Should Extra-curricular Activities Count as Gym Credit for School?

By Jenna Schwarzenberg

Opinion Editor


Whether or not extra-curricular activities should count as gym credit in school is not a new debate. Each year tons of high school students compete in varsity sports, join different clubs, and challenge themselves in school. It is not necessary to add to this load of work with requiring a gym credit to graduate, especially when some spend more time in an extra-curricular activity than sitting in class. The only extra-curricular activities that should be allowed to replace a gym class are sports. 

Gym classes are a great way to de-stress and devote some time to your body and mind. They are a beneficial addition to a stressed-out student’s schedule. However, when a student spends 45 minutes in a gym class, then two hours at an extracurricular, it can get excessive. Specifically, people who already spend hours playing a sport, they should not have to take the class to graduate. They are already getting their workout in after school each day, and are likely learning more about their body in the sport than they would in gym class. Gym classes are also a great way for athletes to stretch after a challenging game or competition, but there is always a risk of getting injured and messing up their performance in their sports. Injuries are especially risky for students that plan to take their sport to the next level at college. This is why student athletes should have an option to take gym classes, but not the requirement. 

Having the option to replace a gym class might also inspire people to join sports teams. Some people may dislike the gym classes that are offered, which would result in them joining a new team, thus being more involved in the school community. This will spread knowledge of health and physical activity to more people than required gym classes will, because typically students will feel more involved in a team sport. Also, by joining the sports they will learn about time management and spend much more time doing physical activity than they would in school. 

Students who do not compete in any extra-curricular sports should be required to take the gym classes, so that they can get the benefits of the class too. These students will not be affected negatively by the rules, because if they wanted more options for scheduling they could just join a sport. Also, they will get the minimum knowledge of health, but will have more time after school to do other activities. 

Students should not be graded for sports. If it replaces the class, they should not have to be a star player to get an A. The sport would simply replace their required gym class. 

There are many aspects that go into this argument, and each school system/ high school has a different vision for how they want to view sports and gym credit requirements. There will always be flaws in the system, and in the scheme of things, one class does not change a lot for the majority of students. 

Fake Christmas Trees Are the Way to Go

By Max Salisbury

Staff Writer

Fake Christmas trees are the best because you do not get the pesky pine needles all over your house, contributing to an easier cleanup without having to get out the vacuum and dustpans all the time to clean up all those needles. In addition, fake trees are reusable, so you do not have to spend money on a new one every year. Real Christmas trees can run you up $70 to $120 a year. You can save a lot more money on a fake christmas tree because they are only about $50 for nice one that will last a long time. You can take the tree down and put it in the attic until next winter.

Fake trees also do not die, so there is no need for daily watering, and maintenance making for a lot less work. Some fake trees even come with lights already on them, so there is no need to buy lights either. Also, your ornaments are much safer on a fake tree than a real tree, as the fake trees are built to hold ornaments. Going along with the safety, fake trees are not flammable, so there is less risk in buying one than a real tree.

Meanwhile, real trees are not meant to hold ornaments, making it more likely that they fall off. Fake Christmas trees are also customizable, you can choose a shape, size or color, even some fake trees will have different settings of lights. You are very limited with real trees because real trees don’t have all of the accommodations that fake trees have. People say that fake trees can be bad for the environment due to the plastic they are made of. However cutting down trees will destroy forests and lands faske trees cut down on real trees being cut down. If you want to have the best, easiest possible Christmas, go for a fake tree.


Allowing Holiday Spirit in Public School

By Mackenzie Lionberger

Business Manager

The holiday season is an amazing time of the year for friends and family to come together to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and overall the season of giving. However, students find it difficult to celebrate the holidays in school due to public schools’ fear of exclusion between other religions, which is reasonable to be concerned about. Nonetheless, students of all religions should be able to decorate the school and show holiday spirit.

Being a student in general is an extremely stressful job. Students these days are constantly worried about exams, homework, teachers, and maintaining a social life, they deserve a break. The holiday season is a fun time of the year that all students should be able to enjoy and express their ways of celebrating the season. However, no one holiday should dominate the school and all the holidays of the season should be recognized so no one feels excluded. In addition, for all holidays being recognized, holiday decorating must be organized by the students and not the teachers in order to prevent biases.

It is understandable for teachers to be concerned about how celebrating the holidays in school will affect the learning environment in the classroom but teachers need to understand that the holidays mean many different things to all students. Students should not feel that school is just a place for learning and that there can be no self-expression of the holiday that they choose to celebrate. Students should be able to feel that they can decorate the hallways and play holiday music without being scrutinized by their school. It’s a fun time of the year and students should not feel that they’re missing out on the holiday excitement.

Students deserve to be able to walk into their school during the holiday season filled with joy and excitement because that is what the holidays are all about. Public schools should not be afraid of allowing holiday decorations such as fake snow, lights, and other fun decorations. It’s completely understandable for public schools to be cautious on political correctness and inclusion of all religions but that is not setting up students for reality. Students shouldn’t have to pretend it’s not the holidays and that it’s offensive to wear holiday related clothes to school or to put up fun decorations like snow in the hallways. Students should be able to express their excitement to celebrate their holiday, no matter what they celebrate. The whole world is full of joy and cheer during the month of December and public schools should be allowed to do the same.

