Support Tubby… Story by Alistair King

We all know of the wandering cat called Rusty; how sweet and loving he is, as well as his fondness for petting. Recently a decision has been made by the Administration to disallow Rusty to be in the school because of the allergy problems he could cause. Needless to say students have disliked this rule and are wishing that he be allowed inside. These are the reasons why he should be allowed in:

The animal shelter students are more dangerous to people’s health.

Keep up with me on this: Students that are petting the animals at the shelter tend to get hair on their clothes. This hair can easily fall off within the normal activities of a person. While a cat’s hair is more or less attached to their bodies and especially in winter is less prone to shedding.

Animals are medically proven to be therapeutic

Animal assisted therapy is big these days; there is nothing like being stuck in the hospital and having a great dog or cat come comfort you

Animals are great… These animals can have a great effect on students and patients. Photo Found at
Animals are great… These animals can have a great effect on students and
patients. Photo Found at

in your time of stress. It has been medically proven that “Animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems.”

The Animals love it

Its just that simple, pets love all the attention that they get from students. This is also a good thing for people who have parents working all the time and the animal is stuck in whatever area the owners designate as the holding zone. While being at school animals have the opportunity to socialize with other people and pets, get exercise in moving around, and be petted to their hearts content.

There’s medicine for pet allergies.

Antihistamines or allergy medication is available over the counter and by prescription in most places. These take the form of: Allegra, Claritin, Benadryl, and Zyrtec. There is also other methods of relieving allergies in the form of nasal sprays such as Flonase or Nasonex, which are also available over the counter and for prescription.

One more tip…

Just keep your distance. This is the easiest way to stop getting an allergy from cats such as Rusty. Don’t go up to animals and hug and pet them, just stay away and admire their beauty (or non-beauty).

Keep this all in mind when trying to convince Administration to keep our loving Tubby inside the school. Now onto the Cons of an animal in school.

Sorry Tubby, but You are Out… Story by Sherman Peabody

Should he stay in? Rusty playing in the field – Photo by Alistair King
Should he stay in? Rusty playing in the field – Photo by Alistair King

Recently, the issue of school pets has come up for the people in this school because of our beloved feline visitor Rusty, better known as Tubby the Cat. Our school has decided, after much consideration, to keep Tubby out of the school due to health concerns. Though I love Tubby being around and the effect he has on students who are not allergic to him, I support the administration’s decision to keep Tubby out. Some of the reasons I do support it are the allergens that are introduced to the school and the laws regarding commercial kitchens and pets.

One in seven people from the ages 6 – 19 are allergic to cats. As our school has students right in this range, we need to be sure that we protect them from this inhibiting allergy. Students who are allergic to cats often cannot work efficiently when around cats as their eyes often start to itch and water up, a condition that is distracting for many students. One student states that her allergies can range from a simple rash to swollen throat and eyes, depending on the amount of contact she has with the allergens. She says that she had these symptoms for a continuous week and a half during the time Tubby was in the building.

When Mary was asked about the reasoning behind the decision to keep Rusty out, she explained that allergic reactions do not just occur when you touch a cat. When a cat sleeps on a jacket, or is held by a person, lots of hair is dropped. When a person wearing a jacket or shirt hugs someone who is allergic to cats, the allergens are often times passed along to that person, giving them an allergic reaction. Mary told a story of her sister being sent to the hospital after wearing a neck brace that a cat had laid on. She has witnessed Rusty laying on a bunch of student’s jackets, and though she loves to have him in the school, realized that he had to stay out.

Unfortunately, it is also against Idaho code to have most kinds of pets in commercial kitchens, including our beloved Tubby. Section 6-501.115 states “except as specified in ¶¶ (B) and (C) of this section, live animals may not be allowed on the PREMISES of a FOOD ESTABLISHMENT.” (link to the food code) Paragraphs B and C allow for fish in fish tanks and animals that are in service, such as a patrol dog or a service dog. Paragraph C covers fishing bait, and even that has to be stored in a way that would not come into contact with kitchen utensils. Because our kitchen is in a modern style without doors separating the cooking space from the area Rusty roams is a potential problem. Tubby has full access to the food preparation area and can easily contaminate the space.

