Tam News January 2022

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Contents January 2021


3 - Tam Leadership implements new events for the return to in-person learning & Tam students engage with anti-vax protesters during mid-day break 4- Adminstration extends free lunch and breakfast policy


5 - ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ 7- Review: ‘King Richard’


8 - Pipeline


13 - Seniors Unprepared, Blame Juniors? 14 - Digital Damage 15 - Editorial: State of the Bathrooms


17- The Existence of Softball Makes No Sense 18 - The Crack


Teis Akhtari, James Ballschmider, Luis Garcia Bat, Caden Bernstein-Lawler, Hillary Betz, Nooh Bham, Dylan Boon, Chloe Bowman, Zach Breindel, Peyton Brock, Sydney Brock, William Bruns, Daniel Buda, Mia Carp, Samuel Catrini, Luke Coan, Elisa Cobb, Kalen Coe, Victor Contreras, Jaliyah Cook, Pixley Curtis, Annika Davis, Kianna Davis, Charlie DiComo, La’Riece Etheley, Luke Feegel, Morgan Feinberg, Amelia Flint, Anji Frumkes, Ricky Gallardo, Lana Glavis, Julian Goodman, Griffin Gustafson, Colette Hale, Troy Harris, Jonathan Hernandez, Charles Horowitz, Nathan Howell, Jared Hudson, Lucca Hurst-Schalit, Ari Kaufman, Colin Lam, Frida Laurvigen, Claire Lawson, Jess Lester, Owen Lowery, Liam Ludin, RubyRain Marshall, Jelvin Mazariegos, Drake Miller, Ethan Milligan, Tyler Murphy, Keaton Oliver, Jude Paine, Emmaline Pearson, Jack Phibbs, Rio Riedy, Satya Schiller, Luella Searson, Grant Selig, Dontae Seymore, Jude Shepatin, Annie Shine, Lukas Stoker, Sawyer Strain, Anthonio Swan, Jessica Tempero, Mouhamed Thiane, Dola Tibbs, Ashley Townsend, Jimmy Tran, Railay Turner, Koen Vilchez, Maeyana Vogt, Sunny Wanger, Sophia Weinberg, Emily Winstead, Annie Wolin

News 3-4

Lifestyles 5-7

Features 8-12

Editors in Chief Kennedy Enlowsmith, Samantha Nichols, Amelia Sandgren, Emily Stull Managing Editors Charlie Wiltsee, Oona O’Neill Advisor Sarah Black

Op/Ed 13-15

Sports 16-18

Dear Reader, Happy New Year, and welcome to 2022! We’re very excited to continue throughout the rest of the school year, and we’d like to thank you for continuing to support us as we transition back to our normal production schedule. As an innovative way to address student behavior, Samantha Nichols dives into the importance of Restorative Justice in this issue’s feature. Nichols addresses the schoolto-prison pipeline as she goes over Tam’s suspension system. Catherine Stauffer reports on a recent anti-vaccination protest that took place outside of Tam, and Carley Lehman introduces upcoming Leadership events and different roadblocks Leadership has experienced this year. On a more competitive note, Conall Noonan and Tyler Rothwell respond to Lily Lunn’s article published in our November edition titled “Juniors Walk Too Slow, Drive Too Fast. What’s New?” With “Seniors Unprepared, Blame Juniors.” The junior senior rivalry continues! Our editorial discusses student mistreatment of Tam bathrooms, an issue we believe needs to be immediately addressed, as we cannot continue disrespecting our staff and fellow students with destructive behavior. And to wrap it all up, Sunny Wanger shares her opinions on softball, and Eloise Weir discusses the absurdity of “The Crack.” Until next time,

Tamalpais High School

News Wesley Slavin, Naomi Lenchner, Fiona Matney, Athos Oliveira Lifestyles Lily Lunn, Shaina Mandala, Kayla Boon Features Mikyla Williams, Lauren Felder, Savannah Behr Op/Ed Tyler Rothwell, Jack Fierstein, Conall Noonan, Marianne Wood, Andrew Cherner Sports Catherine Stauffer, Dylan Boon, Tyler Byrne, Emily Winstead Design Carley Lehman, Kelsey Cook, Lawrence Dahm Photo Jack Spence, Jack McIntire, Jack Fierstein, Dylan Collister Graphics Naomi Lenchner, Sofia Matarrita, Emily Stull TBN/TRN Lawrence Dahm, Eloise Weir Social Media Catherine Stauffer, Kayla Boon, Braden Young, Juliette Lunder

700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941 www.thetamnews.org The Tam News, a student-run publication that is distributed monthly, is an open, public forum for student expression and ecourages 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. It is a nonprofit publication and any proceeds or contributions are used in the production of the newspaper and for journalism education. Additional information concerning contributions or advertising can be obtained by writing to the address provided or visiting our website. Copyright © 2021 by The Tam News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

Biz Team Lexa Lemberg, Oona O’Neill, Carley Lehman, Hannah Bringard, Samantha Nichols


Tam leadership implements new events for the return to in-person learning By Carley Lehman


amalpais High School Leadership has put on a variety of student activities for the current school year, including Homecoming events and rallies, with a plan to continue their work with the Winter Formal on Friday, Dec. 10 and Winter Week from Monday, Dec. 6 to Friday, Dec. 10. “We have a Winter Formal coming up soon and a possible mural in the spring,” junior Aylin Curtis said. Leadership has had to adapt to COVID guidelines throughout the year while putting on school-wide gatherings. “Homecoming week was cut down into two rallies due to COVID and with people disappointed about there being no dance, we decided to do Winter Formal,” junior Kirsi Harris said.

