WA measles outbreak risks Vashon health
By Mari Kanagy, Co-Content Editor
Vashon is well-known for its high population of unvaccinated residents and anti-vaxxers. Now, much of the community feels threatened due to the recent measles outbreak in Washington State, concentrated in Clark County. The first case was reported in early February. Seventy-one cases have since been reported — 70 in Clark County and one reported case in King County. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee declared the outbreak a public health emergency in January.
Currently, measles is largely absent in King County and completely clear from Vashon. However, the risk for the disease’s introduction to the island is certainly not out of the question, according to school nurse Sarah Day.
“The risk is always very real because you can bring it back from just a plane ride away. We had eliminated measles from the United States — all the cases have been tracked to people coming back from overseas,” Day said.
Measles can be more dangerous and spreadable than other viruses due to its highly contagious nature.
“You can catch the virus from someone who had left the room two hours ago,” Day said.
The disease was previously eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, meaning it was not present in the country for a 12-month period. However, outbreaks have become... Read More
Record snowfall affects school
By Savannah Butcher, Reporter, & Isabelle Spence, Co-Content Editor On Monday, Feb. 4, the first flakes of what would soon become a record-setting snowstorm began to fall. After the air cleared days later, Vashonites were left with icy roads and limited mobility, during which a state of emergency was declared statewide. The snow affected all aspects of Vashon life and had a particularly large impact on the school district.
According to Robert Larsen, the Assistant Chief of Operations at Vashon Island Fire and Rescue (VIFR), the biggest challenge during the storm was transportation.
“We had trouble getting to places; we had trouble getting out of places. It took a lot longer to do anything,” Larsen said... Read More
Grade inflation sets students up for an uncertain future
By the Editorial Board
Today, teens in America face an ever-growing wave of problems. From rising depression rates to the constant political unrest, modern generations are growing up with a completely different set of issues from their parents. As a result of these broader issues, the American education system is evolving for the worse. Classrooms are being affected by a multitude of outside factors, leading to the prevalence of grade inflation and lack of accountability.
Overall, grades are improving, but it’s not because current high schoolers are smarter or teachers are discernibly better than in previous generations. Instead, the external pressure from parents and the constant stresses of college acceptance compel teachers to give better and better grades.
In today’s classrooms, it is commonplace for the majority of students to earn an A. In our editorial board’s experience, many students comments that school is too easy, and that they are not being academically challenged. However, this wasn’t always the case.
According to the Washington Post, C’s used to make up a quarter of all school grades. Indeed, a C used to be considered an average grade. D’s and F’s were also a regular part of the grading system. However...Read More