Pros and cons of school uniforms

By: Isaac Lund

Image taken from: Earth911.com

Throughout my many years of education, I’ve gone to schools with uniforms and to ones without them. Like me, many schools struggle to decide which option is best, with some schools completely switching policies over recent years. The Cleveland and Akron school districts in Ohio dropped uniforms for the 2021-22 school year, while schools in Hawthorne, California have recently implemented uniforms.

The majority of parents and teachers support uniforms, based on a poll taken by uniform manufacturer Land’s End. School uniforms help students stay focused on education rather than clothing, and increase timeliness in the mornings, with only one outfit to choose from. A study conducted in Texas shows that they can also increase school pride and community spirit. Furthermore, school uniforms often reduce bullying by leveling the playing field surrounding clothing, especially in schools with multiple socio-economic groups. Uniform policies also don’t completely eliminate individuality, as many policies still allow for unique accessories such as shoes, nail polish, and jewelry.

On the other hand, students tend to push for the elimination of uniforms. A study conducted at the University of Nevada at Reno found that between 80% and 90% of seventh and eighth grade public school students oppose uniforms. Uniforms restrict students’ freedom of expression, and encourage conformity instead of individuality. Uniforms can also hurt students’ self-image. Without the option of picking outfits fitted to one’s body type, many students may feel extra embarrassment at school. Of course, uniforms also create an extra expenditure for parents, which is especially noticeable in districts where school is otherwise free. Finally, many schools with uniforms tend to focus energy on enforcing uniform policies, instead of looking for more pressing problems.

So, uniforms of no? Both options have their fair share of upsides and downsides, and neither is truly superior. What it really comes down to is that different schools have different needs, and a uniform policy helps some schools meet these needs better than others.

Rhythm 0: Risking your life for performance art

By: Annika: Getz

*Note, this article may have material that could trigger individuals (violence against women), therefore, we present a trigger warning here.

Performance art is a style of art which was created and developed throughout the 20th century. The idea is that rather than a painting or a sculpture or something of that nature, the art is a live performance done by the artist.

Marina Abramović is a performance artist who did most of her work in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Most of her work puts her in very dangerous situations, and ends with her being cut, burned, starved, or some other form of harm being inflicted on her physical being.

Her career began with the ‘Rhythm’ pieces, ‘Rhythm 10’ (1973) involved her playing a Russian knife game, and cutting her fingers repeatedly. A year later ‘Rhythm 5’ followed, where she layed in the middle of a burning star, until she eventually lost consciousness, and had to be taken out of the performance. She remarked later about being angry with the results of the performance, saying “I was very angry because I understood there is a physical limit. When you lose consciousness you can’t be present, you can’t perform.” In the same year she performed ‘Rhythm 4’ and ‘Rhythm 2’ where she invoked her own unconsciousness in a way which would not interrupt the performance.

Still in 1974, Abramović performed her final piece in the ‘Rhythm’ series. ‘Rhythm 0’. In this performance, Abramović placed 72 objects on a table, and invited the audience to do whatever they’d like to with her and the objects. She left written instructions which read “There are 72 objects on the table that one can use on me as desired. I am the object. During this period I take full responsibility.” For six hours Abramović remained completely passive, not moving, or speaking.

Some of the objects were ordinary, everyday objects. A hat, soap, cake, a rose. Some of the objects however, were less tame. A knife, scissors, a gun, a bullet. Abramović took the ultimate risk, knowing that if the audience wanted to kill her, they could. She said later that she was fully ready to die in the performance, and counted herself lucky for coming out alive.

For a little while, at first, the public remained calm, they put a rose in her hand, fed her the cake, kissed her cheek, etc. However, as the night went on, the audience became more aggressive.

They at one point used the scissors to cut off her clothing. They placed her on the table and stabbed the knife between her thighs. The artist recounts someone even cutting her near her neck and drinking her blood, then covering the wound with plaster from the table. She also remembers that at one point, the gun was put in her hand, and later even pointed at her head.

Abramović recounts the night as being almost six hours of pure horror. At the end of the six hours, when the performance was over, she began walking towards the audience, covered in blood and tears, and the people ran away from her. It was as though the public realized that it had been a real, living person who they’d been torturing for hours, and they couldn’t face her.