One argument that could rise is the issue of the animal shelter students. They bring in more cat hair attached to their clothes than Tubby drops on any given day. And I agree, he doesn’t drop as much hair as the animals leave on the animal shelter students. But the only way to react to those hairs left on the shelter students would be to come into direct contact with their clothes. Tubby on the other hand goes where he want when he wants, often laying on peoples jackets and rubbing up against them on the low-hanging hangers. This leaves his hair all over the school, not just on the shelter student’s clothes. Plus, according to, “it’s not cat fur that causes those itchy, watery eyes. Most people with cat allergies react to a protein found on cat skin called Fel d 1.” So by walking around dropping dead skin cells everywhere, Rusty is spreading this protein and causing people with allergies to react more than usual.

Don’t Get Locked Out… Story By Alistair King

Don’t Get Locked Out

Tears, running, sweat, and the pings of gunfire… This year’s lock-in was a BLAST; with many fun activities such as Dodgeball, Midnight Yoga, Karaoke, and game rooms. With over 80 students attending and so many activities, there was fun for everyone.

The Student Council planned all these activities on a panel system, meaning that while Dodgeball was going on, Family Feud could happen on the other side of the school. But throughout this entire time there were activities for the less awake students. Movies such as Big Hero 6 and Forrest Gump were being played along with a Lord of the Rings marathon. And the game rooms… of course the game rooms. Three classrooms were dedicated to the activity of video gaming. In U2 a large group played League of Legends, Picasso was the home place of Dark Souls II. Finally in Ali was a game of Fibbage and the day one release of Fallout 4.

Picture-ception... This picture poses for another picture.
Picture-ception… This picture poses for another picture. Photo by Ellie Mearns

How can we forget the greatest of all the activities… Karaoke (before 3am). Brought to you by all the great students here at the school we saw many songs such as “I’m gonna be” by Ellie Mearns and Squad, and the Bee Gees with a large group of boys (See Video). Capture the Flag was a blast, even with both the teams staring each other down at the center line. With eyes locked and unmoving feet, Ellie Mearns had to impose a new rule that they could only do that for 5 seconds. That quickly ended the dispute.

The Dinner was prepared by the Catering Crew and consisted of Soda and Spaghetti. Students were allowed to bring their own snacks and this was thoroughly stated by Ian Mchonnahey who brought an entire carton full of candy in celebration of him becoming 18. After the fun was over and the clean-up had ended, Webber made his special pancakes and homemade syrup, complete with “crispy” bacon and your choice of juice. But this was not without a catch. In order to decide who got to eat first Webber held a “limbo for your meal” contest.

Let’s not forget the Vending Machine either, with a crowd of people struggling to stay awake the vending machine was their only hope. Several students bought upward of six drinks trying to stay awake.

There were also some really great prizes donated by local businesses and adults. Some of these prizes were gift certificates to Petal Talk, various hygiene supplies, and a brand new Kindle.

With so many activities and great fun to be had, is it any surprise when student council members stated, “This could be the best lock in we’ve had. Ever.”  With two great events already happening and so many more coming up in the following trimesters; how will student council surprise us next?

Check out this great video also by Ellie Mearns…

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II… Story By Lauren Stidham

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II

One thing that can be linked to school violence and school shootings is violent video games and television. Kids all around our country have free access to countless video games, shows, and movies. Most of these portray violence one way or another. Although some are much more graphic than others, it remains nonetheless.

So what does violent screenplay have to do with school shootings?

