplicity of the canine lifestyle. ♦

The Tam News — March 2017



Hairs the Deal with Self Expression by Lola Leuterio


t was lunch, and I was sitting at the picnic benches eating a PB&J with my two best friends, Lily and Ava. Ava pulled two friendship bracelets from her trip to Mexico out of her lunch box: one bright pink, orange, and yellow, and the other black, brown, and dark green. I wanted the one with the brighter colors, but Ava handed it to Lily. “You get the dark one, because you know, you’re more of a dark person, and Lily is more of a bright person,” Ava explained to me. I think she could tell that her comment upset me even more. She quickly added, “It’s because of the hair!” Lily had short blond hair, and mine was long and brown. From personal experience, I know people cast judgments on others based on hair color, style, and length. Although these judgments are usually subconscious, they can prompt actions with lasting effects on the person being judged. Methods of self expression vary vastly. We go vegan, we move to the big city, we cover ourselves in tattoos, we quit our jobs, we find new jobs, we dance, we paint, we sing. But possibly the most classic method of self expression is also the simplest: the use of hair. It always seems to be insisting its importance to our identities. To what extent does hair affect how others see us, and how we see ourselves? I do think it was because of my hair that Ava considered me to have a darker presence than Lily. But that didn’t stop her, and many others in elementary school and beyond, from thinking it anyways. “Blonds have more fun” is a trope that seems to have a subliminal affect on how we are judged. With all the stereotypes in place around blonds, brunettes, and gingers, it’s no wonder that people experiment with different hair colors. “Being able to have my hair reflect my favorite colors is really important to me. I feel like because school and work leaves me, and tons of other kids, with almost no time to do anything creative,” sophomore Molly Damico said. “So being able to constantly have a piece of art on my head that I put creativity into


March 2017 — The Tam News

makes me feel like I’m not completely cut off from creating stuff,” With creativity and self expression, inevitably comes judgment. Junior Jesse Newman had green and blue hair during his sophomore year, and said that because of this people would stare at him on his bus ride to school. “Everyday I got on the bus, everyday people would stare at me,” Newman said. “I used to wear a hat on the bus ‘cause I felt weird.” And this same sentiment of freedom despite scrutiny has been around for generations. “When I was really young in high school, and my hair was [dyed black or bleached white], people would think poorly of me and judge me,” parent Ben

Putterman said. “...It was definitely [a form of] expression, a way to say ‘I don’t need to be like you.’” You can dye your hair any color you like, and change from a brunette to a blond to a redhead. You can cut it short or keep it long. But there are a few things about hair that we are born with and stuck with, whether we like it or not. This is when race enters the conversation. You can’t talk hair without talking race. Shannon Murfree, an executive at Tesla, recalled her experience dealing with black stereotypes



“At first, I felt like I was getting way too many stares. It was uncomfortable. But after a while I started enjoying the stares. I felt unique.” and black hair. “My mom [straightened my hair] when I was in middle school. So I just kept doing it because I thought I was supposed to look like that. I believe that when I first went natural, people made assumptions about me, maybe I was this militant soul sister or pot head. Little do they know I’m a corporate girl,” Murfree said. Hair can be constraining, it can be frustrating, and it can be liberating. But I think the more common case is that hair can be a safety blanket, a comfort zone that we don’t ever want to step out of. I have never cut my hair short, never dyed it, and seldom wear a ponytail. I hold my hair, a tangible object that can always grow back,

too close to my identity. And I don’t think I’m alone in this. How would it feel to have completely different hair for a day? My concluding experiment started with my entering a wig store. After trying on a purple bob, black curls, and blond afro, I settled on long grey hair. I made the purchase, put a headband on over it so you couldn’t see how fake it looked, and spent the day in the city. At first, I felt like I was getting way too many stares. It was uncomfortable. But after a while I started enjoying the stares. I felt unique. It was fun to show off my apparent courage and creativity for making such a bold hair move (one I would never

actually make). The day was different as a grey-haired girl than it would have been as my usual brown-haired girl. It’s possible this difference was all in my head, or at least the majority of it was. I think our hair is important to us. Something about it reflects who we are, and so we manipulate it in many ways to make that reflection more precise. People will cast judgments and make assumptions based off hair. But they will also cast judgments and make assumptions based off of what you say, how you dress, and who your friends are. At the end of the day, it’s just hair. No physical characteristic should be all-defining in the measure of who we are. ♦

The Tam News — March 2017



by Kavi Dolasia


ince the release of her Grammy-nominated mixtape “You Should Be Here” almost two years ago, Kehlani’s sophomore album has been a highly anticipated release. Hailing from the Bay Area, the R&B singer is known for balancing her soulful, intimate tracks with exuberant, catchy pop anthems. Her latest album “SweetSexySavage” does not disappoint, picking up right where she left off. The 17-track record features soft-spoken love ballads and insight into the hardships Kehlani has dealt with, further establishing herself as a distinctive force to watch out for in the surge of R&B and hip-hop. At age 21, the Oakland native already boasts a long list of awards and accomplishments. However, as she reminds her fans in the introduction track of her 2015 mixtape, she has “seen things and felt more pain than some will in their entire lives.” Born Kehlani Parrish, the artist’s early life was nothing short of tragic. Her mother, a drug addict, gave birth to her while on the run from the police and later went to jail. Kehlani’s father left when she was a few months old, landing the singer under her aunt’s roof. She soon took to music, focusing on neo-soul and R&B, before being recruited to join an Oakland band called PopLyfe at age 14. The band later went on to place fourth in the television competition, America’s Got Talent. The show’s host, Nick Cannon, became a catalyst in boosting Parrish’s solo career years later, after PopLyfe. The album’s two singles, “CRZY” and “Distraction” showed a new side to Kehlani, painting a more carefree, house party vibe. Both are accompanied by videos relaying similar messages. The lyrics are to be taken at face value, tying in surprisingly well to the subtle


