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Published by The Chronicle, 2017-01-24 15:15:42

Edition 14.5


Vol. 14, Issue 5 | William Mason High School | 6100 Mason Montgomery Road Mason, OH | 1.27.17



norms confine
students in

modern dating

[See cover story, page 2]

cover story Seniors Abby Martin
and Ashay Shah have
Students push boundaries in modern romances been together for sev-
en months. Martin is
2 Asia Porter | Online Editor Juniors Faith Scully Christian, while Shah
and Jarrett Pontious is Jane, a denomina-
Couples are rewriting the “Boy meets girl” have been dating for a tion of Hinduism. Mar-
love story by breaking the boundaries of year and a half. Scully tin said while Shah’s
modern romance. is Caucasian, while parents are aware of the two’s relationship
Pontious is Malaysian. and support it, they are less welcoming of
They challenge the idea that love only Scully said that she has the idea than her parents.
exists between a man and a woman from the found while people claim to be accepting
same background by dating across races and of these modern relationships, it does not “I was more worried about how his parents
religions and within genders. Since the Su- always translate through their actions. would receive it, because my parents don’t
preme Court legalized interracial marriage in really care,” Martin said. “It’s interesting be-
1967 and same-sex marriage in 2015, romantic “They don’t have any negative feelings, cause his family dynamic is so different from
storylines have diversified to encompass a but it’s just kind of an idea that they still my family dynamic, so his parents are more
multitude of relationships. have to get used to,” Scully said. “They’re weird about him dating a white girl than
taken aback by it, and they haven’t really my parents are about me dating an Indian
Senior Sebastian Castillo trained themselves to look at people for who boy. They know, but it’s sort of more of an
is Venezuelan and has they really are. Now that it’s acceptable in elephant in the room.”
been dating junior Lexie society, and because it’s more of a normal-
Lucius, who is Caucasian, ized thing, I think they’ve learned to say, ‘Oh, While Martin said her parents are ac-
for a little over three that’s fine!’ but because they’re not actually cepting, she expects the source of parents’
months. Castillo said while involved with other racial groups, they’ll say disapproval to be the society in which they
the two’s cultures aren’t something that’s problematic later on.” grew up.
completely polar, adjusting to each other’s
cultures and traditions requires extra effort. Junior Sanjana Nath “I think it depends on the generation,”
said while dating some- Martin said. “My parents are totally fine
“I took Lexie to a dinner with us, and not one of a different culture with it, but when my grandma found out I
my immediate family but my family that can require additional was dating an Indian guy she was like, ‘Oh
came to visit don’t speak English that well,” effort, there is something really?’ and it was weird for her. For our gen-
Castillo said. “They were talking in Span- that can be gained from eration, it’s more normalized, but for older
ish, and it was a lot of translation that I had having experienced one generations, I think it’s weird for them.”
to do for Lexie, and we all had to speak in of these modern relationships, saying she has
like half-English, half-Spanish. It’s not like learned more about her boyfriend of a year The generational
there’s troubles or anything, but it definitely and a half, junior EM-J Galang, and his Fili- gap is also present
takes a little more work when you want to pino culture throughout her time with him. in viewpoints of rela-
get to know the family.” tionships stemming
“Sometimes, we just teach each other from the Lesbian,
Castillo said the two of them are learning words from his language,” Nath said. “I speak Gay, Bisexual and
patience and open-mindedness. Hindi, and he speaks the language of the Transgender com-
Philippines, which is Tagalog, and it’s really munity. While the
“She was very patient, and just listening to cool. I guess that’s an extra effort because Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling broke down
everything and trying to grab different piec- most people who are the same race or cul- major barriers for the LGBT community
es of what they were saying,” Castillo said. ture or religion already know those things towards gaining acceptance, those with
“When she’s with my family, it’s not gonna because they share them.” more conservative views maintain the
be exactly how she goes through everything image of a relationship being between a
with her family, so she’s learning to keep man and a woman.
an open mind, and I’m learning to keep an
open mind when I’m with her family.” Sophomores Anna Kemper and Emily
Plummer have been dating for a year and
1.27.17 Photo at top, from left to right: junior Faith Scully, junior Jarrett Pontious, sophomore Emily Plummer, sophomore Anna three months; however, Kemper said she
Kemper, junior Em-J Galang, senior Abby Martin, senior Ashay Shah. Photos by Asia Porter. only recently told her mom she was dat-
ing Plummer.

“My mom is not very open–she doesn’t
like talking about it,” Kemper said. “We’ve
only talked about it very, very few times.
The rest of my family sees it as weird and
uses ‘gay’ as a curse-word; they don’t like
that word.”

Plummer said she often feels expected
to hide her sexual orientation.

“Since coming out, I guess a lot of
people do hate me more,” Plummer said.
“People think that in these days you
shouldn’t talk about if you’re gay, and
if you have pride in it, it shouldn’t be
spoken. So whenever I talk about it, then
people will really get annoyed and frus-
trated with me.”

New Ohio laws will hit close to home in 2017 news

Impact of new permitted to complete missed as- solving skills early on in life. “We want safe athletes; we want
legislation to be felt signments during suspension. Petrey “I think it’s outstanding,” Petrey a safe environment,” Reedy said.
in the Mason City said that Mason’s policy will look “Anything that helps with that, we
School District for ways to help the student before said. “The more we can prepare kids will fully support. I’m sure we will
resorting to suspension. to be problem solvers, to be creative learn more about what we need to
Alekya Raghavan | Staff Writer thinkers, the better kids are going do before the next school year. I
“Our goal in Mason is to educate to do, not only in school, but in life. look forward to learning more about
Ohio lawmakers are ringing in the kids first,” Petrey said. “We realize They will have those skills to address this new law and it should only
New Year with the passage of more that kids make mistakes. And we’ve anything that they’re encountered help what we do here. We’ve gone
than fifty new laws. always had the philosophy that we’re with in life. So it’s very important, at through a lot of different training
going to educate kids regardless of the earliest levels, that we introduce programs in the past. All of that is
The laws, which cover a variety of what they do. So instead of suspend- things like STEM.” designed to help us so that we’re not
subjects from education to health ing kids and kicking them out, we ever doing anything that would put
to safety, took effect in Ohio on look at what we can do to help them. Snow Day Regulations a student athlete at risk.”
January 1. While some of these laws It depends on what the child does to
do not have a local impact so much end up in the situation.” Changes have been made to
as a state one, several of them are snow day regulations so that they
inciting changes here at Mason. The Stem Curriculum no longer require schools to get Student Debt
laws primarily affect the functioning state approval for making up school
of the school system as well as how days lost to bad weather. Formerly, Not all of the laws mean good
students plan for the future. the Ohio Department of Education
Other changes to the district would be required to sign off on any news for students. More fees have
Student Discipline “blizzard bags,” but now, schools are
include the introduction of STEM allowed to devise their own methods been added to student loan balances
One significant law concerns tru- for making up the lost time. Petrey
ancy, which states that students may curriculum as early as kindergar- said that the district will continue to and there is currently no limit for
not be suspended or expelled for follow its current policy of making
missing an unreasonable number of ten instead of starting in the sixth up snow days, which requires stu- how high they can go. Debt collec-
school days for inexcusable reasons. dents to spend minimum number of
District Chief Operation Officer grade. The idea is to promote STEM hours in school per year instead of a tors can now charge even higher
Todd Petrey said that Mason already minimum number of days.
follows this system with a five-step subjects early on and have the pro- collection fees on student loans.
program that aims to discipline kids
without suspension. grams carry As a result, discussions have taken

“Mason is already complying on through place about how to better inform
with that law,” Petrey said. “We’ve
actually been asked to meet with the grade high school
county and present to them how we
do attendance. We have a five-step school. Bar- students 3
plan, and each step defines what we
do for each day missed. Once the bara Shuba, about the
kid misses a certain number of days,
we send a letter to the parents, then head of ramifications
we ask for a doctor’s note, and at a
certain point we ask for an interven- the science of college
tion meeting.”
department Student Athletes debt.
The new laws also mandate that
the state must develop a “model at Mason, Chemistry teacher Senior Jack
school-discipline policy” that focuses said the new Barbara Shuba
on alternatives to suspension or law will only Laws have also been added to pro- Bohls, who
expulsion. Students are also now
tect students from Sudden Cardiac is planning Senior Jack Bohls
Photos by Alekya Raghavan on indepen-
force learning on students, instead Arrest (SAC), the leading killer of

of letting students discover their student athletes in high school and dently paying

own interests. college. Athletes and their parents for college, said that laws should

