Tutorial and interventions ideas on the table for next year

by Braeden Kantz, sports editor

Rumors have been swirling through the halls regarding the possibility of scheduled tutorials returning for the 2018-19 school year. After the 2015-16 school year, there have been no scheduled tutorials or study halls. Many students and teachers relied on those periods to tutor students and get work done.

This year, junior high students have been place into WINN (What I Need Now) classes, an advisory period for students who will benefit from an extra period to study, complete late work, or participate in enrichment activities. Many students and teachers agree that a similar class would be advantageous for high school students.

“There is an opportunity that some students will get a tutorial-like period opposite a gym class, but will not be offered to all students. However, there is also a possibility that intervention and extension periods will be introduced as an everyday occurrence,” Principal Tom Baker said.

Many students agree that the intervention and extension periods are useful, but may be redundant if offered every day. “I think everyday would be too much. They should just bring back the regular tutorial,” junior Abbey Passilla said. Others see the extra time as beneficial. “I would definitely use the time to do homework,” junior Hillary Twiford said.

Thanks to the early scheduling process this year, students should know by late May what to expect for the 2018-19 school year.

 

Opinion: Should teachers be armed?

by Kaitlyn Kozalla, staff writer

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Kaitlyn Kozalla, staff writer

In wake of yet another devastating school shooting, thoughts have resurfaced on how to prevent these unfortunate events from happening again. Many people have adopted the #NeverAgain motto in their tweets, implying the need to end gun violence and increase school safety. Surrounding this remark and many others is one question, “Should teachers be armed?” Regardless of partisan opinion, the media has been blowing up for either armed or unarmed teachers.

Since the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump has spoke on Twitter about fake news and his intentions for the future of school safety. “I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC.  What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot would not be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!”

We protect banks, prisons, government officials, and celebrities with guns. Is that more important than protecting the future of America? “Maybe we should protect our schools like the super wealthy protect their cash,” said Steven Crowder, a conservative political commentator. Celebrities lecture Americans on guns, yet what protects them? Guns. Can you imagine if every school were as protected as the Oscars? One of the most vocal celebrities on gun control is the rapper Eminem. “They love their guns more than our children,” the rapper said as he slammed the NRA and accused gun owners. Maybe “the real slim shady” should sit down and take into account his own unlawful past involving firearms. Is this who should be petitioning for anti-armed schools?

Do I think schools should have guns tomorrow? No. But I do believe teachers who have had extensive training, who have shown a strong commitment to their job, and  who have shown themselves to be mentally capable, should be allowed to carry a firearm on school property. When it comes to basics, an active shooter outside of a school will find a way in, and law enforcement can’t always show up in time to stop the number of casualties from growing, or stop the shooting all together.

There are 14.5 million active concealed carry permits in the United States. People trust armed citizens walking in streets, in churches, and in businesses. There are no riots about armed civilians except when it come to the topic of putting guns in schools. On Nov. 5, 2017, a mass shooting occurred at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. An armed civilian, a former NRA instructor, used his AR-15-style rifle after hearing gunfire, and confronted the shooter. As horrific as the shooting was, it would’ve been much worse if the civilian did not intervene before the authorities reached the church. Having someone who knows what they’re doing inside an event can potentially lower the number of casualties.

The average response time for a police call is around twenty three minutes, while the average response of a handgun is 1750 feet per second (fps). What would you rather have protecting children, a call that could sacrifice lives or a trained inside source who could stop the massacre? How many more times do we need to hear about a mentally unstable gunman walking into a school shooting? How many more lives will be sacrificed before everyone wakes up and prepares our school officials to take action? Arm teachers, give them that right to have a fighting chance. A gunman is less likely to walk into a school knowing teachers are armed.

United States athletes make history at 2018 Winter Olympics

by Nick Archacki, staff writer

After sixteen straight days of televised competition for winter athletes all around the world last month starting on Feb. 10, the twenty-third Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea concluded with the extinguishment of the Olympic torch at the closing ceremonies. From rising stars to veterans, our United States athletes had an impressive showing at the Olympics, creating historic moments along the way.

On Feb. 11, a pair of U.S. athletes, Red Gerard and Chris Mazdzer, brought home medals in the Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding and Men’s Singles Luge competition. Gerard, a seventeen year old snowboarder, brought home the United States first gold medal in the games and his first Winter Olympics medal. Mazdzer brought home the United States first ever medal, another gold, in Men’s Singles Luge, Mazdzer’s first ever Olympic medal as well.

Feb. 12 was another good day for the U.S. as snowboarder Jamie Anderson brought home her second consecutive gold medal in the Ladies’ Slopestyle competition, making her the first female snowboarder to win more than one Olympic gold medal. The U.S. Figure Skating Team also brought home a bronze medal on the twelfth.

