Category Archives: News

Hiking taught me to be more environmentally conscious

Shana Carey

Opinions Editor and Marketing Editor

If there’s one thing that the pandemic taught me, it’s that I am not the kind of person who can be cooped up in a room all day. 

When Governor Wolfe established the first set of quarantine restrictions, I eventually grew tired of staring at my bedroom walls, and it became apparent that I had to do something for my own sanity. 

So what do you do when you have a strong desire to leave your bed and get off TikTok, but a pandemic is stopping you from doing so? For me, the answer was hiking. 

I can proudly say that I walked nearly every trail in York County within the matter of one month. Quarantine wasn’t so bad because I was constantly moving and experiencing new places. 

This newfound love of the outdoors came with a price, though. I now see the mistreatment of our environment as an increasingly important problem. 

I first noticed how prominent litter is in the modern world when I was attempting to get a bird’s nest out of my dryer shaft. Apprehensive that I would see an innocent bird carcass, I peaked down the tube to find something far worse. 

A weak-looking nest held together with a long green string of plastic stared right back at me. 

Not only did human development force this bird to use a dryer shaft as a sanctuary, but the bird  was also reduced to constructing a home made of litter.

At this moment, I realized that waste directly affects the animals living in our environment right now. 

People are so desensitized to pollution because it does not immediately affect them. It’s easy to throw a paper bag on the ground and never see it again because ittering doesn’t instantly hurt litterers. 

But it does directly influence this generation of mammals while leaving long term negative effects on the sanctity of our planet. 

With a world that is covered in concrete, it’s easy to feel pretty isolated from the natural world. For this reason, littering and depletion of natural resources seem like distant problems that will never affect us. 

Environmental issues affect everyone.

Next time, you are on a walk around Red Lion, look around. 

On my 0.125 mile walk from the parking lot into the school, I saw nine pieces of garbage. Of those nine pieces of garbage, five were disposable masks, one was a half-full Fanta bottle, there were two disposable forks, and a plastic bag entrapped by a tree’s grasp. 

When you aren’t looking for it, a plastic bag trapped in a tree branch isn’t that incredible to look at. The sad thing is, it isn’t that unordinary either. 

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, an estimated 502 million pieces of litter scatter Pennsylvania roads. 

This explains why I am met with several new pieces of garbage on the ground each time I go outside. 

Now that I’m an avid hiker, every time I see a piece of garbage on the ground, it feels like a personal attack.

Problems fill the world to the brink, but this one resonates with me because humans are doing it to themselves. We are knowingly depleting our natural resources and harming our environment but continue to make few efforts to fix the problem.

So what should we do? Boycotting big corporations or passing Congressional laws are all really great ideas, but they seem like radical solutions. The only way to improve this whopping environmental problem is if every single person sacrifices a little convenience in their lives.

This means carpooling to school, turning off unnecessary lights, throwing trash in the appropriate areas, conserving your water intake, recycling, and even going to thrift stores. 

I recently made a vow to purchase all of my clothes from thrift stores in order to reduce the amount of clothing in landfills. 

Many people don’t know that manufacturing new clothing uses a tremendous amount of energy and water. However, thrifting is a useful tool to conserve natural resources and reduce water intake. Not to mention, the clothes are super cute and cheap.

Not only do I enjoy thrifting, but I also started a garden in order to avoid pesticide-infested veggies. Making this environmentally conscious choice has helped me to stimulate growth in my backyard and create a sanctuary for snails, caterpillars, and other little creatures. 

Everyday environmental actions allow me to reduce my carbon footprint. Making the decision to be environmentally conscious didn’t  inconvenience me that much, but it will have lasting positive effects on the environment. 

If everyone makes a small change in their life to be more environmentally conscious, then this giant environmental crisis will slowly diminish. 

The thing is – I want to enjoy hiking throughout my adulthood. I want to go swimming in a lake that isn’t heavily polluted. I want to walk 0.125 miles without seeing a piece of garbage. 

