KHQ TODAY

The Power of Misinformation

Reading is believing. Right?

I think it’s a teacher’s job to teach you how to get your information but it is most definitely on the individual to go out and seek that information and for them to educate themselves.”

— Hannah Laflen

Misinformation has infiltrated every part of society: through our news cycle, our social media, our political arena, and every other branch of access. It influences our very perception of the world, yet remains veiled and largely unaddressed.
Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Election have exposed the vast reach of this social issue.
However, misinformation has been prominent throughout history. Publicly-disseminated ‘half-truths’ arise at the very points when history is being made.
When isolated and amplified, it is this same tactic that is used to dismiss unquestionable historical events like the Moon Landing and the Jewish Holocaust of World War II.
One key distinction that must be made when it comes to false information is the line between misinformation and disinformation. Misinformation is incorrect information that is allowed to spread, oftentimes through online mediums.
Disinformation, however, according to Meira Gebel of Business Insider, is “intentionally, maliciously deceptive”.
Disinformation is a form of false information that is used to manipulate the actions of the listener towards a specific outcome. Misinformation, on the other hand, is unintentionally inaccurate. Misinformation may seem less harmful, however, both forms of media lies can be easily spread by an uninformed reader.
Even readers who consider themselves to be “informed” can unintentionally aid toxic misinformation spread by sharing an unvetted source through social media. This reoccurring cycle of falsification thrives on a lack of media literacy.
Media literacy is knowing what you’re sharing and where exactly your information comes from: not just according to the word of an influencer or celebrity but from tangible and backable facts.
In the 2019 book “The Power of Misinformation: How False Beliefs Spread” by James Owen Weatherall, and Cailin, O’Connor, this concept of false beliefs is heavily discussed.
One major question Weatherall and O’Connor address that we must ask ourselves is whether or not true democracy can survive in the era of false information. Because democracy is founded on principles like truth and justice when the fundamental concept of truth is uprooted, what is left of democracy?
The direct correlation between the level of trust we endow the ‘truth’ and our trust for others political and socially is clear. The less we trust political figures and our fellow citizens, the less we can believe facts produced by such sources.
In recent years, a general increase of individualism and a shrinking political structure is said by a Pew Research Center study to have increased over 65% of U.S. adults believe that a lack of trust in the federal government and one another makes it harder to solve problems.
The problem with misinformation is that in certain cases, even when a piece of information is exposed as false, it still has power over our culture. The misinformation that we fall prey to reveals the cognitive and perception-based vulnerabilities within our view of the world. In other words, misinformation shows us what we can and will be fooled by. The fact that we are vulnerable to certain forms of deception is terrifying and media literacy must be cultivated to combat it.

The following interviews were conducted between reporters and students Hannah Laflen (Senior), and Cooper Peck (Junior), concerning their personal opinions on misinformation and media literacy.

Interview with Hannah Laflen:

How would you define misinformation?
“I would define misinformation as a piece of information that is extremely exaggerated, or points fingers at someone. And obviously any blatantly false information…I think they [radicalized new sources] are one of the biggest contributors to the misinformation.”

How has misinformation affected your perspective of politics?
“I have realistically been on both sides of that political spectrum. I grew up in a really conservative town with a really conservative family. And by going to school and educating myself, and learning more of what I didn’t know before, I have kind of made a full one-eighty.”

How do you feel about the factual discrepancy between radicalized news sources?
“I do look at information from both ends of the spectrum, CNN and Fox…It does make me angry though, that people are so critical about where you get your news information, that people have to look on both sides…and have to verify their information through multiple sources.”

Do you think that a non-politicized media is possible?
“I truthfully don’t think that will ever happen. I think that we are always going to have differing news sources and I think in reality that’s good but I don’t think there is a reality in which we will see that.”

Whose job is it to teach students how to gather news in a factual and well-rounded fashion?
“I think it’s a teacher’s job to teach you how to get your information but it is most definitely on the individual to go out and seek that information and for them to educate themselves.”

How has your involvement in government classes helped you?
“Taking government classes and AP Government has contributed to my knowledge…Knowing information from both sides, and both sources and comparing them is so important. Getting that information and educating yourself on politics in general, and widening your sources is what has given me my opinion. Having an in-depth knowledge or looking at politics and the history of politics has given me my perspective.”

Interview with Cooper Peck:

How would you define misinformation?
“Very similarly, I think it comes down to when they [news sources] make information fit with their opinions.”

How has misinformation affected the decline of trust in the media?
“It has definitely gotten worse and worse as people become more and more radicalized.”