Feb. 13-14 were historic days for the United States because of the performances from two U.S. athletes. On Feb. 13, Chloe Kim, a seventeen year old snowboarder, brought home gold in the Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe with fellow American Arielle Gold placing third in the same competition to earn the bronze medal. With Kim’s win, she became the youngest woman ever to win an Olympic snowboarding medal.

Feb. 14 was the start of another memorable Olympic moment for Shaun White. The thirty-one year old icon, who holds the record for the most X-Games gold medals and also has the most Olympic gold medals by a snowboarder, won his third Olympic gold medal in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe competition. Not only did White complete his third run with a fantastic 97.75 score, he won the United States their one-hundredth Winter Olympics gold medal, the second ever country to accomplish that feat in the Winter Olympics.

The next five days were pretty tame for the United States, except for Feb. 15. On that day one of the most famous winter athletes in the world currently, Mikaela Shiffrin, won her second gold medal in the Ladies’ Giant Slalom competition. Shiffrin’s win tied her with Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead Lawrence for the most Olympic gold medals ever won by an American Olympian in alpine skiing. There were no medals won by the U.S. on February 16 and 19, but there were still a pair of athletes who brought home medals on February 17 and 18. Pittsburgh native John-Henry Krueger brought home a silver medal for the United States in the Short Track Speed Skating competition on February 17 and on the eighteenth, Nick Goepper brought home another silver medal for the U.S. in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle competition.

Feb. 20-22 were fantastic days for U.S. athletes in figure skating, skiing, and hockey. On Feb. 20, siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani brought home a bronze medal in the Figure Skating Ice Dance competition along with Brita Sigourney bringing home another bronze for the United States in the Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe competition.

Feb. 21 was a day of rejoice for all the U.S. medalists winners and a sad one for one skiing legend, Lindsey Vonn. Vonn, age thirty-three, announced earlier in the week that this would most likely be her final Olympics in her storied career. Even though this would supposedly be Vonn’s last Olympics, she still gave her best effort even through years of injury by bringing home a bronze medal for the United States in the Ladies’ Downhill Skiing competition. Although a great career would be coming to an end, that was by far not the top headline of the day with multiple medals being won by the female U.S. athletes.

The U.S. Ladies’ Speed Skating team won a bronze medal, the U.S. Women’s Bobsleigh team came home with a silver medal, and the biggest highlight of the day was when the team of Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall brought home the United States first ever medal, a gold medal, in U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Skiing history in the Team Free Sprint competition. Diggins, who finished out the final half of the competition while Randall started the run, beat out her opponent by half a ski length to earn the United States another medal.

The concluding days at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics witnessed even more historic moments for the United States on Feb. 22 and 24 as the Americans did not win medals on Feb. 23 and 25. Feb. 22 another big day for the United States as Mikaela Shiffrin made another run at a gold medal, this time in the Ladies’ Alpine Combined competition, coming up just short earning a silver medal. David Wise won back-to-back gold medals in the Men’s Ski Halfpipe competition with U.S. teammate Alex Ferreira standing right beside him on the podium, winning the silver medal. Also, on the twenty-second, the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team won our country’s first ever gold medal in the competition, beating Canada in a penalty shootout, 3-2. Ending the day for the U.S., Jamie Anderson also brought home a silver medal in the Ladies’ Snowboard Big Air Competition.

The final medals were earned for the United States on Feb. 24 and another first time milestone was achieved for the U.S. Men’s Curling team. The team of Team Shuster brought home the United States first ever gold medal in Men’s Curling. In conclusion, the final U.S. medal was earned by snowboarder Kyle Mack in the Men’s Big Air competition and bringing the overall medal count for the United States to twenty-three. All the medals consisted of nine gold, eight silver, and eight bronze medals, the fourth best country in the Winter Olympics this year.

To end the journey for United States at the Olympics, the U.S. Paralympic Team competed in the 2018 Paralympic Winter Olympics, also in PyeongChang, from March 9-18. Our United States paralympic athletes had an impressive performance at the games, their best in sixteen years, by bringing home thirteen gold, fifthteen silver, and eight bronze medals, leading all of the countries in medals this year in the paralympic games.

The next Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, China in 2022.

Opinion: Should teachers be armed?

by Kassie Boyd and Hannah Nicholson, news editor and opinion editor

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Kassie boyd, news editor (left) and Hannah Nicholson, opinion editor (right)

Following the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there is a lot of debate on how to prevent and protect students from future shootings. One of the most controversial methods, supported by President Donald Trump, is arming teachers with guns. Many of those who do not support this method do so due to concerns for student safety.

Guns are dangerous; this is a fact. Why would we want more weapons inside a building full of children and in the hands of adults whose sole purpose is to educate their students?

The risk of human error is too high. According to the New York Times, a firearms discharge report released by the NYPD in 2006 revealed that only 103 of 364 bullets fired intentionally by officers, with no return fire, hit their target. How can we expect teachers to neutralize a threat in a high stress environment when professional and competent law enforcement officers often can’t?  

