Online: Despite rumors, school is under no impending threat

By Kendra Schwartz and Ashley Hocking

Despite rumors, administrators have disclosed that there were allegedly threatening remarks made by a two students on Wed., Jan. 29.

Assistant principal Mike Norris revealed that although there have been roughly 12 police officers in the building at any given time today, the students who had made the remarks are no longer on campus.

“What has been reported is that some students alleged made some threatening remarks about the school that concerned some parents who were able to contact me early this morning,” Norris said. “At that point, we [administrators and law enforcement] basically just grabbed the kids and pulled them in an interview.”

Although Norris was notified by some parents, before second hour began on Jan. 30, rumors were already buzzing as to what the threats were. Some parents even went as far as to pull their student out of class.

“By the time we got these calls, the situation was dealt with,” Norris said. “By the time the rumor mill gets around, the problem’s already been dealt with. I assume we had kids texting parents and those sorts of things. By the time parents called, our secretarial staff was able to talk to the parents and communicate what it says in the press release and that everybody’s safe and that were no issues.”

Although there are no existing problems, rumors flew all the way to Free State High School this morning.

“When these sorts of this happen, we deal with the resolve,” Norris said. “There were a lot of concerned parents to the point that Free State has gotten calls from parents. ‘Do I need to get my kids out of school?’ There were other tweets going out that there were bomb threats and there were actually shootings at school. There were all these sorts of things. Whatever the concern was now had been contained.”

Other rumors circled, saying there had been a threat of a school shooting, but sources denied there were any weapons involved or even threatened. At this time, there is no clear evidence that serious threats were even made by the two students.

“Because we get a report that threats were made, it doesn’t mean that threats were actually made,” Norris said. “There is a very probable situation where there might not be any reprimanding because the kids didn’t actually do anything wrong.”

As a result of the ambiguity, the two students who were pulled out of class have yet to be reprimanded further.

“If there’s a consequence that needs to happen, it’ll happen,” Norris said. “But I’m not saying there’s necessarily a consequence that needs to happen.”

However, because the school’s security footage does not include audio, police cannot be sure what was said yesterday by these individuals. However, students have their own guesses as to what occurred.

“I posted on Facebook that two kids had threatened the school and I got a comment that said, ‘Those guys were removed hours ago, you should not even be worried about that,’” junior Clara Cobb said. “For everyone that’s at this school, they deserve to know what’s going on.”

Other students, like junior Jack Rischer, are less worried about an impending threat because administrators have confirmed the safety of the campus.

“Well, I heard a lot of theories,” Rischer said. “It could have been a bomb threat or a shooting, but we’re obviously still in school so there is nothing to worry about.”

Overall, although threats may have been made yesterday, today, Lawrence High remains just as safe as any other day.

“There was no impending threat,” Norris said. “No one had weapons, nothing of that nature; just some kids that made some remarks that were concerning.”

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Issue 6: Polar vortex shifts from Arctic region to US

By Ashley Hocking

Subzero temperature records were shattered the first weekend of January when the cold reached a new low. A frigid whirlpool of dense air, known as a polar vortex, gripped the nation when the core of the vortex shifted downward from its usual home in the Arctic region.  

“It’s not a new word for any meteorologist, but the term sure did catch on in the public the last couple weeks,” said Erin Little, a meteorologist from KMBC 9 News. “From the moment we saw the dangerous cold in the forecast, we tried to warn the public as much as possible. Public safety is the most important part of my job.”

USD 497 students enjoyed an extended winter break when school was cancelled on Jan. 6 due to safety concerns with frigid temperatures.

The cold dipped to -10° Farenheit, which is the lowest recorded local temperature in the past 20 years. When wind chills reach -15°Fahrenheit, frostbite and hypothermia can develop on exposed skin within ten minutes.

While some students stayed indoors, others picked up a shovel and seized the opportunity to make extra cash. Junior Christian Espinosa operates a snow shoveling business during the winter to help out the elderly and families who are unable to do it themselves.

“It was about an eight hour day and 11 degrees when we started,” Espinosa said. “I wore about five shirts and I [had] to pull out the long underwear.”

