Thursday, May 29, 2008

Danny Reynolds

Uggh, hello everybody.

I wish I didn't need to be talking about this right now, but here I am. Myspace, Facebook, Xanga, all these social networking sites are tearing up our school and athletics. Whatever happened to people just sending emails? Is there really a need to post everything about you to the world? Regardless I'm going to give my stand on the issue that recently suspended my top athlete. As with most phy ed. teachers these days, I'm also the assistant coach of the high school football, and basketball team. Although I'm a first year coach I already feel the fire and passion in the belly to win. (Bonuses are nice for winning the championship).
I'm sure you all heard about the recent scandals on Myspace and the effect it's had on our school and the people that have attended it in the past. As a coach, it really hurts to see any of my players or students get in trouble and have to struggle through a tough ordeal like this. Being a young teacher as myself, however, I also had my own Myspace page when I was in college. I deleted it when I made my transition into becoming a teacher, thinking somebody might look at it. I wish the students would've realized the administration had the power to look at these pages before they posted pictures of things they shouldn't have been doing. On the other hand, I don't believe that the school has the right to punish the students. I think it violates their right to privacy. Especially since people have the ability to post pictures of others against their own will, it's not fair to the victim. I believe there should be some sort of punishment if you get caught in the act, or post pictures of yourself doing the wrong acts. But, if someone else posts pictures of you as blackmail, it should be forgiven. I also think that sometimes people act like their doing something in a picture so for the sake of a photo, and people assume they were actually doing the wrong act. Either way it's killing my chances at a championship, so we need to figure out something as a group.

John Braewood-school nurse

Hello everybody, how are you doing? Hope everybody is in great health. Let's break down this whole privacy Business at Grand Heights High School. Well, lets figure out the logistics and morality of this situation. As school nurse, it is obvious to see that teenagers these days are engaging in drugs and alcohol. These things can be very unsafe, however, it is up to the parents of these children, not the teacher's or administration of the school, to discipline these kids and teach them not to drink or do drugs. It is logical for these teenagers parents to intervene and conduct good, responsible behavior from their children. Don't get me wrong, I was a teenager once, I partied, but it should be the parents who should keep the kids safe and not the school keeping kids safe outside of school. That's why I very much so disagree with the administration from schools looking at pictures of students engaging in illegal actions over the internet. The administration of a school shouldn't be allowed the right to interfere with a student's private life. It shouldn't happen for two separate reasons: One of the reasons is that teenagers shouldn't have to bear the burden of administration breathing down their neck during school and then have their parent's and administration breathing down their neck during their private life. The second reason is because administration looking at pictures of teenagers on the internet violates the 4th amendment which is the right to privacy. School administration should have to have a warrant to look at pictures of students on the internet, which I am sure none of them have. So, in the end, it's healthy for children to have a normal private life away from school administration.

Nigel Klaus

Hello everyone its your lovable German Nigel Klaus. If you don't know, and I'm sure you don't I am a member of the custodial team here at Grand Heights. Now in my time at this school there has been some weird conflicts but this "myspace" one tops them all. As bad as picking up after these kids is I'm starting to think that teaching them must be even harder. First time I will ever admit teaching is hard. The reason I say that is that these kids seem to be dumber than a sack of potatoes. I see people arguing on here that the school should not punish these kids for whatever they've done because it wasn't on school grounds. Good riddance, I think the kids should be punished more. Listen, if the school comes across these photos they have to do something. They can't just say oh this lovely student is shown here with a 12 foot beer bong, not our problem it wasn't in Mr. Peterson's government class. I'm also surprised with the arguments that the school is snooping online to find incriminating photos of their students. I guarantee the school was given the photos, I'd be surprised if any of the teachers knew how to work a "myspace", I have 4 myself but that's not the point. I guess my argument falls under the Oregonian's views posted in this story. I agree with this story because it just makes common sense. If your throwing an illegal party with booze and alcohol, why show it to the public? Show it to your close friends who won't tell, don't post pictures on a public website. No matter how you make your site "private", it will not block your pictures from anyone who is determined to see them. Well, argue against me if you like, but I have to warm you I am always right.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Hello All!

My name is Ty Longby most of you should know me as the one time jock now a teacher. It is a shame that the school had to get involved in the lives of the students while not at school. It is our (I say our because I am part of the staff) reponsibility to keep the kids safe at school. When something is brought to our attention outside of school, we must handle it. Kids in High School know what is illegal and what is not illegal. I know that when I was at school, we all knew how to get around the law. We would sneak things places that shouldn't be there. Since I was the coolest kid at my high school I always knew where the spot was.

