Category Archives: Opinon

Social media creates conflicts about Covid-19 coping skills

By Emily Ankers

Editor-in-Chief

During times of crisis or struggle, it isn’t uncommon to see people using social media in order to deal with the strong emotions they are feeling. With the drastic change in everyday life caused by Covid-19, more and more people have been swarming different social media sites to address their frustrations. 

  Among those using social media to reach out to loved ones and bring attention to their concerns during this trying time are those using social media to make jokes and entertaining content about the pandemic surrounding them. This behavior raises the question of whether or not what these people are doing is harmful or if it is a way of coping with the changes in life.

  In many of these social media posts that are meant to be jokes or to entertain, a common theme is to state that they are ready to contract the virus or to make fun of those who are taking the virus seriously. These behaviors could be viewed as insulting to those afflicted with the virus or those who are frontline workers.

  However, the majority of those posting this type of content are from generations rooted in dark or offensive humor as a way to cope with situations they cannot control or that frighten them. It is important to remember that the actions on social media do not always reflect a person’s true character. Most often, those on social media create a persona and act differently than what is normal for them in order to look a certain way. 

The times we are in are difficult for everyone to adjust to and cope with. While some may view the content being shared as immature and ignorant, it can also be viewed as a coping mechanism. The posts and content created is often for entertainment and allows for individuals to feel connected to one another through a shared sense of humor or belief.

The content being consumed by individuals worldwide is sharing a unique story that everyone can relate to because everyone is experiencing it. While the humor may not fit everyone’s taste, it allows a distraction for a moment from the struggles each individual is facing.

Instead of relying on social media to vent your frustrations during these times, there are many alternatives to try. Some of these alternatives include journaling in a private diary, meditating, screaming into your pillow, or binge-watching a favorite show or movie to distract yourself.

Graphic by Flickr portrays some of the primary social media sites being used at this time. These sites are often where the content is being shared among millions.

Viewpoint: Traditional Graduation vs. Virtual Graduation

By Ryelee Stone                      

Opinions Editor

Black and gold decorations have filled Horn Field at the Red Lion Area Senior High School every year for the highly awaited graduation ceremony that celebrates the seniors. Unfortunately this year, the class of 2020 is not able to have this special moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Students that attend the Red Lion Area School District were informed on March 13 that the next two weeks they would not attend school because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Governor Tom Wolfe later announced that all Pennsylvania schools will be closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

Governor Wolf has stated that the coronavirus outbreak has “made it impossible” to hold a traditional graduation ceremony. Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, says that students may not even be able to attend school in person next year in the fall, much less have a graduation ceremony for the class of 2020.

To reopen the state, Wolf has a color system on when certain regions are allowed to start resuming to normal life. York County had been in the “red” phase and on the stay-at-home order until June 4.

While some students were excited about their “coronacation,” others realized all the events and opportunities they would be missing out on. Seniors were hit the hardest because they were not able to have their last spring sports season, a senior class trip, prom, or the rest of their high school experience.

With the coronavirus stealing many special memories from all students, but especially seniors, a traditional graduation ceremony should not be taken away as well.

Currently, a graduation committee is planning to have a virtual graduation for the class of 2020 on Friday, June 5, at 6:45 PM. “Our hope is that the students can dress in their caps and gowns, watch the ceremony from the safety of their homes, to hear the different speeches and the reading of the names of all of our graduates, and celebrate with loved ones,” said head principal Mark Shue in an email that was sent to students and parents.

Although it is not a traditional graduation ceremony, it is an attempt to honor the students and their last high school year coming to an end. However, this was still upsetting for many people because these students put years of work into their educational careers and will now not be able to walk a stage and be handed their diploma in front of a cheering crowd.

Although it is understandable that it will not be safe to hold a graduation ceremony at this time, the school’s administration should be doing more or looking at other options to make this special tradition be the best that it can be. Students should be able to receive their diploma wearing their caps and gowns in front of those who love, care, and support them throughout their educational journey.

