Atlantic Community High School


Ria Reddy

Ria Reddy has 13 articles published.

13 Reasons Why gets a second season on Netflix despite the controversy

in Arts & Entertainment by

   The TV series “13 Reasons Why” seems to be a popular show among the students at Atlantic High School and teens around the nation. Since its release on March 31st, it has been the most tweeted about show in 2017. The show tells the story of a teen named Hannah Baker who leaves behind 13 cassette tapes after committing suicide; each tape is directed towards a person who’s responsible for her suicide. The series, which feels too close to real life, is based on a fictional novel written by Jay Asher. “The show is out there. Everyone is talking about it,” said Azmaira Maker, a licensed clinical psychologist with a practice in Carmel Valley. “It is scaring parents, and I think there is a lot of anxiety around it. The show raises alarms and creates awareness, but it doesn’t give us the tools to deal with it. It doesn’t educate parents about warning signs, and it doesn’t talk about what we can do to help.”

   Parents are becoming alarmed that the show may raise a negative influence among  vulnerable teens. In 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death for children and young adults ages 10 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The show suggests that suicide was the only way for Hannah to deal with her struggles. “We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series,” the National Association of School Psychologists said in its five-page “13 Reasons Why” guide for educators and parents. Besides this, Netflix has added warnings before every episode.



On the other hand, some psychologists say that conversation about mental illness is better than no conversation at all. “From my point of view, to get people talking about it is a good thing,” says Tylee Silva. When asking other students around campus most of them seemed to agree and support the show. Netflix also seemed to support the show by announcing it has renewed the show for a second season. Although there isn’t a specific date set for the release of the second season, many are already excited for what it has to bring.


Summer Europe trip available to ACHS students

in Campus Life by

   Atlantic High School is partnering up with EF tours to offer the opportunity for its students to take a summer trip to Europe in 2018. Any student that currently attends Atlantic High School can apply for the trip by contacting the people listed below.

   There are two different tours available. The Artist’s Tour is directed towards students who are interested in the arts. The trip gives students the opportunity to tour and observe the rich artistic history of France and Italy. This tour is sponsored by Julia Zuniga and Natalie De Feliz. You can contact them at and or for more info on this trip you can visit .

   The other tour is an all inclusive 9 day trip to learn about the history and culture of Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Ewa Maas and Christine Palulis sponsor this trip. You can contact them at and or for more info on this trip you can visit



The deadline for these two trips was originally April 21st but, is being extended to April 28th. All registration and payment plans must be arranged by this date. There are only a few spots available.

Calendar changes proposed to help increase efficiency in Palm Beach schools

in Campus Life/News by

   Palm Beach County students could see some changes to the school calendar this upcoming school year. One of the biggest modifications the district will consider is making Thanksgiving break a week long, instead of giving students just three days. The proposed calendar also eliminates early release days for students in elementary and middle school and late-start days for students in high school. Five half-days that have been used for teacher training in previous years would become full days for students. Another reason for eliminating half days is the low attendance rates. The school district found that many parents kept their children home, sometimes because the altered schedule disrupted their work schedules.  On Oct. 20, 2016, on a typical full day, 3.7 percent of elementary school students were absent, according to school district officials. Although on Oct. 13, which was a half day, 9.3 percent stayed home. District staff say students would get more instructional time by extending the half-days.

proposed school calendar for 2017-2018
old school calendar 2015-2016
old school calendar 2015-2016

   “Everyone is agreeable to this, ” said Kathi Gundlach, president of the Classroom Teachers Association. “The half days were not useful because a lot of kids didn’t show up and you couldn’t do a lot academically.”

   Since,  Thanksgiving break would be extended from three days to a full week, the school year would drop from 180 days to 179 days. Many elementary school parents keep their children home the days before Thanksgiving break. The absentee rate was 8.5 percent on Nov. 22, the day before the break this year, compared with 3.7 percent the previous Tuesday. Superintendent Robert Avossa said the district will save $25,000 in diesel fuel and $150,000 in utilities by closing all of Thanksgiving week.

   Despite the changes, the school year would still start and end approximately around the same time as it does currently.  The new school year would start Aug. 14 and end May 31, 2018. If hurricane days are needed, they would be added to the end of the school year.

  “The calendar keeps all the the traditional fall and spring holidays, and there won’t be any gaps in pay for employees,” said Aeriell Jordan-Robinson, a specialist with the district. The changes are part of a proposed Palm Beach County school calendar that was met favorably by district staff and School Board members on Wednesday. The School Board is scheduled to officially vote on the proposal April 19.


Tragedy strikes in St. Petersburg

in News by

    On Monday, at least 11 people were killed in a blast on the St. Petersburg metro located in Russia’s second largest city. European news agencies said that the explosion occurred in a train as it was traveling between two stations, and a larger device was found and defused at another station. The blast occurred just after 2:30 p.m. as the train was traveling in a tunnel from Sennaya Ploshchad to Tekhnologichesky Institute stations in the city center. Investigators are seizing items relative to the investigation, questioning witnesses and metro employees and working to confirm the number of dead and injured.

