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Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly


FBLA Needs You


A student goes to room 235, interested in learning more about joining FBLA.

The Financial Business Leaders of America club is currently searching for new members eager to test the waters of business and career competition. There are many unique opportunities provided with membership, including the chance to host fundraisers and events, attend trips and conferences out of state, and participate in a national competition. 

Senior Keslie Burkard is one of the two Vice Presidents of Community Service for the group and has found it to be a rewarding experience. “I joined FBLA because to me it was the most interesting club offered. At the time I did not know what I wanted to do as a career and business was something I was interested in. Another reason why I joined is that I had the opportunity to compete in many events and have the chance to go to nationals,” Said Burkard.

Participation in FBLA is a chance to figure out what truly interests you career-wise. Senior Esther Choe, President of the club, had a similar experience. “I always thought I would go into the medical field, but competing in the FBLA events made me realize that becoming a graphic designer is much more up my alley,” Said Choe.  

Recently, the group made a trip up to Silver Dollar City in Branson to learn more about the career opportunities and requirements there. They are also preparing for events going on in November such as a national competition held in Chicago, Illinois, and a National Fall Leadership Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Besides the fulfillment of career exploration, FBLA also puts on fundraisers and events for the school. “We are currently planning a Trunk or Treat that we are hosting at Kickapoo on October 30th,” Said Burkard. 

Due to the pandemic, traditions like the fall festival for students at feeder schools were canceled, so the Trunk or Treat was their compromise. “We want to design our car to look spooky and festive for October.  We will be wanting volunteers to help set up the car and give out candy in funky costumes,” Said Choe. 

Not only are they searching for volunteers, but they are also interested in new members of the club. “I definitely am trying to recruit new members to this organization because of the huge fallout from covid. With the members we do have, we all get along and try to do our best with what we can do,” Said Choe. 

Anyone who is interested in joining the club for this unique experience can go to their Instagram page with the tag @kickapoofbla and visit the link in their bio to sign up or see Mr. Wooderson in room 235 for more details.

Against the Masks

Attorney General Eric Schmitt sues the mayor of Kansas City after a new mask mandate.

Masking is no ones favorite thing, but its important for everyones safety during a pandemic.

Photo by Kat

Masking is no one’s favorite thing, but it’s important for everyone’s safety during a pandemic.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt has decided to fight the COVID-19 mask mandate in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lawyer and former Assistant Attorney General Of Missouri, Elad Gross, has a very different opinion on masks, “I think it’s a proven, helpful mechanism to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases,” said Gross.
COVID-19 has thrown the world upside down. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 38 states, including the District of Columbia, which have issued mask mandates in 2020.
Schmitt is suing Kansas City Mayor, Quinton Lucas. “This continued unconstitutional and unreasonable government overreach must stop, especially in the face of a widely available vaccine,” Schmitt said.
According to the lawsuit which can be found on Schmitt’s website, point 34 says, “Although the City claims that the CDC ‘confirmed 194,000,000 total cases and 4,160,000 deaths nation-wide,’ the CDC’s actual numbers are far lower: 34,972,532 total cases and 611,061 deaths.”
In point 31, the lawsuit says “Under the Mask Mandate, the Director of Health, the Director of Regulated Industries, the Chief of the Kansas City Police Department, and the Chief of the Kansas City Fire Department are authorized to enforce the order. Specifically, they may enter property and seek show-cause orders against individuals or businesses who violate the order.”
A show-cause basically means that whoever orders the cause would probably need more information, or motive to grant the cause.

Point 32 states Lucas’ reasons for setting another mask mandate, “In a July 28, 2021, press release, Mayor Lucas identified three reasons for
imposing a new mask mandate beginning August 2, 2021: (1) recommendations from the
Centers for Disease Control, the Kansas City Health Department, and other unidentified health leaders regarding wearing masks in indoor public accommodations regardless of vaccination status.”
While the vaccines do help to prevent COVID-19, there are still many breakthrough cases.
The CDC says that countries that have required masking have a lower COVID-19 death rate than countries that allow on-site dining for restaurants.
National Public Radio, (NPR), reports that on July 12, 2021, the vaccination rate for Kansas City, MO was 37.6%. The article says that around 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop COVID-19.
If the lawsuits proceed and Lucas is found guilty, it’s unclear what his punishment will be, however the mandate would be removed. This means that COVID-19 rates would probably go up. If the mandate remains in place rates will go down.

Spanish Club: Pulsera Project Recap


Students attached pulsera to keys as an accessory.

Student attaches pulseras to backpack as an accessory.


Spanish Club participated in selling pulseras to raise money for artists in Guatemala and Nicaragua. The pieces of jewelry were sold in the commons during lunch from September 27-October 8 for $5 each. Pulsera in Spanish means bracelet, and are handcrafted by artisans in Latin America. They make them as a means of profit and to financially survive. 


The Spanish classes and Spanish Club sold approximately $2,300 in profit and sold 460 bracelets. Many students are not only wearing them as bracelets but are putting them on their backpacks or key chains as accessories. 


“We raise money for the artisans so they can support their families and themselves,” junior Emilia Belcolore said.


Many of the artisans use the money to give their children education and livelihood. The money is also used for artisans to fix their homes and create more art to sell.  


“I wanted students to learn about poverty in other countries than America,” Profa Wyrick said. “Some of the artists that we supported were actual students themselves, so I wanted my students to see how they are directly impacted.”


Spanish Club is a good way for students to get involved and learn about cultures that are outside of Kickapoo. Selling pulseras gives students the opportunity to single-handedly see how their learning can help outside the classroom.

Fall Choir Concert


Photo by Patty Rantz Kaegel

Mr. Cornelius leading the Concert Choir in a song.

The Kickapoo High School choir had a concert on October 11th at 7:00 pm in the Kickapoo Performing Arts Center. The included choirs were Chorus II, Concert Choir, Nakamoa (Male Choir), Bel Canto (Female Choir), and the Chamber Choir.


The choir has still had in-person concerts throughout COVID-19, but this one brought back a sense of normalcy. In the past few years the choir was required to stay spread out on the stage and there was a limit placed on how many people could be in the audience. This year, they were able to put more vocalists on stage and anyone who wanted to listen could join the crowd. 

