IN THIS ISSUE News
Read about gun control on page 2.
Should teachers carry guns? More on page 3.
Life &Style Read about Senior Project on page 5!
Sports Read all about March Madness on page 9!
March for Our Lives ILANA CADE staff writer
Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to the Washington crowd saying that “She too had a dream” and “enough is enough.” An 11-year-old student urvivors of the deadly mass from Virginia, Naomi Wadler gave a moving speech and said she shooting in a Parkland Florida high school represented all of the African American women affected by the led a march on Washington DC for the gun violence that didn’t get media coverage “We might still be March For Our Lives events taking place in elementary school, but we know,” she said. “We know life isn’t all over the world. The protesters were equal for everyone. And we know what’s right and wrong. We also expressing their grievances with know that we stand in the shadow the lack gun law reformation. of the Capitol. And we know that we Riding the buzz of last week’s have seven short years until we, too, national school walkouts these have the right to vote.” young adults have given a voice Celebrities have also shown to a generation raised with gun their support for reformation of gun violence, and at the same time laws. Stars like Demi Lovato, Ariana honored the 17 students and Grande, and Common have particifaculty members who lost their pated in the rallies. Chants of “We lives on February 14, 2018, at want change!” rose over the capital Marjory Stoneman Douglas high after a closing performance by singschool. “To the leaders, skeptics er Jennifer Hudson, whose mother, and cynics who told us to sit brother and nephew were shot and down, stay silent and wait your killed in 2008 by her former brotherturn, welcome to the revolution,” in-law. said Cameron Kasky a surviPaul McCartney showing support in honor of The Parkland survivors and vor from the Marjory Stoneman former Beatle John Lennon. others students thanked the crowd Douglas High School shooting. This at the end. In New York, former statement alone turned the simple Beatle Paul McCartney said he marched because his friend and protest into a significant rally. bandmate John Lennon was passed away due to gun violence in Washington was the primary event location, but 1980 not far from where the crowd had assembled. Manhattan several sister rallies were held all over the nation. From Boston also went held a moment of silence for the lives lost at the parkto Los Angeles, and in the UK, teachers, students, parents, and land shooting. When it was celebrities were protestover, Mayor Bill de Blasio ing for gun law reformatweeted, “Amazing! Final tion. Kasky, who was NYC tally: 175,000 joined among the Washington #March For Our Lives. And speakers read the names this is a movement that of her fallen classmates, has JUST BEGUN. These the list ended with students WILL change Nicholas Dworet, who America!” In Boston, march would have turned 18 organizers asked paron Saturday. ticipants older than 21 to While here take their places behind tears were streaming students leading the march Emma Gonzales told the and spearheading the crowd that while she movement. was standing up there 6 Even as far away as minutes and 20 seconds Spain, children such as had passed and that was 6-year-old Lucia Smith the time it took for the received an early introducStudents protest gun control laws in Washington D.C. tion to political activism. She school shooter to cease shooting and blend in with the rest of marched with her mother near his classmates who were evacuthe US Embassy in Madrid. The child carried a sign saying: “Your ated before his arrest. right to rifles. My right to life. Choose.” The NRA posted a message on Facebook saying the The March for Our Lives movement has touched many March For Our Lives march was orchestrated by “gun-hating lives both internationally and in the United States. The movebillionaires and Hollywood elites ... manipulating and exploiting ment has been the leading cause of United States government’s children as part of their plan to DESTROY the Second Amendquestioning if the current gun laws are reasonable for this time ment and strip us of our right to defend ourselves and our loved in American history, or if the gun laws are in need of reformation. ones.” In response to this facebook went crazy with comments Only time can tell if the protest will make long-lasting change in using the hashtag #MarchForOurLives. the American government.
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april News Flash
Wisconsin grain silo avalanche trapped and killed father and son.
Former Georgia governer, Zell Miller, dies at 86.
International Women’s Day OLIVIA CONKLIN staff writer
Every year on March 8th, over one of fourteen new dolls to celebrate and recognize female role models. hundred countries take part in InterThe company surveyed over 8,000 mothers from around the globe national Women’s Day. This day stands to see what people were wanting. With an overwhelming response to commemorate all the achievements of over 86% of mothers concerned on who their daughters will look women have made socially, politically, up to as role models, Barbie wanted to create a collection of dolls and culturally. Standing as a symbol of that girls could genuinely look up to. The toys are comprised of two equality, International Women’s Day also separate groups, including “Inspiring Women” based off of important marks the call to action women have taken throughout time historical figures, along with “Shero” named after inspiring contemin celebrating all of their accomplishments. porary women. International Women’s Day was not always as widely The “Inspiring Women” dolls come along with educational celebrated as it is today; in fact, the movement started off information, on what each woman contributed to society and how rather slow. It all began in 1907 when over 15,000 Textile and they made an impact. As of now, this group only includes three dolls needle industry working women marched in New York. This but is said to continue to grow. One of these dolls being Amelia Earday is not known as the official first International Women’s hart, who was the first female aviator to fly alone across the across Day but laid down the path of what was soon to come. the Pacific Ocean. The group also consist of Katherine Johnson and The first International Women’s Day at the time known as Frida Kahlo. Johnson is a mathematician who broke the barriers for “Woman’s Day,” in the United States both gender and race, who worked for and was celebrated on FebruNASA as a human “computer” to help ary 28, 1909. With a small crowd with the first US-manned space flight. gathering in New York City, promiKahlo a renowned activist and artist nent American feminist Charlotte who portray her life and pain throughPerkins Gilman gave a memorable out her artworks. The way she painted speech. She said, “It is true that a and conveyed her experiences was new woman’s duty is centered in her to the art community and is why is so Barbie has added fourteen new dolls to the home and motherhood, but home well known to this day. “shero” collection. should mean the whole country and Barbie first began the “Shero” not be confined to three or four rooms of a city or a state.” Her group of dolls back in 2015, and now fourteen more have been speech was a representation of women’s freedom both within added. The group of dolls honors fashion designers, journalists, the household and throughout the United States as well. At actresses, entrepreneurs, and women who have broken the boundthe time, the speech didn’t seem to have much of an impact; aries within their field. The women represented have exceeded the but as time progressed, the move for equality reached a more normal with their work and changed how it is viewed. They are all extensive spread. By March 19, 1911, over one million women women who set new standards for their line of work as well as being and men in several countries including, Austria, Denmark, activists for a cause. Each of the women has contributed to society Germany, and Switzerland all took part in the celebration of and enhanced the way women are viewed and having them as dolls Women’s Day. Ever since the recognition from the U.N., Interstand as positive role models for the upcoming generation. national Women’s Day has been held annually on March 8th Throughout the years, International Women’s Day has and is celebrated in over one hundred countries and contingrown and impacted people dramatically. This year has set a fantasues to spread. tic example of how hard women will work to achieve equality, and This year the movement for equal rights has grown having this day gives everyone a way to celebrate that. While there tremendously around the world and especially in the United has been a lot of progress over the years of how women are viewed, States. On Tuesday, March 6th, just two days before Internaonly time will tell as to when the celebration will be completely tional Women’s Day, Barbie announced the release of a batch spread across the globe.
