Bright Future for Burnett

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Burnett (left)

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By Ellie Crowley

Senior Ian Burnett started rowing for Arlington-Belmont Crew during the spring of his freshmen year. Choosing to row led Burnett to many opportunities he otherwise wouldn’t have encountered, and eventually would lead him to represent his country in a world competition.

Freshman year, Burnett was already looking to follow in his mother’s footsteps who rowed in college and for the U.S. national team. He rowed throughout sophomore and junior year, but his rowing career peaked junior year.

During the spring season of Burnett’s junior year, he qualified for the U.S. Rowing Youth Nationals in the pair event with senior Brendan Youmell. The pair finished in the top final of the event, which Burnett describes as his proudest accomplishment.

“This was a special accomplishment” explained Burnett, “coming from such a small team as Arlington-Belmont, and going on to race against some of the best rowers in the country was an awesome experience, even if we couldn’t bring back a medal.”

The summer following his success at Youth Nationals, Burnett rowed for Community Rowing Inc. (CRI) and competed in U.S. Rowing Club Nationals in the U19 Mens 8+. His boat placed first in their event, and Burnett decided to continue rowing with the club during his senior year.

Burnett’s senior year started off successfully, placing 6th at the Head of the Charles race in the Men’s Youth 8+ event for CRI. This victory set the tone for the rest of Burnett’s fall season.

He soon received offers from numerous schools for rowing, and committed to Brown University for men’s rowing. Burnett is looking forward to his future, saying, “I am most looking forward to racing bigger and better teams in college.” College rowing attracts rowers on an international scale, implying a significantly more competitive field for Burnett to compete in.

Most recently, Burnett received an invitation to train with the United States National team, with the chance to race at the 2019 Junior World Championships in Tokyo this summer. What started as a single season of rowing on a small, local team has progressed into opportunities on the national level which indicate a bright future for Burnett and his rowing career.

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Traditional Class Rank Ends to Improve Student Emotional Health

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By Halle Snell

Academic grades can be one of the highest anxieties in a student’s life. There is competition and comparison between students in many schools, which increases already existing stress. Some U.S. high schools administer class ranks, or numbers assigned to students that rank them from the top to the bottom of their class. This tells students how their grades compare to those of their classmates and where they fall academically in comparison to everyone else.

In many high schools, each student is assigned a number, or a rank. For example, if there are 400 students in a class, and a student’s rank is 100, they are in the top 25% of the class. If their rank is 350, they are in the bottom 25% of the class. Traditionally, the student who has the highest class rank is the valedictorian.

Class ranks are scored differently based on the school and on what classes students take. Rankings don’t take course level into account. So, if a student takes AP or honors classes but gets mostly B’s and C’s, their class ranking will be lower than a student taking standard level classes and getting all A’s.

About 60% of schools in the United States use class ranks, but AHS does not. According to guidance counselor Linda Buckley, “we did, up until a few years ago.” However the guidance department decided emotional health is more important than ranking the student’s performance, and promptly ended the tradition. “Students were stressed by looking at the ranks,” recalled Buckley, “ and making themselves sick trying to get one step higher than their classmates”.

Sophomore Genevieve Baldwin explained that class rankings would “add another level of pressure… and another thing that people can judge you about.” Baldwin has a twin sister in her grade, and they would be ranked in comparison to one another. She confessed that even if they tried not to let this affect them, “it could still be… not that great, having one of us ranked above the other.”

Many people believe that colleges value class ranks, and take where a student stands among their grade in high regard. However, this is not always true. Because of the problems surrounding class ranks at AHS, the guidance department called colleges of all tiers and asked about ranks. They are not as important as previously believed to get into college.

Ms. Buckley confirmed that in actuality, “GPA makes more of a difference. What matters most to colleges is what you do each day, the level of classes you are taking, and that you are healthy and well rounded.”

Ms. Buckley confirmed that since the removal of class ranks, the administration has “not seen kids jockeying for position since.”

Global Goods Fair Returns

By Chloe Jackson

On Tuesday, December 11th, Arlington hosted the Global Goods Foundation in the main lobby. Global Goods sold handmade jewelry, purses, and other artisan products from 11:30 AM- 3:30 PM. Students and faculty were able to browse and purchase items with the knowledge that 100% of funds are donated to programs abroad.

