Editorial Policy

Official student media
A. Responsibilities of Student Journalists
Students who work on official, school-sponsored student publications or electronic media determine the content of their respective publications and are responsible for that content. These students should:
l. Determine the content of the student media;
2. Strive to produce media based upon professional standards of accuracy, objectivity and fairness;
3. Review material to improve sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation;
4. Check and verify all facts and verify the accuracy of all quotations;and
5. In the case of editorials or letters to the editor concerning controversial issues, determine the need for rebuttal comments and opinions and provide space therefore if appropriate.
B. Unprotected Expression
The following types of student expression will not be protected:
1. Material that is “obscene as to minors.” “Obscene as to minor sis defined as material that meets all three of the following requirements:
(a) the average person, applying contemporary community standards,would find that the publication, taken as a whole, appeals to a minor’sprurient interest in sex; and
(b) the publication depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way,sexual conduct such as ultimate sexual acts (normal or perverted), masturbation and lewd exhibition of the genitals; and;
Exceptions can be made to this rule as long as reasonable at the discretion of the editorial board (the three chief editors)
(c) the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Determined at the discretion of the editorial board, indecent or vulgar language is not obscene.
2. Libelous material. Libelous statements are provably false and unprivileged statements of fact that do demonstrated injury to an individual’s or business’s reputation in the community. If the allegedly libeled party is a “public figure” or “public official” as defined below, the school officials must show that the false statement was published “with actual malice,” i.e., that the student journalists knew that the statement was false or that they published it with reckless disregard for the truth ?without trying to verify the truthfulness of the statement.
(a) A public official is a person who holds an elected or appointed public office and exercises a significant amount of governmental authority.
(b) A public figure is a person who either has sought the public’s attention or is well known because of personal achievements or actions.
(c) School employees will be considered public officials or public figures in relationship to articles concerning their school-related activities.
(d) When an allegedly libelous statement concerns an individual who is not a public official or a public figure, school officials must show that the false statement was published willfully or negligently, i.e.,the student journalist who wrote or published the statement has failed to exercise reasonably prudent care.
(e) Students are free to express opinions. Specifically, a student may criticize school policy or the performance of teachers, administrators,school officials and other school employees.
3. Material that will cause “a material and substantial disruption of school activities.”
(a) Disruption is defined as student rioting, unlawful seizures of property, destruction of property, or substantial student participation in a school boycott, sit-in, walk-out or other related form of activity.Material such as racial, religious or ethnic slurs, however distasteful,is not in and of itself disruptive under these guidelines. Threats of violence are not materially disruptive without some act in furtherance of that threator a reasonable belief and expectation that the author of the threat has the capability and intent of carrying through on that threat in a manner that does not allow acts other than suppression of speech to mitigate the threat in a timely manner. Material that stimulates heated discussion or debate does not constitute the type of disruption prohibited.
(b) For student media to be considered disruptive, specific factors must exist upon which one could reasonably forecast that a likelihood of immediate,substantial material disruption to normal school activity would occur if the material were further distributed or has occurred as a result of the materials distribution or dissemination. Mere undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough; school administrators must be able affirmatively to show substantial facts that reasonably support a forecast of likely disruption.
(c) In determining whether student media is disruptive, consideration must be given to the context of the distribution as well as the content of the material. In this regard, consideration should be given to past experience in the school with similar material, past experience in the school in dealing with and supervising the students in the school, current events influencing student attitudes and behavior and whether there have been any instances of actual or threatened disruption prior to or contemporaneously with the dissemination of the student publication in question.