I think this is absurd. The recent MYSPACE bust at our school. Kids are so stupid these days. Everyone uses the the internet. School is even becoming the internet. Students no longer have to show up at school to be called going to school. It is crazy the way the internet has changed the way we live our lives day to day. We are in a culture of speed. When we want to know something we will find out with the click of the send button in our email. But anyways back to the MYSPACE scandal. The Students are idiots. They know that putting things on the internet could end up in the wrong hands. First off why would they be doing illegal things, secondly why would they piost them they can get in trouble. Students taht get caught doing illegal things will be punished. No matter how it is shown they were doing it. If people are going to do those things and make it public they will get in trouble. The best way to not get caught is to not do it.

Students need to realize that we are trying to make them better people in the future. Doing harmful things to the body at a young age will only make it worse. So if it means getting them into trouble now, and that will save their lives then we will do what we have to. Kids should thank us when they get into trouble, because hopefully it was a lesson learned and will never do anything like that again.

Mr. Man

Hello. I am Mr. Man and I am the principal of Grand Heights High School. The Gorillas have kept a wonderful reputation and I would hate to ruin it because of students’ bad behavior. I believe that School Officials should have the right to intervene in cases where private information about peers is published in a public, online forum. School officials have a moral and legal duty to preserve the safety and wellbeing of all students. It should be as easy as 123: Students should realize that they have no privacy when they put information online. Once there, they are often accessible by anyone from administrators to parents to police. When Charlie chose to post information on the internet he dug his own grave. The improper activity of underage drinking is not only harmful, but illegal. The Administration as well as myself are looking out for the safety and future of our students here at Grand Heights. Students have the right to privacy, however students give their own rights up when a picture is online. If we have reason to believe that there is harmful activity, we have the right to search any locker here on school property.

If the police pull a person over and finds an illegal substance present then that person receives consequences. School is the same way. Drugs and alcohol are illegal for high school students. No if ands or buts about it. If students are caught in the act they should be punished.

This internet incident occurred recently at Eden Prairie High School. Students were caught in pictures on facebook with alcohol in their hands. Administrators have reprimanded more than 100 students and suspended some from sports and other extracurricular activities. I agree with the administration that they made the correct decision in punishing the students. This also occurred at Woodbury High School. I have not completely come to any decisions about what I will do about this Punk Rocky MySpace page, but there will be consequences.

Lyla Marx

Hey everyone, I’m Lyla Marx, the senior class president this year at Grand Heights. I am present in many of the social scenes at Grand Heights. The activities that were recently uncovered did not come as a surprise to me. What shocked me was the behavior on the part of both students and administration. I have to say that this whole incident is a big mess and I’m not quite sure how I feel about all of it. I want to say that I am ashamed of the way many of the students have acted. It’s moronic to believe that no consequences will come to those who publicly post themselves braking laws. The internet is a public place and students who post illegal pictures and materials are as good as incriminating themselves. I’ve heard cries of outrage and a call for the right to privacy, but it’s a two way street; if students want their privacy, they have to keep their private matters out of the public eye. The public can’t be expected to turn a blind eye to what ever students choose to do with their time.I’d like to point out that there is no such thing as ‘a right to privacy’. The constitution doesn’t specifically state that there is a guarantee of such a right. In light of this point, all people should be aware of exactly what information computers are sending out. The internet is a useful tool for those wishing to gain information about individuals.
I do side with many of the angered parents and students. It is not the job of the school system to dig into the lives of the students. They are not in charge of keeping the law their job is to educate and that’s it. It is not up to the administration to track down the private lives of the students. There is some grey area in this issue however. I’m not sure what to do about the students who have signed contracts to stay drug free for sports. I think it is the school’s right to kick students off teams if they are found engaging in these activities. However, I think the school doesn’t have the authority to punish contract breaking students in any way not related to the sports team. For example, giving detentions, suspending and so forth isn’t in the school’s domain. I also don’t think that the school should be able to punish any student who has not signed a contract. Graduated students should also be free from punishment. Administration should learn their places and keep their long noses out of other people’s jobs. It is the job of the law enforcement to keep people from breaking laws.
The Punk Rocky magazine should not even be in this argument. It was a magazine created outside school walls and had nothing to do with the school. The police can take care of law breakers. The magazine had nothing to do with the school and the school has no right to track down drug dealers and former students for misdemeanors that were not preformed ion conjunction with the school. I think the question is not whether people should get in trouble for the things they post on the internet. In my opinion, people who display pictures of themselves doing illegal things automatically forfeit their right to privacy. The answer to that question is yes. The real question is whether school administrations should have the right to punish students based on the things they post. For the most part, I think the answer to that question is no.