“I have a problem with laws forc- must now not be adding more fees, but rather

ing things that should naturally review help students by decreasing college

happen,” Shuba said. “I think if you guidelines tuition.

let kids naturally take their course, concerning “Personally, I think it hurts stu-

they’re going to experiment. I love the risks dents in the long run,” Bohls said.

the idea that our school gave the and warning “Stacking more (fees) on top of debt

personal learning days, and I hope signs of SAC, just makes things worse. Especially

our students will embrace that. I and coaches if you don’t have more scholar-

think the best thing would be to are required Men’s Soccer Coach ships, it hurts. Right now the debt
to complete Paul Reedy
really go back and embrace learn- an annual is ridiculous, and in the end, when

ing for what it is, to learn. And to you get out of college, you have

let kids explore what they want to training course on the condition. to pay that back with taxes. I think

explore, not check the box because Boys soccer head coach Paul Reedy colleges need to lower their prices. I

some (law) told (them) to.” said that the law will help coaches think the government should force

Petrey said that the new law is create a safer training environment schools to lower their tuitions.”

important for developing problem for student athletes.

The Chronicle’s Policy The Chronicle Staff
The Chronicle is the official student The Chronicle is published monthly. The Chronicle is a member of The Jessica Sommerville Online Editor Staff Writers Eric Michael
newspaper of William Mason High Call 398-5025 ext. 33103 for infor- Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Managing Editor Asia Porter Calista Busch Ria Parikh
School. mation regarding advertising in The The National Scholastic Press Asso- India Kirssin Multimedia Editor Joey Deaton Meghan Pottle
Chronicle. The Chronicle reserves the ciation, Quill and Scroll International Associate Editor Alyssa Brooks Juliana Discher Asia Porter
The Chronicle promises to report the right to refuse advertising it deems in- Honorary Society for High School Jour- Arnav Damodhar Business Manager Jacob Fulton Alekya Raghavan
truth and adhere to the journalistic appropriate for a high school publica- nalists and the Ohio Scholastic Media Sports Editor Ashton Nichols Bryan Hudnell Lauren Thomas
code of ethics through online and print tion. Association. Eric Miller Graphic Designers Luke Hutchinson Joann Tsai
mediums. Ryan D’Souza Alexandra Lisa Delaney Turner
As an open forum for students, let- Contact Information Dalton Craven Charlie MacKenzie Freddie Wilhelm
The Chronicle is produced by students ters to the editor are welcome, but are The Chronicle Duncan MacKenzie
enrolled in Journalism I, II and III. subject to be edited for length, libel, ob- William Mason High School Isabel Marotta Adviser
scenity, clarity and poor taste. Letters to 6100 S. Mason Montgomery Rd. Jonathan McCollough Dale Conner
Editorials reflect the staff ’s opinion the editor may be dropped off in room Mason, Ohio 45040
but do not necessarily reflect the opin- C103 and must be signed. (513) 398-5025 1.27.17
ions of the school administration or the
Mason City School District.


Internet connection causes trouble during exam week

Ashton Nichols | Staff Writer Graphic advises teachers is to always create a
by Ryan contingency plans for online testing
4 On Monday, December 19, 2016, several of D’Souza, and to be flexible. State mandated
Financial Literacy teacher Jennifer them had fin- tests also have regulations set in
1.27.17 Striker proctored her final exam to ished. It required Bryan place for situation where the wifi
her students. Midway through the a little bit of effort Hudnell
exam, the internet connection went on my part, as I had does go down, which al-
down and more than half of the to go back and change some attacked SW- lows students to retake
students lost their exams. of the parameters so they could ac- OCA which affected the internet the standardized test.
cess it again. The exam was a little access to multiple school districts. “We work closely
Striker said she was fortunate to compromised because the students This is a safety protocol that keeps with SWOCA to pro-
have a paper copy of her exam. were able to see the content.” our internet access safe and clean
of viruses. It was nothing on our actively protect our
“I could immediately give it to the Gentene said that because the in- school’s end or the district’s end that infrastructure from
students to have them keep working ternet was down for most of the first we could have done differently.” harmful internet attacks
and complete their test by pen and bell final exam, her students who Mason City Schools Chief Innova- and provide safe online
paper,” Striker said. “It definitely did not finish had to retake the final tion Officer Jonathan Cooper said learning experiences for
rocked the students because they at a later time. the internet went down on exam day our teachers and students,” Cooper
didn’t know if their computer was as safety protocol from SWOCA not said. “When they identify an attack
going to go out next. The students “It’s kind of pain at the time because of issues within the internet on the system, it hits them before us.
that had to take the test by paper because it’s one of those moments itself. It’s a safety firewall, and they would
had to restart to question number where you feel like a deer in the “SWOCA made an executive deci- shut off (the attack) so we don’t have
one because I had no way of verify- headlights as a teacher, because you sion to cut off internet access to the the attack on us.”
ing if they had completed (a) portion have 202 eyes staring at you, but if districts of its service,” Cooper said. During winter break, Cooper said
of test, or if the computer had actu- the students know most teachers, we “When they have an attack on their the entire infrastructure of the wifi
ally recorded it.” aired in their favor and did every- districts of service, they go into a was upgraded – the bandwidth of
thing we can, because it’s not their protocol to keep us safe.” the wifi was upgraded from 1 gigabit
Sophomore Kaitlyn Langbein was fault,” Gentene said. “The benefit to Cooper said the Mason City to 10 gigabytes, along with all 220 of
taking her Financial Literacy exam me was I had the ability to change Schools District invested approxi- the access points replaced. The new
when the internet went down. She some of the problems without mately $250,000 to upgrade the wifi system can now view the phones
was on question 88 out of 100 and having to recreate the entire test system and infrastructure. If an on the network, and disconnect idle
had to retake the entire test. because the software is algorithmic.” attack were to happen again, Cooper cell phones to allow new students to
connect. A splash page with terms of
“It just stopped working, and my Assistant Principal Dion Reyes agreement has also been added as a
whole page froze,” Langbein said. said the internet provider for Mason proactive safety measure.
“I freaked out and had to try five High School is the Southwest Ohio “The reason we have splash page
different computers to get it to work. Computer Association (SWOCA), is so we know what guests we have
It happened to two other people, and and when the internet went down on in the building, so if we ever had
then it got to the point where I had exam day, it was not on the school’s someone do something that is really
30 minutes left in the class period, end but SWOCA’s. damaging to our buildings infra-
so (Striker) printed out a paper copy, structure, we now know possibly
and I had to restart.” “What happened on that specific where it came from,” Cooper said.
day, there (was) a denial of a service “It’s also to let everyone know that
Honors Accounting teacher Debra attack,” Reyes said. “It is someone you have now entered into school
Gentene also had similar issues for telling a bunch of different servers online experience which comes with
her final exam. The test was admin- to send a bunch of information at school expectations, and once you
istered online with 101 total students once to SWOCA. On that day, there accept, you’re agreeing to act as a
enrolled in the class. was an individual that specifically responsible digital citizen honoring
the rules of the school.”
“We use software that is internet
based,” Gentene said. “(When the
internet went down), many (stu-
dents) had lost their connection, but

High schoolers practice ancient art of Tae Kwon Do feature
to achieve emotional, physical harmony

Delaney Turner | Staff Writer younger belts and help them learn “It helped
their forms and make sure they’re mmee learn
For some, belts signify more than doing okay as well. I am a first degree ddiisscciipplliinnee,,
just a way to tighten a pair of loose black belt, and I look up to the second self ccoonnttrrool,l,
pants. degree black belts and other first de- perseverance,
gree black belts who know more than sseellff respect.”
Tae Kwon Do, an ancient form of I do, but it requires you to be a leader
Korean martial arts, is being taken to when you’re a black belt.” 5
new levels among Mason High School
students. Tae Kwon Do translates to Senior Gavin Tysl, who is also a
“the way of the foot and fist.” It is a black belt, said that Taekwondo is his
widely practiced form of martial arts avenue for bettering his path, both
around the world. physically and mentally.

