Lassiter Lottery for Parking Spaces

by Samantha Flores

Staff Writer

The Lassiter High School auxiliary gym is set to be torn down towards the end of
October. This gym has been home to many of Lassiter’s sports: competition cheerleading,
wrestling, basketball, etc. It will be missed for those reasons, but how exciting is it that Lassiter is getting a brand-new gym? Sadly, this construction will eliminate 300 student parking spots, and has caused quite a disruption. Harrison Park has been gracious enough to allow Lassiter access to 100 of its parking spaces, those of which have been raffled off to juniors. The lottery is now over, and the lucky juniors have been given their decals, but this is unfortunate for many. Half of the junior drivers may not get a chance to park for the remainder of the year, and the sophomores who get their licenses throughout this year have a slim chance of getting a decal as well. The construction is expected to end between October 2019-January 2020. The next time Lassiter students will have full accessibility to parking may not be for a long while. In the meantime, this new gym is said to be so big that it can host cheer competitions. This will be a great asset, as the schools hosting these have to be very large. We are a 7A school with over 2,000 students, but our gym right now doesn’t really reflect that. It’s exciting that we have this to look forward to, but for now it as seen by student drivers as an inconvenience.

Anti-vaccination or pro-preventable diseases?

Sheila Onyango

Staff Writer

There has been public resistance to vaccinations since they were first introduced. In the early 1800s, the first widely spread smallpox vaccination in England resulted in fear and protest. Some opposed vaccinations because they originate from animals, deeming them “ungodly.” Others were quick to denounce medicine as an entire practice. Lastly, there were the objectors who were weary of vaccinations simply because they felt that they encroached on their personal liberties. This last group grew as the government mandated more and more vaccines.

Fast forward to 2018 and anti-vaccination leagues still lead an outcry against immunizations. At the top of their current hate list is the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Their reasoning is that it is allegedly linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, researchers have found no correlation between the MMR vaccine and ASD, so why are anti-vaxxers still so skeptical?

One can point fingers at fraudulent and grossly mishandled case studies. The most notorious is Wakefield’s paper.  In 1998, Andrew Wakefield, a now expelled doctor, published a report which linked the measles vaccine to autism. Anti-vaxxers constantly cite Wakefield’s study as evidence, but fail to mention that before drawing overzealous conclusions, Wakefield only tested twelve children (not thousands, as studies of such implications are expected to). Curtailing his credibility even more, Wakefield conducted his study only after being approached by lawyers suing vaccine distributors. After producing a report with ASD as a conclusive link, he was paid $500,000.  

Objectors retort that it is their right to be skeptical, that they have the freedom to want to be safe and not sorry. However, how can they claim that their children are better off without vaccines when their fear of the MMR vaccine is completely unfounded? The MMR vaccine was introduced in 1963. In the United States alone, ten million doses are distributed each year. If there was a correlation between the vaccine and ASD, there would be hundreds to thousands of more cases of autism than there are now.

The anti-vaccination movement can only fall back on the idea of personal liberty, but that excuse lasts until it starts to be a threat to public safety. Ousseny Zerbo, a postdoctoral fellow at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, explains the concept of “herd immunity” and states, “In order to disrupt the chains of infection in a population, a large portion of the population needs to be immune to the infection,” he later stresses, “A higher vaccination rate can break those chains of infection. This is why it is important for a large proportion of the population to be vaccinated.”

That is why people need to relinquish some of their personal freedoms. Just because you have the right to not vaccinate your child, does not mean you should exercise it. In a twisted turn of events, the anti-vaccination movement impedes on other parents’ rights to immunize their kids as they see fit. After all, parents of children who are not eligible for vaccines can do nothing but hope their kids do not contract anything from those un-vaccinated. It becomes a full on public health issue when the decision of one fatally dictates the countless lives of others.

Even if, in another universe, vaccines did correlate with autism, you cannot definitively say it is better for a child to have measles instead of autism, especially considering the rate in which measles spreads and the amount of lives it takes. Globally, 100,000 people die from measles every year, most of which are under the age of five. If a person is fortunate enough to have access to a vaccination for a preventable disease, then they ought to take advantage— if not for their own sake, then for the wellbeing of those around them.

Made for the music

The end is approaching. The dark cloud is rolling over us once again. What will we do? People are not prepared for the end. We are not ready. Nothing is more tragic than when the seasonal music festivals are over. What do I do now? How am I going to listen to music that isn’t live? Am I supposed to listen to music with headphones? No way. I mean sure, when I’m at the music festivals, I’m not actually paying attention to the music, but I pretend like I am! I even go as far as to record the most important songs so that everyone knows that I am there. What more can a person do?

I live for music festivals. What is better than thousands of people crammed together with hardly any room to breathe? Nothing. Obviously. I love being in the sweltering heat with no fresh air to breathe. I thrive when I am surrounded by a bunch of other sweaty people with no room to move. I have not met a single person that does not like that. The best is when you combine the immense crowds with a smidge of dehydration. There is no better way to get people to the front of the crowd (because the medics have to pull them out and take them to first aid) than that. It is a real line cutter! Personally I prefer another way to get to the front. I like to camp out for hours and yell at everyone else that tries to get close to the front. How dare they try to get close to my favorite artist? My experience obviously matters so much more than everyone else’s. How rude does someone have to be to not acknowledge that I am more important than them. I spent a lot of money (just as much as they did) so I deserve it and the artist will like me more.

The food at the festivals is to die for. I love paying for overpriced low quality food. Nothing screams, “I had a good time at the music festival,” like coming home after broke from buying water and pizza. If you don’t want to come home broke then you can always just starve yourself until the concert is over. I always try to get water, but a lot of the time the food places will not sell water. Weird, huh? It is almost like they know that you are dehydrated so they offer you water so that you have to come back and buy more drinks. That is absurd though. They would never do that! Anyways, the food at festivals complete the experience. What would a music festival be without long lines for foods, crazy crowds, and people shoving their way to the front. What will I do now? Music will not be the same.