Author Archives: Morgan Olsen

From Walkout to Lockdown: Rockwell Students say ‘Enough is Enough’

by Kaya Garza

Students at Rockwell Charter High School participated in a nationwide protest against gun violence Wednesday by walking out of their classrooms at exactly 10:00 am. More than 65 Rockwell students participated in the peaceful protest that lasted 17 minutes.

IMG_4992“When the walkout happened, quite a few students went to the back parking lot,” said Rockwell sophomore, Katie Hull. “During the 17 minutes, we paid respect to the victims. A couple students read the names of every victim in the Parkland shooting. It was really powerful.”

The walkout lasted for 17 minutes to honor those 17 students who lost their lives in the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Rockwell students exercised their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and the right to form assembly as they chanted things like “enough is enough” and “17 minutes for 17 lives” while marching from the back of the school to the front. Some students also marched with signs that said things like “enough” and “17 minutes.”

But not all students felt walking out was the correct approach. Some felt the alternative “Walk Up, Not Out” movement would be more effective.

“I felt like the walkout wasn’t the right way to go about it,” said Rockwell student Mikayla Tanner. “Walk Up is approaching new people and showing them they have someone there. When you’re talking to new people they feel valued. None of those shooters felt cared about. It wouldn’t just help end gun violence, but suicide and self harm as well. But I wasn’t against it, I still support everyone who decided to walk out. Just for me personally, it wasn’t the best approach.”

Approximately 30 minutes later, after students had already gone back to their classes, Rockwell counselor Misty Madsen received a call from police about a man who showed up to the Maverik near Rockwell with a rifle strapped to his chest.

“I was just chilling and teaching when there was an announcement about a lockdown,” said Rockwell teacher Jacob Hampton. “I was already having a discussion about the walkout with my students when the announcement happened, and I also got a text that went out to all the staff. I instructed my students to go to a corner as I turned off the lights and removed the door magnet.”

The lockdown was called off about 20 minutes later when the man left Maverik property.

“The man mentioned that he heard Rockwell was participating in the walkout and he wanted to spread some kind of message about his rights as an American,” said a Maverick employee. “He wasn’t doing anything illegal, as Utah is an open-carry state.”IMG_5002

This man intended to “educate” Rockwell students who participated in the walkout about the Second Amendment, but police confirmed there was no immediate threat to the safety of students and staff at Rockwell.

“Sadly, too many people misunderstood the aims of the walkout – students and adults, alike,” said Rockwell’s Principal Darren Beck. “That was a horrible way to teach people, by scaring them.”

This lockdown taught Rockwell some important lessons about how to stay calm should a similar situation ever arise again.

“I think that we, as teachers, staff, and students, learned that we need to be more prepared if something like this were to happen again,” said Rockwell student Megan Nelson. “We should have more drills. These kinds of things could last for hours and people were freaking out after a few minutes. It really put things into perspective.”

Opinion: Is Black History Month Racist?

by Kaya Garza

Ever since Black History Month became a thing, there were people who stood firmly against it. There were people who said, “Gee. Why don’t me and my white ancestors get a history month? Don’t you think that’s a bit racist?”

Well, let me explain it to you.

Let’s start from the beginning. Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. His intentions were very clear- he wanted to create such a time where the successes and triumphs of African-Americans were no longer overlooked and disregarded, and to cultivate an environment of learning, respect, and understanding. This eventually turned into “Black History Month,” which was celebrated in certain colleges and communities, and finally became recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976.

Now, like we have seen, people were indifferent to the notion of a month dedicated to people who aren’t white, because this “separates black people from being Americans.”

Now, claiming they aren’t Americans is clearly atrocious, but honoring them, their history and cultures which we spent so long trying to erase, is NOT an act of separation and division, it is an act of respect and reparation.

When the majority of our elementary history was dedicated to certain “heroes” of the Civil War like Robert E. Lee, to our Founding Fathers, to our long line of clearly white presidents, to our colonial roots, the books have simply overlooked African-American achievement- and one month, trust me, couldn’t even cover a quarter. To honor such achievements of these true heroes and innovators of our country’s history is vital, and an absolute obligation.

Claiming that we should simply be blind to color and race is a sick attempt at burying the issues in the ground and pretending they don’t exist. Ignoring beautiful cultures and ways of life is not only ridiculous, but careless.

It is incorrect to suggest that a month dedicated to black people is an act of racism against white people who feel that their history is being erased in the process. This is a country built upon white supremacy; the “heroes” of our past are drenched in blood. This is a country where slavery has continually progressed- from chains, to segregation, to stereotypes- and everything in between. The endless media that pertains to ideas that every young black boy wants to be a basketball player and that every young black girl is loud and sassy, and that the “hood” and gangs are the closest thing to success black people will get is all that’s been fed into our brains. Black people are not drug dealers, gang members, and so on – they are doctors, soldiers, scientists, authors, and the like.