After years of hard mental and “Martial arts is still physical exer-
physical training, one can become a tion, but it’s very different,” Tysl
black belt. The black belt is the high- said. “As far as ball sports, you’ll have
est belt in Tae Kwon Do, and it takes seasons, with games leading up to
years to reach. Students must pass an your final game, but with Tae Kwon
exam consisting of various physical Do, it’s year round, so we never stop.
challenges and tests of technique. Ju- We never have an offseason.”
nior Hailey Friday said that Tae Kwon
Do brings unique challenges when For many students, team sports pro-
learning to become a black belt. vide an opportunity to find connec-
tions and follow a passion. Although
“To get to the black belt I had to Tae Kwon Do is an individual sport,
do one hundred pushups (and) I had Tysl said that the atmosphere allows
to break at least fifteen or sixteen him to feel as though he is part of a
boards,” Friday said. “I also had to team.
know at least five forms and my hand
techniques. I was really nervous when “There is definitely a team aspect to
I did my test, but it was worth it.” it,” Tysl said. “Where I go, it’s some-
what of a small school so everybody
On top of the physical aspect, Tae knows everybody there, so in that way
Kwon Do is based upon core values of it is like a team effort, but at the same
the participant. time, it is on you to work on making
sure you understand the content. A
“Tae Kwon Do teaches you to be lot of times you will work one on one
very determined and patient,” Friday
said. “When you break boards, it with a black
can be very long and belt and they’ll teach you.”
challenging. I’ve
learned a lot Tysl said that Tae Kwon Do is his
through de- form of a team sport and is something
termination. he is very passionate about.
Respect is a
huge founda- “It’s helped me learn discipline, self-
tion of martial arts because you control, perseverance, self respect, and
have to bow to your masters and also, when I was a little kid, I wanted
people around you, which also goes to learn all of the awesome fighting
along with being very humble.” moves,” Tysl said. “In that essence, it
is very special to me.”
Reaching the black belt rank brings
many responsibilities. Black belts play
a key leadership role in and out of the
dojo. Friday said that the ability to be
an example to her peers is one of the
greatest benefits of being a black belt.

“When you’re a black belt, there are
a lot more expectations,” Friday said.
“You are expected to be a leader to the

Photo by Delaney Turner.
Junior Hailey Friday practices her front stance.

What does it mean: “Tae” means “foot” or “to strike with the feet.” “Kwon” means “hand,” or “to strike with the hand.” “Do” means discipline, art, 1.27.17
or way. Hence, Tae Kwon Do (foot-hand-way) means literally “the art of the feet and the hands” or “the art of kicking and punching.” Different
schools and/or styles may impose different variations on the formal definition, however. For example, some styles add the words “self-defense”
to the literal definition and/or throw in some form of the phrase “physical and mental training.”

feature Students with dyslexia face academic challenges

Delaney Turner | Staff Writer Yarborough said that dyslexia can be Problems like this can be seen in
more places than just the classroom.
Dyslexia Imagine if every letter in this sen- interpreted on a deeper level, and can Reading road signs and finding their
reveal weaknesses in the processing way around town is an everyday task for
most upperclassmen, but can be a chal-
affects 1 in 10 tence was flipped. hemisphere of the brain. lenge for people with dyslexia.
individuals, Dyslexia is the most common learn- “Kids who are dyslexic are what we
Dyslexia can come in many forms.
many of whom ing disability among students, but call ‘left brain weak,’” Yarborough said. It is most evident with words, but also
unlike other common disabilities like “The skills that they need to strengthen occurs with numbers. For senior Griffin
Burress, his dyslexia affects both.
remain Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention are actually in the left hemisphere. The
undiagnosed Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, it has no left hemisphere is very detail-oriented, “On an average day, the words will
medicinal treatment. Dyslexia is not a more sequential and logical, and it’s the usually be flipped or backwards, but
when I’m in math the numbers are com-
and receive condition based on a lack of intelligence one that helps you to break things down pletely flipped,” Buress said.
little or no or poor vision. It is simply a difficulty in into smaller parts.”
intervention reading. There are many methods that can be
Students with dyslexia may struggle taught to lessen the burden of dyslexia
Carol Yarborough, Program Director to read at the same pace as their peers. on students. Yarborough said the most
common approaches break down how to
services of Brain Balance in Cincinnati, a center For some, letters like b and d will be process various words and sounds.
specializing in improving induvidual flipped. For students like senior Katie
“The Lindamood-Bell approach or
performance and social Kenniston, the words appear to be float- Orton-Gillingham approach are ways of
teaching the phonics piece very sequen-
page. each set of sounds to the student and
progress it through and teach them how
“Mine is specifi- to sound them out in order, in a way that
cally words on a makes it easier. Most kids with dyslexia,
printed page,” if they’ve been exposed to (these meth-
Kenniston said. ods) they do get to the point where they
“It’s like the page can read and comprehend pretty well.”
is stationary, but
the words are Although dyslexia is untreatable by
moving around.” medicine, it does not stop students like
Kenniston and Burress from living life
Kenniston as regular high schoolers.
discovered her
dyslexia when “I just go into everything thinking ‘I
she was in second have dyslexia’ so my mind has already
grade. For many, prepared itself,” Burress said. “It won’t
happen as much as it used to, it’s got-
More than 40 behavior for children, said dyslexia is dyslexia is deter- ten better as I’ve grown, and if it does
happen, I’ll catch it, and it won’t happen
mined at a young age, around the time for a long time. It’s kind of in spurts; I’ll
open up a book and it’s backwards so
million the brain’s inability to process informa- children begin to read. As the reading obviously something is wrong. You just
American tion as efficiently as someone without level of others advances, it becomes have to think to yourself ‘It happens.’”
dyslexia. more difficult for dyslexic students to

Adults are “It is a neurological processing issue,” adapt to the progression, specifically in
dyslexic – and Yarborough said. “It has to do with a Advanced Placement classes.
only 2 million language processing or sequential disor-
der, (or) the ability for the brain to break “I couldn’t take harder classes because
of it,” Kenniston said. “I had a lot of

know it language into smaller pieces, so when trouble with it in AP Comp last year
you’re reading and trying to put all of with Gatsby and having to read giant

Graphic by Ryan D’Souza the different representations of sound essays and then answer questions on it,
Statistics complied by Delaney Turner
together, there’s a breakdown in that.” and it’s timed.”