  In the confusion, initial reports suggested there were two blasts.  Alongside the dead, 51 people were injured in the incident, according to CNN affiliate RBC. Four of the injured are in critical condition. Many of the wounded are being treated at the Dzhanelidze Research Institute of Emergency Medicine.

  US President Donald Trump spoke briefly with Putin on Monday, according to a senior administration official. Trump expressed his sympathy for the Russian people.

Photo courtesy of A woman pays her respects at a memorial at the Tekhnologichesky Institute metro station in St.Petersburg.
Photo courtesy of
A woman pays her respects at a memorial at the Tekhnologichesky Institute metro station in St.Petersburg.

President Vladimir Putin, who had been in St. Petersburg earlier in the day, laid roses at a memorial outside the bombed metro station. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the attack as a “terrorist act,” although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

  The train conductor possibly saved lives. Rather than stopping the train after the blast, he continued on to the next station, which allowed passengers to evacuate and rescuers to help victims. Photographs taken during the event show the cars in rubble and passengers running from the station as it filled with smoke. Bodies were laid across a station platform. Rescuers carried bandaged and bloodied victims out of the station. Victims said they also helped each other escape the train.


Prisons cut visitation in order to maintain financial status

in Opinions/Editorials/Uncategorized by
  • Jail.jpg
    Walking through the hallways of jail. Source:

   In New York, 13 prisons are being closed under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s watch. It has become evident that the budget for the 2017-18 year has become tight. In order to accommodate the decreasing budget and the increasing rate of prisoners, Cuomo called for the state to slash family visiting hours at all of the remaining 17 of New York’s maximum security prisons. This action would save the state budget a small sum of money but would work against inmates’ connection to their families.

   In the 90’s, visitations were offered seven days a week in New York prisons. Cutbacks occurred as prisons became overcrowded, enabling visits only on weekends and holidays. By cutting visits to only on weekends in 2011, the prison system saved $2.6 million per year out of an annual correction budget of about 3 billion a year.

    No one disputes how influential these visits are to the inmates and their families. Research shows that prisoners who get frequent visits from family members are more likely to do well when they are released. They are less prone to violence and committing another crime as well as being more functional in society.

   In the perspective of the inmate’s family, the 100,000+ children who have a parent behind bars in New York, visits are a crucial part of developing healthy, long-term relationships. The state should be working to make things easier on these families.

  Fortunately, the state has not yet taken Cuomo’s proposal into serious consideration. The small costs of keeping visiting hours in prisons makes an enormous difference in prisoner’s life.

Get Out raises controversy

in Arts & Entertainment by
  • jordan-peele-get-out-challenge-video-1.jpg
    The main character of the movie smiling on set. Source:

   Horror films usually ask us to fear supernatural creatures, such as zombies, vampires, werewolves and ghosts. However, there is nothing scarier in this world than real people, and Jordan Peele’s newly-released horror film Get Out clarifies this fact. The movie highlights actual fears of oppression and the constant threats looming over people of color. It also comments on the re-emergence of white supremacy, especially in this time of  American politics. It encompasses the subtle racism that often lies behind the post-racial United States. “It is one of the very, very few horror movies that does jump off of racial fears,” Peele said in an interview.

  In Get Out, Charlie and his girlfriend, Rose, go on a trip to meet Rose’s parents, who are white and live in a predominantly white town. Charlie is awkwardly greeted by Rose’s parents after they had just learned he was black. The tension between them increases when Charlie learns other black people have mysteriously disappeared after visiting the town.

   Many are calling the movie racist due to the fact that it is specifically focused on a black person’s experience. Some are also saying it’s presentation of racism is far-fetched,  although it focuses on the current topic of devaluation of black lives that killed people like Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner in the last few years.

   Writer and director Peele says nobody has really made a thriller about race since Night of the Living Dead (1968).   Night of the Living Dead was not necessarily meant to be about race, but it was interpreted that way due to the time period in which it was released. This was a bold move for Peele, and an influential step in the horror genre, which has historically treated black characters with apathy or even hatred. Peele sets out to debunk the myth of post-racialism by showing that the country is still influenced by historically conditioned views on race.


Atlantic moves

in Arts & Entertainment/Campus Life by

 Students at Atlantic put their dancing shoes on to participate in a school-wide campaign on  March 6.  “Let’s Move” is a campaign that was started in 2010 by ex-first lady Michelle Obama. The main goal of the campaign, according to its website, is to “solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.”

   So, how does Atlantic plan on fixing this problem? By getting kids active and getting them moving, by means of dancing. Angela Williams is the director who drives the campaign at our school and, during this year’s campaign, Jackson Destine, junior, made a rap song and video that promotes healthy living and being on a healthy diet by rapping lyrics that prompts students to move and exercise. Students danced in the school courtyard for the music video. Whoever participated was given t-shirts that were designed by art teachers Natalie De Feliz and Julia Zuniga.

