News

Beware of Cyber Attacks

By Addison Porter

May 4, 2022

Over the past decade cyber attacks have gone up 300%. From individuals and small businesses to large companies and corporations, all have been affected by cyber attacks. Cyber attacks negatively impact business growth,  and potentially can harm the nation. Because of technology advancements it’s getting easier and easier for hackers to create a data breach or even hack a system.

The term “hacking” first appeared in the 1970’s, but became more popular in the 1980’s.  In 1983, the movies like “Wargames” and “Tron” involved story lines about characters hacking into computer systems, which introduced the idea of hacking. Later that year some teenagers hacked into major computer systems from Los Alamos National Laboratory to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 

After these first hacking attempts Congress passed many bills on cyber crimes, but that didn’t stop hackers from launching cyber attacks. From the 1980’s to now hacking has been an issue in some of the biggest corporations and companies. It’s important to know the different types of hacking and how to prevent it. 

Hackers are usually put into three different categories: Black Hat Hackers, White Hat Hackers and Gray Hat Hackers. Black Hat Hackers are the “bad guys” in hacking; they find ways to get into computer systems, find where the weakest part of the computer system is and finally hack the system. White Hat Hackers are the “good guys” who try to prevent the other Hackers from hacking. Gray Hat Hackers are in between– they find problems in the computer system but don’t harm or hack, but they do it for good. Unlike White Hat Hackers, Gray Hat Hackers often reveal the problems and what they do publicly.

Hacking can occur on an individual person’s device too. Protecting oneself from hackers is important and necessary to make sure personal information is safe. Some ways to thwart hacking include updating software–hackers will look for weaknesses and patches in the software. People should also use stronger passwords; it’s easier for a hacker to hack into common or repetitive passwords. 

In conclusion, hacking can occur anywhere at any time. It can happen to anyone from big companies to your own phone. It’s important to stay secure and make sure your information is safe.

Thank A Bus Driver

By Connor Fleming

May 4, 2022

Almost every school student has had to take “Yellow Limousine” at some point in their life. For many students this is their main transportation to and from school. But the only way that buses can get to and from school are because of bus drivers. 

Like school districts around the country, Indiana Area School District is facing a shortage of bus drivers.  Since 2017 bus drivers resignations went up over 5%. One of  the most common reasons for bus drivers quitting is because of student behaviors on the bus. 

Indiana students should be appreciative and know how to treat their bus drivers. Most bus drivers say, “Good Morning” or “Hello”  and “GoodBye” or “Have a good evening”. Sadly, the most common response to this is an eyeroll, a scoff, or students just ignore them.  

A proper response is not only common decency, but it can also brighten someone else’s day. Some ways you can do to be kind to your bus driver are just a simple “Hello” or when you leave you could say something like “Thank you”.  Some bus drivers have stopped saying these things because of how rude people are. When asked if the students he encountered are kind, PJ Flick, the bus driver of Bus 124, responded with, “Once you get to know them, yeah! The new generation is just so much different and kids have changed a lot!”

Some ways you should not respond to your bus driver is ignoring them or complaining loudly to your friends that you’re gonna be late or just saying unkind things. One thing that is very disrespectful to the driver and the passengers is being very loud on the bus especially in the morning! Hopefully you have learned how to show some respect to your bus driver.

Vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court

By Liam Hunter and Addison Porter

Photo courtesy of vox.com

A new supreme court justice has been nominated. Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden Jr on February 25, 2022. Jackson is nominated to take the place of retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Breyer announced his retirement and it is the  President’s responsibility to find a suitable replacement for whoever retires from the Supreme Court. 

Jackson is the first black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court. There have been two African-American males and five female Supreme Court justices but Jackson would make history for being the first African-American female justice.  Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice to be nominated was picked by President Lyndon Johnson in July of 1967. The first female Supreme Court justice was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981,  and her name was Sandra Day O’Connor.. 

Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson was born in Washington D.C but grew up in Miami, Florida. Judge Jackson loved the law ever since she was in preschool. While her father was tackling his law school homework, she was sitting next to him doing hers – coloring in coloring books. Throughout her childhood, Jackson was a high achiever. She was a speech and debate star who was later elected student body president at Miami Palmetto Senior High School. When she told her school counselor she wanted to attend Harvard, the counselor told Judge Jackson not to set her “sights so high”.  She not only attended Harvard for college, but also graduated from Harvard Law School. All these things and more led up to the person she is today.

Judge Jackson has much experience in the field of law. Jackson was Justice Breyer’s law clerk so she knows alot about how to be a Supreme Court justice and what this responsibility entails. Ketanji was also a public defender. A public defender is someone who defends those in court who can’t pay for a lawyer. Public defenders are paid by the government and they help those who can’t obtain a lawyer themselves. Ketanji would be one of the first federal public defenders on the Supreme Court. Jackson was also the Vice Chair of the U.S Sentencing Commision. The U.S Sentencing Commision is an independent agency of the judicial branch. They study, develop, and analyze the policies of the federal court. This agency is an information space for all things surrounding federal crime and sentencing. Jackson was also nominated by former President Obama to be a district court judge. She has also been a judge on the U.S Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. circuit since 2021. 

