Does Halloween deserve more recognition?

Michelle Christian

Christmas Break, Spring Break, Summer Break, Halloween Break?

Halloween becoming an official holiday could provide a much needed break during fall, allowing students to have a break during all of the seasons.

Halloween should be viewed like all of the other holidays. As a result, students should not have to attend school on the day of, before and after Halloween. These three days would provide efficient holiday break time to properly celebrate Halloween.

“Halloween should definitely be made into a holiday. Christmas is considered a holiday and it has a break, and Halloween is like my Christmas, therefore Halloween should be considered a break as well,” senior Brittney Nadeau said.

To begin, Halloween requires a day of preparation. Gathering the appropriate supplies like costume pieces, candy, candy bags and last minute decorations is strenuous and important. These preparation activities should not have to be rushed in the morning of Halloween as a last ditch effort. This prep day would allow for the general population to ease into this beloved spooky holiday. It’s not fair that Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are accepted and celebrated as holidays, yet Hallows Eve is not.

As for the day of Halloween, there are obvious reasons to designate it as an official holiday. This is the day that all of the preparations and planning gets to pay off. Depending on the level of dedication one puts into a costume, properly putting it on could take a while. Makeup and hair routines that go along with these eerie ensembles could be an entire hour or two themselves.

When night starts to fall upon us, the real fun of Halloween begins.Halloween night provides an escape like all of the other holidays do. On Thanksgiving, one gathers with family to feast on the day’s meal arrangement. Christmas is celebrated by opening presents, parties and dinners. Halloween night is no exception to this. Many people celebrate the festivities with parties, candy hunting and specially prepared spooky dinners for friends and family to share.

With all of the food, sugar and dancing the night before had to offer, there is no surprise as to why the day after Halloween should become a holiday. Many students do not attend school on Halloween or the day after because they wanted to celebrate an amazing holiday that the United States has not yet accordingly designated an official government holiday. Allowing for one to unwind from all of the chaos of the day before, the day after Halloween is a great time for people to get ready for work or school.


Remake of classic novel causing controversy: Op-Ed

Lauren Edelin

In 1954, William Golding wrote a novel, titled “Lord of the Flies”, following the adventures of a group of boys who were stranded on an uninhabited island. The book was so popular that they ended up making the book into a movie in 1990. The movie showed the lengths that the children went to in order to survive. With the stress of being alone, hungry, and disliking their leader, the boys began to murder each other.

        Warner Brothers is currently in the production of a new Lord of the Flies movie that slightly differs from the original. The original movie starred a group of boys while the one being written is going to star all girls. The idea is to produce the same movie with a modern twist. “It is a timeless story that is especially relevant today, with the interpersonal conflicts and bullying, and the idea of children forming a society and replicating the behavior they saw in grownups before they were marooned,” Siegel from Warner Brothers said.

        There have recently been some arguments about the children from the old movie versus the new movie. The discussions have been based around one question; would girls react the same way as the boys did? When the going got tough the guys began arguing which eventually led to the fighting and killing of one another. Some people say that girls would differ from that and instead remain united and work together to get off of the island. Other people say that girls, due to their rapid change in moods and rash decision making, would not last nearly as long as the boys did.

        In my opinion, the girls would’ve lasted longer than the boys did and possibly have gotten off of the island even quicker than they did. The main focus of females would be to come up with a strategy to get off of the island. The group would not pick one specific leader like the guys did, because that would cause conflict. Instead, they would vote on things and come up with a decision as a group rather than one person making the decision for everyone. Girls would also not fight the same way the guys did. They would talk things out rather than physically fighting each other and therefore settle things in a much easier way. Girls would last a lot longer than guys on a deserted island because they are able to think things through and take others feelings into account.

Jack Proctor

Girls are mean. They are secretive, gossipy and will stab their friend in the back as soon as it’s turned. A group of young girls on an island would have a much lesser chance to survive on a deserted island than a group of young boys. Boys’ survival instincts are superior and in life or death situations they always seem to put the wellbeing of the group above the wellbeing of themselves. Stuck on an island, boys would band together with the common goal of survival. While girls would also be trying to survive, there would be too much drama to actually get anything productive done. Inter-group backstabbing and drama would lead to the demise of many girls. Boys would be so focused on the health of one another that they’d forget about themselves and how much they as an individual might be struggling. They would work together to make sure that they all survive, no matter what. The situation would form a brotherhood rather than a group of little boys. A group of girls would be just that, a group of girls, with drama and chaos.

