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VIEWS on Vaccines


Measles, a highly contagious disease, is breaking out in various areas in the U.S, despite being highly preventable, thanks to vaccines. This and many other breakouts of diseases is a result of unvaccinated people and the parents who did not vaccinate them.

Vaccines have been around for hundreds of years; although historically, the first vaccines were more harmful than good, today’s vaccines are relatively safe, and our medical technology is highly advanced. But of course, any vaccine has the possibility of producing a reaction. The most common reactions are soreness in the injection site and a low-grade fever, but some severe reactions are what scare off parents, such as seizures. Yes, vaccines can cause a seizure, but it’s rare. One out of 3,000 people who get the MMR vaccine will have a seizure, and the chance of getting a seizure as a result of the DTaP vaccine is one in 14,000 people according to the CDC. These seizures are scary, especially when a baby experiences them, but they aren’t harmful. They are called febrile seizures and are caused by any type of fever, including a fever that was result of a vaccine. Most importantly, they don’t result in brain damage or learning disabilities according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Overall, the benefits outweigh the risks. The risk of vaccinating pales in comparison to the possible results of not vaccinating. Pertussis, or whooping cough, a disease which causes fits of coughing, kills one out of 100 people it infects. Or, Diphtheria a bacteria that kills one out of 10 people it infects,according to the CDC. These diseases and bacterias are thankfully preventable thanks to vaccines.

Still, there are many people who refuse to vaccinate their child either for religious or philosophical reasons. The anti-vax movement, although not new, has been growing in popularity. And what anti-vaxers don’t understand is that their choice puts others at risk. Children who for medical reasons can’t get vaccinations are put at risk when they come in contact with an unvaccinated child who is sick, or cancer patients going through chemo, or even the elderly who have weakened immune systems. Herd communities or herd immunities keep these people from contracting these diseases. Herd immunity is where a largely vaccinated population helps keep the spread of diseases at bay. This is crucial, because not only do individuals keep themselves safe when they vaccinate, but they keep their community safe.

Preventable diseases are nearly gone because of vaccines, but they have a chance to come back because of people who choose to not vaccinate. It’s simply irresponsible to not vaccinate your child simply because you don’t want to. It can hurt you, your children, and your community.

By Nayeli Arellano – Sports Editor


Sometimes I wonder how the world has changed since my parents and grandparents childhood. I think about the things they say and do that many would consider old school, like vaccinations. They are pointless and put unnecessary chemicals into one’s body.

In the past, people were fine without all the shots we have today. The world and its inhabitants survived for thousands of years without vaccines. Many illnesses that we have today did not exist in the past, and technology has prevented them from spreading.
Vaccinations work by injecting a strand of the antibody into the body which is just as much a risk. Many people respond badly to vaccinations because all bodies are different. People could get ill or have an allergic reaction to the chemicals.

While some vaccines may help, there are many things that can’t be prevented by a simple injection. People still catch the flu each year because the wrong strand is treated for or an unexpected case comes up. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is 40-60% ineffective, which is a large number of people not being treated properly.

Most of the vaccines used today are new and contain data that has not had enough time to show overall effects. Some people can not be vaccinated due to other health conditions like immune suppression.
Vaccinations also do not last forever and you have to get treated again at other ages. This makes one wonder at what exactly it is doing to your body. If the effects are not long term, what promises that they will work in the immediate future.

Religion also plays a role in if you get vaccinated or not. Some religions think vaccinating is a sin because it is “opposing God of his punishment due to your sins.” For example, the Reformed Dutch Congregation has an objection to vaccinations. They decline immunization because it “interferes with divine provinces.” People should respect other individuals religious views and allow them to not vaccinate.

There are also many risks to vaccinating according to the National Vaccine Information Center. Some of these risks include brain inflammation, nervous system dysfunction, seizures, death, and shock.

Technology is so advanced that measles and other diseases should not be a problem. Vaccines affect your body, and that should be important to consider.

By Vania Rosales – Contributor


FBLA Crushes States!

On April 5-7, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) represented Fauquier High School at the State Leadership Conference held in Reston, VA, where 15 students competed against other schools in the state. Out of these 15, five students scored high enough to move onto the national conference in San Antonio, Texas in June.

Students moving on to nationals include senior Samantha Lucas competing in Accounting 1, senior Jonah Patterson competing in Accounting 2, senior Chris Kiser competing in Economics, sophomore Rachel Singleton competing in Business Law and senior Fallon Goemmer competing in Agriculture Business.

Each individual competed at a regional level in order to have the opportunity to compete at states. If the students received a high enough placing, they moved on to the next conference.
“I was definitely really nervous before receiving the results,” said Patterson, “but once I received the results and saw I got second place, I was really happy.”