According to the Center for Education Reform, students outnumber teachers 16 to one. A group of students, or even a single one, could overpower a teacher. The weapon has the potential to end up back in the hands of the student.

Besides the concern that a student could do harm with a gun, we must consider the possibility of a teacher using the weapon against the children. No one wants to consider that possibility, but teachers aren’t exempt from being affected by mental illness. Financial, family, and job stressors can create a molotov cocktail of emotions that could have deadly potential.

In addition, many teachers are uncomfortable with being armed. No one goes into the field of education thinking that one day they might have to take a life. A teacher’s job is to teach. “I personally would not want to carry a firearm in school. I wouldn’t want to have that responsibility,” said art teacher Heather Papinchak. “I could not take down a shooter.” Teachers have lives; they have families and friends that want them to come home safely every night just like the students.

Multiple teachers at Saegertown disagree with the movement to arm teachers.  “I don’t believe that any teacher should be armed at school,” said English teacher Bill Hetrick. “There’s lots of reasons. Eighteen percent of bullets fired from police officers [during a gunfight where a perpetrator is shooting back] actually hit their target, I can’t imagine teachers having that. It creates much more of a risk than a benefit.”

The truth is that many public school across America are dangerously under-resourced. Kids often do not have regular access to guidance counselors, nurses, or trained professionals who could help them with issues going on in and outside of school. Classes are too big for teachers to form personal relationships with students. Proper materials and guidance are an essential part of maintaining a school’s healthy environment, far more than giving teachers firearms and ammunition. “Arm me with books, with supplies, with resources,” Mr. Hetrick said.

Saegertown students and staff participate in National School Walkout

Here are the full remarks from this morning’s National School Walkout at Saegertown:

Thank you all for coming. For the next 17 minutes we will be honoring the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting that took place one month ago today. This is about unity and joining together as a community to show our support for Parkland and the families who lost their loved ones as well as taking a stand against school shootings. Our event is in no way motivated by gun control, but led to commemorate the students and staff who so tragically lost their lives on February 14. We ask for your respect during this time of grief and remembrance. We request that you remain silent for the time we are here together and take this time to reflect on the idea that schools should be safe places for all of us to learn and grow as people and a community.

  1. a loved and respected member of Parkland’s travel soccer team.

  2. a geography teacher and camp counselor in his spare time.

  3. known for his kindness and humor in the Parkland community.

  4. a talented swimmer who planned to attend the University of Indianapolis in the fall.

  5. an assistant football coach at Stoneman Douglas. He was known for his selflessness and generosity.

  6. loved by her community, especially by her mother, father, and brother.

  7. the school’s athletic director and wrestling coach. He was a veteran who served in Iraq.

  8. the youngest in his family and will be remembered by his constant happiness and optimism.

  9. a member of the Drake School of Irish Dance and was always smiling.

  10. a member of the winter guard on the school’s marching band and a gifted artist.

  11. enjoyed football, basketball, and spending time with his girlfriend.

  12. vibrant and determined, and she loved to serve her community.

  13. an energetic young lady who planned to attend Lynn University in the fall.

  14. smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful. She brought the best out of all who knew her.

  15. played baritone and trombone in the school marching band and orchestra.

  16. a national merit scholar semi finalist. She will be remembered for her outstanding academics and kind nature.

  17. a member of the ROTC program. He was known for always making others  laugh.

(Those who are holding the orange hearts, please hold them up now in honor of the Parkland students and in hopes that this will never happen again).

Thank you all for attending the #NeverAgain walkout in honor of the fallen members of  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We appreciate your respect as we came together as a school to show our support for students and staff just like us. As we remember the students of Parkland today, let us also show support for each other and come together as a community to ensure that this devastating crime never happens again. Please return to your third period class in a respectful and orderly fashion.

Crowl caps successful swim season at Districts

by Dustin Steiger, broadcast director

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Ben Crowl successfully completes the 100 breaststroke on Saturday, Mar. 3.

Junior Ben Crowl has been pushing all season for districts, and his efforts most certainly paid off.

For three years, Crowl has been swimming for Meadville Bulldog swim team, but this season has been his best. He qualified for districts in the 200 IM with a time of 2:25:34, and in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:12:29. This all led to the pinnacle of his season. On March 2-3 Crowl went with his team to Districts at the Spire Institute of Ohio, prepared to go big or go home.

At Districts, he smashed his own PR in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:08:75, shaving an entire 3.5 seconds off and placing eighth in the event overall. He also swam a 2:22:61 in the 200 IM, once again beating his own record and placing seventh in the process. This winning streak continued as Crowl and his team placed third in the 200 medley relay and second in the 400 free relay, ending the team’s season with a bang.

“It was my best [season] so far…” Crowl said. “I’m going to train hard in the off season and prepare to go even faster next year.”