For some students, they do not have any significant memories of winning their first game or meet on a high school sporting team. Those same teenagers may not have participated in any extracurricular activities or had the best high school experience, so their main positive memory of their success would be a graduation ceremony. 

Instead of canceling the ceremony early, they should have postponed it until August instead. Some parents and community members felt that they made this call too early on and could have waited to see all of the possible choices. Postponing this event would have shown that the administration fully cares about the voices of the students, parents, and the community.

Another option for this dilemma is that students could be handed their diplomas while wearing their caps and gowns by the principal in front of their families one by one. This process would be very time consuming but would show that the administration values traditional, meaningful graduations and the opinions of everyone. 

This one-on-one graduation substitution could span over a series of days late in the summer to ensure that the health of everyone is being prioritized. This option would allow students to be in proper graduation attire and let family members capture a special moment in their seniors’ life. Even though it would not be a traditional graduation ceremony, this would be the closest choice that still holds some of the aspects and feelings of one. 

By attempting to have a virtual graduation, it almost seems as if everyone is trying to conclude these challenging circumstances. Everyone wants to start over and have life return to “normal,” so certain events are not being carried out to their full capacity at a later date. Sports banquets, birthday parties, and more have all been cut short because people want to forget about this time in history.

Substitutions to everyday activities and special events during the Covid-19 outbreak are starting to seem like something cool and memories that can still be appreciated, simply because it is something different to what we are used to experiencing. Although virtual conversations and other substitutions to life are better than nothing, it should not be seen as equivalent to traditional events that hold sentimental value to everyone across the nation. 

Because so many exciting events and special occasions have been already taken away from students, the graduation committee should be trying even harder to fulfill the needs and wants of everyone when regarding a graduation ceremony. These seniors deserve closure from high school experience, especially since they were cheated of their last school year.

While this pandemic has been extremely challenging for all, it is not an excuse to fail to give the class of 2020 a meaningful graduation that they fully deserve. For some students, this was a moment that they were dreaming of their whole lives because it signals their success and a new chapter of their life alongside those they grew up with.

Even though it is not safe at this time to hold a traditional graduation ceremony, more options should be considered so the seniors have a true memory of them officially graduating after years of hard work and dedication. However, it is important for all of us to keep in mind that safety comes first and that these questionable times have impacted everyone in various shapes and forms.

The views and opinions expressed at TheLeonid.com are those of the authors and do no necessarily reflect the official policy of The Leonid or of Red Lion Area School District. Any content provided by our bloggers is of their own opinion and is not meant to malign or cause harm to any individual or entity.

Should technology be allowed in school?

By Ryelee Stone                    

Opinions Editor

A pool of students stroll into their classroom while their teacher is sitting at their desk in the corner. As the students get settled into their own seats, they pull out their laptops since it has become their everyday routine.

In present times, schools are frequently using technology in the education system. Many schools now provide personal devices that students are expected to use daily in class and at home to complete assignments.

However, in the past few years, teachers use technology excessively in classrooms to the point where it is detrimental to both themselves and to their students.

Because of technology, students are becoming lazier. Looking up the answers to worksheets, reading short summaries of books, and cheating on online tests has never been easier. 

This topic is becoming more widespread across the country, so researchers began to dive into the subject. Joy Crelin reported in her 2017 article entitled “Tablets and Laptops in School: An Overview” in the Points of View Reference Center, that students are more distracted and are able to cheat at the fault of technology.

Students do not think for themselves as much compared to the adults who attended school just a decade ago. The younger generation’s brains are not challenged because all of the answers are at the touch of their fingers, they no longer have to think for themselves in certain situations. 

Another reason kids are not critically thinking is because they have lost the appreciation for education as a whole. Students used to be hungry for knowledge but with technology information is accessible in a matter of seconds, so there is not the same desire for knowledge.

