Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Recipe Of The Week: Hot Chocolate Cookies

By: Sam Liegner

These cookies are fun for the holiday season and are absolutely adorable. They are great for gift giving or even putting the dry ingredients all in a mason jar by layer and designing a little recipe tag to give to friends or family.

3 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted either work)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
⅓ cup and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup flour
1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
Mini marshmallows
Packet of hot cocoa mix (optional)

  1. In a smaller bowl melt the butter and chocolate chips until smooth and set aside to cool
  2. In a separate bowl mix the brown sugar, egg and vanilla together. Once the chocolate mixture is cooled mix with the wets.
  3. In another bowl mix all your dry ingredients and add into the wet ingredients 1 cup at time.
  4. Once all mixed together cover your bowl with saran wrap and let it chill for 30 minutes
  5. While waiting preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease your pans
  6. When the dough is chilled scoop and roll balls about 1 inch
  7. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, when that's done remove the tray from the oven and place 1 chocolate chip in center (optional) and then place one mini marshmallow in the center. Place cookies back in the oven and let them bake for another 4 minutes
  8. When the cookies are warm sprinkle some hot cocoa powder on top for more taste and more design


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Album Throwback: Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden

By: Arianna Grewal

This month marks the 25th anniversary of Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger album release (October 8, 1991). Industry observers believed Badmotorfinger to be Soundgarden’s breakout hit, however, it was overshadowed by Nirvana’s unexpected success of Nevermind, released the same month. Still, it marked the beginning of the band’s path to fame, and set the band’s brand of alt-infused metal.

Following the release, Soundgarden would soon tour with Guns ‘N Roses, also important for the band’s exposure.  Badmotorfinger was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.  It captivated fans of grunge with a unique, heavier sound that led to their breakthrough album, Superunknown, released in 1994. In a Loudwire interview, Soundgarden guitarist, Kim Thayil, said “in honor of Badmotorfinger’s 25th anniversary, there will be a reissue of the album.”  In a 2014 interview with Billboard, the band stated that the reissue would include additional material; such as live performances.

One of the album’s best tracks is Rusty Cage, which became Badmotorfinger’s greatest hit. The song uses an impactful tempo and interestingly changes the metre and phrasing later on in the song. Singer, Chris Cornell, tried to leave most of the lyrics on this album rather general.  He did this because he wanted to “create colorful images” for his listeners, however, the lyrics of the fan favorite Outshined, are rather personal to Cornell.  It touches on his fluctuating personality; how he feels like he can be on top of the world at one moment and at rock bottom the next. The main riffs and verses of the song are written in 7/4, instead of the usual 4/4 time but that didn’t prevent it from taking off into the mainstream. When guitarist Kim Thayil was asked about the timing, he said he does not usually even notice he writes songs this way, until he’s done writing.

Jesus Christ Pose was another track on the album encumbered with controversy.  Some listeners felt that the song was an attack on Christianity which led to MTV’s ban on the music video (due to the image of a woman being crucified in it).  People were too quick to judge the song instead of looking and listening for the actual meaning.  It interestingly did not have to do with religion itself, but the annoyance at celebrities who use religious imagery when they want to appear superior to others.  When asked, Cornell used Perry Ferrell from Jane’s Addiction as an example of this.  Jesus Christ Pose merely showed Chris Cornell’s “disdain for ignorance.”

Other favorites of mine are Room A Thousand Years Wide and Slaves & Bulldozers. These are just a few tracks from Badmotorfinger, but overall, the album has great lyrics, riffs, and a heavier sound than the rest. So take some time, put on Badmotorfinger and take a step back into the 90’s.

PARCC: What You Really Need to Know About this “Mandatory” Assessment

By Paige Lippmann

“What do you mean you aren't taking PARCC?” “You won't graduate; it's a requirement.” “Aren’t you worried about getting into college?” These are all valid, yet ignorant questions. As we all know, ignorant is a synonym for uneducated so I'm here to educate you on what you really need to know about PARCC and how “mandatory” it actually is. I’d go in depth on the history of PARCC and standardized tests in NJ in general but that’s a tad boring so you can find it all here: http://www.nj.gov/education/assessment/history.shtml

To sum it up, in 2014-15 PARCC replaced the existing statewide assessments: the NJASK in grades 3-8; and HSPA in high school. According to the same  article above, “New Jersey had been transitioning the NJ ASK to measure higher-level skills for over three years to provide local districts and schools the time necessary to shift practices and prepare students and educators for PARCC.” What really sticks out about this is how schools are being given time to “prepare students and educators for PARCC.”