Eric Kell

Hey everyone I am Eric Kell. Here at Grand Heights I am the Varsity coach for the football team. I have had to deal with many negative things going on with team this year. I am outraged at the things that have been going on in our school this past year. Young teens posting pictures of naked girls on My space and my student athletes being caught drinking. its terrible, at the beginning of the season every student must sign a waver stating that they will stay "clean" throughout the season, To find out that my best player is one of them out there partying it makes me sad. To know that they have no respect for themselves or their teammates, let alone me for putting my trust in them. I want the students to be safe and if that means interfering with there extracurricular activities then so be it. This is the prime stage in these kids life when there brain is developing the most they don't need to be drinking partying and posting it online. It is there own fault for doing it they should be punished but after the punishment they should be helped kids experiencing with drinking and smoking can always lead to much worse things. I will always be here for my student like a father they need to be safe and have a safe fun environment to grow up in. I have lost my trust in my players they need be set on the right track and I know there is many people out there that are willing to help them myself included. Just because you don't get caught while your playing or on the team down the road it can hurt your chances with getting a job along with many other things. Our students are very embarrassed at what happened to them and their co-students but with help things will soon be back to normal. With the privacy issue I feel that if you don't want to get caught just don't experience with it and you will be fine our staff here only care about the kids and there well being that's why this was done for there own good.

Joe Hyland

Hi I'm Joe Hyland. I am a senior at Grand Heights High School. I am on the football and basketball teams. I think that is is crazy that students can get in trouble with the school for what they have on the internet. It is not the school's job to go online and look through the internet at students' private lives and punish them for it. The school can not prove that you were drinking alcohol just because you have a picture on Facebook of you with a red cup in your hands. I have such a strong opinion on this issue because the best player on out football team was suspended for two weeks for having pictures of himself drinking on Facebook. This suspension hurt our team badly and we lost one of the games that he didn't take part in. This ruined our chances of being the first seed in the section. There is also a kid on my football team that posted naked pictures of his girlfriend on Facebook. He was punished by the school for this. I don't think it is okay for the school to punish him. I do think that his girlfriend should have slapped him pretty hard and broken up with him. I also heard that some parents in Oregon got in trouble for being in pictures on Facebook that showed minors drinking in them. "They're going to find it," one of the parents said about alcohol, "They're going to go elsewhere." I think these parents are right. They probably were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got in a picture. I really don't think it is ok for the school to get involved with the private lives of students, especially pictures on the internet. If kids are not caught in the act, they should not be able to be punished.

Chet Ander

Hey, my name is Chet Ander. I am a senior at the high school. I am a manager at Mc.Donalds, and love their food, its all I eat! I am 18, and have longer blonde hair with a great smile ; ) I love to hang around other kids around school.

I think the issue with online privacy is a bunch of crap. Let the kids do there own things in their own time. Also, many o those kids have graduated, so what is the point of bringing this up again. Being online, is just being in your own space. The school isn;t going to suspend you if you walk around naked at your house with other people. The school should be trying to punish other kids, for things they do at school, not punishing people when they are own there own free time. O well, at least I am not involved with the Punk Rocky scandal, but I just have to deal with school making such a big deal out of nothing.

Frank - Former Student

Really Grand Heights, Really. I remember when I went to Grand Heights just a few years ago. Administration trying to get into our (The students) business was always a problem but not to this extent. I would try to bring Cd's to school to share with friends and teachers would take my cd and make sure its appropriate. Who are they to take my Cd. Just like, who are they to search kids lockers for suspicious behavior. I can understand searching a locker if there is threats of a bomb, but having a suspicion about some student from out of school activities has to be against some law. This reminds me of the great song, "suspicion," by Eric Hampton. " When you don't know what to do because the whole worlds against you.." Such a great tune. It all comes down to what the law is. Is it against students rights for school administration to look online at these pictures. Similar to the controversy of downloading music. Downloading music is illegal, but yet millions of people do it. Some of the things in the pictures may be against school policy, but if everyones doing it... I know that doesn't make it right, but it just leads to a lot of High School kids getting in trouble. Students need to know what their punishment might be so they won't take these pictures or do these things. For downloading music the consequence is jail. What is the consequence for Grand Heights?

