I'm a high school journalism and English teacher at Floyd Central High School in Southern Indiana. My interests include reading, writing, literacy, politics, the media, issues of faith, and IU basketball...basically, I'll blog about anything and everything. I'm an independent thinker. I respect all viewpoints and opinions and value reasonable discourse and learning about others.
I have been a proud public school educator all of my life. The purpose of my blog is to support scholastic journalism, promote literacy and civic engagement, and explore the social, political, and policy issues impacting education.
Tonight the Highlanders will face their toughest foe this season. Floyd is ranked fifteenth going into the game and the Columbus East Olympians are ranked ninth in 5A, according to Maxpreps.com. The Olympians have dominated the football history winning 25 of 40 games and have not lost to the Highlanders since 2003.
This season, the team has been hit hard with injuries, particularly in their offensive line. They have lost both starting guards Reid Suer and Jarrett Laduke to torn ACLs and backup Tyler Milliner to ligament damage in his thumb.
Aside from injuries, they have four first-year offensive linemen.
“I’m expecting us to fire out as usual, and even though we don’t have the size advantage I know that we are fast and have got our plays down,” said returning starter Clay Miller.
However, the FC offensive backs think they have the keys to success this week.
“We need to run hard this week, and don’t let one guy tackle you,” said senior fullback Zack Rodgers.
Led by Jason Cundiff’s 376 yards and 9 touchdowns, the Highlanders have the right backs to get the job done. Floyd’s defense will have to step up to win this week.
“I put it on our defense. We need our linebackers to read the ball very well, we need our d-line to do a great job getting hands on people, and our defensive backs to keep the ball in front of them,” said defensive coordinator Alan Hess.
Rodgers reiterated Hess’ point about how important the defense will be.
“Wrap up, and just make plays. You can’t wait for the running back or receiver to get to you, you’ve got to meet them at the line of scrimmage,” said Rodgers.
A Highlander win should mean Floyd wins conference, ending East’s dominance in the Hoosier Hills Conference. Not to mention handing the Olympians their first loss since 2006 to a team in the conference.
Bottom Line- Due to a young offensive line, points for the Highlanders will not come as easily as they did against Providence. For Floyd to beat East, their defense will need to step up big time. If the game gets out of hand, it will not be good for the Highlanders, but in a defensive showdown, the Highlanders seem to have the upper-hand.
Local teenagers and community members got a civics lesson on the First Amendment on Wednesday.
In 1965, a 13-year-old girl named Mary Beth Tinker wore a black armband to her school in Des Moines, Iowa to mourn the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War. She was suspended, along with several other students, for this peaceful act of protest. In 1969, the case went to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled that students and teachers have First Amendment rights within school. The Tinker v. Des Moines case has made a significant impact upon the freedom of students to express their thoughts and ideas.
Tinker, as a part of her tour around the country, spoke at Indiana University Southeast at 7 p.m. Wednesday to educate people about student’s rights and encourage young people to start speaking up for what they believe in. Along with the Vietnam War, she also witnessed racial discrimination towards African-Americans during her childhood, and many people advocated for civil rights.
“There were so many young people speaking out and standing up. It was when I was growing up, in the early 1960s. It seemed like everyone around me was a strong, brave, courageous person,” she said.
Tinker, who described herself as shy, did not begin speaking out until the issue of the black armbands came up. After the case was won, she grew up without understanding the full significance of the court decision. As an adult, she realized the effect it has had upon the United States.
“I slowly began to see that our case is part of a larger issue, of civil liberties, of children’s rights, of human rights. I started to see that there are young people all over the country who are standing up for their rights- all over the world. And I started meeting some of them, and I started talking to them about some of things they are speaking up about,” said Tinker.
Attorney Mike Hiestand, who is traveling with Tinker on the tour sponsored by the Student Press Law Center in Washington, D.C., encouraged students to speak out.
“When you feel something from so deep within, from the very core of your heart, you need to say what you need to say. It is so important…young people have a message that we as adults have sometimes forgotten,” said Hiestand.
Many teenagers are passionate about causing change, according to Tinker.
“Young people want to make things better,” she said.
The Tinker v. Des Moines case has had a particularly significant effect upon student journalists.
“It has affected anyone who is in the [journalism] business or anyone in a high school situation where they have tried to give some sort of expression of themselves,” said journalist Jarod Clapp, a reporter for the New Albany Tribune covering the event.
Clapp said that students need to take advantage of their freedom to speak up.
“It’s just as important as it is for anyone else to stick up for their opinions. If you don’t stand up for what you believe in, what you believe in may disappear,” said Clapp.
Although speaking one’s mind can often lead to negative responses from others, Tinker said she thinks discussion between those of different beliefs can lead to tolerance.
“We are trying to have peace in the world, in our communities, in our schools, so we want conversations, so people don’t just yell at each other,” she said.
Joseph Dever, an IUS and FC graduate who attended the speech, said Tinker has had a major impact on him and the people around him.
“As a journalism student I’ve always been inspired by Mary Beth Tinker. It’s been really crazy hearing about her experience, and just seeing the change that she’s brought. What she does is so important to the students- to inspire them to take a stand, and express themselves. That’s one of the most important things for people to learn,” said Dever.
Dever said the First Amendment rights lead to a more successful society.
“I think it is important because everyone has the right to express what they think- they have the freedom to do that. I think when, as a society, we place limits on people, we place limits on society. I think society thrives from free press and free people,” he said.
IUS senior Rebecca Egger said standing up for one’s beliefs is an important part of learning and growing as an individual.
“I think it is important because they are people just like anyone, and they deserve to have their voice heard. I think when their voice isn’t heard, it can cause students to be discouraged, and I think, in some ways, it can inhibit you from trying and from pushing yourself forward and learning.”
One of the main points made throughout the speech, by both Tinker and Hiestand, was the importance of students realizing and acting upon their First Amendment rights.
“She is certainly part of history, but the thing we are trying to remind students of is that she’s part of history, but it’s a history that is ongoing. Her case is the law of the land today, that’s been cited over 6000 times…the rights that her case helped win are the rights that we are really trying to remind students that they exist today,” said Hiestand.
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