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, 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.

Coxsackie at NWR and How to Avoid It

By Nick Rogers and Amanda Gaudiosi 

Here at North Warren there are a number of cases of Coxsackie. Also known as “hand, foot, and mouth disease, “Coxsackie is a common viral illness that is most frequently active in the summer and early fall. This disease is commonly spread throughout sports teams. Some symptoms include a fever, reduced appetite, sore throat, and painful sores in the mouth, hands, and feet. We asked our nurse and coaches if it is causing problems for students and staff members. For the most part, it is affecting those who play sports and is spreading like wildfire throughout the entire building. 

When we asked Mr. Tillou, football coach, “How is Coxsackie affecting our sports team?” his response was, “A lot of people on our football team are starting to get it and that limits us on our practice days and when our practice days are messed around with, that also messes with our game days.”

We then asked, “How often is the equipment cleaned?”  His response with respect to the team was, “We clean our equipment everyday; that includes the weight room facilities and all of the sports and gym locker rooms.”

  Mrs. Dispoto, our school nurse, also provided us with plenty of information on how many people obtained the virus in this school. A total of 7 people in this school obtained Coxsackie and 5 of those people are on the football team. She also explained in great detail that this school had this last year as well. Her advice is to wash your hands thoroughly, keep them under warm water for 20 seconds, scrub them with soap, then dry them afterwards.

  If you do obtain the virus, you should refrain from attending school and all sports. This prevents the spread of any viruses.With all this information, it is safe to say that coxsackie can be easily prevented. The school staff is trying their hardest to keep the school clean and their students safe.