Roar March 2020 issue West Shore Jr/Sr High School

westshore

ROAR

Voice of the students | March 2020

TOXIC

CULTURE

SLEEPING EPIDEMIC HAS

ROOTS IN STRESS

Page 10

West Shore Junior-Senior High School | 250 Wildcat Alley, Melbourne, FL 32935


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WHAT’S INSIDE

Photo: Susan Eaton

For the Win Emily Tizol (10) passes the ball at

the district playoff game.

Photo: Lily Schutt

Host for a Cure Bella Stazzone (12) performs

at the annual Dance for a Cure event.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Sonic the Hedgehog Classic video game character

takes to the big screen

Opinion

04 Editorial

Mental health initiative: Good idea, mostly poor

execution

Campus Connect

05

Sports

08 Soccer showdown

Girls’ soccer beats record by qualifying

for regional semifinals

09

Science fair shutdown

Coronavirus fears lead to statewide

competition cancellation

News

Hooky up

Increased absences has lead to large number of

attendance appeals

10 Toxic culture

Sleeping epidemic has roots in stress

13 Mental motivation

Students voice their opinions on new mental

health classes

14 Pedestrian peril

New crosswalks on A1A become hazardous

15 Sunscreen struggle

Florida Senate passes contentious bill regarding

local sunscreen regulations

16 Teacher rally in Tally

Teachers take on the capital for better working

conditions

Reviews

18 ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ and ‘Birds of Prey’

At the movies

19 Binge or cringe

‘The Witcher’, ‘The Mandalorian’, and ‘You’

Staff

Editor in Chief:

Rosellen Rodriguez

Managing Editors:

Alana Mayott, Leighton Johnson

Business Manager:

Isabel Burden

Adviser:

Mark Schledorn

Staff Writers:

Cayman Alford, Sophia Bailly,

Olivia Blackwell, Emily Lovelock,

Laith Rukab, Cooper Stein,

Michael Stewart, Abigail

Johnson

Cover Artist:

Isha Patel

wstheroar@gmail.com

Westshoreroar.com

@Wstheroar

“Roar” recognizes itself as a public forum and encourages letters from West Shore students and members of the community. “Roar” cannot print ads promoting activity illegal by Florida

law, ads opposing any religious beliefs, ads written in poor taste, ads with racial or sexist comments, ads considered inappropriate by the staff, advocacy advertising or ads containing

libel. “Roar” is not responsible for websites viewed through links found on pages mentioned in the publication. “Roar” values letters from our readers: maximum length for letters is 200

words. No more than one letter each semester will be published from a writer. Letters and columns are edited for length, content and clarity. “Roar” maintains the right to edit all submissions

for poor taste, length, grammar and libel. Views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily represent the views of the Brevard County School Board, the West Shore administrators,

faculty, student body or “Roar” staff. Send your opinions to wstheroar@gmail.com. Visit westshoreroar.com for more content.

3


Opinion

Staff editorial Mental health initiative: Good idea, mostly poor execution

Recently, Florida schools have been forced to implement

mental health programs under the requirement of Florida

First Lady Casey Desantis’ mental health campaign with

a goal of teaching students how to spot signs and symptoms of

mental illness. On the surface — and more importantly — to

the media, the state legislature is being proactive in combating

this issue. And it seems that is all it planned to accomplish.

This new mandate to be enforced among sixth- through 10thgraders

is little more than a joke. The

state left administrators little time

to meet the requirements with a

mere semester remaining in the

academic school year. Not only that,

but districts were not given funding

and the parameters weren’t known

until January. It is ridiculous how the

state took the easy way out and left

the schools to scramble around for

how to meet the five hours. With this

initiative, the state has covered its

bases and mitigated chances of being

blamed for the next — it is no longer

an if at this point — school shooting.

Now, nothing can stop the state from

pointing fingers at the individual

schools themselves and deflect calls

for change in the legislature.

The short time schools were

granted to come up with a plan was quite apparent in the mental

health videos students have been forced to sit through during

homeroom. The videos are sad excuses for mental-health help.

Nothing can replace a professional diagnosis and advice of a

Letters

Lack of faculty diversity a disservice to all students

Though it may not be obvious to others, one characteristic

of our school that has troubled me since seventh grade

is the lack of representation of Black people among the

teaching staff.

Take a look as you progress through the day from first to

seventh period and you’ll see that there are zero Black teachers

on West Shore’s campus. Now, you might be thinking that this

lack of representation isn’t necessarily an important issue or that

race doesn’t matter when it comes to being a good teacher. But for

Black students such as myself, being able to create relationships

with teachers based on shared experiences, such as those

related to race, is an essential part of creating a comfortable and

welcoming learning environment. Moreover, Black students are

essentially being robbed of the opportunity to see people of their

same race in positions of authority from a young age, which can

be subconsciously be defeating and unmotivating because this

makes kids feel limited in what they believe they can achieve in

the future.

4 | westshoreroar.com | March 2019

Illustration: Madi Newcombe

psychiatrist or a therapist. Each individual is different with

chemical balances and environmental factors that influence

various states of mind. Even worse is that the videos seem to place

blame on the victim of mental

illness. They oversimply

the complexity of mental

health by telling students

to “get more sleep.” Yes,

sleep does improve a

person’s well-being,

but often times it goes

beyond that. Teens can’t

get sleep due to work, school

and extracurriculars. These are

responsibilities that students can’t just drop.

The videos offer every alternative except

seeing a mental-health professional, the

one person who can help the most. Perhaps

indirectly, the program is discouraging students

to seek out therapists because their problems

are “simple” and require just a mere change in

character, and thus, leading them to ignore and

bottle up their emotions. The videos themselves

are detracting from what they are trying to

accomplish. But hope might lie ahead.