Zachary Lentz staff writer A Canadian man accused of killing six Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City in 2017 has changed his mind and pleaded guilty to all charges.
Pennsylvania State University’s fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after hazing a pledge.
Gun control is currently a hotly talked to their local congressmen and women, and even walked out debated topic in American life. After mass of their classrooms. These debates did not stop the Florida governshootings in schools, concerts, movie thement from shooting down a bill that would ban assault weapons in aters, and other public venues, the debate the state. This vote took place six days after the Parkland shooting. over what should be done about guns has Many Wheeler students are concerned and want to be taken the American public and media by involved in the debate surrounding gun control. When asked, Emma storm. The most deadly mass shooting in Phafinger (11) said, “I think gun control is a complicated issue, and American history revived the discussion when Stephen Padthe most recent ‘hot topic.’ Personally, I don’t believe banning all guns dock opened fire from his 32nd-floor hotel room, down into is the solution. It’s too late for that, guns are illegally trafficked on the crowd watching the performers of the Route 91 Harvest the streets, and anyone can quickly get their hands on one. But I do music festival, killing 58, and injuring another 851. These are believe in putting harsher regulations on legally owned firearms. Of statistics you would expect to hear from a war zone, not from course, I don’t know the perfect solution, nobody does, but if somea music festival, somewhere that people thing doesn’t happen soon, there will be severe went to enjoy their time. In the aftermath consequences.” Nobody knows the perfect soluof this shooting, the United States governtion. The debate has been going on for years, ment was, yet again, torn apart by one of and there will be no solution that can appease the most significant bipartisan issues that either side anytime soon. Even if a complete ban it has faced in recent years: gun control. on guns is put in place, which is unlikely, people Between the two parties, a compromise will still get their hands on them. Some rings was reached that was supported by the Naillegally buy and sell guns that the government tional Rifle Association, which was the ban can’t trace, and getting rid of those illegal weapon the sale and possession of bump stocks. ons will be nearly impossible. Guns are used in Some states have put many sports such as hunting and skeet shooting; this ban into effect, the first of which being therefore, if a ban on all guns was put into place, Massachusetts, on November 16th, 2017. That Gun control is a hot topic in the many of those hunters and shooters will lose their United States right now. seemed to appease both parties for a while, passion. Hunting is a huge part of American culbut liberal politicians were still pushing for the ban on the sale ture, and it helps keep certain species of animals from overpopulatand possession of assault weapons as a whole. Republicans ing. Some people may say “you can hunt with a bow, its more skilled and the NRA pushed back against these proposals, and the that way,” however guns make the sport more comfortable and more debate seemed to go back to where it had been before, which accessible to new hunters. The regulations in place on rifles used for was an utter standstill, with both sides of the discussion refus- hunting, and the regulations for the game itself, are strictly enforced, ing to budge on their stances. Then came February 14th, 2018. and probably the closest thing to a perfect gun control system that It was a typical day for the students who attend Marjory Stone- this nation has. There are certain guns, such as hunting rifles and man Douglas High in Parkland, Florida until nineteen-year-old small pistols, that would still be allowed if gun control was revised. Nicholas Cruz broke into the school and opened fire. He killed Weapons, such as assault rifles and other weapons that fall into that 17 students and teachers and injured 17 more. The gun control category, would be those deemed to be banned. response from this shooting was less than what people had The growing and ever-changing debate on gun control been hoping for, which was a proposal to arm teachers in will never satisfy all parties. There will never be a perfect “end all be schools. The arming of teachers is supposed to act as a “deterall” solution to the discussion and issue, but with measures that the rent” to potential shooters. Students from schools all around general population, students, and government officials are taking, we the world vehemently fought back against this and protests can soon have a much safer and more secure nation to live and thrive started in the U.S. for more gun control. People staged rallies, in.
Guns in the classroom Power to the People ASHLEIGH EWALD staff writer
On February 14, 2018, Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, became one of the latest schools added to the list of mass shootings in 2018. The outcome left 17 students and teachers deceased with the suspected shooter in custody. After the horrific event, President Donald Trump suggested that teachers in schools should be armed with guns. Legislatures of Florida approve of the risky idea and predict that there will be ten armed teachers in each school. Republicans and Democrats are debating in Washington, D.C, on the hazardous suggestion of whether or not teachers should carry guns in school. A teacher possessing a gun on campus is an attempt to make students feel safer thinking then that the teacher can protect them. Students would not have to worry about their lives being on the line as they know that their teacher is qualified to have a gun. Teachers having a background check proves to the students that the teacher does not have mental health issues. Sometimes, a school imposing a Code Red, in which the building is on lockdown with students and teachers in locked classrooms, is not enough. A student shooting other students down the hallway can be prevented if a teacher were to protect innocent students with their weapon. In this case, the teacher would not have to wait for the police to arrive and wait while more students are injured. Mrs. Vicki Massey, the ninth grade math teacher, thinks teachers should carry guns with “extensive training only if they’re trained correctly.” Her opinion shows that some teachers want others to be armed in schools only if they know how to use them. Wheeler student Abrahan Hernandez (9) strongly suggests “high school teachers should carry guns, like a little pistol.” He feels that he and other students would There are many debates over whether or be better protected follownot teachers should be allowed to carry ing the idea that teachers are armed with guns. Jack guns in the classroom. Dougherty (9) thinks “the administrators should be the only ones armed with guns in the school.” He believes the administrators are given their position because the principal and those of higher positions trust in their character and work ethic. As a result, that can allow the students to feel more secure knowing that their administrators are trustworthy when bearing a weapon. It makes other people feel strongly about the Constitution and whether or not it would keep the kids safe. Teachers carrying guns around the school could make it easier for a student to get their hands on a gun as it is already in the building. The gun itself could attract other students to check it out and cause them to wonder how it works. If a student has access to a weapon, they could obtain it and accidentally pull the trigger. Ninth grade science teacher, Mr. James Blount, feels having guns with teachers in the school is a “foolish waste of money and time.” Mr. Blount expresses that having guns in a learning environment is an absurd idea; teachers owning guns in school will escalate the issue of school shootings. Another ninth grade teacher, Rachel Lewis, believes teachers with guns will lead to more issues because there is already a deadly weapon in the building. Teachers want to teach their students in a healthy environment. They can not do that if there is going to be life-threatening weapons in their possession. Some students would feel scared to come to school, as they know there is a deadly weapon on premises. Guns can be used to protect and to injure people. The gun owner has the power to abuse their weapon. Teachers should be allowed to defend the students from an intruder. Instead of the teachers using a gun to kill the student, they should use taser guns. The taser gun would discharge a stun to the school shooter and allows time for the police to arrive and arrest them. The mass shooter would have a better opportunity to harm many students After the most recent shooting, many students if the teacher is not and adults stood up for the lives lost and trended able to put an effect #enough to protest the occurance of another on the shooter. While school shooting. the cops are on the way to the school, the teacher could prevent more deaths using this method instead of waiting for the cops to get there. People should take action and not have to rely on the police to do everything for them. By doing this, it allows them to step up to the shooter. The perpetrator could be brought to justice if the teachers were to injure them rather than killing them. Then the cops can figure out why the student did it so that it doesn’t occur again.
