The King Tribune  -   December 2007 Issue 2     

The Impact program has an impact on kids
Program helps young teens solve problems.

By: Miguel Villegas

IMPACT is an LAUSD program of prevention and early intervention. The program provides help to kids in middle schools and high schools. The goals of the program are to improve student achievement, increase student attendance, provide students with coping skills, and develop resiliency in students. The program has different groups for different kids. The groups within the program are:   
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
  • Crisis
  • Concerned Persons
  • Grief Crisis
  • IMPACT Drug Info Group
  • Recovery
  • IMPACT Plus
The program is once a week for 10 weeks. Students are asked to sign a contract that makes them promise that they will be there every week for the whole 10 weeks. Each session lasts about an hour, or one whole period. The students meet at the IMPACT room, which is room 211A. These kids go because whatever they say is confidential. This means that they can say anything and it will be kept private. The place is a safe place and they don’t feel pressured by others there. Other students go because a dean or a teacher refers them.
The teachers at Thomas Starr King Middle School that participate in this program are:  Ms. Bishop, Mr. McDaniel, Ms Yang, Ms. Vogelsang, Mr. Suzukida, Ms. Kantack.
Each one of these teachers has taken the IMPACT Training. This training takes about three days.
Ms. Bishop, the coordinator of the program, gets all the referrals from the Deans and teachers. From there she interviews the kids that were referred and she chooses what group they will go into. She thinks the program is effective, and she has seen the results. “Impact provides a safe place where students can speak their minds, says Bishop.
If you ever want to join this program or you think someone you know needs to, then you can find more information in their pamphlets. You can get these pamphlets at the Guidance Office, The Impact Room, Deans Office, or you can ask your teacher.

New Teachers
Seeing new faces around campus? Meet two of them….

By: Joana Hernandez

Have you noticed unfamiliar faces? Well, that’s because there are many teachers this year that are new to the school and new to teaching. The student body doesn’t know many of the new teachers. In this article I have interviewed two new teachers. The teachers are Ms. Fisher and Ms.Lascelles. I hope that this article will give you important information about these new teachers, making those unfamiliar faces, familiar faces.

Ms. Fisher
Q: What subject do you teach?
A: I teach C track 8th science and also 7th grade health.

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?
A:  I decide to become a teacher because first I wanted to be a science teacher then something very tragic happened, my sister passed away. When she passed away I wanted to become a doctor. I wanted to become a doctor because I wanted to help people who needed help like my sister.  I moved to Los Angles and got married. Then I decided to become a teacher because I remembered how much I love teaching loved to teach students.  I fell in love with teaching students.

Q: Where did you get your teachers credential?
A:  I got my teachers credential from Pepperdine University.

Q: What concerns you about your students?
A: The students that concern me are the ones who don’t do there work. They concern me because maybe they might drop out or fail out of high school. If they were to fail out of high school they would not have many of option for were to work.

Ms. Lascelles

Q: What do you teach? What grade do you teach?
A: I teach C track 7th grade English honors and regular classes.

Q: When and why did you decide to become a middle school teacher? 
A: In year of 2004,3years ago I work with 8th graders. I thought it was fun to be a teacher and sometimes rough. I wanted to work with young people because it is an important time in life.

Q: What concerns you about your students?
A:  I want my students to know that school is important in life. I want them to get good jobs when they get older. 

Q: Where did you get your teachers credential?
A:  I got my teachers credential at LAUSD district intern program.

Tagging In Schools Is Disgusting

By: Rocio Hernandez

Vandalism is pretty much everywhere. One place you will see kids tagging is at schools. King M.S. is one school that gets vandalized often. Random students on campus said they think this school has at least 10-25 students who are suspended or expelled because of vandalism. I asked Ms. Sal, the textbook lady, how much money she thought the school spends on repairing tagged or torn textbooks? “Usually the school spends from $50-$75 depending on what book it is. I think vandalism is not really affecting the school but the students, because how do the students feel finding a book that’s torn up or written in,” said Mrs. Sal.

Students had some ideas on vandalism as well. Alexandra Morales, an 8th grader, said, “I think vandalism is obnoxious because vandals are just trying to get attention because apparently they aren’t getting enough at home.”“Too much money is wasted, when it can be used for school supplies and kid’s education,” said Victor Montano, 8th grader. “Thousands of dollars are wasted every year,” said Andrew Saballos, 8th grader.
Vandalism is very serious, but a lot of kids think vandalism is a big joke. Some students think that vandalism is even cool. Many students have gotten expelled and suspended for vandalism at schools. A lot of kids have been arrested or ticketed during school for tagging or for stealing what does not belong to them. Vandalism is wrong and no one should do it

New Mural, New Opportunities
With new projects, come new opportunities.