And it all starts by putting litter in its place. 

Local Food pantry serves families as Red Lion’s poverty rate increases

Shana Carey

Opinions Editor and Marketing Editor

Roughly two out of five students in a Red Lion classroom are in poverty. The poverty rate in the Red Lion Area School District has continuously increased and hit an all time high of 43% this year. In order to combat this growing number, a local food pantry both educates and serves nearly 350 families from Red Lion and also Dallastown and Eastern York school districts. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, local poverty rates have increased, and more families turn to Community REACH for financial assistance, life skills training, and food and clothing distribution. “It’s definitely increased. I’d say at least 25%,” Executive Director Mrs. JoEllyn Hynson said. ”Every month the numbers keep increasing.” 

Despite the growing poverty rates within the district, the Community Kids Food for Home Program is seeing a decrease in number of families registered. “We’re serving about 25 kids, but usually only about 10 families,” Red Lion Area School District Social Worker Mrs. Brandy Shealer said, “Before, we were serving hundreds of kids.” 

The decrease in families that are registered could be due to the availability of food during the pandemic., “Even students who weren’t on free and reduced lunch are now getting free lunches and free breakfasts.”  Mrs. Shealer said.

The intent behind this program was to make sure that all students got enough food to eat while they are not in school. “For the sake of argument, say we typically have 6,000 students,” Mrs. Shealer said. ”If you think that 40% of that 6,000 are actually in poverty, think how many students we should be serving in this program and we’re not.” 

Families that need to sign up for the program should contact Brandy Shealer or Stacy Strausbaugh directly. Starting in April, all new families can also go directly to the Community REACH website. Anyone that contacts one of these people and is already on free and reduced lunch in Skyward is added to the program. 

In the past few years, there have been many changes to the Community Kids Food for Home Program. “We decided to change the way that we distribute the food and have the parents pick it up,” Mrs. Shealer said, ”so that we could provide larger sizes, and more foods that the families could actually use.”

Parents that are a part of the program have responded positively to this change. “We’ve gotten good feedback from the families that have utilized it,” Mrs. Shealer said. “They were very surprised because we kept telling them, ‘don’t leave yet, we have another box.’”

According to Mrs. Shealer, JoEllyn Hynson at Community REACH helped to supply families with a healthier variety of foods. “We’re very fortunate to have such a wonderful partner in Community REACH,” said Mrs. Shealer. 

At Community REACH, Mrs. Hynson organizes education classes, oversees the pantry, orders the food, gets donations, and targets employees. She is also very excited about starting a baby club where families within the community can access resources for their young children. 

Community REACH serves more than food. They also offer life skills training classes to the public without needing to be a client. “We have people from Penn State come and teach classes and things like that,” Mrs. Hynson said. 

The food pantry’s kitchen was remodeled for cooking classes before the pandemic. However, in person classes are not being held in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  “Now, we’re just trying to pick up the pieces and do what we can online,” Mrs. Hynson said. 

This is not the only difference at Community REACH because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I guess the biggest change is our families are no longer allowed in the pantry,” Mrs. Hynson said. “When the family comes to the door to get the food, we push the card out and they load it up.” 

To register for the food pantry and schedule a time to pick up food, visit https://www.commreach.org/ and click on the Community REACH logo. Any volunteers that are interested in helping the pantry can find more information here

Employee Roberta Dabb, Receptionist Rosemary Thompson, Volunteer Board Member Lori Baker, and Executive Director JoEllen Hynson pose in Community Aid’s educational classroom.

In addition to volunteers, anyone can donate directly to Community REACH. They are looking for baby items, new or dry cleaned clothing items, and food for the Community Kids Food for Home Program. 

