Tam News January 2020

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pg. 11

Suspects released after Marin City raid pg. 4 Re-examining “Baby It’s Cold Outside” pg. 16 Winter sports preview pg. 22


News 04 Suspects released after controversial raid in Marin City 06 SMCSD calls on community for help with desegregation plan


Lifestyles 08 ‘Tis the season to recycle 09 Review: Disney+ 10 The realism of Megan Engelbrechten Features 11 100 years in retrospect


Opinion 16 Re-examining “Baby It’s Cold Outside” 17 Editorial: Undercovered 18 Crackin’ and Slackin’ of the decade 19 ‘Tis the sneezin’ Sports 20 Lights out 21 Ten outta ten(nis) 22 Winter sports preview


Dear Reader, These past months have been difficult for the Tam community. On page 4, Emily Stull, Ruby Rose Amezcua, Jamese Brown, and Kimorion Calloway write about the aftermath of the November 14 raid in Marin City. Their article explores the impacts of the raid on residents, many of whom call into question the violent tactics used by the Contra Costa SWAT team. Our editorial, “Undercovered,” argues that media coverage of the raid was harmful because it frequently failed to represent more than one side of the story. Another news article returns to a topic we first covered in June. The story documents the continuing unification process as the Sausalito Marin City School District seeks to produce a plan for desegregating its schools. In situations like these, we must remain forward-looking. But at the end of the decade, it is also appropriate to look back. 2019 was the 100th anniversary of The Tam News (although we accidentally published a centennial issue three years ago), and in the feature, “100 Years in Retrospect,” Kara Kneafsey dives into the archives: Interviews with Tam alumni and old news articles bring the history of our school to life. Additionally, this month’s edition of Crackin’ and Slackin’ reaches heretofore unfathomed levels of artistic vision by aggregating the Crackin’est and Slackin’est trends of the 2010s. As one of my teachers once said, “The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it.” I think most of us are somewhere in between — so for the next 10 years or the next 100, let’s make this world the best it can possibly be.

Editors in Chief Leah Fullerton • Kara Kneafsey Skye Schoenhoeft • Josie Spiegelman Benjy Wall-Feng News Jessica Bukowski • Logan Little Johanna Meezan • Samantha Nichols Ethan Swope Lifestyles Chloe Gammon • Emily Stull Natalia Whitaker Features Tahlia Amanson • Claire Finch Mikyla Williams • Niulan Wright Opinion Claire Conger • Sophia Martin John Overton • Lucas Rosevear Tenaya Tremp Sports Paige Anderson • Eli Blum Jordan Cushner • Sam Jefferson Marco Steineke TBN Saranyu Nel Website Saranyu Nel Social Media Grace Gustafson • Quinn Rothwell Business Team Ian Duncanson • Lucas Rosevear Cover Tam News Archives Editorial Board Colin Bender • Claire Conger Ian Duncanson • Leah Fullerton Sam Glocker • Sam Jefferson Kara Kneafsey • Saranyu Nel Skye Schoenhoeft • Summer Solomon Josie Spiegelman • Benjy Wall-Feng Niulan Wright Adviser Jonah Steinhart

Volume XIV, No. IV January 2020 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1919 Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 www.thetamnews.org 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 © 2020 by The Tam News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

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Suspects released after controversial raid in Marin City

The Contra Costa SWAT team barricaded part of Drake Avenue during a raid on November 14. PHOTO BY BENJY WALL-FENG

By Emily Stull with additional reporting by Ruby Rose Amezcua, Jamese Brown, and Kimorion Calloway


he Contra Costa Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team conducted a raid in Marin City on Thursday, November 14, arresting two suspects in the Halloween shooting that killed five at a party in Orinda. The suspects, both recent graduates of Tam district high schools, were released three days following the raid without charges, due to a lack of evidence. Marin City residents criticized the force of the raid, which began at approximately 6 a.m. when the SWAT team arrived in SUVs and armored cars and formed a barricade around



the 200 block of Drake Avenue. This initiated a shelter in place for the majority of the morning for residents in the 200 and 100 blocks of Drake. “I told them that I had to take the bus and they just made me stand there. While I’m looking at everybody coming out of their houses with handcuffs I just couldn’t do anything or say anything,” junior Nancy Hoang said. In photos of the event, officers carrying out the raid were seen helmeted and equipped with full body armor. They harnessed protective shields and were ac-

companied by police dogs. “I was scared. I didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t know how to deal with the situation,” eyewitness and sophomore Jenny Hernandez said. Hoang described waking up at 6:25 a.m. to dogs barking and officers shouting orders through a megaphone. “I heard a lot of people crying and yelling so I realized it was not just some fight. This is something really serious,” Hoang said. SWAT officers allegedly directed their weapons toward residents numerous times during the raid.