Too much Dominion power

Georgia Geen


Dominion protestors in downtown Richmond, VA. Photo by

The James River has had its share
of trials with pollution throughout
its long history; unfortunately,
that story hasn’t concluded.
In April, Dominion Virginia Power
was granted a permit to release
200 million gallons of coal
treatment wastewater into the
James, from a temporary plant
in Fluvanna County. What else
could be expected from a state
that’s second in the nation for
water pollution?
The James River isn’t only a
popular recreation center for
many throughout Richmond and sur-
rounding counties, it’s also home to
a plethora of aquatic species.
Using the river as a dumping
ground for industrial waste is a bla-
tant disregard for the importance
the James River has held in Rich-
mond’s long history and that which
it continues to hold today. Before
the Civil War, Richmond was a
highly-used port city, all thanks to
the James River. The culture of the
city developed around it and this
aspect of the river should be valued.
The state of Virginia needs to
take more extensive steps to pro-
tect the James from industrial pol-
lution. When the deal was being
reached surrounding the permit to
release the wastewater, it was indi-
viduals who stood for higher regu-
lation of the levels of pollutants,
not the state. Instead of worrying
more about the profits of corpora-
tions like Dominion, Virginia needs
to find a balance between the two
Although the settlement doesn’t
restrict the levels of pollutants, it
states that Dominion must take ac-
tion once they reach a certain level.
While this seems like a reasonable
compromise, it still doesn’t change
the fact that removing pollutants
from bodies of water is oftentimes
next to impossible. For instance, af-
ter years of pollution of the Shenan-
doah River in the mid-twentieth
century, fish cannot be eaten from
a 100-mile stretch of the region.
In addition, in a statement from
the Department of Environmental
Quality, Bill Hayden stated that the
bulk of the monitoring will be the
responsibility of Dominion, not the
state. Should a private business re-
ally be trusted to monitor the pol-
lution levels in Virginia’s most im-
portant river, when less treatment
of the water is more profitable?
Members of the James River As-
sociation still feel that the pollut-
ants, including arsenic, lead and
chromium, pose a threat to citizens
in surrounding areas. Regardless
of the impact that this particular
round of pollution might have, it
poses the danger of instigating mo-
tivation from other companies to
do the same. The James River is al-
ready at a high risk of irrecoverable
damage and Dominion’s dumping
of wastewater is a step backwards
for both conservation efforts and
the City of Richmond as a whole.

Where are the pockets?

Mikayla Mason

Some things should be a guar-
anteed right. Don’t worry this
won’t get all political. Instead,
this is something everyone can
agree upon for once, and that
is the right to have practical pockets.
It seems as though men have
the delight of having cavernous
pockets attached to their pants that
provide a space to store whatever
their hearts desire. However, girls
are faced with the disappointment
of minute pockets that serve no real
purpose. Even worse are those awful fake
pockets. Why should pockets-that
have a purpose- be purely decorative?
This causes many girls to resort to
storing their possessions in their
back pockets. This raises
the risk of things plopping out of
their pockets once they take a seat.
Girls have suffered the loss of
countless notes, pens and have
been lead to the inevitable cracking
of their phones from the fall out
of the awful back pocket.
Why are we all not allowed the same
opportunity to house our beloved
items so close to us? Girls
are forced to tote a purse to store
their personal items. However boys
can have all their necessities close
at hand. What has caused this divide?
And why are girls not given the same
pocket rights? All girls want to
do is have the chance to purchase pants
that have equally as big pockets.
What’s worse is that boys’ pockets are
so much larger than girls and the
difference between is bizarre. Does
this correlate directly to the
differing view society has on men
and women? The next thing you know a
guy could pull out a frying pan from
his pocket and ask the nearest woman
to cook for him. Classic man. *shakes head*


Frances McDaniel


Freshman Becca Gill participates in silence on April 15. Photo by Frances McDaniel

