Corporations Taking Initiative

BrendanHuet, Staff Reporter

       On Feb. 14, 2018, there was another mass shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida. Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old, walked into Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15 and killed 17 innocent children. This event created backlash on the weak gun control laws in the United States. It also led to some companies banning their sales of assault rifles or changing their rules for buying a gun in their stores. The two most popular stores that are involved in these changes are Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart.

        Dick’s Sporting Goods is a store that sells all sports equipment, athletic clothing and outdoors essentials. A big portion of their profit came from the sales of all guns, including assault rifles. In fact, although it was not the gun used in the Parkland shooting, Dick’s had previously sold an assault rifle to Nikolas Cruz. This resulted in the company being one of the first major stores to enact a change in their sales of assault rifles. Just a few days after Cruz attacked Stoneman Douglas High School, Dick’s ended all sales of assault rifles in its stores. The company also revised their policies so that a person would have to be at least 21 years of age to buy any other gun from Dick’s. The CEO, Edward Stack, realizes the financial consequences of this move but feels it is the right thing to do.,  “We concluded if these kids are brave enough to organized and do what they’re doing, we should be brave enough to take this stand.”

        Walmart, the nation’s biggest gun seller, also has taken action after the Parkland shooting. The company announced that its stores would no longer sell any gun to anyone younger than 21 years of age. Walmart will also no longer sell items resembling assault rifles, including toy and airsoft guns. This will result in a significant loss in profit, but the company is not worried about it. As the nation’s biggest gun seller, it is “seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms.” Walmart is confident that this is the type of change that our country needs.

        The Parkland shooting has brought awareness to the American eye and has caused big corporations to take a stand on gun regulations. This is seen in the fact that the nation’s two largest gun sellers have restricted their sales of guns. Dick’s Sporting Goods will no longer sell assault rifles in its stores and will not sell to anyone under the age of 21. Walmart has also taken precautionary measures and will not sell any gun to anyone under 21. These changes will result in a loss of money for both companies, but in return will help our country stay safe from any more mass shootings.




The Con Man: A Commentary on “Dirty Money”

OliviaErickson, Editor-in-Chief

In January of 2018, Netflix released a documentary miniseries, or docuseries, created by Alex Gibney called “Dirty Money.” The docuseries consists of six episodes that peered into famous scandals and corruption within the business world. Although the series covers all genres of incidences, from a car company that cheated emissions tests to the story behind Canada’s maple syrup heist, its final episode was a comprehensive exposé of the President of the United States, how he got elected and his shady past.

As a left-leaning politically active young adult, I was dumbfounded on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016. “The polls were wrong! Make America Great Again!” abounded from my Republican friends’ mouths. Meanwhile, I was completely confused about how the American people, or at least the electoral college, selected a shady businessman with no political background to run the country. Although I have now accepted that fate, after watching the documentary, I also have a much better understanding of why he was elected.  The documentary episode on Trump and his scruples, or lack thereof, provides a unique and comprehensive explanation of how Trump actually got elected. The director of the final episode, Fisher Stevens, posits that the current U.S. President is in fact nothing more than a modern day con man; he profits by exploiting his name to the detriment of the general public and commands an unfailing awareness of the media.

The episode features members of the formerly popular NBC show “The Apprentice” explaining how the show was nothing more than a ruse. Although the documentary may be a little biased, it is informative and entertaining.

“Carrie”d Away by High School Relationships

OliviaErickson, Editor-in-Chief

Often times in high school, we find ourselves looking at our friends’ relationships, or even sometimes our own, and questioning why they are still going on. When your bestie’s boyfriend might have kissed his cousin this past Christmas or left her more than a few impolite voicemail messages during his trip to Athens, most of us as friends intervene, stating that he is indeed a trash boyfriend. However, after said friend insists that her boyfriend really has changed this time, they let the bad behavior go and remain in an on-and-off vicious cycle of a relationship. Why, in high school, can we not see what is, or what is not, right in front of us? As my fellow journalist Carrie Bradshaw put it, “what ultimately defines a relationship is another relationship.” Are my fellow teenagers and I choosing to stay in toxic relationships because there is a lack of good relationships around us to delineate the good and the bad? Are we settling for less-than-perfect boys simply because we have a small pool to choose from?