“We had two students who had guns pulled on them,” wellness counselor Amber Allen-Pierson said. Both Hoang and Allen-Pierson said a black male student noticed a rifle’s laser sight dot on him when he tried to leave his house. The student described making very slow and subtle movements because he thought the wrong move could have meant the end of his life. Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyale disputed this characterization of the officers’ use of their guns. “When there are people around and you’re trying to get them out of the way

it might appear as though weapons are being pointed at them, because the tactical officers are armed,” Doyale said. Doyale reported that no one was hurt and no force was used against anyone other than the suspects during the raid. Many eyewitnesses, however, found the actions and scale of the police force alarming. “As a long-time Marin City resident, I was emotionally disturbed at how it was handled. Being a tightknit community, it’s something that we’ve never experienced. I feel like it was used as a scare tactic on our community and our families,” Tam alumna Chaeta Baker said. Officials disclosed little about what justified the arrest warrants and force of the raid, but Doyale referenced a Facebook post of the suspects posing with weapons similar to those used in the shooting. Doyale also alleged that one of the suspects entered the party in Orinda with a weapon and said that officers in the raid found weapons in the possession of the two arrested individuals. Initially, Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston suspected the shootings were provoked by rival gang members at the party. Marin City residents interviewed took issue with the reference to gangs. “There has never been any gangs or gang activity in Marin City, and to label our community as such is offensive,” Baker said. In response to the multiple assertions by residents that gangs do not exist in Marin City, Doyale said, “If people don’t think there is

any gang or organized activity in Marin City, then they’re just turning a blind eye to it.” Additionally, the actions of the officers in the raid garnered criticism from the school district. Tam district superintendent Tara Taupier “reached out to me saying we traumatized children,” Doyale said. In response, he said, “I have been told that there were very few children in the area, because it was 7 in the morning.” In a press conference, officials reiterated that the tactics used in the raid were standard protocol, and their intent was not to cause trauma to those in the community. Doyale explained that the measures taken the morning of the arrest were typical in a raid. “In police tactics, it’s best to ... isolate the situation and surround and contain,” he said. “What do they want us to correct? I mean, it’s pretty simple. These were armed and dangerous people. Do they just expect us not to do anything? Did they expect us to maybe not contain the situation and put anyone else in the community in harm? If the community doesn’t like what we’ve done, they can provide a solution.” Regardless of the fact that what happened was “standard protocol,” when students arrived at Tam the morning of the raid, many of them went to counseling in the wellness center, at which point counselors and wellness coordinators decided to close the center for the day to any students who were not residents of Marin City. “There were eight to 12 kids in here riding the wave of emotions that come with

having had such a traumatic experience,” Allen-Pierson said. “There were some jovial moments where we laughed and played some games to distract them, and there were times when a student or collectively the students wanted to process and talk about their individual experiences.” “What really helped was Ms. Amber [Allen-Pierson] because she could understand what we were going through because she’s a big part of the community. So it was nice to have someone who understands,” Hoang said. A week after the raid, the Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR) club held a meeting discussing the raid. During the meeting, students had the opportunity to share and discuss their experiences and feelings. Over 60 students attended, as opposed to the typical 20. Alongside the students in SOAR, Allen-Pierson promoted the hashtags #NotInOurCounty and #ProtectMarinCity on social media. She refers to “our county” specifically because “there hasn’t been a lot of inclusivity of Marin City. I wanted to highlight that this happened in Marin County. Marin City is a part of Marin County even with all the differentiation in experiences. It is our community,” Allen-Pierson said. Resources such as counseling for students exposed to the experience will continue to be provided by the school and Marin City. “The stress continues. This situation isn’t over,” Allen-Pierson said. The investigation into the Orinda shooting is still underway, and the suspects from Marin City remain free of any charges.♦

News flash


Upcoming stories and tam’s Headlines from the past few weeks

Chemical spill at tam pool over break cancels sports games

9th grade ASB members elected

Mvms seventh grader wins county spelling bee JANUARY 2020



SMCSD calls on community for help with desegregation plan By Benjy Wall-Feng PHOTO BY KATHARINE OWEN GRAPHIC BY BENJY WALL-FENG


s it seeks to merge its two schools, Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City and Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito, the Sausalito Marin City School District has reached out to the community for input. Over the past three months, the district, which California Attorney General Xavier Becerra found in

a December 2018 report to have “intentionally maintained and exacerbated existing racial segregation,” has held four unification town halls at Willow Creek and Bayside MLK. Members of the district’s unification task force have said that their intent is to synthesize community feedback into a final plan to desegregate the district, which will be sub-

mitted to the board of trustees on January 9. “We really hope sincerely that the recommendations that come out of this unification process create” the comprehensive education plan required by the state, district superintendent Itoco Garcia said at a town hall on October 16. “That is done by all of us: staff, kids, folks from Wil-

For more information and updates on this ongoing story, please visit the Tam News website at thetamnews.org/tag/smcsd. 6

THE Tam The TAM news NEWS

low Creek, folks from BMLK, community organizations that work with both of our schools.” Community members who attended the forums formed specialized work and affinity groups, which have met several times and discussed their conclusions at subsequent town halls. Work groups focus on fleshing out specific areas of a potentially

NEWS unified school, such as curriculum or transportation. Affinity groups are intended to ensure that members of different demographics have their needs addressed, so there are affinity groups for African Americans, English language learners, and white people, for example. Garcia emphasized that the work done by the community would inform but not dictate the final report. “The decision will be made by boards,” he said at a town hall on December 2. “But what we have talked about so far, what a lot of people are working towards, is a vision of a dual-language, pre-K through 8, science, technology, art, and research magnet school.”