Kiser joined FBLA his sophomore year after hearing how fun the competitions were. “I was really excited when I got first place because it’s something I really wanted,” said Kiser. He hopes to have a lot of fun and place well at the upcoming national conference.
FBLA adviser Karen is very proud of her students. “I’m thrilled; this is the most individual competition contestants I’ve ever had to go to nationals,” said Chipman. “I think they are going to be great competitors.”

Going from a state level competition to a national level is no easy task. “One state, that’s great, but now they’re coming from 50 states and beginning to up their game,” said Chipman.

ore year after hearing how fun the competitions were. “I was really excited when I got first place because it’s something I really wanted,” said Kiser. He hopes to have a lot of fun and place well at the upcoming national conference.

FBLA adviser Karen is very proud of her students. “I’m thrilled; this is the most individual competition contestants I’ve ever had to go to nationals,” said Chipman. “I think they are going to be great competitors.”

Going from a state level competition to a national level is no easy task. “One state, that’s great, but now they’re coming from 50 states and beginning to up their game,” said Chipman.

By Amanda Arellano – Staff Reporter

Artist of the Month

Capturing those special moments isn’t easy, but with senior Kari Willard’s excellent photography skills, she makes the difficult task look easy. The Falcon’s Artist of the Month recognition goes to Willard, nominated by photography teacher Tom Falkowski.

Willard began Photography I junior year and then continued on to Photography II last term. However, she has been taking photos all her life, mainly at family events. “I just take the camera from the adults and take pictures,” said Willard.

Photography is mainly a hobby for Willard, and she often uses social media as a platform to share her work. She prefers to use digital cameras, specifically Canons.

One of Willard’s favorite parts about photography is editing and playing around with the colors. She edits on Adobe Photoshop which is a software the school provides.

Willard said her teachers are very supportive. “They critique me on what I can do better, or they show me tips and tricks on what I can use.”

“Kari is a hardworking photographer who takes her compositions seriously,” said Falkowski. “Kari will take time to use Digital Photo Professional and Photoshop if necessary to produce an image that truly captures the situation and the feelings she wants to express to others.”

By Rachel Singleton – News Editor

Us: A True Mental Horror Story

Jordan Peele came straight out of the gate with one of the most interesting directorial debuts in years with Get Out, and the world was waiting impatiently to see what he had in store for us next. Will his next film just be Get Out 2? Anybody who has seen his new film Us would definitely respond with a quick denial. Us and Get Out have a relatively similar tone. The similarities stop there. Peele has done the best thing possible as a fledgling director–he has charted new territory.

Us begins with a typical horror movie formula–a family travels to their Santa Cruz vacation home for the summer which is fifteen minutes away from civilization, and their house is invaded by a group of “strangers.” The mother, Adelaide (the incredible Lupita Nyong’o), is uncomfortable about being close to Santa Cruz because she can feel herself getting closer to a traumatic event from her past involving her doppelgänger. This fear manifests itself when she figures out the invaders are exactly what she was staying away from, and thus begins Jordan Peele’s new mind-bending nightmare.
Us is wildly original and goes is so many unexpected directions. Jordan Peele takes the originality and mind-bending nature that Get Out exhibits and turns it up to an eleven.

Peele utilizes a Shyamalan-esque method of structuring Us, with there being copious twists and turns throughout until the ambiguous ending. It is confusing, but in the best way possible. Us reminds viewers of a time where horror was primarily mental instead of filled with pointless jump-scares.

All the performances are great, for the film gives each person a chance to shine given their duel role, but the standout is easily Lupita Nyong’o as the lead: she is simultaneously enthralling and disturbing, sometimes both in the same scene. Most of the pivotal scenes in the film are conversations between Nyong’o and her shadow, and she would be Oscar-worthy even if she was only playing one of the two.

The truly magical thing that Jordan Peele achieves here is how many messages, themes and interpretations the main story and ending have such as major issues like social structure, free will vs. determinism, and the effects of grief. Every single shot, plot decision and character seems to mean one thing at the beginning of the movie, and ten other things when the film concludes.

I will say a second view is mandatory to a complete understanding of Us. Every viewer will have missed at least one major detail that will clarify the message even further, and these aspects surface along the second or even third viewing. The fact that Jordan Peele has gotten to this level of mastery on just his second film is unheard of. I can only imagine what he has planned for the future.

A complaint that surfaced the internet about this film is that it contains many plot holes, and while there are some moments where Peele asks the audience to suspend disbelief, the point doesn’t revolve around the plot holding up under a microscope. Peele’s ambitions run so high that the logic doesn’t need to 100 percent line up. The only complaint I have regards a large exposition dump near the end that basically explains all of the events in one scene, but I don’t see how Peele could have avoided including this scene just the way he did.