Mr. Cornelius leading the Chamber Choir in a song. (Photo by Patty Rantz Kaegel)

Even though some policies have been lifted, the choir still has to wear masks while singing. 


“Wearing masks makes it really difficult to take a full breath and it makes it harder to hear our consonants. It made our diction worse,” senior Courtney Mccullough said.


Courtney is a member of the Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and the Bel Canto choir. Courtney has been in choir for all of her four years in high school and is passionate about singing. Comparing this fall concert to previous performances, she thought it went well.


“It was definitely weird having a full audience again and singing with the full choir. We sang many songs. My favorite was Fiddler of Dooney, which the Chamber Choir sang. It was so fun and upbeat. We all had lots of energy,” she said. 

If you want to view this concert, click here.

The choir’s next event is the Winter Holiday Concert on December 13th and the choir would love to see everyone there. 

Afghanistan Reaches Springfield


Photo by Wikimedia

Afghan refugees are safely transported from Kabul to the United States.

Across the sea, a humanitarian crisis rears its ugly head in the middle-eastern country of Afghanistan. The United States has officially pulled its military presence from within the country’s borders. These soldiers had kept the terrorist group, the Taliban, from seizing control for twenty years. 

Following the Biden Administration’s decision to withdraw, the country fell into an uproar as desperate citizens attempted to flee the Taliban’s totalitarian control. The Kabul airport was flooded with crowds of Afghans, many of whom ended up being left behind. 

More than 53,000 Afghan evacuees at eight military installations across the U.S. mainland are serving as temporary housing sites while the new arrivals complete immigration paperwork, as well as vaccination against measles and COVID-19,” CBS News reported. 

As these refugees flood into the country, controversy has arisen regarding where the immigrants will live. Most states will be admitting these Afghans, from ten to tens of thousands. 

“The Biden administration this week notified state authorities of the number of Afghan evacuees each state could receive in the coming weeks as part of the first phase of a massive resettlement operation,” CBS News reported. 

37,000 Afghans will be a part of the first wave of refugees being resettled into the United States. 1,200 of those will find new homes in Missouri, starting on September 18, 2021. 100 of those will live in the Springfield area. 

“Those coming to Springfield will have Priority 2 visas, which are those who have helped U.S. organizations in Afghanistan,” KY3 news reported. “Others coming here are classified as humanitarian parolees, which means they have permission to be in the U.S. for 2 years, but that temporary status could be extended.” 

These refugees will be provided with enough money to help provide for food, rent, and other basic needs. 

“Each family gets a one-time allowance of just over $1,200 to get them started with rent and other needs,” According to KY3 News. “The organization collects cash donations as well as furniture and household supplies to help refugees.”

As the refugees begin to arrive, many questions arise regarding the backgrounds of those coming in, the health status, and whether or not the city can simultaneously care for them and the American citizens already present. As we move into a controversial and uncertain future, the balance between patriotism and human need will be tested. 


School Shootings Plaguing our Country Amidst the Pandemic


Photo by TNS

After the shooting at Mount Tabor High School one student was rushed to the hospital where he later passed away after one of his classmates pulled out a firearm during a verbal conflict on September 1st, 2021. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct.

The silence of an unanswered question was interrupted with gunfire. A presentation that has demanded weeks of preparation cut-off by frightened screams. Just when you thought school couldn’t get any worse, the intercom tone fills the hallways, “students an active shooter has entered the building,” and the world as you know it changes forever.

In Kickapoo’s 51 year history we have not been faced with the horrifying situation of an active shooter invading our campus. This school year alone, 16 different schools have been met with this reality that we hope to avoid. A reality that has left 31 people injured or killed. Here are a few of the most recent events along with their aftermath.


Phillips Academy Highschool

On October 12th shots were fired at Phillips Academy HIghschool as students were preparing for dismissal. Local sources say that an unidentified man opened fire from the street, aiming at the school when the school’s 46-year-old security guard opened the doors to the back exit in preparation for students’ dismissal which was just minutes away. Multiple shots were fired three of them hitting the security guard in the elbow, arm, and back. A 14-year-old student was also injured during the disturbance, she was shot three times in her armpit, back, and pelvis. Both victims were taken to a nearby hospital. The juvenile was in critical condition, she has since made it through surgery successfully and is in recovery. The guard left the scene in stable condition and has continued to improve since the Tuesday meeting shooting. The police have not identified the shooter and have not taken anyone into custody. They believe the shooter was a former student but it has not been confirmed.


Mansfield Timberview Highschool

Police officials responded to the shooting at Mansfield Timberview High School on October 6th, 2021. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct. (Photo by TNS)

What started as a fight between two individuals ended in four people being injured, two by a gunshot wound. On October 6th two students began in a physical fight, as it progressed one of the individuals drew a firearm. This has since been identified as 18-year old Timothy Simpkins, he drew a .45 caliber gun on his 15-year-old classmate, one of the two gunshot victims. He was shot 4 times, the bullets lodging themselves in the chest, stomach, arm, and leg. As of the most recent update, the gunshot victim is in a medically induced coma to benefit his recovery in the ICU. The second gunshot victim was a 25-year-old male who is in good condition, the specifics of his injury were not released. Two more were injured in this shooting from the pandemonium that broke out following the gunfire, one was a teenage girl who was hospitalized but has been in stable condition alongside a pregnant teacher who was treated on the scene by paramedics and promptly released. The shooter (Simpkins) fled to his home after the shooting discarding his weapon on the way. His family home was raided a few hours after the shooting following a state-wide manhunt, Simpkins was then arrested. The most recent update by local authorities stated that he was being held in jail on a $75,000 dollar bond. His family has since spoken out saying the student was bullied and robbed twice in his time at school and this may have motivated his actions. They also said that they do not in any way justify his action but hope that the officers will take into account this circumstance during their investigation which is still ongoing.