Equal access The attorney general’s report found that the Sausalito Marin City district had failed to act on its knowledge that its schools were racially segregated, and that its subsequent consolidation, in 2013, of Bayside Elementary School into a single K-8 school in Marin City was done with the knowledge that the new school would be segregated. The decision

was influenced in part by “a District Board of Trustees member’s desire to create a separate school for the District’s African-American community,” according to the report. It added, “The district began cutting programming at the intentionally segregated K-8 school within a year of its establishment. These cuts led to the loss of dedicated, qualified teachers.” On August 9, Becerra announced a settlement that would require a “comprehensive plan” to desegregate the district to be completed within five years. “Every child — no matter their stripe or stature — deserves equal access to a quality education. That’s what we say, what we believe, and what’s required under the law,” Becerra said when the settlement was announced. “But what we say isn’t always what we do. Certainly, it’s not what the Sausalito Marin City School District did when it chose to segregate its students.” The unification task force has sought to merge Bayside MLK, which serves a majority black population, with Willow Creek, which is more diverse. A potential

merger with the Mill Valley School District was initially determined to be unrealistic.

“Eroding confidence” Unification has not proceeded entirely smoothly. The president of the Willow Creek board, Kurt Weinsheimer, said in a November 1 letter to the district that enrollment for the next year has dropped by 30 students, about 7.5 percent of the school. “Simply put,” Weinsheimer wrote, “families are concerned that WCA will not survive over the next 2-3 years as the unification process proceeds.” Weinsheimer noted that the charter school is funded on a per-student basis, adding, “In addition to reflecting eroding confidence in the District, this attrition exacerbates WCA’s funding shortfall.” Willow Creek sued the district in March for cutting $1 million from its annual budget while retaining a $3.4 million surplus for use at Bayside MLK. Garcia responded to Weinsheimer in a letter on November 8, indicating his willingness to work together

if Willow Creek would drop legal action against the district and provide it with necessary financial data. The Marin Independent Journal also reported on November 29 that one of the five members of the unification task force, Jim Henry, had quit in frustration. Henry, who is on the Willow Creek board, reportedly wrote to Garcia, “I do not support rushing into a forced combination without addressing the most important issues, including leadership, structure and a thoughtful integration process.”

Next steps The district will hold a fifth town hall on Tuesday, December 17, when each work and affinity group will deliver a report. After a final period for community feedback, the unification task force will work to edit those reports into a single plan, which will be submitted to the Willow Creek and district boards on January 9. The district will present the “comprehensive education plan” mandated by the settlement at a board meeting on February 14.♦




‘Tis the season to recycle By Samantha Glocker


he holiday season is here! And with it comes presents and trees and stars and menorahs and piles and piles and piles of trash. According to Stanford Recycling, families throw away a million extra tons of trash per week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. NBC News reported that nationally, $282 million of turkeys end up in the trash every year, along with about 25 to 30 million Christmas trees. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, it takes 15 years for a Christmas tree to reach full height. That’s 15 years of water, compost, labor, and energy tossed out after only a month. When all the tinsel and ribbons are discarded they go to a landfill, where they undergo bacterial decomposition and produce “landfill gas,” a mixture of greenhouse gases including methane, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. These fun fumes fly up and around our little planet, rotting our ozone layer and polluting our holiday air. So if you feel like avoiding all this in favor of a sustainable holiday season, here are five tips for keeping your holiday trash-free.

1. Use green decorations.

You can find evergreen wreaths at your local grocery store or Christmas tree farm, and brighten up the winter with dried orange slices. To do this, cut an orange into thin slices and put them into an oven at 170 degrees, flipping them every 30 minutes. After three hours, take out your golden slices and make a chain or hang them on strings as ornaments.

4. Skip the bubble wrap.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the wrapping of packages is the biggest cause of holiday waste. Replace plastic items like bubble wrap with newspaper and tissue paper, and use paper tape instead of plastic. Reuse as much as you can; Stanford Recycling reports that if every family used just two fewer feet of ribbon, the remaining 38,000 miles would be enough to tie a bow around the entire planet.

2. Give sustainable gifts.

Look at more vintage items: Bake something as a gift, draw, or write something. Try something that doesn’t need a lot of wrapping, like peppermint bark or cookies. Gift experiences, like hikes or museum visits. If you are in the process of making a wish list, find some charities that you support and ask your family to donate to them as a gift to you.

3. Offset your emissions.

If you and your family are flying somewhere for the holidays, you might consider supporting carbon offsets, which fund initiatives for sustainable energy projects, including limiting greenhouse gas emissions. These donations are surprisingly inexpensive. Websites like Sustainable Travel International and Green Mountain Energy will guide you through the process.