Tam Administration has been creating limitations for Leadership events, causing some backlash from students. The Tam thrift shop on Homecoming week is a prime example of leadership continuing a tradition that excites students but where admin’s regulations restricted the event. “We were gonna have a winter rally before Winter Formal, but now we aren’t allowed because the Admin is being super restrictive, delayed on communication, not advocating for us or working in our favor either,” Curtis said. Led by the junior class, activities have been implemented by Leadership to help students during finals. “The Winter Formal is a new event we are starting this year. However, ral-

lies and final care packages have been traditions for a couple years now,” Harris said. “The care packages are to help kids destress and relax before finals. Parents can pre-order kids’ final care packages to surprise them.” Despite setbacks from Administration’s COVID regulations and restrictions, members of Leadership are still proud of their participation in the class, according to Harris. “Leadership is very self-directed; you are given lots of freedom to share your ideas and make them happen,” Harris said. For more information about Leadership-hosted events, please contact Leadership and Science teacher Laura Erickson. ♦

Tam students engage with anti-vax protesters during mid-day break By Catherine Stauffer


n anti-vaccination protest was held outside of Tamalpais High School that met with resistance from the local students. Five to 10 people stood along the crosswalk near the Safeway across from the high school with signs reading, “Don’t jab our kids” and “Mandates are about control not safety.” Standing around the protesters was a semicircle of Tam students, some just watching the scene while others attempting to engage. “I just went up to one of them and started talking to her,” junior Yonatan Paz-Priel said, explaining that he tried to engage by asking them in their argument. “One of the [protesters] was holding up his sign, and some kid just grabbed it and ran.” This is not the first time anti-vaxxers, people who oppose vaccinations, have staged a protest in Marin County. On May 18, anti-vaxxers spent 90 minutes before the Marin County Board of Supervisors meeting challenging the district’s support of student vaccination, as reported by the Marin Independent Journal.



“There is definitely a small and very vocal minority of people who may see this as some kind of plot or conspiracy, and we’re hearing more and more from that group,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer, said to the Marin IJ after the meeting. Mill Valley anti-vax protestors’ signs referred to the COVID-19 vaccine as “the jab,” a term commonly used by those in anti-vax circles to promote their beliefs while avoiding censorship. Some Mill Valley residents have used the term on NextDoor, a community-based social media platform, in order to express their anti-vax beliefs. One Tamalpais Valley user wrote, “When the majority of this country refuse the jab, you can bet there’s a good reason. The reason is trust. [Anti-vaxxers] don’t trust the government.” They then went on to say, “I frankly think this jab will eventually do more damage than the virus.” Marin County has one of the highest percentages of vaccinated people in the nation. According to Marin Health and Human Services, out of the eligible population (those five years old and older without medical exemptions), about 85 percent of Marin County’s popula-

tion has been fully vaccinated compared to about 60 percent of California residents and of Americans in general. By the end of the protest, Paz-Priel decided to leave. “I realized no matter what I say, it’s not going to get through. They’re not going to listen. So I just walked away,” Paz-Priel said. ♦



Administration Extends Free Lunch and Breakfast Policy By Jessica Tempero


ast year, the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) implemented a free lunch and breakfast program at Tam following a state mandate to provide free lunch and breakfast throughout the pandemic. Going into this school year, California extended the free lunch and breakfast program throughout June of 2022, becoming the first state to do so. “Prior to COVID, Tam was serving around 150 lunches, they had two employees. Now they’re serving over 850 lunches, plus breakfast, with three employees and we’ve been trying to get more employees since we’ve felt the need and staffing has been difficult so it’s harder,” Student Nutrition Director Lisa Herberg said. This has brought up a few issues with the serving lines and the amount of food provided. In a survey sent out over Parentsquare, many students expressed that the serving lines were too crowded, and moved very slowly. “To accommodate the meals that we’re serving now, we really need one double line for every 100 students we feed. So we’re looking at 800 to 900 students, we really need five double speed lines,” Herberg said. This would be a larger project for the school to take on. “This year they adjusted to make two lines inside instead of one, because it used to just be one. So right now we’re planning to continue with that, but if more students continued to use it then at that time [we would] make determinations. And that would be a pretty big redesign of the space just because they’re on different levels down there, the cafeteria side and the rest of the student center,” Assistant Principal Connor Snow said. Students who responded to the survey were also discontent with the amount of food provided. Students who responded to an anonymous survey gave answers such as: “The lines are very long, the serving size per student is way too small.” “Not enough food for everyone” “Not enough food”


“There isn’t enough pizza for everyone.” “Schools are having supply chain issues with food, with the containers we’re putting the food in,” Herberg said. Funding for the program could potentially address some of the issues students expressed. “The original funding came from the federal COVID relief bills that got then distributed to the states, that the states distributed down to the districts to be able to provide free food for all students,” Snow said. For the time being, California has continued that funding. “During the pandemic, just because they knew there was much greater need than probably was being identified, it was part of the bill to provide that funding for free meals for all students. California is now extending that as the first state to take on funding free meals for all public school students,” Snow said. “I’ve talked to a lot of other school districts that have high low income people, that were serving high numbers, their numbers haven’t changed. So the funding that those school districts are taking in are the same, only some of the smaller school districts like Tam that have a low poverty rate are seeing a higher participation rate. So I believe that the funding won’t be too absorbent to make this happen, and as one person said, we’re giving students free touchpads to learn on, why aren’t we feeding all of our students?” Herberg said. There have been many positive aspects of the serving lines as well. Many students were glad the free lunch program was implement-

ed and would like it to continue. “I was relieved I wouldn’t have to spend money at Safeway everyday,” senior and former member of the Tam News Linus Tornqvist said, adding, “I think it should have always been free.” “The staff have been amazing, going from serving distance learning students in the parking lot in the rain and the cold all year last year and re-thinking how they’re doing food. They packed food frozen or canned; they were no longer cooking food so that was different,” Herberg said. If the program continues, more funding would be needed to solve the issues that have been expressed. Many feel that this is worth it. “When [Tam] came back 100 percent it was great to see the students. The students were happy to be back and I think that was the best part for our staff, to see students come back and to see smiles in their eyes … and that’s what keeps them going and working so hard to make those 900 meals a day,” Herberg said. Herberg had suggestions for students regarding how they could be courteous to their peers during lunch. “We understand it, as food service people, but some of the sports students that need 3,000 to 4,000 calories want to take two of the hot entrees. So for the students at the end of the line, it leaves nothing for them. So just be mindful about when you come in, take one hot meal, one entree, and then fill up on your calories with the salad, the fruit, the juice and the milk if you need those extra calories,” Herberg said. ♦

November JANUARY2021 2022



‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ By Amelia Sandgren


t’s time to pull out your scarves and fall gloves, order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and watch the leaves fall, as Taylor Swift has transported us to fall 2012 with the re-recording of her fan-favorite album: Red.