If schools are looking to find an accurate representation of where students really are in their readiness for college, then students should not be be taught how to answer questions. In the days and weeks we waste being taught how to pass a test, we could be focused on important, relevant information that is vital to our education.

PARCC, The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is yet another pointless standardized test whose scores are but a number. How important could a test really be if only 8 states actually administer it? Now follow along with me here; PARCC is, according to http://www.nj.gov/education/assessment/history.shtml, meant “to measure student achievement of the Common Core State Standards and preparedness for college,” but so are other tests such as the PSAT, SAT and ACT tests, which are administered and accepted on a national scale and have been used and improved for an abundance of years. The college board’s website (https://research.collegeboard.org/programs/sat) even describes the PSAT as a test “ to help determine their [referring to the student’s] level of readiness for college.”

So why are we adding additional standardized tests that will tell us what existing tests already do? Maybe it’s because Pearson, the company that created PARCC, publishes educational material? This fact suggests a conflict of interest because this company created a test that solicits a need for more educational materials at schools. If a student were to fail a Pearson administered exam, have no fear because they offer a series of remedial learning products! Dropping out? Pearson also partners with the American Council of Education to offer the GED exam (for a profit, of course). The creators of PARCC don’t actually have an interest in how well we’re doing in school or if we’re ready for college or not, they want to test and see how much money we will pour into their bank accounts before we realize they're creating an artificial monopoly on an unnecessary service.

Now to answer the question you’ve all been waiting for; is PARCC mandatory? And the answer you’ve been hoping to hear; no. PARCC is NOT mandatory, I personally will not be taking it, PARCC is not a graduation requirement (more on this later), and if you do not take PARCC you will still graduate and get into college. Before you start jumping for joy and text your mom “i don't have 2 take parcc” know that there are some exceptions. If you are part of the class of 2017, 2018 and 2019 (sophomores, juniors and seniors) and chose not to take PARCC, you must complete one of the graduation requirements as there are many to chose from, which you can find both listed below and here; http://www.state.nj.us/education/assessment/parents/GradReq.pdf

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS (ELA); PARCC ELA Grade 9 or PARCC ELA Grade 10 or PARCC ELA Grade 11 or SAT Reading or ACT Reading or ACT PLAN Reading or Accuplacer WritePlacer or Accuplacer WritePlacer ESL or PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading or PSAT10 Reading or PSAT/NMSQT Reading or ACT Aspire Reading or ASVAB-AFQT Composite or Meet the Criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal.

MATHEMATICS; PARCC Algebra I or PARCC Geometry or PARCC Algebra II or SAT Math or ACT or ACT PLAN Math or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra or PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Math or PSAT10 Math or PSAT/NMSQT Math or ACT Aspire Math or ASVAB-AFQT Composite or Meet the Criteria of the NJDOE Portfolio Appeal.

If you took the PSAT you most likely met the score requirement which means you have met the graduation requirements and do not have to take PARCC. Even if you did not take the PSAT or did not meet the score requirement I urge you to opt out of PARCC and choose one of the many other graduation requirements because you only need to meet one for math and one for english. There is no punishment for refusing to take PARCC and you gain nothing from taking it so why let yourself go through a test like that? Spend your time focusing your study time on tests such as the PSAT, SAT and ACT because those tests matter and will get you into a good college.

***Class of 2020 (current freshmen), if eligible you must take PARCC but if a passing score is not met, you have other options such as the PSAT, ACT and Accuplacer. Class of 2021 and beyond (8th graders and younger), it pains me to say this but you must take PARCC to graduate, but sophomores, juniors and seniors as long as you take the PSAT or complete any of the above requirements (one for math and one for english) PARCC is something you won't ever need to take.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Last Thoughts on Donald Trump in the 2016 Election

By: Tommy Baran

        Donald Trump is running in the 2016 United States Presidential election. He is a character with no shortage of media coverage, strong beliefs, and most importantly, care for the American people. Mr. Trump is a man who has clearly defined values. Some of the key perks of a Donald Trump presidency include a strong immigration policy, constitutionally supported gun control regulation, and an “America-first” foreign policy. Mr. Trump takes a look at America and sees that in its current state, America is weak. He sees people flooding in through our borders with minimal vetting and very limited surveillance. His plan is to strengthen our borders, by removing illegal immigrants, ending our “catch-and-release” policy on immigration, and by building a wall.