Former special education teacher Jacquie Rodgers of Maynard, Massachusetts, founded Global Goods following international travel and a passion for service abroad. When visiting a small town in Tanzania, Rodgers and her husband encountered a young man, Amon Elisha, in search of a higher degree. Rodgers generously sponsored Elisha through university at Dar Es Salaam University. As an offer of thanks, Elisha offered Rodgers handmade items to sell as retribution for the college expenses.

What blossomed out of this initial encounter was an organization that assists countries worldwide. Rodgers began to work with more countries to better each small community through sales of beautiful artisan items. After continuing her work abroad, Rodgers’ realized her endeavors could be accomplished on a larger scale.

After thirty years teaching, she eventually retired to focus her energy on Global Goods. She now sources her goods, which she acquires when travelling abroad, from around twenty five different countries, and then sells them in local locations. Many high schools, such as Arlington, have hosted the Rodgers’ Global Goods organization and made a significant impact in the lives of others by purchasing these original items. Rodgers recognizes that “none of this would happen without Global Goods customers,” and is happy to donate 100% of profits to the organization.

Rodgers currently has projects in Uganda, thirty educational scholarships in Ecuador, and funds toward a town in Indonesia where a high percentage of citizens have disabilities.

A project she is passionate about is a new high school being built in a volcano town in Guatemala, where students will have increased academic access thanks to sales from Global Goods. Despite her hefty contributions and years of selflessness abroad, Rodgers still feels that “sometimes [she] gains more out of it than they do.”

On Tuesday December eleventh, Arlington High School students supported individuals abroad by purchasing Globals Goods products. After this holiday season tradition was completed once again in the Arlington High School lobby, students and faculty were yet again given the opportunity to give back.

The Global Goods Project, founded with heart and generosity by Jacquie Rodgers, allows individuals to directly involve themselves with international endeavors. The Arlington High School community appreciates their presence array of goods to purchase each year. More information can be found at globalgoods.org, of on Facebook at Global Goods (Maynard).

AHS Cracks Down on JUULS

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By Lulu Eddy

This past summer, administration increased the consequences of being caught with a JUUL in Arlington High School from being treated under the tobacco policy, to being treated as drug paraphernalia. A JUUL is a type of e-cigarette that uses nicotine salts for its key ingredients.

The school board talked to administrators from surrounding schools to compare the level of severity with which they handled vaping on school grounds. “Most other schools handled the offense with more severity last year than did Arlington High School,” said Paul McKnight, dean of Arlington High School’s Collumb house.

McKnight said that last year, vaping “became a sudden phenomenon,” so administration was not quite sure how to go about handling the issue. Last year, the tobacco policy was a fee of $100 for students caught smoking or in possession of tobacco. However, most students avoided the fee by attending tobacco education and screening for addiction.

Many reports of JUULs being used in classrooms were brought to the dean’s offices. This is an issue that Mr. McKnight personally dealt with regularly.

A student from Arlington High School said, “there should be rules about [vaping] and then some education about nicotine, but calling JUUling drug paraphernalia is over the top. Calling it drug paraphernalia isn’t gonna make people stop. Just ramping up the consequences isn’t going to cause any real shift in kids’ behavior. If kids are JUULing, they’re gonna JUUL.”  

Another Arlington High School student feels “offended” when they see students vaping in school. They said, “I don’t want that here”. In response to the increased punishment surrounding vaping, “I feel like rules and restrictions aren’t what we need. I feel like we need the school to educate people about it”. This student also agrees that, “kids are going to do what they want… I feel like rules and restrictions aren’t what we need I feel like we need the school to educate people”. As vaping is new phenomenon, the effects it has have not been fully uncovered.

When McKnight responded to the idea that increasing punishment would decrease general use, he stated,“I don’t know if discouraging it in school would necessarily change out of school behavior…I guess we would hope so.”

One major concern with vaping in the school is the variability in what students fill their devices with. “There is a gray area in terms of determining what exactly students are vaping,” said McKnight. “What we’ve learned is that there is a method by which those pods can be filled with THC oil.” He points out that marijuana creates a disruption in classroom learning, and it can be “psychologically addictive.”

In comparison to other schools, Arlington High School faced a higher instance of kids JUULing in class. From surrounding towns, Arlington High School was seen as a place where students could openly vape in class according to Mr. McKnight. He responded to this with the following fear: “Well, what does that project as an image? The climate of the school? That’s why we take [vaping] very seriously.” Having high numbers of students vaping in school creates a bad reputation for Arlington High School. These concerns for the appearance of the school to bordering towns was a major reason for why the level of punishment increased so dramatically over the summer.