Re-recordings: Re-recordings: A A History History Red (Taylor’s Version) is the second installment of Swift’s mission to re-record the entirety of her masters that were sold to her long-time nemesis, record executive Scooter Braun, without her knowledge back in 2019. Now belonging to private equity firm Shamrock Capital (after Braun sold the catalog in response to backlash from fans), Swift is continuing to speak out for artists’ rights to their music, most notably in her open letter to Apple Music where she urged for fair pay to smaller creatives. Taylor previously released her re-recording of Fearless, which showed mixed results. Fans were brought together in their excitement, and the album performed exceedingly well, immediately jumping to the top of the charts. However, it hasn’t currently diminished overall listens of the originals, and Fearless has actually increased



in streams by more than two million per month. Although the original intent of the re-recordings was to devalue her masters, Swift has expressed to fans that the process of gaining back ownership of her work has been fulfilling beyond its financial implications.

From the Vault One of the most anticipated aspects of the re-recordings for fans was the never before released songs that Swift coined “From the Vault.” These songs were withheld from the original album, or sometimes sold to other artists, during its initial release, and they did not disappoint. Hotly anticipated recordings of “Better Man” and “Babe,” which were both written by Swift, but sold to Little Big Town and Sugerland respectively, were wonderfully complemented by Swift’s turn at the vocals. “Ronan,” originally released as a charity single that tells the tragic story of a mother losing her son to cancer, has cutting lyrics such as “You were my best four years,” that break right through any listener’s heart. Swift also featured her first inclusion of a female artist with an independent verse, the honor being justly given to

Phoebe Bridgers, in “Nothing New,” which shows a young star already anticipating her eventual loss of fame as she’s replaced by newer artists. The bridge in particular evokes interest in Swift’s public relationship with young singer Olivia Rodgrigo, as the lyrics go, “I know someday I’m gonna meet her/ It’s a fever dream/The kind of radiance you only/Have at seventeen, she’ll know the way/ And then she’ll say she got the map from me/ I’ll say I’m happy for her/ Then I’ll cry myself to sleep.” Songs “Message in a Bottle” and “The Very First Night” betray Swift’s clear turn towards pop, as both use heavy synth and less acoustics than the rest of the album, sounds that will dominate the entirety of 1989. “Forever Winter” is about Swift’s friend experiencing mental illness, a serious topic she almost never mentioned in her earlier works. “I Bet You Think About Me” featuring Chris Stapleton is a fullon country jam that also has its own music video, directed by Blake Lively, which showed a mischievous Swift as she crashes Miles Teller’s wedding (in true “Speak Now” style). Finally,

“Run” is the first song Swift and longtime friend Ed Sheeran wrote together; although not entirely exciting, the song is pleasant and does well to balance out the rest of the vault songs.

All Too Well Without a doubt, the most hotly anticipated song from Red (Taylor’s Version) was the 10- minute version of her widely acclaimed “All Too Well,” which stole the hearts of Swift’s fans when the album was originally released. “All Too Well” is a beautiful song that captures the love and excitement of a new relationship and the tragedy of when everything falls apart. It plays on themes of memories and longing to be remembered, an idea that Swift introduced in her very first single “Tim McGraw” where she hopes her high school boyfriend remembers her when he goes to

college. Many consider “All Too Well” to be her deepest song lyrically and one of the best in her discography. During an interview in 2012, Swift revealed that “All Too Well” originated backstage on the Speak Now tour, where she riffed for more than 15 minutes about feelings over her breakup with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. For years after hearing this, fans clammered for a chance to hear the entirety of the song, and Red (Taylors Version) finally gave that to them. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” is exactly 10 minutes and 13 seconds long (13 being a significant number for Swift throughout her career) and the additional verses add an entirely new perspective to the listening experience. Where the original song evokes feelings of remembering a past love with difficulty because of how wonderful it was, the 10-minute version sheds a new light on the story. Instead, it paints a picture of a young girl, dating a man nine years her senior, completely out of her depth, and unable to rectify an impossible situation. Notable lines such as, “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath,” do well to emphasize Swift’s feelings of insecurities in her relationship. Later she asks, “The idea you had of me, who was she?/ A never-needy, ever-lovely jewel/ Whose shine reflects on you,” highlighting the character she had to play around him. She also makes references back to previous songs on the album, such as “The Moment I Knew” about an experience where Gyllenhaal didn’t come to her 21st birthday in the lines, “He [Swift’s dad] watched me


watch/ The front door all night, willing you/ To come and he said, ‘It’s supposed to be fun/ turning twenty-one.’” She also calls out their large age gap repeatedly, something that wasn’t originally so present in the album, and her feelings that Gyllenhaal didn’t appreciate her humor (which was also touched on in “I Bet You Think About Me” and “Begin Again”) with the line, “And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punch line goes/ I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.” Swift also accompanied the new version of her classic by directing a short film starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien (who are the same ages of Swift and Gyllenhaal when they dated). The film depicts the heart-wrenching roller coaster of their relationship as they act out scenes that accompany the song. There is a single break in the music where Sink and O’Brien fight. You see Sink break down into tears as O’Brien dismisses her feelings and eventually convinces her she’s being overly sensitive. “Literally a moment that I don’t even f**king remember, that you’re totally holding me hostage over. It’s insane,” O’Brien said. The scene shows tragic insight into Swift and Gyllenhaal’s relationship. The age gap is also uncomfortable for viewers, as Sink gained fame playing a middle schooler on Stranger Things only a few years ago, and O’Brien has been famous since the early 2010s with Teen Wolf. The ending cuts to 13 years later where a grown Swift (now played by the singer herself) releases a book about the story. The time jump lands two years from our time, and has led to fan speculation over a potential book release from her in the near future. Overall, the fan experience with the newest release of Red (Taylor’s Version) was beyond expectations, and has completely cemented Swift as a once-in-a-generation talent through both her prodigious songwriting and new exploration into the world of film.♦




