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 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, 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.

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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.
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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 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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Winter Guard

The Winter Guard season is just beginning and already the team is excited about this upcoming season. Rehearsing throughout the week the team is preparing for their production entitled Visionary. While still working on nailing down their choreography and staging before their virtual competition’s this season the team is working hard and their efforts are paying off.

Coming up this Saturday, February 20th, and next Saturday the 27th they are putting on showcases of their performance for their friends and family due to the fact that they cannot attend in-person competitions this year. Despite these unprecedented circumstances the team is in great spirits. “While this year is not like any of the past years, Mrs.P and the Winter Guard community as a whole have already done a great at trying to make this year fun and exciting like the years previous,” said Senior Sammy Marquis.

For their online competitions, they will be recording their production Visonary and sending it in to be judged amongst other schools. The team is in high spirits and are looking forward to not only competing but despite current circumstances still being able to perform for family and friends. “Guard has provided a great outlet to hand out with friends (in a safe way of course),” Marquis said.

For regular updates on the status of their Visionary production go follow the Kickapoo Color/Winter Guard Instagram page @kpoocg.



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Girls Swim

The Kickapoo Girls Swim team is in high spirits this season despite the crazy season. From now and when we return from the winter break they will have participated in their All-City meet as well as one with Webb City and another with the Ozarks Confrence. Junior Sally Cybulski gave insight on the season earlier this week where she said “I’m just mainly excited to be there at all, even though we don’t get t really travel for meets I’m just glad we get to have them. While practices look a lot different, that hadn’t hampered our ability to have fun.”. The team has had great success this season, with too 200 medley relay teams having already qualified for state. “Despite the circumstances, all the girls still try their hardest to improve our team,” Cybulski said. The team has a bright season ahead of them so make sure to cheer them on!

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A Briefing of Amy Coney Barret

A run down on the newest associate Supreme Court Justice.

On October 26th Amy Coney Barrett was officially confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. The senate voted 52 to 48 to confirm the nomination of Barrett, she is entirely favored by the republican party.
Before Barrett was appointed to the Supreme Court, she served as a federal judge for 2 years before she was pushed into her Supreme Court seat.
She was especially endorsed by Donald Trump, for a matter of fact, there was much controversy following her confirmation for how quickly Trump got Barrett inducted into the wings.
It only took 48 days to get Barrett seated within the Supreme Court, this has never occured in history. The median number of days it takes to get a supreme court justice seated is 68 days. This act also seemed abrupt and insensitive due to the fact that justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a women’s activist that filled the ninth seat on the supreme court that had passed and was so quickly replaced with Barrett, a woman with intensely different views. Barrett was confirmed not even a month after Justice Ginsburg’s death. So of course drama ensued soon after.
Barrett is an extreme conservative and self-proclaimed originalist. Therefore she believes things should be run strictly by how the constitution intended. Unfortunately this ideology could turn into a nightmare for the future of politics considering the fact that the United States have come a long way since the founding of the constitution.
Her political views are all very right wing minded. Shes expressed her outlook on womens reproductive rights, same-sex marriage, immagration and affordable healthcare, her opinions are very non-progressive. According to NPR. org Barrett does plan to vote on overturning Roe vs. Wade, a ruling by the Supreme Court that made abortion legal in many circumstances.
Barret has also harshly criticized the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is also known as Obamacare, it provides lower income families and individuals with affordable medical care.
Barrett plans to continue her position as an associate Supreme Court Justice with conservative ideas.

COVID-19 Tensions Rise

As possible vaccines for the deadly virus begin circulation early next week, emotional tensions continue to rise.

With the eagerly anticipated approval of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine by the FDA, tensions regarding Covid-19 are continually spiking nationwide. Among the public, there are widespread fears concerning the effectiveness of the vaccine along with the possible side-effects it may reap.
According to the frequent incoming updates by various newspapers, including CBS News, the FDA approval is coming “rapidly” which would allow people to start receiving the first dose of the vaccine as early as Monday or Tuesday of the incoming week.
However, with new hope on the horizon, the need for vigilance is even more important. Within the last week, rising tensions here have reaffirmed the need for social distancing and masking in large public gatherings.
Over this last weekend and into Monday, local pentecostal congregation James River Church has come under heavy criticism for conducting their annual Christmas services. Although church officials confirmed that temperature checks and various forms of precautions were in place, photos of the event sparked outrage. In these photos, congregants are shown closely seated, many of the maskless. Although some families opted to socially-distance, the church’s negligence has been a highly charged issue.
Local Health Department Director, Clay Goddard, spoke out on the actions of the church. He is quoted in an article by the Springfield News-Leader.
“I can’t see those photos without also thinking of the images we’ve all seen of the impossible circumstances our hospitals are battling every day.”
The anger towards James River Church is merely one instance of the tensions that are rising at continual carelessness in our region. Despite the recent anger directed at church gatherings and sports events, people are continually going to bar and attending small-scale entertainment events, despite the clear risk that it poses.
We find ourselves at the beginning of the end with the near-approval of the Pfizer vaccine. Although it may be easy to fall into reckless behavior with the security of a possible cure quickly approaching, it is so important to remain vigilant.
This is the most deadly season of the pandemic to date. Students nationwide may find it easy to lapse into thoughtless and exposure-risking behaviors because of their ability to fend off the more serious side-effects of the virus. However, young people hold a unique responsibility to ensure that they are not asymptomatically spreading this deadly virus to people who do not have the same level of security health-wise. This responsibility weighs even heavier in what may be the last stretch of this tiresome pandemic and year.

Coronavirus Vaccine

This past Thursday, the FDA panel voted for the approval of the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine. Unless any last-minute legal requirements arise, an emergency authorization will be granted this Saturday, December 12th. The initial shipment will send

6.4 million doses around the world, half of which will be used immediately, while the other half will remain reserved for the second dose to the same recipients.

After the many vaccine trials, the vaccine has proven to be “somewhat effective” and has not had any cases of serious allergic reactions thus far. 

As for high school students, we are not being prioritized to receive the vaccine. The vaccine will be given to first, healthcare workers then, elders living in nursing homes.

The vaccine hopes to decrease the rising death rates due to the virus around the world. Kickapoo students are hoping to get back to a normal school year following the release of the vaccine. Until then, it is encouraged to keep practicing social distancing and safety precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

KARE Team Holiday Bags

KARE Team has put together meal bags for families in need.

This holiday season, KARE Team has put together individual meal bags for families in need. Because of COVID, KARE Team has to pre-package these meals for sanitary reasons. Throughout this past week, the club has packaged twenty five meal bags for families.

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Be Careful With After School Traffic

Traffic after school at Kickapoo is as bad as ever as everyone is rushing home. On Friday the 4th of December, there were multiple car wrecks on Campbell Ave just down the street from Kickapoo. The backup of traffic from everyone heading home is likely to cause more accidents as the end of the semester draws near. So don’t forget to be careful and fully aware when driving!

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