Us is the first must-see theatrical release of 2019. Jordan Peele has an acute awareness of the motifs that are exploited in the story. This is definitely the first Oscar front-runner of the year–if Get Out can receive as many nominations as it did then this one sure as hell can. Each person will have their own interpretation of this movie, which is why it is so necessary to check it out while it is still in theaters.

Fisher Wins Again!

Junior Sam Fisher, member of the Birds of Prey wrestling club, is now a national champion. He attended the 10th FloWrestling national tournament in Pennsylvania, Indiana on April 18 to 20. He won first place in the cadet division of the greco-roman class at 92 kilograms.

This year was a first for FloNationals wrestlers in competing in greco and freestyle wrestling. They claim they are “one of the toughest high school tournaments in the nation.”
“It was a good opportunity to expose myself,” Fisher said, and when asked how he feels to be a national champion he responded, “[it feels] no different.”

In addition to winning first, he placed 3rd in cadet freestyle. Currently he is the first and only member of the Birds of Prey wrestling club to become a FloNational champion.

By Nayeli Arellano – Sports Editor

Science Students Experience SKipjack Adventure

The cold winds blew in the students face as they observed the Chesapeake Bay from a wind-powered Skipjack.

On April 2, science students sailed with their teacher Jonathan Kraut out of the Annapolis Harbor into the Chesapeake Bay on a boat called a Skipjack.

During the field trip students were able to participate in many activities along with riding the Skipjack. Activities included water quality and PH testing, dissolving oxygen, oyster shucking and learning about the Chesapeake Bay.

According to Maryland Sea Grant, fishermen used the boat on the Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging during the 19th and 20th century. However, as policies restricted oyster harvesting, the practice became almost extinct by 1960. Today, Skipjacks are an uncommon sight in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Kraut works with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in order to organize field trips and volunteer work for Fauquier to attend. Once the foundation offered a visit to the 119-year-old boat, he quickly took the opportunity.

Sophomore Sage Smith, who attended said, “It was cool experience overall. I just like boats and being out in the water.”

Freshman Sierra Theoret also enjoyed the trip and said the most memorable part was “being on the boat itself because it’s a really old boat, and it was just really cool.”

Kraut said the experience was great but the weather “was stupendously cold (…). The kids basically shut down because they were freezing but those that bucked-up should have had a very educational experience.”

By Rachel Singleton – News Editor

Girls’ Lacrosse Push Through Obstacles This Spring Season

A rough start only made this team try harder. Sticks clatter and the sound of laughing and yelling come from the fields where the Lady Falcons lacrosse players practice almost every day.
Starting the season in February, the JV team had high hopes and lots of confidence; however, they soon began to feel the hardships of having an inexperienced team. After multiple losses, they felt they were not doing the best they could and quickly became disappointed.

“It’s been rough because we are a new team and a lot of the players are new. We weren’t able to really work the field as well,” said junior Francesca Roy.

Nutrition and Wellness teacher Rebecca Hale stepped down from the position of head coach after three years of coaching JV. “I’m selling my house and getting ready to move, and it’s just a lot of time commitment. So just personal reasons,” said Hale. “It is a good thing; I enjoyed coaching. I enjoyed the girls and everything. I decided to just step away from it because he [Varsity Head Coach Mac] does have some help.”

Hale had prior experience in coaching Warrenton Youth Soccer Club where her duties included coaching volleyball, soccer and lacrosse teams. She began coaching because no one else stepped up to the plate.

“Mr. Burton had actually been the one that had asked me to help out and he likes having a teacher [run the program],” said Hale.
The girls felt that coaching was not Hale’s main priority this year, but they were sad to see her go. With the arrival of new Head Coach Kelli Munoz they did find a glimmer of hope. “We got off to a bad start, but Coach Munoz re-taught us everything, and now we are doing a lot better,” said freshman Jessica Summers.

The team saw improvement after one game. The communication between the girls became more intense, and they were proud of how they played as a team. They feel the season can only get better from now on.

“[In] our last game, our defense improved a lot more, and we were able to seal it in and not have any gaps,” said sophomore Paige Keith. “So now we can start working on our offense and shooting and really getting aggressive.”

Munoz formed an attachment to the girls and the team itself. In the beginning, they felt they weren’t being heard, so they wrote a letter to Activity Director Mark Holmes to see what he would say. The next day he called some of them into his office, and they were able to express their feelings on behalf of the team. Their parents also attended and were proud of the girls for speaking out.

Hale supports the girls and still plays a role in a team tradition. They make energy bites, flax seed fiber snacks, the day before the game to prepare. Hale likes to make them with the girls to promote nutrition and wellness since they are healthy and protein filled but also because it helps her stay connected with the girls.

“I didn’t want to leave them because I have a relationship with the girls,” said Hale. “I want them to know they are always welcome to come and see me. I wish both teams a great season.”

By Catherine Smith – Staff Reporter