Review:‘King Richard’


by Lexa Lemberg and Andrew Cherner


he movie King Richard has proven to be a big success, released on Nov. 19, in both theaters and on HBO Max. The story follows the lives of the Williams family with a focus on Richard, the father of world-class tennis players Serena and Venus Williams. From their first time holding a raquet to multiple National Titles, the story doesn’t miss a milestone. The movie begins with the sisters at a young age, just beginning their tennis career. In addition to detailing the lives of Serena and Venus, Richard and his progression as a character is also important to the narrative. Will Smith plays the role of Richard Williams well, filling the big shoes of this notable individual. His performance is full of emotion, drive, and determination. Smith plays this role to a T; an overbearing fatherly figure eager to see his daughters’ success. From working late nights to provide for his family while simultaneously coaching his daughters, Richard works harder than most parents to further both the academic and athletic careers of his children. Smith found the perfect balance between loving and strict parenting in his acting, creating an accurate portrayal of both his character and the tough love parents must demonstrate in order to see their children’s success. While being a top tennis player is not easy to begin with, Serena and Venus faced additional adversity. Coming from Compton, Calif., they saw difficulty getting noticed by big coaches and



receiving all of the resources needed for success. These hardships are shown throughout the movie, highlighted through scenes where they practice and the resources they have at home. The cinematography of King Richard was outstanding. Each frame was full of deep, saturated colors, showing both the vibrancy and age of the story. Strategic angles were used when filming to add emotion and heighten intensity. The filming of the tennis matches had viewers on the edge of their seats, adding to the dramatic flare. Close up shots of the players faces combined with silent audience members and crisp sounds from the tennis court all increased the suspension and emotional response from viewers. Lastly, a montage of matches over a number of years were shown in one scene, allowing the short film to cover Serena and Venus’ entire childhood. While the story primarily focused on Venus Williams and her relationship with her father, we believe there s h o u l d have been a greater emphasis on her sister Serena. Although Venus was a better competitor as a child, Serena later proved to be a stronger player. The movie lacked showing Serena’s s t r o n g

work ethic and struggle to overcome the long-standing sibling rivalry and ongoing competition between the two. Serena was treated as more of a background character, with few lines and limited screen time. The movie concluded with real footage from Serena and Venus’ childhood, making for a satisfying ending. The footage was a testament to the integrity of the story, highlighting the accuracy of the film. It wrapped up the storyline very well, showing the full circle of both sisters’ successful careers. King Richard checks all of the boxes that make a great film. Its superior casting and acting, paired with the impressive cinematography proved to be a great combination, both moving and educating the audience on the lives of two of the top tennis players in the world.♦



Pipeline By Samantha Nichols

Black students at Tam are suspended over seven times the rate of their white counterparts, contributing to a process known as the school-to-prison pipeline. But a novel approach to school discipline called restorative justice shows potential to dismantle that system from its roots.

Graphics by Mikyla Williams


ationwide, Black students receive out-ofschool suspensions at a rate four times higher than white students, according to data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics. Yet, the 2013 CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey and numerous other studies on the topic concluded that white youth and youth of color do not show significant behavioral differences and are equally likely to “get into fights, carry weapons, steal property, use and sell illicit substances, and commit status offenses, like skipping school.” Racial and economic disparities in the juvenile justice system contribute to a cycle known as the school-to-prison pipeline, which is described by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund as, “The funneling of students out of school and into the streets and the juvenile correction system … depriving youth of meaningful opportunities for education, future employment, and participation in our democracy.” It has been widely acknowledged that this cycle disproportionately targets African American, Lat-

inx, low-income, and LQBTQ+ students. Harmful systems of discipline in schools that punish children instead of supporting their social-emotional needs contribute to the schoolto-prison pipeline by making students of color more likely to struggle in school, not graduate, and fall into the criminal justice system. A study in Texas found that students who have been suspended or expelled are three times as likely to fall into the juvenile probation system the following year and are more likely to not graduate high school. The problem persists well into adulthood: 40 percent of all prisoners do not have a high school diploma and African Americans are imprisoned at five times the rate of white Americans. By exposing America’s youth of color to harsher discipline and bias at a young age and not giving them support in school during adolescence, they are thrust into the criminal justice system. This process has been streamlined over many decades and is now replicated over and over in school systems that continue to

rely on problematic disciplinary practices that directly contribute to the mass incarceration of Black Americans. Although many harmful policies have been eliminated in recent years, inequities remain at the root of school disciplinary models that continue to perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline. Marin County and Tamalpais High School are no exception to this. In the 2018-19 school year, the last year with reliable data due to the coronavirus pandemic, Black students at Tam were given out-of-school suspensions at over seven times the rate of white students in the district, comprising 13 percent of suspensions. This is despite accounting for only 3.5 percent of students— an overrepresentation of nearly four times their demographic in Tam’s overall population. That year, nearly 14 percent of African American students were suspended at least once, compared to less than four percent of white students. Restorative justice is a concept that has been around for decades, but has recently




emerged as an effective alternative to harmful and outdated disciplinary practices. It is based on indigenous models of discipline and “aims to reestablish the balance that has been offset as a result of a crime by involving the primary stakeholders (i.e. victim, offender, and the affected community) in the decision-making process of how best to restore this balance,” according to a 2017 analysis by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Many schools are beginning to adopt restorative justice in place of out-of-school suspensions and referring students to the traditional juvenile justice system. Districts that utilize restorative models devote time and effort to developing and maintaining trusting relationships among all members of the communi10 9


ty. “Misbehavior is recognized as an offense against people and relationships, not just rule-breaking,” the San Francisco Unified School District noted in its restorative practices page. All staff are thoroughly trained in restorative practices in order to teach “a variety of communication skills, anger management techniques, and conflict management strategies.” The concept focuses on prevention; restorative justice is not just a response to misbehavior but rather the blueprint for an environment that fosters positive relationships and is equipped to address trauma that may lead an individual to cause harm before the damage is done. When an incident occurs, collaborative conversations known as “restorative circles” aim to address the root cause of the problem

and repair the harm done to the relationship between the offender and the victim, parents, peers, teachers, and community. “Restorative plans” to correct wrongdoing are established in conjunction with the offender and are relevant to the harm caused, as well as the circumstances of the individual. “It humanizes people and says that, ‘Even though you have behaviors that we don’t like, it doesn’t mean that we don’t like you.’ And it’s designed to break that school-to-prison pipeline,” former Tam Assistant Principal David Rice said. Rice, along with former Assistant Principal Leah Herrera and Special Education Resource Specialist Annacy Wilson, initiated a restorative justice program at Tam from 2016 to 2018. Wilson was the advisor to a club of students that acted