JULIETTE MULLER staff writer
Why are people so frightened when it comes to speaking the truth, especially to those in power? Scared of being attacked, receiving cruel punishment, or others scrutinizing your opinion? Research shows less than half of people confront people when faced with an actual instance of prejudice. Here in America, people have the freedom of speech. According to the Bill Of Rights, Amendment I states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” This means you should be able to say whatever you want to, without feeling threatened. On the other hand, there are rules which limit people’s willingness to speak up. If you are a minor, you might think that your opinions and thoughts get disregarded because of your age. Before you decide to speak up, you have to weigh the pros and cons and think of what is more important: get heard but deal with the consequences or stay silent to avoid any potential adverse effects. It takes a lot of courage not to follow the crowd and speak your mind. A lot of young people, under the age of eighteen, have to follow the rules established by people they do not even have the right to elect. This is frustrating to the youth because they feel powerless. It often makes them Many students across the country walked out want to speak up, but many of school on March 14th to support those who people are scared of speaklost their lives in school shootings. ing up. They are afraid that they might hurt someone or look foolish if their comments are not adequate. A majority of people believe that it is better if you do not say or mention anything. Little do they know: without a little risk, you not going to get anywhere in life. If you say what are you thinking, there are many benefits. You will never get heard. You will never get to show people what you believe is right. If something mattered to you that much, then you should not ignore it. It, also, makes you grow as a person. If you believe that something is not right, but you decide not to do anything about it over time, you will slowly start to convince yourself that your actions match your thoughts. An example is a National Walk Out. On March 14, all the students across the country were aware that schools were going to have a walkout at ten in the morning. Numerous schools participated in this walk out. On the contrary, Wheeler High School was a different story. No students were allowed to walk out of the building unless it was to get to class. Although the principle repeatedly said that students are not permitted to walk out during this day, a few decided to walk out still. Even though they knew that walking out would cause them serious consequences, they did it anyways to show what they believed in. They took and a risk to be heard and hope to make a change! Even though standing up for something you believe Amendment One of the Bill of Rights gives in is good, sometimes you need citizens freedom of speech to stand up in to sit back and follow the rules. As you are growing up, you are what they believe in continually learning, growing, and changing as a person to become mature once you reach adulthood. It is vital to learn discipline. Following the law and rules help teach good control. When you go to school, you need to follow the rules. A rule is a rule, and you have to go with it no matter how you feel. Laws teach you how to socialize and do the things you do not want to do so you will be able to cope with instructions regardless of how you feel. Obeying laws also help keep people safe. If you are at a traffic light and the light is red, but you do not stop, you are risking other people’s lives. Although laws may seem like a constraint for individuals, it serves a purpose and regulates survival in society. This debate brought up a lot of controversies. I decided to interview some people and see their point of view on whether it is better to brush aside the law or obey it. I got a lot of different opinions on this topic. I first interview Hannah Deshotels (10). She thinks, “I think rules are meant to get broken. What is the fun in doing what you are told? Life is all about risks”. Cyd Students at Walton High School, in Harris (12) also feels the same way. He Cobb County, made it on national believes, “You are not truly living unless you broke laws. Life is about lessons news sites in their efforts to support and being proud of who you are and the Parkland shooting. standing up for what you believe in. It is inevitable to break the rules!” On the other hand, Victor Jordan Jimenez Leao expects people to follow laws. He quotes “People who break the rules are so immature. They need to exert the fact that they are not always going to get their way.” Whether you decide to break or follow the rules, the choice is always yours.
DISHA SHARMA online editor
from their insurance plans. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 2014 Hobby The Trump administration recently announced that almost Lobby ruling that closely held private companies could seek an exemption on reliany employer can claim a religious or moral objection to Obamgious grounds, only a few dozen employers requested one from the Obama adminacare's birth control coverage mandate. The new policies, which istration. The birth control coverage mandate is broadly supported by the general take effect immediately, reignite a fierce battle over one of the public, polling has found over the years. And it appears to have reduced women's health care law's most controversial provisions. The requirespending on contraception. One study estimated that women saved $1.4 billion on ment to provide FDA-approved contraception at no cost was birth control pills in 2013 as a result of the coverage requirement. About 55 million long opposed by religious groups that heavily favored Trump, women have directly benefited from no-cost birth control, according to an Obama and has been wrapped up in litigation for more than five years. administration report released last year. "The United States has a long history of providing conscience protections in the reg"Any move to decrease access to these vital services would have damaging effects on ulation of health care for entities and individuals with objections based on religious public health and women's health," said Haywood Brown, director of the American beliefs or moral convictions," the administration wrote in new rules. The American Civil Liberties Union said it will soon file a lawsuit to block the long-an- Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ticipated rules from the Trump administration, and California Attorney General Xavier Trump hinted at his plan to roll back the birth control mandate this spring as he signed an executive order on religious freedom, but the regulation had been tied up Becerra also announced plans to sue. Women's health groups have been preparing at his budget office for more than four months. By weakening the mandate, Trump for months for lawsuits against the new policies, which is unilaterally paring back a small piece of Obamacare they say will enable employers to deny their workers acdetested by his conservative base, which has grown cess to needed care. The Trump administration claimed it increasingly frustrated with the GOP's inability to fulfill was acting to protect individuals and groups from being its longstanding promise to repeal the health care law. forced to violate their religious beliefs as it downplayed The Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate took efconcerns that more women would struggle to afford fect in 2012 after the Obama administration accepted a birth control. recommendation from an independent panel to require "The attempts by the previous administration to provide plans to cover it at no cost to women. The administrasome protections were inadequate," said a senior HHS tion exempted houses of worship and unsuccessfully official of the Obama administration's efforts to protried to make accommodations for religiously affiliated vide workarounds for religious groups. "They are being groups to allow their employees to still receive the covrebuffed here." erage from a third party. But those groups rejected the The administration issued two rules — one outlining how accommodations and filed dozens of lawsuits, leading an employer could claim an exemption for religious beto two separate Supreme Court challenges, including liefs, the other outlining an exemption for sincerely held Trump adressing the American Civil the Hobby Lobby decision. Last year, the Supreme Court moral convictions — on the same day Attorney General Liberties Lawsuit ordered the Obama administration and religiously affiliJeff Sessions called for sweeping protections for religious ated organizations, such as universities and charities, to freedom in a government-wide memo that could have reach agreement on an accommodation that would let employees of such groups far-reaching implications. The new birth control rules resemble closely to a draft that have access to no-cost contraception. They never resolved the issue. leaked in May and drew swift condemnation from Democrats, public health groups, “Today President Trump delivered a huge victory for conscience rights and religious and women's health care advocates. liberty in America, ” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser in a “Today’s outrageous rules by the Trump Administration show callous disregard for statement. “No longer will Catholic nuns who care for the elderly poor be forced by women’s rights, health, and autonomy, said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO the government to provide abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans." of the National Women’s Law Center. "By taking away women’s access to no-cost The Trump administration argues that women have affordable contraceptive options birth control coverage, the rules give employers a license to discriminate against should employers drop coverage, and that several government programs provide women. We will take immediate legal steps to block these unfair and discriminatory free or subsidized contraception for low-income women, including Title X family rules.” planning grants. It is unclear how many organizations will now look to drop birth control coverage
Should this be legal?
