The Predator

Williamson High School February Edition

Why It’s Not Cuul to JUUL In Schuul

Madison Weber

Fellow classmates,

Juuling. We all know it happens, and we all know that you leave class to do it. Often you leave several times a day just to get your fix. This article is going to be both a plea, as well as me trying to convince you that it is not cuul to JUUL in schuul. Or, (in my personal opinion) in general.

Our school is in the middle of a juuling epidemic, and it is affecting everyone. Walk into the bathrooms nowadays and you will find groups of girls (and boys) rushing to hide in the stall or trying too hard to be inconspicuous. When they see it’s another student they will mutter “Oh, it’s just you” under their breath and pull out that familiar, flash drive-esque piece of plastic. This leaves you in an incredibly uncomfortable situation as the bathroom is quite literally packed with people who don’t actually have to go to the bathroom. At this point in time, it is not just faculty who are over the current situation. One student, anonymously, admits “it’s so frustrating walking into the bathroom having a gaggle of girls standing in the corner, sighing in relief when they realize you are not, in fact, the principal”. Several students I have talked have confessed to using staff bathrooms or avoiding using the bathroom at all, in order to avoid the juulers. How is it fair that the juulers are chasing regular, rule-abiding students out of the bathrooms? It is near impossible for teachers to catch bathroom juulers, but maybe have some respect for your fellow students and let them pee in peace. Perhaps if you can’t make it throughout the day without taking a hit every period there is a bigger, underlying issue...

If you do JUUL, I get it. Sort of. You have been surrounded by the fantasy surrounding it for years now. First, all the cool older kids were doing it, then all your friends, and then you saw it all over TV. It was the easy way to look cool, without all the risks of smoking cigarettes. Right? Wrong. Face these facts:

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10 Fun Facts About Nicotine

  1. One JUULPod contains as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes

  2. Nicotine itself has been proven to be just as (if not more) addictive than heroin

  3. As a teenager, you are more susceptible to addiction, as your brain is still developing

  4. It DOES affect brain development, including putting adolescents at a higher risk of psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment later in life, as well affecting their adult decision-making skills and cognitive self-control.

  5. Quitting is like “unlearning how to ride a bike”, nearly impossible.

  6. It increases sexual dysfunction over a lifetime and makes it a risk at a younger age

  7. The part of the brain affected includes attention, memory, brain plasticity, and learning is damaged by nicotine in the brain

  8. Other side effects include but are not limited to, aortic enlargement, disturbed sleep and dreams, blood restriction, vomiting, dry mouth, indigestion, peptic ulcers, heartburn, changes in heart rate/rhythm, increase in blood pressure, a higher stroke risk, and disease of the coronary artery

  9. If you start using nicotine, the rest of your life will begin to feel duller. This is because your brain becomes accustomed to the nicotine high, so when you don’t have that you feel lost.

  10. Yes, JUUL is “good” for you… But only if you are quitting smoking and using it at a decreasing rate. Using JUULs just makes you more likely to smoke and causes unnecessary addiction.

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High school can be hard, and stressful, and so much more. I’m a teenager too, I get it. But there are alternative stress relievers to nicotine. Maybe hit up the gym when you are feeling overwhelmed, or binge watch that new Netflix original series. Start a journal where you write everything down, just to get it out of your head. There’s a good chance that your grades are a major stressor in your life because I know they are in mine. Think about all that extra class time and instruction you would receive by not leaving class to go JUUL in the bathroom! There are so many more alternative ways to blow off steam, you just have to find what works for you.

I’m not judging you. As a fellow teenager, I’m aware that I am in no position to tell you how to live your life and you’re probably going to do what you want anyway. I am just here to ask that you refrain from juuling between the hours of 7:30-3:00 on weekdays. You can do it! On behalf of the non-juuling public, we thank you.

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Your thoughts on Schoology!

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How do you feel about Schoology? Do you like it? Do you find it hard to use? Or are you unsure? The paper wanted to answer these burning questions. In a survey that was sent to all the students and staff at the High School, the results weren’t what one might expect. A lot of students and/or staff said they kind of liked the new program. In fact, there were 27 people who kind of liked it.

