opinions » oped


Maryland a step behind in saving lives

By Lois Bangiolo | March 1, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

It can prevent cancer, it can save lives, but in Maryland, it is not yet required for middle school girls. It is Gardasil, the newly released vaccine that protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a disease that can lead to cervical cancer. While there is opposition from parents and controversy over how the maker of the vaccine will benefit from state mandates requiring the vaccine, Maryland has made a mistake in not passing the legislation potentially preventing thousands of cervical cancer cases.


YouTube goes overboard

By Johanna Gretschel | Feb. 27, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

A nonstop flow of yelling in Arabic is the only sound in the film as an unidentified object swings in and out of the dark, grainy scene. A few more seconds reveals the object to be the dead body of Saddam Hussein, former Iraqi dictator. That's all thanks to YouTube, a widely popular and controversial home video uploading and sharing service. Now, anyone with a working email address and the savvy to change one's birth year to earlier than 1988 when registering for the site can access the disturbing footage with the click of a button.


Inter-county disconnect

By Rachita Sood | Feb. 8, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Every workday, thousands of commuters sit through miles of gridlock, crawling along the area's clogged local roads and highways as they face hour long drives to work. The Intercounty Connecter (ICC), a proposed six-lane, 18-mile highway, aims to alleviate this congestion by providing a traffic free east-west route between I-270 in Montgomery County and U.S. Route 1 in Prince George's County.


Beating a dead horse

By Jessica Cutler | Feb. 5, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Enough is enough.


iRaq

By Julie Zhu | Feb. 5, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Personal pronouns have been good to us over the years. After all, it was the "I have a dream" speech that helped materialize racial equality and "We will fight on the beaches" that inspired British and American troops to trump the Germans on the shores of France. But in our fast-paced, laptop-hugging, cell phone-glued-to-ear society, personal pronouns have evolved from replacing proper nouns to preceding simple objects as prefixes.


Warming up to clean energy

By Molly Reed | Feb. 3, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The average American generates about one and a half tons of solid waste per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But that figure pales in comparison to the five tons of carbon dioxide emissions each person produces annually through their daily actions and activities, as estimated by the Earth Policy Institute.


Holding graduation at Jericho does not violate the Constitution

By Pia Nargundkar | Feb. 3, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

We the people of Montgomery Blair, in order to form a more perfect graduation, establish a site placing the least burden on tax payers, ensure seating for all, provide for the comfort of the aforementioned, promote the general sentimentality worth of such an event and secure this site to ourselves and our posterity, do wish to ordain and establish Jericho as our graduation venue.


Democratic Congress vs. Republican White House

By Iliya Smithka | Jan. 3, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

For the first time since the Republican Revolution in 1994, voters have elected a democratic majority in Congress. Now, with a 51-49 majority in the Senate and a 232-201 majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats can pass the legislation that they've wanted to for the past 10 years. But with a Republican White House and divisions within their party, they may find it hard to get enough support for their bills. With topics controversial across America and in the Capitol, representatives will vote based on their loyalties: with their party, with their constituents or with their own initiative.


MySpace resumes

By Hareesh Ganesan | Dec. 12, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Last fall, Danny Scheer, a 2006 Blair graduate, posted photos of himself "looking really stoned" on his MySpace profile as a joke. Though the Communication and Arts Program senior seminar teacher John Goldman told Scheer to take down the post so he would not run the risk of colleges seeing it, Scheer thought the whole incident was an empty threat. But Goldman's concerns may not be unwarranted.


Detention policy gets itself in trouble

By Ethan Kuhnhenn | Dec. 12, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

First came the cowbells, now it's detention. Things are getting increasingly worse for those afflicted with chronic tardiness.


Making an inappropriate fashion statement

By Bridget Egan | Dec. 2, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

This just in: recently, two teenaged girls from a local high school were kidnapped, blindfolded and held hostage by approximately eight male assailants during the school day. Fortunately, they were rescued before any physical harm ensued, though the extent of the emotional harm has not yet been determined. Details after this commercial.


PRO/CON: MCPS flyer distribution policy

By Pia Nargundkar, Iliya Smithka | Nov. 28, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Iliya Smithka says YES: Organizations have the right to free speech within schools. Pia Nargundkar says NO: Students should not be forced to take home material of questionable content.


Wishy-washy law makes sick people suffer

By Iliya Smithka | Nov. 15, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Last March, President Bush signed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA) into law as part of the Patriot Act. Pharmaceutical drugs containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine (PSE) and phenylpropanolamine (PPA), common decongestants found in Sudafed and Claritin-D, are now available only behind the counter in your neighborhood drugstore, and require photo identification to purchase. The law's intent, according to the Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis, is to regulate the sale of drugs used to make methamphetamine or amphetamine, both addictive and dangerous drugs. But instead of stopping meth addicts from mixing their brew, the CMEA harasses customers with the common cold.