By Roxxie Fangs

I’m sure every King student has been under the Myra Ave. Bridge Underpass at some point in their life. It’s under that bridge by Corner Grill just past the new apartments on Myra. But have you ever stopped to look the colorful things you throw your wrappers at? Yeah, those are called M-U-R-A-L-S. King students draw ideas for new murals and the winner’s drawing gets painted on one of the sides of the bridge. Last year’s winner was, now 9th grader, Brandon Tu. Brandon’s drawing started coming alive Saturday, October 6 when a few King students volunteered their Saturdays to help clean up the community and dare to “Dream Again.”  That’s the slogan in his mural, which can represent everything from being a careless free kid to an inspired artist.
Mr. Palayan agrees,” It evokes feelings of a real dream. It allows you to use your imagination.” "It’s actually quite surprising that we have such positive feedback about his drawing when the artist himself wasn’t necessarily in love with it at first. “ He wasn’t satisfied with it. I was like,’ are you kidding?’ I loved it!” added Mr. Palayan.
But apart from the mural it also gives King students a chance to change our reputation. “ I feel like King has such a bad reputation and with this, kids are taking pride in their community, and this also allows people to view us in a positive way.”
We can make a difference. If you see a piece of trash on the floor, pick it up and throw it away.  We can make this world a better place if we just try. So come on King students, make this a better school, community, and world!

School Relationships
School relationships are they good or not?

By: Dayana Estrada

Over the past few days I’ve been interviewing people about what they think about school relationships and public displays of affection (PDA). Here is what they said.

“It’s disgusting to see adolescents performing a very adult-like act,” said Roxxie Fangs, 8th grader. When I asked what she thought about kids going behind their parents back she responded by saying, “I think its normal not to tell their parents everything, especially when you’re a teenager. When I asked her if she thought that our age was appropriate to be in a relationship she said “as long as its innocent.”

“PDA is gross,” said Gissell Carillo. When I asked her what she thought about students going behind their parents back she said “well eventually the parents are going to find out. So maybe you should tell them and maybe they’ll understand.” Then I asked her if she thought that kids our age should be in relationships.  She said “kids should have fun but not to the point that they wan to take it to another level.”

If I asked myself those same questions I would agree with all the people above .I recently had an interview with Ms. Kaiser and she was very flexible with her responses.
“It’s not appropriate to be kissing in public,” said Ms Kaiser, school principal. Then I asked her what she thought about kids going behind their parents back and she responded by saying that “its dangerous. Even though the students don’t want to hear it, its important to be trustworthy with your parents.” After I asked her if she thought kids our age should be in relationships and she said that “its normal to have crushes through middle school, but its too young to be in a serious relationship.  Too much drama we don’t need.”


King’s 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament
12 teams and 1 prize. Who won?

By: Victor Sigaran

King students were really excited and pumped up for the Thomas Starr King Middle School’s 3-on3 Basketball Tournament. Many king students signed up  for the tournament. Mr. Suzikida made the 3-on-3-basketball tournament last year and is the main organizer this year.
There were 12 teams in the tournament. Each team has only 3 team members. Many rules are made for this tournament. The most important rules are that if your team doesn’t show up when they are called up, they automatically forfeit the match and lose a game. Another rule is that if you complain to the referee that is assigned to the basketball court you are playing at, he will tell Mr. Suzikida and Mr. Suzikida will disqualify you and your team has to play with only 2 players.
The grand prize is a pizza party. To win the pizza party, Mr. Suzikida will pick the top 4  teams and they will go to the playoffs. The top team get the pizza.
The tournament was held in the Gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch. A lot of kids went to the gym to cheer for their friends and see how King students play basketball. During the games, many teammates argue with there other teammates or get mad because they are losing and ball-hog the ball and take all the shots. Fellow student and basketball player, Walter Santos, had to this to say about the tournament: “ I’m very confident about me and my teammates. We are going to win it all. Many of the other teams are pretty good with their skills, but with our confidence and hard work, we are a hard team to beat.” I asked him if he had any problems with his team and how they are playing. He had this to say: “There is nothing we can improve in. Right now really everything is good.”
Mr. Suzikida devoted a lot of time to the tournament.  “I like the teams effort and their passion for basketball. They are playing very well and that’s the way to win. So far, none of the players have complained about the referee’s calls, so I’m very pleased so far,” said Mr. Suzikida, PE teacher. I asked Mr. Suzikida about what inspired him to make the tournament. “Well, Mr. Gutierrez and me are lunch sport coordinators and I do the 3-on-3 basketball or dodge ball or other activities tournaments, and when Mr. Gutierrez comes in, he makes the soccer tournaments and such.” I asked who he thinks might win the pizza party. “Really I don’t take any sides, I really want them to play it out.
On October 18th team 12 won the tournament. Team 12 is made up of Elijah Reed, Christian Hernandez, and Michael Ocampo. On Friday, October 19th, team 12 will got their pizza party. If you would like to get in the tournament, Mr. Suzikida will be sponsoring it next year.


