Is it Unfair? Students and Staff Sound Off on the Dress Code

Dress code has been a hotly debated topic for as long as I can remember. Teachers, peers, administrators and more all have different expectations of what students should and can wear to school.

There are even differences among dress codes in schools in our area. For example, New Albany-Floyd County Schools have a casual dress code and it isn’t even strongly enforced. They can show skin above the knee, have rips in their jeans, show shoulders and more.

Our dress code at Jeff High is very strict, but there are many people who say that it is somewhat sexist, as well. While it doesn’t explicitly show, everyone knows that our dress code affects girls more than boys. Guys can wear shorts a few inches above the knee, but if a girl wears a skirt or dress the same length, they get punished.

When asked if our dress code is more unfair to girls than guys, these are some responses from students and staff at Jeff High:

“I would agree that the dress code is more unfair to girls than guys. Guys can get away with a little bit more when it comes to dress code, because one would think they don’t have as much to cover up as girls do.”
– Natalie Bronson, science teacher and student council sponsor

“Absolutely. Guys violate dress code all the time and nothing gets said to them because they are guys, when girls barely break dress code by the slightest bit, we get in trouble.”
– Tiara Jones, sophomore

“Yeah, there’s more rules for girls compared to boys. I’ve been dress coded for having a hole in my jeans above my knee and a boy could have a hole in the same place and not have anything happen.”
– Elliot Mays, freshman

“Yes, guys have the ability to wear clothes that kind of let you breathe more than girls do based on our current dress code. Depending on the weather and circumstances, girls have it a lot harder.”
– Harrison Paul, senior

“Girls have it harder because guys don’t have that problem, really, or I haven’t at least. A lot of girls clothes break dress code and that’s just how they’re made. So it’s kind of unfair that they buy clothes and can’t wear them.”
– Hunter Milam, junior

 

Written by Joselen Lopez

Basketball, Swimming and Wrestling Season Previews

Girls Basketball

The Lady Devils return to the court this season with many returning players – including senior Tori Handley and juniors Nan Garcia and Kelcie James – as well as returning coach Mike Warren. Based on early successes, the team looks poised for a sectional title this year. The Lady Devils have scored 60 or more points in games that they have won this year and look to continue their high-scoring streak as the season goes on.

The Lady Devils started the season off by defeating the 16th-ranked North Harrison Cougars 66-44. “It was a big win for us after being so close in previous years,” said team captain Tori Handley.

The sectional title is particularly important for the team this year, since it was taken from their grasp by a late, game-winning shot in last season’s sectional match-up against Bedford North Lawrence. “It was a terrible feeling, but we all know our roles and what we need to do to succeed as a team,” said Handley.

Written by Braxton Troutman

Boys Basketball

Every November, if a high school basketball team has lost a lot of senior talent, people call it a “rebuilding year.” Although Jeff High lost several seniors from last year’s strong team, not much rebuilding is needed this year. In fact, the 2018-2019 Jeffersonville Boys Varsity Basketball team, under the direction of coach Joe Luce, is poised for an exciting and successful season.

For returning junior starter Trè Coleman, this season he will have to take the court without the experience of his brother Jaden Coleman and the leadership of Bailey Falkenstein, whom they lost to graduation. Coleman said he is “expecting a great season and a good run when it comes to sectionals.” The Red Devils will have eight returning players on their Varsity bench and Coleman feels like the 2019 Seymour Sectionals is a wide-open playing field. “With all our returning talent, we should consistently get better during the season and be competing for a sectional title in March.”

Written by Hannah Thibideau

Swimming

The Jeff High team is diving into another season for boys and girls swimming by getting back to their routines: morning practices, workouts, and vigorous afternoons in the pool. Their coach, Mike Pepa, couldn’t be happier with the work ethic on his team. “It’s difficult. We put in a lot of hours, probably the most hours of any team in the school,” Pepa said. “But it’s a lot of fun and good camaraderie. You’re part of one of the most successful teams in the school if you join, but it takes a heck of a commitment.”