People who disagree that students in today’s education system cannot problem-solve for themselves are simply ignoring this possibility. Technology is impacting how students learn and think, so society needs to agree on a reasonable solution to this issue.

Not only is technology a concern for educational purposes, but it is also affecting the health of students. There are students who are on their laptops in every class period when teenagers are supposed to have limits on the amount of screen time they are exposed per day.

The health of teenagers, and all generations, is a serious matter that needs to be taken into consideration at all times. The article entitled “Screen Time Guidelines for Teens” from 2020 on the KidsHealth website, which is reviewed by medical experts, says that teenagers need consistent limits on any technology use. Technology use in school falls under the umbrella of screen time for teenagers, so there should be limitations on device use in the education system.

Teenagers want screen time for recreational use as well as school, so all of their screen time should not be spent at school. Not all parents will set screen time limits for their children, so students will spend hours using technology at school and at home as a result.

Some see technology as a tool to have students be engaged in their work because it can be more entertaining and teach them new skills. There are a variety of different activities that can be completed because of technology that are very useful and can provide students with a different learning perspective on subjects.

However, there are teachers who simply find online activities to give to their students so the teachers can sit at their desks and do their own work. Students can then type into Google the assignment’s name and find multiple results for the answers. 

What happened to the days when teachers would communicate with their students throughout the entire class period and when teachers did not rely on laptops, iPads, and other devices to educate?

When teachers communicate with their students, information about various subjects can be clearer and explained better. This key communication also prepares students for the future when they will need to be able to properly talk and respond to bosses, co-workers, and other people.

Technology is a powerful tool and should be used in schools, however, it should not be used excessively. Only using computers for entire class periods at a time is not beneficial for students or teachers in the education system.

The administration of schools and other leaders in the education system should take the time to consider the benefits of using less technology in school. Not only will students think more for themselves without constantly using technology, but their educational careers and health will also improve.

A reasonable limit on how much time students are allowed to use technology per class period would be able to give students the opportunity to use technology, but it would not abuse this tool. This solution would provide what both sides of the argument want, the use of technology but not to an excessive point.

Even if students are only on their laptops for half of their class period as a limit then it would be beneficial to their health and overall education. In addition, teachers could make their lesson plans not solely based on technology and create hands-on activities.

Gym class: the unavoidable burden for student-athletes

By Julia Beiler                 

Sports editor

Across many schools in Pennsylvania, students are required to take a certain number of physical education classes in their four years of high school in order to graduate. It’s inevitable that all students need this required activity.

The state of Pennsylvania says that no matter who you are or what you are doing throughout the school you are required to take your necessary gym classes to graduate. It doesn’t matter if you march in the band or swing bats on a field, all students need to take gym. 

But why is it truly required in the first place? According to Shape America, that state requires all students to pass physical education classes. They also say that schools are not permitted to allow students to substitute their required gym classes with any other form of activity. This means that if a student is participating in a school sport, they are still required to take gym classes. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) states directly that, “Health and physical education provides students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve and maintain a physically active and healthful life, not only during their time in school but for a lifetime.” 

Laziness, obesity, and inactiveness are what is supposed to be prevented by having to take gym classes. It is shown through student-athletes are already preventing these things, PDE also says, “Children who are healthy and physically active increase their chances of achieving to their highest academic potential and are better able to handle the demands of today’s hectic schedules.”

Gym classes are trying to exploit physical exercise within the students in the school. Although this makes sense for those who aren’t active, it doesn’t quite match with the large quantity who are already participating in sports. 

The stereotypes of, “All athletes are jocks” or “The smarter class doesn’t come from student-athletes” have been around for ages. Perhaps these stereotypes are true about athletes, but the time most students put toward their studies, these athletes are putting into practices and games. 

Athletes don’t need the added one-hour class of physical education to try and maintain their physical well being. That hour could improve their work management instead of managing extra exercise. That hour could help bring out the “student” in “student-athlete”.