Secret Life of Bees
A book Out of Another World

By: Alexandra Morales

Have you ever read a book that inspired you to notice what a great life you’re living?  I read this book titled The Secret Life of Bees, and I really got into the story. The author of the novel is Sue Mon Kidd. The Story is set in the American South in 1963, the year of the Civil Rights Act. Fourteen-year-old Lily Owens is the main character. She has grown up with her harsh and humiliating dad. Her belief is that she killed her mother accidentally, Deborah but it is all a mystery to her that she has to solve. All she remembers was when she was four, and her father enforces on her the fact that she killed her own mother. After her mother died she only had her big black nanny Rosaleen. Rosaleen pretty much treats Lily as a true blood related daughter.
After Lily realizes that she has no control over what her father’s actions are, she decides that she has to start managing her life on her own. Rosaleen will always be on Lily’s side to help and raise her. When Rosaleen tries to obtain her right to vote, three of the worst racist people in town attack her and throw her into jail. She takes this moment to escape from her father’s claws and help Rosaleen out of jail. All she takes along with her is a backpack with a few of her mother’s possessions. They escape to South Carolina.
Although Lily and Rosaleen knew nothing about Tiburon, South Carolina, they decided to go there because Lily’s mother possessed a picture of a Black Madonna that had this city written on the back of it. In this city they approach a three black beekeepers. In their home they pass through many complicated problems but as long as they have each other they will survive through the storm. Lily gets to experience the world of being cared for and learns about beekeeping and their lives. She gets to be involved in the running of this home and will discover the mystery behind her mother’s death but if her father finds where she is, who knows what will happen.
Penguin published this book in January 2003. The book itself has 336 pages. The genre of this book is a novel. It has gotten great reviews by both experts and kids like you. A King student had this to say,” It was a great book to read and I recommend it to everyone who wants to be reminded of just being alive because it changed my perspective of life and it really forces you to imagine it. It seems so real!” The Richmond Times says, “an Oprah pick just waiting to happen.” The total customer average rating from Barnes &Noble is 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. I myself recommend this book to everyone because after a few pages it brings your imagination into the story as if it were magic. For this novel being Sue’s first book I give this book a 5 out of five for great use of language and for the well-done structure of this novel.

A CD vs. The Odds
Can a young rapper sell millions, live up to the expectations,
yet still live a normal life?

By Walter Santos

Kanye West’s latest album has been a great seller around the world. September 11, 2007 was the original date of the album but then Kanye West changed his mind and decided to change the date on the same date 50 Cent’s album came out. This event made a big controversy between two famous rappers who have great musical careers.
Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia. When he was three years old his parents divorced. His mother Donda West decided to move to Chicago, Illinois. Donda West, worked as the chairmen of the English department at the Chicago State University. His father, Ray West, was a former black panther, one of the first black photojournalist and also a Christian counselor.
One of the best albums Kanye West produced was the Graduation. His album had many people thinking: could it beat the album that 50 cent produced? This album, Graduation, sold more copies than 50 Cent’s CD by thousands.
This album is dedicated to his graduation from college. In this album many featured singers come out such as T Pain in The Good Life and Young Jeezy in Cant tell me nothing. These songs are all danceable. Kanye West made a new album because he has an addiction to making music.
The CD was produced in a studio with many DJ's and producers who helped Kanye out during the making of the Graduation album. I really recommend this CD.

  My Favorite Weekend

My Favorite Weekend

By: Erick Menendez

Day at the Theaters
My favorite weekend would be three days of extreme fun. On Friday I would go out with all my friends and eat breakfast at Denny’s. The only reason I keep going back is for breakfast- I am a breakfast fanatic. I love eating their amazing Grand Slam. It’s a breakfast combination that comes with scrambled eggs, two bacon strips, two pieces of sausage, hash browns, and pancakes but sometimes I substitute the pancakes for toasts. After that I would go to City walk with my friends. I would watch a comedy and a scary movie. I would like it to be those two choices because those are my two favorite types of movies. Once we are in the theatre I would like to buy a lot of junk and big, big drink of coke. At the end of the night I will want to go to Tony Romas and eat my favorite meal of all time the Baby Back Ribs. Finally I will call it a night.