April Shauwers- Student

Hi my name is April Shauwers. I am currently a student at Grand Heights High School and plan to graduate this spring. The road through high school has been difficult for me. Freshman year I became involved in a tough crowd where drugs and alcohol were a big part of my life. I continued this life style through the summer of sophmore year. At the beginning of junior year I was involved with this one boy and one night at a party we decided to have sex. It was my first time and I was under the influence of alcohol so my judgement was greatly impaired and we didn't use a condom. I became pregnant. I went through most of my junior year carrying a baby. Towards the end of the year I gave birth to my daughter. After that one night at the beginning of junior year, my life has turned a 180.

I can proudly say that I have not done drugs or alcohol since that night of conception. I am trying to put my life back together but it has been tough. Kids look at me differently because I am now a mother. I have new responsibilities that kids my age shouldn't have. I can't go out every night like I did in the past because I have to stay home with my daughter. I have put more concentration in the classroom. I want to go to medical school at Northwestern and I now have the grades to do so. I volunteer at a local YMCA and help kids like me make better choices and get them off of the road I was once on.

I recently heard about the MySpace scandal at our school. I am sort of torn in a way about this issue. I think that it is dumb for the kids to put that sort of thing on a publicly viewed website. Anyone who wants to can and will see what they post. The internet is not a private place. Once you post your private life on the internet it is no longer your private life, it is there for literally the world to see. They should be punished for their actions that they publicly announced they did. However I don't think it is the school's position to punish the students involved. It has nothing to do with school. It is the parent's place to do the punishing if they decide it is necessary. As long as nothing on the website happened at school, they shouldn't be concerned about the incident. Since they found out they could alert the parents, but the school should not punish the students for something they did outside of the school's walls.

Valerie Smith- Valedictorian

Hello! My name is Valerie Smith and I am currently a senior at Grand Heights. I am the valedictorian of the senior class and take great pride in the school. I spend the majority of my time studying, but I save time to participate in student council and track. I have been a long distance runner since middle school. Running is the personal time I have to reflect or just forget about all the stresses of school. Besides my school activities I am involved in church and donate my time to serving the community. 

My entire life I have been told that my education is the most important thing in this life. Both of my parents are significantly smart and have been my motivating force for many years. As soon as i went to high school and realized that I could graduate as the valedictorian I made that my goal of my high school years. I left minimal time for extracurriculars, but enough to have some for college applications. I studied for hours to take AP exams, the ACT and SAT, and participate in the Honors program at Grand Heights. I have found that I have gotten the most out of my education here at school, but now that it is time for grad parties I am feeling less than important. I haven't spend any time on the social aspect of high school. I have never gone to a party or had a boyfriend. I am part of no cliques and I spend lunch in the library. I don't regret spending all of my time studying because I know that I can make real friends in college. I have never been a member of Myspace, but I recently created a Facebook page and learned about interesting aspects of my classmates lives. 

 I didn't realize that such a high percentage of high school students are using drugs and alcohol. I knew that there are parties pretty often, but I saw hundreds of pictures of kids I see everyday at school drinking beer and smoking. After hearing about what happened to the students who were punished at Grand Heights I decided to research the topic. I found a recent story about kegger pictures being posted on Myspace. These students were arrested for illegally using substances and the article warns kids not to post pictures that could get them into trouble. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect students to keep pictures of them using illegal substances off their online pages. If they don't want to get into any trouble with the school or the law they should realize that certain pictures should not be posted and it is something they have control over. 

 I think that the students at Grand Heights maybe didn't deserve the severity of the punishment they received, but I don't think that it is unreasonable for them to get in trouble for having inappropriate parts of their life online. I believe that anything that happens in a person's private life should be their personal business and a right that they have to do what makes them happy. I also think that when someone's private life becomes public, via the internet, then it is no longer their personal life. Anything that a student voluntarily puts online should know that there might and probably will be consequences for it. I think it was necessary for Grand Heights to punish the students in order to keep a positive school reputation. Going through the lockers of students and punishing a former student was too much, but the school needed to do something to keep up the school's reputation.