African American hair care
requires careful attention

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer hair as well. For freshman Marshall Spencer, hav- 7
ing an afro allows him to stand out in a crowd.
Don’t touch my hair. Photo contributed by Sierra Longmire
Having strangers constantly feel your hair or “I feel like I’m well known for having my hair,” Longmire goes to the salon to get a relaxer,
ask if it’s real is the uncomfortable reality for these Spencer said. “I haven’t cut my hair in four years. a chemical that straightens and thins her
African American students. For junior Aniya Long- People know me by my hair and it’s a way to ex- hair. This takes about two and a half hours.
mire, when some people see her long hair, they press myself.”
assume it’s fake.
“I went to the mall with my two friends, and this Senior Jariah Sweeten said the pressure to have
lady stopped us to show us a hair care product,” straight hair extends beyond the classroom and
Longmire said. “She assumed I had a weave. Some into the workforce.
people think African American women can’t have
long hair; they think we all have weaves.” “A lot of black girls aren’t comfortable in their
Longmire said the composition of black hair own skin and with their hair,” Sweeten said. “We’ve
is different from other races and requires certain adapted to European beauty styles, which is the
care techniques. reason we get our hair straightened. It’s a disre-
“African American hair has to be moisturized, or spect to our ancestors to get our hair straightened,
it will break off,” Longmire said. “We have thicker, but we’ve been influenced. We can’t go to a job
more coarse hair. Black people do not like the rain. interview with our natural hair because more than
We do not like the pool. We do not want to get our likely we won’t get it, but if you have straight hair,
hair wet, or it will revert to its natural state.” that helps. That’s why a lot of girls wear weaves,
While styling is common, more African Ameri- because they have to look white. It’s horrible, but
can women are wearing their hair natural. Two- that’s the reality that we live in.”
thirds of African American women wore a natural
hairstyle in 2013, according to Mintel’s Black Con- Cultural appropriation is the use of elements of
sumers and Hair Care executive summary. Junior one culture by members of another culture. There
Amaya King said she’s come to accept her natural has been a trend of non-black celebrities taking
hair and no longer tries to emulate society’s stan- hairstyles from African American culture and
dard of beauty. attempting to create them into their own style. Ce-
“Growing up in Mason, the stereotype here is lebrity mogul Kim Kardashian was one of the early
that to be pretty, you have to have long, straight, celebrities to wear cornrows, or braids. Sweeten
blonde hair,” King said. “This year I’ve focused on said she does not have a problem when people use
building my confidence. I had a weave in and took black hairstyles, but does when they are intolerant
it all out and went all natu- of African Americans as a whole.
ral. African American
hair is very versatile--I “I don’t get mad when people of other races use
can wear it curly black hairstyles, but you can’t take some and say
like I am now, that other styles are gross,” Sweeten said. “You
straighten it, have have to take it or leave it. When there were riots
an afro, or blow
it out.” going on, people didn’t want to stand with us
African during this protest, but you want to wear our
American hairstyles and dress and dance like us. You
males em- have to accept it all.”
brace their Ultimately, King said she suggests
natural people be respectful and mindful when it
comes to African American hair.
“I would advise people to educate
themselves about hair,” King said. “There
are ways to be respectful and ask ques-
tions without invading someone’s privacy.
Appreciate everyone’s hair whether it’s
real or fake.”

1.27.17Photos by Juliana Discher




Skateboarders forced to ‘trespass’ in
search of a good ride

Arnav Damodhar | Associate Editor and 9
the Mason
Skateboarders are not criminals. Police Depart- Photos by Jonathan McCollough
But that’s how they are made to feel ment strives to
when forced off public property for doing build a positive
what they love. While outdoor enthusiasts relation with skat-
in Mason hit the tennis courts, soccer ing enthusiasts.
fields, and biking trails, local skate-
boarders are “They might not
criminalized have skating parks, but at
when- least if they go to a public
ever they park they are not trespassing
practice their or doing anything they should
craft in the alleys and streets of Mason. not be doing,” Dyer said. “We
Senior Gabe Carr said that people often complain make that positive connection and
about him and his friends skateboarding in public build a rapport with them. Typically,
places, and they have been asked to leave in some cases. they are juveniles and they are
“People put up signs and yell at us, but there is no bored and are looking
skatepark around here,” Carr said. “Pretty much every- for something to do,
where we go, we get dirty looks.” and it’s awesome that
Sophomore Zane McMullin said that he can under- they are being physical.
stand why some are not friendly towards skateboarders. We respect that, but we also
“I feel like it’s not even what we do there; it’s just the have to respect the wishes of
noise,” McMullin said. “It can intimidate people, first the business owner.”
off. It’s also because of the reputation the skateboarding
world has created for itself: the drug use, the cursing, McMullin said as a result of
and the disrespecting authority. I don’t think people continued complaints and absence of skate-
want to take part in that.” parks, he got creative and built a
Junior Joe Comer said that businesses are rude to skatepark in his driveway
them and have threatened to call police officers. for him and local skate-
“I have people who come out say ‘You need to take boarders.
this crap somewhere else,’ and they’re really demean-
ing and condescending to us,” Comer said. “Businesses “We bought rails and
threaten to call the cops on us all the time. Cops have ramps over time,” McMul-
talked to a couple of my friends, and tell them to find a lin said. “We have been
different place. I feel like they go way out of their way building ramps since we
to handle a matter that is kind of insignificant.” were really little. All of the
The sidewalks and parking lots of Yost Pharmacy neighborhood comes and
have become a go-to spot for skateboarders. David Yost, skates in our driveway. For
the owner of Yost Pharmacy, said skateboarding is a the most part, we try and
safety concern for both customers and skateboarders. build our own things and be
“It is a deterrent to customers that want to come resourceful because there is
into the door, because they don’t feel safe going by the nowhere to go.”
activity,” Yost said. “We have a lot of elderly customers.
Whether it be driving in the parking lot or walking on
the sidewalk, we don’t to see any collisions or anybody
to get hurt. It’s also a safety concern on the actual skate-
boarders. If they get hit, hurt on our property, that’s an
issue too. There is a liability issue.”
City of Mason Police Officer Karli Dyer said that
skateboarding complaints are treated as trespassing.
“People are on other people’s property, conducting
business that should not be going on there,” Dyer said.
“We’ll talk to them and say we need to move it along.
Skateboards can damage property if they are using the
chairs and things of that nature.”
Dyer said local skateboarders can go to public parks

Pictured on right: Sophomore Zane McMullin (top) and junior Joe Comer (bottom) skate in downtown Mason. 1.27.17


10 Photo by Jonathan McCollough
Gamers build their own personal computers to control cost, quality and speed. Junior Colin McCurley plays at his
1.27.17 custom-built PC.

Freddie Wilhelm | Staff Writer a custom PC, and forums on and gameplay experience. McCurley said he built his
Reddit offer builders helpful hints. Berlinger said computer to increasing his gaming capabilities.
Personal Computer (PC) builders are equip- that with the right guidance anyone can build a
ping themselves with Graphics Processing Units computer. “Gaming is something that became a hobby
(GPUs) and Motherboards to fight the forces of of mine; whether on a console or PC, I wanted a
evil with the click of a mouse. “If you don’t do everything correctly, you can good experience,” McCurley said. “When I was
blow up your PC, and if your GPU gets too hot, it introduced to customizing a new PC, it took my
Students are choosing to build custom PCs in- can blow up or catch on fire,” Berlinger said. “You interest and got me into the idea of building my
stead of buying them. Building, rather than buy- have to know the specs and how they compare, own PC. I decided to build it for something to
ing, allows students to own high quality systems but don’t really have to know how it works. You play with my friends but I wanted to customize it
for a fraction of the cost of most manufactured could probably do two days research and under- and have fun while doing it.”
PCs found in stores. This cost effective strategy stand how to build a computer. Building can take
has many students trying their hands at building anywhere from four hours to two or three days.” Building PCs is not just for gamers, with many
their own PC to fit their needs. Senior Chris Ber- businesses using custom built PCs to organize
linger said that building a computer has many With the right help, students can become ex- data. Through specialized server boards, busi-
advantages. perts when it comes to building PCs. Sophomore nesses can have all their company’s computers
Nick Collier said that he spent time and effort to on one shared server where files can be stored
“I built my computer because it’s a lot cheaper get the computer to fit his needs. and shared amongst many people. McCurley said
than to buy something with the same processing that server boards open up custom PC building
and same abilities that a store bought computer “You have to first figure out your budget, then to a larger audience.
has,” Berlinger said “It’s fun to do, you built it, you go onto websites and blogs to get educated
it’s an accomplishment, no one else has the exact on the different components,” Collier said “Web- “In PCs, you have motherboards and server
machine that I built.” sites like pcpartpicker help you choose parts you boards (and) each have different features,” Mc-
need and make sure everything works. You then Curley said. “(This) opens (it) up to different
Customizing PCs can open up an interesting order them and start building.” audiences, so you have your average gamer but
hands-on learning experience. Through recogniz- there’s also the business owner.”
ing and understanding the different components Since top gaming brands like “Alienware” have
of a computer, it offers a unique field of knowl- prices for pre-constructed gaming PCs, starting Although buying a manufactured PC can save
edge that is not taught in the typical classroom. at more than $1,500 dollars, and Virtual Real- students the time of building as well as prevent
Junior Colin McCurley said he enjoys the experi- ity computers carrying prices of $4,900, buying possible mistakes, building one allows freedom
ence he gets from customizing his PC. a manufactured PC could be out of a student’s of choice from the builder, with a small margin
price range. Berlinger said that building a PC can of error in the production. Collier said that build-
“I think it’s good to build a PC because it edu- save hundreds of dollars and still have the same ing a computer is rewarding.
cates you and it’s a nice bit of extra knowledge,” power as a prebuilt PC.
McCurley said. “It is customizable and it’s excit- “It really comes down to your budget; if you
ing because you have all these different compo- “If I wanted to buy the computer I have right have enough money to buy one pre-built, you
nents you can build and all of the options makes now, it would cost $1,700 dollars,” Berlinger said. can pay someone to build it for you,” Collier said.
you want to cater to yourself.” “It cost me $900 dollars to build it.” “If you have a friend who knows how to build,
you can have fun and put it together with him,
Building a PC can be very difficult without Building PCs gives gamers the power of high and you won’t mess anything up. It’s a great way
the right knowledge. Many websites, such as speed processors and graphic cards at their fin- to save money. I saved $300 and got better parts, offer guides on how to build gertips, allowing them to have an immersive ex- than I would have on a prebuilt computer.”
perience with high quality graphics and smooth