This remains to me, one of Abramović’s most important works. Showcasing the sadistic nature of people when given the chance to hurt others without repercussion. There were probably people there who went without the intention of hurting the artist, but once put in the environment, found themselves doing just that. I think the psychological aspects of the performance similarly mirror those of the Stanford Prison Experiment, an experiment done by the psychology students at Stanford in the 70s. Through a hyper-realistic prison simulation, with college students playing the parts of guards and prisoners, they found that perfectly normal people became cruel when put in positions of power where they were given the chance to do so.

I think it speaks to our human nature, that these people became so sadistic in such a short time. The issue was that they didn’t see Abramović as a human being during this time, and so they felt they could treat her however they wanted to. The moral of the story is really just to treat everyone with the basic human decency that we all deserve.

For more information please visit:

What happened at Astroworld?

By: Sarah VonBerge

Image taken from: Article 5
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/crowd-pleaded-for-help-ambulance-was-stuck- what-happened-at-travis-scott-astroworld-festival-killed-8-people-including-a-14-year-old/articleshow/87 576857.cms

“I realized people were dying”, said one concert goer after the Astroworld festival while being interviewed by CNN. What was supposed to be a weekend full of music and fun, quickly turned and became the deadliest concert since 1979, on the night of November 5, 2021.

Astroworld is a music festival founded by Travis Scott and was first held in November of 2018. It consists of 2 main stages where many different artists from all different music genres preform.

On November 5th, 2021, around 9 pm, Travis Scott began his main set. There were an estimated 50,000 people attending. Around 9:30 pm, Scott brought Drake on stage, which caused the crowd to surge forward. Everyone became crushed and those who lost their balance were trampled. Scott looked at his audience confused as he watched an ambulance with its lights on drive through the crowd and then continued to perform.

The crowd was so packed that some people began suffocating and others got heat stroke. Since everyone was so crowded, the paramedics were not able to get to those who needed help, so unconscious bodies were crowd surfed in an attempt to get them to the paramedics. Attendees who were in pain themselves had to help others since no one could get in or out of the crowd.

Scott continued performing as he stared at the fans in distress below. It got to the point where fans started chanting “Stop the show,” but he still continued to perform. One fan even climbed onto the stage to tell the cameraman that people were hurt and that he needed to find a way to get the show to stop and he told them to get off.

Hundreds of people were treated on scene, 8 were pronounced dead on scene, and 25 others were taken to the hospital, 5 of which were under 18. Those pronounced dead on scene were: Danish Baig, 27; Rudy Peña, 23; Madison Dubiski, 23; Franco Patiño, 21; Jacob Jurinke, 20; John Hilgert, 14; Axel Acosta Avila, 21.

Brianna Rodriguez, 16; Bharti Shahani, 22; and Ezra Blount, 9, were pronounced dead after they died in the hospital while in medically induced comas.

Laws and policies are put in place where organizers, promoters, and performers need to stop a show if they see even 1 person in danger. Thousands were in danger, crushed together, telling Scott to stop the performance, passing out and begging to be let out of the crowd by security, but the show continued. In the past, Scott has been known to put on extremely intense and dangerous concerts.

As of November 20, 2021, $2.75 billion worth of lawsuits from 177 victims have been filed against Travis Scott.

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Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

By: Marcus Lund

Image taken from: 5th article
https://www.democraticaudit.com/2020/02/26/what-happens-when-the-voting-age-is-lowered-to- 16-a-decade-of-evidence-from-austria/

Why can’t I vote? This question has plagued many of my politically interested peers recently, especially as our political climate has begun affecting us more. Because policies affect us just as much as someone 2 years older, why shouldn’t we be able to vote on them?

Firstly, one study found that 16-year-olds are just as civically knowledgeable as older voters, especially 18-year-olds. The study found that on “measures of civic knowledge, political skills, political efficacy, and tolerance”, 16-year-olds scored much the same. Other social scientists also claim that 16-year-olds have well established “cold-cognition” skills, which are used to make hard decisions like those needed in voting.

Another pro to lowering of the voting age is the inevitable higher voter turnout. Not only would it add a higher population to the available voters, but it would also propagate lifelong voting habits. With more young voters, a “trickle up” effect could also occur, with those voters’ parents and guardians also going out to vote.