SYDNEY CARLIN staff writer
Abortion, the intentional termination of a pregnancy, is a sensitive topic to discuss because there are some different ways to look at the subject. Many people perceive the concept as inhumane because even though the child is still inside the womb, it is alive; others support the cause because it allows people who would be unfit as parents to prevent the birth of a child that would not be well taken care of. There is also the view that abortion should be legal but the time span in which it is allowed should be shortened; twenty-four weeks is the most common cutoff, but there are nine states that allow abortion at any point during pregnancy. However, there is one exception for which a majority of people find abortion acceptable, fetuses diagnosed with down syndrome. Known as the Combination Test, ultrasounds, blood samples, and the mother’s age are all components needed for the genetic screening to determine whether or not a child has a disability. About 90% of fetuses diagnosed with down syndrome are aborted, and public surveys prove that Americans are less judgmental when a mental or social impairment is the reason for terminating a pregnancy. It is understandable that people are less critical in situations like these because the medical issues, cognitive disabilities, special education programs, social ostracism, a lifetime of medical care all have to be taken into consideration. For some women and couples, the responsibility of raising a child that requires particular attention is Many women in favor of not possible. abortion believe that because it So here is the question: Should abortion is dealing with a women’s body, be legal when it is solely based upon the it is a women’s choice. fact that the fetus has been identified with down syndrome or other “undesirable” genetic traits? Ohio will be following North Dakota’s lead to make abortion for this reason illegal. Mothers and many others feel that politicians are only using Down Syndrome as ammunition to limit women’s choice and are outraged at the effort that goes into making a complicated and personal situation “legislated.” The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also feel the outright ban not only limit women’s choice, but it will also limit their information on the subject. “They need information; they need their options, and then they need their healthcare professionals to be able to support any decision that they make.”
Many influential figures in the down syndrome community have come forward to say that despite challenges their lives are worth living and that if abortions continue their community will be “eradicated” as it has come close to in Iceland. Ever since prenatal screening was introduced to Iceland in the early 2000’s, nearly every single woman who tested positive terminated her pregnancy. Denmark comes close to Iceland’s statistics with about 98% termination; whereas the United States and France have lower numbers at 67 and 77%, respectively. However, the Icelandic population views abortion not as murder, but rather as a way to prevent complications. “We don’t look at abortion as murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication... preventing suffering for the child and the famThose who oppose abortion beleive that the ily. And I think that is more right than seeing procedure kills children and is a form of murder it as a murder -- that’s before the child is able to breathe the first breath. so black and white. Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.” Mothers who have spoken on the issue are either appalled that politicians feel they have the right to tell women what to do with their bodies, not to mention the fact that the men proposing these laws have no idea what it is like for women in those situations. Meanwhile, other women did not take a side. I asked some students their opinions on the matter, and there was a mixture of views. Malini Patel said, “I think it should be legal, it is the mother’s choice because she might not be able to afford a child with down syndrome or if she doesn’t feel ready for the responsibility of raising a child with a disability. In that case, it is probably better that she doesn’t bring a kid into the world and treating them. No matter the reason, I think it should be the mother’s choice.” On the other hand, John Dobbins claims that people shouldn’t be able to end a life just because of a mental handicap. Kennedy Nelson states, “Yes it should be legal because it’s every woman’s decision whether they should get an abortion or not. It’s her choice.” Lastly, Kayli Sweeney says that it should be legal since women should have the right to make their own decisions especially when it comes to their bodies and how it will affect their future. Personally, I feel that it should be legal especially since some women and parents only wouldn’t be able to provide the child with adequate care, but most importantly no one should be able to tell a woman what to do with her body.