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson has a lot of experience and a really good track record. She is an inspiring person and has accomplished so many things in her life to get to this point. She is an inspiring woman to many,  making her a great candidate to be a Supreme Court justice.

Crisis in Ukraine

By Liam Hunter

March 18, 2022

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. In the days leading up to February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin had more than 150,000 troops lining up against the Ukrainian border. This sent red flags to the people of Ukraine. People of Ukraine are massively affected by this invasion. 

Putin started sending missiles toward Kyiv (the capital of Ukraine) and many other populated cities in Ukraine. Russia began to bomb schools, a maternity ward, and even bombed a nuclear power plant.

Putin states that he feels Ukraine is part of Russia. He does not think that they should be their own country. Many people in Russia don’t support Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Russian people have protested against his decisions and now face jail time.  The people of Russia are also negatively affected by the invasion. Countries that disagree with Putin have made sanctions against him. A sanction is a threatened penalty for breaking a rule or law. Economic sanctions and the removal of Russian banks from the international banking system means that their currency has declined rapidly. The goal of putting sanctions on somebody is to punish them from all angles until they stop.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has made statements stating that he will stay to defend his country and he will not back down. Many people that are in Ukraine have chosen to stay in their homes and defend themselves. On the other hand though some people have fled to neighboring countries, including Poland and Romania and many other countries near Ukraine. People all around the world stand with Ukraine. This is being shown through online posts, protests, and many other mediums. 

Putin’s actions seem to go against the spirit of  the United Nations Charter. The UN Charter includes the rules for how disputes are settled between countries. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine goes against the idea that nations must settle disputes peacefully.  Most people around the world strongly disagree with his decisions and would like for Putin to discontinue his war on Ukraine. 

Many people were affected during this war. In addition to the devastation faced by the people of Ukraine, this war could cause issues for American people as well. Russia is a major producer of natural gas and oil (about 10% of the world’s production). This conflict has resulted in gas prices continuing to rise to historic levels. 

One fear is that this war could become bigger and include more countries. China has close ties with Russia. If China were to insert themselves into this situation it could become a big problem. If Putin were to invade NATO countries then it would end up being a bigger problem than it already is. NATO is an alliance. If someone attacks a NATO country then other countries would fight back on behalf of whatever other NATO country that was attacked. If Putin decided to attack a NATO country he would be attacked by many countries that are in NATO, to include the United States. 

In short, this conflict between Russia and Ukraine affects many people and many fear that the war could intensify or expand. The hope is that this will end soon because it negatively impacts the whole world. Russia and Ukraine continue to fight but the whole world is hoping for this war to end. 

Brief Timeline of Modern Ukraine

By Ellie Coleman

March 18, 2022

  • 1922   Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union
  • 1986   World’s largest nuclear accident happened called Chernobyl 
  • 1991    Ukraine gain freedom from the Soviet Union (Russia) 
  • 1996    Ukraines adopted a constitution ( Their government is republic)
  • 2014    Russia attacks Ukraine killing more than 14,000 people
  • 2019    Volodymyr Zeleskyy got elected to be Ukraine’s president
  • 2021   Russia’s soldier say they are doing “large-scale exercises”
  • 2022 Russia attacks Ukraine again (leading us to now)

March is Women’s History Month

By Stella Empfield and Addison Porter

March 18, 2022

During the month of March, people around the world celebrate Women’s History Month. Since 1987, Women’s History Month has honored women in history, culture and society throughout the month of March. Women’s History Month started with a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California in the first week of March. “Women’s History Week” spread around the country and in 1981,  President Jimmy Carter declared that National Women’s history week would start on March 8. 

Every year there is a new theme for women’s history month. This year’s theme is “Women Providing health, Promoting hope.”  This theme is a tribute to women in healthcare and frontline workers during the ongoing pandemic. Caregivers and healthcare workers have gone through so much, so this year’s theme is dedicated to women in healthcare and women of all cultures who have provided healing and hope now and through history. 

Sub Shortage Hits Schools Across the Nation

By Jackson Matty

March 4, 2022

Substitute teachers are an often overlooked essential part of the school system. They take over the teaching duties for teachers who can’t be present. It seems like there is an endless supply of substitutes, however an ongoing “substitute shortage” is wreaking havoc at every school district. The question is, why is there a sub shortage?

The substitute teacher shortage is part of an overall shortage of workers that has hit just about all businesses and industries. The problem first arose back in 2020.  Covid-19 had just been discovered.  Many businesses were forced to close during quarantines and many people stopped working. Since then, not all people have gone back to work, which caused an issue for businesses finding employees. The government stepped in and increased unemployment compensation, so that people who didn’t work could still make it. The problem started to affect school districts as well. Due to the shortage, school districts have been doing everything they can to be able to hire substitutes, including raising pay and lowering job requirements.

The problem has not slowed down since. It has only gotten worse. When asked if it was more of a challenge this year to find substitutes than past years, Mrs. Hill commented, “I have actually not noticed a big change in the sub situation this year over past years. We have a building sub assigned to us that we are able to utilize when necessary. That has been a change since January and has been very helpful.”