Mount Tabor Highschool

On September 1st one student was shot and killed following a long dispute between two teenagers. As revealed in court, Maurice Evans Jr. and William Miller Jr. had a long dispute that had extended through the summer months. Then shortly after their return to school, the students engaged in a conversation of which details have not been released. It ended in Evans pulling a gun on Miller and fatally shooting him. Miller was only 15 years old. After the dispute Evans fled throwing the gun he used in a trash can on school grounds. This event sparked an hours-long lockdown on the school’s campus. Evans was taken into custody that evening nearly 6 hours after the shooting occurred. Since then Evans is being held by local police going back and forth between hearings as he awaits his trial. Since then there has been a recurring pattern of lockdowns and firearms on campus within the area and specifically at Mount Tabor Highschool.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida recently made landfall in the United States, creating unimaginable damage and loss for citizens across Louisiana all the way to New York.


Hurricane Ida dumped inches of rain in a short period of time, making it extremely dangerous to travel on foot. Photo courtesy of Emily Kask- New York Times

As of October 5th, at least 57 lives have been lost in the Northeast, as the remains of powerful Hurricane Ida sent intense storms with multiple tornadoes ripping apart the North East.
“We’re enduring an historic weather event tonight with record breaking rain across the city, brutal flooding and dangerous conditions on our roads,” tweeted Bill de Blasio, the New York City Mayor.
New York City officials warned all non-emergency vehicles to stay inside and off the streets after a travel ban ended, which was initiated in an attempt to keep the city’s citizens safe. New York and New Jersey Governors, Kathy Hochul and Phil Murphy both declared a state of emergency.
“Stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe,” Murphy said.
Central Park, Newark, and New Jersey all received more than three inches of rain in one single hour, which is the most ever recorded there according to NBC News meteorologist, Bill Karins. The results of Hurricane Ida are tearing through the North East and the aftermath of it is devastating. But, the damage where Hurricane Ida first made landfall is much more catastrophic. Hurricane Ida first hit Cuba on Friday, August 27th, Cuban citizens witnessed Ida’s 80 miles per hour winds. Fallen trees and destroyed buildings are the remains of the storm. Fortunately, over 10,000 Cuban residents were able to evacuate, and there are currently no reported deaths in Cuba from the brutal storm.

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, on Sunday, August 29th, primarily targeting Port Fourchon. Coincidentally, Hurricane Ida made landfall exactly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
When Hurricane Ida did hit Louisiana, it came roaring in as a Category 4 with 150 mile per hour winds and a barometric pressure of 930. Only 7 miles per hour under a Category 5.

The damage of Hurricane Ida left many people using a different means of transportation. Photo courtesy of Emily Kask- New York Times

Hurricane Ida Timeline-

   Hurricane Ida started as a tropical storm and developed into a Category 2 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea on August 28th, 2021. Unfortunately, the storm gained speed and power, resulting in Ida sustaining wind speeds of 105 miles per hour. On August 29th, Ida continued to gain strength with the help of the warm ocean waters. Around 11:55 a.m. CDT, Hurricane Ida hit Southern Louisiana with two category levels higher than the previous day.

Damage of Hurricane Ida-

   After Ida made landfall, the aftermath was devastating. AccuWeather estimates damages and economic loss to reach between 70 to 80 million dollars, but that is just the beginning. Over one million people were left without power, including the entire city of New Orleans. Officials expect the power outage to last at least a week. Entergy, a New Orleans based power company, sent out 20,000 workers in an attempt to restore the power outages as quickly as possible. The storm took out at least eight power transmission lines, one of them even crashed into the Mississippi River. There are a reported 977,000 homes and businesses without power in Louisiana. In Mississippi, more than 37,000 citizens are struggling in the summer heat without access to electricity.

With Hurricane Ida being the fifth largest hurricane to crash into the United States, flooding and damage is completely expected. Intense flooding rushed through the lands of Louisiana sweeping cars off the roads resulting in many automobile accidents. Two people tragically died from a collapsed highway in Louisiana. In New Orleans, another driver’s life was taken from drowning. Though thousands of people are struggling with power outages and building damages from the storm, other issues are arising. Gas and water shortages are on the rise. In Louisiana, gas is scarce due to a large percentage of gas stations simply running out. On August 31st, 35.2 percent of gas stations in Baton Rouge did not have gasoline. In New Orleans, almost 30 percent of gas stations ran out of fuel too.

On top of everything else, clean water is running low. After Hurricane Ida struck, 18 water systems went out, affecting more than 312,000 people according to CNBC News. Some of the water systems that are open are not serving clean water either. 14 other water systems, who distribute water to 329,000 people, are all under boil-water advisories, reports the Associated Press. Water is not only crucial in a normal day-to-day lift, but with added heat advisories in the south, water is even more important.

“Heat advisories were in effect for some parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, where heat index values could reach up to 106 degrees,” CNBC News said.

From the most southern parts of Louisiana to north-east New York, the effects of Hurricane Ida were felt everywhere. Millions of United States citizens will be recovering from this tragic storm for many months to come. But, people who were not as affected from the storm are doing their best to speed up recovery.

Helping Hands-

Many organizations are sending volunteers to help assist with the damage and send much needed supplies. One Springfield based organization, Convoy of Hope, has helped tremendously with the supply  shortage. On August 27th, Convoy of Hope pre-positioned relief supplies.

“With Ida forecasted to be a major hurricane, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team is preparing supplies and equipment to deploy ahead of the storm to help those affected as quickly as possible,” said Senior Director of Convoy’s U.S. Disaster Services team, Stacy Lamb.

Lamb reported Convoy of Hope had a distribution of 815 cars to help 815 families. The cars were filled with water, food, hygiene supplies, baby supplies, and ice. The Convoy of Hope foundation is not the only organization sending out help to victims of Hurricane Ida, Red Cross is also stepping out and reaching out. Thursday, August 27th, around 430 people stayed in 13 different Red Cross shelters across Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. And in the south, 2,400 people stayed in 29 shelters across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and even Texas. The Red Cross sent out 750 members to Louisiana to support relief efforts. With the worst damage in the south, Red Cross is doing their best to provide meals.

