Editor's Choice Winners

Dress code: what are the students’ thoughts?
By Elisabeth Sharrow and Hannah Hayes

As dress code rules become more enforced students input becomes less heard. With the intent of changing that we interviewed some of your fellow students to see how they feel about dress code here at Westside High school. Here is what they said:
We asked a 12th grade, female student if she thinks the dress code is biased. She stated that dress code rules tend to target larger students over skinnier students. Here is what she said, “Me and my friends, we’re bigger, so we get dress coded for wearing leggings but skinny girls can wear them all the time and not get dress coded.” When questioned about whether or not she thinks teachers in the normal classroom setting enforce dress code rules she told us, “if they’re skinny no, if they’re bigger then yes.” This student also feels that shirts are just as much a problem when it comes to bigger students vs. skinnier students. In our interview she stated that crop tops get pointed out when larger students wear them but not when skinnier students wear them.
Another student we held an interview with is 9th grader Irene Hood. Irene stated, “I think they’re a little too pushy on it. You have girls wearing leggings with long enough shirts, and teachers will go down the hallway to tell you to put something else on. I think they’re a little too strict on it.”
Both of the female students we interviewed said that they have been recently dresscoded. The first female student said, “We (she and her friends) get dress coded for leggings...” Irene stated that her code experience wasn’t exactly fair either. She said,“I was wearing jeans that had holes in them, but I was wearing leggings under them. I was told that the leggings under the jeans were inappropriate and had to take both pairs off.”
When asked if they were biased both Irene Hood and our male student, David McAndrew, said they didn’t think dress code targeted anyone in particular. David said that, “It doesn’t target anyone because it’s set for everyone, like, if you’re wearing this, it’s not good regardless.” Irene reported that, “I don’t think it’s really biased, I think they do it to everyone, but even for everybody they’re still too strict on them. I don’t think they’re too biased about it.”

Now for the readers: have any of you had issues with the school’s dress code? Do you think it was unfair? Do you think after all the issues and complaints they should change some of our dress code rules? If so, which ones? We’d love to have input!


๐ŸŽผSenior high band banquet ๐ŸŽต by Kali Gipson

The senior high band banquet is scheduled at 6:30 pm, Friday, May 12 and is taking place at Bono Church of Christ. This will include 8th through 12th grade students.
Pictured above Bono Church of Christ 101 Craftsbury Lane, Bono Arkansas 72416

The price is $5 per person with the exception of seniors who get in free. This charge is to cover the cost of the awards. The band parents will be providing the food and decorations. Food being served will include boston butts, cole slaw, chips, dip, cheesecake, cupcakes, soda, and tea. The band banquet awards band members for their hard work and dedication through the year. The banquet will also be the last event for seniors before graduation and their penultimate goodbye to Mr. Bratten. At the end of the banquet the band slideshow will be shown and pictures will be taken.

~Kali Gipson


Food grown in strange ways by Jaycee Hughes

Pineapple - Here is a shocker to many people: pineapples grow from the center of a bush. They are also considered to be a berry since they grow in clusters. (They are expensive because it takes 2- 3 years to grow.)

Cacao/ Cocoa Beans - The cacao bean is grown from a tree, but everyone just focuses on what is inside--the cocoa seed (chocolate); before it can be ground up to be made into chocolate, you must first roast and ferment it.
Vanilla - Only one type of bee can pollinate this orchid; it is only found in Mexico and Central America. Other vanilla must be hand pollinated. ( This is the reason it is so expensive.)

Asparagus - It regrows like tiny, skinny trees. It is a “perennial” plant, which means that in the right conditions it will grown back every year even if you cut it. After a long period of time, it grows leaves to resemble a fern and grows toxic little red berries.

Cashews: They grow on trees. The cashew nut is encased in a shell at the base of the cashew fruit-- commonly known as the cashew apple. In some countries the ‘apple’ is made into jellies, drinks, and sometimes distilled into a liquor.

Peanuts- Peanuts are actually not a nut. They are actually legumes, putting them in the same grouping as kidney and lima beans.

Coffee- Most people know the famous look of the coffee bean, but how many know of the cherry like fruit that the seed comes from? It is grown on a plant that many describe as a bush or small tree. It is called coffea arabica (which also inspired Herbal Essence to mimic the smell for one of their new natural scents).Most people ignore the fruit that the seed is encased in, but it can be brewed into a tea that is used for prayer to Muhammad, and they would also grind the entire fruit to make flavored coffee. In Africa the berries are often chewed to gather the strength from the seed without the extreme bitter taste of the coffee seed.

Artichokes: They are actually a flower that hasn’t bloomed yet.  It is also hidden in the middle of a cluster of flowers.

Brussel Sprouts: They are a part of the cabbage; they are edible buds that grow on a stalk rising about 2 - 2 ½ feet tall. When at full maturity, in many organic stores, you can actually buy the brussel sprouts on the stalk that you pick off yourself. (It is actually pretty fun, but it is sometimes hard to get the sprouts off without a knife or strength.)