A question that leaves many wondering is if the substitute shortage will ever end. Mrs. Hill commented on whether or not she thinks the substitute shortage will end. “I think that being a substitute teacher is a very difficult and demanding job.  It is not easy to step into a classroom of students who are used to things being done or taught a certain way and trying to maintain those norms.  A lot of our substitutes are looking for full time teaching positions so when they find a full time job they are no longer available to sub. Subbing does not provide a guaranteed income for people either, so for those reasons I think that our substitute list will always be changing and I don’t think that will ever change.”

Substitutes are also affected deeply by this issue. For substitutes, it can be a challenge to work in a school right now. Long-term English substitute Mrs. Brooks spoke about a challenge she has faced since coming to work at a school. “One challenge I face as a substitute is not always being in the loop. There is a lot to learn about how the schools, teachers, schedules, testings, trainings, and technology function. Thankfully, my students and other teachers have been so incredibly patient and helpful. That makes all the difference!”

There are some positive things that come from teaching at a school. She also shared the most positive aspect of her job.“The most positive aspect of my job? The students! I enjoy getting to know them and sharing life with them. I enjoy their jokes and questions. I enjoy reading their poems and essays. I enjoy growing and learning together.” Mrs. Brooks also commented on if she thinks the substitute shortage will end.  “Yes, I do think the sub shortage will end. Life has a way of working these things out.” 

In conclusion, the substitute shortage is a big issue everywhere. It has raised many problems and questions as to whether or not the shortage will end or not.  While it may not completely go away, it can be navigated and not be as big of a problem as it once was.

St. Patrick’s day Explained

By Stella Empfield

March 2, 2022

Have you ever wondered how St Patrick’s day got started? St Patrick’s Day became a holiday on March 17, 1737, when more than two dozen Presbyterians who had emigrated from the north of Ireland gathered to honor “St. Patrick.”

St. Patrick led an interesting life.  He was born in 386 A. D., and didn’t make his way to Ireland until Irish pirates kidnapped him at age 16. From there, he started his journey to converting the Irish to Christianity and becoming an Irish patron saint. St. Patrick was known through folklore for having chased away snakes in Ireland, thus protecting townspeople from the mysterious creatures and sending them to the sea. However, Ireland is surrounded by icy water and would have been the last place for these cold-blooded reptiles to live. It’s much more reasonable to think that the “snakes” that St. Patrick was a representative of the Druids and Pagans in Ireland since they were considered evil.

 Many people celebrate St Patrick’s day by going to parades, listening to Irish music, and eating foods that originated from Ireland. Some popular foods that some families eat on St. Patrick’s day include corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, and Irish soda bread. Some people also love the limited edition Shamrock Shake at McDonalds. Many families also cook green pancakes for breakfast. 

How Are Snow Days Decided?

By Ruby Westrick

March 4, 2022

Students often wonder how it’s decided whether the school  will call a “snow day” or a 2 hour delay.  Who makes the decisions and how are those decisions made. 

According to Mr. Mike Travis, icy roads are a reason we may have snow days. “In all cases, safety is our first concern,” says Travis. He is in charge of transportation for the district, and also helps decide if school will be delayed or canceled.. ¨Part of my job is to monitor weather forecasts from websites and local television stations.¨ He says.

Students also often wonder why the school has 2 hour delays? Usually a 2 hour delay is called to give time for plowing and salting the roads to make them safe for cars and buses. By about 5:00 in the morning, highway authorities are being contacted for information about the roads such as PennDOT, Armstrong Township, and White Township.  Mr. Travis mentioned temperatures too. “One of the more challenging decisions involves temperatures.”

“Mr Vuckovich and I, along with other school administrators, try to make our decision by 5:30 am, in order to make notifications before buses leave for their trips,” Mr. Travis says.  “Our notification process uses automatic phone calling, social media and websites, and local radio and television stations.” It’s important that this decision is made in time so the buses know whether to take kids to school or come two hours later or not at all.

Celebrating Black History Month

By Liam Hunter and Connor Fleming

February 25, 2022

Black History Month is celebrated each year during the whole month of February. It is an official government approved holiday. African-American or Black History Month was first officiated to be a real US holiday back in 1976 by former President Gerald R. Ford. It took a long time for this important holiday to be approved even though many were celebrating and educating themselves during Black History Month long ago. 

 The holiday was created by an African-American man whose name was Carter G. Woodson. Woodson first created “Negro History Week” in 1926, which was a week that was meant to give light to African-American history. “Negro History Week” was also created so that schools would be given an opportunity to talk to their students about Black History. The idea of just having a week was then expanded to a month and that’s how Black History Month was created.

A commonly asked question is why Black History Month is in February. The reason Black History month is in February is because both former President Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass’s birthdays were in February. Lincoln is important because he helped with the freeing of many slaves when he was President. Douglass is also very important because he was a former slave but he was an activist and a public speaker. He was a leader of the abolitionist movement, which was the public movement to end slavery. 

The point of having a holiday dedicated to Black History was so you can educate yourself. Even if you just learn a fact then you have celebrated Black History Month. To learn about Black History you may want to watch a documentary that involves Black History, read a non-fiction book about an experience someone had during times of slavery, and there’s much more that you can do to learn about African-American History. 

