Another View: Experimentation Doesn’t Always Lead to Addiction

It’s easy to conclude that first of all, the use of drugs that are claimed to be “gateway drugs” is on the rise, and the consequences for these are severe. For example, at Jeff High, if you are caught with marijuana or alcohol on school campus, you’ll be arrested without any question.

However, I do not believe that experimentation of these substances directly lead to the use of harder drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine. Though majority of drug abusers have started from abuse of marijuana and/ or alcohol, correlation does not equal causation.

Not everyone who uses is susceptible to addiction. Addiction can be acquired through familial history, poor mental health, and a number of different reasons, but not necessarily because of some irresponsible decisions in high school.

Written by Bella Bungcayao

The Addictive Nature of Drama and Gossip

gossip-by-amber-rowe

Once a teenager reaches their high school years, they will quickly learn the notorious nature of tension amongst their peers. Though it is unspoken, there is a very apparent culture of having a chip on everyone’s shoulder, and saying one wrong word on someone else’s name can cause an uproar of backlash on social media, in the classrooms, and out.

The word “drama” has lost its association with theater. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines drama as, “a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces”.

They also define the word “gossip” as, “a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others”. However, most teens would disagree with this definition, as the majority of “gossip” that is spread is far from factual.

Both of these definitions have a negative connotation, but why are they so common?

High school is a strange time of transition for every student. In the short span of four years, a student will almost inevitably be exposed to several crucial life experiences such as the loss of friendships, falling in love, betrayal, failure and so forth. We’ve all been there.

With that being said, it’s not so surprising that those who haven’t yet reached the maturity to take these experiences with a light heart, are acting out.

This phenomenon has been a relevant issue this year at Jeff High, and predominantly within the underclassmen. According to several seniors and juniors, there is more tension amongst the school than anyone has ever seen before.

It is extremely easy to walk the halls at this school and hear about who did what over the weekend, which friends are fighting, which couple is breaking up… as if any of that information is anyone else’s business except for the subject’s.

And those involved are not adamant to stop it. They feed off of it. Much like an addiction.

There are several theories as to why this is, which span from the emotional turmoil that is puberty to lack of attention at home. For those of you concerned that this inevitable phase of life won’t come to an end, just take a step back and breathe. High school isn’t near as long as it seems.

By Bella Bungcayao

Photo by Amber Rowe

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

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

MULTIMEDIA: JHS’ Baseball Brotherhood

story by Tristan Jackson

video by Bella Bungcayao, Tristan Jackson and Kyle Tincher

Four brothers. One bond.

For many boys growing up in Southern Indiana, one sport has become a way for them to connect and make friends. As spring hits they flock to the field to play their favorite sport: baseball

From the Little League fields of Jeff/GRC to Jeff High’s own Don Poole Field, seniors Gabe Bierman, Bailey Falkenstein, Hunter Schmitz, and Trey Bottorff have played together since they were seven years old.

“All sports give you a special connection with, and baseball has really brought us closer together,” Schmitz said.

The bond between the four players can be seen as they take the field together, and in the dugout as they get the team hyped for the game ahead of them.

“Team chemistry is one of the most important things in all sports, and it’s going to help us win,” Bottorff said. “I know what brings Gabe, Bailey, and Hunter down and I know how to bring them up.”

Hit after hit, play after play, each guy does his part to make the teammates around them better. And this is very noticeable between these four.

“We play baseball and then we go hang out together. I mean we’re always around each other,” Falkenstein said.

For the past 11 years, these guys have been nearly inseparable. Even though this will mark their last year of competitive baseball together, the quartet will be friends for life.   

“We’ve been playing for so long together, it’s a lifelong connection,” Bierman said. “I’ll be with these guys for the rest of my life.”

Gabe, Hunter, and Trey all plan on attending Indiana University next fall, with Gabe being the lone Red Devil taking his play to the next level and playing for the Hoosiers.

Trey and Hunter with both be going to further their education, going to study pre-law and sports management, respectively, while still cheering on their brother, who has MLB aspirations.

“It’s a dream still, and in order to make that happen, hard work must be put in,” Bierman said on his hopes to play professionally in an interview with The Hyphen earlier in the year.

Bailey will go a different route, and attend Olney Central Junior College in Illinois, where he continue both his baseball and basketball careers.

While this year will likely mark their last year of baseball together, the bond they made will last forever.

“We are not just teammates, we are brothers,” Bottorff said.

In this, their last go-round, they will look to compete for a state championship as a part of the No. 7 ranked Red Devils, who have gotten out to a 17-4 record start this season, and have already clinched the Hoosier Hills Conference.

Four brothers. One bond. And it all comes down to this season: the final chapter.

School shootings put ROTC in unique position

by Bella Bungcayao

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ROTC member Lindsey Vessels has her pins adjusted on her uniform by a fellow cadet.

Leadership and discipline are two of many attributes JROTC students are taught to uphold in their schools.

Yet this program has been both criticized and praised nationally because of the recent Parkland, Fla. school shooting, and the involvement of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School JROTC.

Nikolas Cruz, the Florida school shooter responsible for the death of 17 students and staff, was, in fact, an ROTC cadet at Stoneman Douglas.

This rogue member, however, did not reflect the practices of the entire Parkland program.

As more details of the shooting started to uncover, many stories were told about JROTC members, and their heroism for protecting their peers. Some of these students even lost their own life, including 15-year-old Peter Wang.

According to witnesses, Wang was pulling students from the hallways into safety before he was killed by a single bullet.

Because of Wang’s selflessness shown on Feb. 14, he was honored with a traditional military funeral.

Two other JROTC cadets who were killed, named Martin Duque and Alaina Petty, were also said by fellow students to have been ushering their peers out of the halls.

These stories touched JROTC members nationwide, like Victoria Southern, who is the Corps Commander for Jeff High’s JROTC program.

“I think that the individuals in JROTC who took those life-threatening risks showed true leadership and service before self,” Southern said. “Which is something that is taught in the program.”

Southern and her JROTC peers took class time to write notes of encouragement and praise to these students, and sent them to the cadets in Parkland.

Retired Colonel Robert Benning, one of the two advisors of Jeff’s JROTC program, hopes his cadets feel encouraged by these stories of heroism, if the school was in the event of an active shooter.

“I would hope my students would feel the urge to protect their peers,” Benning said. “That type of bravery is what is taught in the program. However I wouldn’t want any of them to run out and confront an active shooter.”

These three students who lost their lives during this tragedy let their legacies live on accredited to their JROTC teachings. Their practice of service before self, leadership, and dependability, unfortunately, would lead to their cause of death.

However because of their heroics, it’s safe to say many other lives were saved.