New Backpack Rule Causes Debate in Middle School

Brooke Bandy / Ellison Schuman

There has recently been turmoil in the middle school over a rule stating that students are not allowed to carry their backpacks unless they are going to class in another building. Students are currently trying to overturn the rule by gaining support from administration and the high school student council. 

“This is something they’ve been doing for the whole year, it started when some of them were in the other building about creating space and keeping space and not having things too crowded in the end and now I think with moving into the new building with everybody’s lockers here they’ve wanted to try and maintain that. Actually I’ll take that back it was this way because the lockers were so spread out earlier in the year they were allowed to have their backpacks and now they’ve come in here and  the lockers are all close so they’ve wanted to keep backpacks in the lockers so that space is kind of saved and that makes it easier to walk around,” said Middle School Principal Mr. Lebrecht. IMG-5405

“I think some of the issues came up when some of the middle school students had classes out in the high school I’ve talked to several students who have classes out there, say they have first period out there and come back here for second period and then back out for third and back in for fourth, so it was becoming an issue of back and forth with that, so we’ve tried to work with those students to help with that and ease that,” said Lebrecht.

Along with the back and forth, some students might have a harder time remembering everything they need for a certain class and are left without their materials. 

“Some kids in middle school are not organized enough to know what they need for every class and then they find that they don’t have what they need, but the other side of that being that they [backpacks] don’t fit in the lockers  and so you see the lockers have not been closing so that’s an issue as well,” said High School Principal Mrs. Wood. 

This is a rule that has been enforced by teachers, not by the school’s administration.

“It is more of a teacher rule it’s definitely not a school rule … we’re going to give the students a chance to voice their opinions and see how that works,” said Lebrecht. 

“I’ve always been one that never really worried about backpacks. When I taught, backpacks never bothered me. I just asked students to keep them under their desks and I think that if a student should want to carry their backpack they should, so we’ll see what happens,” Lebrecht continued. 

According to students that The Falcon spoke with, most dislike the rule and want it to be overturned. 

“The rule is so stupid because I am always forgetting things in my locker so I’m here without my laptop and notebooks sometimes,” said eighth grader Ariana Elliot. 

The Falcon reached out to multiple middle school teachers, two of which had no comment, but Mrs. Kawalec went on record to discuss the issue. 

“I can see both sides of the issue. On one hand, the bags clutter the classrooms and students have easy access to their phones and snacks. And on the other hand it would be more convenient for students to carry stuff from room to room,” said Mrs. Kawalec. 

According to sources, there does seem to be a resolution on the way. 

“I think there’s lots of solutions. I think if the teachers and the kids work together they’d probably be able to come up with one. Like I said, not everybody wants one, so if you only have some kids in the class with bookbags, the ones who don’t need one probably won’t have as much and if there are rules in place for no lunch bags and no string bags, I think that would work out,” said Wood. 

“I think we should be able to come up with a solution, honestly, if the teachers and students work together they’ll come up with something that works.”

NHS’s First Act: Giving to Those in Need, Literally 

Mason Harmon

This coming Thursday, Jan. 23, the NCLA’s National Honor Society chapter will be hosting the school’s second blood drive. As anticipation builds for the event many are reflecting on the purpose of it.

NHS sponsor Chelsie Orenstein is one of those centered around the need for NHS’ sponsorship of the event because it serves such a great purpose.  

“I think it’s really important to host blood drives just because the blood bank needs donations, especially now when they’re critically low. It’s just one of the small ways we can help our own community,” Mrs. Orenstein said. IMG-3184

In addition to having the goal of giving back, in my mind, there is also the need for student support before and during the event.

“By just getting the word out that we need donors and by donating blood, the high schoolers can be extremely helpful,” Mrs. Orenstein said. 

As a part of the preparations for the blood drive, there are also some recommendations offered by Red Cross Account Representative Millicent Lambert. These are pointed toward donors in what they should consume before they donate and the practices they should take before coming in to give. 

“Have iron-rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals or raisins. Get a good night’s sleep the night before your donation, eat healthy foods and drink extra liquids. Wear a shirt with sleeves that you can roll up above your elbows,” Ms. Lambert said.

Even with tips given, donating blood can be a little nerve-wracking or even confusing to those first-time donors. Thankfully, though, the Red Cross discloses the entire process of donating so everyone can be prepared.