To get to their level of expertise in their sport, they don’t take the season lightly. When the end of October comes around, the girls team starts warming up. “I’m really excited to have a great season with the girls, everyone is so fantastic and sweet,” senior Haley Vescelus said, “ we have a strong team and I’ll be sad when it’s over.”

Starting the season off right, the girls won against Bedford North Lawrence in their first meet. The boys team season starts two weeks after the girls, by the beginning of November. Both teams are in the water working to better the team and themselves.

Last year’s state qualifier, Kameron Case, has high hopes for his senior year swimming. He plans to continue his career in the pool in college. “I’m looking forward to this season,” Case said, “ I hope this year will better prepare me for college level competition.”

While the team practices for hours and days, all of that work goes toward a smaller, yet larger, goal: shaving off mere seconds (or fractions of seconds) from their time on meet days. A swimmer must rely on their own strength and put those hours of training into trying to beat competitors on the clock. “You’re always trying to beat your best time,” Pepa said. “You’re not just benefiting the team but improving yourself as well.”

Written by Haylee Hedrick

Wrestling

The Jeffersonville High School Wrestling team is coming off yet another successful season. After a phenomenal 2016-2017 season, where the team qualified 14/14 Wrestlers to Regionals, the current 2018 team has qualified 13/14 wrestlers last season. “Team 60” also had 11 sectional champions.

As the wrestlers succeed on the mat, the team also gets it done in the classroom. Last year, there were six Academic All-State wrestlers, and the team also had the top two team GPAs in the state for the past three years.

With Coach Struck coming off of his sixth sectional championship, he looks forward to the new season. “My goals only change slightly from year to year. But our vision stays the same,” he said. “My goal is to make it to state, national and international championships, but the purpose of our program is to inspire our athletes to be the best versions of themselves they can be.”

Despite losing a class of wrestlers to college, there is still a major upside for the new and improved squad. Senior wrestler Isaac Hall says, “I feel we have a really strong lineup and I think it’s going to be a shock to everyone because of how many first year varsity wrestlers we have. They just haven’t had their time to shine and I think they are going to show out in a big way this year.”

Written by Jack Ellis

Boys Basketball Photo by Kyle Tincher
Swimming and Girls Basketball Photos by Amber Rowe
Wrestling Photo Submitted

Academy System Continues to Grow at Jeff High

This school year (2018-19), Greater Clark County Schools started a new system of learning called the Academies of Greater Clark. The Academies encourage students to pick a pathway that goes along with their career choice in order to focus on the future. The Academies at Jeffersonville High School include Health Services, Public Service, Engineering and Manufacturing, and Business and Entrepreneurship. Freshmen start out in the Freshmen Academy. The question is: how successful have the Academies been so far and how are they changing Jeffersonville High School?

Jeff High Principal Julie Straight believes that the Academies have gone well and that students will benefit from them. “We have created small schools in a large school,” Straight said. “We should not have as many students slipping through cracks or getting too far behind without a team of teachers that are talking about ‘What can we do?’ and hopefully intervene, which is definitely a benefit.”

Each Academy has its own principal and counselor, along with teachers in that pathway to help students explore the career that they may want to pursue in the future. This also applies to the Freshman Academy.

Jan Haire, the Freshman Academy counselor, talked about the benefits that freshmen are receiving from the program. “There are three teams of core teachers who share the same students. Those teachers meet every week with Mrs. Hall (the Freshman Academy principal) and me and we discuss what students are doing well and which ones need extra support. I feel like we know the students better with the Freshman Academy,” Haire said.

Straight says that current sophomores will the first to truly experience the benefits of the Academies, as they will be the first class to have three years in a row of their career interest. However, she notes that even upperclassmen will benefit from the program. “Embrace what opportunities there are,” Straight said. “At Jeff High, we still have more opportunities to explore your interest for your future than any other high school in the area. We have welding here … we have Radio/TV, we have Journalism, our arts.” Straight also noted that students have been able to go on focused field trips and get real-world experience.“We have some seniors in internships, so there’s some good things happening,” Straight said.