How has politics influenced your view of misinformation in the media?
“Just knowing how much bias is out there both in the media, and seeing it through events, it has made me fall more towards the middle on political ideas, simply not knowing who I can trust”.

Who does the responsibility of teaching media literacy fall upon?
“I think it should take place at a younger level, but it is more of a personal responsibility you bring upon yourself…I have gotten more interested in how politics and government work but I also have a twin brother who I am around all the time and he doesn’t have an interest in that stuff. It just comes down to personal responsibility and involved you want to be.”

Tossing, Turning, and Thinking

KHS Winterguard athletes prepare for a new season with new regulations and a new mindset.

Senior+Emily+Young+performs+with+the+colorguard+at+an+Friday+football+game.+Photo+credit+to+Lauren+Arnold.

Senior Emily Young performs with the colorguard at an Friday football game. Photo credit to Lauren Arnold.

Kickapoo’s Winterguard season will look unconventional this year due to COVID-19 the recent spike of cases nationwide.

   Winterguard is a choreographed performance art in which performers use rifles, sabers, and flags as props. Within this discipline, precision and energy are vital to emotionally impactful performances.

   This season, however, cohort separation between students has been challenging. Because some rehearsals take place during school hours, not all members can be present for all practices.

   Additionally, their typical style of choreography has required alterations, and their usual outside consultants are unable to support the group this year. The combination of obstacles has altered the overall experience for performers.

   Thankfully, the style of the sport makes social distancing slightly easier.

   “With the equipment work we do, we are used to being farther apart so social distancing hasn’t been too difficult for us”, comments Colorguard sponsor and KHS Social Studies teacher Sherri Peterson.

   Winter Guard senior Benjamin Ralston speaks about the impacts of the new barriers.

   ”It is hard to enjoy something as much as you normally do when you can’t do it to the full extent it’s intended”, Ralston says.

   More than that, he comments that the synergy of the group has been affected. Synergy is the combined efforts of the members amplifying together to produce a greater, collective work. This group result can be better (or worse) than the performance of the individuals.

   Simply, positive synergy is irreplaceable in Colorguard. And because of the limitations in place, the team dynamic has been altered.

   However, according to Peterson, these changes are pushing the students to maintain their momentum now more than ever.

“I think they are excited to be able to do what they love doing, performing – even though it has been different”, Peterson says.

And despite many obstacles, they will be able to do just that. 

   “Both of the winter guard circuits that we compete in have chosen to offer virtual competition seasons”, Peterson says.

   These circuits have been giving their teams the option of whether to register for competitive or non-competitive performances. 

   Practically speaking, this means that the KHS Winter Guard will submit a video performance and will receive scores and feedback.

   “They have been very motivated to excel at the performance opportunities we have had so far this year”, says Peterson.

   The team picks a theme each season; this season’s theme is centralized around thinking. Inspired by a famous bronze sculpture titled The Thinker and crafted by Auguste Rodin, the show will focus on the mind. According to Peterson, the performance will juxtapose classical elements with a modern twist.

   Peterson says, “We are going to use bright, vibrant colors and a collection of different types of musical genres.”

   The purpose of the show is to convey to audiences the power of thinking. This year, that power has been shown. With quarantine and societal unrest came a spiral of unhealthy thought patterns for many individuals. Mental health suffered. But creativity flourished. Books were written and art was inspired based on our shared struggles. The performance highlights thought as the art form of the mind. It also inadvertently speaks to the power of thought during these trying times. 

   Worldwide, people have relearned the value of each moment this year. Because many sports and fine arts groups have experienced problems with meeting regularly, this has made every moment count.

   Peterson says, “We’ve just tried to appreciate the opportunities we get to have together as a team – have fun…and always focus on enjoying the memories we are making”.

   In the end, the focus placed on the hardships we experience is either positive or negative. 

   “We often talk about challenges and obstacles as we prepare for performances…[placing] a focus on being positive-minded, mentally tough, and confident in your preparation.”

   The Winter Guard season this year is unconventional. However, these performers have adapted to the best of their abilities and have continued working hard despite numerous obstacles.

   Peterson says of her students, “They have done a great job, been positive-minded, and acclimated to changes or other obstacles extremely well”. 

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.

Kickapoo Homecoming Game and Parade!

Kickapoo+Homecoming+Game+and+Parade%21

This Friday Kickapoo had a parade in the parking lot to display clubs and homecoming court. The seniors on court were; Ava Araujo-Tice, Kate McCarville, and Helen Ashley Bodenhamer. Following the parade Kickapoo played Hillcrest High School and won 39-20. During half time the homecoming queen was announced and the winner was Kate McCarville. Congrats Kate McCarville on being the 2020 Homecoming queen!