5. Buy in bulk.

Not only is this less expensive, it’s better for the environment. In 2018, The Guardian reported that every American wastes one pound of food per day. When you buy food in bulk, you are not only significantly reducing the amount of packaging going into landfills, you are minimizing transport pollution because you use your car fewer times to purchase a larger amount of goods. Even if you order your bulk goods to be delivered, larger packages mean the delivery truck can be packed more efficiently. So take a field trip to Costco for the winter and stock up on all the necessities, but go light on the stuff that needs to be refrigerated — power outage season isn’t over yet.♦



Review: Disney+ A commentary on the complete control Disney has over my life. By Skye Schoenhoeft


y life is defined by Disney. I learned all my sarcasm from the Disney Channel, my brother speaks in Disney classics’ lines, and my aunt works for the Big Mouse himself. I even named my dog Stitch. The impact that a single company has had on me is ridiculous, but I think I am a better person for it. Thank you, corporate America! Now, every moment leading to this one has been preparing me for this day — the day that Disney went online. I feel it is my duty to share my Disney+ journey with the world. Welcome to my breakdown. Full disclosure: I am not paying for the service. I’ve done my time sharing my Netflix password. It’s my turn to leech access from another user. When I opened the app for the first time, I let out a little squeak of joy, amazed that the animated logo was the classic shooting star. Oh, the little pleasures in life. That was only the first step in the right direction, though. After signing in using the stolen password, I had to partake in the avatar selection, revealing my usage to the account owners. My time for exploration was limited. After a moment of deliberation, I chose the only character suitable for me: Remy from Ratatouille. Upon entrance, the app’s interface appears very simiGRAPHICS BY ISABELLA FAILLACE

lar to that of Netflix, if Netflix took my childhood and slapped it onto one scrollable screen. I wandered down the rows to see old friends like Hannah Montana, the Tramp, and Ferb all waiting for my mindless gaze. I jumped to the “Pixar” section and was grateful to see all my favorites (including, but not limited to, Inside Out, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo). I stumbled across distant memories that I could have sworn were figments of my imagination, like little cartoon Lizzie sitting on her title screen and a juggling red unicycle.

To my great surprise, there were movies I didn’t recognize. This could be because I am not a National Geographic or Marvel fan, or I may just be less Disney cultured than I thought. I was horrified to see that High School Musical has been relaunched as a series (when the curtains closed, that was the sign to stop), and apparently a Cars 3 was released? (When did the second one happen?) I was really impressed by the range of content; I wasn’t expecting the variety of shorts and TV shows no longer on air at my fingertips.

In all honesty, I wouldn’t pay for the service myself. The novelty of having all my childhood shows on one device in front of me is certainly entertaining, but I can only watch reruns of Wizards of Waverly Place for so long. I mainly don’t want to pay monthly for something to add to the bill; I don’t even have time to watch TV because I spend all my time on Instagram. If you succumb and subscribe, though, you will get your money’s worth. For less than Netflix’s basic subscription ($9/mo), you get higher definition and more content ($7/mo). The nearly $350 million funneled to Disney+ advertising for 2020 has trumped hope for all other streaming competition, as I bet you’ve never heard of Apple TV+ (released on November 1, 2019). And by pulling the heartstrings of every Gen Z–er, they’ve gained free promotion from every teen fawning in class about the ease of access to all things early 2000s. Looks like the corporatocracy has gotten the best of us again. I will not be subscribing, because I don’t want to throw more money at the Mouse. While I don’t want to be another sheep to the institution, I admit that I love the concept. Before I get kicked off the account, you can find me at home lost in the Disneyland of the new decade.♦




The realism of Megan Engelbrechten By Kara Kneafsey


tepping into the art room, I was quick to notice the series of abstract pieces in the corner. They used shapes, textures, and colors to paint emotions that immediately drew my attention. The artist of these series, senior Megan Engelbrechten, allows her mind to direct what she creates to whatever feels natural. She does not consider herself the typical artist, seeing that she doesn’t feel her art is what defines her. Her notebooks are not filled with intricate doodles, as a typical artist’s might. “My doodles look terrible in comparison to my other pieces,” she said, laughing. Engelbrechten is not particularly fond of doodling, which surprised me. Comparing herself to other artists, she was hesitant to consider herself an “art kid.” Yet, her creations suggest there is no lack of talent an art kid would traditionally have. “It’s sort of a part of me that I don’t get to share as much,’’ she said. In addition to taking art, Engelbrechten is a strong student and president of the environmental club. She continued, “[Art] is definitely a part of who I am and what I spent a lot of my time doing, but I don’t always


bring it up.“ I have a hard time finding the words to capture the level of detail she puts into her pieces. “Ever since I was little I really liked romanticized realism,” she told me, “especially the Renaissance period where they had perfect porcelain skin and smooth blending.” Through spending hours on a singular piece, Engelbrechten is able to create something magical. The details of her art are done in such a way that illustrates the illusion of a photograph— though it’s created by colored pencils. Over time, this style of realism began to take the pleasure out of creating art for her. “I was working on this really big portrait, colored pencil drawing of a woman’s face and I had spent months on it and ... I was just so fed up with it. I just I got so tired of working on it and feeling like I was making no progress,” Engelbrechten said. Despite praise from teachers and classmates, she wasn’t happy with how her pieces were turning out. “I didn’t feel like it was good enough — it wasn’t real enough. So I was disappointed and frustrated,” she said.



