Category: Editorials

China: former friend but current foe?

By Alec Hennesy

Staff writer

Pictured above: Xi Jinping, leader of China

China has been in the news a lot. Whether it is over trade embargoes or Hong Kong Protests, or even a genocide allegation in the Xinjiang desert, China has been a familiar face on news outlets across the globe. Frequently becoming heavily criticized by most sides of the media, China has been more covered than Russia in recent times, and usually not in a positive light. 

This coverage begs the question: is all of this hate justified? Is China a misunderstood country or are they the new top threat to the U.S.? 

Is China friend or foe?

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Just or Belligerent Behavior?

The Shooting of Richard Lee Richards

By Joseph Gray IV

Staff Writer

Pictured above: 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards

In Arizona, a tragic event unfolded in front of a Walmart that left 61-year-old Richard Lee Richards dead at the scene. 

Richards, a disabled man in a motorized wheelchair, was shopping at Walmart when he allegedly swiped a toolbox and attempted to leave the store without paying, reported by the New York Post. Ryan Remington, the on-duty officer on assignment at the Tucson Walmart, was alerted of the alleged shoplifting.

Remington approached Richards in the parking lot, asking to see his receipt. According to Police Chief Chris Magnus as reported by CNN, when asked to show his receipt, “Instead of providing the receipt, Mr. Richards brandished a knife and said, ‘Here’s your receipt.’” 

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How Do Students Feel About School Lunch?

Students comment on HCPSS school lunch options 

By Morgan Prater

Staff Writer

Pictured above: one serving of HCPSS school lunch

Many students that go to a Howard County Public School have had the school lunch and have noticed the loss of variety in the options this year. A couple years ago, schools used to have more options including cookies, sparkling water, barbeque subs, and nachos.

Now, it seems like the lunch options are always the same. There only appears to be pizza and chicken nuggets and occasionally, mozzarella sticks. There is nothing wrong with these options, but there is no more variety. 

Another problem with the lunch is the portion sizes. Many students feel as though they aren’t receiving enough food for lunch. This is unfortunate considering the fact that for some people, this is their only meal of the day. The reason for small portion sizes is most likely because of Covid-related health risks and problems with getting more shipments of food in stock.

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The Problem with Movie Adaptations

By Akil Brathwaite

Staff Writer

Image Source:

Movie adaptations of novels, comics, and classic TV shows are a very popular type of project in Hollywood these days. Ask someone what their favorite movie is, and I’m sure you could find a decent amount of people whose favorite movie is a movie adaptation – the Harry Potter movie series, for example, is very successful for multiple reasons, like how it took a very beloved book series and turned it into a mostly well-received movie series that allowed fans to see their favorite characters and plotlines on the big screen.

The reason why it’s such a good movie adaptation is because it stayed faithful to the source material while also giving platforms for child actors and adapting it into a different form of media.

Sophomore Tia Tura felt similarly about the adaptations. “[My favorite movie adaptation is] Harry Potter because there are very little differences [compared to the books].” She elaborated, “The main character’s personalities were captured well, actions taken were the same, even if situations differed, and the way Harry interacted with the characters was the same.” 

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Opinion: Your essay is not real writing

Formal writing fails to use the potential of creative elements in order to be effective in today’s world

By Nathan Hefty

Staff writer

Formal writing is a staple of the academic and professional world; whether you’re writing an essay, an email, or reporting scientific findings to the public in an article, formal writing follows you everywhere. It is promoted as the most effective way to organize and express ideas.

These are bold claims that most writers and readers in modern times can’t relate with. Formal writing needs to be updated to meet all the potential writing has.  

No matter what you’re writing and if it’s academic or professional, there are some uniting rules for formal writing. A writer shouldn’t use first or second person to sound objective, avoid abbreviations and contractions to seem thorough, and eliminate slang to be professional.

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Stairs, They’re Always Up To Something

The Controversial Rising Star: The Staircases

By Joseph Lee

Backpage Editor

Pictured above: One of Hammond’s new staircases following renovations

After the Hammond renovation, there was a certain excitement that the student body had about coming back to school. It had been years of advocating, and the Hammond community wanted the renovation to finally happen. It being held off by the school board mixed with the previous year being all virtual, we couldn’t wait to see what was new with the building.