March 2017 — The Tam News

background accompaniments and electronic effects. Kehlani has been outspoken with the public about her struggles in 2016, particularly concerning her struggles with standing accused of infidelity. The false allegations ultimately ended in the singer attempting suicide in late March last year. However, the overall focus of “SweetSexySavage” does little to reflect on the year she’s had. While the album still contains many thought-provoking tracks, providing a closer look into the singer’s hardships, Kehlani’s first album, “You Should Be Here,” encapsulates the stories clearer through meticulous lyrics and raw instrumentals. Staying true to her hip-hop roots and earlier records, “SweetSexySavage” encompasses the amiable yet fierce persona Kehlani’s fans have come to know her by. The singer faced immediate backlash after the album title was released, with many female fans questioning whether Kehlani was too “intellectual” to name her album

as such. She immediately responded via Twitter typing, “Way too intellectual to be sweet? Or too intellectual to be sexy? Or too intellectual to be savage . . . Aren’t we all of the above as women?” She again addresses the image of the woman she wants to paint through her music, in the album intro, voiced by poet Reyna Biddy, which states, “The truth is, I’m a superwoman, and some days I’m an angry woman, and some days I’m a crazy woman for still waiting, for still loving harder if I’m aching, for still trusting that I’m worth the most . . .”. The theme of insincere love and unsuccessful relationships recurs throughout the album. Early in the record, the song “Keep On”, discusses how Kehlani’s lover continues to take her back even though she feels she isn’t good to him. In “Everything Is Yours,” at the core of the album, she sings about her first love and how he will always hold a place in her heart. Kehlani revisits this message again later on in “Advice,” confused as she struggles to understand why the man she has dreamed about hides behind deception and plays with her emotions. The final track on the album, simply titled “Thank You,” is a mild tempo melody, reminiscent of Kehlani’s earlier music. “This is a sincere, unscripted, unwritten/ For all that you’ve given/Forgiven, I’m driven/ I wanna be better than I was/Better than I am,” she sings. The simple lyrics hold a deeper meaning as she pours her heart out into a ballad to thank her family, friends, fans and everyone who was helped her on her journey: “Thanks for the love every step of the way/With no support this wouldn’t be as great/Thank you for making me stronger than most/For taking it beyond my coast/Thank you for raising a glass when I toast.” ♦ GRAPHIC BY NICOLE ANISGARD PARRA


/(it happens


by Elissa Asch and Maddie Asch

The Tam News — March 2017


W Features

hen junior Barbara woke up, she had no memory of having had sex during a party the night before. “It wasn’t even anybody who I wouldn’t have [hooked up] with sober… [But] it was...uncomfortable to know that they were comfortable going through with it,” Barbara said. “...I must have been like just a dead rag doll, like I was just very drunk…I was pretty upset about it honestly. I haven’t talked to the person at all...I’ve tried to forget about it.” Barbara, who requested anonymity and is referred to with a first-name pseudonym along with a few other students in order for them to speak candidly about rape and sexual assault, isn’t alone in this experience. According to a recent Tam News survey of 620 students, when provided with the definition of sexual assault, 4 percent of freshman girls, 9 percent of sophomore girls, 14 percent of junior girls, and 13 percent of senior girls at Tam reported being sexually assaulted or raped. Additionally, 3 percent of male students surveyed reported being sexually assaulted or raped. Despite these statistics, the majority of students and parents interviewed were surprised that rape and sexual assault occur at these rates within the Tam community. This prompts a question: why are so many in our community unaware of rape and sexual assault at Tam? Barbara herself is still not sure how to categorize what happened that night. “I wouldn’t consider it full-on rape and I would never charge them or anything,” she said. “I don’t think that they did anything in bad faith, but I do think that it was his job to know, ‘She’s too drunk, she probably won’t remember any of this.’” Barbara said her friends are even less likely to label the events of that night as rape. “It’s not really considered rape between [my friends], like they would never say that, but it’s kind of like a, ‘yeah that’s something that shouldn’t have happened for sure,’” she said. Despite how Barbara and her friends define rape, having sex with someone who is intoxicated falls under the definition of rape, which the National Institute of Justice defines as “nonconsensual oral, anal, or vaginal penetration of the victim by body parts or objects using force, threats of bodily harm, or by taking advantage of a victim who is incapacitated or otherwise incapable of giving consent.” Sexual assault, on the other hand, is defined by the National Institute of Justice as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” One indication of the problem is that when asked to define rape, 54.7 percent of the 620 students surveyed were unable to do so correctly. Some answers to the question such as “touching without consent” included some aspects of the definition, in this case “consent,” but lacked important parts as well, in this case the distinction between any “touching” and sexual penetration. Those who took the survey struggled to define rape even though they passed through a mandatory Social Issues class fall semester of their freshman year, including a sexual education unit. Senior Andrew Jefferies said this problem may exist because the sex education program at Tam doesn’t go into detail about rape. “I think in social issues we kind of covered [rape] but it was something we didn’t spend much time on, unfortunately...It seemed kind of like they were afraid of teaching kids [about rape] because it was something so serious, they were just kind of like let’s move past it,


March 2017 — The Tam News


that’s bad, and we don’t want to be teaching something negative.” The Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) course guide for the Social Issues class specifies that students be educated about both sexual assault and rape, but doesn’t make explicit what information falls under those topics, nor does it give extensive guidance to teachers about how to approach these potentially sensitive issues. Claire Ernst, a Social Issues teacher, noted that she didn’t receive much formal training in sexual education instruction. “We have [had] a staff development day a couple of times [where] the focus has been on social issues, but not a ton of training [as a new teacher],” she said. Social Issues teacher Luc Chamberlin doesn’t think that the sex education curriculum should focus more on rape than it already does. “The sexual education curriculum within Social Issues doesn’t focus specifically on rape so much as sexual assault in general,” he said. “I think we need to be extremely clear on consent and sexual assault in general. Rape specifically? I hope not. It’s kind of like the difference between telling students, don’t hit anyone, and don’t stab anyone. Hopefully it’s contained in the larger message.” Ernst is less confident that the curriculum’s focus will allow students to correctly conduct themselves in social situations outside of the classroom. “I think they probably feel it’s adequate in terms of the nuts and bolts, you know how pregnancy happens, how to prevent pregnancy, STDs, but when it comes to the social situation I’m not sure…[how much of] what we do in class translates,” Ernst said. And based on the survey’s findings, it seems that more specification about rape may, in fact, be needed in Tam’s sex education curriculum. Despite these potential shortcomings, freshman Emilia Murphy found that the sex