Engelbrechten questioned the type of art that she had been creating and decided to try something new. “I just said, you know what? I’m just gonna grab the giant tub of white paint … and do something abstract with it because it seems so much easier.” She described her recent style of abstract art as a new realm of creativity. “I did a complete 180,” she explained. As all things do, abstract art presented a new world of challenges. Acrylic paint, her new medium of choice, is not easy to work with. Often times, the paint develops air bubbles or does not spread consistently. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I don’t really like it when the paint decides to [do its own thing],” she said. It was challenging at first, but acted as a learning opportunity for her as an artist. “It’s sort of like coming to terms that mentally, I can’t control everything,” she said. Despite how frustrating it can be at times, Engelbrechten has come to love her new style of art. “Most of what I’m working on currently is led by showing what the paint does naturally. It also shows what my mind is doing naturally,” she said.♦

100 years in retrospect


2019 was the 100th anniversary of The Tamalpais News. Since 1919, journalism students have been covering popular culture, historic events, and day-to-day life at Tam. The following are excerpts from archival issues of The Tam News, with quotes from alumni to help bring them to life.

Story by Kara Kneafsey

Additional reporting by Tahlia Amanson

“I was thrown off the [Bolinas-Stinson] bus a few times, but the last time was the last half of my senior year. I actually hitchhiked back and forth for a whole half a year.”

Roland Roland Crotts Crotts

“We used to have sock hops in the gym. At noon you’d go down there, take your shoes off and dance with whoever.”





“We were protesting the war, and like a whole bunch of people ... laid in the middle of the intersection there.”

Sharron Sharron Binkley Binkley

“There’s cliques based on geography, but also perhaps even more, I think there are cliques based on interest. You know, if you sort of have the jocks and they’d hang out in the front, and then the kind of artsy hippie types and they’d hang out in Mead Theater, and the drama kids would hang out as a group, kind of what we referred to not nicely as the nerdy kids would hang out in the group. And the Marin City kids kind of had a group and the Stinson Beach surfer guys, they had a group. So I would say it was composed of a variety of groups based on both probably geography and interest. But you know, pretty accepting, even if you can hang out with a particular group of people, I don’t remember feeling as if we didn’t all accept one another. And nobody really gave each other a bad time. It was kind of those years of people being pretty easygoing with each other.“ 12




“There was protests and I remember in one of the yearbooks because I graduate in ‘72, you go back to ‘70 and ‘71 and you look through it, you can see there’s some protests and the whole high school is walking on Miller by the lumber yard ... the younger teachers were protesting it too.”

Mark Mark Fong Fong



1982 “I was pretty much involved in all the athletics: basketball for four years, football for my last year, my senior year, track my sophomore year.”

Ralph Wilson

“Well, when I was there that was also around the time of Rodney King. I remember we havin’ a walkout and we walked all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge before the police stopped us.” 14


Paul Austin

“Back then we had a smoking section and you could actually smoke on campus. There was an area that was designated smoking, which was Mead Theater and the back parking lot.”

“Word got out, kids walked from Redwood to Tam, and then we bounced from Tam all the way to Sausalito. You know, we had signs and I felt like that was a very empowering moment to say the least.”





Re-examining "Baby It’s Cold Outside"By Chloe Gammon


n preparation for the holidays, everyone’s playlists are filled with Christmas music, bringing a heartfelt and festive feeling to the chilly season. However, one song in particular has been getting much more attention recently, from publications such as Newsweek, National Public Radio, and Time Magazine all touching on the controversy: “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a song I have listened to since childhood, is seen as having a storyline supportive of rape culture. As I listened to the lyrics from the perspective of a feminist in 2019, I was absolutely appalled, imagining a man trying to force a woman to stay at his house, and her attempting to make excuses to escape the uncomfortable situation. However, acknowledging that this is a song from the 1940s affords it a very different interpretation: Is this a story of sultry seduction or frightening sexism? In 2019, the idea of a woman saying she “ought to say, no, no, no sir” to a love interest, but having the male continue to make passes on her, alludes to the major issue of consent that men can tend to ignore. “I think he’s pressuring her to stay, because she’s coming up with so many excuses but he continues to persuade her to stay with his mind games,” sophomore Leila Foss explained. One line in particular has come under fire, as the female character says, “Say,

what’s in this drink?” This line feeds into many women’s fears of sexual assault. Roofies and other daterape drugs can be placed in people’s drinks, commonly women’s, to make them easy to take advantage of, and this lyric feeds into that idea. Initially, I agreed with Foss’ claim. This song ignores the politically correct norms

was a spark of progress. According to Oxford Research Encyclopedias, women began working at wartime jobs, and sexual relations became much looser during these times. However, while women started to have more freedom in their love lives, it still wouldn’t be socially acceptable for a woman to sleep over at a man’s house