Many of the comments contained what they perceived were the good and bad elements of the program. One person said that they “don’t particularly love the formatting and [they] don’t get notifications about what [their] grade is, which is annoying”. Another person says that “it is similar to google classroom in many ways but it is hard to add Google Slides, Sheets and other Google tools other than Docs.” Yet another person said they “like how [they] can see [their] grades and assignments on the same website. However, [they] don’t like how the assignments teachers post are limited due to the schoology space. ex; videos”. A different person said, “It is really easy to access grades and assignments, but, sometimes it is hard to use links, copy and paste, and submit powerpoints in the right format”. Overall, there were 23 people said they dislike it.

On the other hand, 19 people said they like Schoology. Some comments were that it “Keeps [them] organized, [so they] don’t need to write down [their] assignments”. Another person said that they “like organization, and schoology provides that”. Another common comment was that they “know exactly what's going on with assignments and grades”. All in all, people have mixed feelings about Schoology. Remember that schoology “has good qualities and bad, [but] the bad qualities shouldn’t be the only thing seen.

Schoology has some problems that need to be worked out but, so do other programs similar to Schoology.

Romance in the #MeToo Movement Era

Opinion Piece by Rachel Ramsdell

February is known as the “season of love” since Valentine’s Day is the main focus of the month. In the past, men used to confess their love for their special someone through romantic gestures. However, nowadays some of those gestures might get mistaken as sexual harassment. With the #MeToo Movement appearing all over the media, people are on the lookout for anything that would be considered sexual harassment. It is necessary that they do this since sexual harassment is (and has been for a long time) a terrible reality, but sometimes gestures that were intended to be harmless get mistaken as sexual harassment, thus causing humiliation to the man. As a woman, I cannot speak for men but if I were a man in this day and age, I would probably be fearful of showing my feelings for someone I liked because of this. Could this hinder romance? What should men do? When considering these issues most people focus on women, as they should, but men are not always considered.

With the rise of the awareness of sexual harassment, more people are watching and evaluating the daily interactions between the sexes more closely than ever. This may instill fear in men when talking to a woman. Some things that were considered romantic, flirtatious, or just common manners could now be mislabeled as sexual harassment. For example, the famous scene in the movie Say Anything where Lloyd shows up at Diane’s window holding a boombox was considered romantic in 1989, and could still be today (except for the fact that not a lot of people own boomboxes). Today, it could be argued that Lloyd’s gesture was stalkerish and creepy. In addition, some compliments could be considered harassment. If a man tells a woman that he likes her sweater, it could be mistaken as sexual harassment because he was “trying to make advances” even if she just looked good in the sweater. However, if a woman made that same comment to another woman, she might see it as the compliment that it was intended to be. Isn’t that sexist? In general, people need to learn how to receive a compliment. When someone gives you a compliment (no matter the gender) you say “thank you”. Too often I see someone give a compliment and the receiver says, “Oh, you’re lying! That’s not true!” If someone goes out of their way to give you a compliment, it is your duty to say “thank you” whether you agree with them or not. In all cases, logic and common sense are the first things that need to be used. One needs to decipher the intentions of the man ( How did he say it? How is his character?). The second most reliable source in determining this is to go with your gut. If you feel genuinely threatened (if he gives you “bad vibes”) then it is of concern and it is necessary to distance yourself. One of the consequences of the #MeToo Movement is that it scares women into thinking that most men want to take advantage of them when that is not the case. In fact, most men care about and respect women.

Popular culture leads us to believe that chivalry is outdated. I have read that some women oppose chivalry since they feel that they can open the door for themselves. Even though this is true, chivalry is nice. Most women love it when a man is chivalrous. I think that it’s common manners. From my experience, the boys in our school are very chivalrous and I applaud them for that.