(d) School officials must protect advocates of unpopular viewpoints.
(e) “School activity” means educational student activity sponsored by the school and includes, by way of example and not by way of limitation,classroom work, official assemblies and other similar gatherings, school athletic contests, band concerts, school plays and scheduled in-school lunch periods.
C. Legal Advice
1. If, in the opinion of a student editor, student editorial staff or faculty adviser, material proposed for publication may be “obscene,” ”libelous” or would cause an “immediate, material and substantial disruption of school activities,” the legal opinion of a practicing attorney should be sought. The services of the attorney for the local newspaper or the free legal services of the Student Press Law Center (703/807-1904) are recommended.
2. Any legal fees charged in connection with the consultation will be paid by the board of education.
3. The final decision of whether the material is to be published will be left to the student editor or student editorial staff.
D. Protected Speech
1. School officials cannot:
a. Ban student expression solely because it is controversial, takes extreme, “fringe” or minority opinions, or is distasteful, unpopular or unpleasant;
b. Ban the publication or distribution of material relating to sexualissues including, but not limited to, virginity, birth control and sexually-transmitted diseases (including AIDS);
c. Censor or punish the occasional use of indecent, vulgar or so called”four-letter” words in student publications;
d. Prohibit criticism of the policies, practices or performance of teachers, school officials, the school itself or of any public officials;
e. Cut off funds to official student media because of disagreement over editorial policy;
f. Ban student expression that merely advocates illegal conduct without proving that such speech is directed toward and will actually cause imminent unlawful action.
g. Ban the publication or distribution by students of material written by non-students;
h. Prohibit the endorsement of candidates for student office or for public office at any level.
2. Commercial Speech
Advertising is constitutionally protected expression. Student Media may accept advertising. Acceptance or rejection of advertising is within the purview of the publication staff, which may accept any ads except those for products or services that are illegal for all students. Ads for political candidates and ballot issues may be accepted; however publication staffs are encouraged to solicit ads from all sides on such issues.
E. On-Line Student Media and Use of Electronic Information Resources
1. On-Line Student Media.
On-line media, including Internet Web sites, e-mail, listservs and Usenet and Bitnet discussion groups, may be used by students like any other communications media to reach both those within the school and those beyondit. All official, school-sponsored on-line student publications are entitled to the same protections and are subject to no greater limitations than other student media, as described in this policy.
2. Electronic Information Resources
Student journalists may use electronic information resources, including Internet Web sites, e-mail, listserves and Usenet and Bitnet discussion groups, to gather news and information, to communicate with other students and individuals and to ask questions of and consult with sources. School Officials will apply the same criteria used in determining the suitability of other educational and information resources to attempts to remove or restrict student media access to on-line and electronic material. Justas the purchase, availability and use of media materials in a classroom or library does not indicate endorsement of their contents by school officials,neither does making electronic information available to students imply endorsement of that content.
Although faculty advisers to student media are encouraged to help students develop the intellectual skills needed to evaluate and appropriately use electronically available information to meet their newsgathering purposes,advisers are not responsible for approving the online resources used or created by their students.
V. Prior restraint
No student media, whether non-school-sponsored or official, will be reviewed by school administrators prior to distribution or withheld from distribution. The school assumes no liability for the content of any student publication, and urges all student journalists to recognize that with editorial control comes responsibility, including the responsibility to follow professional journalism standards each school year.