McKnight ends with a warning: “Is the benefit of engaging in it worth losing the privilege of being able to go to dances, prom, or [to] be able to go these kinds of things? Because we just don’t want it in the building.”

This year so far, reported instances of vaping in class have decreased with the new rule. While the students have mixed feelings about this rule, it has proved effective. JUULing transcends academic performance, demographics, age, gender, and social standing so it is a heavy threat. Student health and running the school day without constant disruption is still a priority to administration. While students will find a way to use substances one way or another, the in-school use is being successfully monitored.  

AHS Alum Protests New Building Model and Gains Major Support

Arlington High School

By Connor Rempe

Carl Wagner, age 49, graduated Arlington High School in the year 1987. Ronald Reagan held the Presidency, Full House debuted on TV, and baggy “MC Hammer” pants flew off of department store shelves. Things are different now, but one thing has remains the same: the iconic facade of Arlington High’s Collumb house. It is something that Wagner and his group, “Save Our Historic AHS”, want to see preserved long into the future.

AHS alum asks of building committee, can we be doing better?

SOHAHS was founded by Mr. Wagner and a handful of other town members and architects, many of whom had written to the Arlington Advocate in opposition to the Building Committee’s plan to tear down the existing school. The groups purpose, as Wagner made clear, is not to oppose the updating of the school but rather “as opposition to the current project,” as a means “to support the schools and to continue to support Arlington High in a way we think is better for Arlington.”  

In the early stages of the building project, Wagner was happy with the process of the committee. Based on public opinion the group outlined three priorities for the new school: budget, minimizing disruption of education, and maintaining historical spaces. Mr. Wagner attended committee meetings as the group whittled down the options from eight to three, seemingly keeping in mind these three pillars along the way. Two of the options maintained the historic facade while the third, instead, built the school on the current front lawn.

The group then sent the three options to the public to get their opinion. The survey found that most people favored the third option, knocking the building down and starting over. However, Wagner found that the amount of people that voted for options that preserved the school dwarfed those that voted for the third option. Considering that one of the three pillars of the committee was to maintain historical facades Wagner had faith that they too would see this trend.

However, on June 26th, the Building Committee voted to proceed with the third option and knock down the existing structure. Wagner and his group were shocked: “We felt as if the Building committee had sort of been stringing us along.” The group immediately started writing letters to the governor, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, trying to let them know what was happening. They created a website to try and spread the word and started a petition that now has more than 300 signatures. Wagner and his group even protested near the building committee’s booth at Arlington’s Town Day, handing out flyers and speaking to citizens about the new project.

“Almost everybody we spoke to was shocked,” said Wagner. “We got about 30 more signatures to our petition in person and many more online.” The protestors were asked to leave by the building committee but protestors explained they were practicing their first amendment rights .

Why care about this?

Even Wagner himself admits that as a student he would’ve wanted to “burn the place to the ground.” However, the average household stands to pay about $800 to $1000 more in taxes each year for the next thirty years. While Wagner insists that his group members are not fiscal conservatives and do want to see the school remodeled, they do think we can be doing better. “The bar for destroying public spaces must be set high,” Wagner said.

The Collumb house building was designed in 1932 during an era of fervour and vitality . Drawing inspiration from this excitement, the architect modeled the building after the current state house and the iconic clock tower after the old state house.  

“They picked up the spirit of the American revolution and put it in there,” said Wagner. “You won’t be able to capture that in any modern building.” Wagner mentioned the newly remodeled Thompson school, done by the same architects hired to do the new high school: “It’s a fine school, but it will never be on par with this in terms of the feeling of history.”  

Wagner is concerned that the town stands to forget its past and what made Arlington great in the new building. He fears that a modern structure “will lose a lot of what America stood for and still stands for, it will say let’s forget about Arlington as a town and look forward to Arlington as a city”

SOHAHS is not only concerned with the facade of the building but also the front lawn area which it said is “the largest green space on Mass. Ave. from Lexington to Cambridge.” Not only will green space be lost but also the front drop off area, which is used for things like car washes, will be gone as well.

Instead, the building committee plans to build a two-lane road that will loop all the way around to what is now the back of the school and use that as a new drop-off location. Wagner says the road will cost millions and cause traffic on Mass. Ave., Mill Street, and Grove Street. The town also plans to turn the upper grass fields into a parking lot for the DPW that will be accessible to students.

All of this, said agner, will cost a massive amount of money and result in what he estimates to be a loss of three quarters of the front lawn.

