This past year we experienced a lot as a staff, as a school and as a nation. From the changing political climate with the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump to the BSU outcry. From the shedding of light on long-standing issues at the Women’s March and sexual assault allegations to the scandals at a local university. 2017 brought debate about climate change and advocacy for natural disasters in Houston and Puerto Rico. We saw a rise in gun violence from the concert shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada to the shooting spree in Orlando, Florida. We uncovered scandals within our own school involving faculty and staff and released RedEye’s first Black History Month package and much more. We learned how to talk about controversial and sensitive topics while still adhering to the highest standards of journalistic integrity. We learned to adapt to negativity and worked together to reach a greater understanding of community.
As an online news publication, we were shocked by the December vote to terminate net neutrality, making media less accessible. The press faced other obstacles in 2017 in a “war on journalism,” with constant ridicule from the President of the United States. As a staff, we discussed this persecution and how it motivated us even more to contribute to the pressing issue of reporting the truth. With our newfound motivation, national issues and crises led to some of our most popular content of 2017.
We delved into the discourse surrounding Charlottesville, North Carolina and described both sides of the Confederate statue removal dispute. We looked into the sky at the solar eclipse while keeping an eye on the empty seats in Trump’s cabinet. We showcased the Manual community and represented our opinions on several diverse topics.
While this year was marked by resilience and growth, our staff still enjoyed being together in the newsroom and covering events outside of the classroom. We laughed at the “you know I had to do it to ‘em” modifications and even changed our desktop screensavers. We’re excited to share our favorite stories of 2017 with you as well as wish you a happy new year. We hope that 2018 brings us even more growth, resilience, integrity and even greater diverse coverage and content.
Sincerely, the Manual RedEye Editors
Here is our top 10 most viewed stories published during 2017. This list does not include quizzes.
10. OPINION: Standing for the Pledge of Allegiance is a choice
Every morning, Mr. Mayes comes over the intercom and asks the school to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The responses to this request vary greatly. Some people stay in their seats, arms crossed in defiance. Some stand out of a feeling of obligation, silently looking around to their friends for validation. Some simply ignore, or don’t notice the standing students, mumbling the words that they say every morning, like clockwork. And then there are some that stand tall, hands over their hearts, proudly reciting the patriotic mantra.
However, the Pledge of Allegiance has sparked a fair deal of controversy in modern times. Critics of the Pledge often take issue with the term “under God,” or argue that “liberty and justice for all” is an untrue claim. With the current political climate, critics have also refused to stand as a form of protest, or a symbol of their disapproval of President Trump and his policies.
Proponents of the Pledge, on the other hand, will often say that refusing to say the Pledge is disrespectful to the people who died to ensure American freedoms. I have been in classrooms where teachers require their students to at least stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, as a sign of respect.
Personally, I stand up every morning and proudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance, hand over my heart. I am a proud American, and consider my reciting of the Pledge as a symbol of my respect for the nation that I call home. To me, pledging allegiance is simply stating that I do not intend to betray my country, and the ideas of liberty and justice that the Pledge promotes far outdate Donald Trump’s presidency. I believe that claiming liberty and justice is not stating that America is perfect, but rather, that America is constantly trying to evolve to offer these things to all its people. But of all the reasons that I recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the strongest is the fact that I do not have to.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution ensures that every American citizen’s freedom of speech is protected. With freedom of speech comes the freedom to not speak. In the Supreme Court case West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, it is made explicitly clear that students cannot be legally compelled to say the Pledge. Therefore, if someone does not want to stand for or recite the Pledge of Allegiance, they have every right to sit down and remain silent. If someone takes issue with the term “under God,” they have the right to alter it to fit their own religious preferences, or simply to omit it. In the United States, the right to refuse to say, alter, criticize and even mock the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as anything else, is protected.
This is the main reason that I stand proudly every morning. As I recite the words that I memorized years ago, I can look around and see people sitting, refusing to speak them. The fact that they can do that is because of the freedoms ensured by the very nation that I stand in honor of. It makes me even prouder.