Black History is a very overlooked thing but it’s just as important as any other history. It’s important to be knowledgeable on things that surround this topic because understanding is the key to ending racist ideas. I challenge you to learn just a little bit about Black History!

Kids in Wells– It’s a Real Thing

By Andrew Russell and Kate McKelvy

Have you ever heard someone joke about a kid in a well? Well, that happens in real life. In early February, a five-year-old boy named Rayan fell down a well in Morocco. It took a rescue team, made of 100 people, four days to rescue Rayan. He was trapped under a rock and bruised all over his body. On the fourth day, when the team got to him, he was badly hurt. During a surgery after his rescue, he died. The King of Mococo, Mohammed IV, sent a message to the parents of Rayan telling them he mourned the death of their son.

This is not the only case of a child getting stuck in a well. There have been others. Another well known story of a child getting stuck in a well was Baby Jessica, as people called her. Baby Jessica fell into a well in her aunt’s backyard in Midland, Texas, on October 14, 1986. On October 16 she was finally rescued. She lived, only losing one toe. She is unfortunately unlike so many others who die during the rescue. 

Both of these stories prove how dangerous things that people tend to overlook, like a backyard well, can be.  The best advice is to be aware of what is happening around you and watch where you step. 

The Importance of the Spring Equinox

By Addison Porter

February 10, 2022

As March is getting closer, spring is getting nearer, most people don’t know how the next season occurs or what happens not just on earth, but how the sun rotation predicts when our seasons change.

The term equinox is from a Latin word meaning “equally night and day.”  Although the equinox doesn’t make the daylight hours even, it gets closer to the solstice (which is when both day and night are even).  

The spring equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator going South to North. This starts off spring in the northern hemisphere of the globe. After the equinox occurs, the hemisphere shifts toward the sun, increasing in both the temperature and the hours of daylight until the solstice in June.

The spring equinox can be confused with the winter and summer solstice because they both depend on the sun. The solstice comes from the Latin word; “Sun to stand still” which can relate to the sun’s position. When the solstice occurs on June 21, the solstice will last the whole day, and the sun will be the farthest away from the earth’s equator and the day and night hours will become equal. Unlike the Solstice, the Equinox won’t last the whole day because of the exact timing when it passes the equator. 

During the spring Equinox there are many traditions, but one of the most popular is balancing an egg upright. Although any day an egg can stand upright and an Equinox won’t affect the egg’s balance, during the spring Equinox an egg represents the balance of the sun and earth, or night and day.

The Spring Equinox will occur on March 20, and then on September 22 it will transition back to fall. The Equinox is important all around the world, not just on the northern part of the globe but on the southern hemisphere too, reversing the effect it has here. We all look forward to Spring and the Equinox gets us even closer to the warm weather ahead.

Local Sledding Destinations

By Janie Stubbe

February 10, 2022

Looking for a place to go sledding that is nearby, but not your next-door- neighbor’s yard? Well, here are a few ideas for sledding opportunities in the Indiana area.

Several IJHS students shared their favorite sledding sites. “I like to go sledding with my family at Seven Springs,” said Jane Porter (6th grade). Lilly Puffenbarger, (6th grade), told us “I go sledding with my family and friends at Great Wolf Lodge.” Ransym Wheeling, (7th grade) commented that “I like to sled in my backyard with my friends.” Samantha Martin, (6th grade) added “I usually go sledding with my family at College Lodge.”

 Since there are so many places to go sledding in Indiana and so much snow, there has to be lots of places to buy sleds, right? Some places to buy sleds locally are Lowes and Walmart. Most plastic sleds cost about 5-40 dollars. 

Sleds come in many different styles, each with their own advantages. Toboggans are like the mini-vans in the world of sledding and can carry multiple people, which can increase the downhill speeds and the fun. Saucer-style sleds are great for one or two people, while foam sleds are ridden by a single rider laying flat on their belly.

Sledding is a fun activity to do when snowy weather arises. Sledding is the perfect social occasion for friends and family to get together. While all the kids race down the hill, the adults can catch-up or hit the hills themselves!

What’s With This Weather?

By Adrianna Cammarata

February 10, 2022

Have you ever wondered why the weather can go from sunny to snowy so fast?  Across the nation winter weather patterns have been unpredictable.

Forks, Washington had more rain in 90 days than Las Vegas has had in 13 years. There’s more than that. In January, a huge blizzard hit one of Hawaii’s big islands and it claimed to get 12 inches of snow.

The cause of this weird weather?  Out west, a jet stream has been stuck, “That means low pressure on one part of the stream is bringing rain to the Pacific Northwest, while high pressure hovering over about two-thirds of the nation produces dry and warmer weather.” said meteorologist Brian Hurley.

In Fort Walton Beach, Florida, it snowed unexpectedly on January 3, 2022. Snow in Florida doesn’t happen often, so it was a surprise to lots of people, even people that don’t live in Florida. 

As in weather for Indiana, Pennsylvania, Last year in the month of February we got 6.5 inches of snow. So far this month Indiana has received more than three inches of snow making it likely that it will be a higher total than last year.