Sophomore Karina Hernandez recognizes the benefits of the Academies, but said the Academies still need some improvements. “Students can now be guided in taking the classes that they will actually use in their career choice,” Hernandez said. “However, they could be a bit more organized, but I get (that) it’s the first year they have done this.”

However, freshman November Shawler disagrees with the mission of the Academies. “Personally, I think that Academies are unnecessary pressure to chose the career you want when you are still a child,” Shawler said. “A career I think is good for me sophomore year perhaps won’t fit my interests senior year. And the fact that you can only change it once. What happens if you want to switch twice, and you are forced to have the credentials of a separate field entirely?”

For those who may worry that the Academies will completely change Jeff High, Straight reassured them. “(The) Academies don’t change everything in the school,” she said. “We’re still a high school and all the classes are the same. But we hope that as we keep moving and getting deeper in our transformation, that there is more of a thread that may run through core classes of your Academy that helps really keep interest and make it more engaging.”

 

Written by Greta Reel

 

Welcome the New Teachers at Jeff High

Exchange students, transfer students and freshmen aren’t the only new faces at Jeff High this year. We also welcomed several new teachers.

The Hyphen asked some of the new staff members for their thoughts on teaching. Here’s what they said:

w-stevens
Ms. Stevens, Special Education
“No matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody helped you.”

r-russell

Mr. Russell, Special Education
“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught. It’s that every student should be allowed to learn.”

s-stock

Mr. Stock, Social Studies
“The greatest use of a life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

c-manley

Mr. Manley, ROTC
“When all else fails, march with your head high.”

m-esarey

Ms. Esarey, Science
“When I was in the second grade I realized education can change your entire life. Now I’m honored to change someone else.”

glesing-by-antonio-thompson

Mr. Glesing, Social Studies and PE
“Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is the best.”

Written by Keandre Campbell

Glesing Photo by Antonio Thompson

All Other Photos by LifeTouch

Cover Story: Jeff High’s Foreign Exchange Students Weigh in on Life in the U.S.

What would you pack if you could only take one suitcase to last you a whole year? A whole year without seeing your mom or dad. A whole year without sleeping in your own bed or petting your family dog. A whole year of new sights and sounds and sensations. A whole year in an unknown country. For Jeff High’s five foreign exchange students, this is their reality.

Their names are Marlene, Louis, and Peter (who are all from Germany), as well as Giovanni (who is from Italy) and Kamilla (who is from Russia). Amongst themselves there are many differences, from the way they were raised to the traditions of their families, but one thing they all have in common is the foreign exchange program.

The foreign exchange program allows students from all over the world to experience global interaction and travel, as well as the host of said exchange students to learn from their non-native guest.

“America is the dream country,” said Kamilla on why she wanted to come to America. She wanted to learn English and thought coming to a new place would be interesting. Marlene also agreed with her on this statement saying everyone wants to speak English and she wishes to become fluent.

Giovanni said there’s even an English speaking club at his school back in Italy. The club’s goal is to help students get their PET, which is a certificate of English fluency. He also said America has lived up to his expectations.

“Everything here is bigger. There are roads for no reason, and fast food everywhere.” said Giovanni. Louis stated Jeff High is a much bigger building then his school building back in Germany.

“Our number of students is the same – give or take, around 2,000 – but our school is probably 10 times smaller than Jeff High,” said Giovanni on his school size. He said his school has no cafeteria, pools, sports fields or even lockers. “I love my locker, even if it is annoying that we have to carry around our stuff,” said Marlene, whose school is also without lockers. Marlene also said school in the United States is much easier than school overseas. Every other exchange student agreed.

For Peter, Jeff High’s daily seven periods are practically effortless to him, considering he takes 16 classes a week back home. In Germany, his homework is never assigned nor taken for a grade, rather it is simply just provided as a reference. In order for him to succeed on his exams, he has to study from wanting to rather that having to.

All the exchange students agree that homework from their home countries is harder than the homework here. Kamilla said some of her classes in Russia only meet once a week, so when they do have class most of the time is spent taking a test. All the learning is left for her to on her own.