Senior Project GABE AHN sports editor Senior year is the final step before adulthood; most students either go to college or find a job after high school. Wheeler has implemented the senior project to help students prepare for the next step in life no matter what direction the student is heading in. Portions of senior project include: how to make a resume, a professional portfolio, and a formal presentation as well as obtain an internship. It’s a lot of work, but students always seem to gain a lot of useful skills throughout the entire process. The first assignment of senior project is to find something you are interested in but have no prior experience. Wheeler wants you to expand your horizons and learn something new that could help you in the future. Once it is decided on what your area focus will be, a resume must be created so you can reach out to potential mentors. Everyone’s resume should be different and should display qualities and skills that are appealing to field you are looking to study. After reaching out and obtaining your mentor, you must create a proposal about what you plan on learning during your internship and what your final product will be. The product must be created by you and your mentor, and you must use the skills you have learned in the creation process. For example, for someone who studied photography, a suitable product would be a photo album. Another example would be if your mentor were a carpenter, you could make a table or a chair. Once the proposal is approved, the research paper has to be written. The media specialists here at Wheeler are a big help regarding helping you find resources and citing those sources. Some students may try to coast their way through the research paper, but it ends up in the final portfolio, a compilation of everything done during senior project, which the judges see on presentation night. The last component of senior project is the presentation. The presentation must encompass the student’s whole senior project from how they found their mentor to their final product. The grading is done by 4-5 judges, and they assess each part of the presentation regarding learning stretch, product quality, and presentation skills. Students often choose to study a field they have interest in, but they don’t know much about. By broadening their horizons, some students really go above and beyond with their product. There have been many creative senior projects done over the years. A few students have learned jujitsu, and some have even created apps for mobile devices. One of the most original senior projects this semester is from Briti Nandi. She is currently doing her 12-hour internship at GOGA which stands for goat yoga. You might be scratching your head and asking yourself what in the world is goat yoga. The purpose of GOGA is to help people relax while connecting to their surroundings in nature. Briti’s mentor is Mrs. Cathi Huff. She is a former horseback rider and triathlete and current health coach and naturopath. While beginning her journey as a naturopath, Mrs. Huff started her own farm, the Atlantis Dream Farm. Once Mrs. Huff realized what she built was special, she opened up her “oasis of happiness” to the public and GOGA was born. Briti found out about GOGA from one of her friends, and she just had to check it out. She and a group of friends got the full GOGA experience during one of the summer classes. The special interaction between people and the goats was something that would stick with Briti. When it came time to choose a senior project topic, Briti thought about all of the different experiences she has had in her life. She wanted to be able to do something special with this opportunity she was given. Once GOGA came to her mind, she knew that’s what she wanted to pursue. The idea of being around goats and learning more about the unique interaction between people and animals seemed fascinating to her. Briti goes to GOGA every Friday afternoon at a GOGA + Mindfulness class that is designed for middle schoolers. Briti assists teaching goat yoga as well as discussing health topics. Another part of the class is teaching these young kids alternative ways to deal with stressful situations, such as creating roller ball perfumes with natural scents of each person’s choosing. GOGA is a recent development so there are not many resources one could use to write a 1,500-word research paper. Instead, Briti looked in another direction and researched the history of animal-assisted therapy and the usefulness of animal interactions. Not only does this include GOGA, but other forms of animal therapy such as therapy dogs. Briti’s product is a video that encompasses everything about Atlantis Dream Farm. It is a compilation of all of the animals (Mrs. Huff owns a horse, three miniature horses, four goats, two bunnies, two cats, a puppy, and plenty of chickens), the layout of the farm, and the classes that are offered. Senior project is supposed to be an experience where you learn something that you have interest in but haven’t had the time or opportunity to pursue it. Briti has done a great job finding something she is interested in and using that interest as fuel to make a great project. I would like to wish Briti and the rest of the students with senior project this semester good luck on their presentations. I hope they are as great as some of the pictures I’ve seen of people doing GOGA.
PEOPLE ON THE STREETS
“What are your plans for spring break?” “I am going down with friends to Florida, and we are going to have lots of fun. We are planning on doing a lot of beach activities and use the beach to our advantage to work out since we like staying fit.”
-Guilherme Miranda (11) “I will be working a lot during the break to make that money. When I’m not working, I’m going to be sleeping in my bed for sure. When I have days off and I’m free, I plan on spending a lot of time with Jenny and Victor.”
-Liannette Tablada (10)
“Parties. Sleep. Netflix. Chill. Listening to The Weeknd. Hang out with friends.”
-Jay Patel (11)
“I’m going to be at football practice most of the time, and probably go to a lot of parties.” GOGA (Goat Yoga)
-Chrispin Manuel (11)
MADISON PRUITT life & style editor It’s finally April, and after spring break, we’re all itching for summer break to roll in! I’m sure what you’re all thinking about are the days laying out by the pool and what shows to line up for binge watching; however, after the first two weeks or so, the feeling that you’re wasting your summer away starts to set in. Avoid that feeling this summer by planning ahead! Find a job, volunteer at your local shelter, or get ahead of the game and prepare for the ACT/SAT. I know that sounds exactly like the opposite of how you want to spend your summer, but in the long run you will be thanking yourself. Finding a job as a teen with little to no type of resume or experience is pretty tough, but with a little research, you’ll find that there are actually tons of places that are willing to hire high school students. Many fast food places hire teens, such as Chick-fil-a, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Zaxby’s, and Bruster’s - all of which are in the Wheeler area. While most restaurants require servers to be at least 18 years old or older, some will hire younger teens as hosts/hostesses in which you seat guests or as a busboy/busgirl where you clear tables & wash dishes. J. Christopher’s, which is also in the Wheeler area, is a good place to apply for a job because they are only open from 7:00am - 2:00pm and is known to work with students, letting them work the weekend shifts during the school year. These are all good places to start looking for jobs, but if you’re thinking the food industry isn’t for you, there are still many other places to look for work. Places like Walmart, Target, Publix, and Kroger also hire teens. These places are good if you’re interested in continuing working throughout the school year as well. Nail salons are also willing to The East Lake Chick-Fil-A hires Wheeler hire teens as receptionstudents! ists. Retail stores also hire teens, and who knows, maybe you can score a job and employee discount at one of your favorite stores. If you’re the type who would rather work outside, a few places to look into would be Six Flags, White Water, or even your neighborhood pool as a lifeguard. These are some great options if you just want a seasonal summer job. If you’re not exactly ready to handle a job yet, there are plenty of volunteer
opportunities instead. Many local churches look for volunteers to help with their summer camps such as Vacation Bible School and sports camps. Or, if you would be interested in traveling, you can help others all over the world through different mission trip opportunities. Missions trips can take you anywhere from a different state Help prepare a meal for those in need at to a different country all together. If you would Seven Bridges! rather look for something more local, however, there are many organizations that serve people in the downtown Atlanta area. Seven Bridges is a great place to check out if you want to give a helping hand - preparing & delivering meals to homeless. Unlike a job where you have to work set hours, these volunteer options allow you to work as little or as much as you would like. A couple of organizations to check out are Must Ministries, Goodwill, The Nicholas House, Red Cross, and others. Do a little research and find which is a good fit for you! It’s a great feeling to help others and it may even give you an eye opening experience. Even giving up an hour of your time can make a difference. Throughout high school I managed to avoid the ACT/SAT until the summer before my senior year, and I would 100% not recommend doing this. The first semester of my senior year was not exactly a fun experience as I crammed and studied for the ACT. For some, these tests are an easy one time thing. However, if you’re like me where you need more time to prepare, then start taking the prep classes and tests themselves over the summer. Why wait until the school year and add the stress of these tests to your everyday load when you can take care of them over the summer? The sooner you get the test scores you’re looking for, the sooner you can apply to colleges and earn scholarships. Right now, more work and summer boredom are probably the last thing you’re thinking about, but at some point, when you start spending a little too much of your time binge watching Netlfix, get up and look into these options. In the future you’ll be glad you did. You’ll never look back and regret putting in hard work, but you will regret wasting away your summer on the couch.