COVID Boosters available for kids ages 12 to 15

by Liam Hunter

COVID numbers are currently rising in Indiana, PA, as well as the rest of the United States. All Americans have  been affected by this pandemic. Heading into 2022, the number of positive cases skyrocketed. After a period of trials, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have now made children 12 to 15 eligible for the Pfizer COVID 19 booster shot.. 

The CDC states that 12-15 year-olds are eligible for the booster 5 months after their initial vaccination series. Studies show that COVID 19 boosters help boost  immunity when it comes to Omicron and other variants. The CDC also says that those people who contract COVID having a booster will prevent severe illness. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky states, “We now recommend that all adolescents aged 12-17 years should receive a booster shot 5 months after their primary series. This booster dose will provide optimized protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.” Currently the only booster that is available to kids under 18 is the Pfizer booster. To schedule a COVID 19 vaccine or booster, go to the website vaccines.gov, and follow the instructions. 

Vaccines and boosters are heavily recommended by the CDC. There are many places in the community that provide the Pfizer booster. Students  may want to think about looking into getting a vaccine or booster not just for your own health but also your community’s. 

Halfway Through the Year

By Ellie Coleman

January 24, 2022

The second Quarter is almost complete and grades are going to be in. Students are checking their grades to make sure they are posted and passing. Why is it time to start looking more often at grades in PowerSchool? Why is the start of the third quarter a little different than others? Well, not only does this Monday mark the end of the second quarter, but it also marks the end of the first semester. 

A new semester means there will be a lot of new changes. For example, if a student had  gym class they now would have Computer Concepts or Exploratory Language. Also, just like every other quarter the shorter specials change. The shorter specials are Art, Music, Tech-Ed, and Family Consumer Science. So people should check PowerSchool for not only their grades, but also for what class they have next. If someone did not know how to look on PowerSchool for what class they will have next they can look by scrolling down on the page that it automatically opens to.

Some good habits for someone to start for the new quarter are doing homework, making a schedule, and looking at and trying to improve one’s grades. If someone wanted to improve their education and grades they would not only want to start doing their homework, if they have not already been doing it, but also to get a study buddy or a small group of buddies who are in a lot of their classes. 

When students have so many classes it can get overwhelming so keeping track of projects, due dates, tests, and  daily homework can help lead to success. Planning ahead for homework and big projects can help get it all done without doing it all at the last minute. Organizing  school supply or even figuring out when to go to your locker can help students arrive on time as well. 

Sleeping can help students focus on what they need to do. Sleep may be hard for some people. In fact, the average person does not get enough sleep. Turning off cell phones for an hour before bedtime can help many people fall asleep quicker. An hour before going to sleep people should read or do something relaxing so they can calm down before bed.  The military method, which is a good way to fall asleep fast, is to relax the whole body, exhale and think of a calming image.

Most students don’t like homework and students often fail to complete their assignments. Some things that help people do their homework are selecting a quiet place to work, not waiting until the last minute, making flash cards, and talking to others for help or to review. During Flex is also a good time to work on homework or other school work.

January 6th – One Year Later

BY GABI ISENBERG AND EMMA PALMER

January 24, 2022

On January 6th, 2021, what started as a protest of election results ended in a deadly attack on the United States Capitol building. Several lives were lost that day and on the anniversary of the attacks, Americans were called to  remember all those who sacrificed their lives for our country. 

In 2020, Former President Donald Trump lost the presidential election to current President, Joe Biden. There were many arguments over whether these election results were accurate or not. Disagreements over this matter occurred between politicians,  journalists, and even the citizens of America. A group of civilians who disagreed with the election results protested on the stairs of the Capitol building. It quickly escalated. People were smashing windows and doors to gain access to the inside of the Capitol building at the same time that members of Congress were attempting to certify the election results.. When the rioters entered the building, they were pictured breaking into offices of politicians, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. It was a dark time in the nation’s history, and many students at IJHS remember the impact it had on them. 

“I was in my bed doing school and then my dad came home and turned on the news and he [said], ‘Come downstairs. You need to see this.’ I was confused.” said Ali Genchur (8)

“I was sitting in my grandma’s house doing school and then I heard my grandma yelling upstairs. I watched it on the news with her.” said Oliver John (8)

IJHS students may not be able to vote yet, but they still have an opinion on politics and our world. It is important for students to understand the severity of the attacks on January 6th, 2021 so that history does not repeat itself. 

Little No More

By Ellie Coleman

December 8, 2021

The Little Mermaid is coming to town.  Students are talking about the school musical. Who doesn’t want to see singing crabs and mermaids? Drama director Mrs. Kessell is working with Mr. Karcher and Mr. Rummel  to put together this Spring’s musical. 

This year the auditions are on December 15 and 16 for the cast (on stage). If someone wants to be in the cast they would have to go to both because one is for singing and the other is for acting. However, if someone wanted to be in the crew (stage/ lights) they would come for auditions on December 17th. For the cast there are 25 roles. If somebody did want to do either they would have to sign a sheet which is in room 123 to put in a time that works for them to be able to audition on the 15th and 16th or the 17th.

