5/18/2017
By: Kayla Pimpton

Wth the school year ending and another one quickly  approaching, the administration has decided to make a few changes to help both students and staff. Even though administration plans on making some changes for next year, most of them are minor and are meant to help make things easier for everyone. 

 

During the summer, the administration will be examining the current attendance policy and brainstorming a new one. They will be continuing personalized learning with more departments and personalized professional development for teachers. There will be no changes made to C.O.R.E. 

 

“Teachers have been selecting their choices, so not everyone will be going to the same thing next year,” said Emily Brown. 

 

There will also be new classes added. Included in those is a new math class called math 10. This will be a class designed to help students who are struggling in math or who did not pass the ISTEP test. Dual Credit Japanese will also be a class available to students who are interested in taking it. 

 

Administration has also decided to change registration days. Now registration for grades 10-12 will happen on one day, July 19 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The freshmen will have their own registration days: July 24 for students with a last name starting with the letters A-K, and July 25 for students with a last name of L-Z. 

 

As for the Walker Career Center, there will be three new classes available for students. Fashion and Textiles Careers, Education 

 

Professions two and industrial automation and robotics are all two hour block classes that students will be able to take next year. Fashion and Textiles Career is a fashion class that students will be able to take if they have completed the Introduction to Fashion and Textiles course. 

 

Education professions two will be a class for students who are interested in teaching. This class will make it possible for students to take two years of education professions as juniors and seniors. Industrial automation and robotics is a class for students who are interested in learning about welding, precision machine, pneumatics, hydraulics and industrial technology and equipment and how it works. 

 

The last change being made in the Walker Career Center will be when freshmen take the classes personal financial responsibility and preparing for college and careers. The way the classes work right now is that half the students take PFR and PCC in the fall and then they switch in the spring. Beginning next year all freshmen will take PCC in the fall and PFR in the spring.

 

“What that allows us to do is really take that class and use it as a welcome to high school,”  WCC director Dr. Steve Rogers said. 


 

5/18/2017
By: Raziya Hillery

A dog was brought into the Indianapolis Animal Care Services that had been trained to be aggressive. It took employees and volunteers lots of work to get the dog so it could be adopted. Sadly,  the dog was returned just weeks later for unprovokingly biting a child. 

 

That dog was euthanized.

 

There was another dog, referred to as a “bait dog” that was used as practice for fighting dogs. Bait dogs can range from the size of a pit bull to the size of a Chihuahua. They are often tied to a tree or post with no defense as they are continuously attacked, scratched and hurt by another dog or multiple dogs. 

 

There are other dogs stuck in puppy mills, imprisoned for life in small cages, with the only job of producing litter for their owner’s profit. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs that are chained outside everyday in all weather conditions, abandoned, with nothing to eat.

This is the reality the IACS deals with on a daily basis according to director Ms. Madi Gregory.

 

According to the Humane Society, another animal care facility, dogs are the most common victims of animal abuse, making up 64.5 percent of cases.  Pit bulls were the most abused breed in 2015. Among the other most abused breeds are Chihuahuas, rottweilers, greyhounds and huskies. 

 

How is it that man’s best friend is the most abused, maltreated animal in the United States? To really understand this question, people must understand what constitutes animal cruelty, the signs of it and how to prevent it.

 

Legally, animal cruelty is defined as “acts of violence or neglect perpetrated against animals.” Gregory sees the intention of animal abuse as the dividing line, while neglect is another form. 

 

When asked if she would constitute something as seemingly miniscule as a dog’s collar being too tight as animal abuse, she highlighted that the intent changes things. A dog’s collar may be too tight due to the owner’s lack of knowledge. She said that caring for a dog is a learning experience and the owner may still be learning how to care for a dog properly. However, if the owner knowingly does ties the collar too tight, that is when it becomes animal abuse. 

 

“Usually, it’s the intent is what animal abuse really is, or neglect as the case may be,” Gregory said. “Our ordinate states that you have to be able to provide them with food, water, and shelter. They can’t be out chained to a fence all day and they need to well-cared for.” 

 

Neglect is defined as failure to fulfill the basic needs of caring for an animal such as food, water, shelter, or veterinary visits. Neglect is perhaps the most complicated form of animal cruelty because it engulfs intentional and unintentional animal cruelty. An owner can knowingly keep a dog outside in below freezing temperatures, an owner can truly believe that a dog is being saved by keeping it and 15 other dogs locked in the owner's home, usually in unsanitary conditions, instead of being in the streets.