Lowering the voter age also comes with a set of undeniable cons. The first is general maturity. With two less years of knowledge and experience, many experts argue that 16-year-olds will be unequipped to make the correct decisions when voting. Younger voters’ lack of maturity also comes with a higher capacity to be influenced by others, which makes them less likely to make decisions not influenced by outside voices.

Adding to the arguments against the lowering of the voting age includes the fact that voters aged 18-19 have extremely low voter turnout. Only 15% of those eligible in that age group voted in the 2014 election. This suggests that young voters are not ready to vote until later in life.

Lowering the voting age, while an interesting proposal, has both positive and negative aspects. As young people continue to push for it, I wonder what the government will decide on the matter.

For more information, please visit:

  • “American Sixteen- and Seventeen-Year-Olds Are Ready to Vote” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
  • “Why We Should Lower the Voting Age to 16” Nytimes.com
  • “Trickle Up Political Socialization: The Impact of Kids Voting USA on Voter Turnout in Kansas” State Politics and Policy Quarterly
  • “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2014: Reported Voting and Registration, by Sex and Single Years of Age: November 2014” Census.gov

Highland Park vs. Monticello Volleyball

By: Mary Koch

The final game for the 2021 volleyball season at Highland was on Friday 11/12 at the Xcel Energy Center.

The team played for 5th place against Monticello High School in the AAA consolation semifinal. The game was close, but Monticello won in the fifth set.

Outside, Kiyomi Callahan, one of the team captains, had the most kills at 19, and the team had 41 kills, 189 attempts, and 39 errors. Monticello had 47 kills, 181 attempts, and 31 errors.

Highland had 4 service aces and 4 errors, and Monticello had 11 aces and 9 errors. Bella Kottke had 3 solo blocks, and Kiyomi had 1. Highland had 3 block errors and 4 assist blocks. Monticello had 6 solo blocks and 2 errors.

The game went better than their game on Wednesday 11/10, against Marshall where they lost 3-0. The team’s defense was struggling which made it hard to get a good kill.

The coach said that the team played better and with more energy, and it was a close game.

Highland won the first set 25-18, but they lost 25-22 in the second. Monticello won again 25-15 in the third game, and Highland won 25-20 in the fourth set. Monticello broke the tie in the fifth set winning 15-8.

On Monticello, Peyton Konz had the most kills at 12, and Natalie Emmerich had 11. Highland had 99 total digs, and Monticello had 92.

One student said, “Highland did a good job moving on from the last game and playing well.”

A player on the team said, “We fought hard and played some of our best volleyball, but in the end fell short. It was an amazing, history making season since we haven’t been to state since 1977 and I wouldn’t want to do it on a team with anyone else.”

The team ended up 8th in state for their first time at state since 1977. The season overall went really well. Both captains, Kiyomi Callahan and Azeria Stagg, graduate this year along with Joleene Acon, Delaney Sis, and Alysa Monteagudo.

Vikings vs Packers recap

By: Musab Mohamud

In another nail biting affair the Minnesota Vikings have squeezed out another close victory. In true Vikings’ fashion it took a game ending rally to finally finish off the Aaron Rodgers led Packers.

Rodgers had another game where he continued to fuel his MVP candidacy, but his attempts proved futile and he was outshone by the budding superstar Justin Jefferson who hauled in 8 catches for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. The young receiver was a scourge to the opposing secondary and continued to torch anyone who lined up across from him.

Jaire Alexander’s absence was sorely felt with Kirk Cousins seeming to complete passes at will. 

A long-standing rivalry between these 2 teams has resulted in some truly incredible games, and this one was no different. With both teams combining for 65 points and 911 yards, and another surprisingly good performance by a coaching staff who have been lackluster at times throughout the season.

During some games this season, the play calling has been downright pathetic, with many fans calling for Zimmer to be fired. His continued insistence on running the ball, even though he has such a star-studded receiver corps, has turned much of the fanbase on him. Continued last gasp wins are unsustainable, shown by the Vikings losing many close games throughout the season.

However, there are glimpses of hope within, with the emergence of many young stars and a multitude of draft picks in the coming draft, the Vikings are set up for success.