The roles include Ariel, the main character who is a mermaid who wants to be a human; Eric a human prince who gets saved by Ariel; Prince Eric’s British guardian; Flounder, Ariel’s best friend who is a fish; Scuttle, a seagull; King Triton,  Ariel’s father; Sebastian, a crab who is an advisor to King Triton and Chef Louis, the French palace chef. .  Other roles include the villains Flotsam and Jetsam, who are both eels and Ursula’s lackeys and Ursula, the banished Sea Witch and sister of King Triton, who is the main villain in the story.

Just like to watch musicals or are a huge fan of The Little Mermaid and looking to support your school? Come to see The Little Mermaid on March 11th and 12th, 2022 at 7pm and Sunday, March 13, 2022, at 2pm. Tickets prices for the show will be students $5, adults $7, and children 0-5 are free. Spending time with family is awesome and it is great to have something to talk about. The Little Mermaid is a great connector for families. Someone`s family could watch the original movie and then the musical and talk about how well they did and their favorite parts of the musical. 

Protectors become Destroyers

BY GABI ISENBERG

November 22, 2021

 Masks have become a point of contention in this day and age. They have both positive and negative effects. One cause of concern, though, is how students across the nation have been using their masks lately. 

TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms among teenagers. With around 1 billion users to date, it is one of the most influential apps around. TikTok is mostly used to post videos of users doing specific dances to songs, but “trends” or “challenges” are also posted. One challenge that was recently an issue for schools was the “devious lick” challenge. To “hit a devious lick”, students were to steal things from their schools and post a video of it on TikTok. This caused a lot of damage to IJHS. Students pulled the soap dispensers off the walls in the restrooms and attempted to flush them down the toilets, flooding the bathrooms and in some cases, the hallways. 

There is a new challenge on TikTok now – the “mask string saw” challenge. This challenge includes taking a string of a disposable mask and rubbing it back and forth on the back of a plastic chair, creating friction and ultimately cutting through the plastic of the chair. There are also videos on TikTok that show people cutting through pens, pencils, and a variety of other objects. Some IJHS students were influenced by this challenge, and cut through the backs of chairs all around the school. The biggest amount of damage was done in the LGI/107, where a part of the chair was cut out (see picture below).

Damage from mask string. Photo by Gabi Isenberg

Dr. Minnick commented on this terrible challenge. He said in a statement:

“I believe this school building is a blessing.  I believe the people that care for it by cleaning it, making sure that the classrooms, halls, restrooms, and cafeteria are clean. By making sure the pool is safe, the heat and air conditioning are working properly, and that our furniture is cared for are only a few of the responsibilities our maintenance crew oversees.  If everyone does their part in helping us take care of our school, our school will be all that much nicer and more comfortable for all students now and in the future!”

Students also shared their take on this matter. Austin Schawl (8), is the Student Council President and he commented, “The school or you is going to have to pay for the chair you cut and they could press charges or fine you. That’s destruction of property.”

Graham McFarlane (8) shared that, “The chairs are very expensive and if you have a half broken back on it, it could cost thousands of dollars.”

Addison Fry (8) also mentioned, “It’s stupid because you’re going to get caught and you’re going to have to pay for it.”

In an effort to make a positive change in the school, Mr. Edmondson and a group of students came up with a TikTok challenge of their own. The November compliment challenge challenges students to complement one another on their internal traits. Teachers will keep a tally of how many heartfelt and kind compliments they hear in the month of November. Students with the most tallies will win a prize. 

IJHS is a beautiful school, made possible by the incredible maintenance staff. Destroying it is not only wrong, but it is unfair to the future generations that will learn in this school. Let’s all do our part and keep this building beautiful not just for us, but for others. 

Local Veterans Day Traditions

Crimson Arrow students help pack bags for the InFirst Bank Veterans Marathon

November 10, 2021

By Liliana Manzi

As Veterans Day is nearing, there are many ways that people commemorate the holiday. Some people attend or participate in the Veterans Day parade, while others spend the day hanging with family and having barbecues. Regardless of how one chooses to spend Veterans Day, it is important to remember that this is a day to honor our active duty soldiers and military veterans.

The Veterans Day parade is a tradition for many families in Indiana County. The parade is on November 11 and officially begins at 11am to represent the end of hostilities in World War I. Many people have or have had a family member or family friend in the military, so this is a way to honor their service

Another local tradition in honor of Veterans Day is the The InFirst Bank Veterans Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay. The race is directed by teacher/coach/advisor Candice Lockard and her husband Al Lockard. The race this year is on November 7 and will have an estimated 350 runners. The Half Marathon and the Marathon Relay are open to any age but runners have to be 18 or older to participate in the Marathon. Each year the marathon raises about  $25,000 for local veterans.. In the 10 years that the race has been going on the race has raised more than $125,000.  There are more than 25 businesses and 80 volunteers who donate their money and time to the race.  All of the race proceeds go to the Western Pennsylvania Veterans Relief Fund, which then provides financial support to local veterans in need. If you would like to find out more about the race visit www.veterans-marathon.com

Many people know veterans who have served and are serving. Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins are some of the ways that people know veterans. It is important to

appreciate every man and woman who has or is serving in the military. Happy Veterans Day everyone!