as a peer jury, and the assistant principals referred students to the club as an alternative to issuing suspensions. “[Herrera] was the one who brought the student discipline and was able to say, ‘No, I think this student would benefit from a restorative approach.’ And that’s the way we did most of our discipline when I was there was through the restorative, especially if it was a first offense,” Rice said. The program petered out in 2018 when Rice, Herrera, and Wilson departed from Tam. “[Because] we’ve had a revolving door of administrators, we did not continue with developing our capacity to implement a full restorative justice program,” Tam Principal J.C. Farr said. Despite not seeing a need for a restorative justice program at Tam, Farr and the administration have partnered

with a group called CircleUp, which provides staff training once per month in restorative practices. “I’m not sure at this point if it’s showing up in classrooms as a way of dealing with situations that are coming up in classrooms, but … we’re continuing to develop our capacity to do so,” Farr said. He added the administration is continuing to assess whether staff “see [restorative circles] as a viable strategy to address classroom communities and how students relate to one another.” According to Farr, Tam teachers and administrators are becoming more familiar with restorative methods, but the conversations through CircleUp have not broken the threshold of talking about how implicit bias plays a role in school discipline and feeds the school-to-pris-

on pipeline. “As we continue to build positive and strong relationships amongst staff, then that’ll allow us to have more conversations about bias, racism, institutional racism, and how it shows up in discipline, how it shows up in our interactions with students,” Farr said. In the meantime, assistant principals at Tam are continuing with traditional disciplinary practices while attempting to pad suspensions with behavior counseling. “A suspension is a very serious consequence, but it’s not the same as being fined or potentially having a jail sentence or something like that out in the real world. So we want to prepare students for if there is something significantly damaging that they do, there are consequences for those actions, right?” Assistant Principal ConJANUARY 2022



nor Snow said. “And at the same time, we want to be able to teach them and help them repair that so that in the future, they can make a better and more informed decision.” Restorative justice has shown promising results in studies, producing a decrease in suspension rates, narrowed racial disparities, and satisfaction among students and staff. A randomized controlled trial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, collected data from 22 schools where restorative practices

than once, compared to control schools. Schools in Oakland and Los Angeles where restorative justice models have been implemented also found that the suspension gaps between Black and white students narrowed, thus demonstrating how restorative practices have the potential to reduce the harm of the schoolto-prison pipeline. Marin County has its own program called Peer Solutions that uses restorative practices as an alternative to the traditional school and juvenile detention

harm and the relationships that that harm has impacted. Now, a lot of programs have adults facilitating that process. Our specialty at Youth Transforming Justice is having peers facilitate that process,” the program’s executive director Don Carney said. After a trauma-informed hearing facilitated by other youth who occupy roles such as jurors, facilitators, and advocates, respondents are assigned a case manager to support them through the process of completing their restorative plan.

“Restorative justice is not just a response to misbehavior but rather the blueprint for an environment that fosters positive relationships.” were used often by teachers, and compared suspension data with 22 controlled schools that did not use restorative justice. According to an analysis of the study by the National Education Policy Center, “the number of suspensions and days lost to suspension decreased more significantly in the [restorative justice] schools than in the control schools.” Specifically, days lost to suspensions fell by 36 percent in schools practicing restorative justice compared to 18 percent in the control schools. The study also observed that schools utilizing restorative justice had lower recidivism rates, meaning suspended students were less likely to be suspended more



systems. The program is run under the organization Youth Transforming Justice (YTJ) and has been operating since 2004 using “peer-driven, restorative, and trauma-informed solutions” according to the program’s website. Adolescents who have been cited for misdemeanor offenses and taken accountability for their actions are referred to Peer Solutions, formerly known as Marin Youth Court, and, after completion of the program, their juvenile records are erased. “The young person who has made the mistake is willing to be accountable for making that mistake, and not challenging the fact that they did make a mistake ... they are willing to repair the

All participants go through an intensive drug and alcohol training regardless of the circumstances that got them referred to the program. The training involves other peers as well as Associate Director Julie Whyte. Sacha Karaknofsy, who went through the program when she was a senior in high school and later became an intern for YTJ, described her experience with the training as “A very close, intimate experience … It really set something off in my brain because as peers, we don’t talk about drugs on the same level that we did in [the training].” Respondents are also offered extra support like tutoring and therapy and have the op-


tion to spend their community engagement hours doing something related to a personal interest such as volunteering for an animal shelter. Peer Solutions boasts a 95 percent completion rate and a six percent recidivism rate compared to the 75 percent juvenile recidivism rate nationwide, and has diverted over 1,300 teens from the juvenile justice system since 2004. “I see the change that it makes in people’s lives and I see the impact it

“Peer Solutions boasts a 95 percent completion rate and a six percent recidivism rate compared to the 75 percent juvenile recidivism rate nationwide.” has. I haven’t seen anyone that was too difficult to … get them to open up and share with us or learn something,” Karnofsky said. Carney and Youth Transforming Justice also make themselves available as a resource to local schools, and welcome student referrals pro-bono as an alternative to suspension. The Tam administration paid Carney in 2016 and 2017 to train staff and students in restorative

practices and help coach the program run by Rice, Herrera, and Wilson. However, the school has not referred one of its students to YTJ since November 2019. “Because of our differences, philosophically, I chose for Tam to withdraw our participation [from Peer Solutions],” Farr said. Farr declined to comment further on the philosophical differences between YTJ and the Tam administration. Rice has continued to implement restorative practices in his administrative positions since leaving Tam in 2018, which included vice principal at Archie Williams High School and his current job as principal of Davidson Middle School. “Yeah, [restorative justice] is a much more