Could it really lead to violence?... Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By:
Could it really lead to violence?… Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By:

We will start with video games. Many parents, teachers, and other people in authority frown on over usage of video games, and in some cases they don’t allow it at all. Now of course we must consider that there are certain video games that are well designed and geared towards promoting learning, not all video games are violent.

Of course, a majority of the best-sellers are very violent. Out of the top ten best-sellers of 2015, only two of them aren’t graphically violent. The other eight are all based upon extremely violent scenarios and depict scenes of which you are expected to take the lives of people in gruesome ways.

According to studies conducted by Dr. Vincent Matthews from Indiana University, violent video games alter the person’s ability to use emotions, attention, and concentration. His experiment involved making a group of young men play violent video games two hours a day for just a week. In just that time frame, their brains had already altered.

“The brain changes that Matthews’ group saw were similar to those seen in teens with destructive sociopathic disorders” –

Now think of the kids who have been under the influence of video games for a matter of years, by this time, their emotional and concentration part of their brain would be eroded. Without that emotional part functioning properly, the person can become dangerous. Most of what keeps normal people from killing is the emotional and/or moral standard.

Not only do video games change the way your brain works, but they can also be very addictive. World of Warcraft in particular is the center of many cases of addictions. There are several reasons realism, social interaction, and the ongoing sense that there is always a next level.

The game’s realism is created by having camera views that simulate the views that one would get if you were actually in the game, plus you can adjust the view to get the desired effect. There is a network of people who play the game and you can pair up with them and go on quests together. This provides a source to fulfill social needs. Additionally, World of Warcraft is an ongoing game of which doesn’t have an end. You can continually advance in the game, you can move to a new realm when you max out in one realm. The makers of the game update it and add new realms regularly.

To read an article about how World of Warcraft effected Ryan van Cleave’s life go to

Additionally, there is another link between violent video games and school shootings. This one applies directly to violent television.

As earlier stated, kids all around have full access to violent video games and television. This can prove to be bad because as a child develops, they aren’t quite able to tell the difference between reality and fiction.  In the movies like the book of Eli and video games like grand theft auto five, the people don’t have consequences for their actions the way that real people do.  A child could believe that they could do what their favorite television or video game character does.

“I have ultimate control and can do what I want with few real repercussions.” – Ryan van Cleave, former World of Warcraft addict.

How does it Work?... How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock
How does it Work?… How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock

Further, television can promote the idea of violence. There are many popular movies where the main character is a criminal. Many shows are designed in a way that distorts our idea of a hero. Instead of the classic chivalrous hero who saves the innocent, we have characters who are masters of destruction and know gruesome and cruel means to “get the job done.”

Now the question is, does that really cause violence as severe as a school shooting? A majority of perfectly normal people have experienced violent media. Shouldn’t there be a whole lot more school shootings if violence and graphic media are so directly linked?

The truth is that it takes a still developing or unstable brain to see an act of violence and then commit an act of violence as severe as a school shooting. It all goes back to the condition of the brain. Yes, video games and television can help to provoke an act of violence, but it is very rare that it is the sole cause.

However it is not counted out as a possibility for a cause.

“Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman found a statistically significant small-to-moderate-strength relationship between watching violent media and acts of aggression or violence later in life.” – New York Times

Studies show that there are actually some direct correlations between violence and media violence. To look over the evidence yourself you can follow this link to .

Halloween Dance: Drama and Blood Shed?… Story by Miranda Paddack

Halloween Dance: Drama and Blood Shed?


October 30th was filled with blood, sweat, and tears. Actually, it was only filled with sweat from a wonderful dance hosted by the Student Council. This dance had our one and only DJ Paul, a costume contest, and a surprise that was postponed.

“We had a great turn out,” Stated Orion Syth between songs, “We sold nearly 60 tickets!”  According to secretary, Deryk Harlan, the dance made approximately $300 in profit. “The money made from the dance, along with a bit more, are going towards the school Lock-In happening November 10th-11th.”  Along with the turn out number, there was no girl’s bathroom drama.  Not one ounce of drama or backstabbing was reported at this dance. However, buckets and buckets of sweat could have been collected.