education program was useful. “I was actually [happy with sex education at Tam]. I thought it was so cool to have someone come in from Planned Parenthood and talk about good relationships, what a healthy relationship is, and address sexuality and gender identity,” Murphy said. When it comes to other sexual education that students receive, according to counselor Alex Hunt, people use inaccurate sources to educate themselves about sex, which can create misconceptions about sex itself as well as what qualifies as rape. “Unfortunately, I think the most common way [students] learn about sex is through their peers and through social media,” Hunt said. The danger of social media, accurate or not, lies in the fact that starting from a very young age people consume it and internalize its messages, according to Nancy. “TV shows are becoming increasingly sexualized and…younger and younger kids have Snapchat, for example, my little cousin who is seven…she has a Snapchat and on Snapchat… there’s like the Cosmo articles and it’s like sex tips literally that anyone can see,” Nancy said. Junior Anika Kaplan has found that the way the media portrays women creates a disconnect between expectations and reality. “People are growing up watching the objectification of women and how women

about sex, it leads to unhealthy sexual experiences. This is especially true in situations where “hooking up,” a casual physical encounter outside of a relationship ranging from kissing to intercourse, is involved. “I worry that boys and girls are not necessarily on the same page on hookup culture,” Hunt said. “[Hooking up] can seem really fun and casual and there’s really not a lot of emotion in it for one party, [but] you don’t really know if both the people are on the same page and that is where problems arise.” Though she said that she takes part in and enjoys hookup culture, Nancy agrees with Hunt that it can create situations where what is or isn’t rape is unclear. “Sex is almost kind of expected. It’s like you hookup with someone maybe twice, you blow them or whatever, and then you have sex with them and it’s just natural progression. And it’s such a rapid progression now… it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s just sex’’s whatever, it isn’t shocking anymore,” she said. “I think that that’s kind of a problem… because sex is expected by some people… rape can [become] a little more of a gray area.” According to counselor Brian Napolitano, what constitutes rape can get blurred further when substances get involved. “If somebody’s intoxicated, they can’t give I think when you introduce substance into the equation, it can be really tricky,” he said. Substance use and hook-up culture combined can make sexual assault or rape more likely, according to Nancy, who was sexually assaulted when she was drunk at a party freshman year. “I was sitting on this couch and this guy came over to me and he was talking to me...and then he was like trying to kiss my neck and take my shirt off and I was like, ‘ going on?’ and then my friend…came over to me, picked me up and was like, ‘Come on, we’re going over here,’” she said. “The next day that guy somehow got my number and texted

I wouldn’t say raped, but taken advantage of because there was a point that night where I was [having sex] in a locked bathroom and I didn’t want to be in there. are being treated in the media… and then there is real life women in front of you and you don’t know how to connect those two, and I think it’s really hard,” she said. Hunt is concerned that when an individual forms those unrealistic expectations

The Tam News — March 2017


Features me like, ‘I’m so sorry.’ And I just didn’t text him back cause you shouldn’t have to apologize for that, you shouldn’ it in the first place.” Affirming that substance abuse plays a large role in rape culture at Tam, Boe Roberts, a Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) staff counselor at Tam, ties substance use directly to rape. “[Substance use is] an issue…I would say that is the root of the problem [of rape at Tam],” she said. Widespread student substance use is caused in large part by the privilege and economic resources of Tam students, according to Murphy. “I think intoxication and young people making bad decisions, having extra money to throw around, and limited parental supervision can make...a very dangerous environment,” she said. There is evidence of extreme alcohol consumption in Marin that supports Murphy’s perspective. According to a County of Marin news release, “Almost one in four (22 percent) of Marin adults recently surveyed reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, one of the highest rates in the state.” It seems that those unusually high percentages translate to high school students in Marin. According to the most recent California Healthy Kids Survey, almost 75 percent of Marin 11th graders and 38 percent of ninth graders drink or use drugs, while one third of all 11th graders and 10 percent of ninth graders are heavy drug users. These situations can put students at risk of rape and sexual assault, as in the case of Nancy. If rape occurs, it often goes ignored and unreported because of its stigmatization, according to English teacher and leadership advisor LesLeigh Golson. The rape stigma is defined by Healthy Place Mental Health Channel as when “society insinuates disgrace upon the survivor [of rape], insisting on silence.” Golson believes that rape is often caricatured as an act that can only be carried out by a malicious, violent attacker, which makes it harder to identify rape when it happens in less stereotypical contexts. When applied to hookup culture, this black and white definition can prevent victims from labeling their experiences as rape or assault. “Rape is such a strong word….[In our] culture it carries the connotation of a violent, stranger-based, forcible assault. People are having a hard time seeing it as sometimes passive and they feel that rape


March 2017 — The Tam News

is too strong a word for some of those absent of consent situations,” Golson said. Hunt believes that caricatures of violent rapists can limit boys’ awareness of consent boundaries as well. “Boys are less aware or maybe even more reluctant to admit responsibility because...when they hear about it everybody kind of internalizes and thinks of their own behavior and nobody really wants to think of themselves as the villain. So it actually prevents you from being cognizant of what your behavior is and what affect that has on other people,” she said. For this very reason, victims of rape or sexual assault have trouble recognizing what has happened to them and calling out their perpetrators. Sophomore Jane, who wanted to remain anonymous, described her rape, which she did not report. At a Mill Valley party, she found herself intoxicated and dancing with a boy. “The next thing I remember he was grabbing my hand and pulled me into the bathroom. He locked the door and told me we should hook up…” she said. After that, the situation escalated, and Jane had sex without her consent. However, Jane doesn’t identify herself as a victim of rape, even though she was coerced into having sex while intoxicated. “I wouldn’t say raped, but taken advantage of because there was a point that night where I was [having sex] in a locked bathroom and I didn’t want to be in there,” she said. Jane was also very clear that she would never accuse the perpetrator or even talk to her peers about what happened. “[If I called it rape] people would call me a liar and a ho,” she said. “I don’t even think it’s really rape, I would never tell other people that I was raped.” According to Hunt, the effects that the rape stigma has on people’s mentality is what causes victim’s denial and fear such as Jane’s, and leaves the topic of rape undiscussed in society. “I don’t think the community deals with [rape victims] at all,” she said. “It’s a very hush hush thing; it’s not publicized.” Ernst thinks that one way to combat rape at Tam is to revisit the topic in upperclassmen curriculum. “I would argue for [sex education] one more time at Tam, maybe senior year, and I think it’s important because as students mature different things become important to them. So even though you might be getting the same information again and again, it means some-

