A Final Update of Hammond Performances and Showcases

The Expected Releases from the Performing Arts Department This Spring

By Isabel Sinnott

A&E Editor

“Miss Gender” logo from the play written by Keche Arrington and set to be performed by the Hammond theatre department

As the 2020-2021 school year draws to a close, the arts department at Hammond has started to work on a few final performances and showcases. The theatre, dance and music programs have all worked on different performances and acts throughout the second semester, and as there is just about a month left before seniors leave, and a month and a half until the end of the year, the various performances should soon be released to the rest of the school.

The theatre department has several different shows in progress, the first being Miss Gender, which has started being recorded and is planned to be released on May 17. Miss Gender is a fun play that stars senior Avery Moe in the lead role of Lou and has a strong 14 person cast, and has been in the works for several months by students in ITS and the rest of the theatre department, with a trailer set to be released in the next few days.

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Biden Administration Immigration Reform

Leaana Khan

Co-Editorials Editor

Image Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Rio Grande Valley Sector

During his campaign, Joe Biden made many promises to resolve issues surrounding immigration and border policy. While his administration has certainly acted on a lot of these promises, a good portion of them remain unfulfilled or incomplete. A select few have even been completely disregarded by the administration.

One of the biggest upsets from the Trump administration was the separation of migrant children from their families. The Biden campaign made the task of reuniting these families one of their top priorities during the election. They established a task force dedicated to finding the families of these children. However, as of April 2021, none of the families separated under Trump have been reunited. While it seems easy to blame the Biden administration for this major shortcoming, the reason that no families have been reunited stems from problems during the Trump administration. 

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An Intro to Spring Sports

By Sarah Linthicum

Sports Editor

Pictured Above: Coach Holly with Hammond’s Lacrosse Team

With the fall season in the books, Hammond athletes and coaches have begun preparing for the exciting upcoming spring season. Tryouts officially began on April 17, and the season will continue throughout May, and finish up in June. Seeing as Hammond was able to have a safe and successful fall season, athletes and coaches can remain hopeful for a successful spring season as well. 

Girls JV Lacrosse Coach, Mrs. Holly shares she is looking forward to, “just being together especially since we missed out on our last season.” This season is especially rewarding after athletes and coaches unfortunately were unable to participate in a spring season this time last year.

Mrs. Holly further shared that in their off-season the team had been participating in, “weekly Google meets where we’ve played Jackbox games, done mindfulness art, wrote thank you notes to people working, and looked for volunteer opportunities and more.” She explained that weekly workouts were also sent out to athletes along with their Google meet check-ins. 

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A Preview of this Year’s Culture Fest

By Halimah Kargbo

Features Editor

Hammond’s Culture Fest 2019

Hammond is still making attempts to hold true to traditions even in the online school setting. Culture Fest, a cultural showcase event that usually takes place in early spring, is moving online this year as well. This year’s Culture Fest is a completely different approach to what Hammond has been used to in previous years. In prior years, it was a two-day event, with a potluck dinner the night before and in school the next day, a showcase of poster boards, cultural attire, dances, and more. But, for the 2020-2021 school year, things had to be adjusted.

“We are hoping to have students submit pictures and videos,” Hammond Spanish teacher Ms. Hart says. “Our goal is to take those submissions and put them into a slideshow.”

In terms of submissions, they are looking for different displays of culture from students and staff. That includes videos, music, dancing, pictures, recipes, interesting information, and more along those lines. Ms. Hart has coordinated Hammond’s Culture Fest in previous years and has been trying to get more students to participate in the event this year as well. However, there have been a limited number of people reaching out. 

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Senior Fest: Class of 2021 Reflects

By Marissa Yelenik

Online Editor

On April 29, the Class of 2021 Senior Class Council put on the Senior Festival. This festival was put on in lieu of prom’s cancellation due to COVID-19, and included many games, prizes, and other fun activities for the seniors that chose to attend.

Many of the seniors that participated in the festival were appreciative of the experience despite the new difficult format, with Catie Ward saying “I think they did an amazing job setting up for the event and providing fun activities for everyone.”

Ana Coman added “I think there could have been more activities, but overall it was nice to socialize with people and to play some of the games… I wanted to see friends from school that I haven’t talked to in a long time, and to talk to some of my teachers from last semester.” 

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The Disappearance of Cieha A. Taylor

Gabrielle Fernandez

Staff Editor

Pictured Above: Official Missing Person’s flier 

Cieha A. Taylor is a vibrant, loving, bubbly, and charming individual who grew up in Florida with her mom, dad, and sister. A person who would help you no matter what and be a loyal friend, a loving daughter, and a doting sister. What exactly happened to Cieha Taylor and why has no progress in the case been made? 

On February 6, 2020 Cieha Taylor dropped her boyfriend, his friend, and uncle off at their house around 4:00 PM with the intent to go to her friend’s house right afterwards, but that was the last time anyone physically saw her. 

The same day a citizen called to inform police about an abandoned car on the railroad tracks on Trapnell road. The individuals originally believed it was just a broken down car but upon closer inspection, the car was running and facing northbound on the tracks with the doors wide open. For some odd reason when the police showed up on the scene, they believed there was no foul play and secured it on the side of the road. 

