The Weekly Scroll for April 27, 2018

News, tips and advice from the Quill and Scroll International Honor Society
Compiled and written by Quill and Scroll journalist Caitlyn Martin

The Lede:

SM North students fight for their rights

Students at Shawnee Mission North High School in suburban Kansas City are fighting what they — and the Kansas Scholastic Press Association — claim to be a violation of the Kansas student freedom of expression statute. Read here about how an associate principal at the school took away student-journalists’ cameras during a National School Walkout protest this Monday. The student newspaper at Wichita State University wrote about the issues that threaten both high school and college journalists in Kansas.


Save Student Newsrooms Day happened this week as well, and the estimable Frank LoMonte — a great Florida Gator and the former executive director of the Student Press Law Center — has some thoughts about that.

Oil prices rise in response to US pressure on Iran

Pending changes to the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump threatens to reinstate sanctions on Iran, pushing oil prices to the highest level in three and a half years. Oil prices hit $75 a barrel Tuesday. If European allies are unable to fix Trump’s perceived “terrible flaws” in the Iran nuclear accord by May 12th, the US will abandon the accord and impose sanctions on Iran.

Scientists prove composition of Uranus’ atmosphere

An instrument on the Gemini North telescope of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea summit and a team of researchers have finally proven, after long speculation, that hydrogen sulphide is a large component in Uranus’ atmosphere. This information could be key to learning the history and formation of the outer planets.


Bloomberg takes climate change personally

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged 4.5 million dollars of his personal funds to the Paris Climate Accord, a contribution he feels is necessary as a global citizen in the only country in the world to have withdrawn from the global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce climate change. Bloomberg remains positive that President Trump will return to the accord sometime in the future.

It’s An Honor:

Yearbook contest is open

Quill and Scroll’s Yearbook Excellence Contest is online and open for business, about five months earlier than normal. Quill and Scroll successfully migrated its 2018 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest online, and now the yearbook contest is following suit. We have the same 18 categories, the same two class divisions and the same rules and pricing as last year. But now you enter online. Go to our Yearbook Excellence Contest webpage to check out the new format so you can begin preparing entries before the school year is done. Fall-delivery book? No worries. You still have until Oct. 10 to get your entries in.

Scholarship application deadline approaches

If you are a senior and you won a Gold Key in either the 2017 Yearbook Excellence Contest or in the 2018 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest, you are eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll scholarships. In addition, the Richard P. Johns Award is available to all Quill and Scroll seniors, including those who did not enter contests. Scholarships can be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university in the United States that offers a major in journalism or related areas of communications such as multimedia, broadcast, graphic design, strategic communications, and photography. Get thee to this webpage and start your application. NOW! (Or before May 10. You pick.)

Need some constructive feedback?

The News Media Evaluation provides media staffs a one-of-a-kind self-assessment, thorough analysis and rating of your publication(s), with constructive comments and suggestions for improvement from qualified evaluators. The evaluation exercise and feedback are instructive and developmental. The ratings are motivational. High schools and junior high schools may enter their newspapers or news magazines during the submission period — April 1 through June 15, 2018. Entries and ratings are returned in September 2018. This service is open to non-member schools as well as member schools. Here’s the link to get started!

The OQS 19 (Original Quill and Scroll)

As you probably know, Quill and Scroll was founded in April 1926 when advisers from 19 high schools around the Midwest met in Iowa to draw up a constitution and set the rules for the organization. Here are those 19 schools from 92 years ago this month (along with our mission and vision statements). Another 10 schools joined later in April 1926, and by the end of that year, Quill and Scroll had expanded to 79 schools nationwide, from Pittsburgh (Pa.) Northgate in the east to Bisbee (Ariz.) in the west. Here’s a link to all 11,320 charter schools.

What’s Viral?:

Stan Lee challenges harassment suit

Marvel creator Stan Lee is facing allegations of sexual misconduct as a client of a massage therapist. The suit filed earlier this week is seeking in excess of $50,000, in addition to damages, punitive fees, and legal fees for assault, battery, and sexual harassment. It is unclear if the suit will have any effect on Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War box office sales.

Outback Lassie

A recent story out of Australia is warming the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. When a 3-year-old human girl named Aurora wandered over a mile into the bush from her home in Queensland, the family’s 17-year-old cattle dog, Max, followed her and kept her warm throughout the night. In the morning, Max led the family to where Aurora was sleeping safely.

Colorado and Arizona teachers protest school funding

It’s now officially a thing. With Colorado and Arizona teachers gathering this week — joining their colleagues in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky — to protest GOP policies that have drained public schools in those states of funding, the momentum to restore pre-Great Recession funding has taken on even more heft. Go Big Red for Ed.

Just A Thought:

One poll, two poll. Good poll, bad poll.

Trust in news is much more easily given when the article or source provides data, whether through surveys or linked studies. However, not all surveys are trustworthy. Lifehacker provides a guide here to analyzing and understanding the validity of polls, as well as creating a reliable one yourself.

Proposed changes to military family education raises debate

Secretary of Education Betsy Devos plans to create a military savings account for children of active-duty military members to attend their choice of school, so that military families aren’t limited to on-base or near-base education. The plan is receiving opposition from military organizations, civil organizations, and Congress alike because it would use funds currently allocated to the federal Impact Aid program, which supports education programs on military bases, Native American reservations, etc. A hot topic of debate is whether money should be reallocated to give students the choice to attend private or public school, or should be invested to create higher quality education and opportunities everywhere.

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