FIRST DATES Couples, both
old and new, share their
stories about their first dates
with their significant other
EYES ON YOU How far is
too far? Life360 introduces
a new way for parents to
keep tabs on their children
L.A. Lakers basketball
superstar and inspiring
role model Kobe Bryant
FEBRUARY 2020 | Van Nuys High School | Van Nuys, California
CURRENT EVENTS 3
PRO | CON 10
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 12
on the attackPAGE 8
Should you be worried
about getting sick?
California has confirmed six
cases of coronavirus — a contagious
respiratory illness — with
at least one in Los Angeles
County. As the disease infects
thousands worldwide, research
is being conducted on how the
virus spreads and how those
who are infected can be cured.
Getting through the
Disease knows no borders. In our
interconnected world, infections
can spread from rural villages to
major cities in a short time, entering
a human host through the
mouth, eyes and nose and more.
Daily activities make the spread
of illness very easy. How can you
protect yourself and others?
Is hand sanitizer
enough to protect you?
Germs and disease are everywhere:
in the air, on our food. The
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) recommends
washing hands whenever possible
to reduce germs, or to use
hand sanitizer. Also, studies show
that face masks may be effective
in helping to keep you well.
VIRUS: FOR THE MIRROR | JENNA MARIE DE ROSALES; BRYANT: SHUTTERSTOCK | DEBBY WONG
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
2019 school shootings
Five people were killed and 17 injured in five
school shootings last year. That averages
out to one shooting every 73 days.
SOURCE: NBC NEWS
I dont understand why
it’s there [the pile] but I
just try to ignore it.
Student, on the rumored pile
of manure, which is actually
compost, on the quad.
It was pretty good for
the first pep rally, but
it felt like they picked
the hottest day to
Student, on the first ever
Van Nuys pep rally.
SAVE THE DATE
6 PHBAO Parent Conferences:
7 Short Day Dismissal;
Black History Concert:
10 Teen Court: 3:15-4:15
10-14 ELA & Math Spring
14 Volleyball Alumni
Game: 6-8:30 p.m.
17 Presidents’ Day:
18 Valley Day College Fair:
11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Debate:
19 Multicultural Day
20 Dance Company
24 Teen Court: 3:15-4:45
The American Teenager
Remembering the Parkland massacre
by Rafid Alam
Editor’s note: Feb. 14 marks two
years since the mass shooting at
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
School in Parkland, Florida where
a former student opened fire
within the halls of the school, killing
17 and sparking a student movement
across the nation demanding
stricter gun laws.
It was a bright morning, with
sunlight shining over the
whole San Fernando Valley.
There were cars honking and
driving. Parents were taking their
children to school.
I brushed my teeth and
washed my face. I put on my
navy blue polo shirt, my blackpants,
and my white socks.
The date was Feb. 14, 2018. It
was your average Wednesday. I
go to school, get bored to death,
and then wait until it is time to go
I got in my dad’s car and he
was taking me to the bus stop. My
dad dropped me off and I saw my
friend, David. We got on the bus
together and my friend started
playing Fortnite, while I watched.
David and I got off the bus and
went to the area where our group
of friends always hangs out. We
talked and laughed until the bell
rang. Edgar, my other friend, Nico,
and I headed to English class.
Lunch was the best part of
the day. I was ready to finish two
more periods and then go home.
I was expecting nothing to ruin
my mood. When I sat down in
my History class, my teacher told
us the bad news: a lone gunman
killed 17 students and teachers
at Marjory Stoneman Douglas
High School. It was one of the
deadliest mass shootings in U.S.
history. The shooter was a former
“Do not be scared to come to
school,” my teacher reassured us.
“During a school shooting, this
classroom is actually a very safe
place to be in because it used to
be a computer lab. There is no
doorknob outside of the classroom,
just a keyhole. The door is
also really thick, which is going
to make it tough to get in,” he
As I sat in my seat, I thought
about the families of the victims.
It was the only thing I could
think about. In science class, my
teacher also discusses the shooting.
I just wanted to go home and
forget about all of this. No parent
ever thinks twice before sending
their children to school. No one
expects anything bad to happen
because who in their right mind
would ever want to kill students
trying to get an education.
They’re trying to make it somewhere
As David and I rode the bus
I sat there, thinking about what
I would do if there was a shooting
while I was in class. I became
The bus arrived at my stop
and I got in my mom’s car. She
asked me about the shooting but
at that point I was so tired of everyone
mentioning the shootings
so I told her, “Let’s please not talk
about it. It makes me upset.”
After we got home, I went on
Instagram, where all I saw were
posts of teenagers talking about
the shooting in Florida. There were
videos of the sounds of the gunshots,
of the students exiting the
school with their hands on their
heads and of the families of the
victims wailing and mourning for
their murdered children.
One thing that surprised me
is that they had one thread: the
government should make stricter
I was completely amazed. I
felt proud of my generation. I’ve
never seen my friends so upset.
They cared about people they
don’t even know.
Exactly one month after the
shooting, there was going to be
a nationwide protest where kids
would walk out of class to honor
the Parkland victims.
On the day of the walkout my
math teacher told us “If you support
it, you can go out and participate.
If you don’t feel like you
belong there, you are welcome to
stay in the classroom.”
I asked my friend Edgar if he
“No, I support that stuff, but I
don’t feel like I would make a difference
being there,” he said.
“Let’s just stay in class and do
our math homework,” I replied.
At 10 a.m. the principal made
an announcement. “It is now time
for the walkout.”Three-fourths of
my class left. A few of my other
friends and I stayed and did our
math homework together.
After the walkout was over, I
saw David, who had participated.
I asked, “what was it like?”
“There were a ton of people,”
he answered. “They talked about
how the government needs to
pass stricter gun laws. ”
Even though I didn’t participate,
I went home proud that day.
Posts on Instagram from different
states and cities showed huge
crowds of teenagers united and
fighting for one cause. Teenagers
all with different ethnicities
and backgrounds. Teenagers
that have different skin tones.
Teenagers that practice different
People of my generation, no
matter what they look like, will
come together during terrible
situations. My generation showed
the whole country what the
future is going to look like. That is
the American way.
The Mirror makes every
effort to maintain accuracy,
however, in the Nov.
2019 issue, the article
“Girls golf team wins
on page 16, inadvertently
omitted Kristen Vitolo
as co-captain of the girls
School named a National Magnet
High School of Excellence
Van Nuys High School has been named a National
Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet
Schools of America.
Principal Yolanda Gardea will be recognized
and receive a National Magnet School of
Excellence Merit award on behalf of the school
on April 13 to 17 during the Magnet Schools of
America’s 38th National Conference in Clark
Magnet School of Excellence Awards are
only given to schools that demonstrate the
highest level of excellence in academic standards,
curriculum innovation, variety of classes
and activities and successful diversity efforts.
• ANI TUTUNJYAN
Freshman wins Gold Key in
regional writing competition
Freshman Rachel Sang received a Gold Key in
the 2019 regional Scholastic Art and Writing
competition in the category of Personal Essay
and Memoir. Gold Keys are awarded to the
“very best works” submitted to the program
are are automatically considered for nationallevel
“I was very happy when I found out I received
an award,” Sang said.
She expressed her long-existing passion for
writing, although she does not plan on pursuing
a career in writing.
“[W]riting is a necessary skill that you need
to have, no matter what your career is.”
• ANI TUTUNJYAN
History Bowl will host Spring
Competition on campus
The History Bowl team will be hosting the annual
Southern California History Bee and Bowl
Saturday, Feb. 8 on campus.
High school students demonstrate their
knowledge on various topics with an emphasis
on history in the buzzer-based competition
over various rounds.
“[W]hen the coordinator of History Bowl
emailed me, I was really happy to be able to organize
a competition here and give our school
such much deserved love in terms of attention
from all these prestigious competitions,” said
team President Anthony Oliveira.
The team is hoping to place in the playoffs
and qualify for nationals. • PAMELA SERRANO
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: THE MIRROR | MHAR TENORI0; IMAGE: PEXELS | STANLEY MORALES
ROTC program accredited
with near-perfect score
The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
(JROTC) program has been accredited with a
score of 99.75 out of 100.
The accreditation took place on Wednesday,
Jan. 22 in the ROTC room, involving presentations
given by the program’s Battalion staff.
The Director of LAUSD Army Instruction
inspects JROTC programs every four years and
accredits those that demonstrate a commitment
to student performance and improvement
“All the students who participated in the
inspection gave their 100 percent,” said SFC
(R) Jorge Martinez, the Army Instructor for the
program. • STEPHANIE CACERES
PEXELS | DIDS
Opiods account for more than half of all
drug overdose deaths and is he leading
cause of death in the U.S. for adults under
the age of 50.
SOURCE: U.S. NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE
vnhsmirror.com FEBRUARY 2020
Doctor Burnout: A syndrome
with a very large price tag
By PAMELA SERRANO
THE MIRROR STAFF
The concept of doctor
burnout is scary but I
do believe if there is a
and a sense of purpose
then it can be evaded.”
Is your doctor about to call it
quits because of too much
According to a recent study,
that is the case for an increasing
number of physicians.
Doctor burnout is costing the
U.S. healthcare system roughly
$4.6 billion a year, according to a
study published in Annals of Internal
The medical profession now
burdened with an increased
paperwork load, adding stress to
doctors’ lives, the study finds.