The costume contest winners were announced November 2nd. For those who missed it, first place was Jason Snyder, second place went to Samantha Miller and Jacob Colegrove, and best group costume went to Ariel Miller and Sloan Warner. Maybe next year they will have two spots open for best group costume!

A wide variety of music was played, everything from Lip Gloss by Lil Mama to Santeria by Sublime. Ending the dance with the Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show, the student council out-did themselves. Handing out candy and chips at the dance, rocking the decorations, and hosting a, from what I gather a drama free night. They put their best foot forward, but can they step it up for prom?

Words Can Hurt… Story by Catherine Jay

Words Can Hurt

Story By: Catherine Jay

            Bullying. The word itself has been around for years. What do you think when you hear ‘bully’? Many of you probably think of the usual nerd who gets bullied for his money, one of the most common scenarios in movies or books. Bullying really does happen, even if

2012 stats of bullying... This shows the percentage of reported bullying in a high school back in 2012.
2012 stats of bullying… This shows the percentage of reported bullying in a high school back in 2012.

some people don’t want to believe it. There are children, teenagers, adults who suffer from this thing. Bullying isn’t something that’s right, but does that stop it?

            High school. The time in your life where many people are working hard to get into a good college, get their lives in check, find a path they want to go down. So where would bullying fit into this routine? Where would these students find time to bully others? Unlike middle school, high school bullying decreases. However it doesn’t go away. Instead of physical bullying, it’s emotional, verbal, and mental bullying. This type of bullying can be worse than actual physical bullying.

Gays, lesbians, teens with disabilities and teens in certain ethnic groups or who are people of color are often singled out for bullying in high school. This is usually because they are different from the majority in high schools. These teens are getting judged for being different, for being themselves. This can lead to many events such as emotional instability, suicidal thoughts, depression the list can go on, but I will only name a few. There many forms of bullying in schools, but there are ones that are the most known. As mentioned before, high school bullying declines, but it’s not nonexistent.

Physical bullying, such as hitting, kicking, shoving or forced touching, is the easiest form of bullying to identify. Emotional bullying is much more subtle, particularly the usual tactic is to spread malicious rumors about the victim which makes it very difficult to identify the source of the rumors. Other emotional or mental bullying includes making fun of people, isolating them, giving someone the silent treatment, or ignoring them, making them feel like they don’t exist. Emotional bullying usually includes some form of verbal abuse, such as calling the victim fat, ugly, stupid, cursing or laughing at them.

Then there is one of the most cruel and violent ways of bullying. Cyberbullying. This may be one of the most difficult types of bullying to catch and get rid of it. Chat rooms and false email addresses provide a mask to the bully, who can be as horrible and vicious as he or she chooses. Electronic media also allows the bully a wide audience for rumors, innuendo and harassment. Social networking sites, blogs and other forms of web postings can reach millions of people, exposing the victim to further ridicule if other bullies join in.

This is the generation we live in. High school students who appear to have normal everyday stressful lives, may in fact be the victim of some cruel game. The fear of not wanting to tell anyone, the drive of just wanting to end their lives, these teenagers aren’t even able to experience their lives before they may end it. High school students have the highest rate of dropouts and suicide due to the malicious bullying that occurs underneath the watchful eyes of parents, teachers, and peers.

Stop Bullying... People all over the world are being judged and bullied for their differences. Don’t let your child, sibling, or friend become that bully or the bullied.
Stop Bullying… People all over the world are being judged and bullied for their differences. Don’t let
your child, sibling, or friend become that bully or the bullied.

How can we stop these horrible occurrences before they even start? When will the teenagers of our generation be able to go to school without fearing a rumor, a picture, a tweet. The only way we can try and keep these students safe is by raising awareness to the cruelness of teenagers. To help show everyone in schools, jobs, homes, that there are people who care, there are people who are watching out for them. If you are being bullied, or witness someone being bullied at FBCS, please seek out a teacher, principal, or councilor.