While Carl Wagner and SOHAHS are in favor of rebuilding Arlington High School, they are worried that the town will not make the new building into something that the people want; something that honors Arlington’s historic past while maintaining functionality for a bright future.

“We’re better than this,” says Wagner. “To lose the facades that are so beautiful , to lose the land, and to loose the drop off which will result in traffic mess, is really beneath us.”

Limebike Rolls into Arlington

By Caleigh Lyons

What are all those green bikes parked on sidewalks around Arlington? They are LimeBikes, which people can easily use with an account on LimeBike’s Lime app. Many people are starting to ride them, even some Arlington High students are commuting to school using LimeBikes.

In June 2018 LimeBikes- a dockless biking system-rode into Arlington and 15 local communities. All you need to do is buy the Lime App on your smartphone, create an account, and then you are able to start riding!

On the Lime app you can use a map to locate nearby bikes. Your smartphone can lock and unlock the bike. LimeBikes cost $1 to unlock and $0.05/minute to ride. Students, faculty, and staff with a “.EDU” e-mail address receive a 50% discount. Your first ride is free; when you are done with a ride, park the bike in a responsible location and unlock it.

Students at Arlington High use various means of transportation. Some bike, bus, drive, and walk. Student Maggie Caradonna says, “I really like using the LimeBikes when they’re near me.” She enjoys riding them to school, but they are not normally near her home. She continues, “When I find one in the area though, I will usually use it to get to school the next day.”

Arlington High student Kian Silva says that LimeBikes “are good for when I need to go one way and don’t want to bring my bike for one trip, and,” he adds, “ if I have a ride back from where I’m going, I won’t have to be forced to ride the bike back or cram it in the car.”

LimeBike is evolving from being a San-Mateo based startup, to now serving in Seattle, WA, the only major US city to have a citywide dockless system. These green bikes are spreading across the country from West to East coasts. LimeBike’s director of expansion in the Northeast region, Scott Mullen, lives in Arlington. He is pleased to see these green bikes come into town.

In an ACMI interview Mullen says “Before we even launched we wanted to bake in that concept of accessibility, availability, and affordability. … We’re launching now, it’s called Lime Access program, you can pay cash- we are recruiting people who are already getting existing government benefits like SNAP, WIC, EBT and such- and … for five dollars we will get you one hundred dollars in trip credits. It’s one hundred thirty minute trips … nickel per trip. This beats any other form of transportation.”

Mullen also says to ACMI “Let’s give people a different way to get around. And that’s really what makes Lime unique. We don’t just come in and drop bikes, and we’re not here to make a buck with a bike. We’re here to help people think five years down the road and to make that change happen right now.”

 

Student Gets Inside Scoop on New Athletic Director

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Photo Courtesy of @wickedlocal

By Jessie Cali

Dr. Stanley Vieira recently became the athletic director at Arlington High School. I sat down with him to ask a few questions and welcome him into our community. Here is what he had to say:

Q: What made you interested in applying to work at Arlington High?

A: The biggest reason why this position interested me is because of my love with working with athletes at the high school level. My first job was working at a high school as a track coach, and I just felt like I made a real big impact at that point in my life, and I miss working with high school students. I saw the job opening and I thought, I would love to apply and see if this works out. And it did!

Q: Where did you last work prior to AHS?

A: I was working at Providence College. I was an athletic director for different colleges over the years, but I was working with off campus students at Providence College, and I really missed athletics. I missed working with student athletes, and coaches, and teams, and scheduling. I missed all of that stuff.

Q: What are some of your favorite aspects of the AHS community so far?

A: Number one is student athletes. I love how close everyone is and how they support each other. Number two: parents. They are super supportive, and they are really good communicators. Just the other day we were trying to get the scoreboard going for one of our JV football games and one of the parents just said, “I’ll do it!”. And I think that’s common. All of the parents are so willing to help out. And then beyond athletes and their parents is the external community. Local businesses, how supportive they are, and the relationship we have with ACMI is phenomenal. So it’s hard to pick just one thing but those are a few that really stick out.

Q: Did you play sports growing up? If so, which ones?

A: I played hockey, basketball, lots of things. But in high school and college I ran track. So that was kind of my number one, but I truly love all sports. I can’t say I love one more than the other. I think they’re all great. But for me personally I ran track and I just loved it. I started it to stay in shape, and then I kind of fell in love with it. I really did.

Q: Are there any specific changes you hope to make to the athletics department here?