thing different to you when you’re thirteen than when you’re seventeen,” she said. Ernst added, “Teaching...more on the idea of bystander intervention [could be useful as well].” Nancy also suggested that reform of sexual education could decrease the number of rape and sexual assault victims at Tam. “I think that freshmen should take a sex class, that’s more than Social Issues. There are people that talk about sex for a living, there are health classes. We should have those. We shouldn’t just talk about the mechanics of sex and what sex is, and how to prevent getting STDs and pregnancy, but how to tell when sex is sex and when sex is rape,” she said. “Obviously, it’s going to be a little uncomfortable to talk about [but] that’s the only way this problem will ever be solved.” Nancy’s ideas might just be put into action with the current implementation of the University of California, Riverside (UCR) Wellness Program in the Tam counseling office. “The UCR Wellness Program focuses on promoting awareness and education, motivation for positive behavior changes, and influencing campus practices and policy to support a healthy environment,” according to the program’s website. The new program coordinator will increase education about sexual reproductive health services in sex education, most likely through presentations by the coordinator along with outside community based organizations according to Hunt. “I think [the Wellness Center will] help [with sexual assault and rape at Tam], especially [as] the coordinator is going to work very closely with both [Working to Inspire Student Empowerment (WISE)] mentoring and peer resource....Education is key in prevention,” Hunt said. “The more kids understand about consent and what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s ok, what’s risky behavior… the more apt they are to avoid those behaviors.” Educating parents as well as students is vital in creating platforms for serious discussions about rape, according to Napolitano. “I think by talking about [rape]... putting it out there and saying these things are a reality...and doing parent education… [is] really important,” he said. “I think family life [and] how sex is talked about in the home [affects students].” Broadening resources in our community and furthering education about this issue is a good start,

Features but according to Hunt, there is no “silver bullet” that will solve this problem. Golson agreed that the best way to tackle the issue of rape is bringing it into everyday conversation. “I think there is a really good [culture-wide] dialogue that needs to happen...because we all need to get on the same page,” she said. “If you have the time to have a careful conversation, most people, even those that are against the use of the word rape in less violent but still assaulting situations…come around quickly once they gain the empathy to look at it differently. But it’s facilitating those hard conversations and having spaces where we talk about it that is important. As a culture, we are having a lot of difficult conversations right now, and I think we could all do with a heavy dose of listening.” ♦

“It’s a very

hush hushthing.” – Counselor Alex Hunt

The Tam News — March 2017



The College Board: A Nonprofit? by Maxine Flasher-Duzgunes


t’s mid-January, and your mom says you have to register for the SAT. You’re on the College Board website, and the SAT registration fee costs $45. But wait, you should probably take the SAT with Essay because a college you’re applying to requires it. That makes it $57. After checkout, the College Board says you should be prepared for the test, so you buy an Official SAT Study Guide for $31.99. Now your mom is recommending you take the Mathematics Level I and II SAT Subject Test because you want to be a math major. That’s $26 for the registration fee, and $20 for each test so…$66. By March, you’ve received every score, and a blow to your self esteem. Your mom tells you to register for all the tests again, and you do, draining your savings account by another $168 for yet another round of testing. When former College Board president Gaston Caperton told The New York Times that the College Board’s mission was “to connect all students to college opportunity and success,” he failed to mention the high testing fees that often deprive the student community of educational opportunities. The College Board calls itself “nonprofit,” yet it makes up to $62 million per year in profit, and $200 million in revenue, hyping up student anxiety with expensive prep books and other materials that could potentially maximize your test score. How could a so-called “nonprofit” help students if its president made nearly $1.3 million dollars, and its executives an average of $355,271 dollars a year in 2012? Claiming to serve the public since 1900, the College Board remains a private company with private interests, profiting from all testing programs...and having a convenient excuse to not pay taxes. Another consideration is how the Col-

Heard in The Tam Hallways 16

lege Board has monopolized both the testtaking industry and nationwide educational curriculum. State and local governments invest in its programs, without even questioning that it has become a for-profit board of education. This blind commitment to their products makes students feel as if using College Board programs are the only way to succeed in their testing experience. This is not the way it should be. Investing in public education should mean hard work, not actual investing. Despite possible fee waivers for those who apply, SAT success depends on wealthy students who essentially “buy” their score through expensive test prep courses and services. Colleges then give weight to those SAT scores in their admissions decisions. This further amplifies the advantages of privileged kids, and the pressure applied to students who are testing. Only low-income students enrolled in federal, state, or local programs can receive fee waivers for these tests, while others remain in a price dilemma that affects their future education. The College Board recently expanded the availability of AP courses to lower economic brackets. While this makes college credit more accessible in high school, it also encourages students to pursue financially and emotionally demanding tests, rather than exploring areas of personal interest. Although this may make getting into

“I can’t pee, I need to get an A.”