The study defines burnout
as a syndrome characterized by
“emotional exhaustion, feelings of
cynicism and detachment from
work, and a sense of low personal
To measure its economic effects,
the study authors took data
from recent research findings and
reports and ran a mathematical
model to estimate the costs associated
with burnout, focusing
on the costs of physician
A previous study by the
Mayo Clinic Proceedings
found that 54 percent of
doctors reported experiencing
at least one symptom of
burnout, almost twice the
rate of the general U.S. working
population. Burnout is a
problem that extends beyond
physicians to nurses
and other health care staff
Although Dr. Ulf Lando
does not experience burnout,
he believes that the paperwork
involved with the job is added
“I used to work much more
than I do now. I didn’t experience
burnout, but I experienced
a lot of stress,” said Dr. Lando. “All
the forms and all the regulations
involved add a great burden to
The study calculates that the
cost of burnout comes out to
$7,600 per physician per year for
healthcare organizations. The
study notes that their cost estimate
was conservative, only taking
into account lost work hours
and physician turnover.
Other research referenced
in the study finds that burnedout
doctors have higher rates of
self-reported medical errors, less
satisfied patients and more malpractice
lawsuits, all of which have
Doctors also have higher
absenteeism rates and are more
likely to report an intention to
reduce their work hours or leave
medical practice all together.
“The concept of doctor burnout
is scary but I do believe if there is a
strong determination and a sense
of purpose then it
can be evaded,”
Nawsheen, a senior who plans
to pursue a career in the medical
field. “During my internship, when
the patients thanked me dssfor
my work, it gave me a sense of
achievement that washed all the
tiredness away. The ability to save
a life and the opportunity to be
able to learn science at the same
time is a big driving force.”
The current study is accompanied
by an editorial also published
in the Annals of Internal Medicine
by the executive medical director
of Southern California Permanente
Medical Group Edward
Ellison. The healthcare provider,
a division of the HMO Kaiser
Permanente, employs over 8,500
Ellison writes that burnout is associated
with “anxiety, depression,
insomnia, emotional and physical
exhaustion, and loss of cognitive
focus.” He also notes that the physician
suicide rate is much higher
than the general publics’ and even
exceeds that of combat veterans.
The study authors found that
putting a cost on doctor burnout
and using the language of policymakers
and CEOs can compel
organizations to act.
“This is good news. It shows
that burnout is being addressed
programs are having some
impact,” Lotte Dyrbye, a
physician and professor
of medicine at the Mayo
Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
and co-author of
the study, said in a press
UP IN SMOKE: The burnout
some doctors have been
experiencing adds to rising
The widely accessible overthe-counter
drug, Kratom, may
be more dangerous helpful.
SHUTTERSTOCK | PHOTOONGRAPHY
Kratom: Is the herb
healing or harmful?
By STEPHANIE CACERES
THE MIRROR STAFF
Over 10.3 million Americans misused
opioid prescriptions in 2018, and now
a new substance has come on scene
which may have the same addictive effects
but is legal in most states without
Kratom, a widely-available herb, is the subject of
ongoing debate over its risks and benefits.
Usually chewed, brewed or crushed into a fine
green powder, the herb comes from a tropical Southeast
Chemicals in Kratom can have effects similar
to both opioids and stimulants by interacting with
different receptors in the brain. A small amount of
Kratom can perk you up, while a large dose has a
sedative effect like opioids.
Some people who struggled with opioid addiction
have switched to Kratom and swear by the substance’s
positive effects on their lives.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) worry
that Kratom carries the risk of physical and psychological
dependency and, in some cases, addiction. The FDA
warns consumers not to use the substance, and the
DEA classifies Kratom in the same category as heroin
Some users credit Kratom with turning around their
mental health or preventing opioid relapse.
However, finding a high-quality supply of Kratom,
often sold as pills, capsules or extracts, is difficult. The
FDA has recalled dozens of salmonella-tainted products
sold online or in convenience stores. Toxic heavy
metals have also been found in Kratom supplements.
Not all reviews of the supplement are positive.
National Public Radio (NPR) recently reported on a
young patient who got hooked on painkillers after his
dentist pulled his wisdom teeth. He used bitcoin to also
buy Vicodin and fentanyl on the dark web.
Eventually he wanted to kick his opioid addiction
and saw testimonials on YouTube and Reddit swearing
that Kratom could be the way out. Soon he was
popping multiple Kratom capsules a day, believing
that the natural herb supplement could provide the
same benefits of an opioid without the risks.
During his freshman year at UC Davis, the young
man started hyperventilating regularly. The incidents
worsened ending in several trips to the emergency
room. No doctor thought to test for Kratom.
He eventually died. The toxicology report listed
“acute mitragynine intoxication” — one of the chemicals
making up Kratom — as the cause of death.
“Kratom is a promising but not proven treatment
for opioid addiction and acute pain management but
it is not risk free,” said C. Michael White, head of the
Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University
White says that the collection of human data has
only just begun. He says scientists need to conduct
more research before the effectiveness of the drug is
Instead, he recommends trying methadone or
suboxone before trying Kratom. Both methadone and
suboxone are FDA approved.
White says the safest place for Kratom is behind
pharmacy counters, for people over age 18, but with
no prescription required.
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: THE MIRROR | MHAR TENORIO; DOCTOR: PIXABAY | HALCYONMARINE; BULB: PIXABAY | HUMUSAK; SMOKE: PNGIMG.COM
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
Born a slave, George Washington Carver became
a prominent scientist and inventor, best
known for devising over 100 peanut products
and popularizing peanut butter.
SOURCE | TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY
House of Blues
By ANI TUTUNJYAN
& DENNIS GALIN
THE MIRROR STAFF
Lights, sound, action.
These are just some of the backstage
components needed to stage a performance.
The House of Blues Music Forward Foundation,
a Los Angeles-based organization that focuses on
accelerating career skills for youth through music,
will be emphasizing the technical arts in its collaboration
with the school, the only school selected to
participate in the partnership in the San Fernando
House of Blues is an American chain of live music
concert halls and restaurants founded in 1992
by Isaac Tigrett, the co-founder of Hard Rock Cafe,
and Dan Aykroyd, co-star of the 1980 film The Blues
In 1993, House of Blues established the International
House of Blues Foundation, the initial name
of Music Forward, to provide services for the youth
through arts programs.
The partnership’s goal is to promote and enhance
the school’s technical theater department,
lighting design, stage design, film and business
PEXELS | DAVID BARTUS
BACKSTAGE House of Blues Music Forward Foundation
has impacted over one million kids, as well as invested
$25 million in providing workshops and showcases,
kickstarting careers in the industry for over 25 years.
aspects of the industry.
“What the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation
wants to do is mentor and teach our kids
the behind the scenes aspects of performing arts,
and the ins and outs of the music industry from
the backstage component,” said Performing Arts
Magnet Coordinator Ms. Fanny Arana.
The semester will kick off with numerous
workshops beginning in February introducing
students to various career pathways in the music
industry including participation on artistic teams,
venue teams and production careers through live
performances, panel discussions, and hands-on
Ms. Arana stresses the importance of students’
awareness of these different career pathways.
“Realistically, you’ve got people on stage and
that’s great, but
and lights, you’ve
got nothing,” she
said. “You’ve just
got a bunch of
people standing around in the dark yelling at each
other. Without documentation and the business
aspect of it, you’re not going to have an audience.
Who markets it? Who gets the word out? How do
you get the word out? There is so much that goes
into planning a show.”
Throughout the year, students will have the opportunity
to job-shadow, create a personal brand
and craft a resume.
“Networking will be a key component to getting
our students jobs in the industry,” said Ms. Arana.
Students involved in the Technical Theater
Department will be most involved in the partnership.
“The program teaches responsibility and accountability,”
Jude Struble, a technical arts student,
said. “You have to know what you’re doing with
other people. I’m excited to involve myself and learn
more about the industry.”
Palforzia: A “game changer” for Americans with a peanut allergy
BY ANI TUTUNJYAN
THE MIRROR STAFF
For nearly 2.5 percent of children
and teenagers, one
of their biggest
fears is accidentally
traces of peanuts.
Those with peanut
allergies can experience
severe reactions and even
But help may be on the way.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has approved the first treatment for
peanut allergy in children ages 4 to 17.
The drug, sold under the brand name
Polfarzia, is a peanut protein in powder
form which is given to children in increasing,
controlled doses. Every two weeks, the
dose is ramped up until it hits a target of
300 milligrams, which is the equivalent of
about one peanut.
Polfarzia does not cure the allergy, but
rather reduces the severity and number
of allergic reactions. Users will still have to
carry an EpiPen and avoid peanuts.
The medicine is similar to oral therapies
offered by some allergists, but it is the first
to be approved by U.S. health regulators.
“Not only is Palforzia the first approved
therapy for peanut allergy, but it is the first
approved therapy for any food allergy,”
Daniel Adelman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer
of Aimmune Therapeutics, the company
that developed the drug, said in a press
Dr. Alan O. Khadavi, an allergy and
asthma physician, believes that the drug
could be very helpful for hypersensitive
patients who may accidentally consume
something with traces of peanuts.
“It would be very good for patients who
are hypersensitive who sometimes have
accidental exposures that can cause reactions,”
said Dr. Khadavi. “This is something
we can offer patients who are very scared
of accidentally eating a peanut. It gives
another treatment for them.”
It would be very good for
patients who are hypersensitive
who sometimes have
accidental exposures that
can cause reactions.”