“I see the change that it makes in people’s lives and I see the impact it has.” laborious process of discipline than traditional, but the impact is longer term, and that’s why I continue to use it,” Rice said. “It is a lot more work upfront but issues tend to not come back.” The school-to-prison pipeline continues to harm youth, particularly youth of color, at alarming rates. Restorative justice has been shown to drasti-

cally reduce suspensions and recidivism rates and provide youth with the tools they need to thrive in a school environment and the world beyond. These practices have succeeded at Tam when administrators, teachers, and students dedicate themselves to restorative justice. “I see it definitely expanding to everywhere … adults are blown away by this program and what it’s done and how it helps people and they’re like, ‘Why hasn’t this existed forever?’ It’s just really effective and it makes sense. So I don’t see why it wouldn’t expand immensely,” Karnofsky said. Farr hopes the administration’s long-term partnership with CircleUp will eventually lead to the widespread adoption of restorative principles on campus that are immune to staff and student turnover. “I think the best case scenario is that teach-

“It is a lot more work upfront but issues tend to not come back.” ers become more comfortable, and they utilize it as a strategy with their classes, and students and teachers see the effectiveness, then that will generate more interest to perhaps rebuild a club or develop some more consistent, sustainable efforts,” Farr said.♦




Seniors Unprepared, Blame Juniors? By Conall Noonan and Tyler Rothwell


pperclassmen versus lowerclassmen, seniors versus juniors, grade rivalries are what makes school spirit great. Constant remarks between the grades provides a competitive atmosphere for students at Tamalpais High School by fostering a healthy level of trash talking. As we escape the tortures of online school and slowly make our way back into the world of faceto-face communication, we as a school have to come together to realize that our current seniors don’t have the experience to lead this school and to create a good representation of how seniors at Tam should act.

Seeing the seniors on their phones during quite possibly the best thing the rally has to offer was heartbreaking. A couple of months ago, the first rally in over a year occurred and the seniors didn’t destroy the juniors like they usually do, despite winning. It was almost like their school spirit had taken a turn for the worse. While at the rally, looking over to the senior side to see some of them on their phones during the grade-level chants, was almost disheartening. Seeing the seniors on their phones during




quite possibly the best thing the rally has to offer was heartbreaking. In the aftermath of this, I have often heard things from the seniors along the lines of, “It wasn’t a real rally” or “It wasn’t as fun as it was our freshman and sophomore year.” Actually, you have just relied on upperclassmen your whole high school career. Now that the super seniors are off to college or taking gap years in Rome, it’s time for the seniors to step up and take matters into their own hands and not blame the juniors. It doesn’t end there. The “senior steps” that sit across from the student center have practically been stripped from the seniors by the freshmen. Freshmen. We may as well just call them the “freshmen steps.” When I came back from lunch one day and noticed this, I was utterly surprised. How could you just let this be taken from you? It’s just another example of how unprepared the senior class is to be seniors. They let the lowest of the low take the steps with their name on them. Tam Senior, Lily Lunn, wrote in an article, “I frequently see their [juniors’] cars parked in front of fire hydrants, no-parking signs, and, of course, in the ditch across from the baseball field.” This may be true, but in our defense, there is not enough parking on or around Tam. Almost everyday I see senior cars in the BPL parked in spots crossed out with white paint or parked up against sidewalks marked with red paint. How on earth could you complain about lack of parking, then park

illegally? This really grinds our gears. With bathroom passes now present in classrooms all across the school, I believe we have reason to blame this on the seniors. With some of them already accepted into college, lots of seniors think it’s just okay to walk around and ditch class. So, if you dislike the new rule regarding bathroom passes, I would take it up with the senior class and leave the administration out of it. As almost half the school year is already marked off the calendar, we cannot let the seniors continue to make the lasting impression they have started to make. We need to hold this senior class accountable for the many mistakes they have already made this year. Seniors, if you’re hearing this, it’s time to step up and create a good lasting impression on your high school. Some photos of the aforementioned illegal parking can be found on, “@badparkingatamhigh” on Instagram. ♦

Digital Damage


sponsibility for what is posted on their platforms as per Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which writes, “... no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Increasingly, Americans are distrusting traditional outlets; Republicans believe that 53 percent of the traditional media they see is inaccurate, compared to 32 percent in respect to Democrats. Consequently, more Americans are obtaining their news from social media. As of September 2020, 53 percent of Americans ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ get their news from social media, which is held to a far lower standard than traditional media and is less regulated as virtually anyone can post information onto a social media site. Unregulated social media brings about the further spread of false information, leading

to a mass miseducation of the American public. Disinformed voters cannot elect candidates who best represent them. By deregulating the media, objective reporting no longer becomes the standard, and partisan outlets and pundits dominate the news industry. The incentive of social media companies is to keep any post that garners attention up because the ultimate goal of social media companies is profit. Profit at the cost of democracy, their users’ mental health, time, and even lives. Social media executives can’t claim ignorance when they’ve been sitting on piles of information and data that directly points to their platforms, causing these detriments. Facebook, which owns Whatsapp and Instagram, revealed to have concrete knowledge about their platforms directly harming the mental health of their users but took no action. Our government needs to take monumental and effective action to strongly regulate and break up these pseudo-monopolies and disgusting conglomerates that are a direct product of unfettered capitalism. We need to trust-bust these companies and do it fast and effectively. The public plans of Facebook are to create a dystopian society where people actually live on their platforms in augmented reality, so imagine how totalitarian, immoral, and destructive their plans are behind closed doors. With each generation, a new form of social media arises and chains people to the mercy of their platform. For our parents, it was Facebook, and now millions of the adults we used to look up to are convinced our democracy is a farce and our government has a cabal of cannibalistic pedophiles. With our generation, like our parents, millions have fallen down a rabbit hole of radicalization and live primarily on the internet, and are angry and hate-filled. Since Facebook, our generation has become enthralled by a web of dozens of platforms that each are tailor-made to feed off our fears, and now teen mental health is at an all-time crisis point. ♦