-Calc Classroom

March 2017 — The Tam News

college seem more plausible, it is in fact a departure from the values that we should be imparting upon our youth. Then, inevitably disliking your score, assumptions that improvement comes from “buying” a second chance, and a third chance are made. Not to mention that each of these AP test “chances” are $100 each this year, a slight increase from last year. You trade your dollar bills for a shiny AP score on your transcript, and, SPOILER, your intellect becomes less valuable than your wallet. Why has our student culture grown accustomed to purchasing scores as opposed to earning them? Why are students relying on a private company to determine whether or not they get into college? Perhaps the student community has become comfortable with the costs of going to college. Maybe even public institutions have figured that the College Board’s profits are “invested back into [their] programs and services,” as Caperton claimed. Either way, you should think twice about financing a private entity that may or may not have a private agenda. Soon, it’s mid-June, and your mom says that you need to register for the SAT in September. You wonder now if your $57 is going toward your test booklet, or the new Porsche of a College Board executive. But it’s too late. Her credit card is out and your next SAT product has been bought, as if it’s just another session of online shopping. ♦ GRAPHIC BY EMMA STEINBERG

“I have no motivation to even copy homework.”

-Science Building

“My shirt is so yellow, I look like curious George’s wrangler.” -Upper Keyser

(Dis)honor Classes


by Marie Hogan


n the first day of school, my honors chemistry teacher looked around the room, and told us that we were there because we were brilliant, high achieving, and loved science. It wasn’t a joke, but most of the class laughed anyways. I don’t know anyone in that room who chose the honors track out of their passion for chemistry. Instead, we took it for the prestige, the GPA boost, and, of course, college apps. Honors and AP classes abound at Tam, but they’re not standardized in difficulty. The one thing that is standardized about them? The way they reinforce Tam’s already abysmal achievement gap. Especially as upperclassmen, it can feel that we attend two different schools. Because students elect whether or not to take honors classes, and because the self selection bias towards these classes is divided along racial and economic lines, Tam is for all purposes two segregated schools that share a campus. The segregation is exacerbated by the fact that when honors and AP courses have entrance requirements, passing them has far less to do with academic abilities than it does with skill in navigating the system. For example, I know many people who at first failed an honors entrance test but appealed, got into the class, and subsequently did fine. Appealing those results may not occur to other students, who lack the confidence—or helicopter parents—needed to do so. The result is a class breakdown that, rather than favoring academic ability, instead advantages students well versed in Tam’s bureaucracy. In trying to address the achievement gap, we often focus on bringing struggling students up to the level of their high achieving peers. We indulge in the fantasy that the status quo—more privileged

“I have the flirtation skills of a llama on meth.”

-Pool Parking Lot

students taking every available advanced course—can remain, while we also address the gaping racial and economic inequalities in Tam students’ educational experiences. That, however, is simply not possible. Integration is a powerful educational tool. In an essay for the New York Times, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones writes about sending her daughter to a predominately low-income, minority school with low test scores, despite the fact that she could’ve sent her daughter to a school with high test scores that serves a high-income community. Even though, statistically, her daughter would be “better off” at the whiter, richer school, Hannah-Jones was and is confident in the choice she made. She did the research and determined that going to the “worse” school was unlikely to damage her daughter’s educational outcomes, but that it would improve the outcomes of other students at the school, and benefit her daughter’s emotional growth. By sending her daughter to a school that white, rich parents in the gentrifying neighborhood had dismissed as “unworthy” of their children, Hannah-Jones was an active participant in the kind of economic integration that the school desperately needed. Tam is technically integrated, but the true advantages of educational integration—improved educational outcomes for every student, across race and economic status—are missed, because students are separated so starkly by de-facto tracking. As students, we have to make different choices to truly address the self-segregation that permeates this campus. We have to ask ourselves whether a minor GPA boost is really more important than a diverse environment and exposure to a wider range of perspectives. And here’s the part where I admit that

“My parents threatened to switch me to T-mobile.”

-Science Building

I’m a huge hypocrite. I have done none of the things I just suggested. While at Tam, I have chosen to take honors courses when ever they were made available to me, even as I knew that they were part of the problem. Taking an honors class at Tam has never improved my educational experience, and I never expected it to. But I took it anyway, because I wanted to look good and thought that honors and APs were the key to doing so. It’s really hard to step back and realize that our choices are harming the school community, and we should make different ones instead. I haven’t been able to do it, and I know few people who have. For that reason, the solution has to be community-wide.We need to change the narrative, so that honors tracks are no longer the default choice for high achieving students. We need to consider whether these classes are worth it, taking into account the way they may contribute to segregation at Tam. Finally, we need to remember that integration benefits everyone. When we enroll and engage in classes with people who are different from us, our emotional intelligence increases and we are better equipped to enter the world. The original Breakthrough Day worked because students from all backgrounds were able to hold an honest dialogue with each other. We can’t even begin to do that, however, when we as a school are so divided that we don’t share classes with students different from us. If we want to continue the conversation—one that began over 50 years ago—we must be ready to examine how our individual actions have contributed to the dysfunction present at Tam. And on top of that, we must be willing to choose a stronger and more equitable school community over that extra point in our GPA. ♦

“I bleached the S**T out of my hair and it’s jumping ship.” -Middle Keyser The Tam News — March 2017




EDITORIAL: Trump v. Journalism

he Bill of Rights was written to protect every American citizen. After a brutal break-up with England, our founding fathers vowed to allow the American people to be able to question the government. Since, the media has, more or less, held the government accountable for its actions, thanks to the First Amendment. Watergate and the Pentagon Papers are proof that journalists have the ability to bring the American people closer to the truth. The First Amendment is vital in keeping our country democratic, and with it, we have privileges that citizens of many other countries are lacking. As student journalists, we have been taught to be ethical but unafraid of the turmoil that accompanies truth-seeking. The Trump administration throws all of

the values and ethics that we have abided by out the window. Journalists are consistently finding it more difficult to discover the truth. This is understandable, when our very own president isn’t telling the truth himself. In a press conference during his campaign, Trump gave false information on the unemployment rate. “The number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35 [percent]. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent,” Trump said. The actual unemployment rate was 4.9 percent as of October 2016. President Donald Trump also declared war on the media, a serious threat to our First Amendment rights. Trump and his staff created a frenzy with the media, claiming that all media that criticizes him is false. This challenges the very foundation