Dr. Alan O. Khadavi
SOURCE | PIXABAY
Although the drug does not cure
patients or work for everyone, Aimmune
says the benefits can be life-changing to
parents and children who worry about
the potentially fatal effects of accidental
SMALL BUT DEADLY: Peanut
allergy is the second most
common allergy in children,
occuring in about 1 in 50 children
and 1 in 200 adults.
exposure to peanuts.
“This is a defining moment for the peanut
allergy community and for Aimmune
Therapeutics,” Jayson Dallas, CEO of Aimmune
Therapeutics, said in a press release.
The company is also studying the
medicine in children ages 1 to 4, allowing
a larger number of the roughly 3 million
Americans with peanut allergies to undergo
“Having an allergic reaction is not a very
fun experience at all,” said Ryan Limpasurat,
a student with a moderate peanut
allergy. “Having this treatment will make
day-to-day life more simple since I will be
less stressed about reading each and every
Trailblazing Black Anchorman
The first African-American network television achor,
Max Robinson, co-anchored ABC’s “World News
Tonight” from 1978-1983. He died of AIDS in 1988.
SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES
vnhsmirror.com FEBRUARY 2020
SOURCE | ABC NEWS
Media outlets are pursuing a “sugar coated”
version of the news, according to students
PRESSED Reporters and
camera crews cover a big
news event. Our survey
suggests that students
distrust the news media.
SHUTTERSTOCK | STOCKPHOTO MANIA
The Mirror survey suggests students view
news as biased and containing inaccuracies.
By ANI TUTUNJYAN
THE MIRROR NEWS EDITOR
Social media, television and
news media sites are among
the most popular sources for
students to receive news from,
but these sources have an overwhelmingly
In a survey asking students how
they receive and perceive news, 73.1
percent indicated that news contains
inaccuracies and distortions.
“News seems to be radically in favor
of the extremities,” said senior Anthony
Oliveira, an avid news follower. “Outlets
like CNN and Fox are horrendously
biased and are almost never willing to
concede any points or cover any stories
that favor the opposing side.”
Over 65 percent of students responded
that they prefer receiving
news that is as neutral and objective
as possible, even if that means the
story is not as interesting.
“Media needs to pursue a less sugar
coated reporting path rather than focusing
on keeping the public eyes and
ears at bay from what really is happening
around the world,” said senior
The most popular connotations
associated with news, based on the
survey, are “depressing” and “negative,”
but despite that students still
consider news useful. Many students
also believe news is sensationalized.
“[Most] mainstream news outlets
sensationalize stories [to generate]
clicks which produce revenue and for
their own political agenda,” said Alvaro
Gutierrez, a junior who checks the
80.8 percent of students receive
news from social media, with Instagram
and Twitter being among the
With such a large population of
students accessing news from social
media, the accuracy of these sources
come into question.
Since sophomore Nicole Gasparian
often receives most of her news from
social media outlets, she believes that
media sites should enforce stricter
regulation to prevent the general
public from being fed biased and inaccurate
Surprisingly, almost 56 percent
of respondents agreed, indicating
that the “government should restrict
what the news media publishes.” In
other words, they seem to support
“When dealing with news on
social media, I believe that information
by sources should be regulated.
This is due to the significant amount
of fake news that has been going
around within the media,” Gasparian
said. “In order to provide the people
with the most accurate, unbiased
news, there needs to be certain regulations
even if it interferes with the
right to freedom of speech on some
of a story, students
trust CNN for the
reporting of news
while Fox News is the least trusted.
“We the people should push back
and refuse to watch and consume
news from sources that repeatedly lie,”
Contain inaccuracies and distortions
How do you get most
of your news?
Social Media 80.8%
News Media Outlets 11.5%
Print Newspapers 0%
News Apps 1.9%
All of the Above 1.9%
Which social media
site do you receive
news from most?
Youtube & Reddit 1.9%
Apple News 1.9%
I think news
Get facts straight 26.9%
and distortions 73.1%
INFOGRAPHICS | THE MIRROR STAFF
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
Five First Dates
There’s a first time for everything.
Most firsts are unforgettable and stay with you
your whole life. But whether they’re good experiences
or bad ones, they are significant.
First dates are a pivotal moment that often determine
where a relationship goes. It’s a moment where two individuals
get to know one another and see if anything sparks
Relationships aren’t easy. They involve multiple pressures
like how to keep the conversation going and who’s going to
We spoke to five couples who agreed to share their first
date experiences for Valentine’s Day.
• KAITLYN JUNG
Nathan Soto & April Casillas
DATING FOR 2 YEARS
Our first date was when we were one
month into our relationship. It was
after school and we went to Carl’s Jr.
because that was all we could afford.
My mom saw us kiss for the first time
and it was memorable because it was
just him and I. We just laughed so
much. What made me realize Nathan
was the one was showing me what
true love is really like and showing
me how a man is supposed to treat
me. He has always been kind and
when he was my best friend before
we dated we would always laugh
together and could never stay mad
at each other.
Angie Hernandez & Oscar Machado
DATING FOR 1 YEAR AND 8 MONTHS
Our first date was kinda funny. It was at school
after multicultural day and we hung out at the
church in front of the school. I first snapped at
him thinking he wouldn’t come but he actually
came. It was really awkward and we just talked
about random things but it was a little flirty so
that’s what I liked from the start. What made it
memorable was when he threw a fake spider at
me, I really hate spiders. But I realized that he
was the one when I started getting attached to
him and his family and realized how comfortable
I am with him.
Cesar Martinez & Venus Ancheta
DATING FOR 2 MONTHS
We’ve known each other since summer. Our first
date was a very simple one. We went to eat and
then we spent the whole day talking about life. I
think every day is memorable with her but to be
honest it’s just the way we both are so similar but
yet different enough to like each other. That day she
was as she’s always been, a humble person with a
caring personality. I realized that she was the one
when we clicked during this conversation we’ve had.
She came unexpectedly to my life and that’s the
reason I knew she was the one.
Jaymee Domenden & Anthony Asis
DATING FOR 10 MONTHS
My first date with Anthony was such a good time.
We went to the summer movie festival at CSUN for
the first time to watch “The Parent Trap.” The most
interesting thing that happened was trying yakiniku
(Japanese grilled meat) fries with him from the food
truck. The first date for me was memorable because it
was the first time we held hands. I was nervous to do
that, even with him. Being able to be myself around
him comfortably made me realize that he’s the one
for me. He accepts me for who I am and loves me
no matter what. He makes me laugh at the dumbest
things and reassures me when things go wrong.
Alexa Abrego & Ashley Bonilla
DATING FOR 1 MONTH
On our first date we went roller skating.
We didn’t think it was our first date until
the next day when we hung out again.
Someone asked if we were dating and
we weren’t too sure. We asked ourselves
“are we?” and decided we were, so we
made it official. What made it memorable
was that I had liked her for a while
and I was so confused whether it was a
date or not but regardless it was amazing
and I laughed a lot.
THE MIRROR | PHOTOS BY IVAN DELGADO & PJ RATTAPITAK
vnhsmirror.com FEBRUARY 2020
Why Black pride
Black History: Moving
forward by looking back
PILAR SIMS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
such beauty in Black people and
it really saddens me when we’re not
allowed to express that pride in being
Black and if you do, then it’s considered antiwhite,”
said Tina Knowles on black pride in “Tina
Taught Me” by Solange Knowles.
“I’ve always been proud to be Black. Never
wanted to be nothing else. Loved everything
For countless years Black people have been
suppressed and shamed, for merely being black.
As a direct response to white racism and
ideologies, especially during the height of the
civil rights movement, Black pride rose within the
communities to empower those and encourage
the celebration of Black people and their
However, the idea of Black pride is intimidating
to those who don’t understand the idea or don’t
try to understand, for they deem the movement
as “anti-white” or “reverse racism.” Embracing and
lifting up Black pride has nothing to do with hating
Pro-Black doesn’t mean anti-white.
In the United States as of today, racism is still
Though the country has removed some of
its institutional, legalized racial discrimination
— slavery, Jim Crow laws, “separate but equal”
schools and prohibitions on voting or owning
land — there’s still huge inequality in education,
housing, employment, wealth, representation in
leadership positions, government surveillance,
incarceration and drug arrests.
The unification of the Black communities
helps combat the current system, allowing for
alternative ways for Black people to flourish in a
society that benefits them little or none.
From a young age, Black youth are exposed to
anti-Black microaggressions, which are damaging
to their mental health.
In a study conducted by the Journal of Applied
Developmental Psychology, 101 Black youth
between ages 13 and 17 from predominantly
Black neighborhoods in Washington
D.C. were surveyed each day
for two weeks about any racial
discrimination they had faced,
while changes in their mental
health were measured.
Over that period, the teens
reported over 5,600 individual
instances of experiencing racism,
leading to short-term
symptoms of depression.
The racism they
By CAROLINE ORTIZ &
THE MIRROR STAFF
Almost 60 years ago, Martin
Luther King Jr. stood in
front of the Lincoln Memorial
on the March on Washington
for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.
“I have a dream,” he started, forever
changing the course of Black history.
The role of MLK in the advancement
of civil rights and other Black
activists have been annually celebrated
the whole month of February as Black
To recognize Black culture and history,
Morgan Agee and Jazzmyn Ward
decided to start the “Black Student
Union” or BSU earlier this school year.
Ward believes the month is a
chance to celebrate and recognize the
strengths and accomplishments of
Black men and women. BSU hopes to
unite the campus community of all
ethnicities to commemorate Black history
and help each other embrace their
culture and color.
Although their culture arose from a
dark past of colonization, segregation,
and discrimination, African-Americans
have overcome that obstacle. Yet, issues
of racial discrimination still persist.