Ground Control No More Advice or Spirit

Dear Ground Control,

What am I going to do now that I can’t get wondrous advice from ground control? Any last words?

Sincerely,

A Confused Student

 

Dear Confused Student,

Wow, I’m sad. I’m kidding, is there really a point to worrying? Why not reread all the advice already given? Generally people have the same problems over and over again.

Anyways, to answer your question, I am going to tell you:

  1. Slow down, take time and appreciate what is going on around you.
  2. Have
  3. Why would I be responding to your question right now? Oh no, are you going to accuse your own question of being fake too?
  4. Do you have anything better to do? Anything at all?

As you think about these questions, my best advice is to try and move on without us. Though we will miss you trying to

Have a fake day,

Ground Control

 

Dear Ground Control,

Why do we really even have all the spirit stuff? It’s the last weeks of school why can’t we just end it?

Sincerely,

Ready To Go Home

 

Dear The End Is Near,

I don’t think about it in that way, it’s school bonding! The people we got stuck next to for the last 8 months, 5 days a week, 6.5 hours a day, them, we get to be friends towards the end <3

We will

Additional Comment: If you are one of the handful of people who actually read the newspaper, we here at The Phoenix Flyer greatly appreciate you. You make all the time we spend in class, the deadlines, and painful distributions definitely worth it!

Totally not salty at all,

Ground Control

Snarky Malarkey

You think I don’t notice. You think that no one sees you. You think you’re safe in your cozy aviation themed socks. But I know what you’ve done and you better not think there aren’t consequences.

I walk through the halls, into classrooms and bathrooms, by the printers and in the lunchroom… and what I see is devilry! Piles and piles — whole stacks — of the Phoenix Flyer thrown away like moldy spaghetti left in your closet. I see the work I have oh-so-kindly-done-out-of-the-kindness-of-my-heart for you in a crumpled heap in the recycling bin. Nay! The GARBAGE. You don’t even have the decency to dispose of me properly. Absolute fiends.

Clearly you are oblivious to this. You think: “Oh there’s no way a high school paper can do anything to retaliate… oh wow I’m so cool, look at me pretending to be some basketball superstar slam dunking paper into the garbage because I think I’m all that and the garbage is definitely the place for paper to go.” Oh sure, an inanimate newspaper can’t throw you in the trash pretending to swoosh hoops. Oh sure, massive bundles of paper won’t ever be exposed to radiation in some dump and become sentient. Oh sure, those papers that definitely won’t become sentient also definitely won’t collude with their fellow mutant trash and build an army. Oh sure, that army won’t know the location of the school or of every person who has every subscribed to the paper. Oh sure, said army won’t seek its revenge and plunge a sewer soaked pointy paper knife into the heart of every soulless RAHS student who has thrown away the paper. Oh sure, once they emerge victorious they won’t seek to destroy your known world just as you have destroyed ours.

Look, all I’m saying here is that there is absolutely nothing to worry about! Live your content little lives in blissful ignorance because there is definitely, definitely, no reason to think you are in any danger of a paper revolution.

With MUCH love,

The Snark

Open post

Farewell to Journalism

Dear the readers of The Phoenix Flyer:

With sadness in our hearts, we have the unfortunate duty of telling you that this issue will be the final issue of The Phoenix Flyer.

With our longtime advisor Jacob Savishinsky moving on to the new position as the Dean of Students at RAHS and with the increased need for art credit electives as opposed to CTE electives such as Journalism, we have come to the conclusion that there is no possible way of continuing this newspaper to the same high standard. Therefore, we have decided to end the newspaper while it is still at its best.

For the past nine years, The Phoenix Flyer has been honored to represent our school, our students, and our culture. We have strived to serve our school and community, and to do so with integrity. Journalism and journalists have an important responsibility in an open, democratic society, and it has always been the mission of The Phoenix Flyer to uphold the highest professional principles and ethics in our reporting. The work has been challenging and rewarding, and we are grateful for the support of the RAHS community over the years.

Although we are sad to see the newspaper go, we want to thank you, the RAHS community, for being the best readers we could ask for. Seeing students laugh because of a midspread or learn something new because of one of the articles we’ve written make all of the long nights spent editing articles, taking photos, and laying out pages worth it. We are proud to have been an integral part of the RAHS community and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading our newspaper.

Sincerely,

The staff of The RAHS Phoenix Flyer

The 2017-2018 journalism class, posing together on the day of printing the last ever issue of the Phoenix Flyer.

 

 

Email Etiquette Snark Attack

Dear RAHS Students,

Actually, no. Apparently we don’t need to have a heading for emails anymore because your email etiquette is trash. Which is great because when you cc everyone for your random email with a pointlessly vague subject line we all know exactly who you’re referring to. Especially when the email is sent at 11:59 pm the day before the event you’re trying to inform me of. Because I can almost guarantee that whether I  check my email later that night or early the next morning I will without a doubt be tired, irritable, and very unlikely to see your email labeled “meeting ToMORROW!” and care to read on. Even if I somehow muster the energy to click on your bothersome email, I will probably go about my day with no more information than I started with because your ambiguously-inclined self probably didn’t even tell me what room to meet in at “about halfway through lunch..ish.”