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Refugee Resettlement and Acceptance: A Roundtable Discussion with Former International Rescue Committee President, George Rupp

Pictured Above: Ngun Par, Andrew Oh, and Helen Sgouros having a discussion with former IRC President George Rupp

By Uma Ribeiro

Editor-in-Chief 

On March 27th, Hammond junior class SGA president Ngun Par was part of a discussion with former president of the International Rescue Committee (from 2002-2013) and current visiting scholar and adjunct professor at Columbia University, George Rupp, through a Zoom video call. Par, who escaped the Burmese military and immigrated to the United States as a refugee, has personal experience with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The organization helped her family immigrate to the United States in November 2007. 

Par is one of the Executive Directors of the English Kids to Kids and Bridging Cultures (EK2KBC) program. She, as well as volunteer Andrew Oh and mentor and EK2KBC co-founder Helen Sgouros, had the opportunity to ask Rupp questions about his personal experiences which led to his work helping refugees. They discussed their personal experiences as well. Given the current situation in Myanmar, in which the military is brutally killing peaceful protesters following the sudden military coup, the discussion Par, Oh, and Sgouros had with Rupp is more relevant than ever. 

The three of them discussed Rupp’s time working as president of the IRC (which is a partner of EK2KBC) in an interview that was just over an hour long. The two highly-accomplished high school students and mentor Helen Sgouros engaged in a lively discussion with George Rupp. Outlined below are the contents of the conversation: 

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Jackie Robinson and His Impact on Baseball

By Jordan Rodriguez 

Staff Writer

Baseball is one of the oldest sports in America’s history. It always consisted of the same rules and the same type of players until April 15, 1947 when Jackie Robinson, at age 28, debuted his first major league game for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier in major league baseball. He was the first African American in the majors, and by the end of the 1947 season he was named the Rookie of the Year. By the end of his entire career, he was a six time all star, a World Series winner in 1955, and the first ballot Hall of Famer in 1962. 

With all that Jackie Robinson did for baseball and that community he had been celebrated for his courage since 2004 on the day he played his first game in the majors. The commissioner at the time, Doug Selig, retired his jersey number, number 42. By 2009, all teams within the major leagues would wear his number on Jackie Robinson Day. With each sale of a 42 logo baseball cap, it would get donated to the Jackie Robinson foundation which is a national organization founded by his wife in 1973 to conserve his legacy and his achievements, it provides college and graduate school scholarships for motivated students of color. Since the introduction of Jackie Robinson Day, the MLB and “30 clubs have contributed approximately $20 million to the foundation,” as reported by Newsweek.

The Player Alliance is a non-profit organization founded by present and former MLB players. They seek to bridge the gap of racial inequality and improve the representation of black Americans in baseball. “On April 15, we honor Jackie Robinsonas the first player to break the color barrier, a reminder there is still much work to be done in our game.” This was said by the president of the Player Alliance, Curtis Granderson. Those in the organization on the day of Jackie Robinson Day donated either their full or partial game day salaries, they raised over 1 million dollars last year. The organization consists of 143 current and former players that have raised 41.7 million dollars so far that have been donated to black communities. They want to change the diversity through baseball, be inclusive within baseball and the community, and provide great opportunities in black communities on and off the field. 

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Ingenuity Takes Flight on Mars

By Daniel Mapemba

Staff Writer

The Mars rover, Perseverance, landing safely on Mars on February 18 this year was a momentous occasion. Arguably the detachment and subsequent flight of its 19-inch piggy-backing helicopter, Ingenuity, was an even more exciting event. On April 3, the helicopter was deployed (detached), and on April 19 the copter took to the Martian skies, hovering three meters in the air for approximately 30 seconds. Live-streaming video to NASA three hours later confirmed Ingenuity’s success. The flight was power-controlled from sonar panels on the back of the Perseverance rover. The flight provided data on the differences in gravitational force between Mars and Earth (one-third of Earth’s) and the atmospheric conditions on Mars.

NASA explained, “This means there are relatively few air molecules with which Ingenuity’s two 4-foot-wide (1.2-meter-wide) rotor blades can interact to achieve flight.” Ingenuity is made up from unique parts that were tested by this flight to see if it can hold up in space.

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Gun Violence, A Preventable Situation

By Allison Diaz and Erin Peters

Staff Writers

Gun control advocates nervous as Supreme Court takes up first 2nd Amendment  case in a decade
Image Source: NBC News

Why are weapons of war being sold to people? If bearing guns are to protect ourselves, why do we hold more fear instead? It saddens us to see people getting murdered and wounded due to gun violence, especially since it is something our government can prevent with stricter gun regulations. 

About 50 mass shootings have been reported in the United States since March 16, where eight people were murdered and one injured in shootings that took place in three Atlanta-area spas. And in the past few weeks, there have been a hefty amount of mass shootings. More than eight people were killed and numerous people have been wounded. 

In Chicago, Illinois, a seven year old girl was killed after being shot multiple times at a McDonald’s drive-thru lane. Her dad was shot in the torso and is in serious condition. No one is in custody but the shooting is under investigation. 

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