Softball District Champions

Kickapoo’s Varsity Softball team wins the District 6 Championship for the second consecutive year

Tonight Kickpoo’s Varsity Softball team competed against Carthage at Republic High School. The team, which is comprised of 14 students, won the game with a final score of 3-2. It was a close game according to Senior Mckenna Fink, “It was close but Ellie [Facklam] pitched really well and hit a two-run home run which sent us over the top”. This victory makes them the district champions for two consecutive years.

This week, on October 13th, they played against Nixa, beating them with a final score of 7-5. That win allowed them to move forward in competition to win against Carthage tonight.

This year, district sectionals were cut out of the game timeline due to Covid-19. Therefore the Lady Chiefs will go straight from winning districts to Quarterfinals.

Now they will move on to play at home for the upcoming Quarterfinals against Lee’s Summit West on October 22. If they win that game too, they will continue to the Final Four which will take place on the 29th of October at Killian Sports Complex.

Last year they won districts, but this year in doing so again, they set an expectation for future success in the future. Our Lady Chiefs have performed with talent and strength so far this season, thanks to the hard work of the players and supporting staff and coaches. Wish them luck in Quarterfinals! Go Chiefs!

What Kind Of Bread Are You?

What+Kind+Of+Bread+Are+You%3F

Do you have healthy sleeping patterns?

Do+you+have+healthy+sleeping+patterns%3F

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Starting in December 2019, the coronavirus or codiv19 has spread around the world. First appeared in China, in the town of Wuhan, the virus arrived in Europe and America too. 

Thirty five cases are known in the U.S., but in Europe the disease is spreading fast, especially in Italy. The virus arrived in February brought by a married couple. 

The real panic started during the last two weeks of February when the codiv19 started spreading in the north causing the first deaths. Italy immediately reacted isolating the infected people and the government started a political ploy closing schools and meeting points like bars, clubs and sporting facilities. 

This should interest anyone thinking about traveling to Europe, especially to Italy or to Asia because the virus is causing problems with flight and airports too. 

To prevent the virus, doctors suggest to often wash your hands, don’t visit crowded places and put hands in front of your mouth when sneezing. 

Nationally Recognized

Mrs.+Fink+is+the+sponsor+of+NHS.+

Mrs. Fink is the sponsor of NHS.

National Honors Society (NHS) is a nationwide organization that only select students get to be apart of.

The sponsor of NHS is Mrs. Fink and Mr. Wilbur is also an co-sponsor. 

NHS has many different focuses but here on campus, they focus more on volunteering.
“The students that are in NHS focus on service projects which are pretty much volunteering here at Kickapoo,” Sponsor and Teacher Jill Fink said.
In order to be part of NHS, you must meet the qualifications that are set in place.

“The qualifications are that you have to have a cumulative 4.0 GPA or above, you have to be a sophomore or older and you have to apply,” Mrs. Fink said.
NHS has many goals and they do their best to try to include all their members.
“The goal of our club is to mostly we’ve already got really good scholars and students our push is to try to get them to understand the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community,” Mrs. Fink said.

Are You Eco-friendly?

Are+You+Eco-friendly%3F

DECA Districts

DECA+Districts

DECA recently competed at the district competition, which took place Thursday, February 20th at Seminole Baptist church. 

“21 people made it to state and 16 others were finalists.” DECA sponsor Cara Posegate said. 

For those who qualified, the state competition will be held March 22nd-24th. Depending on the category, participants in the state competition can move on to the national competition if they place in the top three, four, or five. 

Test Your Kickapoo Knowledge!

Test+Your+Kickapoo+Knowledge%21

 

Winter Guard Wins

   The 2020 Winter Guard season is off to a great start. 

   The JV team, Kickapoo Gold, took home first place at the Ozark Winter Guard Festival, which means that they get promoted to the next classification. They completed in the higher division the next weekend and got second place. They are currently ranked fourth in the state. 

   The varsity team, Kickapoo Emulation, placed first at the Ozark and Fayetteville Winter Guard Festivals. They are currently first in the state in their division and will be competing at the WGI Springfield Regional this weekend. 

About the Writer

Southside Rivalry

Southside+Rivalry

This Friday the boy’s varsity basketball team will come head to head with Glendale at 7:00 pm.
Kickapoo heads into the game 14-8. Glendale enters into the game 13-9. The matchup history since 2003 comes out at 14 wins for Kickapoo and five wins for Glendale.

Backpacks and purses are subject to search. The student sections will also be separated and monitored before, during, and after the game.
“Glendale has always been our rival and beating them feels different than winning other games,” sophomore Carson Noel said.