So when Mr. Mayes comes over the intercom in the morning, exercise your rights however you choose. Be loud and proud or sit in defiance: the choice is up to you. Whatever you choose, you’ll be no less of an American. Both actions are as patriotic as the flag itself.
The honor is based on student scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test from last fall.
The organization also named six other JCPS students as semifinalists.
According to Manual’s principal, Gerald Mayes, the number of students each year is something the school is always proud of.
Mayes said that this year’s number would have been higher, but the National Merit organization raises the goal each year.
But, he added, “the most important thing to me is, are you doing the very best that you can possibly do?”
Suggestions from semifinalists
Megan Wang (12, MST) felt both excited and grateful after she found out that she was part of the list.
“It validated my hard work in preparing for the PSAT,” Wang said.
Megan suggested that students become more familiar with the test format in order to feel more comfortable answering the questions. Sample tests are available on Khan Academyand elsewhere online.
Caroline Foshee (12, J&C) was glad to receive National Merit because of the potential college opportunities.
“Seeing that got me more excited and less nervous for the college process,” Foshee said.
Both students agreed that cramming the night before does not help, and even causes more harm than benefit. Relaxing for the day prior to the test, getting good sleep, and eating breakfast are better for test-takers.
Full list of Manual’s National Merit Semifinalists
WHY HE SHOULD BE IMPEACHED:
The Emoluments Clause, also known as the Nobility Clause, states that “no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
Trump is still affiliating himself with his hotels, golf courses and other office buildings. All three have continued to accept money from foreign countries as well as continued to run under Trump’s name which is a conflict of interest.
Before his official inauguration, Trump held a press conference in which he announced that his major corporations would go to his two sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. Almost three months later however, Trump is still running his companies with an iron fist.
CREW explained that as President and as the Executive and owner of his corporations, the American people will have to decipher Trump’s deals with foreign countries to see if they will benefit the country or if they will benefit him and his company.
“Trump does business with countries like China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, and now that he is President, his company’s acceptance of any benefits from the governments of those countries violates the Constitution,” a CREW statement said. “When Trump sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman.”
HOW IT WILL HAPPEN:
Impeachment is already a long process, but it will be even worse at the hands of the Republican majority Congress. Defined by the Constitution as an action for “conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” the last category is open to interpretation. The process requires a total of 5 votes from the Senate, the House and the Supreme Court.
There is clear divide of people who support him and people who dislike him, not only with his supporters but also in Congress, making impeachment even more difficult. The representatives supporting Trump won’t vote him out of office because his presence allows them to get support for Republican motions, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the other half of Congress will be adamantly fighting for his impeachment.
If impeachment is impending, Trump is still able to resign before the case becomes official in Congress, as President Richard Nixon did after the Watergate Scandal. It is likely that Trump will resign, rather than face the consequences of his actions.
Trump already has a 52% disapproval rating, but it will take force from these people to push him out of office. It may take years for this to happen.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
If Trump were impeached, Vice President Mike Pence would replace him. Having Pence as the President of the United States will not be a much better alternative, as he has more political experience to act on his controversially conservative policies.
On Friday, Nov. 3, Manual will attempt a trial run of its first Crimson Hour. The original idea was proposed to the administration during the 2016-17 school year but has resurfaced as a viable option this year.
The goal for Crimson Hour is to provide time for students to complete tasks that they otherwise would not be able to complete. Students can utilize 30 minutes for lunch and the other half of the period to conference with teachers, visit the guidance office or receive extra aide for a class.
Administrators are still considering how annually this will occur, whether it be once every week, every two weeks or even every six weeks. Friday’s results will have an effect on this.
Ms. Erin Moss (Chemistry) feels that the extra time during the day could help kids take more responsibility for their learning.
“If you had more targeted interaction and small group study sessions, that could be beneficial. Having kids makeup labs or other projects during school instead of having to stay after would be nice,” Moss said.