 

“We’ve seen a couple animal hoarding cases lately which is also considered animal abuse because there’s neglect in abundance overload and you have to maintain healthy conditions for the dogs and cats,” she said.

 

Organizations such as the IACS and the Humane Society were created to save these animals and fix the issues that they see. IACS is the only shelter in Indianapolis that is required to take in every animal that comes through their doors. They annually save about 15,000 dogs, with the summer being their peak time for rescue. 

 

“More often times we see them just starving and thirsty,” she said.

 

When an abused dog is turned in to IACS, volunteers and staff follow a specific protocol. Staff keep the dog separated from the others and present it with food and water. Then, they give the dog time to adjust. They do not attempt to touch the dog if it is showing fear.

 

The maximum capacity for dogs in IACS is 400-500. Spots are filled everyday. When the capacities of this shelter fill, there are numerous, uncountable dogs that have yet to be saved. 

 

“Because we’re consistently taking in animals, we face capacity issues weekly. If it’s a slow week on adoptions, then we have to push hard with our rescue groups that partner with us to get some of the animals out of here so we don’t have to start euthanizing for population reasons,” she said.

So, how can people help?

 

Before we can do anything, we must inform ourselves with what animal abuse may be and its signs. Signs include but are not limited to seeing a dog neglected, intentionally ungroomed or hurt, or hundreds in a home without proper care. 

 

Once you see the signs persist and witness animal abuse, report it. Reporting animal abuse is perhaps the most important step to stopping and preventing animal abuse. Nothing can be done if authorities are unaware of what is happening. 

 

One thing that IACS is pushing for is education on how to properly care for a dog. Once more people know and understand how to maintain and care for a dog, there will be less abuse cases.

 

“A lot of people want animals, but they don’t know how to care for them properly,” she said.

 

Anyone 12 years old and above is welcomed to volunteer at the Indianapolis Animal Care Services. The shelter is in need of people with expertise and love to be advocates for the animals. Starting at 21, people are able to adopt or foster dogs as well. Those people go through a series of rigorous background checks before being allowed care for dogs.

 

IACS not only accepts donations of time, but they also accept donations of food and treats. That way, there is one less thing to worry about and more time to focus on saving our companions. 

This Pit Bull mix watches, barks, and wags its tail as people walk past. Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes have made up the majority of surrendered dogs at the Indianapolis Animal Care Services.

photo by Raziya Hillery

4/25/2017
By: Ramatou Soumare

Prom is quickly approaching and while there are certain things to worry about such as the details of pictures, coordinating rides and what to do afterwards, no one should forget the things that you’ll need on the night of Prom itself. Here are a few things to remember to make it the perfect night:

Deodorant: What do you think happens after dancing in a room full of people with heavy makeup, long dresses, strong cologne and fancy tuxes? Sweat! Everyone, after the first hour will obviously start to smell. The blend of perfume and cologne will start to fade and the forceful smell of musk will overtake the room. The best way to prevent yourself from being a victim of the mixture of smells is to be armed with precautions. Don’t bring perfume. Bring deodorant.

Charger: This is one of the most vital items to have with you on hand at all time. Especially with smartphones, you never know when your phone is going to die. You could be recording a video of someone tearing up the dance floor one minute and then your phone will be dead and wasting space in your pocket the next. There are so many places to charge your phone so don’t forget to bring one.

Flip Flops/ Sandals: Ladies. We get it, those heels were expensive and they look amazing with your dress. Don’t you think that after two hours your feet will start crying for release? Then you decide to take your shoes off and walk around barefooted. That is the most disgusting idea you could possibly think of. This is why you bring an extra pair of sandals or flip flops. The chances of you stepping into something disgusting barefooted are more avoidable if you just bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes.

Dinner: Many students attending prom reserve seating at a restaurant before prom. People go out and spend more than $20 on a meal when a meal is already provided. The ticket that you purchase is meant to cover the cost of food, so you don’t have to spend more before the event. It would make more sense to go out somewhere like Steak ‘n’ Shake after Prom which requires you to bring extra cash. This way, you’re not spending more money than you should be, all because you want to look fancy.