Sources from the text:


Chromebook financing

Some of you may wonder, “how much money is put into the chromebook budget annually?” Well, although we cannot answer this directly, after some research, we can give you an understanding of how it all works. On average, about 10 people come in daily with chromebook issues. These issues can range from battered and broken chromebooks to software updates just kicking people off of the internet. The highest amount of money that a student will have to pay for a broken chromebook is $400. This amount is for total destruction of the motherboard, at which point the rest of the device is salvaged. The lowest that a student can pay is $50. There is no reason for this price besides just a general consensus of the school. We asked Mrs. Cooper what she thought of the chromebooks,and she replied,” For the abuse that they take, they are pretty high quality.”
After we gathered these estimates, we took it upon ourselves to find out if the chromebooks are recorded in our school's finances. To our surprise, we found that there isn’t really much that directly regards the chromebooks themselves. Instead it’s all broad terms for anything technological. We have many different revenue streams from which we get our money. The money we receive falls into four categorical funds, one of which is technology. Since the school has so much technology, narrowing the money down to one number is a hard task to do for chromebooks specifically. We found that a rough estimate on our technology budget is around $70,000 to $75,000 annually. The school then takes that money and draws out a plan on how to use it. We did some calculations of our own though. We saw that if you take the three people a day for 36 weeks, you have around $7750 on chromebook repairs alone. (Let us remind you that this holds no bearings to the information that we have presented to you; this is just what we calculated). Finally, we asked what the plan was for replacement computers in the future would be, as they no longer manufacture the motherboards needed for the current chromebooks. Mrs. Cooper said that “We would most likely move to a newer model of the chromebooks that would be a bit thinner, but would otherwise be about the same (as the old model).”

By: Brandon Smith and Marc Carter


An Inconvenient Truth review by Mason Jones

This documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, honestly changed my opinion on climate change. I’ve always had an issue with trust, especially when it comes to trusting a politician. The war between Democrats and Republicans has spread into almost every aspect of our lives, but there has to be somewhere to draw the line. There comes a point when the issue is so serious that we have to put aside our personal agendas, or the world we know will cease to exist and these issues will seem minuscule compared to the chaos created by climate change.
I feel like this documentary was created with one goal-- to enlighten people on the dangers we could be facing due to climate change. As hard as I find it to trust a politician, I’m almost the complete opposite about scientists. I feel like most scientists are in search of the truth. They are curious people who hate disinformation and who look for facts. One thing that scientists unanimously agree on is the fact that Earth is getting warmer due to the increase of C02 present in the atmosphere. This is an undisputed fact and was delivered for the most part as it should have been.  With Al Gore citing scientific data, real numbers that no one can argue with, I was starting to turn my opinion on the topic.
While the presentation shined on its use of facts, it was the delivery of said facts that made me question the motives of Al Gore. Charts were used throughout the documentary, and I liked it at first because it puts the data in front of you so that you can easily interpret it. But when I stopped and further examined these charts, I discovered that they were exaggerated. They seemed to lean further to propaganda than actual scientific research.  This made me wonder, why not show things as they are? Why stretch the truth to make things seem worse than they are?
I pondered that thought for a while as we revisited the video; it was still fresh in my mind. This time when we watched Al Gore was talking about how much sea levels would rise if the earth’s warming continued at the pace it’s going at right now. As Al Gore interpreted the scientific data, I understood why he used the exaggerated graphs. The earth’s sea levels are predicted to rise 20 feet. This could lead to over 100 million refugees, complete country's disappearing, and complete devastation. And it seems like no one is listening. No one wants to hear the warnings. I understand why he is trying to scare people. He has dedicated his life to this for 30 years, and we are on the same course.
I believe that we have got to change the way we live our lives, or we will regret it. Our children will resent us for taking away the world that we have now. Mother nature will hate us and punish us with natural disasters. Everything will change if we don't.


Strange Christmas traditions in India by Brooke Peyton

(Made by my boi Emily Diamond. It's a banana Christmas tree lol.)

Even with 25 million people, only 2.3% of the population in India are Christians. With such a small amount of Christmas celebrating Christians, it calls for some weird Christmas traditions. One of India’s traditions is that instead of having a traditional evergreen Christmas tree, they have banana trees or mango trees. Brightly lit banana or mango trees can be seen in many houses topped with ornaments and Christmas decor. Sometimes mango leaves are even used as a decoration in homes.

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(Young Indian children attend a Christmas celebration in their classes dressed up as Santa Claus)

The Christmas festivities don’t stop there in India. Christians in Mumbai and Goa like to make star lanterns. Star lanterns are a symbol of the North Star, which was used to guide the wise men to baby Jesus. Star lanterns and their corresponding nativity scenes are sure to be extravagant since people like to make sure that their manger scene is the best. Churches also decorate with Poinsettia flowers and candles for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass service. To finish their nativity scenes, families make clay figures to go under their star lantern. Star lanterns could be hung outside between houses so that they float above you while you walk through the streets. Another Christmas decoration that Christians and churches put out is a small oil burning clay lamp that they put on the roofs of their homes. They do this to show their friends and neighbors that Jesus is the light of the word.