AP teachers contribute to a majority of the opponents to this new proposal, they fear that a constant reduction of class time could lead to less content covered by the strict AP test date.
Hypothetically, over the course of a full school year until the first AP test date, there would be 169 days of instruction.
The Manual administration is still in the process of finalizing plans for an actual Crimson Hour, but Friday’s outcome could stand as a representation of how students will utilize their time.
Lilly Gonzalez (10, MST) is one of many students who could benefit from having implemented work-time in her schedule.
“I believe that the Crimson Hour is really a great opportunity for students to catch up on academics, destress, or even get active physically. In addition, many students do not have a study skills,” Gonzalez said.
Additionally, the Crimson Hour could serve extremely beneficial for students participating in science fair competitions; the extra time could allow for in-school research.
“I think it [Crimson Hour] would be a great idea for Manual. Personally, I am using the time to get help from teachers that stay for after school help on days where I cannot stay. I think it [Crimson Hour] could help students with science fair by allowing them to do research in the library, work on their paper, or practice their presentations,” Minh Tran (11, MST) said.
Assistant Principal Bryan Crady has had the biggest influence in the planning of Crimson Hour.
Check ManualRedEye for coverage on the outcome of this year’s Crimson Hour.
On Sept. 16 at 10:33 a.m., ESPN’s Twitter featured a sign that student Luke Carns (12, J&C) held at its College GameDay event at the University of Louisville.
The tweet displayed his “I Hate Crowds” sign and ESPN added the caption, “You’re in the wrong place dude.”
As of Sunday night, the tweet had over 270 retweets and over 1400 likes.
College GameDay is ESPN’s pre-game show that airs in the morning before that day’s college football game covered by the network. According to Sports Media Watch, recent College GameDay broadcasts attracted between 1.5-2 million viewers.
Luke had a plan
Carns wanted to bring a sign that read “President of the Jemele Hill Fan Club,” but he said ESPN would have likely prohibited his sign due to the recent controversy over Hill’s critical comments about President Trump.
He had noticed that other people with political signs weren’t allowed to bring them in.
“I was gonna show it to them but then I just kind of choked,” Carns said.
Carns was also visible on ESPN’s channel in the front row of the crowd.
“It’s a tradition to have a sign to trash-talk the team so that people on TV can see it,” Carns said.
He noticed earlier that College GameDay usually featured simple and pointless signs, and he wanted to try to recreate that.
“I still wanted to get on TV more, but I wanted to respond to people,” Carns said.
There were over 20 direct responses with various reactions to the tweet.
Whoever is holding the “I hate crowds” sign at @CollegeGameDay is a very dedicated fan.
— Kylie Buzzeo (@Kylie_buzz) September 16, 2017
Carns retweeted Rachel Edwards, who wrote, “There is a person in the Game Day crowd that has a sign that says ‘I hate crowds’ and I want to be their best friend.”
Carns also replied to the tweet, saying, “I’m right here.”
“I didn’t think my sign would really do anything. But then I checked Twitter, and everyone just started tweeting me,” Carns said.
I walked in Manual as a freshman full of ideas, ambition and wonder for what could be. I sat in homeroom for the first time looking around anxiously trying to figure out which of my peers would become my new best friend. I wondered (and maybe even feared) where I will fit into the academic community. I debated on if I was good enough, strong enough, or fast enough to be on varsity.
I looked up to the seniors because they’ve been here three years and somehow they’ve done it all. I feared the juniors and all the horror stories they tell of ACT and SAT and the course load. I envied the sophomores because they just get to be themselves; they aren’t picked on for being the low man on the totem pole. I believed in myself and knew someday I would get to just be myself. I will survive the horror stories. I will endure through it all.
I am nearing the end of my journey here. Even though senior year just started, it’s the last time for everything. I remember my freshman year as if it was yesterday, and sometimes I really think it was yesterday. The friendships, the experiences, the opportunities, the memories Manual has given me are things I will never forget and can never be taken away from me. Despite the amazing time I’ve had at Manual, there are some things I wish I had known when I first began my journey.