        Mr. Trump is not against the Mexican people being in the United States. Mr. Trump’s stance against Mexicans is that he wants to deport illegal immigrant Mexicans, primarily the ones that come to our country and break our laws. He has also clearly explained that he wants to secure our border. He states that he wants to triple the number of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, and secure our borders. In order to secure our borders, he plans on building a large, reinforced wall. This wall’s goal is to not only stop bad people and items from coming into our country, but to keep them out, as well.

        Guns are a vital part of American culture. Mr. Trump supports the ability to own and carry a weapon, and he believes in the banning of guns for people on terrorist watchlists. With the current system, anyone who is on a terrorist watch list, in states other than New Jersey and Connecticut, can go ahead and purchase a firearm. Donald says that this is part of his plan to combat terrorism. He says, and believes in, law abiding citizens owning and using guns to defend not only themselves, but also others, in times of peril.

        Another important part of Donald Trump’s plan is his stance on foreign policy. He is all about ending American involvement with other nations, if it means we are spending resources, with little to no financial gain. He sees this as the US being used by other countries. As a prominent businessman, this is very important to him. He will put an end to this. Some other parts of his foreign policy include plans to stop nuclear deals with Iran and end hostage negotiations. Iran previously had nuclear facilities that caused many sanctions placed by the UN and the EU. The US, however, decided to sell nuclear resources to this country, when they had no supervision, and a number of facilities where they can make weapon-grade uranium. The United States has a strong motto: “The United States does not negotiate with terrorists.” This, however, isn’t always true, and, we have negotiated with terrorists in hostage situations where tactical options are not possible. Mr. Trump has decided that this will end with him.

        Donald Trump surely is an interesting candidate. He isn’t a politician, that’s for sure, but is a very good businessman. He doesn’t take crap from anyone, and wants to save America from the precarious situation that we are in now. He has strong beliefs, that go deep into the traditional American values, and wants to do what’s right for America. He is supported by many groups, notably groups representing ICE and the NRA. He is in it for the long run, and wants to shape this country into something that we can be proud of, and simply wants for us to be safe. Who can argue with that?

Last Thoughts on Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Election

By: C.J. Ashton

        Going to the polls to vote for the candidate who meets the approval of their party and the people is a freedom and a privilege for American citizens; it brings about a feeling of civic pride and accomplishment by voting for the candidate who will govern in a fashion that meets our qualifications. The wish of Americans is to take pride in the constituents and the country.

        This does not seem to be the case in 2016. The mood and the temperament of the country has evolved into one that would seem to be voting for “the lesser of two evils.” People are trying to weigh the accomplishments, merits, and promises of the candidate, but it becomes difficult when campaigns are driven by hatred for an opposing candidate.

        Even though the general opinion of the election is not favorable, there are some things that can be noted about Hillary Clinton to show voters not all hope is lost. Clinton has been a public servant and political figure for around forty years. In the past ten years she has gained admiration of many people, in and out of her public life, for different reasons. She has portrayed herself as a strong woman with lots of stamina.The recognition of her ability came in small doses but left a big impact.

        During her eight years as a senator in New York, and as Secretary of State, she showed the ability to listen and to be bipartisan. She used this ability to work with Congress in order to push for comprehensive immigration legislation to protect law abiding, undocumented immigrants. Hillary has the respect and backing of the democratic party unlike Trump, whose party is divided.

        She seems to have sensible judgement when it comes to selecting a running mate, Senator Tom Kaine, from Virginia. He uses his Harvard Law degree to work towards justice and equality for all. His ability to act as an attack dog will complement Hillary’s personality without a doubt.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Recipe Of The Week: Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

By: Sam Liegner

        This cookie recipe is by far my favorite fall recipe (courtesy to Pinterest).  It’s simple, delicious and leaves everyone wanting more. These cookies are soft and sweet and give you all the fall vibes in just one bite. They’re great to give to friends, family and teachers. The recipe yields up to 3 dozen (depending on the size of your cookies  (I got 2 dozen because mine were bigger). If you want an amazing new fall sweet, I suggest for you this one.