Some of them said students in their home country stay together the entire day and go from class to class together. For Kamilla, she will to stay with the same classmates from her kindergarten class until she graduates. In Russia, high school students only study 11 years rather than 12.

All of their schools have no school sports teams either. Louis, who plays tennis, is part of a club sport rather than a school team in Germany. Club sports only practice about twice a week rather than usual 5 for school teams here in America.

Many of the exchange students commented that sports are a much bigger deal to Americans. “One of the stereotypes about America is the sports,” said Marlene.

One of the things she has enjoyed most about her time here in the United States was going to all of the football games in the fall, even if she had no idea how the game worked. She is planning on going to all of basketball games this winter. Marlene also hopes to keep in contact with the friends she’s made here at Jeff.

Kamilla, who will be leaving at the end of this semester, is sad she has to go. “I don’t know if I will ever see them again, and although it has been a short time, I am sad to go,” she said about leaving friends in the United States.

 

Written by Sophie Rousseau

Ivy Tech Scholarships: “Jeffersonville’s Promise” for the Future

A promise, a college education and a future. Many students stress about having enough money to attend college. However, the city of Jeffersonville has a solution and recently announced that they have partnered with community college Ivy Tech to offer a two-year scholarship to the graduates of Jeffersonville High School, starting with the Class of 2019. The program, “Jeffersonville’s Promise,” means that graduates are now able to attend two years of college at Ivy Tech for free.

Scott Hawkins, a social studies teacher at Jeff High and a member of the city’s Redevelopment Commission, explained how the program came together. “The program started with Travis Haire at Ivy Tech,” Hawkins said. “Haire contacted the mayor, who mulled over the idea for a while and in turn presented it to Redevelopment Commission members.” Other Commision members include Mayor Mike Moore, fellow Councilman Matt Owen, Monty Snelling and Jack Vissing.

“Our Promise is based on a similar program instituted in Kalamazoo, Michigan more than 10 years ago, so we had data to look at concerning effectiveness and impact. Four of us voted for the expenditure,” he continued.

According to a press release by the city,students must meet the following requirements to qualify:
• A minimum of a 2.0 G.P.A. while in high school
• Maintain a minimum of a 2.5 G.P.A. at Ivy Tech
• Accept all federal and local aid as well as scholarships before the Ivy Tech scholarship, as the program is intended as a “last dollar scholarship”
• Complete the FAFSA (The Free Application For Student Federal Aid)
• Enroll in classes with the intent of getting a certificate, certification or degree
• Enroll in Ivy Tech during the summer, fall or spring after high school, starting in 2019

There are no student income requirements for the scholarship, but Jeff High Principal Julie Straight anticipates that the program will be most beneficial to the middle class. “Our lowest income students — if they want to go to college through grants and things — generally they’re going to get it paid for that opportunity,” Straight said. “But the middle of the road where you have working families who make just enough … there’s a lot of people in that situation because college is expensive.”

Some, like junior Sophie Weber, are extremely excited about the program. Weber, who has juvenile arthritis, says this will help her family pay for much of her college.“My family does not qualify for much financial aid, but most of what we make goes to my medical bills,” Weber said. “Without this help I could be stuck in years worth of debt.” With this scholarship, she said, “I am able to worry about my education more than my financial situation.”

However, Weber is concerned that the program’s money will run out. “I am worried that the money will not accommodate every student who meets the qualifications and wishes to pursue this opportunity,” she said. “Even with taking every financial aid and scholarship provided first, it is not cheap to fund all this.”

Hawkins explained where the money is coming from.“It is funded through the Redevelopment Commission, which receives funding through TIF districts throughout the city,” Hawkins said. “No taxes or fees will be raised to implement this Promise. The money is already there.”

Overall, Straight thinks that the program is a win and gives much hope to students.“Lots of people (are) very excited and… the kids… that’s the best part. It really can be life-changing… It brought tears to my eyes when we were at the announcement.” It’s a win situation for Jeff High students,” she said. “For Jeffersonville as a community, for employers in Jeffersonville, we’re going to have a more educated workforce. For Ivy Tech, they’re going to have more students. It’s just a win all the way around.”