According to Scholarship Stats, only around seven percent of athletes play at the collegiate level after high school, which is a one in fourteen chance. That means that on a high school varsity team, an average of one teammate will go onto the next level. With these statistics, the odds are not favoring a higher level past high school.

Knowing this, high school sports will be the most competitive level of athletics that most varsity athletes will participate in. These athletes are putting most of their time and dedication to succeeding in their sport because there won’t be another game or practice after they graduate. 

Let’s say an average team practice for five days of the week for two hours, that’s ten hours a week. If an athlete is already participating in at least ten hours of activity per week, why should that time be extended for them with a gym class?

Anyone who takes a gym class will get as much out of it as they put in. Knowing that they might have a game or a practice that night, might not motivate them to run a mile or throw medicine balls around in the gym. It takes the point out of having this class in the first place if these athletes aren’t going to put their effort in to begin with.

These days sports aren’t just in season for two or three months out of the year. Sports have evolved into year-round participation for most athletes. It’s no longer just a few months: it’s 12 months of the year dedicated to winning and competing. So when people suggest that their “in-season” sport will be over soon, they don’t see the depth of what sports are truly like these days. “Out-of-season” has turned into the usual and the norm. 

If the state is saying that students are required to meet these goals and student-athletes are proving to have already met these goals, why are these certain students still being required to take gym classes? The state needs to change these rules considering student-athletes are easily surpassing the components that go into a gym class. 

Harry releases new album with outstanding Style

By Daphne Riddle

Junior Editor-in-Chief

Harry Styles 2019 Album: “Fine Line”

Coming from a huge pop boy band in the early 2010s, Harry Styles would have never been expected to come out with such a vintage-sounding album for the second music release of his solo career. The album, however, stands on its own and has risen in the charts, becoming number one on the Billboard Charts within a few weeks of its release. 

The album, produced by Erskine Records, was much awaited by Styles’ fans, especially after singles such as “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You” were released prior to the rest of the songs. Both being very upbeat, melodious songs, the world was ready to hear what else the singer/songwriter had created. On Dec 13, 2019, Fine Line was finally released with all twelve songs, and fans around the world began to listen and comment. 

When going through the entire rock/pop album, it was surprising how many ballad-type songs were present. The first two released both had very positive tones, but the mood completely shifted with songs like “Fine Line,” “Cherry” and “Falling”. Styles’ emotion bleeds through the lyrics, engaging old and new fans with relatable grit.

These three songs seem to have a main focus on breakups and missing someone, which most people are able to connect to their lives in some way. Hearing lyrics such as “You’ve got my devotion, But man I can hate you sometimes” from “Fine Line”, “Don’t you call him what you used to call me” from “Cherry” and “And I get the feeling that you’ll never need me again” from “Falling” are so strong that no one could argue the evident pain that the song implies and passes on. A deeper meaning of guilt and regret can be seen in the raw, real melodies and toned-down instrumental parts. 

Many fans took a strong liking to one of these songs, “Falling,” which could be argued as the most powerful song on the record. The lyrics immediately grabbed the listeners’ attention by talking about the loss of a partner that was caused by “the drink and my wandering hands”. The chorus hit many people in a different way, and brings on many emotions when Styles sings “What if I’m someone I don’t want around.” This is definitely one of the top tracks on the album, and many fans would agree, or have already agreed. 

The other songs gave listeners’ strong feelings as well, whether they were positive or negative. Along with “Falling,” “Cherry”’s lyrics can bring out emotions, and make a heartbreak relatable. On the other hand, songs like “Canyon Moon,” “Lights Up,” “Golden” and “Treat People With Kindness” have such an upbeat tone that creates a smile anytime. The level of time and effort clearly put into each track shows the maturity that Styles gained in the time since his band, One Direction, went on hiatus. 

The record had a unique, vintage sound to it, which broke away from current pop music. A mix of old and new vibes gave the music its own flare that most people seemed to take an interest in, evident by the 478,000 album equivalent units were sold, downloaded, or streamed by December 19, 6 days after release. This album overall gives listeners a sense of meaningful music that makes them think and also provides some amazing music for any occasion, and most definitely gets a five star rating. 