School district under pressur

School board, in NCLB from the federal government to the state. dardized tests. Kist-Kline compared what the state
administration Ohio has since created a plan to change graduation is doing to moving around a goal post on a field.
want local control requirements.
“If you keep moving the goal posts around on
Duncan MacKenzie | Staff Writer Mason High School Principal Dave Hyatt said the field, not just further away, then you haven’t
Jonathan McCollough | Staff Writer that this new plan has three pathways to graduate increased the rigor,” Kist-Kline said. “It’s not that it
that are changing the way administration handles has improved the standards or enhanced the situ-
O HIO IS AN EDUCATION BATTLE- testing. ation for students, and the people who are being
GROUND STATE, SEIZED IN A CON- held accountable for that are students. I can’t sit
STANT STRUGGLE between local and “Starting with the class of 2018 students are still and think that’s a good plan, and it does call
state authorities over the power of policy. being held accountable with what’s called the on passion for advocating for our kids.”
Although educational legislation directly impacts end-of-course test,” Hyatt said. “You’re taking
the students and faculty of Mason City Schools, tests at the end of seven different classes and are Ohio House Representative Robert Cupp is a
important policies regarding graduation require- being awarded points that you have to accumu- member of the Joint Education Oversight Commit-
ments, standardized testing, teacher evaluations, late to a total of 18 or more points. There are two tee, a group composed of state representatives and
and district evaluations are created miles away in other pathways you can meet, one that’s through senators to discuss and evaluate major issues in
the state capitol. While there are many big players meeting nonremedial scores for the ACT. Or you Ohio’s education system. Cupp said that the state
could do what’s called the career tech field which legislature’s new objective is to stay consistent.
12 at the district level, the state is where major frame- we don’t necessarily get into here at MHS. We’ve
work is created. created new schedules to try to lessen the amount “In some cases, I’m not sure that the policy
of instructional time we lose over testing. We do makers at the time really understood how time
New graduation requirements know that the most important thing is that stu- consuming some of these tests were going to be,”
dents are engaged in learning, more so than being Cupp said. “When one didn’t prove successful, they
The Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in tested on what they’ve learned.” moved to another one they thought would be bet-
December 2015 with strong bipartisan support ter, but of course, this constant switching makes it
in Congress, replaced No Child Left Behind and The Ohio Department of Education estimated very difficult to know what to do and how to do it
decreased the role of federal government in de- that 88.5 percent of Mason City Schools students and be successful over the long term. That’s why
termining education policy. No Child Left Behind have met or are “highly likely to meet” the new the state is beginning to back off of this. I think
required states to develop high standards and graduation requirements. Cincinnati Public, which there is a new attitude that we really need to be
allowed the federal government to take control had a graduation rate of 72.9 percent in 2015, is more consistent and have continuity instead of
on issues such as standardized testing, report estimated to have only 44.3 percent of its students lurching from one approach to another approach.”
cards, and teacher evaluations while on track to graduate in 2018. Superintendent Gail
changing the way schools were Kist-Kline said that although Mason will not feel Local versus state control
funded. The ESSA shifted as large of an impact compared to other schools, it
the accountability is still much more significant than past changes. The Ohio Department of Education provided
portion $31,864,832.15 in funding to Mason City Schools in
“Historically, we have had very few, like one or 2016. Even so, about half of the revenue for Mason
two students who have not passed the state require- City Schools comes from property taxes. Kist-Kline
said that the shift towards more state control of
ments for graduation,” Kist-Kline said. “We the district is not good because the state provides a
currently sit at over 100 students who minority of the funding.
wouldn’t meet those requirements,
so that’s a significant increase for “We have shifted from being more locally con-
us, and it’s not because the tests trolled to more state controlled, and that’s in my
have become more rigorous, mind not a healthy thing,” Kist-Kline said. “The
it’s because they continue to vast majority of funding for our district comes
change.” from local community, and we know our com-
Over the last three munity best and our community knows us best as
years, Ohio has used well. My job as the superintendent is to provide
three different the schools the community wants and
will support, not simply

1.27.17 Illustrations by Emma Morrissey


re to meet state requirements

what the state wants and will support. The state and that’s making sure we’re moving the needle that their community expects and that’s going to
doesn’t fully support us, but they do have lots of forward.” be different from community to community. So
layers of requirements that cost funds for us to do. trying to have a state organization implementing
We get about 38 percent of our money from the Politicians and educators have dif- their interpretation of a law to 614 school districts
state, this is a gist, but if we could comply with 38 ferent perspectives who all have different communities is not very
percent of the requirements of the state then I’d be effective.”
happy, but we don’t get to do that. We have to com- The Columbus Dispatch reported that Governor
ply with 100 percent and that gives our community John Kasich wants to put “three business people on The legislator point of view
less say in their community schools.” each elected school board as non-voting members.”
His goal with this was to promote “workforce Ohio Board of Education member Pat Bruns 13
Hyatt said accountability is important so that development” in K-12 education. Kist-Kline said said that politicians and educators have a lot of the
the state can determine funding, but that more au- that she opposes this proposition because it could same goals and both mean well, but they have dif-
tonomy of the district would allow for Mason City be a slippery slope that leads to even more state ferent approaches on how to best serve students.
Schools to have better ownership of its achieve-
ment. government influence in local “Every superintendent that I have ever talked
school districts. to doesn’t want to shy away from accountability,”
“Certainly we as a country want to make sure “I would say I’m Bruns said. “We don’t disagree on that. I think we
that we have a sound education system in the adamantly opposed
United States, and I think that’s part of the could give districts more autonomy to
responsibility of the government,” Hyatt to the governor’s sugges- organize their schools and their cur-
said. “What that looks like then filters tion that we include three riculums that make sense for their kids.
down to the state level. Anything that business leaders,” Kist-Kline I think well-intended people are writing
has value typically starts with owner- said. “It seems to me to defy these laws. They’re not trying to get kids
ship, and if you don’t give local con- all logic of locally elected to fail, that’s not the point, but they want
trol to some aspect of it, then there’s school boards that those folks to make sure that they’re college or career
no ownership of the process or the wouldn’t be elected, and I ready. The students shouldn’t get a diploma
institution or any of those things. So see it as ‘the camel’s nose that says they have the equivalent of a high
we have to find that balance again under the tent.’ First you school education if in fact they don’t.”
because right now there’s get the camel’s nose with Bruns said that Ohio is one of only 18 states that
too much finger point- three board members ap- still uses end-of-course tests. She said this could be
ing going on, and pointed, and soon enough due to a disconnect between business people and
we’re losing you have the whole camel those in education regarding an understanding of
what’s really with the governor appoint- what it takes to make change.
important ing three people and now “It’s not that people don’t want to do it but to
they’re voting and you’ve actually put that kind of a big change in place
really diluted your local influ- requires a lot of foreplanning and it’s not done
ence now in a dramatic way.” overnight,” Bruns said. “It’s not like in business
School Board Member Court- where you can stop metaphorically the assembly
ney Allen said politicians may be line and look at the product and say ‘This part is
out of touch with what really hap- not right. We have to stop and redo this.’ You don’t
pens within school districts. do that in education because you’re talking about
“I would say that local control is people. We’re not just dumping stuff in your ear
key,” Allen said. “I think it’s more im- and then you spit it out on a test. That would make
portant for a school to have control over a lot of people happy, if you would just be compli-
what they do and don’t do because they ant and do that.”
have to listen to their community Cupp said that the state is working to scale back
and provide the type of education testing and simplify the process so that students
can have more room to grow while maintaining
high standards.
“I think it just sort of came to us in the last
several years that the testing has become so
enormous that this was really overkill,” Cupp said.
“The process that is going on is how much can you
scale back and yet have these standardized tests
to determine which students are achieving and
which students aren’t so that schools will strive to
ensure all their students achieve at least that level
of proficiency.”

