Category Archives: Student Life

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…

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;

The Loss of the Birds…Story By Sherman Peabody

Loving thoughts... Todd honoring the late Birds with flowers students gave.
Loving thoughts… Social Studies teacher Todd Claunch honors the late Birds with the students of Forrest M. Bird Charter School. Photo-by Mr. Webber

This year we lost both Dr. Forrest Bird and Dr. Pamela Bird, two amazing people who contributed greatly to our community. They supported the idea of the “Invention Convention,” a program that allowed kids from around the community to invent new ideas and contraptions with the great inventor, Dr. Forrest Bird. Forrest and Pamela Bird were both “excited to see kids, young inventors, trying new things and expanding their horizons,” according to Mary Jenson. Forrest would give advice to kids as they invented, allowing them to expand their inventing skills. He especially liked interacting with these young inventors, asking them why they did things to their inventions, probing them to think more about their inventions.

Dr. Forrest Bird invented the “Babybird” respirator, a respirator made for infants. He based this invention on a respirator he invented for fighter pilots, so that they could go higher into the atmosphere and still breathe. Because of the hundreds of thousands of lives he saved with the different sizes of respirators he invented and the kind of person he was, our school wanted to be named after him. When asked the first time, Bird declined the offer. The second time, a year later, he responded “I thought they only named schools after dead people!” according to Jenson. Eventually, he said yes, even though he still thought it was weird that we were naming our school after him while he was still alive.

He has been described as “a youth in an old man’s body.” Even when he was wheel-chair bound, ideas seemed to dance behind his eyes as he thought of new ways to look at things. When asked by the Sandpoint Magazine editor Billie Jean Plaster if he thought he was eccentric, he stated,

“Eccentricity. Well, I guess the definition of course is “out of the usual” or something by Webster. But no, I don’t think I’m really that. I have my own way of doing things, and I like my privacy. I like to remain alone. And I like certain friends. Certain people annoy me, others don’t. Same way with music, all the way through. I’m not anti-social, but I’m not a nightclubber either on that basis. And I think I’ve had the same friends just about all my life. As far as eccentricity goes, I think anybody that doesn’t probably conform to everything, every day might be called a little bit eccentric.”

 Forrest M. Bird was a thinker, and he had a great heart.

Where Forrest was a great thinker, Pamela was the heart. She was dynamic, founding many foundations including Innovative Product Technologies Incorporated, Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center, and was the president of the Inventors Association of Idaho. She had a strong personality, taking an air of authority wherever she went. Yet she was also approachable, as Jenson describes. “For me, she also offered things to me like ‘Hey Mary, call me when you want some advice,’ and ‘if you need some help on something, just let me know.’ She was always very open, and that was awesome.”

Walk of Memories... Students were taken out of class to participate in a school parade in honor of the late Birds.
Walk of Memories… Students given an opportunity to pay their respects for Dr. Pamela Bird in a silent, reflective school march in honor of the late Birds and surviving family members.  Photo-by Mr. Webber

Some people think that the Birds were giving money to the school, which is false. What they did do was the area around the flag, and the school sign in front of the High School. He was a great patriot, and believed in America and how fortunate we are to live here. He served our country in several wars, and wanted to make sure that we remembered to honor our country. They came to speak at graduations and gave a scholarship every year, but that was everything that they did monetarily for this school. According to Jenson, naming the school after Forrest Bird was about honoring these two amazing people, not about the money.

Battle of the Paddles… By Alistair King

Why Pong? Why not! For the last couple of trimesters at the Forrest Bird Charter School there have been several rugged tables of entertainment. These have been a Table Tennis or “Ping Pong” and a Foosball table. Many people have been enjoying these benefits and

Masterful Make-Up… The Ping Pong table features the latest in ugly faces.
Masterful Make-Up… The Foosball table features the latest in ugly faces.

keep playing day after day.

Recently, the Charter schools PTECH program has moved out the building and left an empty area. This has now been filled with the new Rec Room! The tables are now sitting comfortably along with a few other activities for everyone’s enjoyment. This has been a big boost for morale. Even the students have declared competitions among themselves.