On average, he earns a sum of $25.00 per driveway. On Jan 6, he racked up a total of over $200.00 in one day.

But, snow shovelers aren’t the only ones affected. Many employees whose jobs involve outdoor labor were also impacted by icy obstacles.

Senior Nick Lewis, a courtesy clerk at Hy-Vee on 23rd St., braved the cold as he pushed carts in the parking lot in nothing but khakis and a light company jacket.

“It’s expected,” Lewis said. “Carts, bagging, cleaning: it’s all part of the job. You don’t get paid extra for going out in the cold.”

When ice covers the gravel of the parking lot, precaution is a necessity.

“I just have to be really careful,” Lewis said. “If there’s ice, I have to make sure I don’t slip because if I slip, the carts will go everywhere and hit cars. That’s a mess.”

But nearly as soon as temperatures reached dangerous levels, the outside temperatures began to climb steadily.

“I was glad because I don’t like the cold. It makes my eyes hurt and tears come out,” senior Jack Clark said. “It also makes my hair freeze.”

Experts theorized the polar vortex was due to global warming, though it has not been proven.

Because the Arctic region is experiencing a warmer climate than usual, the ice is melting and a larger surface area of water is being created.

“On occasion, this air mass can dip much well into the United States, just like it did a couple weeks ago,” Little said. “Colder air [masses] can always dip into our area.”

This is not the first time the borders have shifted. However, the vortex’s boundaries rarely shift this drastically.

While the United States is experiencing the coldest winter in twenty years, the other side of the globe is encountering the polar opposite: a summertime heat wave. In Sydney, Australia, temperatures have peaked to 114° Fahrenheit this year.

The worst is over for now, but that does not mean the polar vortex is gone for good. Though the dangerous cold the polar vortex brought this winter was rare, it has happened before.

“It’s Kansas, so pretty much anything could happen,” Espinosa said.

Issue 6: Letter from the Co-Editors-In-Chief

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Dear Readers,

As we co-editors-in-chief delve into second semester, we’ve begun to realize that this stretch to the finish line is what we make of it. This is the beginning of the end. With reduced schedules and core class credits not needed, we seniors have had to make a conscious effort not to let senioritis affect us.

However, we’ve had additional pressures to apply for admittance to a number of universities and to craft essays in application for a substantial amount of scholarships. As mentioned in the article “Rising tuition yields creative solutions,” there are a plethora of ways to ease the burden of the expenses of college.

Even though the deadlines for some national scholarships have already passed, a multitude of local scholarships became available to Lawrence High School seniors on Jan. 24.

Students who plan on attending out-of-state institutions are still eligible to receive any of the local scholarships. Information regarding these scholarships can be viewed on the school website, http://lhs.usd497.org/StudentServices/. Local scholarship applications are due Feb. 21 at 3:30

p.m., so get started on those essays!

Although we encourage all of our peers to pursue these scholarship opportunities, there are a number of other ways to pay for college. For some students, this can mean taking out student loans. Others may choose to attend community college for a few years before moving on to a four year school. Whatever you choose, make sure you have chosen a path that will ultimately prepare you for your ideal career.

Beyond scholarships, we seniors will participate in a number of “lasts.” For choir students, as illustrated in “Choral students prepare for Showtime,” many seniors will sing their last chords at LHS in Showtime. For senior participants, this year will be their last opportunity to splash around in the mud at the annual Mud Volleyball event. And for seniors, Winter Formal marks their last all-school dance at Lawrence High.

So, despite the slowly approaching end to our senior year, seniors, let’s make the most of our last semester at Lawrence High. As alluded to in the Q&A “Get to know Winter Court,” candidates were each asked, “What will your legacy be at LHS?” And although many of these candidates had their own unique perspectives, we’d like to ask this same question to the senior class as a whole.

What will our legacy be? Don’t let the class of 2014 be remembered for school vandializations or senior pranks that went too far. Seniors, let’s go down in history for being the class that underclassmen could truly look up to. Let us be the graduating class that made LHS a more positive, accepting place for our fellow classmates to attend.

Seniors, let’s make this semester count.

 

Sincerely,

Ashley Hocking & Kendra Schwartz