“With the help of partners, Red Cross has already provided some 49,500 meals and snacks and has distributed more than 16,000 relief items,” says Red Cross’s website, redcross.org.

Hurricane Ida sent trees toppling over citizens homes. Photo courtesy of Emily Kask- New York Times

Ways You Can Help-

Red Cross: text “Ida” to 90999 to make a 10 dollar donation.
Salvation Army: call 1-800-725-2769 to donate your preferred amount or donate through mail. Label your package “Disaster Relief for Hurricane Ida,” and mail to the following locations.
Eastern Territory: 440 West Nyack Rd. West Nyack, NY 10994
Southern Territory: PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301
St. Bernard Project: visit 2020responce.funraise.org and click “Donate,” to send in your preferred amount.

With historic damage across the country, organizations are doing what they can to help. Though, organizations can only do so much. It’s not going to be easy, but with your help, the road to recovery can be sped up and your donation could change a person’s life.
With fingers crossed and spirits hopeful, citizens across the nation hope for a quick recovery of the demolished towns. Hopefully soon Hurricane Ida survivors can return to the places that they used to call home and be united once again.

Springfield Public Schools is Changing Start Times

With another school year coming to an end, SPS is already planning ahead for the 2021-22 school year; with many changes coming including a new superintendent, SPS also plans to change the school start times.

The new system which will be enacted at the start of the 2021-22 school year has 3 tiers.
The first tier is for High school students. They will now start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.
The second tier is for Elementary school students. They will now start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.
The third and final tier is for Middle school students. They will now start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.

The decision to change the start times came as the district is making changes to its transportation system. They plan to expand routes to be more inclusive of students who live within a 3.5 mile from there school. But with this change, came changes to school start times.

While the reason behind the school start times changing is a positive for the district and it’s students currently unable to get a bus ride, students still feel concerned about the change in start times.

“School start times being earlier is bad for High school students mental health,” said freshman Tylor Wiles.

Wiles is not alone in their beliefs, the cdc.gov has continuously expressed concern about school start times being too early. According to a study used by the CDC in their assessment of school start times from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, they note that teenagers between the ages of 13-18 need 8 to 10 hours of sleep in order to function properly. However due to puberty teenagers typically go to bed later and wake up later in the morning.

For now students of all ages throughout the district will have to prepare to make adjustments, to accommodate for the new start times set to take place next year.



Mask Mandate: The Update


For over a year now, we have been masked in our community. Friends’ and peers’ faces hidden by a piece of cloth intended to protect our immune systems from the novel COVID-19. But as vaccination rates are increasing and herd immunity is becoming an achievable goal, officials are reconsidering the need for facial protection.

On the afternoon of May 13th, 2021, the CDC released a new mask guideline for fully vaccinated Americans. According to cdc.gov, their new guideline states, “If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic,”. President Joe Biden was quick to publicize through a series of Instagram reels announcing the new news to vaccinated Americans. He also encouraged non-vaccinated Americans to quickly get the vaccine, as it is available now more than ever.

Individual communities throughout America with their own mask mandates have their own considering to do following this news. Springfield Health Department has announced the need to revisit their own ordinance, and Mayor Ken McClure has set a meeting for Monday, May 17th to vote on the topic. This meeting will determine how Green County will move forward into the summer months.

In Missouri, 1.94 million people are vaccinated, equalling about 31.6% of the population. In Green County specifically, 21% of residents are vaccinated. These percentages will be heavily influential in the decision to be made on the 27th.

Katie Towns, interim director for Springfield Health Department, has suggested that Greene County end their mask mandate on Thursday, May 27th, 2021. This is also the day that Springfield Public Schools ends their 2020-21 school year. She recommends that non-vaccinated people still be required to wear their masks in public.

If the mask revocation still makes anyone vaccinated uncomfortable, it is important to emphasize the fact that regardless of the decision, the choice to continue to wear a mask is still up to an individual’s own reservations and health concerns.

Rights Within the LGBTQ+ Community

Students attending Kickapoo High School want change for the LGBTQ+ community.


Photo by Emilia Belcolore

Junior Maggie Miller supporting the LGBTQ+ community by previewing the Pride flag on her cheek.

   Kickapoo High School is rated number 204 in the state, with a 97 percent graduation rate, along with countless sports and academic awards. Most view it as the picture perfect school on the outside. On the inside, some apparent issues arise. One of the most prevalent is LGBTQ+ rights. This school year however, students decided to take a stance and let their voices be heard regarding their opinions in Kickapoo’s community. Students who are active members of the LGBTQ+ community deal with threats, bullying, mental health issues, and more. Even with all the toxicity surrounding the once taboo LGBTQ+ community, these students still fight their battle to let the people know that they want the same rights too. 

   On January 4th, 2021, attending students created an Instagram account called @changeforkickapoo. The account was first started to promote awareness of cultural appropriation within the school, but the account also shines light on other issues such as racism and rights among the LGBTQ+ community. At press time, the most recent post was on April 29th, 2021. It involved a bathroom sit-in protest organized by the students. The group feels that because Springfield Public Schools doesn’t allow students to use the restroom according to their gender identity, something needed to happen and potentially change. According to @changeforkickapoo’s post, there were supposed to be two protests. One held on April 29th, 2021 and the other just five days later on May 4th. 

Senior John Ogden shows support of the LGBTQ+ community with the pride flag on painted on his face.

  “This is to protest the discrimination of trans students at the school, in regards to the bathroom usage,” says the Change for Kickapoo Instagram post. 

   “We feel as if non-straight kids aren’t treated the same, specifically trans kids. Gender identity is valid, as are pronouns. We shouldn’t be forced to go into bathrooms divided by sex, but rather be able to go into the ones of our gender identity,” said an anonymous member of @changeforkickapoo.

   For an unspecified reason, both of these protests were halted. Principal Bill Powers, is supportive of the movement and did not cancel these protests, despite what @changeforkickapoo’s Instagram story said the evening of the first scheduled protest.

    “I sent them a direct message [Thursday night] through Instagram saying ‘hey we need to talk about this before it curves.’ So two of the students came in that morning. I met them in the conference room and basically just explained to them that we want to support them but we need to make sure that it’s done correctly so that we can supervise and insure that everyone is safe,” said Powers. 