The Ingredients:

Cookie dough
½ cup of Butter (preferably sweet cream,, salted but any butter can work)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup of Canned Pumpkin (15 oz)
2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Ginger (dry or fresh, both work)

Cream cheese frosting
½ cup Butter (Sweet Cream, Salted)
8 oz. block of Cream Cheese
3 teaspoons Vanilla
4 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Nutmeg
½ cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional)



  1. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy texture. (electric beater makes process much easier, but if you don’t have one, a whisk can work just as well; it will just take longer).
  2. Add pumpkin and eggs and mix well. 
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together in separate bowl.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture by folding in (this is simply “folding” the wet over the dry and slowly mixing it in so you don’t lose the fluffiness).
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Scoop cookie dough with tablespoons and put onto baking sheet (spray sheet with oil so they don’t stick) .
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes (varies on size of cookie). When you poke the cookie, it should be stiff and not collapse. 
  8. Allow cookies to cool while making frosting.


  1. In stand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Add in sugar, one cup at a time, on a low speed (or else you’ll have a big cloud of sugar and that’s not fun to clean up).  
  3. Finish up the frosting with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

When the cookies are done, decorate them however you like. I frosted them and placed walnuts on top and sprinkled a bit of cinnamon. By the time you bite into one of these you’ll love them, trust me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ask Alex: Beards

Need advice on school, relationships, life in general? Ask Alex. Submit your letters to the Patriot Press advice column and see your response posted on our blog! 

Where do I submit my letter? Letters can be dropped off the the multi- colored bucket located in the media center. 

Dear Alex,

I am having beard troubles. What shampoo will soften it? I also have trouble keeping things out of my beard. What can I do?

Dear Furry Friend,

Beards are a great way to show masculinity; no one wants to see a raggedy old beard though. I’m going to teach you how to make that beard blossom! The first thing is to know how long you've started growing before shaping. Shaping is what style you might want. So here’s how to start: Ideally you want your beard to go untouched for roughly four weeks. This means do not touch it with a razor or scissors.

        To help grow your facial locks, you should after a hot shower, put a small amount of JoJoba oil with some peppermint essential oil on your face. Why? Jojoba helps encourage hair growth and keeps acne away. Cold pressed jojoba is the best, while hot pressed does not have all the vitamins your beard needs. If your face begins to break out, look for a face wash that does not have any alcohol in it. Alcohol rubs can ruin your beard. Peppermint essential oil will help to open pores and let your skin breathe, feel fresh, and smell great!

        After about four weeks your beard can start to look gnarly and wild. At this point, you can start shaping. You may start to notice your beard feels like steel wool. Don't worry; get yourself coconut conditioner to help soften your hair.

        You may also have the problem of food getting into your masterpiece! You definitely do not want this to happen, so use a comb that you use for your hair or purchase and beard comb. If you are still finding food in your beard you might want to think about trimming it. Growing a beard takes discipline, patience and time. Your beard will not be amazing the first time you start growing one. If you have the problem of thickness or bald patches, I recommend shaving every Friday rather than any time it becomes long. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me!

Best of Luck,

Beard secrets!!  http://beardoholic.com/5-simple-steps-grow-beard-faster/

Horoscopes for November 2016

By: Samantha Kulek

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Attempt to resist pursuing physically attractive people who pique your interest

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You should stall for time if asked to make an important commitment or promise.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Flattery could be a sign that someone is trying to influence your opinion for their own gain.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): The person who is completely predictable is your best bet. 

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You can’t make an informed decision until a minor controversy is cleared up. 

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Someone who is offended or irked might hide their animosity.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Some problems are caused by saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): A consensus of opinion might not provide a useful answer. 

 SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Stay in touch with those who share your vision of the future but take promises with a grain of salt.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): This isn’t the time to shoot the rapids. It may be tempting to take a chance on a new romance, project or deal.

 AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Focus on your strong points rather than masking your weaknesses. 

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Brief misunderstandings with loved ones could disrupt harmonious relationships.

Monday, October 31, 2016

JSA Hosts North Warren Mock Election

By Moira Kellaher

                When adult voters head to the polls on November 8, North Warren students don’t need to feel left out. The school’s Junior State of America club (JSA) is organizing a mock election for the school, and every student will have the opportunity to participate.

        North Warren’s mock election will run similarly to the real election. Students must register to vote before Election Day by filling out a form with their name, address, grade level, and the elementary school they attended. (Students should see Mrs. Murphy or a JSA member during lunch for a form if they have not already registered.) Students who have registered will receive a voter registration card with an area of NWR designated as their “voting district” based on their sending elementary school. On November 8, students will go to their assigned spot during their study hall and cast their ballot for America’s president.