“I love being Black,” Agee said, “but
so many people don’t understand the
issues we go through.”
So in combat of their dark past and
current struggles, Ward says that BSU
gives “a chance to educate the ignorant
and uninformed people, so that we, as
a nation, can grow and learn from past
omissions and harm directed towards
the African-American community.”
The community has taken immense
steps to break free from past social oppression.
Many influencers and artists
A MONTH TO REMEMBER:
Notable African American
Martin Luther King Jr.,
Barack Obama, Rosa
Parks, Harriet Tubman,
Jackie Robinson and
Oprah Winfrey, who
have impacted Black
embrace their heritage and empower
other African-Americans through their
“There are so many amazing influencers
today like Kendrick Lamar,
J. Cole, Kobe Bryant, Nipsey Hussle,
Beyonce, Rihanna,” says Andrea Derrington,
“What makes me proud to be Black
is everything in our culture from our
hair to our clothes and music,” said
Jimmy Curtis, a junior.
“African-American culture is what
makes me proud to be Black,” said
Junior Zainab Jamoh. “Our culture is
so rich and has so many different elements
To share a part of African culture to
students on campus, the club representatives
and members will be participating
in “Multicultural Day” on Feb.
19. They will be bringing their culture’s
food and drinks to sell to students.
Although one month is dedicated to
appreciating African-American culture
and history, U.S. History teacher Mr.
Jacob Ferrin believes we should take a
step back and recognize if a month is
really enough to recognize a deep, complicated
and important part of history.
“All American history is Black history,”
said Mr. Ferrin. “African-Americans
have been a part of the American
story for a very long time.”
Black History Month stemmed
from just a week-long commemoration
known as “Negro History Week.”
In 1976, President Gerald Ford established
Black History month to further
recognize the accomplishments and
the history of Black Americans.
The theme of the month is “African-
Americans and the Vote.” It pays homage
to the 19th amendment that granted
women the right to vote in 1920 and to
the 15th amendment that granted Black
men the right to vote in 1870.
This year, the National Park Service
decided to commemorate the landing
of the first enslaved Africans in North
America in Aug. 1619 at Virginia’s Point
Comfort, which is now a part of Fort
Monroe National Monument.
The Library of Congress also has
established the first major exhibition
to showcase the Rosa Parks Collection
in 2014 recognizing Parks who rose to
prominence in the 1960s civil rights
scene after refusing to give up her seat
to a white passenger in a segregated
bus. The collection chronicles her life
and her public activism.
“Growing up Black and living in this
world has shaped me into the type of
person I am,” Jamoh expressed. “When
you are Black there is a resilience that
is ingrained in you.”
“I’m strong, beautiful, and bold because
I’m Black,” she said.
primarily online, went
from getting teased
about physical appearance
to digs about culture.
No wonder a Black person feels
inferior when they are bombarded by
nonstop critiques of their hair, their skin and their
Added to this is a lack of positive Black representation
in the media as Blacks are portrayed
stereotypically and negatively. Being black is not
a good thing; racism is internalized.
Throughout the years however, Black people
have been resilient, despite the challenges they
have faced and continue to face.
In a white-dominated society empowering,
valuing, loving yourself and Black people collectively
is powerful and important.
Black is beautiful. There’s a reason to be proud.
KING: U.S. ARMY RESERVE | GLORIA HOLT; WINFREY: FLICKR | APHRODITE-IN-NYC;
ROBINSON: PIXABAY | JANEB13; TUBMAN: FLICKR | THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS;
PARKS: SOURCE | CREATIVE COMMONS; OBAMA: CREATIVE COMMONS | PETE SOUZA
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
but public health offi
BY ANI TUTUNJYAN & MHAR TENORIO
THE MIRROR STAFF
Six cases of coronavirus, a new virus that
first appeared in Wuhan, China last
month, have been confirmed in California.
One case each in Los Angeles and
Orange County and four in Northern California
have been reported.
These reports follow after the first cases in the
United States were confirmed in Boston, Washington,
Arizona and Chicago. There are a total of 11
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared
the coronavirus a global health emergency,
as the virus has spread to 23 countries worldwide.
Globally, at least 14,557 cases have been confirmed.
This number, however, continues to
increase over a thousand each day. It has killed at
least 304 people. Only one death has been reported
outside of China so far — a man in the Philippines.
The total number of people infected with coronavirus
in mainland China surpassed those infected
with the SARS during the 2002-2003 epidemic.
The virus is thought to have originated in Wuhan,
China, a city almost three times the population
of Los Angeles.
Coronavirus is considered a zoonotic disease —
initially transmitted from animals to humans. Most
of the people who initially got sick in Wuhan had a
link to large seafood and live animal markets.
As of now, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) has confirmed two person-toperson
transmissions in the U.S.
It was spread from a woman who recently traveled
to China to her husband upon returning to
Chicago. The other case followed a similar pattern.
The first U.S. case was detected in an unnamed
man who spent time in Wuhan. Four days after his
arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he
felt ill and sought medical care and doctors were
able to confirm the virus on Jan. 21.
INFLUENZA: Vaccine m
BY ANI TUTUNJYAN
THE MIRROR STAFF
The United States may be headed into a
bad flu season, as the Centers for Disease
and Prevention (CDC) figures show “widespread”
flu activity in Puerto Rico and 48
states with the season beginning unusually early.
A total of 140,000 to 250,000 flu hospitalizations
and between 8,200 and 20,000 deaths have been
estimated between Oct. 1, 2019 and Jan. 18, 2020 by
the CDC, with the highest rates of hospitalization
and death rates among children ages zero to four
and adults ages 65 and over.
These statistics shot up almost to the peak
WHOOPING COUGH: O
BY MHAR TENORIO
THE MIRROR STAFF
Pertussis, more commonly known as
whooping cough, is a highly-contagious
respiratory disease that induces violent
coughs that sound like a “whoop.”
Caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, it
can only be found in humans, although it can infect
anyone, infants aged one-year-old or younger are
most susceptible to the disease.
Even though 5,066 cases of pertussis were
reported to the Centers for Disease and Prevention
(CDC) in 2019, only one person died. In Los Angeles
alone accounted for almost 40 percent of the
SHUTTERSTOCK | GOA NOVI
The most common way to make flu vaccines is
using an egg-based process. Live virus is injected
into fertilized hen’s eggs to replicate, then
harvested, killed and purified to make the vaccine.
a major threat yet in the U.S.,
cials take precautions anyway
ay not offer much protection
reached at the height of the 2017-18 flu season,
which was the most severe in the decade. About
61,000 Americans died of the flu that season according
to the CDC.
This year’s vaccine may not be particularly effective
against the B/Victoria strain of the virus now
widespread in the U.S., the CDC said. However, it is
worth getting the shot since people who are vaccinated
are better off if they get the flu than those
who are not.
“Even if you do get the flu vaccine and still get sick,
you are hopefully preventing yourself from getting
the worst strain,” said school Nurse Ashley Smith.
The current season did begin unusually early this
Last semester, an outbreak occurred at Van Nuys
High School when a number of students tested positive
for the disease. The students were sent home
and letters were sent to parents of all students in
their classes informing them of the situation. The
students could only return to class with a doctor’s
In February a year ago, Harvard Westlake School,
an exclusive private school near Van Nuys in Studio
City, experienced a pertussis outbreak in which 30
students were diagnosed with the disease.
According to the CDC, early symptoms include
runny nose, mild cough and fever. As the disease
The Los Angeles County Department of Public
Health confirmed that the first case in L.A., reported
on Jan. 22, followed a similar pattern. In the most
updated news release, the department stated that
the first case in L.A. was a returning traveler from
The patient is currently being treated at an unnamed
local hospital to protect the patient’s privacy.
Officials are identifying people the infected patient
came into contact with and are monitoring them
for symptoms of coronavirus-related illnesses.
After news of the spread of coronavirus to the
US, five airports implementing extended screenings
of passengers who have recently been to Wuhan,
including Los Angeles International Airport. All major
U.S. airlines have cancelled all flights to China.
Arriving passengers will answer questions about
respiratory-related symptoms and have their temperature
taken. They are screened for any symptoms
indicating the presence of the virus. Those whose
symptoms match that of the virus will be detained.
According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus-induced
illnesses include runny nose, fever, sore
throat and headache. It can be transmitted through
direct contact and through the air by coughing and
“The virus is not as infectious as the flu and the
symptoms less severe but it is spread by coughing
and sneezing,” said C. Michael White, a pharmacist
at the University of Connecticut.
The virus can be contagious for up to 14 days before
symptoms show. This means that people who
seem to be healthy can spread the disease.
White, however, noted that the elderly and the
very young are “at greatest risk of dying.”
The risk of the virus rapidly spreading across
the United States is still considered low, according
to the CDC and the L.A. County Department of
Public Health, even though WHO has classified the
outbreak as a potential pandemic.
“There is no immediate threat to the general public,
no special precautions are required, and people
should not be excluded from activities based on
their race, country of origin, or recent travel if they
do not have symptoms of respiratory illness,” a press
release from LA Public Health Department stated.
As of now, there are no known treatments for
coronavirus infections. The CDC assures that it is
working with the WHO in monitoring the situation
and finding ways to prevent the further spread of
Scientists and health officials are rushing to create
a vaccine against the virus, which at a minimum
could take six months. Any distribution of a vaccine
to the public, however, will take even longer, considering
the need for trials and approval from the Food
and Drug Administration.