Continued success from last week’s impressive performance against the Los Angeles Chargers has some Vikings fans hoping for a deep playoff run. One hopeful Vikings fan says, “It’s very doable, Captain Kirk can take us to the promised land.”

Many others are hoping the inevitable close game losses are a thing of the past. With a hot and cold 49ers team on the horizon, the Vikings can hope to finally break the .500 mark. The 49ers hold the same record as the Vikings and are coming off a victory over the Super Bowl contending Rams, and the bottom of the barrel Jaguars. With a potent offense on both sides the game is shaping up to be another thriller. With a make or break attitude and a very volatile game plan, this game is supremely important to the Vikings. 

The Bachelorette recap

In Season 18, Episode 3 begins with Michelle trying to recover from the drama of last week when Jamie told Michelle that the guys were questioning her character. 

During the first group date of the episode, in which, Martin, LT, Olu, Spencer, Clayton, Nate, Joe, Rick, Will, and Peter were all invited, there was a drama between Peter and Will, when Peter gets mad that Will copied his idea on the group date. 

At the after-party, Peter and Will get into a screaming match with one another, while Nate and Michelle we’re having a heart-to-heart. The fight ends with Peter throwing Will’s jacket into the pool.

The next date goes to Rodney, on their date they played Truth-Or-Dare and opened up to one another. They also rode out in a canoe where Rodney opened up about growing up with a single mother. 

The last group date of the night goes to Jamie, Leroi, Chris G, Casey, Mollique, Chris S, Brandon, and Romeo. On this date, they were all asked to do a performance where they had to give a speech where they had to open up about themselves. 

At the cocktail party, the guys found out that Jamie was the one who was behind all last week’s mess that left Michelle upset. She immediately sends Jamie home, and at the Rose Ceremony, Michelle gave Joe, Rick, LeRoy, Nayte, Casey, Chris G, Chris S, Clayton, Olu, and Romeo roses, so they all got to stay another week.

The next episode starts with a one-on-one date with Martin. He joined Michelle at the BMW Performance Center and spent the afternoon doing stunts and racing. After that, the two cuddled up in a hot tub. They ended the night with a dinner where he was rewarded with a Rose, so he’s saved for next week. 

The next day 12 men attended a group date; they had to wear pajamas, because it was a sleepover themed date. They played board games, made teddy bears, and ate snacks. Later in the date, they participated in a fight contest where the winners got to spend additional time with Michelle. During the date, Olu stood out and he was awarded the group date Rose. 

For the one-on-one date the next day, Rick got to go with Michelle in a gondola ride up a mountain, and they spent the afternoon on nature walks around the park. At the end of the night when they were having dinner, he shared that his dad passed away three years ago. They opened up to each other about their feelings and he go Rose. 

After a week full of dates it was time for the Rose Ceremony and Romeo A, Will U, and Chris G were eliminated. The remaining men packed their bags because they were heading to Michelle’s hometown of Edina, MN.

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Benefits of journaling

By: Ella Sutherland

Journaling is an amazing way to spend some of your free time. There are so many great benefits of journaling and everything you can do.

Journaling is a great way to keep organized. Lists are a way to use your journal to stay organized. To-do lists can help you because you can use them to write down what you have going on in your week or even just what you have going on in that one day. You can mark what you do throughout the day and then cross it off once it’s done.

Another great way to use your journal is to write down your feelings. Writing down what you are feeling is a great way to take a weight off your shoulders and minimize your stress level. You can write daily entries or just write something every once in a while. If you just express what you are feeling and be honest with yourself it can be really refreshing and just a great way to wind down before bed or school.

Journaling is also a great place to write down your goals and ambitions. Whenever you are feeling like there is something in your life or about yourself that you could improve, you can write it down. Writing it down and seeing it in front of you will give you more motivation to actually go out and do it. It will also be more satisfying when you get to cross it off once you’ve actually accomplished it.

Self-reflecting is one of the most important things you can do. Everyone’s life is super hectic right now; for most people they are just coming back into school or work after having a year and a half off. Everything is moving very fast and sometimes we need to take a second to slow down and reflect on what’s been going on.

For more information, please visit:

What is COVID-19 currently looking like in Minnesota?