Editor’s Note: This is the second story in our 1.27.17
two part series, “The Cost of Greatness,” in
which we investigate how the pressures of high
performance affect MHS. To read the first story
on teacher overload, visit

a &e ! Trending Now

“It showcases different art - “The CAC has a lot of abstract
the Cincinnati Art museum art you wouldn’t see other
has a lot of period art, but
places – it’s an opportunity for
the Contemporary Arts you to experience the art, not
Center really focuses on
the modern aesthetic.” just look at it.”

Stephanie Hu, Freshman Taylor Holt, Junior

16 “The art installations
are contemporary and
unique, and they explore
different meanings that
people can really relate


Matt Berman, Junior

“The fact that you get to take pictures
with the art is really different from
most museums; you get to feel like
you’re a part of the exhibit.”

Julia Caldwell, Sophomore

Contemporary Art Center draws young crowd

Jacob Fulton | Staff Writer exhibits and mediums found always been dedicated to comes everyone to explore
within attract them enough to showcasing the art of our time our space.”
You don’t need a paintbrush make the 30 minute trek to and celebrating cutting-edge
to get involved in art. the Queen City. contemporary art.” Matijcio said teenagers’ dis-
covery of art has excited him.
At the Contemporary Art Steven Matijcio, curator Matijcio said the museum
Center (CAC), located in of the CAC, said that the has a wide appeal for many “We couldn’t be more
downtown Cincinnati, interac- museum’s history sets it apart different reasons. pleased that our teenage au-
tive art blends with collections from others. dience is growing, since they
of photographs and surreal- “The CAC strives to be will be the next generation
ist paintings. Though the “The CAC was founded timely, engaging and thought- of art patrons,” Matijcio said.
museum has been around by three women in 1939,” provoking in all that we do,” “They will bring new ideas,
for years, teens have only re- Matijcio said. “We are one Matijcio said. “Since February energy and insight to the
cently been taking their visits of the three longest-running, 2016, we also made admis- present and future of contem-
to social media. The variety of non-collecting art institutions sion free, which removes all porary art.”
in the United States; we’ve financial barriers and wel-

1.27.17 Complied by Jacob Fulton

“I” “I”THE TEAM “I” sports


TEAM GLORY Mason vs. Oak Hills

Photo by Meghan Pottle, Photo art Ryan D’Souza The Mason Comets make the lengthy
trip down to the west side for a
Meghan Pottle | Staff Writer rests on the wrestler’s own shoulders. cheering is prevalent, wrestlers com- colossal showdown with the
Senior and team captain Jack Stein pete at meets in front of their parents Oak Hills Highlanders in a
has been wrestling since seventh and do not get much fan fare. game that could very well
Wrestling is literally the world’s Hood said that because wrestling decide who goes home
oldest sport, originating between 100 grade and enjoys the pressure of with the Greater Miami
and 200 B.C. – and labeled as one of wrestling. does not carry a large fanbase or Conference championship.
“There is a team aspect of it, but Black Hole, he is more focused on The Highlanders will lean
the toughest. However, wrestlers do really, it is only you on the mat,” how he is competing. on senior Ryan Batte who
not compete for recognition or for averages 14.2 PPG, good
the fan fare. They work out incessant- Stein said. “It is like the win or loss is “When it does come to the glory, for sixth in the GMC. The
on you and I like how you are taking you don’t get as much,” Hood said. Comets will turn to se-
ly and compete vigorously for the all of the ownership. Winning keeps “You’re very in tune to what you are niors Eddie Puisis (18.8
love of winning and for individual
glory. me motivated, just that feeling.” doing and you’re not focused on what 17PPG) and Matt King
Senior Jaimen Hood said wrestling is going on around you. It is like an
The Mason High School wrestling differs from other sports mainly be- in the moment kind of thing.” (12.8 PPG) to carry
team practices every day for two the load. The matchup
hours and usually has competitions cause thae work output is completely Hamdan started on the defensive features the two
on Saturdays that last the entire day. different. line for the Mason football team in longest tenured
“In football and basketball, you the fall and said that the difference coaches in the GMC,
Senior and team captain Andrew in crowd sizes does affect the sport. Oak Hillls’ Mike Price
Hauer said a typical practice consists come in with a lot of energy, so and Mason’s Greg
of warm-ups, drills, techniques, and you’re expected to go out with a lot “In terms of the intensity of the
going live, which is an
actual match situation. Matt King
“The toughest thing “It teaches you life lessons, like discipline and that Sr., Forward
about practice is
definitely going FAST FACTS
live and coaches things will always be hard, but you
are always yelling Match Up: Mason Comets 11-1, Oak Hills 12-2
at you to go harder Mason Key Players Eddie Puisis (18.8 PPG, 41.0 3P%,
and everything,” Hauer 87.5 FT%), Matt King (12.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.2 APG),
said. “You feel completely just have to keep going and push through.” Ben Schutte (7.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 58.8 FG%), Tanner
Knue (8.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.7 SPG), Carlos Lewis (6.3
drained, but you still have match, it is definitely more daunting PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.7 SPG)
to keep going because he is watching of energy,” Hood said. “Wrestling Oak Hills Key Players Ryan Batte (14.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG,
and yelling at you because you aren’t you kind of go on with not so much in wrestling because no matter the 52.8 FG%), Luke Rudy (13.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 45.3 3P%),
energy, but you have to put out just size of the crowd, it is still only you Nick Deifel (9.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.0 APG), Cam Naber
doing stuff right, which is no fun.” out there,” Hamdan said. “The thing (7.2 PPG, 2.8 APG, 48.3 FG%), Isaac Holmes (2.6 PPG,
Junior Zaid Hamdan said that one as much as if you were putting out 2.1 RPG, 60.0 FG%)
of the most difficult things about for a basketball or football game. It’s about playing football on Friday
like working with very little.” nights is you can mess up, but I don’t PREVIOUS MEETING
wrestling is the constant movement Sophomore and team captain think the whole stadium is going to
and going his hardest even when he HIGHLANDERS OUTLAST
feels like giving up. Kamal Adewumi said that when it know you messed up. If you lose in COMETS 49-43
“A joke amongst a lot of the team comes to other sports played at the a wrestling match, it doesn’t matter
high school level, wrestling proves to if there are 10 or 10,000 people there, On December 16, 2016, the Oak Hills Highlanders
is ‘I don’t know why I picked this be more challenging with competing they can all point to you and say he became the first road team to win a game in the
sport to begin with,’” Hamdan said. Mason Arena since Lakota West on January 3,
“The thing about wrestling that individually. either won or lost.” 2014. The Highlander win snapped a streak of 25
“I think it is harder because you Hauer said that when wrestling consecutive home victories for the Comets. The
separates every other sport is that can be going against state placers gets tough, he stays motivated by Highlanders jumped out ahead early, grabbing an
you have your own drive. A lot of 18-8 lead after the first quarter of play. Cam Naber
people will say ‘Fight for your team.’ and state champs, and just the envi- remembering what he will gain in led the scoring effort for Oak Hills with 13 points
ronment in general is a lot different the long-run. on four of eight shooting. The Comets roared back
Well, that’s all good and fun, but in “I know it is terrible right now, but in the second period; led by Matt King’s 14 points,
real terms, in wrestling, it is just you. from other sports,” Adewumi said. “It the Comets had the score knotted at 26 just
How far you want to go depends on is individual-based, but it is team at later in life, it will benefit you a lot seconds before halftime. The Highlanders went
the same time. It is kind of differ- more,” Hauer said. “It teaches you into the locker room with a 29-26 lead after Nick
you, so it is that little drive in your life lessons, like discipline and that Deifel buried a long range, buzzer beating three to
head because it will pay off later and ent because you don’t really have swing momentum back to the Highlanders. After
you will reap the individual benefits.” the energy that football games and things will always be hard, but you an even third quarter, the Comets trailed 36-33
Wrestling differs from other sports basketball get.” just have to keep going and push going into the final eight minutes. In the fourth
Unlike for other sports where through.” quarter, the Comets cut the Oak Hills’ lead to one
in the sense that the accountability twice, but were unable to tie or take the lead. The
loss snapped the Comet’s 18 game GMC winning


