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).
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
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.