Despite what modern media sometimes depicts, I believe women do like it when a man is romantic and chivalrous. Sexual harassment and male-female issues are not a problem in our school and we should be thankful for that. However, they are and always have been a problem in the nation. If it isn’t an issue in our school then why did I care to write about it? It is our duty as the new generation to preserve tradition while making the necessary changes in society. When faced with different ideas we must see it from different perspectives, not just the one that the media presents (which is ironic since the Predator is considered media :)). By doing this we can then work towards the necessary changes and fair treatment for all. This Valentine’s Day, whether you have a sweetheart or not, please show everyone love and respect.

I don’t intend to offend anyone so I apologize if my opinion offended you. I have not experienced any sort of sexual harassment that urged me to write about it but I have heard a lot about it on the news over the past year and wanted to express my opinion. If you are suffering from an abusive relationship please get help because you deserve better.

Tackling Test Taking Terror

By Maddy Bortle

In my mind, there are two issues surrounding current test taking set-up and system in our school. The first being how we schedule our transportation to and from exams and the second being how we’re housed while we wait for exams. Midterm, finals and Regents exams are already stressful enough as it is; whether you are retaking a Regents, just one exam, or a whole bunch the stress can mount. You only have to go into school when you have an exam but sometimes that’s hard for students who can’t get a ride to their midday exam. There could be many reasons including that they don’t drive, their parents aren’t home, or their friends don’t have a test at the same time. We have a midday bus run home for students who are done with morning testing but that doesn’t help the students who need a ride in for an afternoon exam. Many people, myself included, believe that we need a bus run to bring students in for their midday exams.

We also have seen many students overwhelmed from how loud the cafeteria is when they arrive for exams. Some students need to sit in a quiet space to get their mind ready for their exam. Others want to study in a peaceful environment. However, they find it difficult to focus in the cafeteria. It can be loud and distracting as other people around them are talking to their friends, eating, and playing games. We believe that a proposal for a solution is in order: keeping the cafeteria open for all, but also opening the auditorium as a quiet space for students to spread out and relax or study.

What types of actions must be taken to solve this problem? A good start would be to propose the solutions to the school board, Dr. Macaluso, and Dr. Avery to see if they find them reasonable. All that would be needed is a teacher in the auditorium to make sure that everyone in there is using that space properly. The regular rules for the auditorium will still apply. This would solve our cafeteria problem. A few willing bus drivers who can pick up the students who need a ride into school for their test would solve our transportation issues. An efficient way of doing this would be to have a sign-up sheet at the front desk or in the cafeteria the week before exams and have students sign up for a pickup the days they will need rides to school on the midday bus run. With these few suggestions, I feel like our exams could run more smoothly for students and result in a more relaxed test taking environment.

Comic Corner

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Art by Brayden Enright


By Irini Konstantinou

Don’t have a Valentine this year? Don’t worry about it! Show yourself some self-love and work on your wellbeing with these simple tips this Valentine’s Day…

  1. Take a Walk-- Give yourself some time and space to clear your head!

  2. Take a Bath-- Give yourself a moment to relax!

  3. Go to sleep early-- Getting rest will give you better days!

  4. Listen to Music-- It’s relaxing and can improve your mood!

  5. Stretch-- Not only does it feel good after a hard practice, but it’s good for your body!

  6. Watch a movie-- Sometimes it’s nice to be distracted for a while…

  7. Buy a planner-- Treat yourself to a new planner… not only are they cute and colorful, but staying organized will help you feel less stressed.

  8. Take a nap-- Just like going to bed early, sometimes a nap is helpful to get extra rest.

  9. Write-- In a journal or on a scrap piece of paper… Sometimes writing is a therapeutic way to express your feelings!

  10. Color-- Painting and drawing are relaxing and fun!

  11. Turn off Technology-- Give yourself a breather from internet stress.

  12. Go out to eat-- Treat yourself to a meal outside of your home!

Even by following a few of these tips, you can work on having a happier, healthier lifestyle. Show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day and treat yourself!

Here Are Some Valentine's Day Traditions to Try

By Gryphon Akridge

1. Exchanging gifts such as chocolate or roses.

2. Going for a romantic night out in town

3. Giving Valentines to friends at school

4. Decorating everything with Cupid, arrows, and hearts

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