The Feb. 26 assembly caught the attention

of many for being a step in the right direction.

Having people speak out on their depression

and their experiences themselves made the presentation feel

genuine. It pushed the idea of not being alone and that there are

resources willing to help. If only the state made it clear in the first

place that this is what needs to be shown to students.

This situation also reinforces historical preconceptions of the

role in society in which Black people belong. Yet this issue doesn’t

only concern the Black students at West Shore, as students of

other races are being dis-serviced as well. Most evidently, these

students who are also unable to see Black people in authoritative

positions are not being properly prepared for the reality of our

diverse world, in which there is an innumerable Black people in

these roles, so they may not be used to having people who don’t

look like them in positions above theirs. Even though the majority

of you are not Black and cannot directly empathize with this

situation, try to imagine that you don’t have any teachers who

share your race and attempt to understand how that would effect

your academic environment and your ability to form relationships

with your teachers. Hopefully you can recognize why this is such a

pressing issue for all West Shore students.

Shelbi Winslow, 12


News

Science fair shutdown

Coronavirus fears lead to statewide competition cancellation

Story by Sophia Bailly, Staff Writer

The State Science and Engineering Fair

has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus.

Anatomy teacher and Brevard South Fair

Co-Director Maggie Molledo received an

email March 4 from SSEF board member,

Bill Herschleb, alerting her of the event’s

2020 suspension.

“Everyone is kind of shocked,” Molledo

said. “And for West Shore, it’s a big deal.

It’s like one of our sports here. We did

really well and we were going to send

a large group of kids there. It’s just so

disappointing, [like] if they cancelled the

Super Bowl, [or] if they cancelled the state

championship soccer game. It’s like pulling

the rug out from under you.”’

March 24-26 would have marked the

65th consecutive year of the event. More

than 950 students — 72 of those students

representing Brevard County — and more

than 800 adults would have attended

the event at the Lakeland Convention

Center. According to the announcement

of SSEF’s website, the fair was cancelled

due to “current global regional health

circumstances as a result of the COVID-19

viral epidemic.”

“There’s no way for these [students] to

do anything to present their projects and

all of this work,” Molledo said. “What we

have been doing the past couple of weeks

to get them ready, it’s just done. We’ve been

basically working on this for the whole

school year. I even worked on it over the

summer. And for some of [the students]

it [was] their last chance. I feel horrible.

There was a lot of money to be had, and

other scholarships.”

Senior Sarah Bahsoun was on her way

to second period when she received a

text message from her sister regarding

the official notice of SSEF’s cancellation.

Winning first place in the Intelligent

Machines and Robotics Systems category

at the regional science fair, Bahsoun

prepared to compete at the state level for

the first time since eighth grade.

“I created a program that qualitatively

analyzes neuron-derived exosomes,

potential biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and

Best of Show Laysa Damaraju (12) won’t have

and opportunity to compete at states.

Parkinson’s diseases, from transmission

electron microscope images,” Bahsoun

said. “The program uses a convolutional

neural network that I tested and trained

with exosome images from an open-source

database online.”

Bahsoun said she had been “refining the

parameters of the program” in order to

increase overall accuracy, leading up to the

moment she heard her preparations and

research would no longer be judged at the

state level.

“I was looking forward to enjoying

my time away from school with friends

who also qualified for state fair this year,”

Bahsoun said. “As a senior, I submitted

my applications last fall, so anything

I could’ve won at state wouldn’t have

affected my admissions decisions. For

underclassmen however, it could’ve served

as a wonderful addition to their resumes

[and] applications. For that reason I think

it impacts them more.”

Although disappointed, “given the

seriousness of the virus,” Bahsoun

“understood and respected the decision by

the SSEF committee.”

COVID-19, originating in Wuhan,

China in December, has spread globally,

causing 109,609 cases as of 3 p.m. Sunday.

The number of deaths rose to 3,800, and

60,693 carriers recovered. Eighteen cases

were reported in Florida, including two

deaths, as of March 6.

“I knew it was going to spread, but I

Photo: Vinod Damaraju

didn’t know how fast and if it would get

here,” Molledo said. “It’s still going to get

worse before it gets better. I read these

kinds of books. I follow this kind of stuff

because I find it interesting. It’s a part

of what I teach. So when [COVID-19]

started coming out in China and I saw it

spreading, I knew it was possible that it

could get here. But I was like, ‘Well, I’m

not going to worry about it.’ But I’m not

surprised.”

According to biology teacher Angela

Feldbush, COVID-19 is an RNA virus that

“hijacks [human] cells and turns them into

little machines that make more viruses.”

“The main problem is that

because [COVID-19] is so mild, people

don’t always feel sick right away, so

they can spread it before they feel sick,”

Feldbush said. “I don’t know that we are

going to have school closures, but given

the size of the county, it’s not ridiculous

to be prepared in case there are closings.

It’s easy to see people rushing out to buy

masks and bathing in hand sanitizer. But

buying masks and bathing yourself in

hand sanitizer is not what’s going to help

you. There are just simple things that you

can do, like washing your hands and not

touching your face.”

According to the World

Health Organization, common signs

of COVID-19 include impairment to

the respiratory system, and can cause

pneumonia, severe acute respiratory

syndrome, kidney failure and in severe

cases, death.” Although a recent study

from the Chinese Center for Disease

Control and Prevention has concluded that

80 percent of the cases are mild, elderly

citizens with “pre-existing health issues”

face a higher chance of death. Of the

72,314 subjects analyzed, the CDC found

that patients in their 80s had a 14.9 percent

chance of death, In comparison, those in

their 70s had an 8 percent chance, those

in their 40s had a 1.3 percent chance and

those between the ages of 10 to 19 “were as

likely to die as patients in their 30s” at 0.2

percent.

5

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