The pantry is looking for foods like cereals, pastas, spaghetti sauces, peanut butter, jelly, applesauce, and fruit snack packs. However, Mrs. Shealer said that money is the best way to donate to the program. “You and I might be able to take $1 and get a sale at the grocery store for like two cans,” Mrs. Shealer said, “but Community REACH can access the food banks and they may be able to get 10 cans for $1.”  

The goal of Community Reach is to distribute food, resources, and advocacy within the Red Lion, Dallastown, and Eastern area. “This is where you need to be putting in your efforts because they are directly in our backyard. They’re in our borough,” Mrs. Shealer said. “They’re serving our community, and we need to make sure that we support them.”

Survey shows many Teenagers consume Caffeine daily

By Kaitlyn Resline

Editor-in-Chief

The tired high school student is a troupe played through many novels and movies. The camera zooms in on a student that has just pulled an all-nighter and now has to prepare for school. To make it through the day, the student grabs a cup of coffee on the way out of the house.

The Leonid tested the reality of this troupe in a recent survey about caffeine use.  It turns out, for the majority of those surveyed, caffeine is a real part of their day.

The survey consisted of 408 students at Red Lion Area Senior High School. Freshmen made up 28%, sophomores made up 19.9%, juniors made up 27.3%, and seniors made up 24.8%.

77.7% of students surveyed report that they drink caffeine.

The common types of  caffeine beverages consumed were tea, coffee, energy drinks, and soda. 

“I used to drink coffee because I needed to stay up to do work,” senior Kehnun Sebesta said. “Now I just drink tea because I find it to be more beneficial and less harmful for my body.”

With teens juggling busy schedules and multiple demands at one time, high school students are the fastest growing population of caffeine users, a study conducted by Medical News Today said.

In the study 83.2% of teenagers consumed caffeinated beverages regularly, while at least 96% consumed them occasionally. 

This study was done on a smaller scale than the one at Red Lion, with 166 participants primarily in grades 9 and 10. 

Majority of students in Red Lion reported drinking one to three caffeinated drinks a day while only 9.7% reported drinking four to nine drinks. 

In comparison, the study by Medical News Today “44.6% of respondents drank caffeinated beverages one to six times per week, 11.4% consumed a caffeinated beverage every day, and only 4.8% never consumed drinks containing caffeine.” 

Red Lion student caffeine users are consuming more caffeine than this study.

The Medical News Today study says participants’ main reason for consuming caffeine was to feel alert, which would help them study better.

Similarly, the Red Lion survey found common reasons people drank caffeine was because it tastes good, they wanted to feel more awake, it helped with focus and concentration, and they had to stay up late. 

Mera D’Aquila, a senior at Red Lion, said she drinks caffeine to stay up late and do assignments. She believes it helps her think more clearly when she is only getting four to five hours of sleep a night. 

“Sometimes there will be nights when I have a lot to do,” D’Aquila said. “I’ll tell my mom, ‘can we just please go to Starbucks and get a coffee because I think I’m in the need tonight.’”

D’Aquila thinks she would drink caffeine less if her schoolwork was not so stressful. 

The FDA has cited that 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or four to five cups of coffee, is not a dangerous amount of caffeine to consume. However, different people have different metabolizing rates of caffeine and respond to the effects differently. 

Common side effects listed by MedlinePlus of consuming too much caffeine includes shakiness, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, rapid heart rate, dehydration, anxiety, and dependency on caffeine. 

Although 80.3% of students report never having any unintended side effects of drinking caffeine, 19.7% report having side effects from caffeine consumption. Among these side effects students listed headaches, shaking, jittering, and nausea. 

Some students said that this happened when they would not consume caffeine for a period of time. 

Caffeine withdrawal can occur when a person consumes caffeine on a regular basis and then suddenly stops. Symptoms of this include headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. 

The FDA recommends a gradual cut back of caffeine consumption to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If unsure how to do this, a person can talk to their health care provider about how to cut back.