J.T. "Powerhouse" Cunningham

What's up guys. This is your favorite Grand Heights football captain J.T. This whole issue is very messed up. As you know, my co-captain, or should I say ex co-captain, Dave, was involved in this controversy. I have known Dave since we started playing pee-wee football together in 2nd grade. Dave is an amazing athlete and I really used to respect him. Ever since Dave got football captain and since the beginning of senior year, he has been a completely different guy. He started drinking, going to parties, and treating his girlfriend with zero respect. He even has this picture of her on his gym locker that all the guys used to sneak peeks at. I really saw all of this effecting his game out on the field. I tried talking to him but he wouldn't listen to me. I should have told someone, but I wasn't about to rat out my bro. Someone needed to find out and I'm glad that they learned about his behaviors through MySpace. I feel bad for what happened to him, but he completely had it coming. Dave was beginning to spiral out of control. If he wasn't caught now, he would have been caught once he reached college. Dave needed a wake up call and this was the perfect thing. Now that he has had his scholarship revoked and has been red shirted, he can realize the consequences of his actions and how he needs to change. Though he made it through the whole season without being caught, our whole team knew and he lost a lot of respect for that. As far as I know, our football team is 100% sober during the season. It's not fair to the people who train so hard and stay clean to be benched and watch their partying, irresponsible teammate be on the starting line up.

Everyone needs to realize that there are consequences for your actions. Just because they didn't happen at school doesn't mean that they didn't happen. It doesn't matter how they are caught, they can't deny that they didn't break the rules. It is better that Dave and everyone else was caught because it was a real eye opener to them and could have been a life saver. This will also help Dave become a better person and learn how to treat women better. Recently, Star Tribune reporter Kevin Giles reported about an equally disgusting issue.

I hope that this situation helps everyone realize that they need to be careful in what they do inside and outside of school.


Rudy Burgandy: Former Student and Bartender at a local bar

Hello everyone! My name is Ruth Burgandy. I am a bartender at Shenanigans near Grand Heights High School. My younger sister attends the school and knows some of the kids involved. I currently attend Penn State with a couple recent graduates. I often see students from Grand Heights at Shenanigans. I know that they are under age because their fake id, are so obviously fake but I never turn down business.
Some of my customers have been taking about a myspace privacy controversy and how their out side of school activities are being watched by the school board. I think that it is the students responsibility to not post things on the Internet that they wouldn't want someone from across the country to see. They are also responsible if the authorities from the state catch them doing something that is illegal like taking drugs for example. However, what is a high school administrator doing on myspace? Should he be looking at provocative pictures of kids online? I don't think so. I think that the school board shouldn't be punishing kids for doing something wrong outside of school. If it was in school it would be a different situation.
Here is another point. If school counselors are worried about the kids safety, they shouldn't be punishing the students, but instead be available for help if kids need them. Kids won't open up to a school counselor because they are afraid they will get into trouble. I understand that they want to help the kids, but they are only pushing them away with punishment.
Sometimes my younger sister comes into Shenanigans. I only let her come in when I work so I can keep an eye on. We have a deal that if she ever needs anything she can come get me, but I have to be able to see her. This way she can hang out with her friends and have a good time, I get business from her friends, and I know who she is hanging out with in case I ever need to call. I have heard some of the stuff that went down last year. Some of her peers really need some serious help. Like the kid who is takes LSD and his friend who is an alcoholic. I won't serve drinks to kids who clearly have a problem (my sister tells me who they are). If anyone needs information on where to find help or how to tell if someone needs help this link will hopefully direct you to some answers.
Thanks for listening to what I had to say. Be sure to stop by Shenanigans! Thanks again!

Ms. Johnson- High School Counselor

Hello Everyone,  I am Ms. Johnson a counselor at Grand Heights High School. 

After recently finding out about the magazine scandal I was very upset and saddened by what I saw.  This however is not the first time I have heard of students getting in trouble for things on the internet.  You would think they would learn that illegal activity and putting it on the web gives millions of people access to see your page.  To me it seems like what you put on the web you should expect people to see it.  It really blows my mind that kids think they can post this things and get into absolutely no trouble. I think that it is just awful that the school has to be put into a position like this. Its one thing to protect the rights of students and stay out of their lives not during school hours, but when something like this magazine is found its hard not to be concerned.  The fact that a student writes in letters that he is engaging into serious drugs and putting his life into real danger is a big red flag. I think that Grand Heights administration needs to pay close attention to the students currently enrolled and just make sure that the school is a safe and a clean environment.  It was very idiotic for the teens to post nude pictures and talk about illegal substances and I do believe that they should be punished.  I believe the school it taking action and is handling the situation carefully.  If the students don't want the school to get involved in their personal lives then they shouldn't be publicly publishing magazines, representing, and showing off bad and inappropriate things.  I think this will actually be a good eye opener to the rest of the student body at Grand Heights High School.