        The purpose of the mock election is to give students a chance to experience the election process. Mrs. Murphy, supervisor of the JSA club, says that participating in the event is important because it will help students “gain an understanding of what it will be like when they’re going to vote for the first time.” She and the students involved in JSA strongly encourage everyone, staff and students alike, to register to vote and participate in the election.

        The JSA club has been preparing for the mock election for weeks. “A lot of work goes into the mock elections,” Danielle Pergola, president of the JSA club, told the Patriot Press. “We have several meetings a week to organize everything. We had to make and organize the forms, create the ballots, make ledgers for voting, etc.” She and other members of JSA have already spent many hours organizing the event and are excited for everything to come together on Election Day.

        North Warren conducted its first mock election in 2008 and planned for the event to be held every four years. The 2012 mock election, however, was a frustrating experience: After the JSA organizers spent weeks preparing, organizing and alphabetizing forms, and typing out voter cards, Hurricane Sandy closed North Warren for the week of the election and the mock election couldn’t take place. It was a disappointing blow to the JSA club, according to Mrs. Murphy. She and the students in the club are hoping for a better outcome this year.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Retro Girl Album Review

By: Arianna Grewal 

In Utero by Nirvana

     In Utero was released in September of 1993 by the band Nirvana.  It was the last studio album to be released by Nirvana, winning a grammy award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1994. Rumors circulated that the record label was hesitant to the release because it was not “radio listener friendly.” This was because In Utero differed from their breakthrough album Nevermind.

     In Utero, in contrast to Nevermind, manifested a rougher sound, while Nevermind featured something more polished. But this was exactly what Kurt Cobain was looking for. He told Rolling Stone magazine in 1992, that he wanted the band's next album to show "both of the extremes" of its sound, and said "It'll be more raw with some songs and more candy pop on some of the others. It won't be as one-dimensional” (as Nevermind was).

     Despite whatever hesitation there was, the album immediately took off. It hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart. On some tracks, like Milk It, Cobain’s voice was “screamy,” producing a raw sort of sound.  This was achieved by allowing Cobain to be recorded while singing alone in the recording room. Additionally, this technique can be heard at the end of Rape Me.

     A lot of the reasoning behind In Utero’s rough and abrasive sound has more to do with just differing from Nevermind in general. It had a lot to do with showcasing Kurt Cobain’s emotional state before this album was released.  Kurt Cobain struggled with the sudden fame the release of Nevermind brought him and the band’s overwhelming success. He never wanted the responsibility of being the voice of a generation, he merely wanted to make great music.

     In Serve the Servants the lines “Teenage angst has paid off well/ Now I’m bored and old” was a reference to Cobain’s feelings following the success of Nevermind. There were personal references about his family relationships throughout the song, and plenty more throughout the album. Nirvana’s bass player, Krist Novoselic, thought the album’s tracks Heart-Shaped Box and All Apologies were transitional to that rougher, rawer sound on the rest of the album.

     Cobain told journalist Jim DeRogatis that when fans listened to the album, they would find "this aggressive wild sound, a true alternative record.” In Utero did a phenomenal job of displaying Cobain’s love-hate relationship with his publicized personal life and the success that came with their breakthrough album Nevermind. It contains a heavier, rawer, experimental sound which makes it a collection favorite to a lot of Grunge fans out there.

Editor’s note: 

     The millennials, a generation so heavily embedded in the idea of individuality, can also be characterized as a “throwback” generation, especially when it comes to music. In recent years, a  90’s resurgence has flooded the media, our radio stations, and our favorite clothing stores. The Retro Girl Album Reviews column, written by Arianna Grewal, will share with you some thoughts on prominent and sometimes more obscure albums that were popular in the 90’s. Get into the grunge and enjoy. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Passing the Senior Benchmark

By: Rachel Zwerver

     Three years of classes, piles of homework, essays, presentations, and long school days, all lead to that one last year of high school. Senior year, the year every freshman dreams of when they hit high school, has finally arrived; the year of laid back classes and cool teachers who understand that we just want to begin a new journey; the year of senior parking privileges, and finally the year of, drum roll please, senior benches.