For the Foosball table there has been the self-proclaimed “Top Three.” These are the local students Becky Brennaman, Coleman Vaughn, and Orion Syth. Why they only chose three has been a mystery to everyone seeing as there are four slots on a foosball table. But these are not necessarily the only great players. Many other people play during the mornings, at lunch, and after school. These players have nearly the same amount of skill but don’t care about the title of the top three.

While there has been no mention of the best among the ping pong table, there is still a definite knowledge of who knows the game. Ryan Zimmerle is seen around the Ping Pong table quite a bit with Damian Fitzpatrick, Carson Newton, and several other players.

How did we get these tables and these privileges? Teacher Chris Goodwin brought in the foosball table last year and is glad to see its getting some use. This year when students came into the school they were surprised by the new Ping Pong table. This was brought in as a present for the High Schools administrator Mary Jensen. She was in a generous mood and decided to give it to the students of the charter school.

Now we get to the Rec Room. For several years student council has been pushing for a room dedicated to the students. One teacher has been pushing rather for the teacher’s area to be moved out of the uncommon and into a better location for events. This was changed when they realized they were the only one and decided to allow the area for the students. The battle is now over… The students won when the teachers got sick of the loud noises and distractions that the tables caused in the middle of the school and were looking for an area to remove that. This was perfect when PTECH moved to Mountain West Bank.

Welcome to the Yard… after a long battle students now have their own Rec room.

This area is a little blocked off and the teachers are running a prolonged experiment to see if the students are trustworthy enough to have their own Rec Room. Only time will tell if the room will stay; for all the students out there… Don’t mess this up big time.

You can help keep the Rec Room alive and well by following the times that are allowed. These are before school 7:30-8:00, during lunch 11:35, after school: 3:10-3:30, and any other non-regular allowed times. (ie. Game Club, extended lunches, ect.) Also please respect the equipment and the times allowed to be in there or it will ruin the fun for everyone else.

Third Trimester: The End of the World?… Story by Miranda Paddack

Everyone is talking about the end of the world: CERN, climate change, the blood moon, etc.; however, no one is talking about Third Trimester at FBCHS. Who would be talking about Third Trimester anyway? Christmas break is still 32 school days away!

Magnificent Art... Innovation at work. Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Magnificent Art… Innovation at work. Photo-by Miranda Paddack

After collaborating with the High School staff, Mary Jenson has put project-based learning in motion for third-trimester, “We want to make third-trimester fun,” stated Mary. No midterm or final just one project, with a catch nonetheless. Innovation, this theme has been the idea since the baby stages. This theme was originated to honor our schools namesake, Dr. Bird.  The recent death of Mr. and Mrs. Bird makes this a wonderful tribute to their lives.

What is project-based learning? Project based learning is a type of teaching method in which students spend an extended period researching one topic. The focus of our final trimester will be innovation; the project we decide to create will be worked on in nearly all classes, the classes also be focused on this topic. For example, the history class could be about the history of innovation and science classes about innovating something. Group or single, you can pick your “team” in study lab. The project will count for a part of all your grades, completion of this project is your key to passing.

Forrest M. Bird Charter... Can we live up to our name? Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Forrest M. Bird Charter… Can we live up to our name? Photo-by Miranda Paddack

The students and staff are being challenged third-trimester to innovate the world in which we live. To look at the problems of this world and to solve them with real life answers in our projects.  This could be the most innovative form of education our world has ever seen.

The School News is Back?…Story by Catherine Jay

Getting our news... Mr. Webber is helping us find topics for our third batch of stories. Photo-by Catherine Jay
Getting our news… Mr. Webber is helping us find topics for our third batch of stories. Photo-by Catherine Jay

Rising from the flames, the Bird Eye News is finally back in business! Our school’s newspaper is something that has been known to ‘die’ it gets dropped from the classes offered because of the enrollment being too low and Mr. Webber’s need to offer more history electives. But now it’s taking a different turn. The end result is for the class to hopefully manage itself like a club. Being able to run the website, handle updates, and keeping up with all the news. Will we be able to handle it? That’s what this trimester will decide.