“As I listened to the lyrics from the perspetive of a feminist, I was absolutely apalled at what I heard.” of modern society. But this could be due to the song being produced practically 80 years ago. This prompts an alternative interpretation in which this song is actually a story of flirtation. In the 1940s, female life began expanding beyond what some thought possible, and while women still weren’t (and still aren’t) close to complete equality, it

or potentially engage in risqué behavior, or she would be scrutinized by her community. She states it directly in the song, saying “There’s bound to be talk tomorrow ... At least there will be plenty implied.” Thus one can infer she does want to stay the night but isn’t sure how to do so without judgment. So, in the response, the male charac-

ter begins to subtly give her suggestions on excuses she can use in the morning when questioned. Even the title of the song is an excuse in itself. The song is an entirely amorous “dance” of sorts that the two are partaking in. By saying things such as “At least I’m gonna say that I tried,” “But maybe just a half a drink more” and “I wish I knew how ... to break this spell,” it’s clear that she is also subtly implying that she does want to stay. This interpretation is in no way intended to invalidate the clear implications of situations such as these, and the subject of consent has become much more prevalent in society, and rightfully so. But it’s important to recognize how much the historical significance can tie into the meaning of the things we see and learn, and it’s extremely interesting how two completely opposite stories could be happening all within the same words. The one thing these polar opposite meanings have in common is the tragic reality facing women everywhere, and how from the 1940s all the way until 2019 it still rings true: Women’s choices are never respected. In a 1940s view of the song, she isn’t allowed to say yes, or she will be slut-shamed and judged. In a 2019 perspective, she isn’t allowed to say no, because the man is neglecting her right to choose. No matter what answer a woman wants to give, it has never been viewed as the right one.♦ GRAPHICS BY ISABELLA FAILLACE AND TENAYA TREMP




Editorial: Undercovered


n November 14, homes in Marin City were raided by Contra Costa police, who arrested two residents who are recent Tam district graduates. Three others, including another Tam graduate, were arrested in raids on the same day. The raid in Marin City was a part of a larger story. A shootout at an Orinda Airb-

show for it, the community was left to wonder what had been gained by the militaristic action. News organizations across the Bay Area gave the Orinda shootout and the Marin City raid ample coverage. Their focus, however, was narrow. They overemphasized the little information they were given, like

They failed to address the impacts of both the shooting and of the raid itself. nb resulted in multiple injuries and five deaths. The media jumped on the story of bloody, violent crime in the mostly white and affluent Orinda. Two weeks later, in a show of force that alarmed locals, the Orinda sheriff SWAT team, complete with loudspeakers, tactical gear, and machine guns, arrested the two Marin City residents.

the shocking details of the shooting, footage of the raid and arrests, and the fallout for Airbnb. But they failed to address the impacts of both the shooting, which claimed the life of a Marin City man, and of the raid itself, which scared, angered, and humiliated Marin City residents. Coverage of the events by news outlets was at times

Simply using the press releases and public statements of officials does not appropriately report on the issue. Three days later, however, they were released when the Contra Costa district attorney’s office declined to file charges, citing insufficient evidence. Rattled by the raid, and with apparently little to

unfairly conclusive for an ongoing story. For example, some articles reported that the Orinda shooting was gang-related. Reporting on the November 14 raid in Marin City centered around the arrests and possible

gang ties of the suspects. What was notable was the lack of sources. Most of the coverage quoted only the Contra Costa County Sheriff and a spokesperson from the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office. Simply using the press releases and public statements from officials does not appropriately report on the issue. Journalists are responsible for reviewing and reporting all sides of the story. Reporters should have talked to residents directly affected by the arrests. Their

to rebut these very serious accusations. Our reporters interviewed several sources from Marin City in our coverage of this story, and none of them believed the reports of gangs in their neighborhood. Perhaps most importantly, two members of our community were arrested and held on charges that were weak enough that the Orinda district attorney would not prosecute them. But these young men will forever have a digital footprint of their names and

This shortcoming in reporting resulted in underinformed readers AND REINFORCED NEGATIVE IMPRESSIONS OF MARIN CITY. failure to do so resulted in underinformed readers and reinforced negative impressions of Marin City. The coverage of the arrests emphasized the reported gang affiliations, largely at the expense of the Marin City community. Take these two headlines, “Orinda Halloween shooting investigation reveals gang connections” and “Sheriff: 2 Armed Gang Members Among Orinda Halloween Massacre Victims.” The front and center placement of Marin City and the alleged existence of a “Jungle Gang” paints a distinctly negative picture of the community, with no space given for residents

mugshots alongside charges of murder, gang activity, and conspiracy, despite their release. Journalists will never be perfect, and The Tam News is a prime example of that. Yet irresponsible journalism and underreporting in this case have the ability to cause extreme harm to the community and those involved. In their reporting of these arrests, local news agencies have contributed to spreading a false stereotype portraying Marin City as a gang-filled neighborhood. Published news articles are treated as facts. The power that comes with that should not be taken lightly.♦




Crackin’ and Slackin’ of the decade

Heard in the Hallways


Crackin’ n Leo gets a


“Putting the Tam bumper sticker on your car is literally just asking cops to pull you over” -BPL


Greta Thunberg

Fidget spinners


The death of V


ld” dress

go “White and

“I don’t use pencils because I don’t make mistakes” -Math Building

n fire

California o

#MeToo Hamilton


“I filmed my mental breakdown and put it on TikTok” -Senior Steps

“The national animal of Georgia is a peach” -Senior Steps




‘tis the sneezin’

t’s officially winter in Mill Valley and it seems like everyone at Tam has some sort of cold. Dripping noses, sore throats, clogged sinuses, and seal-like coughs are filling hallways and classrooms. This season of sniffling brings out the worst in people, and you can’t trust anyone when it comes to keeping their colds to themselves. It feels as though it’s time for a refresher on the etiquette of being sick. At a young age, we were all taught how to properly cover our mouth or nose while coughing and sneezing. It amazes me to see people who seem to have forgotten this and instead cough into their hands or, even worse, don’t cover their mouths at all. What’s even more horrifying is when they notice your disgusted look and proceed to be even more over-the-top with their lack of manners. Sick people: the rest of us feel sorry that you can’t taste food or breathe through your nose. However, that does not give you the right to spray your germs across the table while you sneeze with your elbow miles away from you.