This year, hundreds of students
participated in the day of silence
at Patrick Henry High School with
the consent of the administration.
Organized by a senior, this was a
student-run event. Still, participants
were met with resistance from school
board members, the Virginia Christian
Alliance, and many parents.
These people claim that their opposition
comes from a concern that the actions
of these students were disruptive,
and distracted from the learning
environment. They see this silence
as a threat to the teacher’s authority
and feel that it inhibits their ability
to teach, or that the message of
the silence is too political for the school.
There were some that did not participate
who did not have a problem with the
demonstration. Some conservative students
support the demonstration of free speech.
Silence is possibly the single least
disruptive method of passive resistance
possible. As freshman Noah Wright said,
“Don’t teachers want us to stop talking
anyway?” Simply not talking is
so little of a distraction that the
Junior Beta club full of Oak Knoll
eighth graders sponsors a
“No-Talk-Athon” as their primary
fundraiser every year. So why is it
only a problem when the silence is
tied to a less conventional message?
Every year on April 15, members
of the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisex-
ual and Transgender) community,
as well as straight cisgender allies,
choose to remain silent throughout
the day. This silence serves many
purposes and the meaning behind it
depends on whom you ask.
This silence was originally in-
tended to honor the thousands of
gay people that died during the
AIDS crisis in the 1980s, but it has
since evolved to also honor those
we have lost to suicide and hate
killings. For freshman Becca Gill,
an ally to the community and par-
ticipant in the 2016 day of silence,
it serves a deeply personal and very
meaningful purpose.
“I knew someone who was bul-
lied so much for being trans that
they killed themself,” Gill said, “I
stay silent for them. For me, the si-
lence is about forgetting yourself to
focus on honoring and remembering
others, like how we as a school had
a collective moment of silence for
the Lee-Davis crash. We use silence
because it has such a profound im-
For much of today’s LGBT+ youth,
this day is also for spreading aware-
ness of important issues that are
often overlooked, like bullying and
dramatically heightened chances of
developing mental illnesses or mood
disorders. This was popularized by
the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Edu-
cation Network (GLSEN) starting
in 1996 with a clear, concise anti-
bullying message.
The LGBT+ Day of Silence is
observed by many people whether
they have personal ties to the gay
community or not. The students
who choose to participate are fully
aware of their commitment to make
up any work they could not com-
plete without speaking and take
full responsibility for whatever low
grades they receive for classroom
While it’s understandable that
for some individuals, good grades
are the largest, most important
thing in life. However, it’s much
bigger than that.
Sra. Page Stiff, a higher level
Spanish teacher at HHS, says she
wouldn’t mind [students partici-
pating in a day of silence], claim-
ing that even though speaking is a
significant part of her class, she has
nothing against her students’ per-
sonal decisions.
In addition to that, any good stu-
dent who’s ever been sick or been
on a field trip knows that making
up a single day’s worth of work is
not that big of a deal no matter how
challenging the class is. It should
be even easier since one’s inability
to speak does not hinder one’s abil-
ity to do paperwork, which is what
makes up the majority of classwork.
Whether or not a student wants
to speak does not affect other stu-
dents’ decisions or learning envi-
ronment. It’s not about “distracting
from education”, it’s about young
people attempting to better our
world and make our community
safer for all of its people.

The joke’s on you, people of America

Mikayla Mason

April Fool’s day is the day that
the nation comes together and
pranks each other. What an idea-
that unity can be achieved over
laughs and trickery.
This day full of giggles and suc-
cessful tom foolery is the
same day that many are
tricked in to looking sil-
ly or being injured in the
Pranking is a delicate skill
as the pranker needs to be able
know how far is too far. It demands
a constant balance between being
punked in a fun manner and toe-
ing the line between insulting and
funny. However, some do not think
that feelings should be considered.
After all, feelings are for the weak.
Becca Russo knew of friend
who tricked their peers into
thinking that their house
for vacation this summer
was booked on the wrong
date. Panicked ensued and
the pranker let his friends
stew in their despair and
oblivion. Luckily when the
truth came out after the panic his
friends were not upset about it and
thought the joke was hilarious.
In this case the prank was a suc-
cess due to the gullibliness of the
prankers friends and their ability
to laugh off the joke. However some
are not that lucky and it is difficult
to get to this level of expertise.
Being the best punker is some-
thing that many strive for, including
blank. Blank is hopeful every year
to be crowned the best April fool’s
pranker and know that they truly
fooled someone. There is a divide
among prankers about what type of
prank is the best. Some feel that
pranks such as using a whoopee cushion
or making someone scream, things that
are more physical and get the best
reaction qualify as the best
prank. Others feel that more psycho-
logical or mind muddling tricks are
far superior due to the complexity
and intensity that they require.
Others feel frustrated on April
Fool’s day because no one believes
them even when they are being gen-
uine. This leads many to not like the
holiday because they are constantly
reassuring people that they are seri-
ous and struggling to convince peo-
ple. For example, this year while at
a tournament the Hanover baseball team
was subject to the suspicion that accompanies
April 1. “I immediately just thought it was
an April Fool’s joke,” Antonio Balducci said.
Even after this holiday has passed many con-
tinue to prank their friends and family,
often posting the hilarious results on
snap chat, vine or youtube for all to en-
joy. They believe that all deserve
to witness the emembarrassment and that
the victim’s humiliation.
It’s up to you to be the prankee
or the pranker, so you better watch
your back.

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