The Director of Public Health in L.A. County, Dr.
Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, stated that the department
is working closely with federal, state, and
local partners to take precautionary measures and
to continuously update the public of news about
“L.A. County is well prepared to manage cases
and suspected cases of novel coronavirus,” Dr. Ferrer
stated in a news release statement.
For now, the CDC recommends people to regularly
wash their hands to protect from the virus.
Personal belongings must also be cleaned and
Those infected with the virus are asked to avoid
direct contact with others and to wear face masks
to preclude further infection. The CDC advises
those infected to take pain, fever, cough and sore
throat medicine. Resting, drinking fluids and
anything to alleviate sore throat and fever are also
“Los Angeles residents, students, workers, and
visitors should continue to engage in their regular
activities and practice good public health hygiene
as this is the height of flu season across the County,”
the LA County Public Health news release stated.
year. By late November, the virus broke out from Texas
to Georgia and made its way to California.
It is still too early to know how severe this flu
season will be, the CDC reports.
Thus far, almost none of the samples tested
by the CDC have been resistant to Tamiflu or any
other common antiflu drug. Those medications do
not cure the flu, but reduce the severity of an infection
and its symptoms if taken early.
“The number one thing everyone can do to
prevent getting the flu is washing their hands frequently,”
“Vaccinate, wash your hands, cover your cough,
and stay at home if you have a fever.”
utbreaks still threaten L.A. schools
progresses, symptoms are more extreme and
noticeable, particularly successive, heavy coughing
may cause vomiting and exhaustion. Antibiotics are
used to treat the disease.
There are currently two vaccines to prevent transmission,
although a resistant strain can still be contracted,
even though a person has been vaccinated.
“Whooping cough remains a threat,” said school
Nurse Ashley Smith R.N. “The best way to combat
this is to be vaccinated.”
In 2014, L.A. Unified School District required that
all incoming seventh grade students be vaccinated.
LAUSD offers free vaccines at select clinics throughout
is not as infectious
as the flu and the
severe but it is
spread by coughing
C. MICHAEL WHITE
Pharmacist at the University
L.A. County is well
prepared to manage
suspected cases of
DR. BARBARA FERRER
L.A. County Director of
Wash your hands often or
use an alcohol-based hand
sanitizer with at least 60%
Avoid touching your eyes,
nose and mouth with unwashed
Avoid close contact with
people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze
with a tissue, then throw the
tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently
touched objects and surfaces
using a regular household
cleaning spray or wipe.
Even if you do get
the flu vaccine and
still get sick, you are
getting the worst
NURSE ASHLEY SMITH
With the Wuhan coronavirus spreading rapidly to
different regions of the world, individuals are scurrying
to protect themselves and their loved ones
from the infectious virus.
Because of the lack of information on the virus,
many in infected areas are wearing surgical masks
to prevent becoming infected, resulting in a shortage
of masks in cities in China. Many Amazon.
com merchants are sold out.
However, even with the popularity of masks,
questions remain about their effectiveness.
Some viruses, including coronavirus and influenza,
can be spread through coughing or sneezing.
According to at least one study, when masks are
used the correct way, they lower risks of catching
the flu by up to 80 percent.
Masks do curb the spread of airborne viruses,
but if those infected touch their eyes or nose, then
another person or surface, whoever they came in
contact with and those who touched the contaminated
surface are at risk of falling sick as well.
So even though masks do help keep the virus
from spreading, they are not as effective in protecting
the wearer from being infected.
There are two different types of masks available:
surgical masks and respirators.
Surgical masks are typically used by doctors,
nurses and dentists while treating patients to protect
from splashes and sprays, such as sneezes,
coughs and other hazardous fluids.
While they create a temporary barrier, tiny particles
nonetheless can easily seep through the mask
because of its fairly thin material and loose fit.
Respirators, commonly used by construction
workers, use denser materials to filter out about
95 percent of airborne particles, including viruses
and bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC).
While the CDC hasn’t issued an advisory for the
general public to wear masks, health experts do recommend
taking the same precautions you would take
for a regular cold or flu: wash your hands often, avoid
touching your eyes and mouth, stay away from others
who are sick and stay home if you are sick.
• PILAR SIMS
Marketed as the hand sanitizer that “kills more
than 99.99% of most common germs that may
cause illness,” the maker of Purell hand sanitizers
have been given a warning by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to stop making unproven
claims of being able to prevent Ebola, MRSA or
In a warning letter sent last month, the FDA
told Purell’s makers, Gojo Industries, that its claims
that their hand sanitizers could reduce the potential
for infection or prevent illnesses violated the
Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Within the “Frequently Asked Questions” section
of the Gojo website, statements suggest that
Purell hand sanitizers may be effective against
contracting viruses, ranging from
Ebola to the flu.
The FDA said that it was “unaware
of any adequately regulated studies
demonstrating that killing or decreasing
the number of bacteria or viruses on the skin
by a certain degree produced a corresponding
reduction in infection or disease
caused by such bacteria or virus.”
The agency’s letter outlined
further claims from the company’s
websites and social media accounts
that it had issues with, such as the
statement that said “Purell products
are proven to reduce absenteeism,”
the practice of regularly staying away
from an obligation without good
The FDA has given Gojo Industries
two options: stop making false
claims or file to designate Purell as a
drug. Until then, the agency said that
Purell will be reclassified as an unapproved
drug, rather than an over-thecounter
product, which means the
company must correct the violations
or face legal action. • KAYLA LEE
MASK: SHUTTERSTOCK | MTSARIDE; PURELL: SOURCE | GOJO
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
Why are we only respected
when we use our
“white people” voice?
The first thing people notice about you when you speak is
your accent, pronunciation or vocabulary. Dialect is an
important part of a first impression.
Having a Southern accent is possible. Having a British
accent is possible.
However, speaking “white” is impossible. Using this term to
describe the way someone speaks is insulting.
“Speaking white” or “sounding white” is used to describe the
way someone speaks when using
complex words or when being articulate
with their speech. These
terms only normalize the notion
that the capability of speaking
proper English is limited to white
people, which is not and never
will be the case.
Linguistic profiling, the practice
of using one’s accent and dialect to identify a person’s characteristics,
is blatantly discriminatory.
From a young age, I learned to change the way I spoke depending
on the person I spoke to. I was taught to never converse with
an adult the way I would with a close friend in order to show my
respect for them. Later, it became apparent that showing respect
hardly played a role in the need to speak “like a white person.”
It wasn’t about showing respect. It was about receiving it. It
was about seeming approachable, respectful and even educated.
The sad truth is that society upholds the belief that intelligence is
measured by the way you speak. You’re labeled “uneducated” or
“inferior” if you don’t follow the rules of standard English. It’s more
common than you think. The reason someone might find this
hard to believe is because society has done an outstanding job
normalizing such beliefs.
Tenth grade was the peak of altering my speech and using my
“white person” voice. I had a teacher who spoke elegant English
and who drilled us heavily about grammar and its importance.
My fear of being perceived as uneducated or unworthy of respect
was heightened every time we were required to speak in class. I
refused to use my usual vocabulary and never allowed my normal
tone of voice to slip out.
Teachers never tell you what they truly think of you, but linguistic
profiling can be subtle. AP English teacher Ms. Nancy Navarrete
speech altering is
directly linked to the
preservation of culture.
“I do think that some
THE MIRROR | KAYLA LEE
minority groups want to avoid
‘speaking white’ in fear of selling out their own cultures,” she said.
“However, when under pressure, some people will try to sound
white so that they don’t feel out of place.”
“The assumption is that any other language that does not ‘sound
white’ is not good enough and therefore not legitimate,” she said. She
also thinks that when subgroups try not to sound white, they are
really rebelling against the conformity of the English language.
Ms. Navarrete feels that we need to do a better job in school
to value subgroups and their variations of English and to include
“sounding white” as just another variation and not the norm.
“Scholarly English is just that—standard—and it should not be associated
with being white,” she finished.
As a young black male, Anthony Turner, is familiar with the
switch to white mannerisms especially when voicing his opinions.
“I’m perceived as the stereotypical angry black person. I have
to use white mannerisms to get my point across and I shouldn’t
have to. My opinions and emotions are valid regardless of how
I speak or act. I shouldn’t have to water them down with white
mannerisms to be heard and respected,” he said.
Turner describes it as “rude and intimidating” when he’s told
he speaks white. “I’m around other people of color and they tell
me I speak white, I think ‘should I change how I talk?.’ Growing up
around a majority of white people helped communicating with
them go smoother but that doesn’t make up for having to change
myself to be understood.”
It’s our responsibility to make use of our language to bring us
together instead of as a barrier. Refraining from using the term
“white” to describe someone’s mannerisms is the first step.
Appropriating “hood culture” to make a buck
Hip-hop and rap music has been
around since the 1970s.
Urban youth and people of
color were treated as a marginalized
community, so they used their
unique sound as their form of expression.
Little did they know their musical form
of protest would give birth to a genre that
brings people together 50 years later.
It seems that there’s a new up-and-coming
hip-hop or rap artist every week. We
barely get the chance to experience a new
rapper long enough before a different artist
makes a hit record and claims their fame.
Experiencing struggles in everyday
life is a common theme in the rap genre,
which is not much different than the
musical message of New York in the 70s.
Growing up in poverty and gang violence
are recurring themes.
The drive and ambition
these artists present
is inspiring, but the stories
they tell through their
music have less meaning
if the stories are fake. I
prefer to listen to rappers
who are sincere about
their past and their upbringing.
are rappers who claim
to have come from the
“hood” or the “streets”, but
have never experienced
the harsh reality of coming
from such unfortunate backgrounds.