With the school being one story for so long, the new stairs and upper level helped set the renovation into reality. From a new hallway to new classes, it was an exciting start to the year. 

The classes on the upper level were where all the new English and English-related classes, like Yearbook and Journalism, were. Since Hammond High School requires English classes to be taken every year to graduate, that means every student, unless taking an HCC course, has to enroll for at least one. This also means they always have to use the stairs every year and if they want to take an extra English elective, they are going upstairs several times a day. 

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NFL Taunting: Why is it a problem?

By Eli Glenn    

Staff Writer

Image Source: USA Today

A big topic of conversation in football this year was the National Football League’s new rules regarding taunting penalties. The NFL defines taunting as “…baiting or taunting acts or words that may engender ill will between teams.”

There have been cases of taunting in the past in the National Football League, like when Tyreek Hill threw up the peace sign at the Tampa Bay Bucs defense while running into the end zone for a 75 yard pass from Patrick Mahomes.

For this small act he was fined almost $8,000. He then did the same thing against the Denver Broncos and was fined $10,000. All of these fines were before the NFL taunting rule that in addition to the fine, there will be a 15 yard penalty for players.

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Why “Radio Music” Is Problematic and How We Can Make It Better

A feature in every car has to warrant some use…

By Izzy Harper

Staff Writer

Best Android Auto head unit car stereos for 2021 - Roadshow

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Ever since music began to be shared over the airwaves, all of the top songs have been played for all the world to experience. It sounds good on paper, but there’s an ongoing problem in radio music selection; it relies on the fact that only songs that have received copious amounts of acclaim have been played. 

Only the ones that have gathered millions of sales and streams, with no room for lesser known artists in the spotlight. Since there are so few of these songs, they’re all played “ad nauseum” across pop music frequencies! Not to mention that songs as successful as these have been used in other media to an unending extent. 

Tastes in music are ever-changing, and more of the same songs are bound to get old. That’s why I ask for one thing when it comes to the radio: take your advertisement of “variety” seriously, and play some music by artists that aren’t already millionaires!

There are songs frequently used on popular social media sites like TikTok, Youtube, and Instagram that you would never hear on the radio, and they’ve been used thousands of times. So why refuse to play them? 

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Afghanistan Suffers Again: Hammond Students and Teachers Comment on the Taliban’s Return to Power

By Zahraa Aslam

Staff Writer

A U.S. general warned the Taliban to stay out of Kabul or be bombed. The  Taliban rolled into Kabul anyway.

Image source:

Afghanistan is in danger again. The Taliban took control over Kabul on August 15th, 2021. This is the second time the Taliban has taken over. The first time the Taliban took over was from 1996 to 2001. They made sure women had little to no rights. Among the many constrictions, women were not able to go to school, they could not work or go out in public without a man escorting them, and they had to fully cover their bodies. 

When the Taliban first took control, they caused the 9/11 attack. Now that the Taliban has taken over again, they changed up their rules. People cannot leave Afghanistan, women can learn, but only if they have a female teacher, and they have to go to an all-female school. 

The people of Afghanistan don’t have a voice: if they speak up against the Taliban, they could be punished or even killed. Despite all that’s happening, the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, fled and left his people behind in danger, but he wasn’t the only one. 

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In-Person vs. Online Learning

Breaking down the pros and cons at Hammond

By Ali Ahmed

Staff Writer

Pictured above: Students using their laptops to complete assignments in Ms. Stocklin’s AP English class.

As of August 30, 2021 Howard County Public School Systems has returned to in-person learning. This jump from online learning to in-person learning has caused many students and teachers to have to quickly adapt to a new lifestyle they had not seen for almost two full years. 

Hammond High School students and teachers harbor strong opinions on the ongoing debate between online school and in-person school. 

Hammond seniors Devon Yeckley, Hussain Masood, and Bennett Freeman all agreed that in-person school was more enjoyable by far.

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