Category: News

Mask Mandate and In-Person Learning: Hammond Community Members Weigh-In

By Logan Forrest

Staff Writer

Pictured above: Mask mandate signs posted on Hammond’s front doors.

On Tuesday, September 14th, lawmakers voted in favor of a statewide mandate that requires masks to be worn in schools at all times, except for if outside at sports events or walking. The requirement of face-coverings in Maryland was made to protect the health and safety of teachers, school staff, students, and families.

Masks reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, regardless of if an individual is vaccinated or not. Folks who aren’t vaccinated are especially encouraged to wear a mask in public places.

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Spirit Week 2021: Here’s What You Need to Know

Your guide to spirit week 2021.

By Kevin Barry

Staff Writer

Last year due to COVID-19 we saw spirit week in a way we’ve never seen it before, offering some new and old events such as field day, the infamous pizza wars, foodie Friday, and virtual trivia. Obviously not all of those events were able to run last year as they normally would, but now that we’re back in person, spirit week is back on full blast!

After the voting of more than 400 students, this year’s spirit week theme is Disney Plus! The goal of “pre-spirit week” was to prepare the underclassmen for the real thing, but here at Hammond spirit week is something that you don’t know the severity of until it begins. With that being said, let’s get into some of the things that you’ll need to know.

On Friday the 1st, spirit week is getting a little preview with Pajama day and then the following week is when the real celebration begins. Hammond Students voted on the possible days, resulting in the following: Monday (Decades Day), Tuesday (Wacky Tacky Day), Wednesday (Twin Day), Thursday (Theme Day), and finishing it off on Friday (Class Color Day). Class colors are as follows: seniors (Yellow), juniors (Red), sophomores (Black), freshmen (White). Pizza wars is scheduled for Monday the 1st (Same day as Decades Day) and all proceeds will go to help out the sophomore class.

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Kamloops Residential School Mass Grave

By Bella Kaguyutan 

Staff Writer

Apology issued after removal of Victoria memorial for Kamloops victims |  Vancouver Sun

Image Source: Vancouver Sun

In May of 2021 the remains of 215 indigineous children as young as 3 were discovered near a residential school in Kamloops British Columbia, Canada. These deaths were undocumented and the children were buried in unmarked graves. 

The news of a mass grave was released on May 27th by Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation Chief, Rosanne Casimir. This mass grave was discovered through the use of ground-penetrating radar. They are working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to discover the identities of these unknown children. When children attending these schools died they rarely returned home, being buried in unmarked graves. 

Across Canada many memorials have been set up in honor of the children who lost their lives while attending a residential school. One of the most notable memorials was displayed on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery. 215 pairs of little shoes were placed on the steps to symbolize each of the bodies found in the mass grave site. 

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100 Year Anniversary: The Tulsa Race Massacre

Looking back on a day that changed our perspective on race in America.

By Morgan Lane

Staff Writer

Burning building in Greenwood during the massacre. (Via

Great clouds of smoke filled the streets of Greenwood, Oklahoma on June 1st, 1921. Over the course of 2 days, mobs killed many citizens and ruined the dynamic of a community. June 1st, 2021 marks the 100 year anniversary since one of the most violent racial events in U.S History: the Tulsa Race Massacre.

On May 31st, 1921, a 19 year old black man named Dick Rowland stepped on an elevator of the Drexel Building in Tulsa. The elevator operator, Sarah Page, was next to him at the time. Sarah was a 17 year old white woman who worked the elevators to save up for school. While with Rowland, Page screamed out in agony, and Rowland fled from the building. There were many accusations of what really happened to Page. The main one is Rowland attempted to sexually assault her and put his hands on her without her consent. It didn’t take long for the word to spread and eventually, headlines were made. The Tulsa Tribune titled their article, “Nab Negro for attacking girl in an elevator.”

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Ms. Barlow: The Definition of a Golden Bear

As the 2021 Teacher of the Year prepares to retire, we look back on her 42 years teaching at Hammond.