At least take a tissue from that massive Kleenex box you brought from home and spare the rest of us from your contagious bug. But the coughers and sneezers don’t even hold a candle to the damage that


By Samantha Nichols

piling used tissues on their desk for all to see. There is the option for sick people to blow their nose somewhere else, or at the very least turn away from classmates while doing it. While there really is no

“This season of sniffling brings out the worst in people, and you can’t trust anyone when it comes to keeping their colds to themselves.” serial nose-blowers can do. As a person who suffers from allergies, I have complete empathy for those who have to blow their nose several times over the course of a class period. It is embarrassing to know that your peers can hear the snot soaring from your nostrils while the rest of the classroom is silent. However, there are ways to combat this. It doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster of getting up every two minutes to get a tissue, then sitting down in your chair, blowing your nose, and standing up again to throw the tissue away. And it’s even worse when people do that long enough, and then give up and start


pleasant way to deny someone a sip from your water bottle, those who have succumbed to the sniffles should not be asking to imprint their saliva on someone else’s personal property. This etiquette applies even if they are red in the face and wheezing uncontrollably, with tears brimming at the edge of their eyes. Those who bring water bottles to school during the cold season are forced to make split-second decisions that can seriously impact relationships with their peers. Some people get personally insulted when they are turned down from sharing water, even if they are obviously sick. That being said, it might be in your best interest to turn the tables and say that you’re sick to any-

one who asks for a drink of water. While the Tam student body is suffering from either sickness itself or having to interact with sick people, there is one other group that can be blamed for this epidemic: parents. It is logical that students who are sick should not be forced to attend school, where they both jeopardize the health of other students by tracking their germs onto campus and further damage their own health by exposing themselves to others. However, some parents seem to overlook the health of their child for academic purposes, worrying that their student will fall behind if they miss classes. The logic behind this argument is beyond me, because when a teenager is at school while suffering from a cold, they will not be focusing on how to factor quadratics, but instead on the fact that they cannot take a full breath of air without coughing. Two wonderful things called tutorial and Gmail exist for students who miss a few days of class. It isn’t ideal to have a campus full of sick high schoolers who can’t behave correctly, even though it isn’t all their fault. We all get sick sometimes — it’s unavoidable. If we all vow to be more conscious of how our actions when we are sick affect those around us, we can make Tam a better place for everyone, a place where you don’t get snotty tissues practically shoved in your face all day long.♦



Lights out


By Eli Blum


hen thinking of high school football, many people tend to picture something similar to the show Friday Night Lights, a game under the bright lights with the whole community there to cheer on the team. However, in almost all of Marin County, this is not the case. Football in Marin has swapped Friday nights for Saturday afternoons with little justification. Currently, the only lights in use at Tam for sports purposes are those used at the pool for water polo games, and temporary portable lights used at the football field for the very end of the season as well as the start of Tam soccer. These temporary lights may only be used for practices, and do not come very close to lighting up the entire field. This lack of permanent lighting elim-



inates any hope for Friday night games and forces the football and soccer teams to practice on a poorly lit field when seasons overlap, a safety hazard that both teams have to endure. The arguments against putting field lights up at Tam has been the same for a long time. The neighbors do not want their views obstructed and do not want a bunch of rowdy teens hanging around campus late on weekend nights. The neighbors’ objections to lighting up the field are similar to the neighbors at San Marin High School who are fighting against their light installation. A neighborhood group called the Coalition to Save San Marin had San Marin’s new field lights shut off in October after filing a complaint with a Marin County judge, according to the Marin Independent Journal. But rowdy teens and high school activities are ramifications of living near a high school, and those who live near Tam are no more entitled to quiet nights than those who live near a freeway. If


you were truly worried about teenagers and loud sports games around your house, or about light pollution slightly changing your view, why would you move right next to a large high school, or its large football field, in the first place? There is already plenty of light coming from Tam’s campus. Lights on the field won’t change things for any neighbors that much. Putting lights up at the football field would not only allow for safer team practices at night, but it would also allow Tam teams more time to practice and improve. Additionally, having Friday night games under the lights could increase attendance and school spirit for many Tam teams such as soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse, as well as the football team with more exciting late night games. Putting lights up at Tam is a no brainer. San Rafael and San Marin have already installed lights at their fields, and Tam should follow suit. Now we just have to convince the neighbors. ♦

Ten outta ten(nis) T

he girls varsity tennis team defeated Miramonte High School on November 16 to secure their first North Coast Section (NCS) Division I title since 2011. “[Winning NCS] was such a huge moment,” junior and No. 1 singles player Jamilah Karah said. “We were the fourth seed and I didn’t think it was going to happen. I didn’t think we were going to win.” The win comes after the team defeated longtime rival Redwood High