     From the time I started high school and saw all the seniors chilling out on the senior benches, I knew, I couldn’t wait to sit there. My friends and I like to think of it as a “rite of passage.” Seniors wait three years to be able to sit on these benches; it is a senior privilege after all, but with the changes to school policies, this is not just a senior privilege anymore. It’s great for us honor roll students (who are thrilled to be able to skip loud study halls for a quiet hallway) but some seniors were not exactly thrilled when they found out.

     For years, the benches were exclusively for seniors, hence the name “senior benches,” but, now honor roll students are allowed to sit on them as well. So should they be called “senior benches” anymore? More and more senior privileges are being opened up to other grades in the school. The courtyard too is accessible to students other than seniors. Where did all the senior privileges go?

      I asked some of the seniors their thoughts on the matter. Josh Garcia said, “Seniors should get priority over the rest of the students. They have waited this long to have the privileges, why give it to someone from a different grade?”

     Andrew Hartig also says,“I think it's stupid that non-seniors, like freshmen, are allowed on the senior benches just because they are on honor roll.”

     Many seniors agree and share similar thoughts on this subject. Some of the sophomores are torn about the subject. Kayla Senzig says, “I understand the anger of the seniors and juniors about this new change, but on the other hand, I understand the policy too. I think the honor roll students should be rewarded for their hard work, but maybe the benches are not the right way to go.”

     There is even some talk about senior privileges being abandoned altogether, angering the juniors who will be seniors next year. One student remarked, “I don't know, like, it's a senior thing. I understand some juniors in honor roll have those privileges now, but it's for seniors right? I think it's stupid to let freshmen and sophomores do it too.”

     Why take this special privilege away from seniors? Don’t make it just another place all students have access to. Give underclassman something to look forward to and leave something special for seniors.

NWR, Local, and National LGBTQIA+ News

By Mya Barnes

NWR and Local LGBTQIA+  News

     North Warren has recently started a GSA club in the high school and will hopefully start one in the middle school! GSA club is a student-run club in a high school or middle school that brings together LGBTQIA+ and straight students to support each other, provides a safe place to socialize, and creates a platform to fight for racial, gender, LGBTQIA, and economic justice. GSA Network helps LGBTQIA+  students and straight allies organize GSA clubs. It focuses on activism to create safer schools.

     Even though the school’s GSA club has just started and is a small group, we hope to see big strides throughout the year! If interested in joining please see Mrs. Eisner in the media center!

National LGBTQIA+  News

     14 year transgender boy, Kyler Prescott committed suicide after being repeatedly misgendered by hospital staff. Kyler came out to his mom at age 13, and the year before began self-harming. His mother took him to the emergency room at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, which has a Gender Management Clinic to treat children with gender dysphoria and related issues.

     He was placed in the hospital’s youth psychiatry unit for a 72-hour suicide hold, where the hospital staff constantly kept referring to Kyler as a girl, causing him to go into a traumatic spiral. Even though, Kyler’s  mother, Katharine Prescott does blame the hospital for her child’s death, she has filed a civil lawsuit, charging the medical personnel with the violation of federal and state laws that protect against discrimination. She wants to hold them accountable in an effort to “make sure that doesn’t happen to other kids.”

     RCHSD staff assured Katharine that all staff would refer to Kyler with male gender pronouns and would otherwise treat him as a boy,” according to court documents. however, that was not the case. The suit says that the staff continued to refer to Kyler by female pronouns and blocked his mother’s number after she called them “multiple times” to complain about the situation. One of Prescott’s attorneys, Alison Pennington of the Transgender Law Center, told NBC News that the civil suit may be the first case involving a transgender child that claims sex-based discrimination under the Affordable Care Act.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Stigma Against Girl’s Sports

By: Alexa Tironi 

             On September 30th, North Warren Regional students bundled up, grabbed an umbrella, and ventured out into the cold, rainy September evening to attend the girl’s soccerfest game against Blair Academy. Upon arriving at the field, it was clear that fewer people would be attending this event, compared to the NWR boy’s soccer fest, or most sporting events for that matter.

So these multitudinous students trudged through the muddy grass and up the icy bleachers to their high corner perch. The players ran onto the field, the ref blew the whistle, and the game began. As the girls passed the ball up and down the field; a low rumbling of chants could be heard from the children in the stands. If a coach or player on the bench was to turn around and squint their eyes into crowd, they would read signs that said “You have coxsackie now losers!” and “God loves us for free...I think.”