Lying about experiencing real struggles
only diminishes the meaning of rap culture.
Hip-hop was created to give the marginalized
community a voice, not a platform
for privileged individuals to lie their way
into a music career. Such misrepresentation
is a form of disrespect.
The lies some rappers tell through their
music is a deprivation of opportunities for
authentic artists, according to 17-year-old
rapper Layla Williams.
“If you gotta lie about what you do,
where you’re from or what you’re going
PIXABAY | ARNODORIANUNIT0
POSER More rappers are restorting
to lying for sales.
through then you don’t need
to rap,” Williams said.
“It’s unfair to the people
who are living the life they
preach about or the ones
who are actually speaking
the truth about the pain
they are enduring. That’s
called “Rap Cap,” a big no in
the music industry. Nobody
wants to hear somebody
capping—lying—in their raps.
The media wants to hear all
facts,” she explains.
Nobody wants to listen to
music about growing up wealthy or being
born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
Even if they can’t relate, people would
much rather listen to music about working
hard to overcome their life obstacles
and working their way to success by any
One reason the exploitation of urban
culture and community has been normalized
is that it boosts sales. Consumers are
drawn to the music they find most relatable.
Some artists find it easier to capitalize
off of urban culture when they know
exactly what their audience is looking for.
Kayla Lee, Pilar Sims
CURRENT EVENTS EDITOR
PRO & CON EDITOR
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
ATHLETICS / SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR
Plapol “PJ” Rattapitak
Mr. Ron Goins
ABOUT US The Mirror is the student newspaper
of Van Nuys Senior High School in Van
Nuys, California, a district of Los Angeles. It
is published six times per year. The opinions
expressed in bylined commentary articles
and columns represent the views of the individual
writer and do not necessarily reflect
the views of The Mirror or the Editorial Board.
DISTRIBUTION Copies are free to students,
faculty and staff and are available in
Room 112, Second Floor, Main Building.
READER PARTICIPATION Unsigned editorials
represent the majority opinion of the
Editorial Board. Letters to the Editor may
be delivered to Room 112 or mailed to The
Mirror, 6535 Cedros Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91411.
Letters must be signed and may be edited
for space to conform to The Mirror style
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Publication of an advertisement does not
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by the newspaper or the school.
MEMBERSHIPS National Scholastic Press
Association (NSPA), Columbia Scholastic
Press Association (CSPA) and Southern
California Journalism Educators Association
vnhsmirror.com FEBRUARY 2020
An app made for parents to track and check on
their kids has hit the App Store: Life360. It’s being
marketed as a “safe app,” created for concerned
parents. “Feel free, together,” is the app’s slogan.
Life360 allows parents to track their child’s every
move, including seeing the
speed of the vehicle they’re in,
its location and when a target
leaves a location.
The intentions of the app may be innocent but it has
allowed many parents to make their children miserable.
Mistrust between parents and kids can only grow
with the use of the Life360 app. Obsessive
parents now have the ability
to constantly check their child’s
location. Strict parents create
sneaky children. The
growing wariness between
a child and their
parents will only cause
the child to rebel even
more. As young adults,
teenagers should have
the freedom to go out
on their own and not be
Also, apps can experience
bugs or glitches, which
could lead to more misunderstandings
parents and their children.
More often than
not, children are
shut down when
trying to explain
their side of the
Apps like Life360
enable obsessive behaviors.
Instead of creating trust in parent and
child relationships, they often destroy it. It is
much healthier to teach a teen to communicate
with their parents rather than to control every
aspect of their lives.
Tracking your child’s every move is not progressive
but rather strains a healthy relationship.
By constantly keeping tabs on your child it can
result in more reckless behavior, such as not carrying
your phone around to avoid being tracked.
It is understandable for parents to want to
Your parents are
know what is going on in their kid’s life, however there are more healthier
approaches, like building a relationship with trust so they are comfortable
confiding in you.
But this behavior doesn’t necessarily end when these teens go off to college.
Some parents continue to use these apps to track their kids in college.
A parent’s job is to raise their children to be
independent and successful members of society.
Trying to protect them at all costs and interfering
with their ability to learn from their mistakes does
not achieve this. It only allows smarter people to
easily manipulate them.
This has become such an issue that it’s now a
TikTok meme. Teens are posting their
videos using the hashtag #Life360
sharing the strict punishments
they face, like having
their cell phones confiscated,
for months and being
monitored by security
cameras in their own
kids with these kinds
of punishments make
them resent their
parents and instead of
complying with certain
rules and limitations they
These videos may
seem funny to some
but to others they
are reality—a reality
that can result
A study conducted by
ABC News showed that “teens who felt
more alienated and, therefore, lost trust in their
[parents] were more likely to have high levels of
anxiety by 12th grade. This held true for depression
By using apps such as Life360, parents
teach their kids that they can’t be trusted, and
shouldn’t be surprised when their relationship
with their kid is tainted.
THE MIRROR | KAYLA LEE
Minor’s health choices are protected by confidentiality laws
In California a 12-year-old girl can get
an abortion without parental consent.
Under the California Minor Consent
and Confidentiality laws, minors have
the authority to consent to medical services
without their parents knowing. They
are eligible for other medical services that
would otherwise require parental approval.
Abortions are common with teen girls
who are enrolled in school. Raising a child
is a big responsibility, and having a baby
means learning to balance taking care of
yourself while also attending to the needs
of your child. Financial stability and a
strong support system are crucial to raising
But the sad reality is that not every teen
would have these things if they brought a
child into this world.
It’s common for teenage girls to be fearful
and hesitant to reveal their pregnancy
to their parents, especially when they have
strict parents with personal beliefs that
conflict with those of their pregnant child.
A pro-life parent probably would not
allow their daughter to terminate a pregnancy—even
if she wanted. Such a parent
would make her keep the baby. Other parents
might be unsupportive, reacting in an
abusive way by kicking the daughter out. A
teen in this situation is lucky to find a place
to stay after her parents turned her away.
In California, such unfortunate situations
are being prevented by the confidentiality
law. If a minor is sure that carrying
out a pregnancy could place themselves
or their child in a position of danger, they
have every right to terminate the pregnancy
without parental consent.
When a teen gets pregnant, she needs
support. She is often confused and frustrated.
She fears how others will react. She
may have just made a mistake.
The new law is also important because
sexual education for teens is often lacking.
A former LAUSD health teacher said that
most of his students didn’t understand
how their own bodies worked and were
unable to even label their sex organs.
Out of all 50 states, only 13 states
require sexual education to be medically
accurate. However, the definition of the
term varies and depends on the school
district’s curriculum. Teens are miseducated–and
even completely uneducated–
about sexual activity but in California the
law gives them some protection.
Laws around the country should be
redefined so schools can accurately teach
And no, telling a child to remain abstinent
forever does not count as “the talk” or sex-ed.
When parents have an accurate, nonjudgmental
“talk” with their children, it signals
that a child confronted with these situations
can be comfortable talking to their parents
instead of seeking their own answers.
Educating their own children about the
outcomes of being sexually active instead
of using the “stay abstinent” fear tactic
might persuade a teenager to be safe and
make responsible choices.
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
Best Picture... really
In the biggest Oscar snafu ever, 2017 presenters
announced the wrong Best Picture Winner. It
was really “Moonlight,” directed by Barry Jenkins.
A24 FILMS | DAVID BORNFRIEND
New year, still
By ANAHIT SHARAMATYAN
THE MIRROR STAFF
SOURCE | WARNER BROS.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION Joaquin Phoenix’s
portrayal of the Joker earns him an Oscar’s
With the announcement of the
2020 Oscars nominees came
another controversy. “White
male nostalgia” is a term that is
being used to address the over-representation
of white males in the Oscars nominations.
This year’s white male bias can be seen
in many categories, including “Best Director.”
Many amazing female filmmakers were
left out, like Lulu Wang for “The Farewell,” or
Lorene Scarfaria for “The Hustlers.” This year,
no women will be offered a chance to win this
award. The majority of the nominees fit into
the maxim of “white male nostalgia.”
Only one non-white performer was nominated
for the “Best Actress” category: Cynthia
Erivo, who played the main role in the movie
“Harriet.” Many fan-favorite actresses like Jennifer
Lopez, in “Hustlers,” were left out of this
category, outraging some observers. “The Oscars
nominate whoever they feel was the best,
whether they factor race or gender is beyond
me,” said Arman Badikyan, a junior who is in
“I think that it is unfair that women and
colored actors didn’t receive the same amount
of attention as white men this year during the
Oscars nominations,” said Natalie Veniaminova,
a student who has closely followed the controversy
and plans to watch the Oscars. “I think
there were several colored actors and women
that deserved the position just as much as
their white male counterparts.”
In 2015, a similar controversy erupted because
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences did not include Hispanic or African
American actors in the nominee list. Only a few
movies with diverse casts were nominated for
“Best Picture”, but not for any acting awards.
“Selma” and “Martin Luther King Jr.,” fan
favorites with diverse casts, were completely
ignored. After this affair the Academy took
further steps to ensure more variety.
When this year’s nominees were announced,
pundits immediately pointed out that
nominees were pretty much the opposite of
what had been promised five years ago.