!SeTnrieonrdiwngreNoswtler He’s the sports

pins opponents on

MANthe mat, tackles
chores at home of the


Joey Deaton | Staff Writer fostering and adopting children ing and adopted kids so, I couldn’t live a typical life.
For senior wrestler Jaimen Hood, who needed a home, which led to as really count the number, but I’ve “I try to prioritize, because my
many as eight children being raised had about ten total kids come in
wrestling for family is more than in his house at once. and out of my house, three which mom says I am a teenager so I still
just a bond he shares with his team- stayed with us that are adopted. For need to live a high school experi-
mates. On top of being a varsity “Initially we started out with a while, we had seven kids in the ence, but I do want to contribute as
wrestler, Hood has worked outside me and my mom and my dad and house. And then at one point, we much as I possibly can,” Hood said.
the home for several years in order my three sisters who are all older,” had eight because we had another “I wrestle and have practice until
to support his family at home. Hood said. “My mom and dad foster kid. It has slowly dwindled about six o’clock every day and then
split around when I was five years down as my sisters have gone off we compete on Saturdays so I try to
While many Mason High School old. My dad stayed in Indiana for to college and moved out and my work a 10:30 to 7:00 shift every Sun-
students have to grow accustomed a while, and we moved to Mason. brother got kicked out. Currently day. And then if I’m not wrestling,
to having just one or two siblings, My mom raised me and my sisters it’s just me and my brothers, Bryan it’s like a 2:30 to 8:00 shift.”
Hood’s single mother got into and then my mom got into foster- and Zack, and my mom. Bryan is 15
years old and Zack is 19 years old.” Hood said he and his family fol-
Photos courtesy of Mason Comets Wrestling Boosters low a mentality that no matter how 19
In order to make ends meet and difficult a task may seem, to perse-
Mason Comet wrestler Jamien Hood goes up against an opponent in a support his mom, Hood said he and vere and do whatever is needed. 1.27.17
recent match. Hood recently captured first place at the James V. Horning his brothers work as much as they
Invitational on Saturday, January 21. can to provide for their family. “Since it is pretty tough getting
between wrestling and work and do-
“Everybody has a job,” Hood said. ing well in school, you just develop
“I work at Perkins, and when I can the mentality to just get it done no
work the hours, I work as much matter what you have to do,” Hood
as possible, usually about 25 to 30 said. “That’s what my mom has al-
hours a week. Since it’s wrestling ways told me too, because when she
season, I only get to work Sundays, was younger, she used to work three
but I work a double on Sundays or four jobs to support her family,
so I can make as much money as and she says family comes before
possible. My brother (Zack) works everything so whatever you have
at Longhorn and BIBIBOP, and my to do, you just do it. Tying it back
brother Bryan works at Taco Bell.” to wrestling, you get into a hard
practice, or you’re in the middle of
Former wrestling head coach a tough lift, just figure out a way
Craig Murnan, who coached Hood to get through the lift, figure out a
in his first three years of high way to get through the practice, just
school, said that although he fol- get it done.”
lowed a philosophy to treat all his
athletes in the same manner, he and Murnan said Hood is someone he
the other coaches knew they would believes other male athletes should
have to tackle some hurdles in or- look up to as a role model.
der to give Hood the same opportu-
nities as the other wrestlers. “I just think he’s a young,
African-American leader,” Murnan
“You want to make sure that you said. “He’s a great role model for
recognize that everybody that’s male athletes in this school. He’s a
coming to you is different and they great role model for people with an
have different needs and different ethnic background. He’s a great role
backgrounds,” Murnan said. “For us, model for doing things the right
we recognize that Jaimen’s situation way. He’s a great role model for not
is different than another kid’s on making excuses and just overcom-
our team and we just try to make ing. What impresses me the most
sure we give him the opportunities is that he’s humble, but when you
so he can be successful. In order talk to him, you can sense passion.
to do anything at a high level, it’s There’s an energy level that you
going to cost you some money, be- like. He’s got a confidence about
cause you have to get exposure and him when he speaks. He’s some-
have to get experience. For wres- body you want to be around; he’s
tling, that’s just entering into camps somebody I’d want my kid to be
at times and tournaments. We got around. There are lots of engag-
him a sponsor once so he could go ing things about Jaimen that make
to a camp with our guys.” him unique, but make him a leader.
Sometimes it’s really hard to quan-
Hood said although he is always tify a leader, sometimes I just know
busy with wrestling and work and it when I see it, and to me, that’s
school, his mom encourages him to what I see in him, a humble leader.”

opinion Staff Editorial

to the editor Chasing the dragon

20 Idyllic suburbia not immune
to heroin epidemic
Editor’s Note: This editorial corresponds to
our coverage of the community panel on how
to fight the heroin epidemic on January 11. For
video coverage, visit

“If you don’t think you’re affected, you’re going to be. If it’s not
someone now, it’s going to be, and the only way to solve this problem
is to talk about it.”

Mason High School held a panel discussion on how to fight heroin
on January 11, and an audience member summed up the heroin
epidemic this way. The panel followed the Chasing the Dragon docu-
mentary shown in homeroom, which left many thinking and many

This is Mason, we think, this is the seventh best place to live, accord-
ing to TIME magazine. Our hometown has exceedingly low crime
rates. Neighborhood Scout gives Mason, OH a crime index rating
of 59 out of 100, meaning that Mason is safer than 59 percent of U.S.
cities. Furthermore, it identifies a Mason resident’s chance of being a
victim of a violent crime – murder, rape, robbery, or assault – as one
in 2,512 as opposed to Ohio’s average of a one in 343 chance.

In our bubble of safety, we can buy into heroin as a problem, an
epidemic even – but only 45 minutes away in downtown Cincinnati.
Perhaps this is why so few of us showed to the January 11 discussion
panel. The majority of its participants were not students but those
already passionate about fighting heroin, such as parents with kids
who had died from the drug or family members of recovering addicts.
These attendees had already seen the horrors of the drug and had felt
its impact closer than they had ever imagined.

Our community gathered everyone we need to understand and
combat heroin – panel members including a Warren County judge
and a Mason graduate running a local shelter – but they shouted help
into a vacuum. The people who needed to hear the discussion did not
show. We did not show. While Mason is a fortunate community, we are
kidding ourselves if we think the radius between our town and Cincin-
nati creates an impervious bubble of safety.

When we reported on “Heroin is here,” Doyle Burke, Chief Investi-
gator for the Warren County Coroner and Medical Examiner, said as
of October 21, 2016, Warren County already had 42 confirmed overdose
deaths. He expected 56 by the end of 2016, which he called “a lot for
Warren County.” These are not innercity deaths; these are right here,
in our backyard.

Even if we stay smart and clean, even if we never shoot up, heroin
use strains entire communities – both addicts and non-addicts. Heroin
introduces financial strain, as Burke said $84,000 would be spent on
overdose autopsies alone in 2016. Overdoses also consume emergency
resources such as medic units, which once deployed, are unavailable
for other needs, such as heart attacks and traffic accidents.

