Just Arson Defies Genre

Just Arson, a band comprised of nine students, has piqued the curiosity of students and staff. They officially formed a band in August and have released several singles and an album titled “Indus.” Although high school bands are typical, Just Arson has changed the playing field thanks to modern technology. Their music is available on most major streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.

“Now in the modern age, you don’t have to sign to a record label to put out an album,” senior and guitar player Ben Crane said. “We just decided we wanted to do it and we did it and I think that’s really cool.”

Although their band is fairly new, some members said they have improved. “Our writing has drastically changed since we’ve begun and I look back and [think], ‘that’s so bad,’” Crane said. “We’ve learned how music actually works [and] we’re working on learning about music theory and how it all works so we can get better at writing.”

They accept there is room for improvement, “We haven’t really played together like fully so that’s what we’ve been practicing on, together, live,” said senior and manager Max Gannon.

Many of the members met by pure chance and admit they weren’t close before the formation of the band. Senior and violin player Lindsey Finks jokingly said, “It was like ‘Oh I play an instrument’ and then we just started [making music].”

Senior and guitar player Bryce Moore also remembered how senior Johanna Huber joined the band. He recounts after several failed attempts at asking her to sing with him for theatre, he finally succeeded. Moore said, “I was talking to Johanna in front of her mom and her mom was like ‘Johanna you have to sing a song with Bryce,’ so when we [were] writing a song I was like ‘Hey Johanna you know how you have to sing a song with me come sing this song,’ so she came to sing with us and we kept asking her to come back and she’s now [one of] our singers.”

Ever since their first release, they haven’t stopped making music and are pursuing new goals. “We [were] really hyped about the release of our first album in January,” said senior and manager Fell Gannon. “Right now the focus is to try and start performing live at various venues and gain a bit more recognition but we’re also hoping to get another album done by the end of the school year.” They hope to continue on after they graduate high school and over the summer where they are planning to go to Costa Rica and shoot a music video.

By Nayeli Arellano-Sports Editor

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Something You Can’t Get Online

When walking through Old Town, there are shops and restaurants of all types, but notice there is no bookstore? Cammie Fuller and Rachel Sirene wanted to do something about this problem. They always had the dream and, with the relocation of Latitudes, an opportunity for the Open Book opened up.  

She heard the message from members of the community and wanted to make a change. On March 22, Old Town received a new store. A grand opening was held with a ribbon cutting and small contests. Fuller has loved reading since she was in second grade. It has led her to this adventure.

“With my role as librarian, I had people constantly asking me over the years if I would open a bookstore,” Fuller said. “‘You seem to really love books. Why don’t you open a bookstore, we really need one.’”

The Open Book is a general literature store, there are books for all ages.  There will be many genres and about 30 percent of the store will be children’s literature. Fuller believed that small bookstores were being overtaken by online retailers, but by talking with other bookstore owners she learned that bookstores are there to provide more.

“It’s not an algorithm, it’s actually somebody who is personally helping you find a book,” Fuller said.

Fuller’s personal goals for her business consist of joining the independent bookstore dialogue. She wants to create an environment where a politically divided nation might be able to be expressed and create conversation. She said a book may be able to change a life or make the world better.

However, it was not easy getting to this point. A business does not come about in a day. Fuller explained the list of people to thank goes on and on. Our librarians are on the list to thank, along with all the people in the community who gave advice and many different bookstores and their owners.

“Personally, they [family] have been an enormous support,” Fuller said.   

Fuller understands this store cannot exist without community support and hopes to educate people on how important it is to shop locally. They are going to make themselves relevant and make sure people feel heard about what type of books and events the Open Book should have.

Leading up to the big day, there was a pre-opening event.  On March 16, the Open Book held a program with the owner of Red Truck Bakery Brian Noyes.  He introduced his story and sold his book to all who attended. The Open Book wants to create a place where people love to come and find a unique read through members of our community.

By Catherine Smith-Staff Reporter

FFA Exibits the Importance to Giving Back

Giving back is not something everyone thinks to do on a regular basis, but the FFA teacher’s lunch is an example of just that. FFA is a national organization that focuses on three main aspects: leadership, personal growth and career success. Although it is centered around agriculture, they organize many other activities.

FFA has hosted many service projects including the teacher’s lunch on February 19. Many agreed that this project reflected the amount of work and thought put into planning an event to give back. Some just see this as a school tradition but there is a bigger meaning.    

“We do it every year and every year our goal is to give back to the teachers because they put in so many extra hours helping us become better students and people,” FFA President Claire Ledbetter said. “It’s just a small way to say thank you for all the work they do.”    

The teachers found this event very touching and a nice way to see the students doing something for others. It was an opportunity to come together and interact. The teachers had nothing but great things to say about the lunch.

“I thought it was very nice. The food was very good, I thought it was nice to have a chance to sit down and talk with people on different floors,” math teacher Ann Meyer said. “I don’t normally see anybody but other math teachers.”   

FFA drew attention to the fact that teachers are important and that giving back leaves a memory. Many students became interested in what FFA was during lunch because they saw teachers coming in and out of the gym with smiles and food. They wanted to know what else these students got to plan and participate in throughout the year.

“I think it very nice that they do that by reaching out and doing something nice for the teachers.” Meyer said.

The FFA Organization planned a simple way to show students and teachers that they care about their school.  They have been working to make others more involved in their own lives as well as with the school. Members of FFA believe that the teacher’s lunch achieved the goal of successfully giving back to others.

By Catherine Smith-Staff Reporter

Burton the New Nigerian Prince?

About 14.5 billion spam emails are sent globally every day, according to statistics gathered by Propeller Customer relationship management (CRM). The Information Security Office processed a total of 11,158,253 email messages in 2016 with 9,054,752 of the messages being spam in.

On March 1, a strange email was sent out to faculty. It was sent from someone claiming to be principal Clarence Burton. The email said he was in a meeting and he couldn’t talk because they weren’t allowed to have phones. The messenger wanted the recipient to buy a Google Play card and insisted they would give the money back.

“I could tell that it was not from Mr. Burton because it did not come from his email address,” said Instructional Technology Resource Teacher (ITRT) Michelle Green. She said there were typos and the way that he signed the email was weird.

“I got on the phone with Mr. Burton immediately then I sent a staff email letting them know not to open up that email,” said Green.

School Security Officer (SSO) Sal Torelli also received the email and, like Green, knew it was fake immediately: “Mr. Burton would always call me on the phone if he needed something,” he said.

Torelli said the school handled the situation very well. “The school put an email out immediately saying to disregard the email,” Torelli said. “I’ll tell you that our tech people are on stuff right away.”

Shortly after the scam email involving Burton, a similar email was sent out claiming to be Dr. David Jeck. Manager of Information Resources (MIR) Todd Hickling sent out and email to all Fauquier County Public Schools concerning the mail on March 12 saying to not open the email. He advised if someone did, they should get the system they opened it on scanned and checked.

Similar to the texts students received last year saying “someone complimented you,” this email shows how crazy spam emails can be; they can reach all audiences and even write personal information to make them seem real. Luckily, the school was able to notify everyone that it was a scam before anything bad happened.

“There’s a lot of spam going on right now, (…) it’s been going around for years,” said Torelli. He said he gets spam every day, whether it’s at school or at home. “I got one the other day saying my credit card was compromised. It was Suntrust Bank, I don’t have SunTrust Bank.”

The issue has only been getting worse as technology advances and it becomes easier to do. However, advancing technology also allows for spam filter programs to be created in order to fight the problem. While this is good news, it is unknown if spamming will ever be eliminated because no one can stop a scammer from pressing that send button.

By Rachel Singleton-News Editor

Teens Switch Out Paper for Vapor

Imagine you’re walking into the bathroom and you’re suddenly hit with the smell of cotton candy and mango. You peek around the corner and see a group of friends vaping. Well, you don’t have to imagine this because it happens daily to many high school students.