Supreme Court Supports Student’s First Amendment Rights

BY GABI ISENBERG

November 10, 2021

 Most of IJHS is familiar with social media. It’s used to share fun experiences, cute photos, and everyday news about life. It’s usually used as a good source of socialization. However, what rights do students have to free speech on social media platforms when criticizing school districts? 

Brandi Levy, a 14-year-old student at Mahanoy Area School District in Mahanoy City, PA, tried out for her high school’s varsity cheerleading squad and for a right fielder position on a private softball team in 2017. She didn’t make the varsity cheer team and she didn’t get the spot she wanted on the softball team. Brandi went to social media and she posted a picture of her and a friend holding up their middle fingers with the caption “f*** school f*** softball f*** cheer f*** everything” on her Snapchat story. This picture was seen by students on the cheerleading team. Those students were upset about the picture and went to the cheerleading coaches, who went to the school principal. 

The coaches and principal decided that since Brandi used profanity in regards to a school-sponsored activity, they had the right to suspend her from the junior varsity cheerleading squad, which she did make. The athletic director, school principal, superintendent, and school board agreed and suspended her from the team – for a full year. The Levy family took this to court arguing that the suspension was a violation of Brandi’s First Amendment rights because she posted it off of the school campus and did not mention the name of the school itself or even the school district. 

In a four-year-long legal battle, this case was finally taken to the Supreme Court. The case was argued on April 28, 2021, and decided on June 23, 202l. The court ruled in Brandi’s favor. Although Brandi has long since graduated, this was still a win – not just for her, but for all students’ freedom of speech.  However, the Court’s ruling still left the door open for school districts to discipline students for online activities that “fundamentally disrupt student learning.”  Though the Court supported the student’s right to free speech in this case, students should still be mindful that what they post on social media has consequences.

IASD Makes School Lunches Free for The 21-22 School Year

By JACKSON MATTY-

October 29, 2021

For the 21-22 school year, all students enrolled in the Indiana Area School District can get their school lunches free of charge.

Due to COVID- 19, lots of things have changed, and of the major changes over the past two years is that the  school district and Chartwells are making lunches free for the 21-22 school year. Starting last year, school lunches were made free for the 20-21 school year, but many people were online. Now, since most students are back in-person, they can take advantage of free lunches. By making lunches free,  it helps the students out by not worrying if they have money in their account or not. Students still need to pay if they want extras, such as snacks, drinks, etc.

When asked how they felt about lunches being free this year, 8th grader Claire Manna thinks that it was a good decision.  “COVID-19 has affected lots of people in many ways, including financially. Not having to pay for school lunches is one less thing parents have to worry about.” “It’s a good thing the school district decided to do that.,” said Jeanice Hill. 

In conclusion, regardless of whether students pack or buy, a free, delicious lunch is available for all students.

Let’s Make Some Noise

BY: STELLA EMPFIELD

October 29, 2021

The IJHS Spirit Band is up and marching!  Led by Mr. Zach Karcher, many musicians have joined Spirit Band this year! Mr. Karcher hopes that Spirit Band teaches the rewards of playing in the community, along with playing at football games to add in school spirit. Several students from the high school also come down to IJHS to support Spirit Band.

The Spirit Band has four performances scheduled. They have already performed at a 7th and 8th grade football game and will perform at the 8th grade football game on October 27th. Spirit Band is also scheduled for a side by side performance with the IHS marching band at the last varsity football home game on October 29th.  The last performance of the year will be played in downtown Indiana on 7th Street, where they will play Christmas carols on November 19th. 

The songs the band plays are called “band cheers” or pep tunes that the audience recognizes. Some of the songs that are played include: “Go Go Go,” “We Will Rock You,” “Go Indians Go,” and the school fight song called “Cherokee.” 

Many students like making music and this year approximately 40 musicians signed up for IJHS spirit band!  Sixth graders Abby Broad said that her favorite song to play is “Chrerokee.” Abby plays the trumpet along with a bunch of other trumpet players. Abby wanted to sign up for Spirit Band because she thought it would be fun to play with some of her friends after school. 

Another sixth grader, Mackenzie Brown, said that her favorite song to play is also “Cherokee.” Mackenzie plays the trumpet as well. Mackenzie wanted to sign up for Spirit Band because she wanted to learn how to play more challenging music. 

Skyelyn Newell is  a sixth grader who plays the flute . Her favorite song to play is “Go Go Go.” She joined Spirit Band because it sounded fun to be able to get to go to football games and play with the band.

Finley Stewart is another sixth grader who plays the saxophone. She said that her favorite song to play is also “Cherokee.” She joined so that she could enjoy the band’s music along with playing. 

Sixth grader Ty Allison’s favorite song to play is “We Will Rock You.” Ty plays percussion, most specifically bass drums for Spirit Band. He signed up for Spirit Band because he was bored and wanted something to do after school.

Finally Sadee Bowditch is a sixth grader in the visual ensemble. Her favorite song to twirl flags to  is “Cherokee.” Sadee  twirls flags as well as batons. Sadee signed up for visual ensemble because her older sister influenced her and she thought it sounded fun. Many other students are involved with visual ensemble too.

With three performances left, there is still time to come on out and support the students in Spirit Band!

