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Beauty and the Beast

By Liya Kebede
Staff Writer

Beauty and the Beast is a beloved fairy-tale that originated from France and was written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. The story, after going through multiple rewrites, has stood the test of time, resulting in many altered versions. 251 years later, Walt-Disney Pictures made their own remake of the historical tale and turned it into a romantic, musical childrens film.


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Beauty and the Beast will hit theaters on March 17, 2017 Photo Credit: Google Images

Now, on March 17, 2017, Disney will recreate their own version of Beauty and the Beast as a live-action film, starring Emma Watson, the British actress most well known for her role as Hermione in Harry Potter, as Belle; The Beast will be played by Dan Stevens, who has starred in shows like Downton Abbey. There is currently a debate going on about whether or not a live action adaptation is necessary or appropriate. Director Bill Condon says, “I wouldn’t say we’re changing the story so much as sort of making connections that, in a lot of cases, were right under the surface.” The argument is split everywhere, including at our very own Hammond High School.


Freshman Sam Mercedes says he “doesn’t have a problem with [the adaption], but it will never come close to the animation.” This is the opinion many people on social media are sharing as well. However, there is a counter-argument: Trinity Addo, sophomore, says “I think live action films are just fun to watch[…] animated movies being made into live action movies are interesting.”

Another point, brought up by senior Johely Jimenez, is that animations are predominantly catered towards children, while with a live action film, “…adults can see it too.” While feelings about the new Beauty and the Beast film are split, there remains some Disney classics that almost everyone wants to see made into live action films.

Abby Richards, freshman, comments “[I] would really like to see Tangled just to see the visual effects… I think it’d be really cool.” Many more students also said Tangled would be their top pick, but Mulan and Brave were also brought up multiple times.

More live action Disney films are in the talks of production, like The Lion King and The Jungle Book 2. Jon Favreau, the director of The Jungle Book live action film that was released in 2016, is the planned director for both new productions. In terms of box-office success, The Jungle Book did amazing during the opening weekend, grossing 103.6 million dollars in the U.S alone. It broke the $900 million mile-stone with worldwide sales, proving it to be a success.

A sequel to the film is currently in the planning stages, as well as a new live action version of The Lion King. Favreau commented on many people’s concerns about how the new film will be produced, saying in an interview with Haleigh Foutch of the Collider, “[The Lion King] comes [with] such a tremendous responsibility because you don’t want to do anything that undermines people’s connection to the original, which is so wonderful.”


School Lunch May be Getting a Little Saltier

School lunch could be changing drastically. An article published by CNN on March 14, 2017, discusses the possibility of Republican lawmakers under the Trump administration repealing one of previous First Lady Michelle Obama’s main accomplishments: the healthy school lunch legislation. This legislation was enacted throughout school systems beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, causing upset among disgruntled schoolchildren and Republicans alike. The School Nutrition Association has proposed that these regulations be cut back, and many believe that the current administration under President Trump is likely to act upon these proposals.

Students at Hammond were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the Trump administration taking action against Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch legislation:




“The justifications for repealing it is only to save money and it’s at the expense of the students’ health. On the one hand you want them to choose but at the same time if there are no options then you’re not doing them any better.”

-Tony Terrasa 12th



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The Epic Fails of Awards Shows

By Kayla Hendershot
Staff Writer

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Warren Beatty scrambles to explain the mix-up to the audience. Credit: BBC

On February 26, the 2017 Oscar Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, had one of the most epic fails during an awards show. Warren Beatty, one of the awards presenters, looked at the card confusingly, but Faye Dunaway, thinking that Beatty’s confusion was a comedic bit,  presented the award for Best Picture to the 2016 film La La Land. The award was actually supposed to go the the 2016 film, Moonlight.  The cast and producers of La La Land were presenting their speeches, when finally Fred Berger corrected the mistake, and Moonlight was awarded.  

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Hour of Code Told Through Tweets

Freshman, Zion Flowers, is new to learning about code and thinks coding is important for making games and fixing computers!

“This drone is pretty neat! I was so scared it was going to get stuck in my hair!” ~Bethany Hewitt

Freshman, Riley Jones doesn’t know much about coding but “respects how much money those who code make.”

“Coding is a part of today’s society. Everything from your TV to your phone is coded. Coding is a necessity” says Johnny Tapia

“It teaches kids about problem solving” Preston Williams, comp sci student, on the importance of Hour of Code

Mr. Kostrick and Preston Williams think the is so important so Hammond’s students can see the awesome work they have done!

Mr. L controls a drone!

Students in the back lab enjoy an Hour of Code activity with Mr. Petran. Come down and participate!

Transgender Students: Playing a Sport of their Choice

By Alexis Kujawa
Staff Writer

Being part of the LGBT community is hard enough to be in, with being discriminated against through words and actions of others. If you are transgender or part of the community, it is very hard to apply for jobs or apply for college.


The official flag of the transgender community. Credit: Google Images

There is much behind being transgender. Each person is born with an either XX or XY chromosomes. That is your determined sex. What most people don’t know, is that gender and sex are two different things. Sex is determined by the chromosomes and DNA your parents gave you. Gender is being either male or female. Even though scientists have not been able to find an exact cause of being transgender, their studies have been able to show that part of it is possibly genetics and part of being in the womb. (WebMd)

There is much to know about being transgender, which is a big cause of why transgender people are being discriminated against. This can cause distress, anxiety, and depression. Some people also believe that the mismatch between the internal sense of gender and the body’s physical sex is a mental illness, but it is not. (WebMd)

In order to be transgender, a person would have to go through symptoms for least six months. Some of the symptoms for kids are: having lots of friends of the opposite gender, telling people they are the opposite gender even though they have body parts of the opposite gender, and believing that they will grow up to be the opposite gender. (WebMd)

Something very hard for people in the transgender community is being able to play the sport that they want. According to, certain high school sports will not accept people who are transgender without certain documents (depending on the state), in the particular sport the person wants to play. Only 15 states, including Maryland, allow transgender individuals play the sport of their choosing without any verification.

Howard County is partners with Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG), which helps educate others on what it is like being part of the LGBT community. This helps students who go to Howard County schools be more included in their school community.

Because high school sports and activities are an important aspect of high school, being able to choose the club/sport of their choosing is very important to the person. When asked if she would be comfortable about a transgender person trying out for the Hammond basketball team, Fatima Shaikh, a freshman, said “Yeah, I would be comfortable. I wouldn’t mind. Well, mainly because it doesn’t matter how they identify and that shouldn’t matter.”

Sydney Phillips, a junior varsity field hockey midfielder, said of the topic, “..There are actually people into it, there are people who go for it and then there are those people who say they are but they actually aren’t, but if you go for it, then yeah.

From a coach’s perspective, Coach Reid, coach for the Varsity Girls’ basketball team and Freshman volleyball, said “I really don’t have a specific opinion. But looking statistically at the power and the strength of a male compared to a female, I do know that from teaching. There are differences in the muscular structures and the amount of strength a male has as opposed to a female. So I think that won’t be necessarily fair. However, you also have other things that would be considered as far as chemicals and balance of that nature…so I think there’s a lot to be studied before that happens.”

People at Hammond seem opening and accepting if anyone would want to join their sports team of their choosing, which helps transgenders feel more accepted.