Crackin’ and Slackin’


March 2017 — The Tam News

on which our society lays. In a tweet on February 17, Trump wrote, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @ CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” This not only vilifies historically reliable news organizations, but creates a mistrust of media among citizens that blurs what is true and false. While Trump has consistently opposed news sources like the New York Times and CNN, he has shown support for organizations such as Fox News and Breitbart News. Both are conservatively leaning sources that are more lenient when reporting on Trump, which suggests that Trump is more focused on how a news source portrays him, than how it discusses the news. Furthermore, on February 24, Trump denied the New York Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, BBC, and The Guardian access to his press conference. At the same time Breitbart, NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News were allowed to attend. This blatant favoritism of certain publications over others, threatens freedom of the press ideologies, and successful political discourse that is integral to our democracy. What does this mean for journalism? Are the values of accuracy and ethics just thrown away if Trump’s claims of “fake news” are commonly accepted? It definitely seems possible, as believing Trump when he says “the media is the enemy of the American people,” only accelerates the degradation of journalists’ ability the provide the American people with vital and trustworthy information. For those students who walk into journalism class in four years, how will the curriculum differ? What will journalism look like at the end of Trump’s presidency? We can’t disregard the values of our founding fathers, and the journalists before us who sought the truth and to inform the American people. When the media reports on Trump, it is vital now more than ever, to do so with integrity and an awareness that they represent the very principles of journalism itself. ♦

Sports Opinion

In Defense of Girls’ Lacrosse I

magine this. You spend two hours after school practicing every day. You play your heart out in every single game. You condition, train, and drill, trying tirelessly to get better. And in return for all your work, you’re faced with empty bleachers at every. Single. Home. Game. Which is ironic, considering how much people rave about Tam’s great “school spirit” and support of athletics. Your sport is constantly the butt of everyone’s jokes. People laugh in your face when you tell them what sport you play, or how your season’s going. This is the reality for the girls’ lacrosse team. After two years on the varsity team, I now know that as the days of spring sports approach, so does the constant cracking of jokes, sly insults, and unfair treatment of me and my teammates. We even get delegitimized by the Tam News. This can be found in the By the Numbers section consistently during the spring. While for most teams the best statistics of the season are used, for lacrosse they used the number of goals scored AGAINST us in our first few MCAL games of the season. The unfair treatment we’ve received in previous years is a lack of field space. We often practice in the space between the softball and baseball fields, known as the “buttcrack.” It is honestly shocking when we do get to play in real daylight AND on a real field in the same practice. We usually had practice in the cold winter months from 5-7 p.m., and we’ve even had a few practices later than that so far this year. I’m assuming you’re all wondering, “How can you play lacrosse in the dead of night?” Well, I’d say it’s difficult. Especially since the game is played with a very small, hard ball that is both hard to see and is VERY painful to be hit with. Although the portable lights on the field may be adequate for soccer, a lacrosse ball is about one tenth the size of a soccer ball, making it about 10 times harder to see. Yes, I will admit, we may not be Tam’s strongest team. Last year we didn’t win any

by Dahlia Zail

MCAL games, and won two non-league games. Our league, however is extremely challenging and features powerhouse teams such as Novato High School, who is currently ranked the number-one team in California. Along with Novato, we face intimidating teams such as Redwood and Marin Catholic. The main cause for this imbalance in skill level between our school and the other schools in our league is the lack of yearround dedication from Tam players. Before this season, we had one, and only one girl who played lacrosse for a club team outside of the high school season. The rest of us basically drop our lacrosse sticks in May and pick them up again in February, aside from the occasional preseason open field or casual pass around. Meanwhile, the majority of girls from other teams in our league are playing on competitive club lacrosse teams through the fall and winter. Most of them also come into high school lacrosse with at least a few years of experience under their belts. For the duration of my experience at Tam, our team has been made up mostly of girls who could have confused a lacrosse stick with a baseball bat before their freshman year. We have never had a team full of girls who have the basics down, and therefore we can’t focus on getting better in the ways the other teams can. Basically, we have been learning how to play, while our competition gets better and better. But this is all about to change. This year we have a large group of incoming freshman who have all played club lacrosse and are going to make a huge difference on our team. Having these girls on the team has changed the atmosphere completely. Their standard of play is much higher than ours was last year, which pushes us to play at their level. We are also introducing a junior varsity team to start to build up the program. A mix of experienced girls and a junior varsity team will eventually mean a much stronger varsity team that can hopefully combat

dominating forces such as Redwood and Marin Catholic. As we get better, I hope to see a change in attitudes towards us from the Tam community. This year we are already getting more equality in practice times with soccer and the boys’ lacrosse teams. While this is great (and good for our safety), the real change we are looking for is in one from the students. If we had a few people in the bleachers that weren’t from the opposing school, it would add a lot to the morale of the team. No matter how much fun is made of us, we deserve a chance to prove ourselves. ♦


The Tam News — March 2017



Girls’ Basketball Wins MCAL Championship by Calvin Rosevear

Spring Season

Quotesfrom fromthe the V Quotes

Boys’ Lacrosse, Michael Johnson: “We’re expecting great things from this Tam lacrosse team. We have a core group of seniors...all standout players, great student athletes, and they’re going to lead us to a potential league championship.” Girls’ Lacrosse, Natalie Butler: “I want Tam girls’ varsity team to work cohesively, where every single person has a valuable position on the field at every single game and during practice.”