Jennifer Taylorson- Guidance Counselor

Hello everyone. I am Jennifer Taylorson, a guidance counselor here at Grand Heights High School. I am very disappointed in the students involved in this MySpace incident. Here at Grand Heights we are taking this problem very seriously. The material found on this website was extremely offensive and an embarrassment to the school. The students involved have been identified and are being punished accordingly. They have done wrong and should be punished for their actions no matter when they happened. As a school official it is our job to insure a safe and productive learning environment for the students at this school, and reading articles about drug dealing, marijuana, and sodomy by involving students from Grand Heights is very disturbing. We need to be firm on our punishments making students aware that this kind of behavior is not okay. We are looking into a rape accusation made in a letter found in a freshman's locker. This proves that the search of students thought to be involved in this MySpace issue was a good decision on the school's part. Rape is a serious issue and we are looking more into these allegations. At this school we will do everything we can to make sure we are providing the safest learning environment for our students and will go to great lengths to ensure it remains this way.

Cecile Calibo - Guidance Counselor

Hello. I'm Cecile Calibo, one of the Guidance Counselors at the high school. I graduated from Ohio Northern University and am now living Sharon, Pennsylvannia. I have five kids and I live with my husband near the school. The commute is great! I love helping the troubled kids that come and talk to me. It's rewarding to help them find the right path to take in order for them to be successful. The students at this school are great to work with and I have always been very content with my job.

Being a Guidance Counselor for the students at this school has been really enjoyable until these recent events with the 'Punk Rocky' Myspace page. I have been very busy talking to the students involved to get them off this issue and on to a successful path. I am aware that many parents are outraged by the severity of action we are taking. It's important to take control of this so that the rest of our students have a safe learning environment. If we didn't take action on this the rest of the parents would be upset because finding pro-hemp articles on our students myspace page is a big deal.

There was a recent case in which a 15 year old was found dead in his bed after overdosing on Oxycontin the night before. After their child died, the parents searched on their sons Myspace page and found exchanges with his peers about different drugs and how to make them. If they would have found this before they could have stopped this overdosing from ever happening.

From this case you can see that it is important to get involved so tragedies like this never happen to our students. This is a serious issue and you should trust the High School's Administration to take care of it. We have to take these pro-hemp articles very seriously because we need to prevent the students from taking part in this.

Isabella Ophoven

Identity. That's what it seems like we are all searching for. Acceptance. That's what we all desire. I should know. Skipping a grade has forced me to grow up a tad bit faster and yet still I have just a few close circle of friends. Charlie just happened to be one of them. I'm not going to dodge the issue or the name because everyone around school knows. It was Charlie they took in for questioning. It was Charlie's letters that were taken. They...they just don't understand. They don't know what it's like. Or if they do, they try to prevent us from making the same mistakes. Yet, we need to make those mistakes in order to learn. I'm not saying that I've done something like that because I'm practically the cleanest person in Grand Heights. No, that was my decisions not to do anything like that. But if my friends make that decision, that's there choice. It just means that I'll be there to drive them home and keep them safe. Does that make me a good friend? Perhaps so, perhaps not. But if my friend decides to do something as stupid as posting nude pictures, I'm not going to stop them because it's their choice. I suppose that makes me passive. I suppose that's quite true too. But they are the only friends I've got and advice can only go so far. But that's not what has the school so torn is it now? No, the school has divided us down the has divided me down the middle.
Nude pictures. Yes, nude pictures have caused an uproar in our school. Now the teachers are digging through our lockers and finding our secrets. I wish how I could explain how that feels. Its almost as if someone has strapped you down and forced you to watch them probe your mind for things you don't even know about yourself. I can't say its helping us. Because you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. Like Dave and his girlfriend. Abuse. Everyone knew. Everyone heard about it. Everyone tried to help but she just pushed everyone away. What could we do?
But Charlie? What they did to him, I'll never forgive him for. Why don't you just steal my diary for Christ's sake! After Patrick and Sam left, there was no one for him. So George and I started talking to him and he began to talk back. We are rather alike Charlie and I. He talks about this sort of "participating" that George doesn't really understand. But it makes perfect sense to me. Participating in life instead of looking from outside, in. Yes, I experienced it the first days of high school. George doesn't understand because he has always been popular. But now I am just rambling. I guess this whole thing is one long rant. I haven't really gotten to a point either.
My point and my belief...they are...complex...complicated if you will. I believe that adults should help but they should never invade a person's space. How, one might ask, can they help then? Just by talking. Talking helps. Listening helps. Being there...that helps. High School is the years of mistakes. Its one of the few times we release we can't erase and must take responsibility for our actions. But we don't need the parents and teachers to nose into our lives like some kind of blood hound. It breaks trust. It breaks privacy. It breaks us.
Who can we trust now?