By Marissa Yelenik and Sarah Meklir

Online Editor and Managing Editor

Pictured above: Seniors Georgia Briggs and Ama Stott surprise Ms. Barlow with Hammond’s 2021 Teacher of the Year award (left to right: Georgia Briggs, Ms. Barlow, Ama Stott).

A constant force for good at Hammond, Ms. Barlow has been teaching here for 42 years. This year, she was awarded “Teacher of the Year” by the 2021 senior class in honor of her immense impact on students and her love for teaching and Hammond. She will begin a well-deserved retirement at the end of this school year. 

The award itself was a surprise to Ms. Barlow, who didn’t expect the honor for herself. She reflected on the moment it was awarded to her, detailing the events as she sat in her classroom in the Villa, the new name for the set of portables the social studies department is in this year. “Mr. Dunlap was marching down the hall with the band playing Sweet Caroline and I thought “What’s he doing in the Villa?” I thought he had gotten lost for band practice and they were supposed to go to the field. I was just really surprised and really honored that I had gotten that award.”

With all of her years of teaching under her belt, Ms. Barlow is a wealth of knowledge regarding Hammond’s history and the changes that have taken place. She reflected on her years, saying “There have been lots of different experiences here, but it’s been great to be at one school and see what it’s been like for this long. I haven’t changed schools, it’s this school that’s changed while I’ve been here.”

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FDA approves vaccines for ages 12-15

HCPSS has stated that school will be open for in-person learning next fall and the FDA has authorized vaccines to be distributed to adolescents 12-15 years old.

By: Ada Wang

Staff Writer

Jessica Hill / Associated Press

In late April, HCPSS released a statement informing parents and students about the decision of opening schools for online learning. Students are able to request to stay at home and learn virtually but if they choose to do so, they must stay virtual all year round. 

In early May, the FDA approved the use of Pfizer vaccines for adolescents ages 12 to 15. Currently, thousands, if not more, of people in this age group have already gotten their first dose of the vaccine. Some concerns about the vaccine for adolescents have been addressed by pediatricians and immunologists, saying that the immunology of adolescents is similar to those of adults which may help alleviate some worry of 12-15 year olds getting vaccinated.

This approval by the FDA has aided in the decision of many schools countrywide to reopen for this upcoming school year. In addition, Pfizer has also released data from their Phase 3 clinical trials that show that the vaccine is 100% effective in children ages 12 to 15. Vaccines will also be distributed to pediatric offices to allow more discussion between parent and their child’s primary care physician about the concerns they may have and the safety of the vaccine.

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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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What You Need to Know: The Senior Awards Ceremony and Senior Festival

By Marissa Yelenik

Online Editor

A flyer for the upcoming Senior Festival from @hahs2021

This Thursday, April 29, there will be both an awards ceremony and festival put on for the seniors of Hammond high school. Both events are free, and open to all seniors. The award ceremony will be from 1-3 pm in Hammond’s auditorium, while the Senior Festival, put on by the PTSA for the Class of 2021, will take place from 5-9 pm on the football field.

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In-Person Learning: An Interview With Hammond Students

By Uma Ribeiro, Marissa Yelenik, and Sarah Meklir

Editor-in-Chief, Online Editor, and Managing Editor

Pictured left to right: Saim Rizvi, Shivani Modi, and Julia Moyer, standing in front of their class’s work.

Freshman and seniors (9th and 12th grade) students as well as Application and Research Laboratory (ARL) students in group A for hybrid learning returned to the building on Monday, March 29th. Group B students returned on Thursday, April 1st. 

High school students in grades 10 and 11 who chose hybrid learning will be returning the week of April 12th, with those in hybrid group A returning on the 12th and those in group B on the 15th. 

The Bear Press (BP) interviewed 9th and 12th grade students who chose the hybrid learning model and returned to school the week of March 29th. 

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