They have been too long overlooked. Asking for appreciation for 28 days out of the year is not racist, it is equalizing.

Humans of Rockwell

Athletes of Rockwell: Lady Marshals defeat UMA in home opener

by Sidney Bernabeu | Marshal Magazine |

Both girls Varsity and JV teams defeated the Utah Military Academy Monday.

Varsity won 55-20. They came onto the court well prepared and ready to win.

IMG_4239The team is mostly made up of new girls this year but, as the team showed against UMA, they know what it takes to be a good team.

“It was a really great game,” said sophomore Brie Searle. “We worked as a team. We had really good team effort and we all worked with each other.”

The JV team won 42-7, and they were also up for the challenge of winning. Although this group of girls just started playing together, they are prepared to win and their season looks promising.

Change Wars: Donate to a local family in need

Student government hosted an assembly Thursday afternoon encouraging students, teachers, and faculty, to participate in this year’s Change Wars event.

“This is the kickoff for a fun service challenge for the whole school including us as faculty and staff members,” said principal Darren Beck. “Over the 9 years we have done this, we have provided meaningful holiday cheer to about 2 dozen families.”

Change Wars is a competition taking place from now through December. Jars

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representing each grade can be found in the front office. Students may place pennies in their own grade’s jar to earn points, or they can choose to “bomb” other grades with dollar bills, deducting points from the “bombed” grade’s score.

At the conclusion of the bombing period, all money will be counted and points will be calculated based on how many pennies and how many other coins/dollar bills are in the jars. The winning grade will receive a pizza party during Mentoring.

 

“Hopefully we will get people motivated so we can do some good this year,” said Beck.

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Holiday Night Live performs skit at Change Wars Assembly.

The assembly featured the high school orchestra as they performed the Star Spangled Banner. The high school girls and boys basketball teams, the junior high girls and boys basketball teams, the indoor soccer team, and the cast and crew of Holiday Night Live were also featured.
Ultimately, the assembly was filled with energy. Marshals felt the excitement of the coming basketball season, which starts December 1 with the Homecoming game, followed by the Homecoming dance the next day. Tickets are $15 per single ticket or $25 per couple.

High school assembly kicks off fall sports season

Marshals gathered together to kick off the fall sports season at a back to school, fall sports assembly Thursday.
DSCN0097The assembly began with the introduction of student government, followed by the introduction of sports teams: baseball, volleyball, drill, and cross country, and finished with the introduction of this year’s Shakespeare team.

“We are an award-winning drama team,” said Shakespeare advisor Amy Holt at today’s assembly, “and that’s thanks to this talented group of kids.”DSCN0285

As the fall sports season kicks off, Marshals are excited to compete with the rest of Utah’s 2A region.

“I know I can always rely on my team to back me up,” said volleyball player, Divinia Smith. “We all love playing together as a team.”

Here’s to a great season for all Rockwell sports!

Student Submission: How to Commit Suicide

This post isn’t what it sounds like. Please read and spread the word.


There comes a time in your life when all you want is to find a way out. You become desperate, but that doesn’t matter. Nothing else matters in the whole world except finding a way out of all the pain around you. You start to think “what’s the point of being here when everything is a disaster?”. This article is going to teach you how to commit suicide.

1.) Come to your breaking point. We all have that one point that we just crumble and can’t take anything anymore. Everything around us has just turned for the absolute worst so what’s the point of staying? It is the first step in deciding to commit suicide and the turning point in your life.

2.) Find what you are going to commit suicide with. There are many things that you can use to kill yourself with. It’s choosing the object or specific way that’s the difficult part. Almost everything is toxic or painful to humans.

3.) Throw whatever you chose away because you are better than that. Suicide isn’t the best option because there are so many people that love you. You are such an amazing person and I need you, I love you. You are so much more than the words and names that they call you.

4.) Find an alternative. There are different alternatives such as writing, drawing, talking to people, kill other people (video games), non stressful video games, or even finding an activity to do with your spare time. There are so many other better things that you can do than to commit suicide.

So to wrap this up these are the four easy simple steps to commit suicide. First step is to come to your breaking point. Second step is to find what you are going to commit suicide with. Third throw whatever you chose away because you are better than that. Our fourth and final step is to find an alternative. Suicide is not the answer.

 

Q&A with Rockwell Drill coaches: Past and present

It’s that time of year again!

Drill is having their annual Drill Review for the 7th time in 9 years. Drill has had a lot of success over the years, including their second place in the State Drill Competition in 2013. Candice Spivey was the coach of that team and current Coach Maddie Beck was a dancer on that team. I sat down with both of them and asked them a couple of questions.

I started with Candice Spivey (assistant director/drill coach for 7 years).

Candice:

Q: How did it feel when you placed second at state?