   Powers said that the two group members were understanding and respectful during the meeting and didn’t seem to have a problem at the time. Powers did say that members of the transgender community who attend Kickapoo, do have options. If students who identify as transgender are not comfortable using the restroom that matches to their biological gender, then the bathrooms in the nurses office and library are available for them. 

   “We’re gonna support them and make sure that they’re safe,” said Powers. 

   Though the Change for Kickapoo student group is fighting for restroom usage based on gender identity, it’s not up to the school’s principal. These students are not only  fighting against the school administration but the supreme court. 

   “Right now the district’s policy procedure is that students must go to the restroom based on the gender of which they were born,” said Powers.

   Strong and determined, the LGBTQ+ community is attempting to gain equal rights. But with the community being the minority, there are many negatives resulting from being different. One can say the biggest issue members face are mental health problems. 

   On average, one in five people will experience a mental health illness in their life, but if you identify as transgender, then it’s every one in two. 41 percent of people in the transgender community have attempted suicide at least once in their life. According to Phycology Today, that number is nine times as high as people who are cisgender, (when a persons gender identity matches the one at birth.)

   “We don’t live in a very open-minded area, so being non-straight or trans, even both, can be hard,” said

Members not only fight for rights of preferable restroom usage but also laws regarding sporting events and marriage.

a member of @changeforkickapoo Instagram account.

   According to the Yale School of Public Health,  people who are identify as transgender are six times more likely to have a mood or anxiety disorder, three times as likely to be prescribed antidepressants or antianxiety medications, and more than six times as likely to attempt suicide that results in hospitalization. There are ways that school communities can help the members of the LGBTQ+ community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research has shown that having a club dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community can help decrease violence, bullying, and feelings of suicide. Fortunately, Kickapoo does have a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club. Art teacher, Mrs. Loudis is the sponsor for GSA. After school every Thursday is when Kickapoo’s GSA meets.

  “GSA is a student-led club that provides a safe and inclusive environment for students to be with supportive and like-minded fellow students while we socialize, make art, examine anti-LGBTQ legislation, and Social Justice issues. Traditionally, GSA stands for Gay-Straight Alliance or Gender and Sexuality Alliance,” said Loudis. 

  Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community comes with its own set of challenges and problems that members are constantly attempting to overcome. With the help and support of others, the LGBTQ+ community is slowly but surely getting the rights that they have rightfully fought for over the span of many years.

This map created via InDesign, shows the percentage of citizens who identify as transgender in the United States.

HOSA Update: 05-04-21

HOSA has led a successful year. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected many clubs, HOSA was still able to follow health and safety guidelines and continue to allow members of the club explore the different parts of the medical field. “HOSA has been able to maintain success because we have been able to overcome the challenges and in doing so we’ve been able to create events that have been safe for the health guidelines, while still being able to keep on enjoying the club, and what makes the club so fun,” said sophomore Kyle Ramaker. 

Among the many events HOSA hosted this year was a SINGO night. Through this fundraising event HOSA was able to raise a total of $650.00. “We didn’t get as much fundraising as we usually do but “SINGO” which was our main fundraiser of the year, we raised more than last year” said sophomore Cole Flippin. The money raised went to the Be The Match Organization, a nonprofit focused on providing patients with life-saving transplants.

HOSA also had there election in which 10 members ran for the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer positions. But while the year may be coming to an end for most students at Kickapoo, members of HOSA still have there Nationals conference which will be held virtually this year on June 23-26. Good luck to the members competing at Internationals this summer, and congratulations to the group for another successful year.

Kickapoo Theatre Presents: Bright Star

Kickapoo Theatre will be performing the Broadway musical, Bright Star, by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell starting Thursday, May 6th. The Kickapoo Theatre program began working on the show in January hoping to be able to perform it before the end of the school year. 

Behind the scenes of Bright Star. Photo courtesy of John Ogden.

Although, COVID-19 made for limited seating, the show must go on! The performances will be in Kickapoo’s Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. May 6-8. Tickets are being sold to students at lunch for $6 however, they will be available for purchase at the door.

“Having a chance to perform for people who have been stuck in their house for months on end is what has been exciting the cast the most” Senior, John Ogden said.

The Kickapoo Theatre program would appreciate your attendance at Bright Star!

Cast List

Alice Murphy- Anna Riemenscheider

Billy Cane- Caden Rowe

Daddy Cane- CJ Wears

Margo Crawford- Jamie McCarty

Max- Garrett Fraher

Florence- Katie Penkalski

Edna- Trinity Talmage

Daryl Ames- Christian Byndom

Lucy Grant- Anna Conboy

Mama Murphy- Katelyn Every

Daddy Murphy- Kenyon Aronis

Mayor Josiah Dobbs- Jonah Clenney

Jimmy Ray Dobbs- Nick Eby

Stanford- Luke Baker

Dr. Norquist- Van Erdman

Government Clerk- Tori Clifton

Well-Dressed Woman- Addison Chapman

Bookshop Girl- Olivia Bell


Change for Kickapoo

This past year, Kickapoo students have come together to create a new student activist group called Change for Kickapoo. The group quickly became well known through their Instagram account of the same name.

Created by Kickapoo sophomore Keeley Curtis, the campaign’s goal is to end the use of the Chief mascot and pre-game traditions the used headdresses and teepees as props. The agenda of the group is based on the cultural appropriation that the use of these symbols reinforces.

The group created a petition through Change.org that proposed removing the mascot and discontinuing insensitive and racist traditions. 

Curtis says, ”Racism is alive and well, and we as a school contribute to it with our mascot and cultural appropriation usages.”

The group was created back in January and quickly arranged meetings with school administrators to discuss the possible ways in which they would move forward.

As Curtis describes, “What made me start is whenever I commented on a post by Kickapoo of a kid wearing Native American attire, and I said it was cultural appropriation, and they turned the comments off.”

The interaction made Curtis wonder more about the underlying notes of Kickapoo High School traditions.