School to win the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) title earlier in the month. “We did not anticipate winning NCS,” coach Bill Washauer said. “[Winning] was a hope, but compared to other teams, in the semifinals and finals, we definitely beat two teams that were stronger than we were.” The team needed to win four out of its seven matches to win the tournament. At the beginning of the Miramonte matchup, it appeared that Karah’s prediction would come true. “For the very last game, we were down 3-1, which means the other team only needed one more to win. But we came back, we fought and won 4-3,” Karah said. Senior captain Gracie Cameron played doubles with Tenaya Tremp, who is an editor for The Tam News, in the deciding match of the tournament. “Originally, when [our match] had finished, we thought that the team had already lost, despite our match,” Cameron said. “But, to our surprise, everyone came out and told us that we had won

Tennis individuals T

he girls tennis team was dominant at the North Coast Sections Individual Doubles Tournament after their victory in the MCAL Individual Doubles Tournament, which took place over the course of November 18 and 19. The event consisteds of the best doubles partners from each school in NCS facing off to display their prowess against other competitors. Tam’s participants were juniors Jamilah Karah and Katie Bulger, the number 1 and 2 ranked players on Tam’s team. Going into the first round, Tam’s team appeared focused and confident. “I had a strong mindset and was only focused on winning one game at a time,” Bulger said. Tam outmatched Rancho Cotate (60, 6-0) in the first round, and continued to dominate throughout with victories

over Heritawge (6-1, 6-0), Carrillo (6-2, 6-2), and lastly San Ramon Valley (6-0, 6-0) in the finals. The scores speak for themselves. Karah and Bulger stayed aggressive at the net and played in a calculated and tactical manner. “It’s a big thing to win NCS individuals,” Karah said. “But I feel the competition was lacking this year. We only lost a total of four games throughout the entire tournament so the victory was a bit underwhelming.” “It was a great experience to play in the individual tournament because it was my first time and there was so much good tennis. I think all the players deserved to be there and I’m really glad Jamilah and I could be a part of it.” Bulger explained. Karah and Bulger left the tournament with smiles on their faces and a championship under their belts.♦

SPORTS By Kavi Dolasia

[NCS]. It was such an amazing feeling.” But the road to MCALS and NCS was an uphill battle. “In the beginning of the year, our team was haphazard — we didn’t play together as a team too much,” Karah said. “[But] towards the end we started to get closer together, we started to enjoy tennis more, we got better and I’d say we improved a lot and that really contributed to our win.” Although the team lost in the first round of the NorCal California Interscholastic Federation Championships on November 22, they are hopeful to continue the momentum in the 2020-21 season. “[Next year] we are losing four seniors, but we’ve got players coming up and the juniors are a very strong group. I think we’ll still be good [next year],” Washauer said. “What was exciting [this year] was how well the team came together. The best teams are teams that overachieve and this team definitely did that ... a great team is more than what you see on paper. Always.”♦

By Luke Ferris





Winter sports preview By Leah Fullerton with additional reporting by Claire Finch

Girls Basketball

“Last year, actually, was the first time we didn’t make it in like seven years, but we still made NCS playoffs. So we have high expectations. You know, we have eight players returning from last year, we have some new young players coming from JV. And we have two freshmen on the A-team. So it’ll start off pretty slow, but we have a good system, we have some girls who know our system, so our expectation, again, is to make the playoffs.” —Coach Michael Evans

Girls Soccer

“Tamalpais girls soccer has a very strong senior class. Our expectations are high. We also have a good balance of juniors and sophomores. We play one game at a time and we are always aiming to play in championship games! Come on out and watch this great group compete!” —Coach Shane Kennedy


Boys Basketball

“Expectation is to continue to be a competitive team. I have eight guys back from last year that are seniors now, so we have some high expectations for ourselves ... Last year we had a tough end to our season, so I think we want to finish the season a little stronger. The group from last year had a good NCS playoff win that I think helped steamroll us into getting better this summer, and puts us in the position this year to have that experience, to kind of learn from last year, and how we finished the season. Learning from that, I think will be a valuable experience for them this year.” —Coach Tim Morgan

Boys Soccer

“Our primary goal was to build a really strong team culture, just having really clear expectations about what it’s like to be a member of the Tam soccer program, what it feels like at practice with what the expectations are in terms of work ethic and team unity and things along those lines, but we’re off to a very good start with that ... The long term is just to be playing our best soccer at the end of the year and hopefully we’re in the mix for a playoff shot. You’ve got that culture in place where everybody’s just really excited about being a Tam soccer player year-round and not just during the soccer season, then that tends to lead to success.” —Coach Dustin Nygaard

“Tam wrestling keeps growing. We have 50 kids on the team this year! We are loaded with some really tough kids at every weight and every grade. We have a group of sophomores and freshmen who will be the future of the program and I think we are going to be a premiere team for years to come. Last year we beat [Redwood] in a wild match in front of a packed crowd and I expect to beat them again this year, so tell the students to come on out and watch some high-level fighting.” —Coach Preston Picus






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