As a result of your pathetic incompetency to explain yourself, a chorus of reply-alls irritating enough to make ears bleed will undoubtedly come flying into my inbox. For every idiot who finds themselves so incredibly fascinating that they think all of the other 40 people in the thread need to hear their opinion, please close your laptop, get off your phone, and join a self-help group, because maybe someone there will at least pretend to care.  

Even more infuriating are the degenerates who wait four and a half days to respond to you, only to say “got it” or “sounds good.” I get it; I‘m a shark, typing is hard. But if you knew you were only going to give me 3 seconds of your time, WHY DID IT TAKE SO DAMN LONG? Or, you’ll ask some stupid question that was clearly detailed in my message, only further demonstrating that you are a substandard human being with little to no processing capabilities. And we both know that your vexing conjecture will only prompt me to explain myself with something along the lines of “per my last email” which is clearly the only remotely polite way of asking “seriously can you even read???”

Once again, I understand. Communicating with humans is a difficult and draining endeavor. Maybe if composing a coherent email is too hard for you, you should resort to a more simple-minded mode of communication. Perhaps interpretive dance might suit you, or I don’t know, maybe talk to me in person.

 

Sincerely,

The Snark

thesnark@gmail.com

✧✧ Just keep swimming ✧✧ – Dory

 

PS

Seriously why are people like this ^^

Grand Cantral

Dear Ground Control,

Why the hell are underclassman wearing their middle school sports gear?

 

Sincerely,

Shook Senior

 

Dear Shooketh,

There’s a simple answer for this: an inferiority complex.

Back in middle school, these underclassmen were on top of the world. In eighth grade, they were the dominating class and had complete power over the puny, younger classes. They could cut in the lunch line without fear of repercussion; they could make fun of the tiny sixth graders all they want; they were at the prime of their lives. As they were upheaved into high school, they went from having total control to having none. Suddenly, they were at the bottom of the food chain, “fresh meat,” if you will.

Therefore, in order to relive their days of glory, they throw themselves into middle school attire. They attempt to assert their dominance by yelling “Hey! I went to middle school! I was in eighth grade! I had power once!” We all know it doesn’t work, but they try. Don’t worry, they’ll grow out of it as they regain upperclassmen power. Admit it, you did this too.

 

Learn to live with it,

Ground Control

 

Dear Ground Control,

Now that the dress code allows shorts after May 1st, should I start wearing shorts?

 

Sincerely,

Sweaty Student

 

Dear Sweaty,

Well if you’re that sweaty, my answer is definitely. Nobody wants to sit next to the person who is sweating through their pants. So if it’s hot, wear shorts! If it’s cool, wear pants! Do what you want, whatever makes you the most comfortable. Nobody is going to look at you and say, “wow, I can’t believe they decided to wear shorts, what a horrible decision, what a catastrophe.” And if they do, they need to take a long hard look at themselves and wonder why they are judging others for their clothes.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s the beginning of summer and you still have winter legs. Your pasty skin might blind everyone in the building without your luxurious summer tan. So be careful, the number one rule of the dress code is to not distract others, and obviously I am in full support of the dress code.

 

Stay sweaty,

Ground Control

Group Project Snark Attack

I cannot count the amount of times I have been let down in a group project. In every group project, I have always been assigned with at least one IDIOT PARTNER who has absolutely NO understanding of a WORK ETHIC. I get it, when we leave high school and face the real world, we’re going to have to learn how to work with other people. But all of these group projects SERIOUSLY have me considering a career in a cave dwelling or in any other job that requires minimal human collaboration.