By Naomi Lenchner


ove Fast and Break Things”— who knew Facebook’s old motto would be so painfully accurate. Social media is immeasurably destructive to its users, our society, and democracy as a whole. Some of its predatory algorithms have changed, but by and large: all major social media platforms exploit our insecurities and fears. By the nature of its format, it angers and radicalizes vulnerable people and causes irreparable harm to the mental health of users—especially teens. Social platforms create a facade of connection that, in reality, they are tearing the fabric of our society apart. I remember when I made my Instagram account in the sixth grade, and how I spent the next week desperately trying to catch up to the number of followers my friends had. I remember the high from posting, and with each notification, the surge of dopamine and immediate crash when my post didn’t get as many likes as the last. That same year I got on YouTube, and instantly, my preteen insecurities were prayed upon by their algorithm. With each video, the information got more and more extreme and damaging to my 11-year-old self. I remember seeing the most violent, horrific, misogynistic, and racist language, video after video, masquerading as comedy. All boosted up by YouTube and available to middle schoolers like me. I remember in the seventh grade when I downloaded Snapchat and how anxious I felt when at the thought of not immediately snapping everyone to maintain my streaks. I remember in eighth grade when I downloaded TikTok, the hours upon hours of harmful and useless information pulled me in so intensely that four hours of scrolling felt like a second. Who knew connecting the world would bring it to the brink of destruction. The companies and executives did, but see, the thing about having people’s primary source of information be social media is that it is unlike traditional media; the companies are not liable for the information posted on their platforms. Social media platforms can absolve themselves of re-

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State of the Bathrooms A

s we find ourselves nearing the end of the first semester of the current school year it is urgent we talk about the increasing mistreatment and blatant disrespect of our school bathrooms. Most students will be aware of this problem as it spans the bathrooms of Woodhall, the Student Center, and each one in between. Common sights in our unapologetically trashed bathrooms may include, toilet paper strewn everywhere, the nauseating presence of food waste, and of course a thin blanket of mystery liquid over the floor. Our wonderful student body truly has a gift for making a mess of school property. Now it has become undeniable that the state of our bathrooms have had negative impacts that ripple through the community. Students unable to concentrate on work due to the predicament of needing to go to the bathroom, but not wanting to use it because one doesn’t want to go next to a knee high pile of TP. There’s also a general feeling of a campus made less appealing due to its general lack of cleanliness. Of course it’s important to acknowledge that someone actually has to clean up those bathrooms, and while we are grateful at Tam to have wonderful staff that put up with our seemingly endless production of headaches, they shouldn’t have to clean up the kinds of messes we manage to produce. The situation we find ourselves in can be seen all over campus, in the trash we leave at lunch and the writing



we put on the walls. Tam students have a lack of respect for our campus, by now it is deeply rooted in our culture. Mill Valley is an affluent and particularly clean city, which is taken for granted, we have become subservient to having a clean environment without ourselves having to work for it, this is no longer a sustainable mindset, we need to progress as a community and work for a clean and respected environment, or we will no longer be in a clean and respected environment. We should try to take inspiration from the people around us that have actually taken action to reduce the amount of mess in our bathrooms. Recently some staff members came up with a creative solution to deal with graffiti in the Woodhall bathrooms and put up pieces of doodle paper on the wall, and another basic solution that we can all take partake in is to just pick up trash when we see it, and properly dispose of trash when we have it. The conditions of our bathrooms and campus is not acceptable, and it’s necessary that together as a school we address it. ♦ GRAPHIC BY NAOMI LENCHNER


Ben Southern: Striking Gold By Sawyer Strain

By Sawyer Strain



f you’ve ever walked around the bustling buildings of Tamalpais High School and caught a glimpse of the warm smile from a blond, sharply dressed senior, it’s possible that you have just spotted Benjamin Southern. Southern has been training as a soccer player for many years now. “If you focus on doing something you want to do, you have to be dedicated to it. You have to make sacrifices to be successful in what you do. It’s been seen through history,” Southern said. A senior at Tam High, Southern is no stranger to dedication. Southern’s passion for the game of soccer is reflected in his grand ambition, which is to sign up for a professional soccer league. “The dream is to sign pro,” he said “I’m going to try to go play professionally in Europe.” Southern wants to make the first team, whether that’s the U.S. or England. Because he has a dual nationality, he can play for both, “So the goal is to play professionally and also represent my country,” he said. Soccer has been a part of Southern’s life since he was young. “Soccer’s been through my childhood and runs in my blood. I’m from the UK, and soccer - or football as they call it over there - is a big part of the culture, it’s almost a lifestyle,” he said. Growing up surrounded by soccer culture influenced Southern and helped foster a passion for the sport. Now, he plays for Silicon Valley, a

Major League Soccer (MLS) Next team in Palo Alto, playing in the same league as the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers. Waking up at 6:30 a.m. for a before-school workout and getting back to training after school every day in Palo Alto make for a packed day. “It’s a lot of discipline, but it’s the price we pay. There are sacrifices I have to make if I want to do what I do,” he said. “I’ve had to lose a lot of things. I’ve lost friends because of my athletics, I’ve lost my social life, like I don’t go out much because I’m either training or I have to sleep.” While his experience playing soccer has incurred loss and struggle, Southern said it has also taught him valuable lessons. “I think [soccer] made me a much more vigilant person. You could say I notice the little things. When driving around or walking around and someone walks by, I notice who they are or what they’re wearing.” Southern credits soccer for giving him a different perspective on respect. He has adopted a new way of approaching people, which he says comes from the necessity to give attackers space so they don’t outmaneuver him. “I guess in life it kinda helps if someone’s going through something, give them space, give them time, because you don’t know what they’re going through.” It takes a certain compassion to translate lessons on the field to changes in one’s life outside of the sport, a skill

that Southern has refined over time. In recent years, Southern has begun to think more seriously about achieving his goals, however, taking athletics this seriously can push the limits of personal motivation. Seeing kids his age playing at high levels can be frustrating, but Southern recognizes this and uses it to push himself even harder. “Everyone has their own path and it comes down to whether or not you’re willing to put in that work and be the 1 percent that makes it.” He said. He knows that in the long term, he will thank himself for putting in that extra hour, doing that extra sprint, or doing that extra set on the weights. Southerns father, who played soccer at a high level was instrumental to Southerns close relationship to the sport. “He gave me my first ball, he was my first coach, he took me to my first training, he took me to my first tryout, he’s basically been the foundation of where I am today.” He credits his father as a big part of his career so far. Ultimately, Southern’s dedication to the sport of soccer has brought him a long way and will undoubtedly continue to manifest itself in fruitful ways. Southern plans on continuing his training and working towards representing his countries. ♦