The Bird Eye News is the high school newspaper that was started in 2013 by Mark Webber and the journalism class at the time. This actually wasn’t the first time he had started a school paper. In 2011 there was a high school and middle school paper that didn’t do too well. It was far more expensive due to the fact that they printed out a physical paper. So in order to make it better, they changed it from the expensive paper publications to be strictly an online newspaper. Good choice. Thus, the birth of the Bird Eye News. This was created because Mr. Webber wanted the students of FBCHS to have a voice to report the news by keeping others informed about events happening around the student body and the community of Sandpoint.

Hard at work… Orion Syth is hard at work trying to make our website interesting and new.
Hard at work… Orion Syth is hard at work trying to make our website interesting and new. Photo-by Colleen Kindred

However, the Bird Eye News hasn’t always gone smoothly. No, in fact it’s met many bumps in the road. The high school paper went dormant as well which showed that it may not have been successful. However that’s not the case. Mr. Webber soon explained in the interview why the paper went dormant once again. “The Bird Eyes News died, or should I say went dormant, because of a need for me as a teacher to offer more history electives to meet the eight history credit requirements the school has for graduation. I am hoping that this year I could continue with the great staff I have into another trimester. If that doesn’t happen, I am hoping the staff will keep the online news site alive as a club”

Being required to teach core classes resulted in the paper becoming dormant a couple times before it was brought back this year. Having a main goal in mind, Mr. Webber and his class are striving to maintain the journalism class and keep the news alive. However, there are still some concerns that Mr. Webber holds for the future of this class. “My main concerns when starting the paper again was would I find motivated students who would see the freedom of the press as an important right to exercise and really commit to the class and the continual need to publish new stories.” The future of the paper will hopefully turn into a club if the class’ enrollment doesn’t increase.

The future of the Bird Eye News rests on the shoulders of the student body. Will we be able to keep it running for as long as we can? Will it become dormant once this trimester ends? Well, that’s the hard part about this class. Nobody knows, but if we try our hardest to keep the journalism class active and the Bird Eye News going, then maybe we can discover new and interesting things. So, in your spare time, why not read some of our articles. Perhaps after reading one, you might consider joining journalism as well.

Yearbook most likely to come back to life! … Story by Lauren Stidham

This year Annika Hinds and Alison White are bringing back the school yearbook.

Yearbook is an art and a science... Alison White works on her physics project in science class, but during her personal time, she and her friend Annika Hinds are creating the school's yearbook. Photo-by Lauren Stidham
Yearbook is an art and a science… Alison White works on her physics project in science class, but during her personal time, she and her friend Annika Hinds are creating the school’s yearbook. Photo-by Lauren Stidham

They want to bring it back because they miss being able to sit down with friends and look back at the highlights of the school year. Students would have no way to take memories into their hands and reflect upon them after the year is over. The school has no other records of the year’s highlights outside of the yearbook. The yearbook is also important to them because it will help grow their artistic skills.

White and Hinds are setting up a yearbook committee. They want two or three students that are willing to help them make this happen. They are recruiting people via email applications and are accepting applications September 29th through October 2nd. This new committee will be put to work designing the book, taking pictures, marketing, and writing summaries on events.

But it isn’t just Hinds and White that are bringing the yearbook back to life! They will need us students to take part in the “most likely to…” vote. “We need communication from students to make this happen.” White says when asked what the challenges of making the yearbook will be. The reason why yearbooks have died in the past is because lack of effective marketing and student response. The way we can help keep it alive as a student body this year is by actually purchasing it. A yearbook can be beautifully designed and filled with great memories, but still die because nobody buys it. “In past years, the yearbook has failed due to lack of motivation from the students.” Hinds explains.

So, will the yearbook come back to life? It sounds like that is really up to you and I.


See previous issue from 2013: The Yearbook is on Life Support! Keep Trying or Pull the Plug?: Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie