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The website of Fauquier High School's student newspaper, the Falconer. 100% student run.

Double standards do real harm

It’s the same thing every time I log onto Facebook; I see pictures split into quadrants. ‘Hey girls,’ the first picture reads. ‘Did you know,’ the second one says. ‘That your boobs,’ asks the third. ‘Belong inside your shirt,’ reads the last one. Hey, I feel like asking, did you know that you sound like a jerk?
This degrading trend is what is known as “slut-shaming,” when people mock or humiliate a woman because of her sexuality. This can mean the number of her sexual partners, her way of dressing, or her attitude. The shaming part can be accomplished by calling a woman a name such as “skank” or “whore,” spreading rumors about her sexual exploits, or by posting pictures like the one I just described. In short, it’s a way to fill a woman with self-doubt and keep women down as a whole. And, quite frankly, I’m sick of it.
For some reason, society accepts men who have multiple sexual partners. Men can have casual hook-ups and advertise this information to anyone who will listen, and still suffer no consequences. The same rule, however, does not apply to women. If a woman has an active sex life, people will say that she has low self-esteem or that she isn’t “serious girlfriend material.” If she talks openly about said sex life, people will call her a “ho” or say she has no class. It’s a double standard and every time someone “likes” one of these idiotic photos on the internet or calls a girl a demeaning name, they’re feeding into this mind set.
Not only is slut shaming disrespectful (and everyone is deserving of respect regardless of the number of sexual partners), but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Many times when a woman is sexually assaulted, the question is not who did this and how can they be punished, but rather what was the victim wearing and is she known for being promiscuous. We can look at pop culture and see blatant evidence of this. When basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was accused of rape in 2003, his alleged victim was bullied to the point that she finally dropped the case. Bryant’s female defense attorney dug up every sordid detail of the girl’s past in a brutal attack on her character. Bryant shed a few crocodile tears for ESPN, bought his wife a number of guilt-baubles, and was back to being the Laker’s golden boy. His victim, on the other hand, had her reputation destroyed. She was accused of everything from having sex with two other men that week, to being an “attention whore” and worse. I, for one, don’t understand how a man can be accused of rape and cop to cheating on his wife and mother of his child, while the alleged victim is treated like a criminal.
Ladies, we need to support and empower each other. We need to let people know that we won’t be bullied. We need to be free to wear whatever we want to, to feel sexually liberated, and not feel the need to apologize for it. Guys, you need to recognize women as equals and respect them, their boundaries, and beliefs.
Don’t be one of those those self-proclaimed nice guys, who turn into sore losers when you get rejected. Teachers, at homecoming and prom, squelch your first instinct to call out the girls dancing provocatively, but not the boys dancing behind them. It is 2013. We should be past these judgmental and harmful attitudes. It is time to stop treating women like inferior creatures and set an example for the next generation.

~Jordyn Elliot, guest writer

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FHS amps up safety with security changes

Students may have noticed security changes in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Maybe it’s that the cafeteria doors are locked during non-lunch hours, or that teachers are standing in previously unmonitored areas, or perhaps there’s an extra police officer roaming the halls.
More changes are coming as classes begin to occupy the new building, primarily in the form of technology. Over 100 brand new video surveillance cameras will be located throughout the school. The cameras will be connected to a single server that will constantly store footage and will be accessible to the school’s resource officer, Sergeant Torelli, as well as 911 dispatchers and administrators.
“Eventually I’ll have access to years of footage, all of which I’ll be able to view in my office or on my laptop,” Torelli said.
When pressed, panic buttons will automatically connect to 911 allowing for quicker response to trouble, in a new, larger school. Also, new one-way emergency exits and auto-locks on many of the school’s doors will secure what was designed to be a very open campus.
“Once the new building is completed, that will make five buildings on campus,” Torelli said. “And I can’t be everywhere at once.”
The increase in the total size of the campus remains the biggest safety concern following the adoption of the new policies. Emergency exits are still a question mark, since the new building has four stories and only three exits, all of which are on the ground floor.
“We’re still working with the engineers on that,” administrator Kraig Kelican said. “But we’ll be okay; there are three or four exits on the first floor, and there will be more when the 100/200 wing is taken down.”
The new building expands what is already a large campus, which will make security even more difficult. The best way to cover that ground would be to hire another student resource officer, but that is very expensive.
“The total cost of your average SRO is about $100,000,” Torelli said. “Multiply that by 20 schools in the county, and that’s $2 million.”
Torelli is confident that the new security system will be very effective in ensuring that the school remains a safe learning environment.
“The system is top of the line; it’s unbelievable,” Torelli said. “School is already one of the safest places you can be. Now it’s going to be even safer.”
Many students have expressed displeasure with these new policies, especially the locked doors.
“They seem to only lock the doors that inconvenience everyone,” junior Michael Oaxaca said. “It drives me crazy while trying to get to class.”
Some students argue that the safety measures are a problem and an overreaction to a tragic, but highly publicized event.
“The way to avoid being terrorized is not to act like you’ve been terrorized,” junior Brooke Cheatwood said.
However, the administration urges students to be more open about finding alternative routes around locked doors to get to class.
“The doors are old, and some don’t shut properly, so they must be secured,” Kelican said. “When the 100/200 wing is torn down, less people will need to go outside.”

~Kerian McDonald, staff reporter

Science teacher Shaw joins school

DSC_0475Prior education: “I went to Radford for my Bachelor of Science degree in music performance and Mary Washington for my bachelor’s in education.”
What drew you to being a science teacher, and why? “I wanted to be an Earth Science teacher because I have a love for the outdoors and knowing how things work.  The more I learn, I realize how much more there is to know. I wanted to teach ninth grade because the kids are happy.”
Past employment: “I have been teaching for five years. I taught at Liberty, but then I came to FHS because I love it here. I graduated from here in 1991. It is also closer to my house, and my kids will go here once they are older.”
How has FHS changed? “The only noticeable differences would be to the physical structure with the additions to the gym and the front of the building.  The school still has the same great students with tons of spirit and good kids.”
Hobbies: “My favorite hobby is music.  Before I die, I want to be a proficient banjo, guitar, and piano player.  I have a long way to go on those, though.”
Favorite book: “My favorite childhood book is The B Book by Dr. Seuss. I like to read, but I don’t have a favorite that is more recent.”
Favorite movie: “I cannot name one favorite movie. I love a good laugh or good mystery.”
Most embarrassing moment in high school: “A good embarrassing moment would be in 10th grade (my first year at Fauquier). At least two weeks into the year, I was completely lost.  I had trouble finding my locker and the right door for the trailers.  This place was a maze to me.”

~Sarah McIndoe, staff reporter

Instructional period shifts to advisory

The instructional period became a regular part of the school schedule last term. Designed to be a time to help students who struggle in an SOL class or who just need help, these periods were rotated between blocks. This term, the instructional period will start again in early March and take place during a 45 minute extended advisory on Wednesdays so students that participate don’t miss any class work.
“It was confusing; sometimes people weren’t sure which block it was, and it could never be third.” Principal Roger Sites said about the change to advisory. “We felt we had to tweak it.”
During the instructional period, teachers were not supposed to teach so that remediating students would not miss valuable instruction. Students that did not participate in the period were to use the time as a study hall. Some students made up quizzes and tests or worked on filling out college applications. This time also gave clubs more opportunity to meet.
“We’ve got the data that shows it pays off,”  Sites said. “It’s useful for a wide variety of student needs.”
However, some parents and teachers had mixed feelings about the floating instructional period.
“I like the idea,” math teacher Paul Reynolds said. “[Last term was] just not the best utilization; kids didn’t want to miss a lab or something, so they didn’t come.”
Junior Dominque Robinson used the instructional period for math remediation.
“It helped,” Robinson said. “They could have made it more active and interactive, though. We weren’t going to the board or anything; we just kind of sat there.”
Although most students that went to remediation felt the period was useful, many were not excited about having to go.
“People there didn’t care,” sophomore Tia Jackson said. “They took it as a get-out-of-class free card to sleep and talk to friends.”
Some teachers are worried that having the instructional period during advisory will not be time well spent since teachers cannot design enrichment materials for students they don’t have in class.
“We won’t know until we try,” English teacher Robin Moore said. “But I would prefer [the period] elsewhere. I’m not going to have students I can work with.”
The current plan for an instructional period during advisory is set in motion.
“It allows us an open period of time,” Reynolds said. “We get to reach students that we normally cannot reach.”

~SaraRose Martin, staff reporter

Falcons may be red, but belts are black

Junior Ian Soule and senior Sergio Ribeiro demonstrate their martial arts outside. “It helps you stay fit and react quickly,” Ribeiro said. “It really promotes self discipline.”
Junior Ian Soule and senior Sergio Ribeiro demonstrate their martial arts outside. “It helps you stay fit and react quickly,” Ribeiro said. “It really promotes self discipline.”

FHS doesn’t need armed guards to prevent shootings; it’s teeming with students proficient in the practice of martial arts.
Junior Kristy Rosenberger started taking Tae Kwon Do in kindergarten, reaching the rank of black belt in fourth grade.
“I did Tae Kwon Do when I lived in New Jersey,” Rosenberger said. “I can still remember it. The rush of adrenaline I got every time I sparred or grappled made me feel like the coolest thing in the world.”
Rosenberger gave up martial arts after she got her black belt, but is confident it was a valuable experience.
“I stopped because of how ridiculously expensive it got, but the satisfaction and bragging rights last forever,” Rosenberger said. “My mom would never tell me how much money she had to spend, but the studio kept trying to trick me into joining all these different clubs, all of which cost extra money. It also just took up too much time.”
Junior red belt Klaiton Alicea started taking Tae Kwon Do to lose weight, but wound up gaining more than physical prowess and talent.
“I was a really fat kid in fifth grade,” Alicea said. “I lost a lot of weight doing it, and then I got better at sports. I really liked the boxing and wrestling part of it. I stopped when I started high school because I was doing a lot of other sports, and I just didn’t have time. I also got kind of bored of it, and I got a little lazy too.”
Senior John Seminaro has been taking Tae Kwon Do for about four years, and has stuck with it regardless of the difficulties caused by moving around.
“To me martial arts means having a good time and staying in shape,” Seminaro said. “I’ve been to a lot of schools for martial arts because I’ve moved from house to house so many times. I’ve had to restart too many times to get my black belt, but the complications have been worth it.”
Karate Sports Academy charges as much as $125 a month, providing multiple lessons every day for subscribers. Most martial arts start with a beginner’s white belt and finish with a black belt. Students move on from black belt by gaining degrees. Grandmaster Jenkins of Karate Sports Academy is an eighth degree black belt.
Senior Sergio Riberio started taking Tae Kwon Do about three years ago. Last summer, he took up a separate martial art from Brazil called Capoeira that incorporates elements of dance and music. Riebero enjoys the immediate rewards of martial arts, but thinks people fail to see its true value.
“People have to understand that martial arts are not just about winning,” Riberio said. “Martial arts are a way of life. Using your power responsibly and using it to defend yourself or others are the only acceptable uses of a martial art. Exercising restraint is just as important as defending yourself.”

~Patrick Duggan, news director

Track takes a run at state competition

The varsity indoor track and field team traveled to Charlottesville to compete in the Region II championships hosted at Fork Union Military Academy on Feb. 13. The girls won third place with 52 points and the boys took fourth place with 47 points. thirteen athletes will move on to the VHSL AA state competition on Feb. 23 at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
The team ended the regional meet with victories in the 4×400 meter relay for the girls and boys teams. The boys team had a dramatic finish, beating the second place team by only milliseconds.
Freshman Tyler Benson will also advance to the state meet in the 4×400 meter relay and 300 meter dash.
“It’s a crazy experience,” Benson said. “I’m a freshman and I’m running against these juniors and seniors. I love the feeling after the race, the rush and how it feels.”
Senior Briana Hill placed in the top three for all three of her events and was a part of the girl’s 4×400 meter relay that placed first. Hill is advancing to states for all three of her events and hopes to get new personal records in her individual events. The girls 4×400 school record for indoor track is set at 4:16, and the team ran 4:19.80 at regionals meet. Hill hopes to obtain the school record at the state meet.
“Overall, it was okay,” Hill said. “I think we could’ve gotten second place overall, but it was good we walked away with a gold in the 4×400.”
Head coach Quentin Jones was pleased with the results from the regional meet, and has high hopes for the states.
“I always love how we finish the meet,” Jones said. “No matter what happened during the meet, the 4×400 is like the last hurrah.”

~Sarah Thornton, managing editor

Zero Dark Thirty: A thrilling yet chilling ride

I walked into the theatre expecting Zero Dark Thirty to live up to the hype, but it exceeded all praise. The movie grabbed my attention from the very beginning and kept me at the edge of my seat until the moment it ended.
Zero Dark Thirty takes viewers back to the horrific events of September 11, 2001, and explores the aftermath that was concealed from the public. The film opens with several torture scenes which are, admittedly, difficult to watch and immediately made me understand the controversy that circled the film. Zero Dark Thirty centers around Maya (Jessica Chastain), an agent who ends up devoting her life over the course of several years to capturing Bin Laden.
Jessica Chastain, who gives a stellar performance as Maya, was rightly nominated for best actress. She makes the movie the gem that it is. I cringed, I cried, I laughed, I gasped, and I feared, all because of her performance…well, her and the excessive number of explosions. I couldn’t help but feel her characters passion and intensity. It brought me into the movie and gave me a sense of the gravity of the events. After the tragedy of 9/11, most Americans were able to pick up their lives and move on, but for a select military group, finding Bin Laden became their life and purpose. This movie and Chastain reminds us of the struggle and sacrifices of those individuals.
However, the draw of this movie doesn’t come from the superb acting or the excellent cinematography but rather the controversy and debate that surrounds it, including the use of water-boarding to obtain information. Some critics argue that the film wrongly justifies torture. The screen writer, Mark Boal, has said that he wrote the scene to “show the brutality and inhumanity of the situation.” Others say that the torture was necessary in order to obtain the information during the manhunt. But, as this was a top secret mission to hunt down a foreign threat, the exact events and potential justifications of the search for Bin Laden probably won’t be revealed in our lifetime.
Controversy aside, this is a great film that everyone needs to see. We all need to be aware of just how much our military does to protect our country.

~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director