The existence of softball makes no sense By Sunny Wanger


emale inequality in sports is anything but a new topic. In the last few years, major stories of inequality, harassment, and abuse have surfaced in the world of women’s sports. Situations like that of the sexual abuse victims of the U.S. women’s national gymnastics team’s former head coach Larry Nassar and the salary difference between men vs. woman athletes signify the disorder present for women in sports. When Title IX went into effect in 1972, a glint of hope arose. The movement which aimed to improve sexism in sports stated that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” But solving sexism, an issue dating back centuries, is not that easy. In fact, the movement has a huge flaw. Title IX only covers federal funding, meaning individual teams can raise however much money they can and keep it all. That prospect itself is not unfair. What is unfair is how many fewer donations softball accumulates because of the American culture surrounding girls’ sports. Because baseball is traditionally a boy’s sport, the fanbase, culture, and audience surrounding it is immensely larger. It’s like any professional or high school sport. Men’s basketball is more popular than women’s. Men’s soccer is more popular than women’s. All of these factors contribute to the outcome of women’s sports being treated unequally, even with Title IX regulating federal funding distribution. It isn’t a coincidence that despite these two sports being almost identical, one is hugely more popular and watched than the other. Even the name “soft” ball implies weakness and associates the game with an outdated view of women. Think about it— anyone who’s going to donate money to a sports fundraiser that does not have a kid on the softball or baseball team is going to choose baseball over softball. That should not be the case. Just because baseball is played by boys,



doesn’t mean they should receive more money. Even looking at the baseball and softball fields, it’s blatantly obvious which team gets more funding, exposure, and participation. On the side closer to Tamalpais High School’s buildings, crisp red and white borders outlining a diamond with perfectly trimmed, carefully tended-to grass, rich soil, and bright blue dugouts bask in the glinting sun. On the other side, goose poop floods a muddy, unkempt lawn, with faded lines faintly acknowledging its use, accompanied by rundown dugouts covered in chipped paint. This field sits next to what students literally call “The Crack” when organizing practice.

But solving sexism, an issue dating back centuries, is not that easy. In fact, the movement has a huge flaw. Tam softball player Emmaline Sekula described some of the subtle differences surrounding the treatment she noticed between the baseball and softball teams. “They of course get new equipment all the time, they have a better field, they have better dugout, they just have a lot more resources than softball does,” Sekula said. Tam baseball coach of seven years Nathaniel Bernstein believes a lot of the issues at hand could be solved by the district. Bernstein explained how he, his team, and parent volunteers are the ones who clean their field, which is why it appears more professional. “I spend time on keeping the field there, but that shouldn’t be a requirement. Part of what sucks for softball is just because we do that, doesn’t mean they should have to do that. The district should still hopefully help keep

the field up to where it needs to be.” Bernstein said. It is not fair for a team having half the amount of players as another to be held to the same standards. The softball team’s field looks the way it does because they simply do not have the resources to change that. “People need to put pressure on the district,” Bernstein finished. Why couldn’t girls just have their own baseball team? Soccer does it. Lacrosse does it. Nearly every sport has teams for boys and girls. Think about it- the idea of the game is the same, the rules are close to identical, but one carries a history of sexism while the other receives national praise. It could be that as a country, the U.S. has an issue with women being equal to men. Because maybe, if given the chance, Emily outplays little Timmy and his dad doesn’t like that. It’s the fear of competition and replacement. The reality of not having girls’ baseball teams could be a big factor as to why softball is treated unfairly. Girls are forced to choose between the two, usually making the choice to be with other girls on a softball team as opposed to being the sole female. Sekula actually thought about baseball as a child. “I definitely considered playing baseball … but I just struggled with the fact that I would probably be the only girl on the team,” Sekula said. Most people in her position choose the same path to avoid being put into a minority. The inequality prevalent in high school softball extends into college softball. Female students continuing their athletic careers often remain at a disadvantage. It was reported that during the 2018-2019 season, men playing in Division 1 of NC championships cost the NCAA $4,285 per athlete, but only $2,588 for women. The NCAA spent nearly half the amount on women than on men according to reporting done by NBC Sports. Unless more people recognize the pattern of unfair treatment, American schools will continue to favor males over females in sports because of our culture. ♦ GRAPHICS BY JULIETTE LUNDER


“TheC r a c k ,” the middle area between Tamalpais High School’s softball and baseball fields. In the off-season, “The crack” serves as a perfect place for Tam High’s Canadian geese population to hang out and spend their days. However, while sports are in full swing, the crack has no room to spare for its feathery friends, as Tam’s field sports are pushed to use every last available space. Tam’s lack of field space is an ongoing issue that requires lots of organization and communication between sports. Therefore, its space should be reviewed and thought more about when the school considers funds for the future. In an average year, Tam High’s field space hosts five sports. Field hockey, football, cheer in the fall, soccer in the winter, then lacrosse and track/field in the spring. In all honesty, as much as the crack and field try to provide for Tam High’s field sports, they will never be enough for sports that need more space to function properly. Tam High Senior and varsity soccer player Annelie Kamperin said, “it’s chaotic when all the sports are practicing at once. There is never enough room for everyone to do their own drills.”

The By Eloise Weir

Kamperin, who has been playing for Tam soccer since freshman year, spent most of her JV seasons practicing in the infamous crack. She described how the odd layout of the space made it harder to practice, along with other teams using the space making it even more cramped. “During the 2021 season things were even worse because COVID-19 forced all of the sports into the same season”, Kamperin says. Kamperin brings up a point verified by other athletes that experienced the jumbled season of 2021 that was made odd by the fact that all 5 of Tam High field sports were taking place during the same time period. “Just when you thought field space at tam was bad enough, here comes COVID-19,” Senior track and field athlete Mckenzie Holtzapple said. As Holtzapple participates in a majority of the field events on the team, she spent a good amount of time watching other sports that were going on around her. “One time, soccer was practicing on the first half of the football field, and lacrosse was on the other, then the football players were getting dressed for their practice, all while track was running sprints. It was crazy,” Holzapple said. It is highly doubtful that there will ever be a situation like COVID-19 again, displacing sports from their normal seasons. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the chaotic sports season that followed highlighted the fact that practice space at tam is a problem that needs solving. ♦

Crack Graphics by Emily Stull JANUARY 2022