Parking: Our school is not the only school hosting a Prom downtown on April 29. The downtown area will be crowded with cars, limos and even party busses. The chances of finding a convenient parking space close to the ballroom are slim to none. This is why everyone should plan ahead for parking. Do some research to find out parking locations and how much they cost. Plan to walk a bit. When you purchase your ticket there will be a page of information about parking. Read that information so you are aware of problems that could arise and how to avoid those problems.

Umbrella/Poncho: There is a huge chance that it will rain on the night of Prom and the only way to prevent any damage to hair and clothes is to bring and umbrella or poncho. Girls who spend hours working on their hair and makeup will definitely regret not bringing something to protect themselves. For those of you guys renting tuxedos or wearing expensive brands, BRING AN UMBRELLA! Don't let the rain put a damper on what is supposed to be a night to remember. 


Advice from Kelsi Martens:  I would return those expensive shoes you bought because you’re going to be dancing all night and obviously those shoes are going to have to come off. It’s Prom! You should get dolled up and get low on the dance floor. Take a lot of pictures and enjoy your time. Of course you’ll need to make sure you bring with you: bobby pins, safety pins, chapstick, lip gloss or lipstick. Also don’t forget hairspray, extra deodorant and a phone charger. The most important thing for the guys to remember is the corsage, but also to be sweet and kind. 


 

2/24/2017
By: Student Webmaster

THREE STORIES

My Little Brother

My little brother was always strange, never really fit into a crowd. He could talk to people just fine, but more or less just kept to himself. Last year, I came home from school just like it was a normal day, but when I got there my mom and her SUV were on and waiting for me to get home. Mom was sitting in the car and crying. At the time, I had no idea why. My brother was also sitting in the car, and he had a look on his face that I had never seen before. She told me to get in the car and start driving, telling me where to make turns. We left the side of town that I had normally been around, and after about half an hour we got to our destination: a mental hospital. I was very confused when we got there, and after they admitted my brother I was told the full story. 

Earlier that day my brother had written a suicide note and had stolen a bottle of mom’s pills. If he grabbed a bottle that she didn’t use constantly she would of never found out in time.  Once he actually went into the hospital we had to sit and wait, waiting for someone to come talk to us, tell us how long he would be there, and if they thought he was gonna be okay. Mom cried the entire time, and I sat there for almost three hours of silence before I decided that I needed to go home. I called my dad, who was told about what happened before me and was at home waiting for a call, and told him that I needed to leave and go home. Before I left the hospital I hadn’t cried about what happened yet, but as soon as I got into the car to leave I broke down, crying the entire trip home.

I just had so many questions. Why was I caught off guard? When I looked at the warning signs my brother showed so many, but I paid no mind to them because I just assumed he was antisocial. When did he start wanting to die? How could he? That was the worst part, I think. I didn’t know it was coming and I had no clue what to do. 

It’s been over a year since then, and since then my little brother was put on medication and came home, diagnosed with some form of depression. If I have learned anything from what happened last January, it is to not ignore any of the signs. You have to be aware that some of the people that seem the happiest really are just hiding the pain and want help, but don’t know how to ask. Don’t ignore the signs.

My Best Friend

Suicide has been in my life, from stories on the news or stories from my friends. However, all their stories blended together in a blob that seemed to tell the same tale. That was until I met Max.

Max was a close friend who trusted me enough to tell me his story. He was molested by family members, which led to a series of depressive episodes that weren’t helped by his father, who was in the army and was required to move every three years. He had spent some time in a hospital after attacking himself, and spent over two months there. Despite, what help he did received he still had night terrors that plagued him.

I felt so helpless after he moved away, the distance between us prevented me from reaching out to help him. It was destroying me. Despite sending countless of messages telling him he wasn’t alone, it never seemed to help. It damaged me, I threw myself into all his problems head first, even if it risked me ignoring my social life. I stepped back and had to look at myself and saw that I was a shell of a person, filled with his problems. I had to take a break from him, and in that break we learned a lot about ourselves. He learned what his problems meant, and I learned what I meant to myself.

Max still needs help to recover from the years of trauma, but we are both aware that these problems cannot become us. I learned that we cannot forget ourselves in the problems of other people. Suicide has affected me in a large way, it’s such a melancholy and avoided subject but it can teach you a lot about yourself and where you stand as a person.