 

Written by Greta Reel

Editorial: Benefits of the Ivy Tech Scholarship Reach Far Beyond Jeffersonville High School

The city of Jeffersonville has created the life-changing promise of a free college education for Jeff High graduates. Mayor Mike Moore and Redevelopment Commission members joined with Jeff High representatives on November 28, 2018, to commit $150,000 to the promise of free college tuition.

Despite some concerns from the community, this money is not coming from taxpaying citizens. “The funding is tax money generated by new business,” Principal Julie Straight said, “so it’s not coming out of our pockets; it’s coming out of new businesses that are generating income they’re putting back into the community through this TIF tax. That [income] goes into the Redevelopment Commission to decide how they use that money to help build up our community to further support business development.”

The benefits of this program will reach far beyond the students who qualify for scholarships. Making post-secondary education more affordable will benefit our city and our region, as well. We should expect to see business flourish now that the number of college-educated Jeff High graduates is expected to jump exponentially. The program will open doors for job opportunities and entrepreneurship. It could even attract transfers to the city. Jeffersonville’s Promise is more than a scholarship program. It’s a dramatic way to shed the reputation of “Dirty J” and embrace a bright new future.

Written by Bella Bungcayao

PDF: December 13, 2018

This month’s issue of The Hyphen is packed full of news and perspectives, including:

  • Details on the newly announced Ivy Tech scholarship program
  • A profile of Jeff High’s exchange students
  • Student and staff viewpoints on two hot topics: dress code and class size
  • Winter sports previews
  • A tribute to Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee
  • And more …

This issue also includes an update on Jeff High’s transition to Academies. We invite readers to share their thoughts on the Academy system at bit.ly/hyphenpoll. Survey data and quotes may be published on our website.

Download PDF

JHS Staff Honored for Excellence in High School Journalism

The Jeffersonville High School newspaper and yearbook have a long history of award-winning journalism. We recently added even more accolades to our collection at the 2018 IU Southeast High School Media Day.

The Hyphen newspaper and its staff members received the following News Organization Awards for Division 1 (Schools with more than 1,000 students):

First Place

  • Best Column – Chloe Treat
  • Best Feature Photo – Caleb Sorrells
  • Best Multimedia Package – Tristan Jackson, Bella Bungcayao and Kyle Tincher
  • Best Review – Bella Bungcayao

Second Place

  • Best Front-page Design

Third Place

  • Division 1 News Organization of the Year
  • Best Overall Design in One Issue
  • Best Unsigned, Staff Editorial
  • Best News/Editorial Graphics – Nicole Gomez

 

In addition, the 2018 Jeffersonville High School yearbook, The Topic, received several awards for Division 1 (schools with more than 1,000 students):

First Place

  • Cover
  • Opening Section
  • Photography

Second Place

  • Advertising
  • Coverage of Student Life

Third Place

  • Division 1 Yearbook of the Year
  • Copy
  • Coverage of Academics
  • Design
  • Sports Coverage

Hyphen and Topic staff members attend IUS Media Day

The Stress of a Student

Recent studies have shown that the modern-day student has equitable, if not more, stress and anxiety levels than that of a child psychiatric patient in 1950. Medical professionals have seen more anxiety in today’s teens than they’ve ever seen before.

Despite all of the cultural and generational discrepancies, why has the world seen such a peak in “teen angst” recently?

Students claim that the amount of work they are given is nearly impossible to
balance with a well-rounded schedule, but as far as the school system is concerned, there has not been a change in the amount of work given throughout the generations.

So with that being said, what is it like for a student who balances school, sports, work, and extracurriculars? Not to mention being able to have any down time with family, or a social life.

Junior Reece Elder has a first-hand experience with this busy schedule. Elder is the current 2020 Class President, is heavily involved in theater, choir, and is also a player on the tennis team.

“Trying to find time for grades on top of sports and theater can be really stressful depending on how well you handle your time,” Elder said, “I’m really bad at time management, personally,so I do experience a lot of stress trying to balance all of this.” The same can be said for most, if not all, of the busy students here at Jeff High.