The first step in the donation process is registration.

“You’ll be asked to show ID, such as your driver’s license. You’ll read some information about donating blood.”

After that, donors will be asked about their health history.

“You’ll answer a few questions about your health history and places you’ve traveled, during a private and confidential interview. We’ll check your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin level,” Ms. Lambert said.

Following the health check-up will come the actual donation.

“We’ll cleanse an area on your arm before the needle prick. (This feels like a quick pinch and is over in a second). For whole blood donation, the process takes about 10 minutes, during which you’ll be seated comfortably or lying down. When approximately a pint of whole blood has been collected, the donation is complete and a staff person will place a bandage on your arm,” Ms. Lambert said.

Once the donation is complete, each donor will be given a time for rest and snacks.

“After donating blood, you’ll have a snack and something to drink in the refreshment area. You’ll leave after 10-15 minutes and continue your normal routine,” Ms. Lambert said.

Following the blood donation process, most donors do not see the true impact of it, but the process itself impacts people all across the nation and saves lives. 

“Roughly 90,000 units of blood are needed across the United States on a weekly basis. The blood donated to the American Red Cross helps cancer, trauma, sickle cell and burn patients. Blood is also used for general and trauma surgeries. One blood donation can positively impact 3 patients,” Ms. Lambert said. 

Hopefully, everyone will feel the gravity of their donation next Thursday and will come in with the right attitude. 

“The most important part is showing up excited. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment knowing you are helping to save lives,” Ms. Lambert said.

Courtesy of the Associated Press.

Australia On Fire 

Olivia Brown

In  December of 2019, #AustraliaIsOnFire was trending worldwide. Millions of acres of land and homes were destroyed because of these fires. Temperatures were as high as 107 degrees and the country has been in a drought, last having a small amount rainfall since 2017.  Many people were forced to evacuate their homes because the fire was so close to their homes.

“It got to the stage to the stage that if  we stayed outside we would have died,” Neil Hamilton, a local farmer in Australia said. 

More than a million animals have been killed or may have been affected and are probably on the verge of extinction. Many animals have been saved but it doesn’t really matter because their habitats are gone and they need those conditions and foods to survive. 

“We’re not just talking about koalas. We’re talking mammals, birds, plants, fungi, insects, other invertebrates, amphibians, and bacteria and microorganisms that are critical to these systems,” Manu Sanders, a researcher and insect ecologist at the University of New England in Armidale, said to the New York Times. 

New Fields, Lights at NCLA

Nicholas Williford

NCLA really didn’t really have the best sports fields or scoreboards, but that is all about to change.

“Right now….we will be adding softball and baseball fields in the Spring with lights and scoreboards and adding lights/scoreboard to the soccer field as well,” said Coach Shoemaker, the NCLA Athletic Director.

This is the answer to the constant prayers; now people can finally perfectly see the player in those games that go into dusk and night.

If you have any concerns on how long it will take for everything to be ready to be used and played on, “We will have all the fields fenced in and hoping to play on them in the Spring if the weather permits,” said Coach Shoemaker. 

This is a major upgrade for the sports programs along with the new gym and weight room in the new high school building.

“I am so hyped for the new fields and I think my cleats would work better on them,” said Wen-Shin, an 11th-grade soccer player.

WWIII Draft: Fear and Memes

Olivia Brown

On Jan. 3, 2020 President Trump ordered a kill on Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on because of suspected attacks on America. The assassination on the general has made tensions rise between America and Iran so much that Iran decided to retaliate by sending missiles to an U.S military base. Luckily no one was hurt. 

“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him. We took action last night to stop a war, we did not take action to start a war,” President Trump said during his national address. 

After everything happened, people on the internet were making jokes about World War III happening and how they were going to get drafted. Saying things such as “me laughing at #WorldWarIII memes knowing it might happen,” and “This is probably the last meme I’ll make before I get drafted.”

“If there was a war I would be fine because I’m a female,” Kayla Satterwhite said. 

 The draft started in the 1970s when the Vietnam War started. A draft lottery was used for men born between January 1, 1944 to December 31, 1950 to determine who would be in the war. People such as John F. Kennady, Bob Kerrey, Oliver Stone etc. would have been drafted. 

“I would cut my legs off. I’m not going to war,” Shaniya Myles responded.