Freshmen should always have school spirit and cheer.
As dumb as it may sound, pour your soul into having school spirit. You only have one high school so you might as well love it and make the most of it. When I was a freshman I cheered just enough to not get booed by the seniors, but now as a senior I know and understand why it is so important for everyone to cheer. See, everything the freshmen do is a replication of us and what we want not only for ourselves, but the school we represent. Cheering is more than just for you, it is for the school and all its rich history, it is way bigger than any of us will ever be, but it is our duty as Crimsons to do our best.
Freshmen shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
Yes, I know, we go to Manual. The duPont Manual! The hardest and best school in the state. I know we are all smart and I know we all value and take great pride in our grades. But listen up and listen closely, we are not all good at everything, and we shouldn’t be. There is no shame in not knowing something. Not to mention, if we were all good at everything then nobody would be special. So take time to find someone with a strength in an area you’re weak in and ask them for help. Chances are they will be glad to. Also Manual offers an immense level of help for the students because they want to see us succeed.
Freshmen should join clubs.
I cannot stress it enough, join clubs. Not only is it a plus for college apps, it is a great way to meet friends with similar interest as you. Clubs also provide you school sanctioned opportunities to get more involved in your local community. You never know who you’ll meet and what they have to offer you. Through my involvement in several clubs, I have met people I otherwise never would have met and been provided with connections and mentors within my community.
Freshmen should use their agendas (and time) wisely.
Be sure to write down your goals for the week and stick to them. Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews found that 70 percent of people she studied who wrote down their goals and shared them with friends ended up accomplishing those goals, as opposed to 35 percent who never wrote down or shared their goals. It is also very beneficial to make a regular routine and adhere to it. On average, it takes 66 days (about two months) for a routine to become habit. By building a strong routine you will develop strong productive habits in the long run.
Freshmen should not be afraid of failure.
So you have a big test coming up soon, and you’re spending a little bit of time studying every day (which is much better than cramming the night before). You walk into class confident that you will kill the exam. Days later, you get the grade back and discover that you failed. But it’s okay. We all fail every now and then. It’s a part of high school, and more importantly, it is a part of life. Take these opportunities to look back and reflect on where you went wrong and what led to your failing. Talk to your teacher, visit the MAC, go to tutoring sessions offered in our library or even get a private tutor, but learn from your mistakes. While it most certainly sucks to fail, it is not the end of the world, nor should you treat it as such.
Freshmen should make friends with upperclassmen.
The upperclassmen may seem terrifying and threatening but you should not fear them, if anything try and befriend them. They have more experience at the school, they have connections with teachers and they know how to have a good time. Upperclassmen make great mentors for freshmen. They can show you all the ropes. Another perk of being friends with the seniors is that they can get you closer to the action at sporting events! So, never believe all the rumors you hear about us upperclassmen shoving you little freshies into lockers. We really aren’t that scary, and you know why? Three years and four weeks ago, we were the little freshies.
It may sound clichéd like “High School Musical,” but trust me. I remember so clearly what it felt like to be a freshman. I recall the days where I wandered down the halls on autopilot dreaming my life away to senior year. Well, now that it is here, I find myself wandering down the halls on autopilot dreaming my life back to freshman year. It’s all about perspective, so please take the above advice from a senior who remembers what it was like to be in your shoes. It’s honest advice from the heart.
It took hours for police and school officials to break up a conflict at duPont Manual High School on Nov. 10, 1976. The altercation, which originated in the cafeteria and spread through the hallways, left 16 students injured, eight arrested for inciting a riot and 30 others suspended. For the rest of that week, police cars were stationed around the school, and more than half of students stayed home.