Wheeler Walkout ESSENCE GAYNOR staff writer
By definition, a walkout is a sudden departure, especially a protest or strike. Recently, there have been some walkouts occurring worldwide on behalf of an awful occurrence that took place in Florida, specifically Stoneman Douglas High School. On February 14th, 2018, a mass shooting happened at the high school in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen lives were taken, and seventeen were wounded, all by bullets. This was, as a result, one of the world’s most deadly massacres. The suspect, having been identified by witnesses, was identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Jacob Cruiz. When he confessed, he was arrested shortly after and was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 more of attempted murder. Since then, thousands of walkouts and marches were held worldwide, primarily by those who were inside of the school during the time of the shooting. They began to campaign for gun control legislation, and on March 9th, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that not only raised the minimum age for buying a rifle to the age of 21 but established that background checks and waiting periods for firearms should be set in place. It also allows the arming qualified teachers, bans bump socks (the act of using a semi-automatic weapon to shoot in rapid succession), encourages the hiring of school police, and promotes barring those potentially violent or mentally unstable from possessing a gun. As of March 14, a month after this occurrence, thousands of students worldwide walked out of their classrooms for precisely seventeen minutes at 10 a.m, a minute to honor each of the lives lost. This common occurrence called “Enough! National School Walkout” was said to involve more than 3000 schools and one million students across the US. Wheeler High School; however, was unable to participate due to specific Cobb County safety guidelines. Principal Dr. Peter Giles, spoke out in regards to this, stating that if safety codes were violated, that there would be disciplinary measures taken. Among the many rallies that took place -- the marches in Arizona, Louisiana, New York, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, etc. -- March For Our Lives, a These shoes in Washington represent the lives rally set to be the tipping lost. point for gun control legislation, is said to occur in Washington, DC on March 24th. It is expected to have about 500,000 attendees, all participating in honor of the 14 students and three teachers that lost their lives in the Parkland shooting. Student organizers are planning the march in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. The march is said to be organized and announced by those who experienced the tragedy first hand. Cameron Kasky, a junior at the school, announced the movement along with friends, their goal is to talk about gun control and to gain attention and make a change. This assembly has caught the eye of many celebrities and public figures, seeing as many are donating generous amounts of money to go towards the cause. For instance, Amal and George Clooney will be in attendance and gave $ 500,000 in support. Oprah Winfrey, Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Gucci, John Zimmerman and Logan Green, (the co-founders of the app, Lyft) Stephen Steilberg, and artists like Harry Styles and Justin Bieber are offering both support and charitable contributions towards this event. While the march may violate safety codes, Wheeler has done their best to allow students to feel safe and acknowledge the seriousness that comes along with a phenomenon such as this. Students were able to write letters to those that were present at the high school on February 14th or send drawings. As of right now, there are still opportunities to send in pictures to create a book that will be sent to Florida. Principal Giles has also organized a Lunch and Learn for students that feel as though they would like to have their voices heard, or if they are unsure about what Wheeler has to offer in regards to safety. In the meeting, some techniques were conversed, as well as input on the many drills that will be practiced in the upcoming weeks. After hearing of the safety guidelines placed by Cobb County, many of Wheeler’s students have formed their view on the subject. For instance, Mahalakshmi Bhavana Chandramouli, a freshman, states that: Many are protesting the idea of teachers being “In my opinion, I believe equipt with guns. we should instead take a stand against bullying. The shooter was reported to be bullied, which could put anyone in a very dark place. Instead of walking out we should all make it a priority to be kind to each other. We should begin with small things. Like if you were to see a sad kid, maybe it’d make them feel better if you were to talk to them or to compliment them, as cheesy as it sounds.” While there may be a myriad of viewpoints here at Wheeler due to the inability to participate in the walkout, and on the happening at the high school as a whole, there is one thing that we can all agree: what transpired at Stoneman was awful, and change must occur. Whether that be in how we treat
7 Mr. Campanale culinary Teacher
““Chef is always right.” -Ayana Criss (10)
““It must be my fault.” -Sarah Ferreira (11)
“The food is always good. “ -Ava Moncrief (11)
““His jokes are funny sometimes.” -Perla Gomez (11)
THE CATALYST IS GOING ONLINE
The Catalyst has been providing Wheeler High School with the latest news from school events to international events for the last 41 years. As times have changed, less and less people are reading physical newspapers; as a reult, the staff of The Catalyst decided to make a change. In the 21st century, everything is accessible online and easy for people to find with a click of a button. To update The Catalyst and increase our readership, we’ve published an online edition for the newspaper. If you visit our news site, you can view the latest sports scores, photos from school events, current news in the media, as well as fun polls for voting. We are bringing interactive news to a whole other level. To visit our website go to whsthecatalyst.com or scan the QR code below and come check it out!