The Academy had a goal of doubling the
number of women and minorities that were
being nominated by 2020. They reached one
of these goals in 2020 by being more racially
inclusive and going from having only eight
percent of women and minorites nominated
in former years to 16 percent. Unfortunately,
they didn’t reach the goal of doubling the number
of women this year, with numbers slightly
increasing from 25 percent to 32 percent.
TikTok to the top: Student celebs
find fame online 15 seconds at a time
By ESTEFANIA LOPEZ &
THE MIRROR STAFF
TikTok: the modern app
that struck the Internet
and took social media by
Released in 2017 after merging
with a similar lip-syncing app
called Musical.ly, TikTok counts
about 500 million users worldwide.
Despite being released
in the latter half of last decade,
TikTok became the seventh most
downloaded app of the 2010s,
surpassing both Twitter and
The app consists of user-created
content of people lip-syncing
and dancing to various songs.
TikTok also includes comedy
sketches. Videos span three seconds
to a minute.
TikTok has become a creative
outlet for many high school
Senior Kaitlyn Martinez,
@kaateastrophe on TikTok, has
amassed more than 57,000 followers
on the platform by posting
comedy videos and content
related to the famous Koreanpop
“I decided to start making
videos as a content creator on
TikTok because lots of people
seemed to enjoy my jokes,” said
Martinez has gained enough
popularity on the app that BTS
themselves liked her video. A fan
even recognized her at a mall.
“That inspired me to keep going
and going,” she said.
Anahit Chamichyan, a junior,
also @aka.tina on TikTok, creates
similar comedic content. She focuses
on producing point-of-view
videos where the user roleplays
different characters for a scene.
“I downloaded the app as a
joke but, then I saw really creative
content and it inspired me to create
my own comedy and pointof-view
videos,” Chamichyan said.
She initially gained a following
after a video of her pretending
to be a British girl garnered over
During Homecoming Spirit
Week’s TikTok Day, Chamichyan
decided to dress up as a British
girl wearing stereotypical British
makeup. With her costume, she
decided to create a video similar
to the “British gir,l” a girl who
dresses up as a stereotypical British
girl as well.
“I felt like I had to do something
different from the others
who were dressing as e-girls
or -boys so I decided to do my
makeup like ‘the British girl’,” she
“At first, I was kind of scared to
do it but after I actually felt confident,”
Chamichyan said. “Lots of
students were either staring at
me or secretly taking videos or
pictures of me but I was honestly
okay with it.”
TikTok can also be a place for
artists to express their creativity.
Jackie Mote, @jackiemote on
TikTok, has used the platform to
post makeup videos.
In one of her first videos, she
did her makeup based on randomly
chosen colors. She would
use a random number generator
and use the corresponding color
to the number. She ended up getting
2.3 million views.
“I decided to make my own
version without expecting it to
blow up like it did,” she said.
She uses the views and the encouraging
comments as inspiration
to continue producing more
“It felt really good to get recognition
and a bunch of positive
feedback,” Mote expressed.
Mote used to think posting
videos can be “intense” but she
uses the positive comments as
motivation. However, sometimes
she is fearful of negative comments.
“I haven’t gotten hate comments
but I have mixed feelings
about people seeing me. I sometimes
think people aren’t going to
like my videos,” she said.
While the app has raised the
online profiles of several students,
Math teacher Ms. Milagro
Medrano has noticed her students
using it and thinks the app
is a distraction.
“I just think it’s students trying
to get more views and trying
to become more popular,” she
said. “I think they should spend
more time doing their homework
and studying instead of trying
to be TikTok famous,” Medrano
SOURCE | TIKTOK
CONTENT CREATORS: (L to R) Anahit Chamichiyan, Kaitlyn Martinez and Jackie Mote make TikToks that rack in views.
vnhsmirror.com FEBRUARY 2020
THE PROMISED NEVERLAND.
THE PROMISED NEVERLAND.
BUNGO STRAY DOGS. VIOLET EVERGARDEN. WOTAKOI: LOVE IS FOR OTAKU.
Cozy up with your remote and dive into a uniquely Japanese artform
By BEVERLY REGINO &
KAZI MAISHA RAHMAN
THE MIRROR STAFF
Anime (Japanese animation)
has been increasing in
popularity among the youth
worldwide. It has become
some sort of “fad” in the young generation
of America, with popular titles such
as Naruto, One Piece and Fairy tail, at its
peak. Yet, there are some others — while
not as popular — that are definitely
The romantic comedy Nodame Cantabile
is about musicians Shinichi Chiaki and
Megumi Noda. Shinichi’s upset to discover
Megumi, his neighbor, has fallen
for him. Nodame Cantabile’s clever
use of comedy makes the relationship
between Shinichi and Megumi relatable
and amusing. The light drama adds
realism and is worth a watch. Available
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is a
slice-of-life comedy depicting a high
schooler with overwhelming psychic
powers, Saiki Kusuo, who is in search of
a quiet life. The characters have hilarious
chemistry with Saiki and stick to a
certain cliché, which is the meat of the
show. With ridiculous plot-points, it’s
remarkably interesting. Available on
After losing her beloved Major Gilbert
Bougainvillea, Violet Evergarden, a wartrained
emotionless killer, begins to
transcribe people’s emotions on paper,
hoping for self-discovery.
This fantasy drama features beautiful
character development of a war-ridden
girl undergoing a loss. With a heavy,
emotional plot adorning its visual
magnificence, it is definitely one of the
few shows worth sobbing for. Available
The science-fiction drama, Girl’s Last
Tour, depicts friends travelling through
a post-apocalyptic world in search of
happiness in the desolate, depressing
land around them. Chito and Yuuri are
a huge contrast to their surroundings:
two cheery friends in an unforgiving
world, making the audience feel bubbly.
The anime is perfect for unwinding after
a stressful day. Available on HIDIVE.
Bungo Stray Dogs revolves around members
of the Detective Armed Agency
who deal with cases including humans
with supernatural powers known as
the “Gifted.” Featuring a vast number of
characters — each different from the
last — the story entertains through a
mix of comedy and drama. With three
seasons, it’s an ideal show to binge.
Available on Crunchyroll.
Aspiring manga artist Satoru Fujinuma
can travel several minutes into
the past, where he saves numerous
lives from tragedy. His ability to time
travel allows him to uncover what truly
transpired 18 years ago. Erased has a
well thought-out plot and its use of
mystery enhances the curiosity of the
audience. Available on Anime Planet.
Three orphans, Emma, Norman and
Ray, all try to escape destiny as they
discover that their orphanage is a farm
where demons feed on the orphans. The
Promised Neverland shines in storytelling
and building atmosphere. Easily one of
the best horror anime, it excels in the
unsettling unknown. The show’s second
season is set to release in October 2020.
Available on Funimation.
In Dororo, an action thriller, the young
man Hyakkimaru journeys to retrieve his
organs, bartered away by his father, from
48 demons. On his journey, he meets
Dororo, who claims to be the greatest
thief in Japan. Enhanced by unique
monsters and bloodshed, the plot keeps
viewers anticipated on what will happen
next. Available on Amazon Prime.
Apothecary Shirayuki escapes one
prince to be saved by another, Prince
Zen Wistaria, who she someday hopes
to repay. Snow White With The Red Hair is
interesting with its clever use of clichés
and romance. Zen and Shirayuki’s maturing
relationship is perfect for a light,
pleasant story. Available on Anime Planet.
The romantic comedy Wotakoi: Love
Is Hard for Otaku follows Narumi Mamose,
an office worker dealing with the
side effect of finding love and hiding her
otaku, a person obsessed with computers
and pop culture, status from her
coworkers. However a middle school
friend, Hirotaka Nifuji, quickly blows
her cover. The light-hearted humor and
cute romance makes it a classical fluffy
romance. Available on Amazon Prime.
Chihayafuru is centered around
Chihaya Ayase, who is content with
living under the shadow of her sister.
She meets Arata Wataya who teaches
her competitive karuta, a Japanese card
game, where she hopes to someday become
Japan’s best karuta prodigy. Considered
to be one of Crunchyroll’s top
sports animes, Chihayafuru is perfect
for those fascinated by thrilling competitiveness.
Available on Crunchyroll.
In the sports comedy, Baby Steps,
Eiichiro Maruo isn’t captivated by anything
other than studying. Enrolling in a
tennis school, he uncovers his fascination
for the sport but his shortcoming
is that he is unathletic. The two-season
series lightheartedly shows how he
overcomes his weakness. Available on
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
THE MIRROR | IVAN DELGADO
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Ready to bat, co-team captain
Anthony Islas steps up to the plate.
Baseball: 2020 season preview
By SHANYA NEAL
THE MIRROR STAFF
Will this year’s baseball
team make it to
Last year’s team
won 12 games and lost 10 for a pretty
solid overall winning season. They
made it to the playoffs but unfortunately
lost with the score of 9-2
against South East (South Gate, CA).
Both the team and Coach Alfredo
Avila are really confident about their
chances this season. Thirteen players
are returning that have played
together before, so they know each
other really well, and they’ve been in
back-to-back playoffs together.
A more mature and more experienced
lineup is ready to take the field.
Ricardo Sankago, a twelfth grader,
is playing right field, left field and
catcher. Eleventh grade Co-Captain
Daniel Reyes plays as a shortstop
and eleventh grader Anthony Hernandez
is pitching and also plays
Reyes feels like he’s going to get
a lot out of his talent this year. He
knows being team captain can be a
tough job but he’s willing and ready
to accept the challenge. His mantra
for the team is “if you stay ready you
don’t have to get ready.” He sticks by
his words by always going making it
to practice “even if that means waking
up early while his teammates are
still asleep” He’s the first person at
practice and the last one to leave.