Change Wars

Change+Wars

Once again FBLA is doing Change Wars for this week. The teacher who’s going to collect the most money, in change, during their first block is going to win the “war”. All the money collected is going to be donated to March of Dimes, a non-profit organization helping newborn babies in town. 

Mr. Wooderson and the FBLA club are giving a delicious price to the winning teacher and their class, a party of donuts for the entire class.

Seals of Excellence

Seals+of+Excellence

Photo by: Lorna Peck

Seals of Excellence are due by the end of the day on Friday, February 21st. Forms for each seal are located in the counseling center.
Seals are represented by cords to be worn during the graduation ceremony. “Seals of Excellence applications are due to departmental chairs,” the Kickapoo Website reported.

Cheering For The Squad

The+cheer+team+practices+a+stunt+commonly+done+at+tryouts.+

The cheer team practices a stunt commonly done at tryouts.

   Cheer tryout applications are available in the main office but just signing a paper isn’t all that goes into the cheer applications. Cheer tryout forms are due March 11th and tryouts are on March 23rd through the 26th for Freshman through Juniors.  Tryouts consist of four consecutive days where each day is a new challenge.

   On day one of tryouts, they go over a mixture of different types of stunts. 

    “On the first day they learn a cheer a chant and a dance and then we go over motions jumps tumbling things like that, Cheer coach Audrey Larson said. 

   On the second day of tryouts, they demonstrate there jumping ability.

    “They show us their jumps and there graded on there technique of there jumps and they demonstrate the level of tumbling they have so the harder the skill the more points you get, Coach Larson said. 

   The final two days they wrap the tryouts up with group stunts. 

   “Wednesday and Thursday they do group stunts and that’s when they practice learning the lifts, Coach Larson said. 

   Cheer does not need a set number of people to form a cheer team. It is based on a point system. They don’t always look for the skill they also look for personality. 

    “We really look for the potential we look for really good attitudes and if your willing to work you don’t have to be the best of the best you just have to want to be,” Coach Larson said.

Talent Show Cancelled

Talent+Show+Cancelled

Students and staff were preparing to host the annual talent show, which was scheduled to take place February 20th. Due to a lack of auditions, the talent show was cancelled. 

 

There were five auditions for the talent show, four of which were actually approved, but this did not meet the minimum of 15 performances needed to have the show.  

 

“There won’t be a talent show this year, but we will hopefully be back next year,” Kyle Loudis said.

 

Loudis is a communications arts teacher, and teaches broadcast journalism. He has been teaching for 15 years. In those 15 years he has never had this happen before, but he is still positive about the upcoming years.

 

“I hope it will be different next year, and we will have a rocking show,” Loudis said.

 

Buzzing To The Top

Buzzing+To+The+Top

The last few weeks have been very busy for Scholar Bowl. Their two teams have gone to different competitions and tournaments and placed highly at them.

“Last Wednesday we went to Sarcoxie where B team got first place and A team got second. We had four people that placed in the top ten at that tournament,” sophomore CJ Wears said.

Placing first and second in that tournament made Scholar Bowl fired up and prepared to continue on with their other competitions.

“That Saturday we brought four teams to WashU in St. Louis. A team got around top ten and B was around 15. There were 35 teams and it was a very difficult tournament. We have a tournament coming up in two weeks at Mizzou,” Wears said.

E-sports coming to Kickapoo?

 

Contender finally opened back at the end of January. Which is a E-sports “gym” to be able to train, learn, and compete against others or on their own time. Giving people the opportunity to be able to use high powered equipment that normally would cost thousands of dollars to obtain. With this obviously means that it is a goal for the other schools along with kickapoo to have true teams and tournaments as well too. The big problem though is funding. The cost to rent the space, the whole facilities, on top of the equipment ,etc. The amount it would cost wouldn’t be worth it to be able to have a full fledged team along with competition by the end of the year (3 months away).

   The goal now is to try and have all five other districts to be able to compete all together and against each other. Funding is the biggest thing tho because for the fall league (when it would be starting up) would be $2,400 for the whole school with only two teams JV and Varsity with a MAX amount of people at five. All details aren’t still completely in even though contender is now open they still have failed to respond back to Mrs. Cabbella the sponsor of the E-sports club. 

   Hopefully by the time the next year rolls around we will be able to show our school spirit at a E-sports game cheering on Kickapoo and creating another great rivalry with Glendale within another sport. All that can be done at this point is to wait and see what will become of Kickapoo’s E-sport team. The world of this type of competition is rapidly growing and it’s only a matter of time for more people to make it big by just playing games.

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