Rating out of 5 stars.

Aaron Hernandez: The Shocking Truth Revealed in New Netflix Series

By Emily Ankers            

Editor-in-Chief

In the recently released documentary “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” the gruesome details of the NFL star turned convicted murderer are revealed and explained in the three-episode Netflix Original that was released on January 15 of this year. While the series has had an overall positive rating, some see some major issues within it.

The series, produced by Terry Leonard and directed by Geno McDermott, has been criticized for its unethical exploitation of his presumed sexuality. The documentary begins with its focus on Hernandez’s natural ability in football, his home life, and his overall personality. This quickly turns into accusations of Hernandez being a homosexual without any evidence except a personal testimony from a childhood friend.

This case in particular caught the attention of many because the accused was a tight end football player for the Patriots. He was well known for his natural talent at the sport and his successful run in the NFL after being drafted at a young age.

Hernandez, 23, with a daughter and fiance at the time of arrest, has since died, leaving the acustations to be made against him without any opportunity to defend himself. 

The focus on Hernandez’s sexuality is constant throughout the documentary, though it is not the only focus. The producers used the documentary to shed light into Hernandez’s behavior and demeanor throughout all his life. 

The documentary focuses a majority of its time on dissecting the character of Hernandez and the days and months leading up to the crimes. The heart wrenching scenes of individual interviews with family and friends of the victims was effective in taking away any sympathy for Hernandez.

As the majority of the series was personal interviews with journalists, criminal investigators, and friends, a clear image of whom Hernandez was and who he had become was painted. The shocking allegations made against the late Hernandez in the sit down conversations with an old family friend attempted to explain away Hernandez’s actions by stating he was a closeted homosexual man. 

The actual footage from the trials helped the viewer connect the situation with reality instead of a fantasy series. The series ended with the news report of Aaron Hernandez’s suicide after an unconfirmed source publicly bashed and mocked his accused sexuality. 

The information provided throughout the series regarding the case and early family life for Hernandez has all been confirmed and was presented in a way that showed Hernandez as a twisted individual instead of an all-star athlete that can get away with what he pleases.

The documentary was one that was captivating to watch as the viewer was able to see Hernandez unravel throughout his trial. The amount of detail revealed about the cases and Hernandez’s personal life left the viewer intrigued and horrified at what another human being is capable of. People should see this documentary in order to see that the people that are idolized can be sick and twisted individuals.

The picture of Hernandez shown in the image above is one of the official posters used by Netflix to promote the series. The poster shows a picture from Hernandez’s trial that has been altered.
A rating out of five stars.

“Rise of Skywalker” rises above the obstacles

By Kaitlyn Resline

Student Life Editor

“Star Wars: Episode IX- The Rise of Skywalker” directed by J. J. Abrams is the epic finale of what is called the “Skywalker saga” which began over 40 years ago. The movie concludes the journeys of Rey, Finn and Poe, as they try to take down the First Order and a new threat. 

Released on December 20, 2019, the movie has a running time of 2 hours and 22 minutes. The movie combines elements of action, adventure, and fantasy, making it appeal to a wide range of audiences. 

The movie starts off with the Resistance receiving intel that Emperor Palpatine, the main villain in the original Star Wars trilogy, has been revived. Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Damon (Oscar Isaac), are assigned a mission by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), to locate a sith wayfinder. This wayfinder is the only way to locate Exegol, where Emperor Palpatine is hiding. Along the way, they encounter several obstacles, mainly in the form of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. 

The movie had a lot to live up to, being the final movie in a beloved series. Unfortunately, it fell a bit flat. In “Star Wars: Episode VIII- The Last Jedi,” one of the themes is that there is always a new generation to bring hope and balance to an ancient struggle. This is signified by the final scene in the movie, when a young boy moves a broom with the Force. However, “The Rise of Skywalker” seems to depart from these themes when introducing a new villain, and almost a new plot. This creates a disconnection between “Rise of Skywalker” and the previous films. 