On any given Saturday night, you can find one of my good friends crying in a corner, often alone, and you can find her loving and attentive boyfriend hitting on my other friends, throwing out comments like, “If you ever decide that you’re interested, I’ll leave her (my teary friend), in a minute.” This has been quietly going on for months now, yet the teary friend doesn’t even seem to notice how wrong that picture is. I posit that this inaction on my friend’s part is due to the fact that she really is blind to how toxic her situation is. I believe that the minute she encounters a boy who does not belittle or mock her, she will see her relationship for what it really is. The problem many of us girls in similar situations run into is that in four years of high school, we may only encounter a handful of boys who know how to treat girls and define those bad relationships for us.

I can only hope that when we all move into the next phase of our lives, whether it be college or wherever life takes us, and when we are surrounded with all sorts of options for boyfriends and girlfriends, we will finally be able to tell whether a relationship is bad for us and demand something better.


FerreiraTais, Staff Reporter

We are only three months into 2018 and there have been a total of 18 mass school shootings resulting in death or injury in the United States. Most recently, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida resulted in 17 deaths and over a dozen injured. Not only were students killed, their school staff were as well. Overcoming a tragedy like that is not an easy task and fighting for change can prove to be extremely challenging. However, students at Marjory Stoneman have stood up and taken radical measures to express their push for change. They have flooded social media platforms with different kinds of movements, getting as much support and as many people on board to get attention to the issue.

Seeing the survivors be brave, share their story and vigorously fight for change has impacted students nationwide. Students are now trying their hardest to fight for gun control and are finding new ways to improve school security to prevent shootings within the school from occuring. As students, we have a perspective that administration does not have, and we should use that advantage to keep our schools safe. Therefore, I went around school and asked many students what actions our schools should take in order to prevent the shootings from taking place.

  • Setting up metal detectors at all entrances of the school like the airport security
  • Having a check in and check out for not only school visitors but especially the students so the school can keep track of what students are in and out of the building
  • Having the counselors reach out more to each individual students to check up on them and see how they are doing and if they have any concerns
  • More school assemblies emphasizing the importance of speaking up if anyone has concerns about a classmate
  • Practicing shooter drills especially while students are changing classes or are in lunch
  • Enforcing locked school entrances

Students all over the nation are trying to implement these practices so their schools are staying active to prevent school shootings. As students, we can come together and use our voice to protect ourselves and our peers. Joining efforts, we can try our best to prevent on of our own peers from committing such a tragedy in our communities.

Teachers Carrying Guns

KimaraSmith, Staff Reporter

Following the Parkland school shooting, the controversy remains as whether teachers should carry guns. It is evident that something needs to be done to make both students and teachers feel safer at school. However, most are unsure about whether having more guns in school is the right thing to do.

Chattahoochee High School teacher Margaret Garth, commented “I don’t think adding more guns is the answer. I definitely would not want to carry a gun in my classroom.” This idea was first suggested by President Trump. “ I believe armed teachers would deter school shootings,” Trump commented in the wake of Parkland. Another Chattahoochee High School teacher, Nicole Hayes, elaborated,“I would not want to carry a gun in school even if I had training.”

There are opposing views to this national question that have made headlines regularly. The concern by many is having more guns inside school itself will not make students and teachers feel safer. Reports show that the armed resource officer at Stoneman Douglas did not respond appropriately by not entering the school, even after being informed there was an active shooter inside the school.

Schools in Riverside, Ohio have begun to take matters into their own hands by placing safes in the schools with semi automatic pistols inside. Teachers and other staff members have volunteered to be trained to use these guns to protect against a school shooter. Emotions are mixed about this solution to combat a school shootings. Nationally, there has been no official plan set to have teachers carry guns; however, the debate continues.

Dispelling the Myths of High School

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

As senior year comes to a close, I have come to realize how much of what I believed about high school turned out to be a myth, whether it was about the academic or social aspects. Below, I have laid out what I believe to be the top ten high school myths.

You have more freedom in high school.

While this may be partly true, you are still viewed as a child who needs guidance and discipline, so don’t get your hopes up about high school being a free for all. It’s still a structured learning environment.

Your friend group will stay together forever.

This can be true, but more often than not, people drift apart once they begin taking different classes or become interested in other things.

It’s the best time of your life.

High school has some highlights, but it’s a stepping stone for another part of your life. It’s there to transition you to the next step, whether it’s college, a job or joining the military. The best parts of your life will probably happen after high school.