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(Star lanterns used as Christmas decorations)

For us here in the states, Santa visits in a sleigh led by reindeer. In India, Santa visits by a horse-drawn or camel-drawn cart. India’s Santa goes by many names such as Baba Christmas, Christmas Thaathaa, Christmas Thatha, Natal Bua, Christmas Elder Man, and Christmas Papa. In India, they also go Christmas caroling, just like us. Around a week before Christmas, Christians start caroling and go neighbor to neighbor singing Christmas songs.

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(Christmas camels in India)

Like our Christmas foods, Christians in India love sweets and cakes called Christmas Cakes(which are pretty much fruit cakes). One favorite Indian Christma treat is called a neureos, which is a small pastry that is stuffed with coconut and then fried. Another is dodol which is toffee with coconut and a cashew. Consuda is when people make sweets and give them as Christmas presents to their friends and neighbors.

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(An Indian Christmas cake, which is like a fruitcake)

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( A bowl of neureos, which is a traditional Christmas sweet in India)

On Christmas Eve, the main Christmas meal is eaten, which includes either roast turkey or chicken. After the meal, Christians go to church for the Midnight mass service. After the service is finished, the church bells are rung to show that Christmas day is finally here. At the Midnight mass service, many Christians celebrate Epiphany and the Wise Men’s visit to meet Jesus. Traditional Catholics fast from the 1st of December to the 24th, or until the Midnight service.

(An elephant painted up for a Christmas parade)



Mount Rainier by Austin Tyler

Image result for mount rainier

Mount Rainier has multiple names like Mount Tacoma, or Mount Tahoma. Mount Rainier is located in Washington, in the Cascade Range. It is home to many wildlife and is a state park. The mountain is a volcano but it has a special name, since it looks like just a regular old mountain. It is known as a stratovolcano because it stands so tall. It is over 14,411ft tall or 4,392m.

The mountain is over 500,000 years old, and it is still active. As a matter of fact, it is said to be the most dangerously active volcano in the area. Past eruptions have caused volcanic mud slides, which have been changing the landscape for thousands of years. The stratovolcano has erupted five times, but the last time that it was recorded was between November and December of 1894.

Mount Rainier is located on the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate. The position that the mountain is sitting on the tectonic plate is what causes the land changing volcanic mud flows. Weathering and erosion have not changed the mountain that much since it is the tallest stratovolcano or mountain in the the Cascade Range. Mount Rainier is the most glaciated stratovolcano in the contiguous U.S and has six major rivers in its state park. It is also the most unpredictable stratovolcano in the U.S.

Sources: http://www.mountrainiermd.org/ , http://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rainier 


Save the bees please! ~ Emily Diamond

The native North American bumblebee might be added to the endangered species list by conservationists and wildlife officials. The nomenclature for this animal is Bombus affinis. Sadly, they are in severe danger of becoming extinct. There are thousands of other bee species that are becoming more extinct than the North American bee, but they are more concerned for this one. Over half of the midwest’s native bee species have disappeared over the last 100 years, according to a recent study.

In this type of species, the male and worker bees have a red patch on their backs, and surprisingly the female bees are the only ones that are able to sting. Humans swatting these poor bees is not the only cause of their extinction. They keep dying off because of farming, habitat loss, disease, climate change, and pesticides. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “The economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion per year in the United States,” which is very impressive.

If you have ever seen The Bee Movie you know how important bees are to our everyday life. They pollinate the flowers which gives us the oxygen we need to breathe. Flowers need to be pollinated to be able to reproduce. So without the bees we wouldn’t have vegetables, flowers, or anything else that needs pollination. We can save the bees if we plant gardens, use less pesticides, take away the non-native plants, and take care of the natural landscapes.


Being the light guy ~ Jey Riggs

In and most cases, when most people watch a play, they only think about what they see; they focus on the actors and the story. A lot of people don’t consider the hard work of the stage crew, makeup artist(s),  the director, the stage manager sound crew, and light crew. Even I didn’t until I was put into the position of being the one man light crew.

My first play was “Game of Tiaras.” I was cast as Guard #2, a minor role. This was pretty easy for me, and I had my lines memorized within the first few rehearsals. I really enjoyed being an actor; there was a lot of pressure, but it was also a really great time.

In the spring, the drama department decided to perform “Seussical: The Musical.” Jey Riggs doesn’t sing. Despite not having interest in being on stage, I still wanted to feel like I was a part of the show. Originally, I was going to be a stage hand, which is basically someone who moves props. Then, I was given the option of doing lights instead. I took this opportunity.

At first, I was filled with fear and anxiety of ruining the entire show. To my surprise, light crew was pretty simple. I just had to push a few buttons at the right time to correspond with the script. Admittedly, I screwed up quite a few times. However, for it being my first time ever touching that light board, I’m kind of proud.

Now, I’m the official light guy for all of the plays. I really kind of miss being an actor, but there’s less competition, and I have to go to fewer rehearsals, so I guess it really isn’t that bad.

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