This riot was not a random occurrence. It was sparked by high racial tensions that were the result of a Supreme Court order that forced Jefferson County Public Schools to integrate their schools in 1975. A chaotic, alphabetical busing system was put in place to transport students across the county in order to create the necessary racial balance. Protests often turned violent, and the National Guard was called in to protect buses as they pulled into school parking lots. The riot on Nov. 10 was the culmination of these tensions at Manual.
After a few years, however, protests in the county began to die down. While most other school districts around the nation decided to abandon integration plans, JCPS continued to pursue programs that attempted to create a more integrated school environment. Today, it is one of the only districts in the nation that still buses students among urban and suburban areas.
The 2007 Supreme Court case Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 declared that students cannot be assigned to schools based on race. In response, JCPS created an alternative plan to continue integration using minority and socioeconomic status.
The district is now divided into clusters, which combine students from different regions. Students can attend any “home school” in their cluster, but they must apply to a school in a different cluster.
This busing plan benefits some low-income students by exposing them to higher-achieving schools. A Harvard study concluded that the integration of JCPS prepares students for the workplace because they are exposed to a variety of backgrounds.
JCPS is now considered one of the most integrated districts in the nation. The racial makeup of JCPS in 2015 was 47% white, 36% black and 16% latino or other, according to the JCPS Board.
Despite Louisville’s efforts to integrate, segregation remains a huge problem in the city. Louisville is the 4th most segregated city in America, behind only Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. 51.1% of Louisville residents live in segregated areas, and 9th Street is generally regarded as the dividing racial line.
Most of this segregation has its roots in white flight and housing discrimination. When suburbs were built in Louisville in the 1950s, there were federal housing laws restricting the sale of property from white people to black people as well as U.S. government policy preventing minorities from moving into majority-white neighborhoods.
After this was outlawed, the Home Owner’s Loan Association began a practice called “redlining” in which they ranked neighborhoods and districts based on “security level” where majority-white neighborhoods were marked green and majority-black or other minority areas were designated red. Affordable loans and other financial benefits were then denied to those living in the “red” districts, another effective tool to keep Louisville and other cities segregated.
Then, during Louisville’s “urban renewal” era, urban areas were bulldozed and black residents were forced to move into traditionally white neighborhoods such as Shawnee. When the minority population started moving in, the white population began fleeing in droves. This is still seen today, as well as housing inequality in Louisville’s West end. Areas where the majority of people are non-white are devalued, and white majority neighborhoods increase in value. This creates a gap between white people and people of color that may prove difficult to close.
3. YPAS employee faces felony charges in Indiana
This is a developing story, and the RedEye staff has updated this article with new information. RedEye will continue to update the story as we confirm more details.
Update on Sept. 26, 2017:
According to Mr. Mayes, Richmond had no significant duties as the community liason at YPAS.
“[He] was kind of the go-between person and didn’t have much contact with students. He was involved with ticket sales, the Young Actors Institute in the summer, the house manager for events and really just to assist the director,” Mayes said. “The guy was only 25 days into the job so he hadn’t done much.”
YPAS Assistant Principal Bryan Crady also said that Richmond did not work directly with students and mainly interacted with community members.
“He organized the community outreach to get more students involved with the arts through YPAS programs,” Crady said.
Crady added that Richmond’s background as a Manual graduate was part of the reason he was hired.
“He went to school at YPAS in the early 2000s and had a good reputation as a director at Silver Creek. We thought that him being familiar with our school and having a good arts background was good at promoting our summer theatre program,” Crady said.
JCPS hired Richmond after the person who had previously filled the position moved away from Louisville.
Update on Sept. 25, 2017:
Richmond pleaded not guilty to the charge of child seduction.
Indiana police charged YPAS employee Alonzo Richmond, 30, with “having inappropriate contact with a student in another school district in another state where he also works,” according to an email Principal Jerry Mayes sent to all Manual parents on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
Mayes said that the district’s communication office called him about the incident at 3 p.m.
“By about 3:10, I made my decision,” Mayes said. “In fairness, we do not know everything that is going on. It was enough that I had to act pretty quick.”