A vape is a type of electronic-cigarette (e-cigarette) that uses an e-juice usually containing flavoring, glycerin, nicotine, propylene glycol, and water. The e-juice is vaporized and, unlike tobacco smoke, an aerosol vapor is released. Popular vapes include the tiny Juul, which contains a large nicotine dose, the pod and the pen vapes.

Statistics from the National Institute of Drug Abuse show vaping among high school seniors has increased from 27.8 percent in 2017 to 37.3 percent in 2018. Nowadays, vaping is seen by many high school students as cool. According to a study run by Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, this is often the leading reason as to why students start vaping. Either their friend is doing it and is peer pressuring them or they see others vaping and are curious to know what it’s all about.

“One of my friends pushed me to try it,” said an anonymous student. Another student said peer pressuring was not the reason for trying it but it was simply a matter of “choice and curiosity.”

Some students say it depends on the circumstances, “I think vaping or juuling is fine as long as you don’t do it for anyone but yourself,” said another anonymous student.

Many other students, however, do not see vaping as cool but are very frustrated by it. “I think it’s disgusting and gross when people do it in the bathroom and on the bus. It’s just disgusting and it smells bad,” said another anonymous student. “My grandmother died of lung cancer despite never smoking and seeing my peers do it makes me sad that they are taking risks like having lung cancer.”

Increasing popularity of this issue has caused many to step up and search for solutions. Junior Eireann Maybach, junior Katherine Warren, senior Camden Gillespie and sophomore Olivia Gulick, four students who want an end to the issue. The four attended a program known as Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP). They developed a plan that they hope will help FHS with its vaping problem. “Our plan was called Address, Prevent and Recovery (APR) Program and it’s been enacted throughout the school systems,” said Maybach.

“It’s so normalized in schools today, in our school especially. I know because people have done it right in front of me,” said Maybach. “People ask me, do you ever get vape juice on your eyes when you’re putting on your contact and it burns and it’s just so normalized that people don’t know that it’s a problem.”

One debate is on whether vaping is safer than smoking. Many believe that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking and it helps end smoking addictions while others say it is just as dangerous. The American Heart Association argues vapes still contain nicotine and produce the same harmful substances as smoking.

“E-cigarettes and vapes were originally invented to help adults get off of nicotine abuse but now they’re just normalized in society through the advertisements and the social push for it,” said Maybach. “Your right, it is less harmful than cigarettes for adults, but not for adolescents.”

The group later enacted their plan to solve the problem. They spoke to each grade level at the beginning of the year about the dangers of vaping. They also integrated “the help box” allowing students to report others who need help but can not actively get help themselves. “It was purposefully a very subtle plan. I didn’t want it to be out in the open because I didn’t want to address my friends and people that I knew who were doing this,” said Maybach.  

While the normal vape is being scrutinized, another type of vape has arisen that is argued to be perfectly safe. This vape is produced by MONQ Therapeutic Air and Vitastik. They contain essential oils rather than the normal vape ingredients. It is described as a “personal diffuser.” Their website claims the device is safe and does not contain tobacco, nicotine, artificial ingredients, GMOs, gluten, diacetyl or propylene glycol and is not tested on animals. The “diffuser” comes with 3 pods and is breathed in through the mouth and out the nose.

So is the “personal diffuser” really as safe as the website claims? The answer is uncertain. Doctors say vaping is such a new thing that they aren’t sure what to expect. One side argues that the essential oil vape is 100 percent safe and claim it is a good alternative. Meanwhile, others say there is a lot of danger with this new device, saying it has a possibility to produce formaldehyde or other dangerous substance when heated. Other debates similar to this revolve around the idea of nicotine-free vapes and whether they are what they’re labeled. Maybach said they are not and most vapes always contain nicotine.

“They use what’s called the tic-tac rule. Basically, tic-tac companies can list tic-tacs as sugar-free because they weigh less than a gram,” said Maybach. “But they are 99 percent sugar and that’s exactly what e-cigarette companies use to label their nicotine items.