Nowhere to be found was a sign supporting our players on the field or the North Warren School in general. The cast of characters attending the game that night spanned from marching band members, there to supply pump-up music, cheerleaders to pep up the dwindling crowd, friends of girls on the team giving emotional support, and NWR football players who were offering their fair share of noise. 

            Noise from the crowd is usually a positive thing. Noise shows excitement for the situation at hand and enthusiasm in the experience. Yet, the chants and cheers from these onlookers was not quite typical for a soccer sporting event. If a person walking from the parking lot was to stop, and listen to the shouts from the field, phrases such as the ever popular “We have coxsackie” and “The ref beats his wife” could be heard floating through the air. Disheartening bellows would continue throughout the game as boys from the bleachers called Blair players “mediocre” and chanted out names of random North Warren Football players who were attending the game. 

           Limited support for female athletes is something we see in pro leagues and it trickles all the way down to tiny schools like North Warren High School. A girls’ varsity soccer player gave her opinion on the type of reaction displayed at soccerfest female sporting events in general: “If you’re not going to support the team, stay the hell home. Football has supporters every week and we cheer for their games but as soon as they come to ours it’s just a joke...the “fans” not taking it seriously definitely affects players on the field.”

Perhaps it is an underlying sexist opinion, that female sports don’t deserve genuine support, or maybe it implies that not enough publicity is given to these teams, so they receive the recognition they have earned. Whatever the reason may be, it should prove to be invalid. The NWR girls soccer team should enjoy the same praise given to the football team and boy’s soccer team. 

           The girl’s next home game is Monday, October 17th. Will you come out to show your support?

Editor's Note- Tori Young scored her 100th career point this past Thursday against Sussex Tech in girls soccer. That's a feat that may not be duplicated in the near future. Come out and watch one of the best players North Warren has ever seen before she plays her final high school game. As her former coach, Tori is well worth the price of admission, which happens to be free for all students. Get out and support the girls!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When It’s Our Turn

By: Moira Kellaher

         Ask any American who’s been paying attention for the past year, and they’ll likely agree that the 2016 presidential race is a hot mess. For starters, a massive number of voters are unsatisfied with the candidates themselves, and according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, about half of all people who plan to vote say they are not voting for a candidate they like as much as they are voting against a candidate they dislike. Additionally, many voters are frustrated with the unbelievable mudslinging by the candidates and their supporters that has characterized this election. Jokes and rants on social media have made it difficult to focus on the real issues.

      Although this is an editorial, I’m not going to tell anyone which candidate to support. I’m not even going to tell you whom I would vote for if I was one year, eight months, and 12 days older and allowed to go to the polls. That’s not the purpose of this piece. What I am going to do is tell you, my fellow future voters, what we can do now to avoid this when it’s our turn to vote. We may think that we have years before we need to worry about the election process, but the truth is that we need to start thinking now about how we can improve the process. We must make ourselves knowledgeable about the issues that face the nation, learn to be civil with each other even when we disagree, and begin to take part in our government. By working on these things now, our generation can help make future elections much less frustrating.

      The first step we need to take is to educate ourselves on the issues facing the nation. Topics like the Black Lives Matter movement, Affordable Health Care, and our policy on Syrian refugees are relevant now and will still be around in one form or another in a few years, when we are going to the polls. Understanding issues like these—and how candidates plan to handle them—is a necessity. Be sure to get your information from objective and reliable sources, not biased news channels or funny tweets. It’s important to investigate these issues and keep up with current events so that we are well-informed when it’s our turn to vote.

      Another step we need to take, and one of the more difficult ones, is to be civil with each other when talking about politics. Somehow, our country has become so polarized that we’ve forgotten an important point: we’re all Americans, and we need to work together to solve the problems facing our country. We should learn to listen with an open mind when debating the issues and to express our views in a respectful way. Don’t call names, refuse to listen, or resort to physical violence or threats. We can do better than that when it’s our turn to vote.

      A third challenge that young people must take on is to get involved in the political process in whatever ways we can. For now, that might just mean forming our own political views, reminding our parents to vote, and writing to our representatives to let them know what we think. But in the future, we might consider volunteering with a candidate’s campaign or even running for political office ourselves. These are all ways that we can voice our concerns and beliefs and ensure that the candidates we vote for are people we’d be willing to stand behind.

