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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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Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas

By Hammond Green Team Members

The holidays are a time of giving, and nothing is better than gifting something that will not only put a smile on the faces of your loved ones, but that will also help the environment. Sustainable and eco-friendly gifts are a great way to show you care while doing your part to protect the planet.

Now more than ever it is easy to find a unique, thoughtful present that you can feel good about and that will have a lasting positive impact on the earth. A few ideas are listed in our infographic above, and below we highlight the details of three more.

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COVID-19 Testing and Safety Procedures: Dr. DiPaula Comments

By Uma Ribeiro


Pictured above: QR code to register for free COVID-19 testing at Hammond.

The Bear Press sat down with Hammond principal Dr. John DiPaula to ask some pressing questions regarding the increased rates of COVID-19 across Howard County schools, and the procedures that are following this spike in numbers. 

Per directions from the Howard County Health Department, Hammond staff and students are being encouraged to get tested for the virus tomorrow, Friday, December 17th, in the Professional Learning Room. 

The diagnostic is not a rapid test, but rather a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. Those tested would get their results over the weekend. 

“What’ll happen is everyone who is tested [tomorrow] will get the results [on] Saturday. They’ll be notified, and then the school [and] the nurse will be notified. The nurse will get access to the [results] as well as parents unless 18 years old [or older], then [the results] come to you directly,” says Dr. DiPaula. 

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Varsity Field Hockey: Captains and Players Comment on End of Season

By Camille Pendleton

Staff Writer


Pictured above: Hammond Varsity Field Hockey Player, Kate Haber

The Hammond High Varsity Field Hockey Team ended the 2021 season with seven wins and five losses. A majority of those wins came at home. Two were achieved at away games, one being against Long Reach High School on October 7th. The Golden Bears are ranked 7th in the county ahead of Reservoir and Long Reach. 

The senior captain of the team, Isabella (Izzy) Stalnaker attributes those wins to the “team dynamic.”

She says, “…everyone worked well together and created a team we’ve never played like before.” Along with Lauren Johnson, the team is able to play to their full potential and have fun doing so. 

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2021 Season Recap: Boy’s Varsity Soccer

By Alec Hennessy

Staff Writer

Image Source: Scott E’s Blog

After a year online, we are welcoming back the Hammond Men’s Varsity Soccer team. The Bear Press was able to get a look into all the in’s and outs of one of Hammond’s oldest and most well-known teams.

The training is very rigorous and the players are devoted. The team ended the season with a record of 1-13. Though this was a rough start back from virtual school, they still persevered and have a plan to come back stronger next season. 

While many of the Hammond players have been together for years, the Golden Bears started off this year with a new head coach, Hammond alum Elliot Quinteros. 

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