Anthony Islas, who has been on
the team since his freshman year, is
moving up. It’s his senior year and
he is also a team captain along with
Reyes. He has three positions on the
team: first base, third base and catcher.
“Everyday is a new opportunity.
You can build your success or put
your failures behind you and start
over again. That’s the way of life.”
Freshman Steven Tostado is a
very much appreciated addition to
the group. According to Reyes, he
“has a pitch like no other.” He brings
a hard pitch and good batting skills to
the team. He can hit the ball over the
fence — which is rare for a freshman,
and according to Reyes, he’s willing to
work as hard as he needs to to make
it to playoffs.
Keep an eye out for eleventh
grader Justin Villanueva, the ace
pitcher this season. He has a great
cutter, about two inches of break, a
really good curveball, a nice two sink
fast ball and a really good splitter.
He plays first base, pitcher and right
The person with the best instincts
goes to eleventh grader Holden
Daddario, who plays center field
and pitcher. He’s really smart, calm,
knows what he’s going to do before
he gets the ball and really great
at planning things out in a short
amount of time. He also has the best
Joshua Son is an eleventh grader
with jaw-dropping batting skills.
Every time he steps into the batting
box he’s hitting the ball very hard and
hitting it over the fence with ease.
Practice makes perfect and the
team has been practicing since the
summer every Monday through
Friday during sixth period and after
school. Most players also attend a
Along with practice, teamwork
is the key to a strong season.
“No matter how bad things get,
as long as we stay together and be
one unit anything can happen,” said
He’s plans on sticking to that.
vnhsmirror.com FEBRUARY 2020
THE MIRROR | PJ RATTAPITAK
Girls volleyball team
brings home a
By DHAMARA GOMEZ
THE MIRROR STAFF
Captain Aileen Flores described
the beginning of the girls volleyball
season as “pretty shaky.”
Although the team got off to
a rocky start, they were able to pick up the
pace and finish with a league record of 7-5,
while also making it to the semifinals in
“Coming into the new season, I already
knew it was going to be a rebuild season,
which was going to be a different experience,”
The girls were able to finish the season,
but not without hardships. They started
off with a loss against San Fernando but
bounced back with a win against Panorama.
Players Catalina Rodriquez and Mariah
Martinez both agree that Kennedy High
School was their toughest competition. “As
a team, they were able to push back just
as hard as we were pushing throughout
each of our games against them and they
always managed to create a challenging
game setting at a quick pace.” Rodriquez
The team lost both of their matchups
against Kennedy, which finished at the top
of the league with a 10-1 record.
In addition to their league games, the
girls also participated in tournaments so
they could stay in shape and be prepared
for any challenges thrown at them this
season. At the peak point of the season,
the girls went on a three-game winning
streak, getting their revenge against San
As a team, Martinez believes the girls
met their goals and expectations as well
as meeting her own personal goals. “I wish
that I had contributed more in terms of
playing and in terms of spirit and positivity,”
she said. “Overall though it was a fulfilling
season and I’m happy with the way
The girls took home a win against
Phineas Banning Senior High School for
their first playoff match. It was an intense
battle that ended in bad blood. Some players
took to Twitter to insult the opposing
team after the 3-1 victory.
They advanced to the next round
against Venice High School, but were
handily eliminated in a shutout, ending
their championship quest.
GETTING A DIG IN Captain
Aileen Flores gets ready
to bump the ball from
the opposing team.
Overall though it
was a fulfilling
season and I’m
happy with the
way things went.”
THE MIRROR | IVAN DELGADO
THREE CAPTAINS (L to R) Karen Linares, Eric Martinez and Christine
Rohm all the share the title of varsity team captains.
Cheer squad: On to Nationals in Anaheim
It all begins with practice.
The members of the cheer
team practice two to three
times a week for three hours.
The team stays persistent with
their practices. Whether it’s in
the small gym or in the quad, they
make sure to leave the practice with
some sort of improvement.
Practice starts with stretching
before the cheer team members
begin working on their routines.
Their routines are packed with
two and three person stunts and
tumbling. They use gymnastics
and dance skills throughout their
All of the team’s hard work has
paid off with a trip to the USA Spirit
Nationals in Anaheim on Feb. 14 and
15, where they will face over 7,500 of
the best teams in the nation.
“We make it a habit of focusing
on ourselves and on bettering our
team”, says one of three captains,
Eric Martinez. The other two
captains are Christene Rohm and
Thanks to their three first place
wins at the World Class Cheers
competition, the USA cheer team
is off to Anaheim in an attempt to
take home the nationals trophy. At
the moment the USA cheer team
The cheer team consists of two
varsity teams and one JV team.
While all of varsity competes at
CIF, only half of the team competes
in USA competitions, hence
the titles of the CIF and USA team.
The USA cheer team is comprised
of a selected group of
various varsity team members.
These members cheer on a more
advanced level with flexible flyers,
advanced tumbling, and boy
“I’d have to say, don’t knock
it till you try it. I’ve played other
sports before and I think cheer is
just as difficult”, says Rohm to anyone
who has doubts about cheer.
“I feel extremely proud of the
students and new coaches for
qualifying for nationals”, says cheer
coach Maria Renard. • JULIA PFAU
FEBRUARY 2020 vnhsmirror.com
Most meaningful title
Kobe Bryant’s fifth and final championship
meant the most to him. “When we beat Boston
in 2010, for me, that’s number one with a bullet,”
Bryant told TNT’s Ernie Johnson.
REMEMBERING KOBE BRYANT
ANDRE RODAS SPORTS EDITOR
Hearing the news of Kobe Bryant’s death
made me freeze in my tracks.
A person whom I and many others
looked up to, Bryant’s work ethic and
mamba mentality inspired a generation of people
on and off the court.
As Bryant once said himself, “The biggest key, I
think, is inspiring the next generation of athletes
and how to do that and I think content is an extremely
powerful tool of inspiring the next generation
Bryant is one of the most accomplished athletes
of all time with 17 NBA All-Star appearances,
two scoring titles, four NBA All-Star MVPs, 12 All-
Defensive Team Selections, two NBA Finals MVPs,
five NBA Championships, two Olympic Gold
Medals, the 1997 Slam Dunk Championship,
the 2007-08 NBA MVP and even an Oscar for
his animated short film “Dear Basketball.”
His loyalty was one of his greatest qualities.
He stayed with the Los Angeles Lakers
for his entire career, 20 long seasons that
seemed to never come to an end. Not only
that but the man was a great father to his four
daughters. Gianna, his 13-year-old daughter who
was also killed in the crash, was following in his
Although he was a basketball legend, he wanted
to be remembered for so much more. He wanted
to affect change worldwide with his book series,
“The Wizernards”, the story about a Fairwood
Community Center basketball team that is in
desperate need of a coach to help them reach their
On top of creating his book series he was also
creating podcasts and producing his own show
on ESPN titled “Detail”.
Bryant made it very clear that he had no interest
in becoming a coach in the NBA, but it was a
different story when it came to his daughter. She
wanted to continue her father’s legacy.
On “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in 2018 he talked
about how fans were always telling him he needed
a son for his legacy to be continued. “...they’ll be
like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and V (Vanessa)
gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to
carry on your tradition — the legacy.’”
Gianna’s reply to those comments were “‘Oy I
got this.’” The father and daughter shared a special
bond that was bigger than basketball.
Superstar LeBron James remembers the joy
Bryant had when he was around his family. “These
last three years were the happiest I’ve ever seen
him… being able to just be with his daughters,”
James said in a tribute at Staples Center before
the Lakers game with the Portland Trailblazers.
Kobe Bryant’s passing reminded me of the
importance of having a hero and someone to look
up to. It also showed me how quickly life can be
taken away. I had just woken up when I heard the
news it hit me hard. In the blink of an eye, nine
people were killed on that tragic morning.
This sudden tragedy showed me that you
shouldn’t hold a grudge with someone over
something silly and to make sure you tell
your loved ones how much they mean to
you. You never know when your last day
on earth may be.
Kobe Bryant represented what it
meant to be an athlete and so much more.
May the Black Mamba rest in peace.
How did Kobe Bryant
Kobe is the reason why I picked up a basketball in
the first place and started playing. I would watch
him play every game growing up and it was truly
amazing and inspiring. He has inspired millions of
lives and his legacy will always be with us and will
never be forgotten. JASON TAMAYO
My favorite thing about Kobe was the way he
used to think. That will continue to blow my
mind because he was striving for nothing less
than the best. I always try and carry myself with
his mentality when it comes to what I want
for my future. Thank you Kobe and I love you
for everything you did! See you soon Mamba.
He inspired me to have a better ethic and to
never give up on what I love to do. He also
inspired me to make better choices in not
just the sport of basketball but in general. Putting
in the work for something you want to accomplish
in life and not giving up is what Kobe
Bryant taught me. SHAY DE GUZMAN
I’ve played basketball since I was five years old
and whenever I would think about basketball I’d
think about the Lakers and Kobe Bryant because
he was a very special athlete. I just want to be
the best at the sport I love just like he was. I’d
like to be the same warmhearted, friendly, and
humble person that he was. KALI COLEMAN
BASKETBALL SUPERSTAR Kobe Bryant, 41, his
daughter Gianna and seven others died in a
helicopter crash in Calabasas on Jan. 26.
BASKETBALL: CREATIVE COMMONS | MRX; BRYANT: CREATIVE COMMONS | SGT. JOSEPH A. LEE