Any more of this and I’ll pack my bags and head to the ocean because it’s easier to collaborate with crustaceans than the kids in our school. Humans, supposedly the smartest species in the animal kingdom, can’t even perform basic tasks with their own species. Put together a group of teenagers and they can hardly decide whether they want to stop at Starbucks or McDonalds. I mean our school has kids who have time to spend 12 hours playing Fortnite during the day, but can’t contribute ten minutes to a group project. The level of competency in our school is quite peculiar, especially when our students can hack into the school’s security cameras, but can’t pay enough attention in a group project to do their infinitesimally small part.

I mean, come on. For a school with students so dedicated to a 4.0 GPA, we’re so self-absorbed that we can’t simply commit 10% of our work time to ACTUALLY WORKING ON OUR ONE ASSIGNED RESPONSIBILITY. And don’t get me started on the kids who promise they’ll “do it later.” Come on. You think I’m falling for that horse crap again? THIS IS THE THIRD TIME YOU’VE LET ME DOWN TODAY!! At least have the decency to let me know that you have absolutely NO INTENTION of actually working on the project. That way I can plan ahead for not sleeping the entire week. Admit it, you know I won’t let the work go undone, so you’re gonna let me do all of it.

You know what; I enjoy holding up your end of the bargain. I enjoy reducing the miniscule amount of free time I have to do something you were supposed to do a week ago. A shark only has about 20 to 30 years of life and I would much rather spend it feeding on fishes and other small creatures of the sea.

Sincerely,

The Shark

FAKE Ground Control

Dear Ground Control,

Why are all of your questions fake?

Sincerely,

An Underwhelmed Reader

Dear Underwhelmed Reader,

Wow, I’m hurt. Just kidding, I don’t dwell on small things, like your opinion and the questions submitted to the local newspaper advice column.

Anyways, to answer your question, I am going to ask you a few:

  1. If I were just going to make up questions, why would I go to the trouble of creating a tinyurl and a physical box to which students in the school can submit their questions?
  2. Why would I try to give myself more work by creating “fake questions” when I could just take it easy and respond to already submitted questions? Who do you think I am? lol
  3. Why would I be responding to your question right now? Oh no, are you going to accuse your own question of being fake too?
  4. Do you have anything better to do? Anything at all?

As you think about these questions, my best advice to you is to find some hobbies–some way to use your obvious excess of free time–and stop caring so much about Ground Control questions.

Have a fake day,

Ground Control

 

Dear Ground Control,

In your previous issue, why was the same article printed on pages two AND three?

Sincerely,

Just Plain Confused?

Dear Plane Confused?

April Fools! Haha. Ha. Haha. Heh. Yup, that’s the only reason behind printing the same article twice, just to prank all you unsuspecting punks. It totally wasn’t a mistake or anything ahaha. We TOTALLY didn’t just mix up which article was supposed to be on which page and then forget to repaste the article even though we replaced the headline, cutline, and author. And it totally wasn’t Charlie’s fault lol.

It was all just an April Fools joke to see who actually reads the newspaper, which is none of you by the way. As far as I know, nobody realized except the one person who submitted this question–unless this is a fake question!?

Disclaimer: If you do read the newspaper, we here at The Phoenix Flyer greatly appreciate you. You make all the time we spend in class worth it! <3

Totally not salty at all,

Ground Control

Ground Control Illuminati Confrimed

Dear Ground Control,

Truth or dare?

Sincerely,

Curious

 

Dear curious,

Interesting question you pose. Okay, if you really think about it, truth is 5 letters, or is 2 letters, dare is 4 letters. 5 + 2 + 4 = 11. There are eleven players on a football team. If you turn the question mark upside down ¿, it looks like a tear. People cry when they are hurt. Well, according to Wikipedia, there are an average of 7.23 catastrophic head injuries a year in highschool and college football. 7 + 2 = 9. 9 / 3 = 3. There are three sides to a triangle.