 

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The Rockettes at State (2013)

A: Well, drill is a very political sport, and that led us to getting the second place. But it was exciting to see us compete with the best. I felt bad when they didn’t get the first place that I felt like they deserved.

 

Candice coached for 7 years, and in that time span she led them to state a handful of times. The most memorable was the year 2012 when they received a 5th place. Equally memorable, of course, was in 2013 when they tied for first and then “coin flipped” for second.

Q: How long have you taught dance?

A: In high school (2002), I taught dance at community rec classes. Then I went to college and didn’t teach for awhile, but in 2005, I started teaching again at Ultimate Dance ETC. I’ve been teaching there ever since.

Q: What are your thoughts on this year’s team?

A: It’s a great group of girls with a lot of talent. If they retain a lot of their members they can have a chance at the state title with their coach.

Q: What’s the hardest dance move to teach?

A: I would say teaching fouetté’s because the dancers struggle with the correct technique.

I then went to talk to this year’s coach, Maddie Beck. Maddie danced for her 9th, 11th, and 12th grade years. She also danced at Ultimate Dance ETC. with Candice as a coach.

Maddie:

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Rockwell’s current Drill Team, The Rockettes (2017)

Q: How’d you feel about state this year (2017)?

 

A: It was rad to see them perform and to see their transformation from the summer to that day at state. I was proud of the hard work they all put in.

Q: How did it feel when you went to state as a dancer and tied for first but received second?

A: First of all, Dylan, let me stop you right there. We didn’t tie for first place, we TOOK first place. The drill team world is full of politics which makes it a very competitive sport. (And yes I said sport, sexists.)

Q: Alright, how do you feel about next year?

A: I’m stoked to see all of the upcoming talent that Rockwell has to offer, and to keep the program going.

Q: How many years have you coached dance?

A: I taught two years with Candice as an assistant, but this year was my first solo go.

Q: How long have you been dancing?

A: Since I was 8, so 13 years.

Q: Who’s your favorite coach? (This one better be an obvious answer…)

A: Candice. She was very influential because she not only trained me in dance and fitness but helped me in my everyday life.

Be sure to go to the FREE Drill Review on March 9th at 7:00 pm here at Rockwell. Watch showcase dances by the Rockettes and others including the famous, sought-after male drill members.

Darren Beck: Principal first, baseball fan second

by Dontel Bautista

Mr. Beck was born on February 27, 1964, in Yuba City, California. He attended Yuba City High School and California State University Chico.

His first day of high school was intimidating.

“I spent the day trying to avoid older students that were trying to intimidate me and my friends,” said Mr. Beck.

Although school may have been intimidating in the beginning, Mr. Beck decided he wanted to be a teacher himself and loves the career path he has chosen.

“I tried other things and never enjoyed them that much,’’ said Mr. Beck. “Teaching is more fun.’’

Mr. Beck has worked in education for 21 years. He has worked as everything from a sub to a fourth grade teacher, to an adult educator, to a high school administrator.

Aside from teaching, Mr. Beck loves attending baseball games with or without his family. He also loves watching movies, and reading books

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Mr. Beck and his family

His list of favorite movies is long, but classics like The Godfather Trilogy, 42, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sandlot, and Blues Brothers make up the top of his list.

“A favorite movie is one I can watch it over and over again and not get tired of it,” said Mr. Beck. “My list changes depending on my mood.”

All joking aside, Mr. Beck’s role model is his dad, Ted Beck.

“My dad is hardworking, honorable, has a strong commitment to family and community, and is funny as heck,” said Mr. Beck.

Though there have been many highlights throughout his years working in education, Mr. Beck says his favorite times are those when kids come back with positive things to say.

“I love when, as a teacher and administrator, kids come back after years and say, ‘Thanks for not giving up on me,’” he said. “That’s a rush each and every time.”

Change Wars fun had by all

by Dylan Beck

Wednesday’s annual Rockwell Change Wars Assembly was one many students won’t soon forget. We raised a total of $700, which helped 3 Rockwell families with their Christmas.  

For $1000 dollars, Mr. Beck sat in a garbage can filled with ice cold water for 10 minutes. Mrs. Christensen was taped to the wall for $900 and a cast was made from the tape.

For $100 dollars Holt is switching with a student, a student will teach her class and she will be taught by another.

For $200 Shayna and Maddie had a competition to see who could fit the most marshmallows in their mouths. Chubby Bunny was the name of the game.

For $300 Ben and Dylan did Millerberg’s makeup for the day (although it ended up looking more like a painting).

For $400 Shawna and Ranell made a tasty dessert by using each other.

For $500 Mr. Hofmann had water balloons thrown at him by randomly picked students.

For $600 the lunch ladies got their faces smashed with pie.

For $700 Seth shaved off his long beard completely, you might not recognize Seth anymore.

For $800 Mr. Pryor cooked and ate crickets.  

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