The girls’ varsity basketball team shows off their championship banner after their road win over rival Redwood high school on February 18. PHOTO COURTESY OF MEGAN LEE


he girls’ varsity basketball team narrowly claimed the MCAL championship title for the second year in a row on February 18 after beating rival Redwood 39-36. “They felt [the pressure] but they came through,” head coach Mike Evans said. “I thought we had a really good game plan.” Senior player Jaiana Harris reflected on the excitement surrounding MCALs. “After the MCAL win, it was great. It was like we made history again,” she said. Despite the excitement, it was the last win of the season for the team. They lost the next game, in the first round of the NCS playoffs to Newark Memorial 55-42. “It just seemed like we all were worn out,” Harris said. “We came out real soft against Newark.” Last year’s win against Marin Catholic during the MCAL championship game made school history as Tam’s first MCAL girls’ basketball title. “Our goal was to win back to back MCAL [championships]....we felt like we had to continue to improve,” Evans said. The Hawks came through again in an-

other close match, beating Redwood just 39-36, making use of their intimidating defense down the stretch. It was a tough fight throughout the game. Redwood and Tam were tied 10-10 after the first quarter, but Tam went ahead by seven points leading at half time. Redwood came back to outscore Tam in the final quarter, but it was not enough to break Tam’s hold on the win. Senior guard Jaiana Harris led scoring with 18 points, followed by senior Megan Lee with seven, including two three-pointers and a free throw with six seconds left in the game that put the Hawks up by three until the end of the game. Senior Katie Sowerby and junior Ruby Bowser both tallied six points each. “This game, we pretty much controlled them,” Evans said. “We played really good defense down the stretch.” He described the prior playoff game against Marin Catholic, a 52-40 victory, as a key moment for the team’s path to the MCAL title. Evans said it was a turning point for the team, due to Tam’s prior loss to Marin Catholic 47-45 earlier in the season. ♦



Score of boys’ varsity basketball game against Moreau Catholic in the NCS finals on March 4.


December 2016 — The News March 2017 — The TamTam News

Coed Diving, Haley Quinn: “So this year we had the most girls ever try out for Tam diving. We had 34 people total try out for the team...I would say my goal is for my girls and guys on varsity to try to make it to MCALs…I really hope that they can represent Tam at MCALs.” Boys’ Volleyball, Chris Glave: “The strength of the team has been the returns who are all good passers...Our hope is to get into MCALs. The top four teams out of eight make it to MCALs. We want to be one of those four.” Boys’ Golf, Dustin Nygaard: “We are very optimistic this year with the boys golf team. This is my fourth year as the head coach and each year we’ve gotten progressively more and more our expectation is to make a push for a title this year.” Softball, John Scarsella: “Our hopes and expectations [are] to start building a foundation for Tam softball for the next four years. We have a lot of young players coming in, very good players, and sort of like a new chapter in Tam softball.”


Girls’ varsity basketball team’s margin of victory over Redwood to claim the MCAL Championship title.



Boys’ Soccer Wins MCAL Championship

Sports Previews

e Varsity VarsityCoaches Coaches

by Calvin Rosevear

Baseball, Nathan Bernstein: “This year, we return a lot of our starters from last year, we return our top three pitchers. The staff is led by [senior] Nick Kennison and [junior and Tam News reporter] Jack Loder. We’ve got a lot of talented but unproven hitters...and we’re hungry to just get going.” Coed Track and Field, Bob McLennan: “We’re the defending boys champions, and I think we should be right in the thick of things again this year. We are probably considered the favorite by most of the other teams...None of [the other teams] have the depth that we’ve got, because we’re by far the biggest team in the county.” Girls’ Swimming, Brittney Boyd: “I hope that everybody swims fast this season, is having fun, and puts in some best times, and hopefully we’re top competitors at MCAL.” Boys’ Swimming, Ken Weber: “[My main goal for this season] is that we are going to win the MCAL championships this year. Last year we lost by 8 points...and this year we’re looking quite strong, and I have every expectation that we are going to give them a race right down to the finish.” Boys’ Tennis, Bill Washauer: “Well, last year we were loaded with seniors, and had a good regular season but we kind of fell down in the postseason. I’m hoping this year that we have the kind of year that is satisfying for everybody, which is: you go out, you work hard, you improve, and you’re much better at the end than you were at the beginning.”

The boys’ varsity soccer team raises the MCAL banner after their win over Terra Linda on February 11. PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN LEAKE


he boys’ varsity soccer team won the MCAL championship beating Terra Linda 3-0 on February 11. The game was held at Justin-Siena. The team had progressed to the finals after beating Novato 1-0 in the quarterfinals and beating Drake 4-1 in the semifinals. Senior and Tam News reporter Ryan Leake scored two goals in the victory and junior Owen Schwartz contributed the third goal. “When we got the second goal...I never really felt that the game was in danger of swaying to them. So, I felt like they did a good job of managing the 1-0 lead,” head coach Spencer Stanton said. “There was no panic, which was a huge growth from earlier in the season where I felt like maybe at 1-0, we were a little uncertain of what’s going to happen.” Following a hard fought game, the team was overjoyed. “We fought the whole season for it, and it was the best feeling ever,” senior and team captain Patrick Knauer said. Despite the excitement surrounding the MCAL title, the Hawks did not make

it nearly as far in the NCS playoffs, losing the first game 1-0 against Montgomery on February 15. Stanton reflected on the regular season and how the team made it to the MCAL championship game. He noted a strong start to the season, citing wins against Drake, San Rafael and Redwood, but also recognized a weaker middle of the season, based on an unlucky streak of team illness. “In the middle of the season, we kind of had dips of form, and it kind of felt like the dog days of the season,” Stanton said. Then the team started to heat up. “Looking at the season now, I feel like that was better, because then once we came out of it, we started to peak at the right time,” Stanton said. “Ultimately, during sports, you want to be peaking during playoff time because that’s when it matters. “For me, [winning the MCAL Championship title] was more relief and verification that what we were doing was right. I think for the players, all their hard work had paid off and I think they felt that sense of ‘hey, we did it, we did it as a group, and we pushed through our doubts, and ultimately, we won the league,’” Stanton said. ♦


Check the Tam News online ( for timely and tantalizing sports coverage.


Score of girls’ varsity lacrosse’s first win of the season against George Washington on March 7, coming off last years 2-14 overall record (see story on page 19).

Goals boys’ varsity soccer team scored over Terra Linda to claim the MCAL Championship.