WELL… triangles often symbolize the Holy Trinity in Christianity — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Christianity is a religion. There are approximately 4,200 religions in the world. The world is covered in oceans. There are 5 oceans in the world. 4,200 / 5 = 840. 8 + 4 = 12. 12 / 0 is impossible, thank you, Joshi. Mr. Joshi likes space. Space includes our galaxy, which, in turn, contains about 200 billion stars while our solar system, located in our galaxy, contains 9 planets. Wait. Pluto isn’t a planet anymore. 8 planets. 8 / (2 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0) = 4. 4 – 1 pluto = 3. There are three sides to a triangle.

Illuminati confirmed.

Thank you,

Ground Control

 

Dear Ground Control,

Three weeks ago, I was hanging out with my friends. We were playing a game where we had to answer questions about the other people playing. They all asked “Why are you still in your emo phase?” How do I respond to that?

Sincerely,

A child in their emo phase

 

Dear emo child,

I understand your soul must be drowning in a deep, black, empty, eternal abyss. First off, every single person, no matter who they are, has gone through an emo phase in their life, believing that they are dark and mysterious, which they totally are, and that no one really understands them, which they totally don’t. That being said, everyone who is past their emo life is embarrassed about it.

As I see it, you have two options for what to tell your friends:

  1. Embrace it. Tell them you are the way you are and you’re proud of it. Then proceed to dye your hair twenty different bright colors. Wear all black, every day, even during your cousin’s wedding. Hate everyone and everything with a fiery, burning passion. Be proud of your emo phase, and make everyone around you cower in fear.
  2. Escape it. Tell them you’ll soon change everything about yourself to appease them and society. Following that you must grow out your hair and chop off any colored bits. Do not, I repeat, do not dye it. Wear bright colors to display the pizzazz and joy in your rebirthed soul. Fall in love with everyone, everything, trust everyone without a second thought. Run from your past.

No matter which option you choose, always remember that you’ll never escape the pit where your heart used to be!

Best of luck in your “phase,”

Ground Control

Snark Attack Lunch Line

It’s so simple, but everyone always does it incorrectly: microwave courtesy. I mean, why are all the microwaves at RAHS REALLY ALWAYS SO STUPIDLY MESSY! It’s not that hard to put yourself in a line WITHOUT CUTTING!. Wait. Put your lunch in the microwave for A RESPECTABLE AMOUNT OF MINUTES.  Wait. Then, take yours out so the next person can go. I mean honestly, how difficult can it be? For a school of supposed geniuses we are not the brightest when it comes to household appliances.

Even with those problems, there’s still the problem of why the lines are so freaking long? It makes no sense. We have several microwaves in this school but somehow the lines are always so long. And don’t even get me started about the mess that’s always in the microwave. Not only is it absolutely disgusting inside of the stupid microwave but WAVE goodbye to the flavor in your lunch because someone decided it is a FANTASTIC IDEA to fry their fish and put it back in the microwave. First of all why would you do that? Where is the logic in your smelly lunch going in the microwave, consequently forcing RAHS students to live in the pungent dead fish fumes for the next 2 hours?

It’s gotten so bad that I want to put into effect some rules. For instance, this shark has decided 5 to 6 minutes is the maximum that should be allowed. Putting all of your lunch in the microwave for 10 minutes is SO RUDE.

I mean, I don’t mean to be a killer shark or anything but let’s do the math. I don’t think it should be explained at all, but let’s say there are 6 people in line. The appropriate amount of lunches in the microwave are 3 MAYBE 4 lunches, because stacking them one on top of another is not polite at all. If the lunches are microwaved for only 5 minutes at a time, the first 3 people will have their lunch in 5 minutes and the last 3 people will have their lunch in 10 minutes. Done. Boom. It’s so painfully simple that it really calls into question how anyone could screw it up, and I can just hear all the jaws dropping because I’m spitting nothing but facts.

Sincerely,

The Shark

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