SYDNEY KALTMAN online editor
Since she was four years old, Ashton Lansdell has been playing baseball. Now, in her junior year at Wheeler, Ashton is
making history, being the first girl ever to start a Cobb County varsity region baseball game. On March 9th, Ashton took the mound as the Wheeler Wildcats took on Pebblebrook in a home region game. Ashton pitched 3.1 innings out of the five total that it took the Wildcats to secure the 13-3 mercy rule victory. Ashton gave up zero earned runs with two walks and one strikeout. Since then, she has pitched a total of 8.1 innings in two games, with an outstanding Earned Run Average (ERA) of .000. The game against Pebblebrook may have been historic, but to Ashton, it was just another game. “It does feel amazing, and I am sure it must be so rare and surreal to everyone else, but playing baseball and pitching is all normal to me. However, I really appreciate all of the support from my friends, teammates, and coaches through this milestone.” Ashton’s teammates love having her on the team, and really respect her as a player and teammate. “Ashton is a great piece to our team. Not only is she awesome on the mound, but she is such an outstanding teammate. It is great having her as part of the team!” says senior Luke Simmons when asked about Ashton. Her talent is not the only great thing about Ashton. When asked about Ashton, Ashton is a force on the mound. senior Gabe Ahn said, “Coach Collins is always preaching toughness, and Ashton is definitely one of the toughest players out there. She’s never fazed, and she’s a great competitor which is something you love to see in a teammate.” Ashton loves to play different positions beyond pitching, such as middle infield and center field. She also loves hitting and takes advantage of every opportunity the coaches give her to hit. When asked about her role on the varsity team, Ashton says, “I think my role is to really motivate the guys and to help them realize that they can do anything they want, just like I have been able to. I also always want to bring good vibes to the team. We love joking around and having fun when we can, but we can always get focused and locked in when it is time to step up.” A lot of people wonder why Ashton chose baseball, as opposed to trying
out softball. Her response: “I tried softball in seventh grade or so and it just wasn’t the same to me. I wasn’t feeling the same vibes that I get on the baseball field. Baseball is in my blood and in my heart, and I want to pursue it for as long as I can.” Ashton has some big goals for herself as a baseball player. She says, “I definitely want to play in college, and I want to go as far as I can, I’ll go all the way if it’s possible. I believe I can go as far as the majors, and with the right mindset and abilities really think I can accomplish it. When Ashton isn’t on the baseball field, you can find her pursuing her other passion on the basketball court. Ashton has been a starter on the Varsity girls team here at Wheeler since her freshman year. Although she is an essential piece of the basketball team, baseball is still her number one sport. A wrench was thrown into Ashton’s plans in her sophomore year when she tore her ACL in a basketball game. The tear required surgery and left her on injury reserve for the rest of her basketball season and all of her sophomore baseball season. However, she came back stronger than ever and provided a massive boost with her solid 3-point shootAshton is always out there having ing and stingy defense. She is also stronger fun with her teammates. on the mound for the baseball team this year despite her injury last season. Although Ashton may be making history here in Cobb County, there have been a few other breakout women working their way into men’s sports. Justine Siegel was a coach for a youth and later a college baseball team. After years of hard work, she earned a coaching position with the Oakland Athletics Instructional Team. This made her the first woman ever to coach a men’s professional baseball team, as well as the first woman to throw batting practice to a Major League Baseball team. On top of Siegel, Jessica Mendoza, a former Olympic softball gold medalist, is now a frequent announcer for televised Major League Baseball games. She is the first female analyst to ever broadcast for a Major League game. Mendoza is now an official member of the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team full-time with Dan Shulman and Aaron Boone on ESPN.
March Madness EVAN MALLON staff writer In March 1939, the first-ever NCAA March Madness basketball tournament took place. The championship game was between Oregon and Ohio State, with a final score of 46-33. Since this memorable opening game, the tournament has grown in teams and popularity. The first twelve years began with only eight teams, and to many, it seemed unfair and unrealistic in showing who the best team in the nation was. Since then, the tournament has expanded to 64 teams so that teams from each conference have an opportunity. Brackets for each tournament are sent out to the public worldwide to make their predictions on who will win each round, and eventually, who will win it big. This year, the stakes are high for an arbitrary bracket, as many upsets have already taken place. One of the most significant upsets to take place is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County(ranked 16th), beating the University of Virginia (ranked 1st). It was the first time in the tournament’s history that a No. 16 team beat a No. one team. It is said to be one of the biggest upsets of all time because earlier in the season UMBC was defeated by No. 12 ranked Arizona, 103-78, and later in the season, they lost to Vermont Catamounts, 81-53. Both of these loses what gave Virginia the confidence going into the game. Not only did UMBC win, but they ran up the score and won 74-54. That was not the only upset to happen this year; some of the other biggest upsets were 13th ranked Buffalo 89 vs. 4th ranked Arizona 68, 11th ranked Loyola Chicago 63 vs. 3rd ranked Tennessee 62, and 9th ranked Florida State 75 UMBC pulled the greatest vs. 1st ranked Xavier 70. All of these games upset in sports history. prove that just because a team is ranked higher, it doesn’t mean they are better than the underdog. Also, the tournament is not over yet, and there could be many more upsets to come. Companies like ESPN, Yahoo Sports, and the NCAA set up online bracket challenges, in which participants fill out brackets and compete for cash prizes. The chance of getting an entirely correct bracket is 1 in 128 billion; and in 2017, one man correctly picked 39 games, which is the record for the number of correct games chosen. There is up to $9 billion bet on the tournament, and most of it is illegal Employees watching the games on their phones at work causes up to a $4 billion loss in
revenue. Stats like these give perspective on how much money and time goes into this tournament. One of the top contending teams for this year is No. 5 Clemson, who won their first game over New Mexico St. 79-68 and second game over Auburn 84-53. This beat down on number 4 ranked Auburn brought attention to the Tigers and gives them confidence in the next round against number 1 Kansas. Coming from the ACC, the Tigers faced many impressive teams throughout their regular season, which in turn prepared them for the tournament. Another standout team is number 1 Villanova, who beat Radford 87-61 in the first round and number 9 Alabama 81-58 in the second round. The Wildcats look to make it all the way in this year’s tournament, along with the other remaining top teams including Duke and Kansas. Along with a men’s tournament, there is a women’s bracket which is dominated by UConn. The Lady Huskies went all the way to the final four last year and then lost to Mississippi State 66-64. Senior Kia Nurse leads the team and, she is averaging 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Look out for UConn to be a high contender in this year’s tournament. After many years of the tournaUConn has dominated for ment, several traditions and interesting years facts have developed. There is a tradition for the tournament champions to take down the nets off the court, and they have also gifted the court that they played on. The court is often auctioned off to fans for school and charity profit. The record for most number of overtimes is four, and it happened twice: once in 1956 and again in 1961. The top four teams have only met once in the Final Four, and it happened in 2008 when Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, and Memphis met. UCLA leads the record for most amount of championship wins with 11 national titles! Through all the heartbreaks and upsets, March Madness will always excite the fans and gives them something to look forward too. Make sure to watch this year as many upsets have already occurred and there will be more to come. Below is a bracket that you may fill out, good luck and enjoy March Madness!
The next paralympics SHELLY CHUMMAR staff writer
Go to our website to learn more about upcoming sports and events at johnsonferry.org/ adultsports.