      There may be little that high school students can do about Election 2016 besides hope for the best and brace ourselves for impact if the candidate we support fails to win. We can, however, avoid a repetition of this the next time around. By educating ourselves on the issues, remaining civil, and getting involved in politics, we can make the process less frustrating when it’s our turn to vote.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Clown Conundrum: Crazed Carnies or Just Clownin’ Around?

By: Arianna Grewal

     Most students have probably heard about the clown sightings happening across the country. Scary clowns have seemed to be making appearances as far back as the 1980s, however, the first recent clown sighting happened in August.  In South Carolina, a woman filed a report with police saying her son had “seen clowns in the woods whispering and making strange noises.” Since this incident, clown sightings have been on the rise, certainly because of copycats with a bad sense of humor. So should people fear these “dangerous” clowns or is it simply some sick joke?  In Ocean county, New Jersey, two girls (14 and 12 years old) are facing charges for making up a clown hoax, a false public alarm. This just shows how social media makes it easy to spread misinformation or simply create a false story.  As a matter of fact, most of these sightings have been revealed as pranks.  According to the New York Times, at least 12 people in the last week have been arrested for clown hoaxes.

     This is not to say that every clown sighting is a hoax. Two 18 year old women were arrested in Roseville after dressing up as clowns and chasing two teenagers girls.  The two adults, Jaime Salinis and Elandra Sledge, stopped their car in front of the two 14 year olds. The women then exited the car before proceeding to chase the young girls down the street. These scary clowns, if not hoaxes, are bad pranksters not mass murderers. They have nothing better to do with their time. They think it is funny to chase somebody down a street or creepily wave at them in a Walmart parking lot.  That is not to say the act of terrorizing young teenagers should be taken lightly, and for that, there should be a price to pay, however, most of these clown “sightings” seem to be hoaxes.  If they are real, nobody seems to get hurt, except for the clowns that is.  In Pennsylvania, a teenager was reportedly stabbed to death after wearing a clown mask.  The report makes clear that the mask was not on his face but on top of his head. 

     People, in general, are known for spreading mass hysteria and social media doesn’t help the matter.  It is part of the human condition; f we hear about some creepy clown approaching people with knives, we tend to get scared.  And when people get scared, people get paranoid.  So when they hear more clown “sighting” stories whether credible or not, their fear makes them more inclined to believe them. Stories get out of hand and exaggerated, similarly to when people believed Dungeons & Dragons encouraged Satanism.  But people have to stop for a second and think about how ridiculous this entire thing is.

     While it is important to be aware of our surroundings as well as be cautious, citizens should not be afraid of the clowns.  According to theverge.com, band member of J-WEBB said, “So there ARE no "killer clowns"--it's just jacka***s being jacka***s. So everyone relax!” This clown phenomenon is simply a trend, one person started it, so now other people copied.  And like many other trends; once people stop talking about it, the trend will fade. These scary clowns are tricksters, and once people stop fearing it and giving it the attention it feeds on, this clown conundrum will surely blow over.

Thoughts On The Hallway Headphone Policy

By Dave McMunn

As most students at North Warren High school know, the policy for using a student’s phone for music or any other purpose has been changed this year. In the previous year,2015-2016, students were allowed to have only one headphone in their ear and they were allowed to listen to music.

     This year, students are not allowed to listen to music or have their phones out at all in the hallways. Although students may use their phones in study halls and/or if a teacher permits them, many students disagree with the new policy.

There is no need for this new policy; rather, a need for improvement to the last policy. On the other side of the spectrum I learned from our vice principal, Mr.Sylvester, that“the original policy for headphones came with the implementation of BYOD” (bring your own device). Originally headphones/earbuds weren’t allowed to be used in the hallway however the teachers were being lenient. In May of last year at a student council meeting the headphone policy was brought up and the new policy was created. The concern was that students will not be attentive to their surroundings and not hear important broadcasts from the loudspeaker. “It's always been about safety” Mr.Sylvester stated.

     The policy should be that one headphone be allowed on a student's ear and the music must be at a reasonable volume. Teachers monitor the hallways constantly and if a student walks by with music blasting from their one ear, then the teacher can take the privilege away from the offender. The punishment for abusing this privilege and not paying attention to one's surroundings should be enforced for specific people , not the whole school. The loudspeakers are loud enough (hence the name) for people to hear what's coming out of them. If you agree on this suggestion then let the studentl council know and we can work to change the hallway headphone policy.