However, despite the support of many students and the understanding of some administrators, the end goal of the petition was left unmet. The petition secured over 3,000 out of the 5,000 desired signatures.

The group has a few public presentations including Keeley Curtis and Catelyn Ruble, as well as multiple anonymous representatives. This is due to a desire to maintain the peaceful learning experience of those who do not want backlash to pervade their educational experience.

According to Curtis,” There are several people who contribute to it, but most are anonymous. When it came to attacking someone, I knew we would get backlash and people would want someone to blame and give hate to. I go to online school, so for safety purposes, I let it be me. I didn’t want anyone in the group to get hurt.

The group gained publicity quickly but their mission lacked the amount of public traction they desired.

“The hardest thing is making people take us seriously. People don’t take teenagers seriously, so it’s hard for people to wrap their head around the fact that we’re a serious group,” said Curtis.

This comes even following statements in January from the Chairman of the Kickapoo Nation in Kansas, speaking out of his support for the organization and their pursuit of a mascot change.

After talks with administrators, the result of their efforts remains unclear.

“We still don’t know the final result. We want to change the mascot and all of the cultural problems. However, we have no idea how it will end.”

In the wake of the mascot controversy, Change for Kickapoo has doubled its focus to advocating for the rights of transgender students to use restrooms of their aligning gender. The group recently attempted a sit-in in the bathrooms located off of the Student Commons.

According to Curtis, “When it comes to the sit-ins, this is about transgender rights. Sex and gender are different. People deserve to be in the bathroom of their gender. It’s quite messed up that schools won’t allow students to be themselves and attend the bathroom of their gender.”

This shift in Change for Kickapoo’s agenda comes just after debates presented on the Missouri House floor regarding the right of transgender student-athletes. During the House debates, many of the arguments that were brought up in favor of increased legislation overlap with those currently being made concerning the use of high school restroom facilities.

In support of the proposed amendment, Republic Rep. Doug Richey among others suggested that male students might feign gender fluidity to gain access to girl’s locker rooms. 

Concerns similar to those of Rep. Richey arose surrounding the security and safety of students who would participate in the sit-in. However, before these concerns could be resolved, the event was postponed for unknown reasons.

As of now, there is no tentative rescheduling date, however, the group is very clear in its support of district-wide policy change regarding transgender restroom usage rights.

Curtis remarked, “As someone who is not transgender, I do not have too much of a say in transgender rights, but I do know that transgender rights are human rights. They deserve to be treated as humans, just like they are. I cannot see through the eyes of a transgender person, but it takes nothing to know that trans people deserve to be treated as people.”


Archery Update: 03-31-21


Photo of Kickapoo archery team competing, photo by Erica White

The archery team is on their way to nationals! While the rest of the school was on Spring Break, the state qualifiers competed earning 17th in the state of Missouri, and the team as a whole the opportunity to shoot at the national competition. “I think we shot pretty good,” sophomore Isaac Williams said. Over the next few weeks, the team is practicing preparing for the national competition taking palace in early May. The team has already achieved its goals for the season. “We made it to nationals which is always a goal.” junior Audrey White said. The team was cut off from their season last year alongside the rest of the school’s clubs and sports and according to White, they were just happy to be all together again. Congratulations to the archery team and good luck at Nationals!

Robotics Club Road to State

Robotics club will begin interviewing with judges in hopes of receiving awards that will qualify them for state. “We have the interview Saturday, it’s a judging interview for awards that we can get to see if we are able to go to State or not.” said Senior Allison Wang. Wish them luck!

Will the Mask Ordinance be Lifted?


Photo by Gabby Burgess

As of July 16th, 2020, everyone within the Springfield City Limits was required to be masked in public. Nearly nine months later this ordinance is still in effect. While COVID-19 is still greatly impacting our community we have been able to see returns to normalcy throughout the city, after almost a year of the COVID-19 pandemic overrunning our world, will Springfield see the mask ordinance lifted in the near future?

The mask ordinance currently in effect requires that anyone within the Springfield city limits over the age of 11 must be masked if they are in public. The only exclusions for this rule are those with underlying health conditions, or when parties are outside/exercising with at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. This has affected each and every one of us requiring masks at school, sports games, etc. everyone at Kickapoo Highschool has been affected by this ordinance one way or another.

When the ordinance was set into place on July 16th it was set to be lifted on January 9th of this year, however just a few weeks before this date, Springfield city council choose to extend it through April 9th. With this date now less than a month away citizens of Springfield are watching and waiting to see whether we will be mask-free or if we have another few months of this ordinance ahead of us. As of right now the Springfield City Council and Springfield CDC have not said anything about the ordinance being extended yet again. All eyes are fixed on our city government leaders to see whether the ordinance will truly be lifted. If it is then all businesses will be able to choose their own masking policies and the Springfield City Limits will no longer be the boundaries for masking restrictions. However, this also means that if the ordinance is lifted, it will be up to SPS to choose whether or not students (including ourselves) Will be required it wear masks through the remainder of the school year.