Maybach said what school systems can do now is bring awareness to the problem. “[Vapes are] getting kids hooked on a drug. It is a gateway drug even though many say it isn’t.” Maybach said if she could tell the world one thing about drugs, she would say, “It isn’t as harmless as it seems.”

By Rachel Singleton-News Editor

Heelys, Are They Back?

The year is 2006, life is good, London Bridge by Fergie is playing on the radio, Happy Feet is in theatres and you have what kids envied the most, Heelys. Yeah Heelys, those shoes with wheels in them, if you didn’t have them you wanted them and probably begged your parents for them. Kids zipped down the hallways and rolled across the mall floor. When someone wore them they were ten times cooler, but that was 2006 it’s all in the past…right? Recently teens have been bringing back these timeless shoes and can be seen cruising the hallways of FHS.

“They’re really fun, and it’s really good in school because it’s super smooth instead of super bumpy and it helps to get in class on time when I’m running late,” sophomore Will Bagli said. He explained that he got them simply because he spotted one of his friends wearing them. Shortly after he decided to get a pair for Christmas.

When Heelys rose in popularity in the early ‘00s they were quickly banned in malls and schools. The reason for this was the risk of injury and liability issues. Now, more than 10 years later, the rules are still applicable. Shortly after students brought Heelys back onto the FHS floors they were swiftly reminded of the previous ban on the coveted shoes. Senior Shane Cross was approached by faculty after a few weeks of sporting his Heelys.  “It’s stupid [they don’t] want me wearing them and I want to wear them,” Cross added, “They’re fun [and they] make me feel like a kid again.”

Assistant principal Kraig Kelican was quick to provide a reason on the ban on Heelys. “They aren’t allowed,” Kelican said. “The biggest reason is because they are a safety issue particularly with all the steps and sidewalks we have we are afraid that someone will slip on the steps, or if they’re using Heelys out on the sidewalks they hit a crack and fall down.” Regardless, students are bringing Heelys back from the dead and having fun doing so.

By Nayeli Arellano

Snow Days or Stress Days?

Ask any fifth grader, they would jump for joy at the whisper of the words snow day. But this isn’t fifth grade anymore and in high school, snow days have been less exciting and more stressful.

Snow days can be a time to rest, procrastinate or be productive. “I enjoy snow days because they let me relax,” said sophomore Abby Marino. “If I need to finish work or study, I have more time (…) Dr. Jeck is a blessing.”

Many know our superintendent Dr. David Jeck from his twitter account where he posts about school cancellations along with other things. “I think it’s informative and effective for people who have social media,” said sophomore McKenzie Hurley. “But it’s also really cool because kids can tweet him and he responds.” While many enjoy the excitement of receiving the no-school notification, some do not.

When you add creeping deadlines and tests on to the loads of work, stress becomes common among students. With constant snow days, some students feel like they need to spend more time in class to grasp the material.

“Snow days are great when they are really needed but when the superintendent calls off school for a little bit of snow that hasn’t affected the roads is kind of ridiculous,” said senior Hannah Johnson. “We could be using those days to go into school and save the built in snow days for a much larger storm.”

Teachers are also feeling the pressure from the lack of time in class. “They’re nice to have a day off and relax,” said math teacher Roseanna Lantz, “but it causes the instruction to fall behind….so it really hurts the students as far as having consistency in learning the material.”

With interrupted curriculum, teachers and classes  fall behind and have to re-learn the material after being out of class for several days because of snow days.

A question among students is whether spring break will be shortened because of constant snow days. The Fauquier County Public School (FCPS) Administration have not agreed to shorten our spring break up until now, although there are built in make up days, May 29 and May 30 along with banked hours.

“I am very thankful that the state allows us to ‘bank’ time,” said Dr. Jeck. “If they didn’t, we’d have real problems from year to year…especially in years like this wherein we have missed a lot of days.”

With unexpected events caused by snow days, we now know how to prepare. Is it time to tweet Dr. Jeck or sleep in?

By Amanda Arellano-Staff Reporter