Busing Woes Plague Sports Teams

BY LILY MANZI

October 15, 2021

Sports teams in the Indiana Area School District have faced some additional challenges this year due to the problems with providing busing. Some sports teams have missed  games or meets because there was not an available bus or bus driver. 

The Cross Country team missed two of their meets and was late to many practices. In one instance the bus didn’t come to pick up the team to take them to practice until plans had already been changed. Angelo Gentile (7) from the boy’s cross country team said, “I think this needs to be solved.  In one scenario, we have the cross country team sharing a bus with the soccer team and it is way too crowded.” 

Bus overcrowding also came up in many other interviews.  The Cross Country and Soccer teams are often cramming into the same bus going to their practices at S&T Arena. Many kids are trying to fit 3 people into a seat along with their backpacks and sports bags. Addison Fry (8) said that “The buses for other sports teams were not being filled to their full capacities and they could have fit more people or another team.”  Maddy Bauer went along with this by stating, “There are teams who are not getting where they need to go and are missing meets and games.”  

Boys soccer players Charlie Manzi, Connor McGowan, Ethan Chuhran, and Jack Lehman all agreed that the situation was unfair. Many others agreed that it was very chaotic on the busses. Ethan Chuhran (8) followed this by saying, “We always have to ride the bus with many people from other sports.” Jack Lehman (8) added,  “There aren’t any busses.” Even though there are over 20 players on the boy’s soccer team they constantly have to squeeze into busses with other teams. 

Girls Soccer players Jayla Peterson, Marlie Mangold, Sydney Anderson, and Jocelynn Higbee were also all in agreement about the fact that busing was an issue. Peterson said,  “I think our team should have our own bus with our own things to do instead of sharing the bus with people we may or may not know.” Marlie Mangold (7) continued this by saying, “They should not give one bus to one sports team and not give one to another.” Sydney Anderson (8) added on to this by commenting that “ certain people get the bus before the girl’s soccer team and we have missed many games because some people had to get the bus before us.” Sometimes teams have to share busses to meets or games with other sports teams or teams from the high school.  As sports seasons move into winter, hopefully this issue will be solved. 

Robotics Club Kicks It Into Gear

By STELLA EMPFIELD AND EMILY FERARRO

October 15, 2021

Students at Indiana Junior High have a new option this year to develop their STEM skills– Robotics Club! Mr. Dolges and Mr. Herrington are the Robotics Club teachers and this is what they plan on doing this year. 

Mr. Dolges will be teaching how to design, build, and compete with 6-pound robots. 

He also stated that the club will be doing competitions around April or May 2022 and plan on inviting other surrounding school districts to join in on the competitions. The students will learn about robotics, design, teamwork, and most importantly applying STEM skills. 

Mr. Dolges said that he is excited to see all of the students come up with their creative ideas and compete while having fun. He wishes all of the participants good luck this year and wants them to try their best!

Mr. Herrington will be teaching the designing process, materials properties/selection, electricity/circuits, and machining. Along with Mr. Dolges, he will also be entering his class in the competitions. The skills that they will be learning include: teamwork, English skills, science skills, math skills, materials that are given, machining, electrical circuit designing and writing.

Mr. Herrington is very excited to see their final, battle ready bots.  

Students are also excited about the Club. Joshua Reed (7) said he is most excited to start “building the robots.” Jacob Allen (7) said he wanted to join the program “to start building robots.” Mitchell Rend’s (7) experiences in Tech Ed class influenced him to want to be a part of this new program at IJHS. Laura Keppich (6) said that she is excited to be a part of this program because she has always loved building things. 

As this new program reaches IJHS, it shows just another way our students and teachers are striving to enrich themselves and others. 

Eisenhower Relocates to IJHS

BY LIAM HUNTER AND RUBY WESTRICK

October 15, 2021

On April 16, 2021, there was a devastating fire at Eisenhower Elementary School. The fire resulted in tragedy for some classrooms, but students were soon back in school at Horace Mann and the Junior High. This year, the students and teachers of Eisenhower are all working at the Junior High.  

Eisenhower teachers have had to make adjustments due to the fire.. Mrs. DeOre said, “When it happened it was really shocking.” Mrs. Anderson stated that, “It was devastating,” but added,“I love how my principal and administrators kicked into action to get a plan together, so we wouldn’t miss school and be behind the rest of the district.”

 While missing their old school, some teachers saw some positives in the switch from Eisenhower to IJHS. Mrs. DeOre said that she feels really great about being at the Junior High and that it’s a nice building. “Everyone has been very nice and welcoming to us,” said Mrs. DeOre. “I have to say the AC is a bonus,” said Mrs. Anderson.  She added, “I love seeing former students and colleagues in the halls. It brings a smile to my heart.” 

Eisenhower students have also had to adjust. Mrs. Anderson said, “At first, they were intimidated by the size and all of the stairs, but they handle it all just fine now.” Mrs. DeOre also mentioned that her students enjoy having their own lockers. 

In conclusion, even though there was a horrific fire at Eisenhower Elementary School, there were still many pros to the move from Eisenhower to IJHS. It was initially tough for the students and teachers of Eisenhower to switch over to the Junior High. It is very devastating that the fire at Eisenhower has occurred, but hopefully soon Eisenhower will be back and better than ever.