The Paralympics are respected all across the globe. To the world now, the Paralympics seems like it has always been around, but the Games havenâ€™t always been here forever. The first Paralympics was in 1960; the Games were held in Rome, Italy. The Paralympics had started after World War II as an initiative to include the veterans that had been injured serving their country. It had actually started in the London Games, but it was not yet called the Paralympics. Dr. Ludwig Guttmann, a doctor who opened a spinal injury specialty at the Stoke Mandeville hospital, started a competition between athletes who were in a wheelchair. He called this the Stoke Mandeville Games. About 20 years later, the official Paralympics had started, This one-legged skier has and they are now repeated every four years made it to the big stage. for the summer and winter. The International Sports Organization for the Disabled had been created to progress the future of disabled athletes. This organization allowed for the inclusion of different types of disabilities even the ones that people that no one would think could participate. Other organizations including the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association, the International Blind Sports Federation, and the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation joined together to form the International Co-coordinating Now that the 12th Paralympics Win- Committee Sports for the Disabled ter Games in PyeongChang have in the World also known as the ICC to begun, we can see what they have create a wholesome organization for the disabled. This organization did not in store this year. cooperate well, so the International Paralympic Committee was established in 1989, and it is used for the Games to this day. Many people are curious as to how the Paralympics works. The first thing that they consider when arranging the athletes is classifying them by the way in which they are disabled. They try to put the same type of disability with one another so that the competition is equal. There are ten different types of impairments that are allowed to participate such as limb loss or visual impairment. In addition to the impairments, they are classified into 52 different sports classes. There are sports classes in which athletes are split by similar limitations. For each sport, there are various sports classes. Every time a injury gets better or worse they must be reclassified. The process can be very tedious but very rewarding in the end. The selection is also limited regarding ability to do the sport. The much awaited Olympics has finally started the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics. This year at the Games there will be 670 athletes competing which is a significant change in numbers compared to past years. The Games Skiing is one of the most popular this year lasted a little over a week, events. from March 9th to March 18th. This year, there are six sports with 80 medal events. Many people had high hopes for their country to win. China won their first Paralympic medal in wheelchair curling. Not only was this their first medal, but it was also a gold medal. Also, a Dutch snowboarder, Bibian Mentel-Spee received not one, but two gold medals after just two months of having cancer treatment. She shocked the world with her amazing accomplishment. Another Paralympian, Christie Ribera, at 15- the youngest athletes to be in the special Olympics, placed sixth place in cross country skiing. Overall, the United States received the most medals within each category, with 13 gold, 15 silver, and eight bronze. The controversy surrounding North Korea for the 2018 Olympics continued over into the 2018 Paralympics. The North Koreans decided to walk with South Korea. The International Paralympic Committee(IPC) suggested that they walk under the Korean Unification flag, but North Korea declined. The IPC was extremely upset by this decision because they had made accommodations for the two countries. The 2018 Paralympics ended with many wins all across the board. The Paralympics are considered to be a such a beautiful event in history. It is indeed amazing to see people who are disabled, compete in sports that people would not normally expect them to participate in. The Paralympic places a big emphasis on the idea that you donâ€™t have to be perfect to do anything, nonetheless a sport. When the Olympics started, no one would have imagined that it would include every possible type of person; it seems like it would have only been the select few who excelled in the sport. The Paralympics introduced a whole new idea; it allowed for the disabled who were just as good at the game to participate as well. Some argue that having an entire separate Olympics for the disabled is really excluding them rather than including them. One thing is that it would be tough to accommodate them in the regular Olympics because of the unique needs that each athlete may need or because of the construction of the course. The Paralympics was explicitly created for the disabled and only for the disabled. The Games should not be considered as excluding; it should be viewed more like an accomplishment over anything else. They include them just based on their specific needs. The Paralympics is incredibly beautiful when you think about the whole aspect of it.
jaylen brown excellence
TAYLOR FRANKLIN staff writer
Who exactly is Jaylen Brown? Jaylen Brown was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, on October 24, 1996. He attended Joseph Wheeler High School where he started his basketball career. Brown spent all four of his years at Wheeler High School on the boy’s varsity basketball team. Over the four seasons, he led the varsity basketball team to a 95-28 record. This includes his senior year, where he hit the final two free-throws over Pebblebrooke, and won the GHSA Boys Basketball State Championship for Wheeler. This moved Wheeler’s record for the year to 30-3 and moving their ranking to No. Six in the nation. He was a member of the gold medal-winning U18 National Team at the FIBA Americas following his junior season in 2014. Additional accomplishments include 2015 Gatorade Georgia Boys’ Player of the Year and Georgia’s Mr. Basketball. He was also one of the top college recruits in the nation, owning a No. Three ranking on the Rivals 150 and a No. Four ranking on both Scout and the ESPN 100. He was named Pac-12 Freshman of the year and earned a spot on the First-Team All-Pac-12. He played one season at the University of California in Berkeley, where he averaged 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, both of which were the second-best marks on the team. He then declared for the draft and was the second draft pick to the Celtics. Most people know him for all of these accomplishments, but Jaylen Brown has more to him. Brown is often referred to as “too smart” for being a professional African-American basketball player. He taught himself Spanish and is currently learning Arabic; he played J.B. had a fantastic offensive year last chess and the piano and was captain of year. the chess club at Wheeler. He also comments eloquently on politics, education, and the impact of racism in America. Jaylen Brown has left an impact on Wheeler High School and the community surrounding the school. He has also left an impression on the boy’s varsity basketball team here. Many of the boys and girls strive to be like Jaylen Brown. They want to grow throughout the program as a basketball player and as an individual. I took the opportunity to interview Wheelers’ old basketball coach, Coach Mario Mays, and one of Wheelers’ current basketball coaches, Coach Lloyd Mays, both spoke highly of Jaylen. Coach May had nothing but good things to say, “Jaylen as a person is best described as, the person that everyone should have in their lives. He’s honest, caring,
funny, and dependable. He has grown so much as a man, through his life, not forgetting where he came from. Example, after his first year in the league, he played summer league again in Las Vegas, he decided to put up part of his money up with a few more guys to provide a relaxing place for all the players under 21 could go to relax and unwind, because in Vegas its not a whole lot you can do. As for seeing him making it this far in the league and as a humanitarian, I always saw that there was no limit to how far he would go in life. All you needed to do was sit down and talk to him, and you would know that something is special about him, and only good things were in the future. Proud of him, of course, I’m proud, I’m proud to know him, proud to have been around him to see him grow, just as I am with all of the former and present players, and proud to say that I was one of Jaylen Brown coaches.” Coach Mays says, “Jaylen Brown is hardworking, thoughtful, and cerebral. He has grown a lot off and on the court, as a young man and a basketball player. He is also very insightful on an off the court. As one of his old coaches, I am proud of what he is doing off the court because he is showing the world Jaylen Brown has been a huge part of the that he is a well rounded young Celtics this year. man on more platforms than just basketball. I first realized this when we had our first junior varsity game. Jaylen was a bigger size then all the boys he was playing against. Somehow he still went out there and handled the ball like a point guard, was still able to drive to the rim and was able to still easily get in the paint. He did most things kids around him could not do. At this moment I knew Jaylen would go somewhere far in life. When Jaylen Brown was a sophomore, I had multiple conversations with him. During these conversations, Jaylen talked about more than just basketball. He thought outside the box, talked about most things children did not think about. ” Jaylen Brown was a step above the rest of his high school class. His actions on and off the court have brought him to where is now. He is more than just an athlete, but a young, intelligent NBA player.
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