According to WDRB, a student accused Richmond, an employee of Silver Creek High School, of inappropriately touching him after a theater rehearsal in a park in Sellersburg, Ind. Police arrested Richmond on Wednesday after authorities filed charges in Clark Circuit Court.
Michael Raisor, Chief Operations Officer for JCPS, would not comment on the case because the district has a policy against commenting on pending investigations.
Richmond started working for JCPS as a part-time community liaison for YPAS on August 14.
JCPS defines a community liaisonas someone who “works cooperatively with designated staff to establish and maintain a communications network in the designated area, provides leadership for the development and execution of an ongoing recruitment plan for the programs and services at the Center and assesses community needs.”
Silver Creek community in shock
Some students on Silver Creek’s campus Wednesday evening for athletic events reacted to the charges with shock.
Senior Kayla Schepers, who was in Richmond’s theater program for two years, said that the Silver Creek community was surprised.
“Everybody’s talking about it right now,” Schepers said, “and nobody wants to believe that it happened.”
Silver Creek freshman Gabriel Dane Logwood agreed.
“I am shocked and most of my peers are shocked,” Logwood said.
This isn’t the first time that Indiana authorities have arrested JCPS employees. In 2014,RedEye reporters learned that police arrested a Newburg Middle School teacher, Denise Negrus, for public intoxication and resisting arrest.
The state of Indiana dismissed the charges against Negrus in January 2016.
Update on Nov. 15, 2017:
“We’re proud of our students exercising their freedom of speech and standing up for things they believe in,” Assistant Principal Mr. Greg Kuhn said.
Before school on Nov. 14, the Black Student Union (BSU) staged a sit-in to raise awareness for accountability and the immediate removal of Principal Mr. Jerry Mayes after recent controversy.
Tomorrow! Be there and tell your friends! pic.twitter.com/vVmOFf6W8Z
— duPont Manual BSU (@dmhs_bsu) November 13, 2017
BSU President Quintez Brown (12, HSU), BSU Vice President Kyra Welch (11, HSU) and Gay/Straight/Transgender Alliance (GSTA) co-President Aris Spagnuolo (12, HSU) gave speeches to students who congregated on the center hall staircase.
The three student representatives said that they met to discuss intersectionality and agreed that the purpose of the sit-in was to raise awareness for student voice.
“Mr. Mayes is in a position of power over a diverse group of individuals, so it is absolutely essential to provide a safe and secure environment in which no student feels threatened or feels lesser in any way,” Spagnuolo said.
BSU members said that Mayes should take accountability for his actions and that otherwise he should face termination from his position.
“We value Mr. Mayes’ service to our school and harbor no hatred towards him, but he must be held accountable,” Brown said.
BSU officers led chants saying, “We should feel safe” and “Hold him accountable.”
Many students, some of whom take part in various social activism clubs, were there to support the BSU and GSTA.
“After I learned about what Mr. Mayes said, I had a really hard time identifying with myself being in GSTA and being black,” Casey Marzette (10, HSU) said.
Participants of the sit-in also said in chants, “Ain’t no power like the power of the people because the power of the people don’t stop.”
The students said that they believe it is their responsibility to call for appropriate action.
“The students are responding, and we’re going to keep responding until something is done about [the situation],” Dorothy Addie (10, YPAS) said.
BSU members planned for the conclusion of the sit-in to take place five minutes after the tardy bell rang. Students who participated in the sit-in all filed to the attendance office at the same time to receive tardy slips to class. According to a statement Mr. Mayes released earlier today, 117 students received tardy slips.
Assistant Principal Mr. Craig Klingenfus said that the administration will not comment directly on the sit-in. Administration released the following email to parents and faculty:
In State Schools:
Out of State Schools:
Private/Liberal Arts schools:
US Military or Reserves:
Haley Just, Nick Dudzinski, Will Lake, Dalton Johnson, Josh Dye, Sophia Korner, Joey Minatel, Jacob True