Win Against Northeastern Propels Lions into Delayed Season

By Genevieve Turner

Sports Editor

Last night as Red Lion faced Northeastern in the second game of the season it set a different tone than in years past. Stands stood nearly empty as the referee blew the whistle to start the game. 

While there were few fans to cheer on the Lions, the team played with fervor, not unlike years past, the night ended with a score of 53-36. 

Red Lion Varsity came in strong keeping a steady lead over Northeastern. At the end of the first quarter, Red Lion led 16-7, and at half-time, 23-19. By the end of the third quarter, Red Lion led 35-28.

Standout players included senior forward Davante Dennis, the high-scorer, with 18 points on the nigh.  Junior forward Mason Urey scored a total of 13 points.

The game ended with Red Lion emerging victorious.

JV began strong with four points in under four minutes. From there they continued their streak. At half-time Red Lion lead 24 -19. Red Lion kept up their lead in the third quarter but was neck and neck with Northeastern in the fourth quarter.

With 12.5 seconds left, both teams were tied at 40 points. At 6.0 seconds Northeastern gained 4 more points allowing them to take the lead 44-40. 

In the end, Red Lion JV lost 44-40 against Northeastern Senior High. 

Governor Wolfe announced a delay of the start of winter sports practices and games Dec. 13 as COVID-19 cases rose in Pennsylvania.  

Signs in the gym remind anyone at the events to wear a mask and practice social distancing.  Players are required to wear masks as well. Spectators are not allowed to attend.  They can watch events as they are live-streamed.

After resuming the season Jan. 4, winter sports are in full swing. Boys and girls basketball had their first game and scrimmage Jan. 8. The boys won their game. Wrestling had their first match Jan. 10, leaving them 3-2 overall. 

Upcoming home games include girls’ and boys’ basketball against William Penn Jan. 15. The wrestling team has a match against Dover High School Jan. 14. Also, the swimming team has a meet against Central York Jan. 21.

Substitute teachers are in high demand as teacher absences rise

By Shana Carey

Opinions Editor and Marketing Editor

The bell rings causing you to rush to your first period class. A closed door and white sheet of paper greet you with a message to check Google Classroom and head to the Commons for a study hall period. 

This is not an uncommon occurrence for students across the Red Lion Area Senior High School. Teacher absences have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a limited amount of substitute teachers are available to cover classes. 

“We do a good job of controlling the exposure in the building,” Chief Legal and Operations Officer Mr. Gregory Monskie said in reference to the high number of teacher absences. “Part of the byproduct of us doing a good job is we have a lot of teacher absences.” 

Many students find themselves having study halls or work periods instead of having a substitute teacher. “The main issue that goes back a number of years is a problem in the supply of substitute teachers,” Mr. Monskie said.

According to substitute teacher, Mr. Michael Scott Shelton, there are about three to four substitute teachers in the building every day. Last year there were enough substitute teachers to cover nearly every class. “As far as the teachers being out, it really provides us the opportunity to be here on a daily basis,” Mr. Shelton said. 

“I don’t think there’s much the school district can do at this time, because the substitutes come from a third party called Substitute Teacher Services (STS),” Mr. Shelton said. “Their hands are kind of tied.” 

STS provides substitute teachers for schools across Pennsylvania. Mr. Monskie says that nearly every school district in the county uses STS, and they are all experiencing a reduced supply of substitute teachers.

Substitute shortages are not a new problem. Schools across the country struggle with filling substitutes into absent teachers’ positions.

Mr. Shelton says the lack of substitutes is simply because of the pandemic.“It is actually due to COVID-19. There are some older subs that don’t feel comfortable stepping into full or half full school buildings.” 

The supply of substitute teachers is decreasing according to Mr. Monskie. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, substitutes are more hesitant to come into school. “I think this is a systemic problem that has been going on for a long time that I think is being put under additional stress by what our obligations are in the current environment,” Mr. Monskie said. 