A: One of the things that sticks out to me is the lack of branding that the program has. I want to put more banners out, I want to get the “A” out more. The other thing is that I’ve got to figure out what our logo really is. It seems like we’ve had a lot of different A’s over the years, it seems like that is an important part of our history, and the question is how do we brand that? Because it’s in certain places, but it’s not everywhere. Like when you go out to your field, other than the older scoreboard and midfield, there’s no A’s anywhere. It’s kind of disappointing to me. So branding is big, to make sure that we are getting our name out there so that people have a lot of spirit. And then the last piece is making sure that our students are really getting out there in the community as far as community service. I mean, you all have 40 hours to do, but I think we could do so much more with the community. And then giving students the opportunity to grow as leaders, doing development. For me it’s about developing from the moment you get here as a ninth grader to the moment you leave as a senior.

Q: What are some of the challenges you have faced in your role here so far?

A: I think the biggest challenge was probably coming here so late. When I got here it was already preseason, so I had to figure things out quick. So that was probably the biggest challenge, just being thrown in very quick and trying to get everything figured out. And I still have so much, as you can see my desk is a little messy, I’m trying to figure out paperwork and everything else, but I’m slowly pecking away at it. Step by step, everyday I learn a little bit more and I figure it out.

Q: Do you have any tips for students who are trying to balance sports and schoolwork?

A: I would say the biggest skill you can learn as a student athlete is time management. When I was in high school, my coach made me get a planner to plan out when I was practicing, studying, even eating. If you don’t manage your time well as a student, it gets away from you quick. It’s like putting off your homework and saying oh, I’ll do it tomorrow. And then all of the sudden it’s the day before the big test and you’re like oh no, I’ve got to study! At varsity or sub-varsity levels you’re travelling a lot. When other students are at the library or at home eating, our students are on a bus, travelling back and forth. So it’s just managing your time and making sure that you understand, I have certain things I have to do. If you don’t understand that, it gets away from you quick. That’s probably the best advice I can give.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: The only thing I would like to say is that I am super excited about this opportunity. I love being here, I love the student athletes, the administration, the parents, everyone has been so welcoming, so great. So I’m really excited. I would finish with that.

Love Simon: The Charming John Hughes Love Story For A New Generation

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By Miles Shapiro

After an extended hiatus in the 90s and early 2000s coming of age stories seem to have been granted a resurgence as of late with films such as “The Spectacular Now” and “The Edge of Seventeen”. On television in particular shows like “Riverdale” and “13 Reasons Why” have brought in massive following while also being reasonably well received by critics. This 1980’s teen flick renaissance continues with “Love Simon”, the story of a high school senior coming to terms with life, love, and all the other ups and downs of adolescence. It is refreshing how “Love Simon” features a gay protagonist, making it the first major studio romantic comedy to do so.

In the titular role of Simon, Nick Robinson radiates charisma; bringing debt and relatability to the films closeted lead. The screenplay by Elizabeth Burger as well as Arlington High School Alumni Isaac Aptaker crackles with youthful energy and provides a sappy but deeply honest portrait of adolescence and unexplored sexuality. The film bends to genre tropes unabashedly while at the same time, its unique voice and charm gives it a style all its own. Despite its contemporary setting, the films atmosphere, music, and visual palet give it a timelessly seductive feel and coaxes the viewer into a feeling of nostalgia.

The films supporting cast also shines with a slew of young talents as well as more well known names like Tony Hale and Josh Duhamel rounding out the well drawn cast of characters. The film is well paced and despite not necessarily breaking any new ground in terms of storytelling, this film is revolutionary for what it doesn’t show. Unlike many stories of inclusion that put their progressiveness at the forefront of the story, “Love Simon” is refreshingly restrained. The movie features a homosexual protagonist, but that is is not the story, it’s just part of it. Simon’s sexuality of course plays a large role in the film but the story is never compromised to make room for the message.

This film is not going to be competing at any festivals or winning any oscars, but that was not its intent. What this film sets out to do is tell a charming romance with just enough substance and heart to elevate it above its contemporaries. In this goal, the movie fully succeeds and in time will likely take its well deserved place as one of the more prominent entries in the teen film’s second coming as well as a welcome milestone in the journey to on screen equality.

Arlington Girls Softball Team’s Season Heightens

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Photo of Ellie Demaree (senior)

By Chloe Jackson

The 2018 Spring Arlington Girls Softball Season has commenced, and the team kickstarted the new season with an impressive record. The varsity team, ranked 37th in the state of Massachusetts and captained by seniors Abi Ewen and Ellie Demaree, holds a 9-1 record and 6-1 league record.