Eventually, everyone will grow up and have to juggle a lifestyle that is always booked with events and work to do. However, is it sound for a teenager’s mental health to handle a schedule that is just as occupied as a working adult’s?

Dr. Sara Villanueva reported on this subject through PsychologyToday.com. “Teens today feel a lot of pressure from parents, teachers, coaches, etc.” Villanueva said, “Failure has gone from being viewed as a learning opportunity to being clearly unacceptable.”

According to Villanueva, the cultural attitude and fear of failure is one of the leading causes of student stress.

From one student to another, there is nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed sometimes. But in the end, if your mental health is at stake, your grade can wait. However, if your anxious thoughts makes you a danger to yourself or others, please seek help.

Written by Bella Bungcayao

Your Cheat Sheet to Midterm Elections

With midterms coming up soon, political issues are on voters’ minds, but not everyone knows how the midterm election works or the importance it has for our government.

Midterm elections are for Congress — the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Congressional elections take place during even years, and the election in between presidential election years is known as the midterm.

In every midterm, about one-third of the Senate seats and all 435 House seats are voted on. This year, there are 35 Senate seats up for election.

Those voted into the House of Representatives have two-year terms, and are voted in based on districts within the state. Indiana has nine districts. Clark County is in the ninth district. The two candidates running for the ninth district House seat are incumbent Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth and Democrat challenger Liz Watson.

The Senate has 100 total members who serve six-year terms. The seats being voted on this year include one of the two seats for Indiana. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly is running against the Republican challenger Mike Braun, and the Libertarian challenger Lucy Brenton this November.

“Midterm elections are a referendum on the President. If voters don’t like what a president is doing, midterms can change control of one or both houses of Congress,” said Aaron Dorman, a government teacher at Jeffersonville High School.

The midterm election usually attracts a lower turnout of voters compared to the  presidential election, because not everyone thinks it is as important. If you are eligible to vote you should; the midterm election, just like the presidential election, is an opportunity to change the majority party in one of the three houses of the federal government.

By Meredith Shepherd

Candidate Profile: Liz Watson

Liz Watson is the local Democrat candidate for Indiana’s ninth district. Watson is running for the House of Representatives against Republican Trey Hollingsworth.

According to her website, Watson is running for Congress to fight for working families in Indiana.

Here are her views on some of the issues she would face in Congress:

Women’s Rights: Watson’s website says she has been an advocate for women for 20 years, especially for working women with families. She has worked on improving the juvenile justice system to help with the needs of girls and young women with histories of sexual abuse. If elected, she plans to demand full funding for the Violence Against Women Act, as well as advocating for women to have economic security and control of their own healthcare.

Immigration: Watson says she believes in “a pathway to citizenship” for immigrants. She supports the DREAM Act, an act that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Watson say she doesn’t want to neglect border security; however, she believes the real job of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is to keep Americans safe, not to punish immigrants who are innocent.

Gun Laws: Watson says she respects the 2nd Amendment, but supports restrictions on assault weapons. Specifically, she wants to close loopholes that allow citizens to get their hands on guns more easily, such as the ability to conduct private sales of guns without a background checks. She opposes a bill that would require states to recognize concealed carry permits from other states. She wants more protection for the partners of domestic abusers, as federal law protects the spouses of the abusers but not the partners.

Health Care: Watson supports the Medicare for All Act of 2017 and plans to defend the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. She says Planned Parenthood provides good care for both genders and that it can be lifesaving. On her campaign website she stated: “That’s why I support Planned Parenthood. It’s why I will oppose any effort to defund it, which would take lifesaving healthcare away from women in our district and across America.” In addition, she wants to work with both parties to accomplish good healthcare.

Climate Change: According to Watson, “climate change is the greatest threat to future generations” and “there is no time to waste.” Watson supports a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions, which would help companies develop a clean energy future. Doing this would raise over a billion dollars to develop green technology and infrastructure. She believes this will create good paying clean energy jobs for Southern Indiana residents.

 

By Greta Reel