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

COVID-19 better known as COVID or Corona, is a virus. According to Hopkins Medicine, COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that emerged in December 2019. The way coronavirus is spread as of now, researchers know that the spread is through droplets and virus particles released into the air when an infected person breathes, talks, laughs, sings, coughs, or sneezes. 

The cases in Minnesota have increased due to the widely known delta variant. According to StarTribune, there are increased demands for hospitalization including a surge of newly reported infections, exceeding the state’s capacity for logging cases. 

The symptoms of COVID-19 are flu like symptoms. That includes fevers or chills, a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have any of these symptoms the CDC strongly encourages those to get tested. To learn more about COVID-19 tests, visit this website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.

According to Mayo Clinic, one of the ways you can help prevent the spread of COVID is wearing a mask properly. This means wearing it above your nose and having it cover both your nose and mouth.

Maintaining social distancing, getting a flu shot, if you haven’t already, washing your hands frequently, and cleaning/disinfecting surfaces are also ways to help prevent spreading COVID.

Another way to help prevent the spread is getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are interested in getting the vaccine, you may find this website helpful: https://www.vaccines.gov/.

I interviewed a freshman and asked them these questions: How has COVID-19 affected you personally? How has it affected your household? What precautions are you taking to prevent it? How do you feel about the vaccine?

*Note, the following are simply the freshman’s responses to my questions. They were not verified for facts.

The freshman responded saying, “It stops me from visiting my friends. I also can’t go into public spaces without a mask. It is difficult for me to focus in school because I am thinking about a huge pandemic that is spreading throughout the world rather than my learning.” 

The freshman responded to the second question saying, “It affects my daily life inside my house. It affects me by making me clean literally anything inside my house. You have to be super sanitary. Any visitors I have inside my house, also have to go through the same thing. It is just a huge pain.”

The freshman responded to the third question saying, “Hand sanitizer, mask, the alcohol wipes, eat healthy, avoid areas with a large amount of people, and try not to touch everything.”

The freshman responded to the fourth question saying, “The vaccine is actually really helpful because it helps protect you from getting the virus. And I support it because over 60% of the people in the world would be infected by it if they didn’t have the vaccine.”

Highland Park girls cross country at Nike Regionals

By: Abby Altman

Image taken from: Jen Rusch

Highland Park girls cross country could be starting what some might describe as a dynasty. They have 10 consecutive conference championships, 2 consecutive state appearances, they won their section meet with a perfect score of 15, and recently became the 2021 Minnesota Class AA state champions. 

Last weekend, the team took the 4 hour bus trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the annual Nike Cross Heartland Regionals race. Highland Park, The Scots, have attended Nike regionals many times in previous years, but had never anticipated one as much as this. The Scots weren’t even put in the championship race originally, and after fighting their way into the race lineup, they were ranked 22nd out of 22 teams. 

“We knew that we deserved to be ranked higher, and that made us want to prove ourselves out on the course,” said junior Chloe Koch. Freshman Ellie Moore shared a similar mindset saying, “I wanted our team to place high and prove to Nike that we belonged there.” 

The girls did not stop short of proving they belonged there. Out of 22 teams from 7 states, the Highland Park Scots placed 3rd, just behind Middleton and Edina. 

Highland senior Molly Moening finished her last high school race in 10th place. The team was sporting their “Molly shirts” during the awards ceremony to show their support and appreciation for their senior runner. Aside from Moening, the Scots won’t be losing anyone else to graduation. The rest of the team has 4 underclassmen, one of which is only in 7th grade. 

“Our team has grown so much this year, and we’re only getting stronger,” said junior Delia Johnson. Johnson has been a strong asset to the team since 7th grade, and hopes to come back even stronger for her senior year.

Sophomore Luna Scorzelli was out for most of this season injured, but came back just in time for Nike. Scorzelli finished 2nd for Highland, and 30th overall. Even though Moening is graduating, the team is confident with Luna filling in her shoes. Koch stated, “I believe that with a summer of injury free training, Luna will be able to perform at a similar level. In addition, everyone else just keeps improving.” 

Most of the Highland team will be turning their attention to Nordic skiing for the winter, with hopes of gaining yet another state championship.