You can read more about high school and bullying by following these links;

Are we Over-Vaccinating?… Story by Nina Romanoff

Are We Over Vaccinating?

Is America over vaccinating their children? New studies have shown that the over vaccination of our youth have been leading to weak and compromised immune systems. What if vaccines are doing more harm than they are doing good? Let me introduce you to Sloan Warner. Sloan was vaccinated as a young child for various allergies but instead was burdened with now a life long struggle with allergies. Before the vaccine, which she was administered at age four, she had no. Now she has multiple allergies to cats, pollen, sugar, dust, and a minor gluten allergy. All of these allergies fabricated right after her vaccination. Sloan is only one of millions who have had their immune system compromised by vaccines.

In the mid to late 1890’s a polio vaccination was released for the first time, the consequences were dire. After the release of the faulty vaccine which contained the live polio virus, thousands of children were diagnosed with the disease and many died from complete respiratory failure. Polio is now a thing of the past now that we have working vaccines for it, but only after 2 failed attempts. By looking at the history of vaccines I can safely say that vaccines are not as safe and reliable as we assume. Yes, the science of vaccinations has come quite a long way, but that’s exactly what they thought a hundred years ago. Vaccination is still not reliable, but scientists find the only way to figure whether the vaccine is faulty or not is to inject them directly into us.

Now let me tell you that vaccines have done a load of good to our modern world! Say a 23 year old man has not had the chickenpox yet, let’s call him Steve. The fact that he has not been infected with the virus can be problematic because the severity of the virus will increase with the age of the patient. Steve is worried that he will later in life encounter this seemingly “harmless” virus.  Which as you could imagine would cause a possible life threatening issue in his future. So instead of risking his chances he gets himself a chickenpox vaccination. The vaccine will ensure the absence of chickenpox in his future, but if the vaccine is unsuccessful it will only be a mild case of the virus. A few pox’s here a few pox’s there. The point is that vaccines do as much good if not more good than they do harm.







Reason Behind School Shootings: Part 1… Story by Lauren Stidham

Two decades ago, school shootings were practically unheard of. Today they aren’t by any means a rare occurrence. What is the difference? Why is society so prone to violence now?

Plain and Simple... These are school shootings around the country, as you can see, they are all over especially in the east. Chart by:
Plain and Simple… These are school shootings around the country, as you can see, they are all over especially in the east.
Chart by:

Depression. You hear about it all the time, if you flip on the TV there will likely be a commercial about the newest antidepressant. But what is depression exactly?

“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest…it affects how you feel, think and behave…depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it…Depression often begins in the teens, 20s or 30s…”

– Mayo Clinic

The answer for why depression is so much more common today than

Sad Statistics... These are Statistics of school shootings from 1997 to 2012 as you can see, most of the killers are in fact students.
Sad Statistics… These are Statistics of school shootings from 1997 to 2012 as you can see, most of the killers are in fact students.

in previous years lies in the cause. Depression usually starts because of serious medical illness and a major change in life such as the loss of a loved one or a move. In the present culture, both of these are more prevalent.

Serious illnesses such as cancer are popping up all the time now. If you think about it, a hundred years ago no one was gluten free, dairy free, soy free, or any of that. The world we live in has slowly become more disease-prone.

Things like divorces and separation of families is very ubiquitous in modern culture. Before, things like that were not as acceptable and so it made them atypical. Now they are widely accepted.

So, if the things that cause depression are more regular, that means depression is now more rampant.

Some of the major complications that result from this frequently seen depression include family conflicts, relationship difficulties, and work or school problems. When social aspects of a teen’s life are affected like this, things go wrong. Someone who is having bad relationships all around could be prone to violence.