Who can I trust?

~Isabella Ophoven

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Edna Quiggle

As a lunch lady at Grand Heights High School, I would like to start out by saying that it is my duty as a lunch lady to make sure kiddies make healthy choices. I believe this recent MySpace scandal brings great disgrace to the student body and therefore a very poor choice made by one of our former students. Although people have a right to freedom of press, these kids have gone too far. Anything that is publicly published for millions to see is subject to inspection by administration. These photos promote drug use and even display nudity. All of those things, especially drug use, are banned in school as well as in the community. Heck, if kids are drinking that alcohol these days they might as well be eating ten snicker bars-very unhealthy. Goodness, in my day we would never eat those blasted things.

The Grand Heights faculty has taken the proper procedures in assuring the student responsible for the MySpace scandal is punished. These photos and commentaries are a great offense for many students and numerous other people, including me. I saw this sweet boy who always says 'thank you' in the lunch line just baring is hiney to the world. Repulsive! The recent events have also upset many students. I can tell because the children haven't been eating their vegetables as they use to. Now that says something. I also believe that anything that is out for the public to see is up for scrutiny by peers, school, and the workplace. MySpace is definitely not a place for drug promotion and pornographic material since millions can access the page; our students need to recognize that. Now eat your peas.

Edna Quiggle

James Johnson- Dean of Students

Hello all, Mr.Johnson here. I am currently the dean of students.

I personally am working hard with the school to help the victims related to this case and also trying to punish the criminals. As an administrator, I know that it is my business to help the students feel safe while they are at school. Like Kevin Giles said in his recent article, the youth are feeling the bite of the adder we call technology. This girl who had her nude photos hanging up in the locker room, is surely feeling the sting. Fact of the matter is though, that this boy is surely troubled that he felt as though he had to ruin her reputation by hanging the pictures up.

Truly what I am advocating for is having a school wide assembly to let these students know to not do these atrocities. They are representing our beloved school, and putting a bad name on our gorilla. Our pupils need to realize the horrible side affects of their actions. Oregon police chief Don Brown who recently had to deal with drinking pictures on, remarked that "you can learn alot about your kids and your community [from]." I truly advocate for these students to get punished. Don't do the crime if you can't pay the time.

Herald Hounderson- Janitor

Hello. I'm Herald Hounderson, the Janitor here at Grand Heights High School. I actually just found out about this controversy with pictures on the internet. Now, I have never heard of this so called MySpace before, but I looked at this website to find out more. Anyways, from what I hear it sounds like the school is taking it very seriously. All I know is that MySpace is for the students to post what they want about themselves and I don't think it is any of the school's business. The students do have their own rights and when the school looks at their MySpaces, well that is an invasion of privacy. Granted, they did put it on the internet for others to see, but that shouldn't matter to the school. The mom that got involved in this needs to mind her own business. I'm sure her child has a MySpace and posts pictures and info on it.
I think that what the students do outside of school is their own business. They do drugs and take provocative pictures at their own risk. They aren't doing any of this on school grounds so it shouldn't involve the school at all.
I know it's been a while since I was in high school, and I have never had a MySpace, but if I were in that situation I would still think that the school board is out of line on this one. If it doesn't concern them or the school then I don't think they should get involved.
There have been quite a few serious situations it sounds like, with suicide, drugs, and provocative photos. But with how popular MySpace is, I think that the students are only going along with the crowd, as usual. The school board doesn't need to get involved in the shouldn't. It violates the students' rights.
Well, that's all I have to say about that. Thanks!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lloyd Christmas - Busdriver