High school grades determine your college choices.

Yes, how well you do in school matters, but it is not the deciding factor as to whether or not you will attend your dream school. Most of the time your extracurriculars and personal essays also matter a great deal.

Every grade matters.

No, they don’t. This is not to say that you shouldn’t try to maintain good grades. It simply means that maybe not doing as well as you wanted to on a quiz or a test is okay now and then. It tells you what you need to work on.

The teachers want you to fail.

It’s the exact opposite. It’s their job to see you succeed. It’s what they want the most. Sure, some teachers are harder to approach than others if you’re looking for extra help, but they still want the best for you.

You’ll miss it when you graduate.

Most likely, no. You won’t miss it because you are in the next step of your life. High school did what it could for you, and you just won’t miss the lockers or smell of teenage stink.

There aren’t cliques.

Cliques are unavoidable, but sometimes they’re not a bad thing. A lot of the time, a clique is a group of friends who have either known each other for a long time or have bonded over a common interest.

It’s about the same workload you’re already used to.

One thing I was definitely not ready for when I started high school was the amount of work, and not just homework, but projects and class work too. I don’t know why no one tells you how much work high school can be, but it’s a bunch, especially if you are taking an honors or AP class.

It’s the worst.

No, it’s not the worst. Sure, there are some things that are not the most fun, but for the most part, most people will find either a class or an extracurricular that excites them and makes them want to wake up in the morning. The hard part is figuring out what that is because without something to be passionate about, high school can be four, long years of waiting.


Conservatism in Gen-Z

EthanBenn, Staff Reporter

Generation Z will be the most conservative age group in America since the Baby Boomers, just you wait! The Democrats better watch out – these kids are fiscally responsible and less progressive than Gen X and Millennials!  

Odds are you’ve probably heard something like that in a headline before, or maybe even that exact phrasing. When the media turns its focus from Millennials ruining things, it tends to land on their successors being their political opposites. And so comes the question, how conservative – or liberal – is our generation? With the help of The Speculator team, the results for the CHS student body’s political views are in.

The methodology was fairly simple: have students self-identify their political views by clicking terms which described them and then asking them to vote for a 2016 presidential candidate. Follow that up with an actual test to get some hard data, and the results should speak for themselves. Of sixteen students surveyed, seven identified as “liberal,” six as “moderate,” five as progressive as well as five as Democratic, two for centrist and two for libertarian. No students self identified as conservative or Republican, and with sixteen possible checks for each term, liberal and moderate were by far in the lead. The test, known as “8values,” asked students to strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree (or say they were unsure) to questions about economic, diplomatic, civil and societal questions. Liberal and Social Liberal were once again the most common results.

Even though the sample size for the survey was quite small, the respondents’ results were not surprising and probably represent the beliefs of CHS students in general. However, it is interesting to note that many of them identified as moderates – if Gen-Z is liberal or left-leaning, then it’s certainly not as partisan or hardline as their older Millennial or Gen-X counterparts.

And that’s what so many news outlets and commentators are seizing on when they shout about this generation being the next wave of ultra-conservatives so Republican it would make Ronald Reagan smile: they’re just not as solidly Democratic as their parents or older siblings. Going back to the survey again, fifteen of the sixteen students responded to the question about the 2016 presidential election, with Hillary Clinton getting seven votes (46.7%), Donald Trump, Jill Stein, and Joe Biden all receiving two votes each (13.3% per candidate), Bernie Sanders receiving one vote (6.7%) and one student undecided. These results can be interpreted various ways, but I see it as a younger generation rebelling against ineffective political parties and status quo politics – while Clinton had a plurality in this mock election, she lacked a majority due to spoiler candidates (and if you consider Trump, Stein and Sanders outsider candidates, it’s easy to see why).

Judging from these results, perhaps the name should be changed from the Post Millennial generation to the No Business as Usual Generation. Mostly born into a post-9/11 world, having experienced financial crises, domestic terrorism and dramatic social change, this generation is anything but resigned to the usual norms of politics. Look at Emma Gonzales and David Hogg from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, as two no-nonsense go-getters tired with a system which doesn’t work.

This generation isn’t so much blue or red as every political party’s color under the sun – the Republicans and Democrats aren’t going to be able to fully control, or appease, this new generation of soon-to-be voters.

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