Myself

It all started when I moved from Whiteland to Indianapolis.  I lost all my friends that I went to school with from grades four to seven. I had so many friends. I moved here and I knew no one. I didn’t want to do anything. We moved here in July of 2014. I didn’t want to make new friends, and I was scared because I’ve always been a bigger girl than other people. I thought that since I was overweight I would get made fun of. I talked to my mom about home-school online, because that way I wouldn’t have to face other people. In August of 2014 I started school online, and I was alone from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M. every day, sometimes even working alone until midnight. I was lonely and sad, and began to cut and eat more because I was bored. 

In October it got even worse. I had gained 20-25 pounds in 2 months. I began to become depressed. I felt unwanted, nasty and ugly. I began to harm myself and  cry for hours on end. One night, I was alone and I thought that maybe I should just kill myself. I went into my bathroom, and tried to find all the pills I could. I started crying and trying to take all of them. I sat there and talked to myself about how my family would feel and how they’d hate me. 

After all the stuff I’ve been through I’ve made it. You can make it too. We all have weak moments and think life isn’t worth living. But it is. Life gets hard ,yes, but it will change. Don’t let others bring you down. Love yourself, your flaws and everything about yourself. Life gets better. Nowadays I am happy that I didn’t end my life. 

2/24/2017
By: Zach Acton

Losing a loved one can be devastating and when it is someone who died unexpectedly, the pain can be even worse. Suicide is tenth leading cause of death in the United States. It kills tens of thousands of Americans every year and has been the second highest loss in the lives of teens and young adults for the last decade. 

Every nine hours a loved one in Indiana dies by suicide. In Indiana, approximately one in ten teenagers will attempt suicide while. Last year alone, suicide killed almost 45000 Americans. 

This statistic is slowly on the rise, with 2015 claiming roughly a thousand less. In 2014 the number was down to 42000. According to the CDC, there has been roughly 575,000 suicides since the year 2000. 

Financially, suicide roughly costs communities $44 billion every year nationwide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In Indiana alone, around $1 billion is spent due to suicide. This includes attempts that are stopped by paramedics along with postmortem care for those who die by suicide.  

Suicidal thoughts are not a trend that affects only one race, gender or economic status. It is a problem that affects society as a whole and anyone who feels this way are not alone. In Indiana, one in five teenagers have contemplated suicide.

Out of all 50 states, Indiana has the highest number of students who have contemplated suicide. Indiana also is the second highest number of students who actually attempt suicide, with one in nine students attempting at some point in their student careers. On average, for every 25 suicide attempts there is at least one death by suicide. 

The cause for a student to feel suicidal can vary from teen to teen. Moving, a stressful school situation, parents divorce or a family member’s death can put someone in a deep depression that bring them to feel life is not worth living. 

No matter the reason someone wants to end his or her lives, it is a serious issue that requires both tact and support. If someone is feeling suicidal, do not leave the person alone, remove all firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects from the household. Removing any sort of weapons limits the opportunity to do anything rash. Call the U.S National suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK(8255) or call the police, who can send an ambulance for the person in need. Even if the suicidal individual states that being sent somewhere will cause him or her to want to kill themselves more, the fact of the matter is that being in the hospital will put them into the safest hands possible, and they would be able to receive the help they desperately need. Many parents and fellow students, however, are unable to know when a student is suicidal, with many of the obvious signs going unnoticed.

To combat this, Community North and WTHR have teamed up, creating the website www.havehope.com, a teen suicide awareness movement for Indiana. The movement hopes to increase information that youth and parents have available to them, believing that having more knowledge on the subject will lower the number of suicides. 

“We all play a part in recognizing the potential for it in students or in youth in general,” said David Petersohn, an Indiana teacher who once taught at Stonybrook Middle School, who now works with the Have Hope Movement. Petersohn urges all parents and educators to keep open to the signs and look out for even the smallest of signs, because finding the smallest of signs could be the difference between a student’s life or death. 

The movement offers a simple test that allows people to get a general idea for where they land on the spectrum of depression, stories of people from different perspectives on how they have dealt with suicide and even provides a locator for the nearest mental health facility. 

Suicide is never the answer, and even when life seems hopeless and that no resolution is in sight, there is always a support system in place. Whether it is a trusted teacher or a counselor, a peer or a family member, the environment is full of people who are ready and able to help someone through it. Suicide claims a life every nine hours, but with proper awareness and the knowledge on how to handle a situation, suicides can be stopped and the lives of those who would be claimed by it can be saved.