   It’s not the first time that our school participated in this campaign; last year the school took part in the campaign by making a video showcasing how our school promotes healthy living through dancing to a popular rap song. Manasse Dornot, senior, said “it was pretty fun, seeing my peers, and future seniors goofing off and enjoying themselves, brought a smile to my face.”

   Administrators and students seem to be enjoying the campaign and its message, with the amount of support the campaign received, it will be welcome again next year.

The Let's Move logo Source:
The Let’s Move logo

Termination of the most popular notes in India help end corruption

in News by

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi enforced a law for India to do away with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes (Indian currency)  in an effort to weed out corruption, black money,  poverty and terrorism. Modi said, “ the government believes the time has come to take a strong decision on tackling these problems.”

  He suggested that counterfeit notes from across the border were creating many problems, such as being used to fund terrorism in India. This also will have a huge impact on the black market and fake money. Producing fake 500 and 1000 notes is a big threat to India’s economy. Also, there are many business that run on 500 and 1000 rupees currency without paying any tax. Now, these people will have to remove all the money and deposit it in banks, not being able to escape taxes.

  Elections for officials in India will also be affected, as the politicians will not be able to circulate 500 and 1000 notes under the table. Again Modi has proved that he is ready to take big steps. It will have some bad effects on the market but it will benefit India in the long-term.

  The act was put into place starting midnight on Nov. 8, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were no longer legal tender. Other currency notes – Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs 10 – are still valid, as these are all coins. All cashless transactions, such as cheques, cards and demand drafts, will continue as usual.

ATMs and banks across the country were closed on Nov. 9, The Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes could have  been submitted to post offices and banks from Nov. 10 up to Dec. 30 with a valid ID card, such as a passport. Those who were unable to exchange their notes by Dec. 30 will be allowed to declare them with the Reserve Bank of India until March 31.

  There was a limit of Rs 20,000 as  the amount of money that can be exchanged in a week and Rs 10,000 in a day. Tourists can change these notes at airports. New notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 have started to circulate recently, though these will be limited. According to Modi,  an idea for the future would be to have maximum transaction through technology.

Bundles of Indian currency stacked on top of each other. Source:
Bundles of Indian currency stacked on top of each other.

Twin tragedies lead to a miracle

in News by

Andy Sandness has been waiting for this day for a long time. On Feb. 17, Sandness received one of the rarest surgeries in the world–a face transplant. His was the first face transplant done at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Sandness was given the cheeks, mouth, nose, lips, chin, jaw, and even the teeth of his donor, Caleb Ross, who was newly-wed and in mourning. Resting in his hospital bed, unable to speak clearly, he scrawled in his notebook, “far exceeded my expectation.”

  The medical journey revolved around two young men. Both the donor and the recipient were just 21 when they decided to kill themselves. In 2006, Sandness held a rifle to his head and pulled the trigger. He survived but his face was destroyed from the gunshot, whereas the other man died. One man’s tragedy was another’s hope. Despite the previous effort to turn him back into a normal man, Sandness couldn’t bear to see himself.

  This face transplant was a turning point for him, it was a chance to gain his sense of humanity back. The decision for the transplant came from the donor’s devastated widow, Lily Ross. On her husband’s driver’s license, it designated he wanted to be an organ donor. The surgery took 50 hours and was done by 26 different surgeons at Mayo Clinic in Rochester,Minn. After the surgery he now looks like a normal man. Sandness, 31, plans to return to Wyoming and work as an electrician. He told Chicago Tribune, “just thinking about his new future makes him smile.”

Andy Sandness hugging one of the surgeons at Mayo Clinic. Courtesy of
Andy Sandness hugging one of the surgeons at Mayo Clinic.
Courtesy of

Zhanelle Murph plays a key role in JROTC

in Campus Life by
  • bvmjnvfjyufffffh.png
    Staff photo taken by Ria Reddy Caption: Zhanelle Murph in the library.

As a well-rounded honors student, Zhanelle Murph encompasses excellence in her actions. On campus, she is part of the weightlifting team and JROTC, ( Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps), a military academy offered at many high schools.

  She believes her experience in JROTC shaped who she is today. “My experience with JROTC made me more disciplined and set me on the right path,” Murph stated. She is currently a Command Sergeant Major; her role is to be a leader and make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to.

  JROTC’s mission is to motivate children to become better citizens. “I remember one time a girl wanted to give up in PT but the other students helped her push through it,” Murph said. She believes that they all share a close bond and motivate each other to do their best.

  “All of the JROTC instructors are like father figures to me,” she said.

  She recommends joining JROTC because students get to know each other better, learn how to be a leader and keep a good attitude. Some events that Murph participated in through the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program involved the JROTC Parades and the Military Ball. Murph wants to further her participation in the military and go into the Air Force in the future.  

Go to Top