Meanwhile, theft is increasing, because addicts will do anything for
their next fix. While we may think we outgrow Drug Abuse Resis-
tance Education (D.A.R.E.) week once we get to high school, and sim-
ply parrot “Of course, we won’t do drugs,” heroin is everywhere. That
includes our affluent suburban community. Chasing the Dragon was
significant in its inclusion of well-off, honors students among those
who succumbed to drug use, yet a documentary can only go so far.

We have to enter the discussion.

Drain the Editorial Cartoon opinion
Going nuclear
Jonathan McCollough |
Staff Writer

Rain drop, drop top, GOP flip-flop. winners and the losers are supposed to be on the
The new Republican-led U.S. Congress had a
controversial start in its first session when massive Unitedish same team? 21
public outcry, as well as criticism from President In its main plot point, “Blackish” brings us
Trump, forced House Republicans to backtrack on India Kirssin |
a proposal to gut an independent ethics committee. Managing Editor a discussion for the ages, carried out at Dre’s
The proposal would have significantly weakened firm between four black Hillary voters, one
the Office of Congressional Ethics, which is in I have been a fan of the ABC show “Blackish”
charge of investigating ethics accusations against since it began two years ago, watching it for its white woman who voted for Trump after vot-
lawmakers. humor, its all-star cast, and its ability to discuss
Such an irresponsible and corrupt move would national issues in its own wonderful way. ing for Obama both times, and a white man
seem like action of the past now that an anti-estab-
lishment candidate has secured the White House, The show follows the lives of the Johnson family, who usually votes Republican but couldn’t get on
but the duty of draining the swamp is one that an African-American family living in upper-middle
Trump can not do alone. class America. Dre is the hotshot ad firm patri- board the Trump train. Many different groups and
It’s fairly well agreed upon that Trump’s suc- arch, Rainbow is a doctor and supermom, and Zoe,
cess can be attributed to his position as a “change” Junior, Jack and Diane are their four kids. The show viewpoints were represented in the tense argument,
candidate. In fact, on election day New York Times also includes Dre’s parents Pops and Ruby.
did exit polling in which they asked voters what the but Dre remained silent throughout, until his boss
most important quality in a President is, including Since “Blackish” aired in 2014, it has tackled rac-
“has the right experience,” “has good judgement,” ism, police brutality, gun control, the N-word, and, asked him why he doesn’t care about our country.
and “cares about people like me.” Hillary Clinton most recently, Trump. While many have criticized
won every single category in the exit poll except for the show and its creators for being too assertive “What did you just ask me?” Dre said, before
one: “can bring needed change.” too controversial, I have thoroughly enjoyed every
It’s clear that the American people wanted “controversial” episode more than the last. starting a heartfelt, painfully truthful monologue
change, yet 97 percent of sitting Representatives
and 90 percent of incumbent Senators won reelec- The show waited until January 11 to air its post- with, “I love this country, even though at times it
tion. In a “change” election, the American people election episode, titled “Lemons,” in a genius move
sent more than 90 percent of Capitol Hill right back that allowed the immediate animosity of Novem- doesn’t love me back.” This left me thinking about
to the swamp. ber 8 to simmer. It also made way for Dr. Martin
People tend to believe that it’s not their Senator Luther King Jr. in its narrative, weaving in a story our humanity long after I had shut the TV off.
or Representative who’s the problem, but that’s just of hardship and love, while also reminding us of
simply not true. The Washington Post reports that our mistakes of the past. This is why the show has had so much success.
Congressional polarization is as high as it has ever
been as politicians on both sides vote along party The episode dissects how the election has I have never felt pressured into thinking a certain
lines instead of voting in the best interests of the changed attitudes around the (pro-Clinton) Johnson
people they represent. household, the kid’s school, and Dre’s advertising way, or terrible about my beliefs because of it. It
While politicians tend to vote along party lines, firm. It also includes Junior and Pops talking about
they are still very responsive to public opinion. This Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech has always presented and respected both sides,
was evident when, after a national uproar and thou- and what happens when our eyes are opened to the
sands of phone calls, House Republicans backed true messages of the past. even when things are dicey. Every controversial
down from their plan to gut the ethics committee.
The issue is that voters oftentimes do not take ad- It also asks the question: What happens when the topic is inclusive to all opinions and ideas, as each
vantage of their powerful influence over the people
they choose to elect. Johnson generation shares views based on the
The 2014 Congressional midterm had the lowest
voter turnout in 70 years with only 36 percent of eli- world they know, creating a relatable viewpoint for
gible voters going to the polls, and the 2016 election
had the lowest turnout since 2000 with 58.4 percent anyone watching from their living room, debating
of eligible voters casting their ballot.
Politicians are not going to change if they know how they can relay these topics within their own
that the public does not even care enough about
what they are doing to go out and vote. families.
The ultimate arbitrator of ethics in this country
is not some Congressional Committee, but we the Between its powerful, realistic topic, timing, and
people. The most dangerous thing for Congress
would be for us, the voters, to hold them account- representation, I would dare to say “Lemons” is
able for their actions or inaction. This is why we
should not look at voting as a right, but as a respon- an instant classic. I wish more shows would try to
Until the voters are responsible, we can not ex- tackle issues the American people need to be talk-
pect our government to be.
ing about, but I’m not sure any would be able to do

it as well as “Blackish” just did.

Here’s my take away from “Lemons” and an

important message to keep in mind as we move

forward: we may be divided on our new president,

but we can not let that be an excuse for us to resort

to hate. Hate helps no one. Let’s begin to build the

bridges we’ve burned and continue on 1.27.17

with life.


Good You Tell Us Compiled by Staff Writer Alexandra Lisa

1. Variety of styles What’s your go-to hairstyle? Freshman Emily Murphy does Fire Baton
2. Matches multiple outfits competitively. Her team performs choreo-
3. Cheaper than other jewelry I Woke Up graphed routines while twirling batons with
4. Vintage flair Like This each end lit on fire and has attended national
5. Makes a statement competitions.
Full results:
Not so Good Q: How did you first get interested
in Fire Baton?
1. Looks like a dog collar
2. Could cut off circulation A: I loved watching the people
3. Many are easily broken in parades, and I got into
4. Tend to be seen as a joke baton twirling in fourth
5. Looks like something that grade to see if it was
could be made at home something I’d enjoy.
I did enjoy it, and
Compiled by Jacob Fulton Results from the 207 voters on the Chronicle twitter poll. Follow I stuck with it. At a
@mhschronicle to find out when our next poll will go live. younger age, you
start out with glow
Word for Word sticks, but after two
years, my coach pulled
22 “You may not feel like it sometimes but me into the group that
you’re just as important as any other was learning to use fire.
cisgender* person out there – just
Q: What does
because you’re trans doesn’t make you training for the sport
look like?
less of a person.” – sophomore Alex Roberts
A: We practice in a
See our February 16 edition for coverage of Mason’s transgender community. group once a
week, and
*Cisgender refers to when a person’s gender identity aligns with their birth sex. then

Photo Bomb twice a
week for individ-
Photo by Juliana Discher ual stuff. We’re expected
to practice outside of the team
Talent show winners and seniors Michael Hiett, Vardhan Avasarala, Jacob and go to the gym. We have to
Lannes, and Miles Ware dance to NSYNC’s early 2000s pop hit “Bye Bye stay fit because there are elements
Bye” on January 21. of dance and gymnastics incorpo-
rated into our routines. You also
1.27.17 obviously have to be really care-
ful, because there are dangers that
come with working with fire. We
do make mistakes, and we do get
burned. Most of the time it isn’t
serious, but knowing that it could
be makes you even more cautious.

Q: What do you gain from
Fire Baton?

A: Obviously you have the op-
portunity to get involved in social
events and parades. The environment
is also different than other sports. Fire
baton isn’t as popular, and with fewer
people, you get closer to everyone. We
manage to be competitive and sup-
portive at the same time; you want to

climb the ladder, but you’re also
happy for (others) when they

Emily Murphy,



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