Better discussion needed throughout the community

By Lois Bangiolo, Merlyn Deng | Nov. 9, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Although much of the fervor surrounding it has dissipated, the ID policy and other administrative decisions remain a mystery to the school's students and parents. While the media-dubbed "student uproar" has subsided, this lack of understanding raises a legitimate concern about the overall communication in all school matters between the administration and the Blair community.


Playing by the rules

By Ethan Kuhnhenn | Nov. 1, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Reports of schools changing athletes' grades to meet eligibility caused a ruckus in the Blair community last week, with parents, students and administrators all weighing in on the issue through listservs, newspaper forums and chats with athletic teams.


Earlier curfew in DC only a first step

By Gus Woods | Oct. 26, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

D.C. faces what police chief Charles Ramsey has declared a "crime emergency." To grapple with it, on July 11, the D.C. government declared that the 12 a.m. curfew for all resident and non-resident teenagers 16 and younger was pushed to 10 p.m. Although the curfew represents an admirable effort to reduce the number of robberies and weapons offenses committed by young people, it is too controversial a crime-fighting tool to stand on its own. Unless officials move to support the new curfew with other anti-crime initiatives, it should either be pushed back to 12 a.m. or repealed. Furthermore, the latest anti-crime measures should also recognize the prevalence of adult crime and address the needs of at-risk adults, rather than targeting only adolescents.


Newfound spirit surges through Blair

By Rachita Sood, Boris Vassilev | Oct. 14, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

A black ninja walks through the 150s hallway, stealthily slipping by the Expedition Club's colorful display of an erupting brown paper volcano with red and yellow streamers flowing out. A few feet away, a bold poster of graffiti art showcases the Hispanic Club's culture, proclaiming "Orgullo y Cultura" (pride and culture), as it hangs in the 160s hallway amongst the oversized dominos dangling from the ceiling.


Administration's new ID policy is more than the sum of its punishments

By Priyanka Gokhale | Oct. 11, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

At a glance, Blair's new ID Policy seems daunting and uncalled for. Saturday detention? For not wearing a small plastic rectangle? However, when examined more thoroughly, the administration's new ID policy is a sure step forward.


Students unite over ID policy

By Pia Nargundkar | Oct. 10, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Since the administration's new ID policy was unveiled over a week ago on Silver Chips Online, 178 comments have been made on the story and over 350 people have voted on the ID policy-related poll.


"Identifying" the problems

By Jessica Cutler | Oct. 10, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Even Blazers who agree IDs have a security benefit have to admit there are everyday inconveniences to the plastic cards. After all, they cost Blair money to create and replace, they are small and easy to lose, they get tangled in backpack straps and jewelry, and few students even understand their purpose. If Blair administration would like students to wear IDs, resorting to detention, suspension and other major punishments for intimidation is not the best way. The ID process should be convenient and fair to all students. While the current proposal's inclusion of two free temporary IDs is a good start, it has a long way to go before it will be fair.


Better late than never

By Jessica Cutler | Sept. 30, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Congratulations to Harvard and Princeton for finally recognizing the flaws of early notification applications.


Harvard should look closer at its reasons for eliminating early action

By Lois Bangiolo | Sept. 28, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

At a time when college frenzy can begin the moment a student steps through the doors of high school, Harvard has just taken a step toward making the frenzy last longer.


A Purple solution

By Boris Vassilev | Sept. 22, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Every year, 195 million trips are taken on our capital's overcrowded and under-budgeted Metro rail. The "Purple Line" also known as the Bi-County Connector, is a proposed extension of the Washington area's railways. Connecting key stations like Bethesda, Silver Spring and New Carrolton, this expansion would offer the average commuter a break from long traffic delays and offer a cheaper, cleaner alternative to driving.


A policy headed for disaster

By Poorva Singal | Sept. 16, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

After last spring's test administration of the High School Assessments (HSA) for Algebra, Biology, Government and English, the U.S. Department of Education made the decision to allow Advanced Placement tests to be used as a substitute for the HSA so students would not have to be burdened with so much test taking for graduation. One flaw, however, mars the plan: students do not find out the results of their AP exams until after they would typically take the HSA in May.


Hezbollah needs to go

By Pia Nargundkar | Aug. 10, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

While most Americans are lounging the summer heat away, going to baseball games and taking dives in the neighborhood pool, 6,000 miles away a conflict rages on in the Middle East. For the past three weeks, Israel and the militant Shiite group, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon, have been engaged in fierce fighting. The daily headlines are grim: scores of innocent children killed in Lebanon, barrages of rocket fire raining on Israel. Hundreds of both Israeli and Lebanese civilians have been killed or wounded in the conflict, as well as four UN observers and a handful of foreign nationals. The United States needs to take a more active approach if we want to disarm a malicious terrorist organization and stop the horrific murder of Lebanese civilians.

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