Girls Varsity Softball consists of sixteen Arlington High student-athletes, began practicing on March 19th with coaches Matt and Dan O’Loughlin; they will continue to play until the end of their season in early June. The team practices six times a week excluding game days. Senior Holly Russell is excited for this year’s “good start” that will “continue to improve and get better” as the season progresses. The softball program also held a successful car wash on April 14th to earn funds for the team.

Each year, several Arlington players are awarded league all-star awards. Players Holly Russell, Abi Ewen, Emily Benoit, Ellie Demaree, and Katie O’Brien have received recognition in the past, and are likely contenders to earn the title for another spring season. The Varsity team has maintained an impressive 0.364 batting average, a 0.927 fielding average, and has stolen 44 bases. Meanwhile, the Junior Varsity and Freshman teams have also displayed notable starts to their seasons. Many eighth graders have been offered positions on the freshman team, bringing in a younger generation to the high school program. Freshman Coach Bob Bartholomew has introduced them the high school softball experience.

As senior Holly Russell reflects on her years playing softball with AHS, she is “shocked that it will be over soon.” However, as her last sports season ever as a tri-varsity athlete comes to a close, she enjoys her senior season on the softball team. The girls softball team continues to fight for each victory as their season progresses and the school year comes to a close.

AHS Responds to Recent Hate Crimes

By Claire Kitzmiller & Isabella Scopetski

On the night of Tuesday May 2nd, a group of young males broke into Arlington High and vandalized the school. Their actions consisted of breaking windows, smashing art show display cases, discharging fire extinguishers, breaking tables and smearing various “items” around school property. Additionally, the intruders spray painted three messages of hate on the outside wall of the school, consisting of two homophobic slurs and a swastika on a trash barrel. This detailed information was released to the student body by the end of the day on May 3rd in an email from Principal Dr. Janger.

The administration and the junior class council spent the day on Wednesday planning a response to the hate crimes. During the last period of the day, an assembly was held for all students and staff in the building. The assembly began with a speech from Dr. Janger who condemned the vandalism and reminded his students of how AHS fosters inclusiveness and positivity at its core.

“This vandalism is an attack on our entire community”, announced Janger, “hate speech and vandalism are the opposite of everything we stand for at AHS”. Further in his letter, Janger expressed his concern for the “students who feel particularly targeted by these symbols and words” and his sadness for the “vandals who feel a need to express hate in [the AHS] community”.

Throughout his message, Janger commented on the continual dedication AHS as a community has to “creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive community” which, he noted, “requires ongoing work, [but] Arlington High School is in a good place and moving in the right direction”. However, when events such as this extreme case of vandalism occurs, many wonder who these individuals are, and others ask themselves, how could these people be a part of my own community? It is disturbing and puzzling to many students that members of their own school, or even their own classmates, would display such violence for seemingly no reason at all.

During the grade-wide assembly, members of the junior class student government spoke to their peers, each reading a speech they had prepared during school that day in light of the assembly.

Junior Class President Neil Tracey spoke specifically about the “150 years of legacy to look at” when events shake the AHS community. “We need to talk about the good work that we do” advised Tracey, “because we are defined by that good work and not by the hateful actions of a few individuals”.

Junior Class Vice President Devin Wright responded to the events by saying “The one thing we should all have in common is wanting to make our school a safe and welcoming place for all who attended it”. “We are all just people trying to live our lives with the respect and safety that everyone deserves”, she added.

After the assembly, students and staff were invited to draw welcoming and uplifting chalk messages on the front of the building. Messages include, “Hate has not home here” and “You are loved.”

Many community members were surprised to see such hate in the community but many students feel the hatred expressed by vandalism in school everyday. One junior at AHS believes the vandalism is “just reflexive of how a lot of people think in our school but don’t usually act on.” It is upsetting to many students that the administration only takes action against the ever present hatred in the school, when it becomes visible to everyone.

After the vandalism, students and staff were forced to take a closer look at a problem that has been hidden to many. Biology teacher, Shannon Knuth said, “I think there’s a bigger problem here than what I really understood about.” Many students and staff who are not directly affected by the hatred at AHS, feel the same sentiment.

While the administration did have a quick and effective response to the vandalism at AHS, many community members recognize that the Arlington High School still has a long way to go.