The Tam News — March 2017



Athlete of the Issue: Karim Shakur, NCS Champion S

enior Karim Shakur’s remarkable transformation into an elite high school wrestler didn’t take place overnight. Shakur, this year’s NCS champion in his 195-pound weight class, was the first Tam wrestler ever to win the North Coast Section title and advance to the CIF NorCal tournament. Shakur won five-straight matches to earn the NCS title. “It was pretty tough,” he said. “I outscored everybody by five or so points until I reached the finals. When I was in the finals I won by a point… [It] was my toughest match.” Tam wrestling coach Preston Picus believes that anyone can become a successful wrestler with hard work and dedication. “In wrestling there’s no secret trick you can learn or some unstoppable hold,” Picus said. “You have to go and work harder than your opponents are working.” Shakur echoed this sentiment saying, “If you try your hardest in the offseason you’ll be good.” Shakur put in countless hours for the NCS title. “All the work I put in in the offseason [allowed me to be successful],” he said. Picus agrees with Shakur, attributing this dedication to Shakur’s success. “In wrestling anybody can be successful no matter how big you are [or] how small you are,” Picus said. “The thing that determines how tough a wrestler is [is] how much work they put in and Karim just flat out put in the work.” Following his sophomore season, he began training more intensely and saw ground-breaking results in his junior season. “He was an okay wrestler as a sophomore and he got really good as a junior and he pretty much found a way to wrestle every single day in those two seasons. And then he did it again last year,” Picus said. Shakur said offseason training has been his key to improvement. “Freshman and sophomore year I took it serious but I didn’t do that much work in the offseason,”


March 2017 — The Tam News

by Miles Rubens

Shakur said, “but then junior year after sophomore season, I started going to [wrestling] camps, taking it more seriously.” Picus believes he knows Shakur’s biggest motive “I think he just hates losing,” Picus said. “He always hated losing and he still hates it and I think that that drove him to want to work hard and be successful.” After NCS, Shakur went to state championships. Following Senior Karim Shakur made Tam history by being the first wrestler PHOTO COURTESY OF KARIM SHAKUR a one-point loss to to win NCS. the number-five seed in his first match, he freshman and sophomores that you too can won two straight matches. He lost to the be a champion in the sport.” number-eight seed in a high, ending his Shakur isn’t sure what his plans are for run. Shakur hopes his success this season continuing his wrestling career. “I am not has made him a role model for his team- even sure [what I am doing] yet to be honmates. est. I’m thinking about it. I don’t know, I “It’s nice to have your teammates there am not 100 percent sure yet though.” for you when you are going against another Although Shakur’s future is up in the team and be a good example,” he said. air, he said the sport has taught him a lot. Picus noted Shakur’s impact on his “I’ve just been doing it for a while, it’s just teammates. “Tam historically has not been second nature. You just know how hard you a very successful wrestling program and need work to succeed,” he said. ♦ it’s hard for young guys to be successful when the seniors that they are looking up to aren’t finding success,” Picus said. “Karim showing how to be a hard worker in practice and then going to tournaments and finding success is going to send a great message to our young

The Tam News Thanks Its Patrons Alessandra Nociaro Alexandra Parra Allen & Lisa Preger Alpana & Mahesh Kharkar Amy Zimpfer Ana Levaggi Andrea & Jerry Lane Andrew & Joanna Findlay Ann Mitchell Ryan Anna Ogino Annette Friskopp Annie Lazarus Antonette Greene Arya Guinney Avery Conybeare Barbara Rubens Barbara Sobel & Jonathan Rubens Barrett Nichols Barth Family Beth Inadomi & Tim Newell Betsy Beros Beverly Coughlin Bill Lampl Birgitta Danielson Bishop Family Blake Sgamba Bryce Goeking Carnevale Family Cathy Chapman Chris Holden-Wingate Christopher Gate Cynthia Koehler and Gordon Renneseien Cynthia Samson Cynthia Stone Dana Pepp Daniel & Judy Katsin David & Elaine Freed David & Nancy Bishop David Tarpinian Dawn Dobres & Eric Swergold Debbie & Ed Faubel Diane Worley Elaine Gebhard Eli Rosenthal Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Tosaris Ellen Rosenthal Eric Lagier Erika Shern Finn Taylor Gary Ferroni Gill Kemp Gillian & Richard Reilly Gregory Bell Gretchen Boyle Gustav Penther Harold and Elinor Oertell Heather Hawkins In Honor of Sebastian Agati Ingrid Lin J Rosgen Jack Figueirinhas Jack Murphy James and Lilah Goodman James G Finn & Janice Vorfield Jan & Steve McDougal Jan Hudson Jane A Garsson Jane Gould Jaydee Jordan Jeff, Ingrid, & Celia Francis Jen & Ward Flad Jennifer Klopfer Jennifer Murr Jon & Gale Love Jon Duncanson Jonathan Cheung & Zoe Blair Joy Connors Judith Weaver & Steven Blackburn Julie & Michael Knight Justine & Paul Whitehead Karen Jernstedt Katherine Cope Kathy & Dave McMahon Kathy Piombo Kathy Reed Kathy Sanderby & Rich Ross Kelly Leary Ken & Jackie Broad Ken Williams Kennedy Family

Kimi Wu Kirsty Williams Korngut Family LaDuke Family Larry Norton Laurel Johnson Lauren Snell Laurie Durnell Leake Family Leslie Dixon Leslie Wachtel Liam Shore Lisa & John Merkl Lisa Hukari Lisa Terry Lise Jordan Liz Schumacher Lori Luc Faillace Lynn Garay Lyssa Friedman Mackenzie Priest-Heck Mackie Hill Madeleine Gish Maki Daijogo Mara Brazer Marcus & Suzanna Holzer Maria Brandt Marianne Babal Mark Egan Melanie & Max Perkoff Micaela Breber Michael Wall Michelle & Jeff Tripp Moira Murphy Molly Baumhoff Mr. & Mrs. Yong Chol Kim Nancy Benjamin Nessa Brady Nicola & Paul Stiff Norm Meislich Norton Browns Norton Family Patricia Prince & Leonel Figuerdo Paul & Annette Venables Peter Strietmann Peter Wilch

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Volume XII, Issue No. VI - March 2017

March 2017 — The Tam News