There are several main types of antidepressants that people can take to ease their symptoms, and while medications can prove to really help, sometimes there can be side effects.

One of the main groups of medication is called Tricyclic antidepressant. According to the Mayo Clinic, Tricyclics have many side effects and many of them are severe. One of these is confusion or disorientation.

When someone is confused or disorientated their perception of reality is blurred. Someone without a clear mind that is watching violence on television or playing violent video games can’t quite decipher between what is real and what is not so they become corrupted by what they see. This sadly ends up in violent thoughts and actions.

Bipolar disorder is another type of depression, it can be treated with a mood-stabilizing medication. These medications seem to work well for the majority and clear up most symptoms after a while. For the minority on the other hand, things don’t go so well.

Shocking Reality... Studies show that 90% of the school shootings were done by people on Pharmaceuticals (medication)
Shocking Reality… Studies show that 90% of the school shootings were done by people on Pharmaceuticals (medication)

“In about 10% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder, antidepressants may cause shifts from depression into a manic episode…mania can cause sleeplessness, sometimes for days, along with hallucinations, psychosis, grandiose delusions, or paranoid rage.” – WedMD

Hallucinations are when you see things that aren’t really there. Psychosis is when you believe things that aren’t true and behave strangely. Grandiose delusions are when you believe something is way bigger or more important than it really is. Paranoid rage is when you see threats that aren’t really there and act violently about them. All of these symptoms can easily lead to a school shooting.

“At least 35 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs” – CCHR International Mental Health Watchdog

So, as you can see, depression can easily be counted as one of the major causes for all these school shootings, and while the medications usually make the patient’s symptoms much better, sometimes these drugs only make matters much worse.

Sandpoint’s Small Town Mayor Race… Story by Charles Harrison

In the news recently there has been some buzz about the Sandpoint mayoral race. The only two candidates for mayor are Shelby Rognstad and Mose Dunkel. In a recent interview with the Sandpoint Reader, the candidates outlined their positions on issues such as the coal trains coming from Montana, legalized cannabis, and our local economy. For instance, Candidate Rognstad opposes the coal trains coming through the area. He cited worry about a spill or derailment, while Candidate Dunkel has stated that he would work with the railroads to keep the trains running smoothly and safely. Interestingly, despite their differences, they are both in favor of the legalization of marijuana. Rognstad called it a waste of police resources and Dunkel said that the ability to use marijuana was a liberty.

Business man... Shelby Rognstad stands in front of the Hive: a music venue that he helped to create.
Business man… Shelby Rognstad stands in front of the Hive: a music venue that he helped to create.

On Shelby’s website gave his political views on a number of issues. He wants to finish the fiber project that would bring ultra-high speed internet to Sandpoint. He also stated that he would improve our recycling program, fix our storm drainage system, and improve our wildfire response by collaborating with other fire regional services. He has also stated that he will improve police training involving subjects with mental health problems.

Ready to coach a new team... Mose Dunkel has been involved in student athletics, including little league baseball and football.
Ready to coach Sandpoint… Mose Dunkel has been involved in
student athletics, including little league baseball and football.

Mose Dunkel’s website outlined his platform through a FAQ and issues page. He stated that one of his goals was to bring government and the people together. He has also vowed to bring transparency to the city government. He also wishes to lower utility costs to low income residents and stimulate the local economy by creating a local business friendly environment. He has also stated that he would like a community college campus here because it would allow people to stay in Sandpoint and train for local jobs.

Both of these people are good, decent candidates. I have a favorite, but in the interest of fairness, I won’t divulge his name. While I disagree with some of their stances on a few issues, I would not be disappointed if either one won. I encourage you to go to their websites, look at the issues, and make the decision for yourselves. And if you are able to go out on November third, do it, because you will be helping to create the community that you want to live in. Bonner Taxi will also be providing free rides to the polls, so you have no reason not to go. Their number is 208-597-FINE.