“A lot of people don’t want to be substitute teachers right now and under these circumstances,” Mr. Monskie said. “On the demand side, we need to be more careful with our staff when they’re coming to work if they’re showing any signs of illness.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages employees to self-isolate any time they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This includes when workers have a fever, cough, or head cold. 

People are supposed to quarantine when they are within six feet of someone who had COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes. While in quarantine, some teachers found their classes fell behind due to an inadequate supply of substitute teachers. Still, other teachers kept their classes on track. 

Mr. Thomas Wise, school choral instructor, quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19 last month. “I would lie if I didn’t say more teachers are out now than they were last year, but it’s not a ton different. It’s really not. We’re lacking subs, period.” 

Mr. Wise said his choir class did well while he was absent because the students stepped up and moved at a normal pace. 

According to Mr. Wise, his music appreciation class needed more one-on-one attention. “They were actually reading stuff and doing work,” Mr. Wise said, “I would have to make sure that they were doing it, and it was not the same as lecturing.”

Technology provides opportunities for instruction that may not have existed in the past. Many teachers choose to use Google Meet with their students in order to give their students instruction time. Teachers “are able to teach synchronously with their students,” Mr. Monskie said, “and we are able to provide some in class supervision of the students so that that can continue.”

Both Monskie and Shelton agree the best thing for students is for a teacher or substitute to be present in the classroom.

“I think anytime the full time teacher is out,” Mr. Shelton said,  “students aren’t quite going to get what they would if they were there.” 

Many classes go to study halls and complete worksheets while their teachers are absent. Mr. Shelton feels teachers leave adequate lesson plans that keep their students on track. “I think a substitute in the room is much better than having kids just going into a study hall,” Mr. Shelton said. “I think they get a lot more accomplished if they’re in their classrooms.”

With a depleted supply of substitute teachers, the district struggles to fill absent teachers’ positions. 

Since many classes cannot have a substitute in the room, many teachers are sent to oversee classes with absent teachers. Mr. Wise has had to provide coverage.  “It’s not a whole lot different than last year because I’m covering study halls,” Mr. Wise said. “So it’s not a huge change.” 

“I think they (the school district) are doing as best they can. And I’m glad we’re having school, so I’m not gonna complain,” Mr. Wise said.

Mr. Monskie said that the teacher absences are indicative of the district doing a good job with exposure to the virus. “I would caution you not to only see this problem as a symptom of people getting sick,” Mr. Monskie said. “It’s a symptom of us preventing people from getting sick.”

Grace Frain
Elizabeth Rogers

Grace Frain and Elizabeth Rogers work outside the LGI because of absent teachers and few substitutes. They find the work from their classes is sufficient and keeps them busy. Taken by Shana Carey

School Sports Suspended

By Genevieve Turner

Sports Editor

Just as Red Lion athletes were ready to tip-off their winter season, high schools across Pennsylvania heard the news that K-12 sports would be suspended until early January.

The suspension runs until 8 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2021. Gov. Tom Wolf announced this and other changes during a press conference on Thursday in an effort to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The release noted that there has been a significant increase in cases among schools. Pennsylvania has seen an influx of cases since October with the number of daily cases and hospitalizations seeing record highs in the last few months as well as deaths per day, reaching the hundreds.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine explained the decision.  “The virus continues to strain our health care systems, and the dramatic rise in cases among all age groups, including among school-age children, is alarming.” Levine said. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 37,500 cases among children age 5 to 18, yet 9,500 of those cases occurred in the past two weeks.”

This postponement is in hopes that daily cases go down over the next three weeks, making it safer for high school students to participate in winter sports. The release noted that because of the increase in cases among schools that it “increases the risk that asymptomatic participants will spread the virus at a game or practice, in the locker room, while traveling to and from events, or at team meals, parties or other gatherings.”