Theme Park Adventure
On Saturday morning I would get up bright and early to go eat breakfast at Ricks. It is located on Fletcher. I would most likely eat a grilled Ham and Cheese sandwich with some fries on the side and a coke. As soon as I finish my meal I would go to Universal Studios Hollywood with my family and ride my favorite roller coasters. I would ride Jurassic Park and the Revenge of the Mummy. I would go to Back to the Future and also to the water area so I can get wet. I would go to Shrek 4-D and Terminator 2-D. I am also a big movie fan so I love to go on the tour because it shows how they make the movies. At the end of the night I would like to go to Astros one of my favorite burger places in the world an order a Bacon Burger with some Fries and a coke.

Arcade and Pool
On Sunday I would go to eat at Ihop and eat some pancakes with banana on the side and syrup. Later on I would go to play miniature golf at Castle World. Then when we finish my family and I would go inside to play ice hockey, pool table, or the video games they have inside. At night we would go eat at Pizza man with some potato chips on the side and a gigantic coke.        



A rebuttal to the editorial “Physical education Methodology”

By Sue Sundberg, B-Track PE Teacher

While all students are certainly entitled to their opinion, I find the comments published in the King Tribune regarding PE to be disturbing. I wish the PE department was consulted beforehand, in order to balance the misconceptions.

When the current 8th grade class was in the 6th grade, the PE dept did not have the use of the PE field. We could not use the PE field for 13 months while the new artificial turf was put in. This displaced 2 teachers (100 students) every period, every day, in our already inadequate PE area. That is the same as your history teacher not being able to use his classroom. Where does he go? Are there other classrooms available? How does he teach? It is the same in PE. We needed to adapt to our situation. We teach, but we cannot MAKE the students learn. There is no “voila.” The students who want to learn and participate, will do so.

I know students have been in and used the fitness lab. This facility took us years to build. We now have 2 universals, 6 stair steppers, 16 bikes, free weights and agility balls.

We are currently attempting to purchase the DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) addressed in the prior editorial. These machines cost, at the minimum $7,000, for a used machine; the new DDR’s cost around $15,000. The Physical Education Department, as a department, has only sold water in an attempt to raise money to purchase more equipment. Any other items sold are the choice of individuals, not the department.

Why do we make students sit for roll call and why does it take so long? Most of my classes have 60 or more students. I am responsible for accurate attendance procedures. I have to sign a document that states that attendance was accurately taken. The school district receives money from this attendance. It is my responsibility; it is part of my job.

Lastly, I have found that “the studious students with all A’s” do just as well in PE as in their other classes. The editorial stated, “getting a D in PE can ruin their GPA for something that isn’t as important as other classes.” Huh? Then what are we talking about? Obviously, students who are truly intelligent realize the importance of lifelong fitness and health.

Editorial #2

Dear King Tribune,

Reading the article ‘Physical Education Methodology: Is It Working?’ I believe it is an inappropriate article in presentation. While any person is entitled to his or her opinion and expressing it, I feel it showed poor journalistic integrity. This is not a student merely expressing a viewpoint among friends and family, but as part of a school paper that is on display in our main office and our website. This forum requires more of students than the simple right to express their opinions, it needs to take a responsible approach in presenting them.

Some ideas for consideration:
  • The article included a quote from another student, it obviously went outside of just the author’s opinion. Why weren’t the people who’s occupations were being degraded not allowed to express a response?
  • The mile is not the students only run during the week, though it is the longest. It is not a race,; their time serves as a measurement used by the physical education department to chart individual progress. For students that excel at running and do want to race, they offer special events during the year.
  • Sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks may not be every student’s favorite activities; however, helping build muscle is an important contribution to a healthy body.
  • High school requires 20 units of physical education for graduation. The curriculum is based on the fact healthier people think more clearly. Hopefully this will assist the maturing student to become more inclined to accept responsibility for their personal condition and health.
  • It is great to learn alternatives from other schools, but a quick check of  Kirksey Middle School shows it has approximately  two-thirds  fewer students than King. As well as a larger student population, the finances of LAUSD would seem to prevent acquiring the numbers of ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ machines needed to satisfy King’s needs.
  • It was not demonstrated that more accidents and injuries happen outside the campus gates than inside them. Even within the gates and the PE areas, plenty of this same concrete exists.
  • If sixth, seventh and eighth graders have decided they will be rocket scientists and are no longer in need of  PE, will students deciding to be professional athletes have no need for math, science, history or English?
While students have a right to their opinions and a right to express them, there is an increased responsibility when they express them in a public forum such as the school paper. This article was not about a movie or a public personality that opens itself to review. This was about a section of the school that dedicates itself to improving the health of our students, showing basic sport’s skills and teaching the rules of different activities. The PE department does this with the school’s largest class sizes and most diverse levels of student abilities and ages. They were available to share your opinions and possibly edify departmental actions the students may not understand. It would be good to know King’s journalism class is about more than writing articles of interest and that it includes lessons in displaying high journalistic ethics and standards.

Thank you,
Robert Urkofsky