Saved By The Bell

New School Start Times In SPS

Scheduling this year has been nothing but madness from day one. From sports to theatre, band, orchestra, choir, and anything apart or in between, it has been a constant headache for all of us, and the headache is about to get worse. A large issue that Springfield public schools have had for many years is our system of transportation and getting students to school on time consistently. To fix this problem SPS has proposed a plan involving three-time slots of bus schedules that will reflect and change many start times in SPS. The first of the proposed times being for High schools and certain elementary schools which will be starting at 7:30 am and go until 2:30 pm, the second being for Elementary schools going from 8:30 am and letting out at 3:30 pm, while the final proposed time slot would be for middle schools going from 9:30 am and letting out at 4:30 pm. With this new plan, many great things come along with it such as thousands of students having a new way to get to school with the bus availability radius being based on distance from campus, with high schoolers having to live within 3.5 miles of campus while middle schoolers having to be within 1.5 miles and elementary having to be within 1. While this program would help many students have a way to get to school if they lived within the area from campus required, what about the students who did not? Many parents and guardians have jobs that start at 8 am or 9 am if not earlier so taking their young children to school could become an issue, if there are older siblings of course they could help but with high schoolers starting earlier than all others that cross off that option for many families as well. Many parents also do not have the financial capability to hire others to care for their children before school or do not want their middle schoolers home alone waiting for the bus at 9:15 am. Of course, it is always most important to hear from the perspective of those who will most be affected so when asking Junior CJ Wears he had this to say “I think it would be a lot better if the high schoolers were to start later. With students in high school that have younger siblings, it makes it harder for them to take them to school. Also, having high school start the latest may keep students more engaged and well slept” While the kids inside the bounds of SPSs bus boundaries will be fine many fellow students agree with CJ and also worry about middle school and elementary-aged students being trusted to get to the bus on time and even worried for their safety with SPS wanting to make elementary bussing more of the go-to with many elementary starting at 8:30. Another glaring issue that is presented with this proposition is teenage mental and physical health being affected by the schedules. Already in SPS and all across the nation it is obvious and has been for a very long time that teenagers, especially high school-aged ones do not get enough sleep which affects their grades and progress in school and their mental and physical health. According to the centers for disease control“Teenagers aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours” which most of us definitely do not and with these new starting times won’t be anytime soon.

Winter Guard Update: 03-09-21


Kicakpoo Color Gaurd team, photo by team coach Ms.Peterson

The KHS Winter Guard team is now diving headfirst into their competition season. After working tirelessly for months and now they have officially begun the recordings for their online competitions. They have submitted to the Winter Guard International competitions and Mid-Continent Color Guard Association. Team mentor Sammy Marquis is confident in the team’s abilities to go far this season. “… the winter guard community as a [has done great to] whole to make this year fun and exciting like years previous,” Marquis said.

They have now advanced to the semi-finals with their WGI competition where they now get to compete with some of the best teams from around the nation. They are having yet another showcase on March 27th at Ozark Highschool where they will show off their performance to family and friends alongside another highschool in the area. The team has been working tirelessly from after-school practices to all-day practices on the weekends. According to team member Mackenzie Crismas “The teams this year will be competing virtually by submitting videos and receiving scores based off them,” she also agreed with Marquis in saying the team was very excited for this current season.

Make sure to get out and support this year’s team in whatever way you can. For regular updates and an inside look at the preparations for their program Visionary go follow the Kickapoo Color Gaurd page @kpoocg on instagram.

Year Since Quarantine

Traveling worldwide was halted. This map shows the geological lands that make up the world.

March of 2021 marks one year since everyone’s lives changed forever. Now it’s time to visit upon the details to see what unfortunately hasn’t changed and answer misconceptions about this pandemic.

Thinking back to March 2020, students around the world were excited to have a couple extra weeks of Spring Break, sleeping in, and staying home. Somehow that period of time turned into a never ending cycle of sanitizing, mask wearing, and social distancing. March of 2021 is quickly approaching and the cycle is still continuous. It’s going to officially been one year since everyone’s lives changed forever, one year since the world as we knew it vanished, and one year since countries across the globe have been living in a state of quarantine.


Virtual learning: At the beginning of the new school year, Kickapoo students and others across the nation got the opportunity to learn virtually from home. Since March of 2020 to March of 2021, students are still learning from the comfort of their own homes.

In class schedule: If learning from home just wasn’t for you, then high school students were flexibly learning with the new in class schedule. Until February 1st, students were broken up alphabetically and attended school two days a week, allowing a three day period for online learning and a day for cleaning the school. As of February 1st, the hybrid schedule changed and students are now attending four days a week. Currently, all SPS students are attending school four days a week with the exception on Wednesdays.

Sanitation: With the new COVID-19 school year, students are required to use hand sanitizer before entering and exiting the classroom. Before leaving each period tables need to be wiped down by a sanitizing solution that the school provides before leaving to the next class. To promote cleanliness, odd number classrooms leave one minute after the bell, water fountains are currently unavailable to students, assigned seating is mandatory at lunch, and school releases are organized by grade.

Safety: Students are still required to be masked at all times, with the exception of lunch. Students have to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose. Everyone is still following social distancing guidelines by social distancing when possible.

Half capacity: Places around the world are only allowing people into their building at half capacity. Most restaurants have opened up for dining in but masks are required when you’re not seated. Shopping centers still count how many people are currently in the store and half capacity signs are hung on the outside of walls and windows of many places.

COVID-19: Obviously and unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very much existing. Though as a nation we are slowly taking steps forwards such as dropping stay at home orders, going out with friends, worshipping at church, and other activities everyone enjoyed before the world shut down. The mask mandate is still in effect and most are doing what they can to be safe while in the public eye and likely will be for much longer.

While we are continuing to live our lives to what we consider the new normal, we are finding out much more about COVID-19 than we ever have before. Hopefully with the future months, we can say goodbye to 2020’s continuous pandemic. Finally we could step out and breathe fresh air, hug our friends, and gather with others. For now, everyone’s just adjusting to the new normal, which doesn’t seem to be very new anymore.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the media has been responsible for all different types

This scientist is working with medicine and potentially finding a cure. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct.

of rumors. Down below are some of the most common misconceptions of the virus and the correct and appropriate answers to them.

Myth #1: COVID-19 was purposefully created by people.

Truth: Viruses change over the course of time. Animals such as pigs and birds carry viruses that can pass to humans. Scientists say that COVID-19 originated from bats which passed to humans and from that point, spread across the world.

Myth #2: Children will be forced to receive the

Frontline care workers are receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct.

COVID-19 vaccine.

Truth: Currently the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is for people 16 and older and the Moderna vaccine for people 18 and older.

Myth #3: The purpose of wearing a mask is to protect myself from getting sick.

Truth: No mask can keep all of an infected droplet out, but more importantly, the mask keeps in the infected droplets to protect others around.

Myth #4: The COVID-19 vaccine contains a microchip.

An inside look of a hospital room. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Truth: No injections, COVID-19 related or not, contains microchips, nanochips, or a tracking device. Similar to the way shipments and deliveries are tracked, shipments of the injection will

be closely monitored as they are sent and given to citizens across the country.