Dec. 10, 2020 marked the fifth time that Pennsylvania recorded 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day since Dec. 2, 2020. Before Oct., Pennsylvania had not reported more than 2,000 new cases per day. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker and the Mayo Clinic, Pennsylvania has an average of 9,898 cases per day in the last seven days as well as recording that 78 people out of every 100,000 in the state have COVID-19. 

The number of hospitalizations has also risen to 5,877. Until Nov. 18, the highest number of hospitalizations was 2,800, on April 17. Since then each day has marked a new record high. Pennsylvania has the third highest number of hospitalization in the country after California and Texas. 

This announcement comes one week after the Red Lion Area School District Board of School Directors approved a revised plan for health and safety for interscholastic sporting events at the Dec. 3 school board meeting. The plan lays out when and what materials get sanitized as well as how to keep coaches and athletes safe by social distancing when possible. 

Election results declare Joe Biden the next President of the United States

By Kaitlyn Resline

Editor-in-Chief

Democrat nominee Joe Biden has been projected to win the 2020 election race against Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

Biden is currently leading with 279 electoral votes against Trump’s 214 votes, according to the Washington Post. Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris sets a precedent as the first female, Black-American, and Indian-American to hold the office of the Vice President.

Results are still being counted in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. 

Biden is currently leading in Arizona with 0.4% of the votes and in Georgia with 0.2%. Trump is leading in North Carolina with 1.4% and in Alaska with 28.6%. 

As of November 10 the Senate is split 48-48. Party control is expected to be determined after the results of two Georgia run-off elections in January. Alaska and North Carolina have not called their races yet. 

The Democrats are expected to keep the 218 House of Representatives majority with a slim margin. They have lost four seats to Republicans, who currently have 201 seats.

Some races are still being determined as more mail-in-votes are counted. 


“Sit-down with People Magazine – Wilmington, DE – August 14, 2020” by Biden For President is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Delaney Bittner Dominates the Poll for GameTimePA YAIAA Athlete of the Week

Genevieve Turner

Sports Editor

Soccer attacking center midfielder Delaney Bittner won the October 15 GameTimePA YAIAA Athlete of the Week. Each week people get the chance to vote for the GameTimePA YAIAA Athletes of the Week at https://www.ydr.com/gametimepa/

This is the second week that senior Delaney Bittner has been nominated. 

She finished with four goals in last Thursday’s YAIAA win against South Western, which earned her a nomination. As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Bittner came in first place out of the seven girls on the poll. She won with a total of 4,750 votes. 

Bittner has played on varsity all four years of her high school career. She started playing when she was four years old and has since been playing for the last 13 years. 

Bittner has also accumulated multiple awards and accomplishments over the years. She won 2x First-Team All-County, 2x Varsity Captain, 2017 Varsity Newcomer of the Year, 2018 Outstanding Effort Award, and the 2019 Red Lion Player of the Year. 

“I am honored to have been nominated twice,” said Bittner. “The support I got from my teammates, friends, and family was unreal.”

In previous years Bittner said that she struggled to move into an offensive role, but this year she has fully embraced it.“My biggest triumph this season has been my switch into more of an attacking role,” said Bittner. “I feel like in the previous years I have been more defensive minded, and didn’t really transition much into offense.” 

Her success thus far was not always guaranteed. “My biggest struggle this season has been all the uncertainty with COVID,” Bittner said. “We didn’t know if we would even have a season for a long time, so it was hard to keep the intensity up while we would only be allowed to play each other.” 

Her confidence since the beginning of the season has changed. “I also feel like the confidence my coach has in me has made a huge difference in my play,” Bittner said. “He believes in me which makes it easier to believe in myself.” 
“I would like to give a huge shoutout to my awesome teammates for being my personal hype up crew,” said Bittner. “And being amazing per usual.”

Senior attacking center midfielder Delaney Bittner prepares to score a goal against Central High School on Horn Field during the Fall 2020 season Bittner won GameTimePA’s YAIAA athlete of the week in mid October. Photographed submitted by Chris Riddle, Northeastern Photography.
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