Hey there. I'm Lloyd Christmas, the bus driver around here if you didn't know. I for one find this to be outrageous by the school. What business do they have searching our kids web pages? This is something that they do outside of the classroom. It would be one thing if they were smoking pot and raping girls in school, but to take people's words for what happened with no hard evidence is just crazy! I feel like the school board always wants to find something wrong with kids these days, and to do that they have to search outside the classroom. Being a bus driver I hear all sorts of juicy gossip, but you never hear of me running to the principal telling them what rumors I heard. I say the only way the school should get involved is if it is happening at school, or if the kid is showing serious effects of a problem. The administration has obviously forgot what it was like to be kids, when they were that age they would not have wanted the school going through their personal life, and punishing them for it. I suggest that school reevaluates what they are doing to these kids, and take it easy on them. There is my two cents, love you, Lloyd Christmas. Oh also give this a look, a website that agrees with lowering the drinking age

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MySpace page puts at least one man behind bars

Sharon, PA — (AP) – Grand Heights High School has fallen to an all time grand low this week when several students and graduates were held for questioning regarding photos and postings on a student-run Punk Rocky MySpace page.

The Punk Rocky online fanzine contained pro-hemp articles, at least one full-color picture of a naked student and an advertisement for sodomy. A recent graduate, called “Nothing” by Grand Heights classmates, was positively identified in the pictures. He also takes credit for the ad. He says, “That magazine is our personal business. We didn’t make it at school. We don’t even go to school there now. The administrators need something better to do than stalk kids online.”

Grand Heights school officials are beating their chests in frustration like the school mascot, the gorilla, over the scandal. After being alerted to the MySpace page by a concerned parent, school administrators and counselors linked to Punk Rocky’s “friends” and were surprised and disturbed by the kind of material they found there. They continued by searching the lockers of the students involved in any of the pictures and posts. At least one underclassman has been suspended after a series of undelivered letters (addressed simply “Dear friend”) were found in his locker. These letters reveal a series of disturbing events about a clique of students who run the Punk Rocky MySpace and their “friends.”

An English teacher, who wished to remain unnamed, said the suspended student was, “One of the smartest people he ever met. It’s unfortunate that his involvement in this extra-curricular activity will cost him a position in the National Honor Society. I feel bad because this magazine was one area where he was able to shine. I kept telling him he needed to participate.” Police say this sophomore was picked up in a snow bank last winter. The letters reveal this was a result of taking LSD, supplied to him by a former student. Although the letters changed all of the names of the students involved, they identified the dealer as “Bob.” It turns out that Bob attends a local community college, where some say he’s studying the culinary arts. “The only thing I know that Bob has ever cooked,” says one of his customers, “is pot brownies.” Bob has been supplying drugs to students of Grand Heights since he was enrolled there in the late 1980s.

Although the administrators, district board members and local authorities are taking action, none have released official statements at this time. We do know that “Bob” is being held on drug charges, including possession and distribution to minors.

Other students are receiving consequences for their individual pages linked through Punk Rocky as a “friends.” The captain and star of Grand Heights’ football team last fall has lost his athletic scholarship due to underage drinking and “questionable behavior” in photos posted on some pages. His college has agreed to red shirt him in his first season if he goes back to rehab and continues with AA. Yet another teammate was suspended for taking and posting pictures of his girlfriend while she was naked and presumably passed-out at a kegger. These pictures were not only posted to his MySpace page, but also printed and hung on the front of his football locker. The girlfriend refused to comment, but the “Dear Friend” letters indicate that she was sexually assaulted as many as four years ago by this same boyfriend.

Parents of current and former students are furious at the invasion of privacy and punishments they feel are “too severe.” One father said, “All of this happened in the past! Why is the school dredging up all of this now? Let these kids move on with their lives, for cryin’ out loud! Besides,” he continued, “Kids will be kids and boys will be boys.”

Mary Elizabeth, the magazine’s founder, said, “Thank god I am out of that hell-hole. I feel bad for the kids who took the magazine over. I can’t believe the school is going to hold them accountable for things that happened over a year ago. I’m just lucky I got into Berkeley before those morons ruined it for me.”

One parent is taking this issue to the school board. She thinks the school has gone too far and infringed upon the students’ right to privacy. She said, “This is a First Amendment issue. The school board needs to see this an invasion of privacy. The school is not a police agency. Teachers and administrators should be here to educate our kids, not investigate their behavior in their free time. The authorities can decide what to do about the kids who are breaking laws. The school board needs to come up with a policy to protect our kids, not punish them.”

School Chemical Dependency counselor, Sunshine Shine said, “We need to make sure our kids have a fun and safe place to learn. When we are presented with pro-hemp articles written by known drug dealers, we have to do something about it. Unfortunately, some of the kids are feeling the effects of drugs in ways they didn’t expect. It’s more than a bad trip. This is real life.”