Holiday Traditions That Need to Get Moving

By Amanda Retherford

Staff Writer

Classic holiday traditions are always a good way to get into the holiday spirit, but some are losing their popularity and are going into retirement.

Going door to door Christmas caroling used to be a joyful way to spread Christmas cheer, but lately more people have lost interest and the number of carolers has declined. In recent years many people find it odd to appear on someone’s porch to sing to them.

Leaving cookies out for Santa is also slowly losing its reputation as one of the most traditional parts of Christmas. Many kids have lost Christmas spirit. Due to technology influencing so many kids minds, families don’t participate in baking cookies to leave out on Christmas Eve.

The traditional New Year’s resolution has lost its hype. Many people are not motivated enough to participate or just simply forget about their resolution. At the beginning of the year everyone’s excited to start a new resolution but as the year goes on most people lose interest.

Taking part in holiday traditions is a great way for families to gather and celebrate. While all of these holiday traditions had once sparked many families holiday seasons, they have now become too outdated to participate in.


Growing PDA

By Daniel Vela

Staff Writer

Damascus High School is suffering from a plague, and it is not one that causes you physical illness, but rather leaves one mentally damaged. This plague is excessive PDA, or public display of affection.

This problem used to be under control when there were columns of lockers by the art hallway which provided many couples with some privacy. However, this year, the renovations of the school removed that area and replaced it with a storage room, leaving a large number of couples without a home. Even though the school now has more room for storage, it has turned into an expense that students have to pay.

Now, couples have resorted to engaging in sensual relations in stairways, hallways, and classrooms. Some teachers have taken action to split apart such activities when it starts to get too intimate, from telling couples to separate a bit, to give them “the talk”. According to Mr. Wells of the Math department, couples need to learn to “control themselves”.

Some teachers focus on breaking up actions that go too far while others, like Mrs. Zaldumbide, would not only split them up, but also say something clever so they get publicly humiliated. One of her classic lines is “would you like to see adults doing it?”, in reference to such romantic activities. In the past, it used to be only roaches roaming the corners of the school, now they have been replaced with overly active, mind boggling, short lasting couples. However, on a rare occasion, one might be able to witness some couples passionately dance together in the hallways.

The bottom line is that people do not want to see others engaging in such activities as it makes people uncomfortable and may also leave mental scars.

Real Christmas, Environmentally Better Option

By Jennifer Cantarero

Staff Writer

Christmas is right around the corner and it will not be complete without the classic lit up and decorated, living Christmas trees. Christmas is not the same without a Christmas tree, it’s like a birthday without a cake. The debate whether real Christmas trees are better than artificial trees gets brought up year after year and now it’s time to settle it.

Around 80-90 million families purchase real trees each year in the United States and Europe according to Green Global Travel. People prefer things that feel authentic. “As this generation starts to get married and have families, they’re more likely to make an effort to get a real tree,” says Doug Hundley, the seasonal spokesperson of the National Christmas Tree Association.

Since saving the environment is an issue that people are fighting to fix, owning fake Christmas trees instead of real ones only makes the issue worse. Studies have shown that artificial trees have three times the impact on the environment than a real tree would. Which is a negative impact to the environment. Most of the chemicals in a fake tree can not only be harmful to the environment but also to the people in the home with it.

Real trees are beneficial to the environment. Not only are they decomposable, but they help with absorbing carbon dioxide since we are producing so much, and gives us healthy oxygen. As opposed to real trees, artificial trees aren’t decomposable. Artificial trees are made from PVC, an unrecyclable plastic, that will lead to dangerous health and environmental impacts.

In addition, a real Christmas tree gives a fresh aroma to your house that brings back memories of Christmas from the past.

Real Christmas trees also gives you and your family the opportunity to choose the perfect tree. Christmas tree farms have something to offer that artificial vendors don’t. With artificial trees, you do not have the option to choose a unique one because they all look the same. Picking a tree is an experience that the whole family can enjoy.

Real Christmas trees can easily be reused or converted into mulch or other recycled products. In contrast to artificial trees which you have to keep store up in the attic or under the stairs taking up space.

Real Christmas trees are the way to go. There is nothing more beautiful than having a real Christmas tree, and the scent and its beauty will be surely to get you in the holiday spirit.

Swimmers Prepare for Upcoming Season

By Annie Gruner

Staff Writer

Following the successful 2018-2019 Swim and Dive season there is a lot of anticipation about the upcoming season. Returning upperclassmen are hoping to continue the teams undefeated regular season record from last year while new swimmers are looking to help build the team this year.

The 2018-2019 swim team had an excellent record of 5-0 in the regular season. Sophomore Carly Seabring is hopeful that the team will be able to keep their undefeated regular season record and said she sees the team winning the state title this season. When asked what the team needs to improve on this season Seabring said “the boys relay teams have some minor improvements to make but the team just needs to keep our momentum from last year going”. The Swarming Hornets will take on Blair at the Olney Swim Center in their first meet of the season on December 7 at 9:15 a.m. Hornet fans can’t wait to watch the team make a splash this season.