The shift in narration appeases fans who were disappointed with “The Last Jedi.” However, it made the movie seem as if it was trying too hard. Certain climatic scenes felt rushed or forced, and some details did not fit the established facts of the series. The plot could also be difficult to understand. 

While the plot left something to be desired, it was made up for with the acting and characters. Ridley, Boyega, and Isaac all portray their characters with raw, honest emotion. A viewer can notice the connection the characters have with each other are as strong as the Force. Their interactions are very realistic portrayals of how people that have been through challenges together would behave. Rey’s character is commendable because, despite her trials and struggles, she never acts inconsistently with her established character. She remains a true champion of good. 

The musical score by John Williams also fits well with the movie. It plays homage to the original theme, while also adjusting to fit the new story. As it plays through action scenes, it crescendos as the action intensifies. 

Overall, the movie is engaging to watch. It might not have the cleanest plot, but the acting and action makes up for it. At the end, it did not leave a feeling of dissatisfaction. It is recommendable to all fans of the series who want to receive some closure after the long journey.  The movie receives 3.5/5 stars, because its slight stumbles did not detract from its overall enjoyment. 

The promotional poster for the movie “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” 
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker . 2019. IMDb, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2527338/.

Disney takes its turn with a streaming site

By Ryelee Stone

Opinions Editor

Streaming services provide different shows and movies that can appeal to everyone at the touch of their fingertips. I have found a streaming service that brings the magic of my favorite childhood memories to life.

A new streaming service that was recently released is Disney Plus. This streaming service provides shows and movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.

Disney Plus was released to the public on Nov. 12, 2019. The founder of this streaming site is Disney, and the CEO, Bob Iger, was the one who announced the launch.

This streaming site is Disney’s way of participating in the world of online streaming shows and movies. Disney can bring in even more revenue while providing their fans access to their favorite shows and movies.

According to Disney Plus’ website, the cost of a subscription is more affordable than other services at a price of $6.99 per month, along with a seven-day free trial to allow people to test out the streaming service. There is even a discount of paying $69.99 per year that would save buyers around $13.

After a simple signing-up process, the main menu for the site is clean and easy to maneuver through. There is a search button like any other streaming site, but the shows and movies are divided into different categories.

There are the standard streaming categories to choose from, including the Recommended for You, Continue Watching, What’s Trending, and more. What is special to Disney Plus is that there are sections to pick selections from only Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, or National Geographic.

Around the time the site was launched, the continue watching section disappeared on the home screen. Disney fixed this issue two weeks after the launch, showing that their team is responsive to problems. 

Something for parents to be aware of is that when you open the Disney Plus app after setting up an account, you can pick whichever profile you want to get into. There’s hardly any challenge to unlocking the parent accounts and there’s not a strong child lock, but time will tell if this needs to be fixed.

A larger selection of shows and movies are available to choose from compared to other sites and R-rated movies are not provided. Disney Plus still lived up to the hype it received because of the quality of the shows and movies it provides.

I have watched classic childhood movies and shows from this site that brought nostalgic feelings while watching them. I have also binge-watched the television show “Boy Meets World,” and watching shows and movies on this streaming site feels normal.

Shows and movies that I watched with my family when I was younger are on this site, and it is an amazing feeling to revisit those simpler times. “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” and “Monster’s Inc.” are all the movies that I have watched recently with my whole family because we have a Disney plus account.

Disney Plus has made a great impression on me and I plan on continuing to use this streaming service for as long as I can. Netflix does not have access to all of the shows and movies that Disney Plus has, so it is a great service that provides new content.

The overall impression that I have about Disney Plus is that it’s an amazing streaming site that provides options that everyone can enjoy. If someone is curious about trying it out, they should because it is reasonably priced and is an overall smooth experience to use.

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