Myth #5: You have to be elderly or have an underlying

health condition to become seriously sick or be admitted into the hospital.

A close-up photo of the Moderna vaccine bottle. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct.

Truth: No matter what age, people all over are becoming sick from COVID-19. The risk of catching the virus can increase with age, underlying diseases, diabetes, severe obesity, and more, but COVID-19 affects everyone; from infants to the elderly.

Myth #6: Wearing a mask will make me sick from breathing in my own carbon


Truth: Before COVID-19, health care workers have worn masks without any side effects. The CDC recommends cloth masks since they are more

People of all ages can get infected and this infant represents that. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct.

breathable. Wearing masks does not increase your risk for hypoxia, which is when your oxygen levels drop. Also, the carbon dioxide will move throughout your mask as you inhale and exhale.

Myth #7: The virus will disappear when the summer season arises.

Truth: Some viruses, like the cold and flu, spread easier within the colder months. Scientists are not completely sure, but evidence suggests that COVID-

19 can be transmitted no matter what temperature.

Myth #8: Once a person gets the vaccine, they do not have to wear a mask or social distance.

This mask in the street represents someone who took their mask off. There is no threat of breathing in carbon dioxide while wearing a mask. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Truth: When you get your first dose of the vaccine, a person doesn’t not become immediately immune to the virus. “It takes at least a week to 10 days for your body to begin to develop antibodies and then those antibodies continue to increase over the next several weeks,” says Chairman

of the Department of Inflammation and Immunity at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute,  Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck.

Myth #9: Now that people are starting to get the vaccines, the pandemic will be

over quickly.

Truth: When the disease is no longer likely to spread, which is called herd

immunity, 70% of the population will need to have been

When the summer season arrives, COVID-19 will not fade away. This beach received a lot of travelers before COVID-19. Photo courtesy of MCT Direct.


Myth #10: Once you catch COVID-19 one time, you’re automatically immune.

Truth: It is rare, but the CDC has reported cases of

reinfection throughout the span of the COVID-19 outbreak. Scientists theorize

that similar to other viruses, you can catch COVID-19 more than once.

“In addition, we do not know for certain how long the antibodies will last and if they will prevent future

infection,” says Dr. Segal- Maurer, director of the Dr. James J. Rahal. Jr. Division of Infection Diseases at New York Presbyterian Queens.

This diagram is a reminder to people to remain socially distanced. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia


This timeline creation highlights the two most important events about COVID-19 in the months of March to December of 2020.


TikTok Ban


Photo by Gabby Burgess

Sophomore Emilia Belcolore viewing TikTok’s message on their platform in accordance to the ban.

With over 26 million teenage users in the US, TikTok has a great influence on our community and easy access to our information. While TikTok says that all of this information is confidential the Trump Administration thinks otherwise.

              On August 6th, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an executive order which stated that TikTok, We Chat, and other BryteDance owned apps will be banned in the US. This going to say that on September 20, 2020, using the apps would not be allowed by any, business, people residing in or citizens of the United States, however, things changes.    This order came after multiple questions on whether TikTok is safe or not. According to the Trump administration, multiple government organizations, and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the answer is no. However, TikTok and BryteDance as a whole, have something else to say about it. According to the order “TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories.  This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”                                

  The executive order later went on to say how this puts our federal employees at risk and how this rule has already been enforced on government devices in the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, and the United States Armed Forces.     

TikTok HQ in Las Angeles, CA. Photo Courtesy of Tribune News Service.

  President Trump also mentions worries of the app promoting false campaign information which could possibly be used to promote the Chinese Communist Party, and measures the app has taken to censor information coming out of China in accordance with their treatment of Muslims.   The Trump administration is not the only one who is worried about these threats. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation put TikTok on their 2020 Dirty Dozen List.  The Dirty Dozen List is put out every year exposing any brand, company, organization, etc. that provides a space for sexual grooming, harassment, abuse, and trafficking. TikTok this year was on the list among others such as Amazon, Twitter, and Wish.

 In their official statement on why TikTok was listed they addressed the fact that TikTok does not have enough censorship offers, especially for their younger users. They quoted multiple organizations that supported this claim including Forbes who called TikTok “A magnet for sexual predators.” TikTok has since enforced a few new rules including not allowing direct messaging on the app for users under the age of 16. While the Center is pleased about these changes they still believe there is more that could be done and gave a few examples of such on their official statement. While there do appear to be some real threats on the app there is also a counter-argument to these statements.

 After another executive order which gave BryteDance ninety days to withdraw their American ties, TikTok decided to sue the Trump Administration.    The official statement stated that the Trump Administration deprived the company of due process, and failed to prove that TikTok was a legitimate threat. However these lawsuits were withdrawn after less than a month when new negotiations came to light. 

On September 19, 2020, the day before the ban was set to go into effect, President Trump announced that he had approved a deal between TikTok and two other American Companies, Walmart and Oracle. 

 The agreement approved by the President gave TikTok one more week to gain approval from the US government. This deal would entail that Walmart and Oracle own 20% of TikTok Global, which would become an independent entity no longer owned by BryteDance. However, there is also speculation that BryteDance would still own a majority of TikTok. After approving the deal president Trump said that if BryteDance still owned the app he was “not going to be happy”.    The agreement postponed the official ban of TikTok for one week until September 27th. The rules for the ban had also changed at this point now stating that any users who already had the app downloaded would still be allowed access. However, no new downloads would be allowed.  

   The President even went as far as to say that he was willing to force both the Apple App Store and Google play to remove TikTok from their services.        TikTok then asked for a temporary injunction, this would prevent the Trump Administration from banning the app for a little longer. This request was granted by a US judge  This newly granted request allows TikTok more time to negotiate with Oracle and Walmart as well as the Trump Administration. John Hall, an attorney who is representing Tik Tok stated the band would have been an “extraordinary action…” along with the company holding its claim that they were deprived of due process. So for right now, the app is here to stay however unless a final agreement is reached, and the deal with  Oracle and Walmart is finalized further restrictions could go into effect on November 12th.

  Ultimately the app and its security have led to debates throughout the country with everyone waiting to see what is going to happen next.

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